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Katie and I are celebrating our 7 year anniversary this weekend!
I can't believe she put up with my crap for 7 whole years!!!
We are packing up the boys and going on a road trip down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
I'm sure I'll have stories and pictures to share.

Have a great weekend!!!
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Every year, right around the time that it starts getting warm, Santa Rosa hosts the “Wednesday Night Market”. It’s great fun. Lots of food from local vendors, local arts and crafts, lot’s of food, live musicians, attractions for the kids, lots of food, wacko political and religious groups handing out tons of flyers, fresh local produce, and lastly, lot’s of food.

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These guys were doing a drum circle in front of a music store that specializes in hand drums and ethnic instruments. They had several drums, a bass player, and a hippy chick chanting some kind of crap about how "the trees carried her spirit away" or something.

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People seemed to be into it. These guys were especially moved! They were dancing around like crazy people. You remember that scene in “the Doors” when Jim Morrison is wacked out on peyote and he’s dancing around in the desert…. kind of like that.

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Obadiah was at the archery range with his Grandpa so Katie, Malachi, and I perused the market, with Kettle Corn in hand.

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Immediately after taking this picture Katie said, “Put that damn camera away. I know how you think. All you can think about is how you’re going to blog about this tomorrow.” She was right.

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I thought this was worth sharing. Charles Schulz lived in Santa Rosa and the Snoopy Museum is here in Santa Rosa too. Over the last week these oversized Charlie Browns have been popping up all over downtown. They are the shape of Charlie Brown but they are painted with all kinds of different artistic motifs. You can’t really tell from the picture but this thing’s almost six feet tall.

And then… there were THESE GUYS!!!!!

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Can you believe your eyes? I couldn’t either. These guys looked amazing!!! Their hair is really dyed like that. They’re not playing dress up.
When they look in the mirror in the morning they say,

“OK, that’s about right”

and then they head out the door!!!

They said I could take their picture if I gave them a dollar. They actually seemed really excited when I agreed to pay them. I figure that dollar is well worth the laughs!!

I’m telling you, The freaks per capita numbers around here are way out of wack!!!


Blame Shifting

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I recently read an article by Brian Orme entitled “Tagline Truths”. He writes, “One of the most impacting issues in our day is the subject of sexuality. In a culture that thrives on sensuality, the Church can't afford to stay silent about sexuality—even though it's a messy subject matter to unravel. We may even get in a little trouble for discussing it, but the consequences are even greater if we fail to enter the conversation.

When Jessica Alba (Dark Angel, Sin City, Honey) was asked if she was, or had been, a born-again Christian, her response was, "I used to be. When I was a kid." She went on in the interview to talk about the reason she shunned Christianity: "Because a lot of people gave me grief for being a woman—and made me feel ashamed for having a body because it tempted men." She ended the conversation by saying, "It was a tough time in my life." It was sad to hear—Jessica Alba released the faith of her childhood because she felt guilty about the body God gave her.

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The same type of rhetoric was used by Jessica Simpson's father, a former Baptist pastor. He said it was hard to talk to Christian music labels about signing Jessica because they thought she was too full-figured, a problem they didn't want to have to deal with in the Christian marketplace.

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Maybe we should question the way we as members of the Church view the body.”

This is something that seems to happen a lot in western Christian culture. A guy looks lustfully at a girl and shifts the blame for HIS SIN to her. “It must have been the way she dressed”. Or how about this, “I saw someone who was supposed to be a Christian, and they were having a beer, so that tempted me, and I got sloppy drunk.”

When do accountability and personal responsibility come into play? When will we stop shifting blame and accept the responsibility for our actions and thoughts?

Here's the deal people. They're boobs. Half the population has them, deal with it. Boobs have the sexual power that you give them. Men, control your mind. Take responsibility for your own actions. Stop shifting liability. Don't blame one of God's most beautiful creations for your thought life.
Get it under control.


converts vs. disciples

I am reading a book about leadership right now and came across the story of Dawson Trotman.
Dawson was the founder of The Navigators, and the story that I read was about a major turning point early in his ministry.

In the early 1930’s Dawson had a reputation as an effective minister, seeing great results at the altar as he traveled the states with an evangelical message.

The following is an excerpt from “The making of a leader”.

