Friday, February 29, 2008

I posted about this church and the pastor not too long ago. I am VERY glad that the pastor was not pushed out. I can say that I am a little surprised though because it was a Baptist Church, and Baptists tend to be ultra conservative. But I like the way this one is thinking. I think Jesus is proud right now :-)

UPDATE: It looks like the debate at Fort Worth, Texas, Broadway Baptist church over photos of gay members in the church directory has ended. In a 294-182 vote, church members approved a recommendation by the church's board of deacons to publish a directory that would include gay member photos in “candid, small and large group pictures” but not include them in family portraits. Church members voted after a sermon by pastor Brett Younger in which he challenged parishioners to be more sympathetic to gays. “If we look into the eyes of a gay Christian, we may have to rethink some of our opinions,” Younger said. [, 2/24/08]

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Barack Obama Responds to John McCain

U-MV033 - Gilby Clark - Tijuana Jail

Heard this song on KUPD today on the way home. I've heard it before but didn't know who did it. Turns out it is Gilby Clark from Guns n Roses. Don't mess with Texas!

Defending Obama against false accusations

Below is an excerpt from an article I read today. Here is a link to the entire article. Defending the Facts on Obama's Faith

So I am going to defend my friend, Barack Obama, from an increasing number of ridiculous and scurrilous attacks on the Internet and in the media. The latest incident occurred when a loud-mouth radio talk show host in Cincinnati let loose with a barrage of disparaging remarks against Senator Obama and kept using his middle name—Barack HUSSEIN Obama—over and over, seemingly to tie into the Internet accusations that Obama is really a Muslim who, as a child, attended a Muslim "madrassa" school in Indonesia that taught Islamic fundamentalism, etc. As a Chicago Tribune blog piece commented, "Anyone who uses Obama's middle name repeatedly, like Cincinnati radio host Bill Cunningham the other day, knows what he or she is doing and what feelings they are trying to evoke. There's simply nothing innocent about it."

The occasion for the shock jock's diatribe was his introduction of Senator John McCain at a rally. To his great credit, McCain denounced the remarks when he heard about them, disassociated himself from this kind of attack, and reaffirmed that his campaign would be conducted on higher ground. Good for you, John McCain. So of course, the local loud-mouth, Bill Cunningham, quickly withdrew his support from McCain and now is denouncing him too; which, of course, was quickly picked up by his mentor, the national radio loud-mouth Rush Limbaugh (whom the local Cunningham seems to desperately "wannabe"). And, of course, Rush is now denouncing both Obama and McCain.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today I drove out to Casa Grande to look at the new location. It was definitely suitable and met the site requirements, so...First thing Friday morning I'll head to Casa Grande to the old location, remove the equipment and head to the new location to install it. Clear skies and temps in the 80's. Couldn't ask for a better day for it.

Tomorrow we are having a luncheon with the broadcast meteorologists in Tempe. I think most of the channels will be represented. Should be a great time and discussion about the begin/start time of the Monsoon Season should be lively. We'll see!

I found out today that I will be flying to Reno NV for a Diversity Conference the first week in April. I am also going to be gone another week for my routine site visits in Mid April. I'm going to do the I-10 and I-8 portions in one shot. Leave on a Monday morning and come back Friday.

Tomorrow will be my first time back at the Gilbert Dropin Center at VCCG. A place for the teens to hang out, play basketball, shoot pool, skate, BMX, listen to music. Whatever! I am looking forward to it.

We'll be heading to the orphanage the weekend of March 7th. I always look forward to that.

Another thing I am really looking forward to probably more than anything else is the return of Iron Maiden to Arizona on May 26th at Cricket Pavilion. Tickets go onsale March 15th and I'm logging on to buy them the second they go onsale. So hopefully we'll get good seats so we can be up front and center.


A brief snippet from Jake Colsen's book:

"Institutionalism breeds task-based friendships. As long as you're on the same task together you can be friends. When you're not, people tend to treat you like damaged goods. Now you know what it's like from the other side and one of the big things Jesus is doing in you now is to free you from the game, so that you can live deeply in him rather than worrying about what everyone else thinks about you."

