Winter Youth - Day 2

Wow, I'm tired. I stayed up way too late.

Yesterday was a challenging day. I haven't processed it all yet. If I could try to summarize day one, it would be live your life for an audience of one. Day two is harder, but I think it would be don't trade the gospel for pleasure or performance.

Eric talked again about those people who after knowing Christ for a while (or grow up in the church) base their "How am God and I doing?" question by pointing to how they compare against other's live...and how much time they spend reading their Bible, going to church, etc.

He drew a picture with the heart of the gospel in the middle and two kinds of people, one on each side. The right side were those who have Jesus + pleasure and the other was Jesus + performance. On the pleasure side their sin is overt, obvious, their goal is happiness and they abuse grace, using it as a license to sin. The performance side's sin is covert, not usually seen as sin, their goal is worthiness, and they abuse grace by not using grace.

The point is that the gospel is offered to both. In fact, many (most?) of Jesus' teachings were such that those who were the obvious sinners always got the point, and were found forgiven. Yet those who 'had it all together' missed His message.

Eric's final point was great. If you don't realize, don't know that Jesus already won, already satisfied it all, then you will just be performing a cycle in your life. You will try to do a bunch of stuff to gain God's favor. When you sense that there is no hope in that, you will turn away, seeking pleasure. When you find that pleasure is empty, you come back to trying to read your Bible better and slip right back into performance mode.

I hope I've spoken well of what Eric shared. It was challenging and a great new way of sharing very old ideas. He's set us up for tonight's talk with this.

The start of the gospel is accepting His acceptance of you.

Hope you have a great day.


Winter Youth - Day 1

If days two, three, and four bring the same fight and strength of message that came from day one, I'm in for not only a real treat, but a lot to consider as I head back to real life.

For starters, we had a great time with our group, much of the day hanging in our room, Safeway and conversing about subjects from God to how bad the boy's room smelled. Leading us in worship this year is Future of Forestry (formerly Something like Silas...and don't ask me about their name!). So far, they are doing a great job energizing us, helping us spend time listening, and singing some of the greatest hymns to a bit more modern sound. (Think U2, Chris Tomlin) Dave the horn guy is the MC. He's pretty cool. I hope that he can continue to mix up his routine.

Our first session speaker was Craig Gross of the not so often together Craig & Jake, and of XXX Church—an organization that calls itself the "#1 Christian Porn site" with its goals being to be an aid to people struggling with pornography.

Anyway, Craig told a few stories about different people down the road of sin. His main point was that sin is fun, but that it is fun for a season, and when we don't end it now, we don't know how that season will end. His stories emphasized that well!

(Real quick here, the theme of the week is The Gospel with light and dark being painted at the different sessions—Craig painting darkness and the way out, Eric Knox painting for us the light.

Eric is great! He shared the story of a guy on Venice Beach who could keep 15 plates spinning on 15 sticks. He talked about how for many of us, the Christian life becomes plate spinning. We become a Christian (or grow up one) and begin to add things to our life to, well, be a good Christian; things such as Bible reading, praying, going to church and the like. Not that these things are bad, they're great, but many do theses things "not to experience God's grace, but to gain God's grace." And worse yet, we do these things so that others will know that we are good Christians.

He shared the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector from Luke 18. He told how the Pharisee's was a plate spinner, comparing his deeds to all the other people he was not like. However, the tax collector laid low and said "I am the sinner." He didn't even say that he was one of many sinners, just the sinner. He acknowledged his need for God.

Eric asked us what would reading your Bible look like if you didn't have to read it? What would going to church look like if you didn't have to go to church? What would praying look like if you didn't have to pray. Because the truth is that we don't have to do these things as Christians. And any feeling that we have to do these things comes from a sense of basing your Christian life on others and their view of you.

Wow, this them echo's our pastor's saying of "Live your life for an audience of one."

I'd share more, but I've got to go wake my guys up and get to the first session for the day!


Merry Christmas

Wow! I've had a hankerin' to blog for some time, but just haven't found the time. From the amazing wind storms of last week, our church staff Christmas Party, to all that went along with Christmas, it has been exciting.