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“One day Dawson picked up a hitch-hiker whose speech indicated that he was not a believer. Within moments he discovered that this man was one of his “converts” of the previous year whose dedication had not been followed up and who had virtually died on the vine. Shaken, Dawson reasoned that there must be countless such persons who had sincerely, perhaps with tears, called on the name of the Lord, but whose lives had not been changed. What was wrong?

From that time on Dawson resolved to follow up anyone he led to Christ, a work far more difficult than soul-winning, and to encourage others to give their converts their rightful opportunity to grow in Christ. The truth had come into focus, and he made an axiom out of it: ‘You can lead a man to Christ in twenty minutes to a couple of hours, but it takes twenty weeks to a couple of years to adequately follow him up.’ The hitch-hiker convert startled him into realigning his ministry, less emphasis on getting the decision and more on growing up in Christ. Dawson’s goal had been changed from winning souls to building strong disciples and recruiting laborers for God. He began to preach, ‘God can do more through one man who is 100 percent dedicated to Him than through 100 men who are only 90 percent.”

At Dawson’s funeral in 1956 Billy Graham said of him, “I think Dawson Trotman has personally touched more lives for Christ's sake than anybody that I have ever known."

Dawson’s convictions about ministry direction are still the core beliefs of the ministry he founded. Here is some stuff off of The Navigators website.

“Our purpose is to know Christ, and to make Him known. The hallmarks of our ministry are one-to-one relationships and small-group studies focused on discipleship. Just as the foundation of a building is essential but unseen, our ministry’s contributions are often played out away from center stage, away from the spotlight’s glare. The U.S. ministry touches lives through everyday settings such as college campuses, military bases, inner cities, prisons, and youth camps, adding to the kingdom for God’s glory. One by one, both our U.S. and International staff members teach people to follow Christ passionately and help them: apply the Bible to their daily lives, pass on what they learn to others, and train these new believers, in turn, to reach others.”

What do you think???



I flew! I fly! I’m a flier!!!

My brother in law Russ is a pilot and he offered to take Obadiah and I up for a spin as a birthday gift to Obadiah. We took off from the Sonoma County Airport and we were at the Pacific Shoreline in about 5 minutes!!! That’s usually about a 30 minute drive for us. It was almost sunset and the view was absolutely amazing! Then Obadiah got to fly the plane for a few minutes. You should have seen his face when he moved the yoke and the whole plane banked to the right!

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Then he moved out of the co-pilot’s seat and let Daddy have a go at it. It is SO AMAZING to feel the plane respond to every movement you make on the yoke. It was really, really cool! I’ve always been the kind of person that feels the closest to God when I’m out in the middle of creation just enjoying nature. So, it was awesome to be able to see everything from this viewpoint. It was so beautiful.

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CLICK HERE to see the video clip of Obadiah flying the plane.
p.s. keep an eye out for the look on Obadiah’s face right before he tosses his cookies… priceless!!!


25 years ago today

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On May 18, 1980 Mount St. Helens exploded in the most destructive eruption in United States history killing 57 people. The sound from the explosion was clearly heard over 690 miles away in Canada.
The force of the blast stripped the surrounding terrain down to the bedrock in an 8 mile radius. The lateral blast mowed down large evergreens up to 19 miles away. After the lateral blast a vertical blast sent volcanic ash thousands of feet in the air.

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Measurable amounts of ash fell in 11 of the western states.

During the eruption the north face of the mountain fell away in the largest landslide in recorded history.
The summit of Mount St. Helens is now 1,314 feet lower than it was on the morning of May 18th, 1980.

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I can remember living in Newman Lake Washington not too far from Mount St. Helens. The scientists had been telling us that something was going on up there so my dad packed us up and sent us to California. I remember watching the eruption on the TV (the TV with the remote “clicker” that actually clicked… remember that?).
Anyway, after a week or two we were able to go back home. The ash looked like fresh snowfall, it was everywhere. We had to wear a mask whenever we went outside. It was dark all day long. What a crazy experience.

What an amazing display of power.

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Mount St. Helens today. Courtesy of Google Maps/Satellite


conversations with Obadiah

The other day we all ate lunch at an outdoor patio next to a large fountain, the kind that shoots water from a bunch of different jets straight up in the air and then it falls down in a loud clatter. The sun was shining, and there was a slight breeze. It was a gorgeous day.