Simply Beautiful!


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Larry Norman Song for a small circle of friends

Monday, February 25, 2008

Larry Norman 4/8/47 - 2/24/08 RIP

Larry Norman passed away at 245 am Sunday morning

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I just read a great article written by Pam Hogeweide. I found it on the Ooze and you can read it here.

I'll cut and paste it here too. Enjoy!

I asked a friend of mine who considers herself a witch, of the Wiccan variety, how she came into her beliefs. She paused, took a deep breath and then said, "It's not about beliefs. It's about who I am. This is my path. It's what I know, not what I believe. You choose to believe in something. I don't. I just am."

I get what she's saying. She's proclaiming what to her is her identity. It's not based on dogma or right information, but based on her perspective of who she is and what feels right to her. This is the mission statement of the post-modern generation. "It's right for me. I won't cram it down your throat, because it might not be right for you."

This accentuates a mindset that is prevalent in evangelicalism, something that I've heard referred to as beliefism.

My friend Jim Henderson at Off the Map defines beliefism as "about me being right." This is a lot different than being devoted to a Person, to Jesus. Beliefism is devotion to a system of beliefs.

So what does it matter? Who cares whether I believe something or know something, like my Wiccan friend, or have a certain perspective? What is the flippin' point?

To me there is a huge point here because beliefism is what distorts our understanding of who God is and what he is like. Beliefism is the crazy carnival mirror that screws up our perception.

Believing is a different thing from beliefism. To believe is to have confidence that something is real.

I choose to believe that Jesus is the Visible Expression of the Invisible Creator God. I put my faith in Him. This is much different than putting my faith into a system of doctrinal positions. Beliefism, as one person put it, is the worship of beliefs. I don't worship what I believe. I worship Jesus. There is a difference, a big difference.

I don't want to substitute spiritual friendship with Christ for a formulaic understanding of John 3:16.

Beliefism will strangle reckless zeal and passionate pursuit of God in a heartbeat. It will produce mean-spirited warriors who'll duel to the death over a shred of doctrine. This is not believing in Christ. This is believing in beliefs.

I wonder if this was part of the problem with the religious leaders that Jesus offended. He did not match their beliefs. He upset their formulas and religious system. Jesus kicked their beliefism in the teeth.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. (Matthew 23)

Beliefism will quench love and compassion. I recently was invited to a same-sex commitment ceremony. Beliefism told me Don't Go. Compassion for this friend compelled me to go.

I've decided these days that I'm ok if I offend people, if my beliefs don't match theirs. I'm more concerned with offending God. Jesus told the God-chasers of his day what offended Him : their beliefism. Then he told them a better way, using words like justice, mercy and faithfulness.

This is what messes up religion, what messes up my religion, that Jesus was like this: He touched lepers (religious law forbade it), He talked to loose women (definitely a no-no, a scandalous big no-no), He snacked on grain he picked on (gasp!) the Sabbath. This flies in the face of beliefism and basically flips it the bird.

So I want to be like Jesus. I want to be about the justice and mercy and love and faithfulness of my Father's business.

I want to give beliefism the bird.

Thanks for sharing this article Pam.

A fun and not so fun weekend

So Patty and I checked out that U2 in 3D flick. I'll tell you this, I was impressed. If they did a movie like that for every concert by any band that you wanted to see, I don't think I would ever go to a live concert again. Me telling you about it would not do it justice. You have to experience it. Bono is like right there in front of you. The Edge is playing his guitar right in front of you. It takes you into the crowd and you want to tell the girl up front to get off her boyfriends shoulders so you can see. Like I said, I was impressed. If any of you decide to see it let me know what you thought.

Today we went to our first service back at VCCG. I'll just say this, we're home. Nothing against Amadeo at all here. They are growing and doing great things and I love each and every person there. That will not change. I just did not belong there. And this morning confirmed that for me.

Outside of seeing that U2 movie and going to church this morning, I have been doing this Hydrology course online all weekend. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be but it is as boring as I thought it would be too. The only part of it I enjoyed so far was the Case Study of the Flash Flood event in the Catalina Mountains near Tucson that ended up affecting parts of Tucson.

We also ran into some dear friends of ours from our old church (I'm talking the one we were a part of for 10 years before Vineyard) while we went to eat at Rubios. It was very nice to see them again. For those that know them it was Keith and Laura C. We saw Laura back at Shannon's graduation last year but it had been quite sometime since I had seen Keith. Their son Stevie will graduate this year and we will go see him at his celebration I am sure.

Hope all of you had a great weekend. I've got one more evening shift tomorrow, then off Tuesday and days Wed thru Fri. Going to lunch with Mark B. Tuesday. Thursday or Friday I will be heading to Casa Grande to relocate some weather equipment AGAIN! I just put it in there not too long ago and they ended up moving. Go figure! Thursday I'll be helping out at the Gilbert Dropin. Looking forward to it.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ephesians 2 (The Message)

Ephesians 2

He Tore Down the Wall

1-6It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

11-13But don't take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God's ways had no idea of any of this, didn't know the first thing about the way God works, hadn't the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God's covenants and promises in Israel, hadn't a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.

14-15The Messiah has made things up between us so that we're now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.

16-18Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.

19-22That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.

Friday, February 22, 2008

QUOTE: “If we put down our picket signs and picked up a basin of water and towel to wash feet with then maybe the world would sit up and listen. Or maybe they wouldn’t. But either way, we’d be more like Jesus.”—Greg Stier, National youth leader of Dare 2 Share Ministries. [Christian Post, 1/23/08]

QUOTE: “Life is all about stewardship. It all belongs to God—he just loans it to us for a short period of time. The first command God gave to man was to take care of the Earth, which includes managing and protecting the environment.”—Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church.

A growing number of Americans believe that there are biblically legitimate alternatives to conventional church, the latest Barna study shows. Subjects were presented with alternative activities and asked if they were acceptable substitutes for traditional church services. The alternatives included engaging in faith activities at home, with one’s family (considered acceptable by 89% of adults); being active in a house church (75%); watching a religious television program (69%); listening to a religious radio broadcast (68%); attending a special ministry event, such as a concert or community service activity (68%); and participating in a marketplace ministry (54%). Less acceptable substitutes included interacting with a faith-oriented website (45%) and participating in live events via the Internet (42%). [, 2/18/08]

QUOTE: “We are living in the midst of a silent revolution of faith. Millions of Christians throughout the world are leaving the old, accepted ways of “doing church” for even older approaches. Those older approaches are rooted in the Holy Scriptures and the eternal principles of the living God. Consequently, the motivation for this transition from the old to the older is not simply to get us in touch with our history or to reclaim our roots. It is borne out of a desire to return to our Lord with authenticity and fullness. It is a thrust to bond with Him through the Word of God, the Kingdom of God, and the Spirit of God.”—George Barna and Frank Viola [Pagan Christianity?]

Even in a time when innovative outreaches seem to be the norm, some evangelistic methods still raise eyebrows. A new documentary “The Pussycat Preacher,” follows former stripper Heather Veitch as she ministers to women in the sex industry. The film chronicles the formation of the ministry JC (Jesus Christ)’s Girls. Veitch’s methods are hardly conventional. She brings women from her church into strip clubs to evangelize. Though Veitch claims the ministry has been welcomed in the sex industry, she says many Christians have been reluctant, accusing Veitch of endangering women by taking them into a “dark world.” The documentary contains no nudity or offensive language. [Christian Post, 2/16/08]

Time to relax

I've had a very busy week working evening shifts. I worked from 1 pm to 10 pm and have one more to go tonight. It has been kind of fun, especially with the thunderstorms we had Wednesday night. But the drawback to working evenings is that I don't see my family. They're all in bed when I get home and up and gone before I am awake. But this weekend I am off and Patty and I are going to see that U2 in digital 3D at the Imax on Saturday. Looking forward to it. We will also be going to VCCG for church Sunday morning which will be nice. We haven't seen some of our friends there for quite awhile.