Katie and I had deli sandwiches, and for the boys, lunchables with Capri Sun pouches. We were having a grand time just enjoying each others company.
While we were eating Obadiah looked around and said, "It's so beautiful the way that the birds sing." Then he continued, saying, "The world would be so sad if there weren't any birds. There would be no music when you go outside." Katie and I just smiled at each other. It's neat to hear things from Obadiah's perspective, he's so pure, and full of wonder, awe, and amazement. A few minutes later he turned abruptly towards the fountain and said, "Dad, did you ever notice that the fountain sounds like a bunch of people clapping their hands at the same time?"
Maybe they're applauding the beautiful music....


:: pentecost 2005 grid blog ::

On this day many, many years ago one hundred and twenty followers of Christ gathered together and prayed for the promised arrival of the Holy Spirit. It had been seven weeks since the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible tells us in the second chapter of Acts that as they worshiped together, there came a “sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm” that filled the house, and “flames of fire” appeared and settled on each of them, and the Holy Spirit was with them.

This was the day of Pentecost.

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Thankfully the writer of the book of Acts documents what happened next. All too often in the church today we are content with the “experience”, and it never really leads to action.
In Acts we read that the 120 spontaneously spoke in many different languages. People from around the world were amazed to hear the “the wonderful things that God had done” in their own languages. Peter told these people from every corner of the earth that they were witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy, and after he spoke about three thousand people were baptized into the faith.
Those of you that were raised in the faith have heard this part of the story countless times I’m sure, but I was really struck by the next part of the passage.
The Bible goes on to say that the followers of Christ devoted themselves to discipleship, fellowship, communion, and prayer. They had a deep sense of awe, and there were many signs and wonders. And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. They worshipped at the temple each day, and then met in small groups in the home to share the communion and meals together with great joy and generosity, all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
Today when we hear about Pentecost it’s usually in a message about the fire, and the tongues, and the signs and wonders.

Let’s not forget about discipleship, fellowship, communion, prayer, humility, and generosity.

"Lord, help us to discover the fervour of the early Christians
And the power of the first evangelisation,
That morning of Pentecost, as it started
In the cenacle of Jerusalem
Where your disciples, with Mary, gathered in prayer,
Awaited, Father, the fulfillment of your promise.
Give us the grace to be renewed
'In Spirit and in fire.'
Teach us to speak to the world in tongues of fire,
Let us bring to an end this time of uncertainty
Where Christians are timid and mute
Discussing anxiously problems of today,
As in the past on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus,
Without realising that the Master is risen and alive. "

Cardinal Leon-Joseph Suenens,
extract from 'Prayer for the Year 2000'.

To see others that are participating in the ":: pentecost grid blog ::" CLICK HERE


They will know us by our T-shirts…

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ABC World News Tonight reports that in 2004 Christian book stores sold over $84million worth of Christian clothing, and that doesn’t even count the merchandise sold at Christian concerts and festivals.
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The news anchor reports that, “some are concerned that reducing faith to a slogan on a T-shirt is far too simplistic, and cheapens the message.”
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In that broadcast Don Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz, and Searching For God Knows What) said, “As soon as you try to make something fashionable, in ten minutes, it’s not fashionable anymore. So, is Christian Spirituality something that’s going to be thrown out as something that is unfashionable?”
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I read THIS POST several months ago at a blog that chronicled the everyday life of a guy that worked in Christian Retail. He wrote that shortly after the Lance Armstrong, “Livestrong” bracelet craze that a woman came in and asked if anyone had come up with a Christian knock-off of the bracelets yet. He writes: “When I informed her we did not, she said, “That’s funny, we [Christians] usually have some cheap knock-off on the streets in a matter of weeks. I wonder what’s taking so long?” This woman was at once my most refreshing customer and my most perplexing. Here was a person unafraid to admit the tendency for “Christian knock-offs.” Finally, an honest person was in my store.
What was perplexing was how this lack of creativity seemed to affect her. While she readily admitted most of the “Jesus Junk” was nothing more than a cheap knock-off, she was more than willing to buy it.“
All right “Knock-off Lady”, you ready for this???
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And the good news is that it’s, “more than a wristband… a very practical tool for sharing the gospel…” it says so right on the flyer. In fact it comes with a wallet sized “evangelism card” that you can give to people that you want to witness to, that way you can “share your faith” without actually SAYING, or DOING anything!!!


a voice from the past on "the best show in town"

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats ?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That is clear enough So it would have been if He had added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him.

Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear him say, "Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow." Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.

In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement! Their message is, "Come out, keep out, keep clean out!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, "Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference! Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of the conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.


ok, this sucks...

It’s official, I have pneumonia. Apparently it’s bacterial pneumonia which isn’t the worst kind, but let me tell ya’ it'’s not exactly a bed of roses either. My cough has been getting worse and worse and since yesterday my lung butter (mucus) has been turning these wonderful autumnal colors. It seems like it is getting worse rather than better so I finally decided to go to the hospital.
Anyway, after the exam, the chest X rays(why is the radiology room the coldest room in the frickin' hospital? You could have cut glass with my nipples!), the co-pay (holy sh*t), and the prescription drugs (all in all over $200, our health care system is SO jacked up) they sent my on my way to heal up.
WHHEEEWWW…. OK, I’m starting to feel the codeine from the cough syrup kicking in, gotta go, I’ve got an appointment with never never land.


God's Politics

The East Waynesville Baptist Church, of Waynesville North Carolina says Democrats are not welcome. The pastor kicked out 9 members of the congregation who aligned themselves with the Democratic Party, and then another 40 members left in protest.

In a recent service the Pastor told the congregation that the members of the Democrat persuasion were guilty of “not supporting the President” and that they needed to bow at the altar and pray for forgiveness or leave the church immediately.

UPDATE: earlier this week (5-13-05) the senior pastor of the East Waynesville Baptist Church handed in his resignation.


the boys...

I’m SO sick, and it’s totally raining here. Katie’s at work so I’m supposed to be watching the boys but I’ve been on the couch all day. Obadiah is wearing the same clothes he had on yesterday, peanut butter smeared all over his face, and he has ripped every single page out of one of his coloring books, one at a time. Malachi is wearing a diaper. That’s it. I’m a bad dad. I know I’m supposed to be watching them today but I feel like crap so I’ve called on a dear friend of our to watch the boys for me… SPONGEBOB!!! I know, I know, the TV will turn their tender young brains to mush, right now I really don’t care.

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My boys are so sweet to me. Obadiah came in to ask me a question, and he noticed that I wasn’t feeling good, so without hesitation he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek, ran his fingers through my hair and said, “pray Jesus, make my daddy feel better, pray Jesus, amen.” How cool is that?

Malachi came over to the couch and gave me a kiss, hugged me long and hard and sang to me. He’s only one and a half so he doesn’t know many words so he mostly just sings vowels… “AAAaaa, OOoooo, EEEEeee,” it’s a beautiful song.

still haven't found what you're looking for?

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Several people have been coming to this site using the search, "Tell me all your thoughts on God, cause I'm on my way to see her." If you are looking for the discussion on one of the names of God, "El Shaddai" that post is just below this one. If you are looking for the song that has the same lyrics as the post title, welcome, stay as long as you like. Apparently I'm the number one search result on Yahoo if you search for "tell me all your thoughts..."
If you're looking for the song it's by a band called Dishwalla. They're awesome, I've seen them live. The song is called, "counting blue cars".
CLICK HERE to go to the band's website.
CLICK HERE to get the album that has "Counting Blue Cars".
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road trip part deux

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Serious splatter!!! Bugs were committing hare kare like crazy!!!
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Here is Katie and I, at the right, and the crew that was able to make it away for the weekend. The conference was good. I felt like several of the speakers "got it" when it comes to worship being a lifestyle, and an extension of everything that you do.
One speaker in particular that really blew me away was Pastor Scotty Smith. He talked a lot about worship being a lifestyle and how church in general has become a spiritual "food court" with "consumer's of spiritual goods" lining up to get their fix. He's co-writing a book with Steven Curtis Chapman of all people and the subject is about the "big picture", the "whole story" and where we find ourselves in the story. It almost felt like I was listening to McLaren talking about "The story we find ourselves in".
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This is Jon; bass player, drummer, (Barry White soundalike "Hey Baby..") and vocalist extraordinaire. Check out the sign over his shoulder.
Chocolate love indeed.
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Duke's Bitchin' Burger, the best burgers and coldest beer in San Clemente!!!
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Katie and I got a chance to hang out with my brother Ben and his lovely bride Lindsay on Friday night. I miss hanging out with my brother. It was good to spend some quality time. We talked for hours about the way things are and the way they would be if we ruled the world.
All in all a great weekend.