Shannon's job is going great. She likes it and it appears that she is doing well at it so far. She has learned the insurance part of the job and is not so nervous about it anymore. She is probably the busiest of all of us these days now. She works 8 am to 5 pm Mon-Fri. But on Tuesdays she works 8 am to 330 pm and heads straight to school until 10 pm. Talk about a long day. She also has school on Thursday nights where her and Patty go to their conversational Spanish class from 7 pm to 9 pm.

I am taking a required Hydrology class (Don't ask, it's VERY boring) online that I have to have completed by March 3rd. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I finished a Labor Relations course I was required to take because I am the Union Steward. It was pretty basic though and I passed with flying colors!

I am going to help out the Gilbert Drop-in center at VCCG on Thursday nights. I have already talked with Obie and he said he welcomes the help.

Well I'm gonna jump on the treadmill before I get ready for work.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Iron Maiden - Fear Of The Dark (Live @ Rock In Rio 2001)

Coming to Cricket Pavilion on May 26th. Somewhere back in Time tour with the setlist featuring all of their 80's tunes. Singer Bruce Dickinsen with opera training and triple lead guitars. I'm in and I can't wait. Peace!

Monday, February 18, 2008

She's growing up

So I talked a few posts ago about Shannon's new job. I was very proud of the effort she put into her resume and with her positive attitude about sending them out to numerous places. She ended up with a nice little office job in a Podiatrist Practice. She was really nervous as today was her first day, but I am sure she did well. The insurance part was what she was most nervous about but she was upfront with the Doctor and told him that she had no experience whatsoever with medical insurance. He told her that they would train her in that area.

Anyhow, this is a very good time and job for her at this time and they are starting her at a very good wage. I am sure she will do good. I'll blog more about it when I hear how her first day went.


My wife Patty and daughter Shannon returned last night from their trip to the orphanage. They both had a great time down there. They did some painting and loved on the kids. I was thankful that Jen went with them so that there would be another adult helping Patty out. She also drove one of the vehicles which was a huge help.

I can't describe to you the different Patty I get when she returns from the orphanage. Her love and devotion to the kids is very comparable to Hannah's. She is just beaming when she gets home, even though I know she is probably tired, she doesn't really show it after the orphanage trips. It is what she has been called to do. I have no doubt in my mind about that. If we were not married, she would probably move down there permanently. I have another 10 years before I can retire. I would not have a problem if she wanted to go down there more often. If God wants her to, then she will.

Patty and I have been in prayer about what to do about a church home. We have decided to go back "home" so to speak. The church we were a part of for 2 years before we went with Amadeo. We are heading back to VCCG. Amadeo was a blessing to us and they will grow and bless the community around them. But we will still be family with Amadeo and will always have a connection with them through VCCG.

My co-worker at work who is 52 years old has come down with chicken pox. Strange but true! He's never had them before. It's supposed to be pretty miserable if you get them as an adult. Patty, Shannon and I have all had them so we're okay here. I get to work all of the evening shifts this week though as a result of his illness. Get well soon Mike, and don't scratch the "pox" or whatever they're called so you don't get scars.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

U23D Special video (feb2008)

Patty and I missed out on the Vertigo Tour but were fortunate to see U2 3 times on the Elevation Tour. Twice here in Phoenix and once up in Vegas. Anyhow, we have tickets at The Imax theater for the 230 pm showing on Saturday Feb 23rd. It is in digital 3D, whatever that is. But I did hear it was way cool so we're gonna check it out. I'll let you know how it was.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Charles Barkley: Republicans/Conservatives = Fake Christians

I'm not a big fan of Charles but I can sure appreciate what he says here about "fake christians". That is the goal of the conservative movement, to legislate morality. Which I am firmly against. That is why so many don't like the evangelical right wing movement.

One Day = $720 Million

I found this link over on my buddy Todd's blog. I thought it was right on the mark and I am sick and tired of what our government is doing with our tax dollars that could go to a worthy cause. PEACE!

Friday, February 15, 2008

A nice trip

So I arrived back home earlier than I thought I would. I made it out to Chiriaco Summit by 1030 am on Thursday after driving against a stiff head wind the whole way there. Winds were gusting from the Northwest at about 45 mph. I had to fill up in Blythe California because the wind was not kind to fuel mileage on my work truck with the big storage box on it.

I actually appreciated the wind a little bit when I got there because it kept me cool during the trenching I had to do to bury the cable for the temperature system. Chiriaco Summit is in Eastern Riverside County and about the only place for services between Blythe and Palm Springs. There is everything you need for a place like that. Food, gas, convenience store and a little museum called The Patton Museum, with tanks and military history. The folks that run the place live there in a modular home. That is where I installed the equipment. The lady that I had been in contact with about the weather site said her son would be there and I could get him if I needed anything. His name was Victor, he was 19 years old and he was a really cool guy. He came out and helped me dig the trench and just hung out with me most of the day. He went to a private Catholic School from 1st through 8th grade and then a private Christian School for High School. He played in the worship band when he was in high school. He was just a great guy and I really enjoyed hanging out with him for the day. Plus, he was a great help to me in getting the work done. I was able to finish up by about 6 pm and then headed back to my hotel in Blythe and made it back there by 7 pm.

I was a little bit sore when I woke up but not as bad as I thought it would be. Made it back to Phoenix by 1 pm and went up to my office to do some paper work. I hit some rain about 30 miles west of Phoenix and it rained the whole way back and it's still raining now. Go figure! The climate prediction center said we were in a La Nina pattern where Phoenix was supposed to have a warmer and drier winter than normal. Well it has been the total opposite so far. It has been an unusually cool winter and we have had lots of rain.

Global warming anybody?


I found this in an email I get called the ministry report. Personally, I think Pastor Brett Younger will be fine. I hope all of his supporters go with him if he is forced out.

What do you do when gay couples show up for your church’s pictorial directory? If you’re the deacons of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, you lobby for no family photos at all—and then vote to fire your pastor. That’s the multilayered controversy that’s erupted at the downtown church since last year, when it attempted to commemorate its 125th anniversary with a photo album. Since then, several congregants believe senior minister Brett Younger has taken the church beyond just welcoming homosexuals to affirming their lifestyle. Although 162 members signed a petition to oust the pastor (only 100 were needed to force a vote), more than 200 have signed a statement opposing his removal. Broadway has long been known for its ministry to the poor, a liturgical worship style uncharacteristic of a Baptist church and for including women as deacons and ministers. “We are trying to be a church where people with different opinions on that important issue are welcome,” Younger said recently. “We’re either becoming a community of grace or a community of judgment, a community that welcomes everyone or a community of self-righteousness.” [, 2/13/08]

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shannon is employed again!

My daughter Shannon had been without a job for a month now. She had been submitting resumes at several places, both in person and online. She had been interviewed by several places but was not hired. She was interviewed Monday by a Podiatrist practice. The Doctor interviewed her and said he would be in touch after going over some things with his partner in the practice.

She was called back today for a second interview and both Doctors were present. She was offered the job and will have a very nice starting wage, more than she has ever made as a matter of fact. She will work ther front desk from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Tuesday's she will be allowed to leave at 3:30 pm because of her class schedule this Spring. She's nervous about the insurance part of the job but told the Doctors that she had never worked with it before and they were okay with that, and said she would receive training. I am proud of all the work she put into getting her resume together and submitting them to several different places, all on her own.

Now maybe she won't sleep until 2 pm every day? :-)


On the road again

Today at work I packed my work truck with all the stuff I need for my trip tomorrow. I'm installing a new cooperative weather station in Chiriaco Summit CA. I'm heading out first thing in the morning, hope to be through the Phoenix traffic by 7:30 am and westbound on I-10. Barring any troubles I should be there by 11 am or so. It's supposed to be pretty windy tomorrow so we'll see how it goes. I hope to have all the prep work done by dark. Then I'll head to my hotel and go back in the morning to finish the job. I hope to be back home before Patty and Shannon leave for Mexico, but depending on when I finish, when I leave and that good ole' Phoenix traffic, ya never know.

Everybody be nice and get something special for that Valentine of yours. I'll catch everyone up when I get back.

Last but not least, it appears to me that Obama is running away with it now. I hope that's the case.


Monday, February 11, 2008

A Very Relaxing Weekend

Patty and I headed up to our favorite quick romantic getaway up in Payson on Saturday morning. It was just so peaceful and relaxing and it was great to spend some quality time alone together. The drive up was beautiful. We brought a couple of DVD's we rented and let me tell you, one of them was awesome. If you haven't seen "3:10 to Yuma" yet, you don't know what you're missing. It was a great movie. Go out and rent it. I highly recommend it.

Next door to the Majestic Mountain Inn where we stayed is a restaraunt called Fargo's. We had a very nice relaxing dinner there. I had the Prime Rib and Patty had the Salmon. It was awesome. We slept in late Sunday morning and made the checkout time of 11 am. I forgot to mention that there was snow on the ground, mainly in the sheltered areas. The sidewalk right outside our room was sheltered. The snow that had been on the roof and in the shade of the building was melting and dripping off onto the sidewalk was kinda neat looking, until I stepped out to unload the car and almost fell on my ass because it had turned to ice. Now I know why I live in the desert.

We loaded up the car and headed back down the mountain to Phoenix. We ate sushi at the Pacific Seafood Buffet before heading home.

Thank God for times of rest and relaxation.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Romantic Weekend coming up!

I am actually going to be out of town on Valentines Day and Patty and Shannon have their Spanish class that night anyhow. I'll be in SE California installing a new Cooperative Weather Station at Chiriaco Summit. I'll come back Friday evening and Patty and Shannon are leaving to go to the orphanage for the weekend leaving at about the same time I get back.

Therefore...Patty and I are getting out of town for the weekend. I actually have to work this evening, but we'll leave tomorrow. It will be our Valentines celebration together a little early. we have this cozy little place up in Payson that we like to go to called The Majestic Mountain Inn. We splurge and get the luxury room that has the fireplace and hot tub in the room. We are so looking forward to it.

We are also talking about heading down to the orphanage for a week in March when the kids here have Spring Break.

Hannah called me day before yesterday and is doing okay. But please keep praying for her and also for her boy Jesus Humberto who is having some difficulty right now. Hannah's looking forward to seeing Patty this weekend. I also got to talk to the boy I sponsor, Jesus Guadalupe, when Hannah called. How cool is that? He's a great kid and is the one in the photo with me that is on my blog profile.

Be encouraged and keep encouraging. I'll post after this weekend. Peace!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Come to Me for rest

Mark handed this devotional book out at the last Youth meeting I was at. Written by Sarah Young and written in the first person singular...I, Me, Mine always refers to, refers to you the reader. So the perspective is that of Jesus speaking to you. She also said that "the Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard." From "Jesus Calling" written by Sarah Young, the entry for February 7th...

Come to Me for rest and refreshment. The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life.

Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different. Start with where you are at this point in time and space, accepting that this is where I intend you to be. You will get through today one step, one moment, at a time. Your main responsibility is to remain attentive to Me, letting Me guide you through the many choices along your pathway.

This sounds like an easy assignment, but it is not. Your desire to live in My Presence goes against the grain of "the world, the flesh, and the devil." Much of your weariness results from your constant battle against these opponents. However, you are on the path of My choosing, so do not give up! Hope in Me, for you will again praise Me for the help of My Presence.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It is time to move on

I was honored to be a part of the Amadeo Church plant. It was a challenge and it was stressful at times, but at the same time it was rewarding and God is working in that church. I made lots of friends, and they will always be friends. But our journey with Amadeo has come to an end. I learned a lot while I was there and grew spiritually more than I have at any other time in my life. This includes our two years at VCCG also who blessed all of the folks that went with Amadeo.

We are leaving under amicable terms though. I have just not been totally in agreement on some things that the pastors and elders require of me to be in a position of leadership at Amadeo. God has been stirring my heart for the last 4 months or so and He has a plan. I'm just not sure what that plan is yet.

So I will leave with these parting words...

Thank you to pastors Ben and Robert for allowing me to serve the youth at Amadeo. Thanks for your prayers, your friendship, your encouragement and your leadership. Even though we disagree on some things, I still highly respect you both and am positive that we will continue to be brothers in Christ. Amadeo is an awesome church that is truly being moved by God's love. I pray for God's blessing on the Amadeo family as they bring Christ's love to the community. I am sure that I will visit your services from time to time. Please pray for myself and my family as we seek God's direction in where He wants to use us from here. I do know that the orphanage is definitely a main focus for us and that we will be supporting Hannah with prayer, financial support and service at the orphanage. There is even a possibility of Hannah starting her own orphanage.

Keep being MoVeD! Stay in touch and God bless you. We still love you all dearly.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Isn't it cool how God uses somebody or something to speak into your life exactly when you need to hear it? I received an email today from an ezine I subscribe to from Dan Gilliam. Even cooler than that is this, I haven't received one from him in quite sometime and it arrived in my inbox today. Enjoy!

Dear Keith,

" To live well myself is my first and essential contribution to the well-being of all mankind and to the fulfillment of man's collective destiny. If I do not live happily myself how can I help anyone else to be happy, or free, or wise? Yet to seek happiness is not to live happily. Perhaps it is more true to say that one finds happiness by not seeking it. The wisdom that teaches us deliberately to restrain our desire for happiness enables us to discover that we are already happy without realizing it."

- Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 81.

Like many others I know, I grew up with an inherited ethos and a doctrinal prerogative hell-bent on "helping" people by convincing them to believe the "right" truth. I even went to college and earned a degree in truth-speaking. I have dedicated many years of my life to teaching a better way of living, even before I discovered how to live happily myself. Now just 2 days into my 50th year on the planet I am aware that I believe without a shadow of a doubt that my best impact on people with whom I would wish to share positive influence is in how I live. My spiritual footprint is only as large as the path that I tread. Words are okay if they are used to describe the life I am actually living or to affirm the value and beauty of life around me, but they have little value if I only use them to talk about theories of living that exceed or contradict my own experience.

Like Thomas Merton wrote, it is evident to me that there is a paradox at work with regards to discovering real happiness in this life. Happiness is not something to seek and find, in itself, but rather a gift to embrace that has already been given. My part lies in simply becoming aware that God has already given me everything I need for life and goodness, and this comes most quickly through a daily practice of prayer and meditation and regular acts of service to others. Together, these spiritual principles allow me to "get happy"and learn to be content in any and all circumstances. This is the real work of the Kingdom of God, the inside job stuff that truly allows us to change, grow, and be like Christ to those around us. This real happiness, in no way linked to the purchase, acquisition, or possession of any material good, is what we are all wired to seek and what we are all spinning our wheels to find.

Today, may we all find a quiet moment and place in which to take a deep breath, settle into an awareness of the goodness and happiness that is our spiritual birthright, and hear the affirming inner voice of our Creator say, "Rest in me. I have you right where I want you."

Thank you for sharing the journey with me,

Dan Gilliam

Wayne Jacobsen writes, and I have to agree with him on this...

How quick we are to take our eyes off of Jesus and put it on ‘the church’ in its myriad of expressions. When we do the life is lost, because there is life in no other but the Son. There are lots of ways believers can gather and encourage each other. But at the heart of it, Jesus must have first place in all things. That’s what makes the church, the church! It isn’t where we meet or how we meet, but the church ‘gathers’ around the supremacy of Christ. Read Colossians 1 again some time and bask in the simple joy that Jesus is the first born of the new creation.

Where we are focused on him we get to experience the life of the church with him. When we are focused on any other thing, including whatever church model we’re trying to implement, we’ll only get to experience the model. What a horrible trade-off, in my view!

I've been enjoying Wayne's writings and website. If you've never listened to him, he's got a great podcast too. Go over and visit him at

Be encouraged and keep encouraging others.


Happy Super Tuesday

Get out and vote folks. May the best man/woman win.

Obama in 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

A very good relaxing weekend...sort of

I was looking forward to this past weekend ahead of time. Friday we just hung out at the house and watched TV. When I say we, I mean Patty, Shannon and I. We actually spent the entire weekend together as a family.

Patty's sister was supposed to join us on Saturday night but some trouble with her son (my nephew) happened and she wasn't able to join us. I won't go into details of the incident on the blog, but just pray for them. My nephew is not on a good path right now and he turns 18 real soon and may be in a bit more trouble than he even realizes.

Saturday night, Patty, Shannon and I went to the Roadrunner's hockey game. The game had a bit of everything and was entertaining. I also got to talk with one of the guys that had season tickets right in front of us last year. He is moving back to Illinois soon but it was good to see him again. It was "Faith Night" at the Roadrunners game Saturday night with a concert after the game featuring Christian recording artist Wavorly. It was extra crowded at the game due to the fact that folks that only allow their kids to hang out in the "Christian Ghetto" let their kids go to the game. To each his own I guess. But if you allow your kid to only be around christianese stuff, how are they going to relate to the real world? Just my 2 cents on that subject. I wonder if they made their kids leave when the game featured two good fights in the first period alone?

Sunday I went to church. Patty and Shannon stayed home and Patty went grocery shopping so that she could be home for the Super Bowl. We had our own little Super Bowl Party...Patty, Shannon and I. Oh yeah, both dogs were there too. But only after Patty and Shannon took them to the dog park and wore their asses out. I am not a big fan of football myself, but this game was actually very exciting to the end. Tom Petty performed at halftime. He's coming back to the Valley of the Sun this August for a full concert and I think Patty and I are going to go.

All in all, with the exception of my nephew's trouble Saturday, it was a great weekend. I was extra pleased that we spent it as a family, which doesn't happen that often.

Tonight is Youth and I always enjoy hanging with the Amadeo teens. We are very fortunate to have a very great group of youth at Amadeo.

Tuesday I am meeting my buddy Todd over at Starbucks. I am looking forward for some great conversation with him. I enjoy talking with him because we are sort of both in the same place in this journey of resting in Father God's affection.

This upcoming weekend, Feb 9th-10th, I'm taking Patty up to Payson to our little romantic getaway we like up there, The Majestic Mountain Inn. Fireplaces and a hot tub in the room. Sweet! It will be our Valentines Day celebration a little early.

On Valentines Day I will actually be heading out to S.E. California on a work trip to install a new weather site. I should have it done by Friday the 15th. So I'll have to stay overnight. Patty and Shannon leave for the orphanage on the 15th and come back the 17th.

Be well, and encourage someone today!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tree of Guns

Peace, not war. Look what this folks did with these guns. Using objects of war to make symbols of peace. Enjoy this video. I did! Peace!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Coulter: I'll campaign for Hillary if McCain is the nominee

If this is true, and she does what she says she's going to do, I seriously think that this will help Obama! :-)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Romans 14

Romans 14 (The Message)

Cultivating Good Relationships

1 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

2-4For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ's table, wouldn't it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn't eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God's welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

5Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

6-9What's important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God's sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you're a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It's God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That's why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

10-12So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I'd say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we're all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren't going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture: "As I live and breathe," God says, "every knee will bow before me; Every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God."So tend to your knitting. You've got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

13-14Forget about deciding what's right for each other. Here's what you need to be concerned about: that you don't get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I'm convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.

15-16If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don't eat, you're no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet? Don't you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!

17-18God's kingdom isn't a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness' sake. It's what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you'll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

19-21So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault. You're certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God's work among you, are you? I said it before and I'll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

22-23Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.

The crowd does not take kindly to nonconformity... (and) the fear of ridicule paralyzes us more effectively than flat-out opposition. How much good is left undone because of this fear. The irony is that the opinions we fear most are not those of people we really expect, yet these very persons influence our lives more than we want to admit. This desire to stand with them can lead to appalling mediocrity and a frightening unfreedom.

Albert Amus once said, 'The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very act of existence becomes an act of rebellion.'

There is nothing more maddening to the mob than a free person!"

Brennan Manning in Lion and Lamb