Saturday, Ali and I spent much time making onion and clam dip, my dad's famous chocolate-chip cookies and strawberry cheesecake squares. Sunday morning reminded me of my Costco days, getting up to be to church by 6:45 am. We played a special number written by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. That was fun. Jon Knapp rocked out!

After church, Ali and I went to my parents for my dad's side of the family get together eating a wonderful dinner, singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts. It seemed that after a short nights rest we awoke, and went to Ali's parents for the morning. What a wonderful relaxing time!

We drove to my parents in the afternoon for time with my family and Matt & Annie, (Also wonderful) :) and capped off the night with my family and Ali's family all over at her cousins' house for quite a feast. I am so lucky that my families love each other so much!

Today I counted up Christmas gifts, money I had from my birthday 6 months ago (and yes, nobody wished me a happy half-birthday), and some gift cards and I got an 8GB Nano! Woohoo! Thank you all who gave me this present! I've had lots of fun already and even figured out how to put my Google Calendar on the iPod.

Ali and I are cleaning and packing for Winter Youth, a 4-day high school retreat at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion (I know...I'm really roughing it!) with around 1,500 students and leaders! It features great speakers, bands, worship times, a choice of seminars, and of course, the annual trip to Old Navy for the amazing clearance sales. Last year, two of the guys and I bought the same jacket!

I'm brining my laptop, so hopefully I'll find some time to blog.

I hope you had a great, restful Christmas.



A Great Day

I just have to take this time to say what a great day it is and why:

  • I took my last final of the term today and won't head back to school until January 11.
  • I played guitar on Justin & Jessica's 6th Christmas album. (Which you'll be able to hear at a later date).
  • My brother returned from the blogging dead with a great post.

  • So those are my reasons for the great day. How about you?


    Happy December from Oregon

    It's been a while since my last post. I thought I'd just say hi, I'm still here, and finals are quickly approaching. With only one class next term, these could be some of the last scholarly finals I take. (But really, do you actually take them?)

    If I may, while I'm already blogging, quote Marko who quotes Tony Campolo:

    We do not take god into places where he doesn’t exist; we join god where god is already at work.

    ...Good thought to chew on.


    Beavers Win!

    After OSU's last minute field goal, and Oregon's very last minute blocked field goal attempt, my heart is still racing from the adrenaline pumping through my body! Go Beavers! What an end to a season where our (yes Dennis, I'm calling them my team) quarterback was getting booed by his own student section because of their pathetic play.



    What a great time of year. I love Thanksgiving and the rain and the beginning thoughts of the first snowfall.

    We (in youth group) spent this last Sunday being thankful and realizing how much we are blessed. To help us out, we watched a Rob Bell Nooma DVD entitled Rich. In it he says that he gets tired of seeing all the bumper stickers that say "God bless America." God has blessed America, Rob says.

    He goes on to tell us that if the church would practice giving a full 10%, the church would have something like an extra 100 billion dollars. He says that if the church just took 20 billion of that, we could take care of the basic food and water needs of the world. And by the way...20 billion is how much Americans spend a year on ice cream alone!

    So we are blessed. I should be thankful. Only 8% of the world has a car. We are rich. So instead of wanting more things, I hope that my attitude changes so that I am completely content and thankful to God who has given me all I have, even my breath.

    Happy Thanksgiving. May you see that you are blessed by God who shows compassion and unfailing love.



    With much fanfare and ado (about nothing really), I proudly introduce:

    Yes, instead of having to remember you just have to know my name. Please note that even though I am on the commercial domain, I will not be selling anything or trying to make money off my address.

    For all of you out there that want your very own domain name to point to your blog, check out 1 and 1. It's only $5.99 per year! HT to Brian.


    Questions and Teachers

    We had a very great class session yesterday in which three of our favorite profs came to class to discuss teaching. Students were allowed to ask any questions about teaching that they wanted.

    Although at first I thought one student's question was a throw away for the grandness of the day, it provided some thought provoking responses from the panel.

    The question? Who or what teachers do you admire/respect the most?

    Dr. Harper's response:

    Back when I was in college and grad school it would have been the teachers that provided the best answers to my questions. Now, it really are those teachers who ask the best questions to my given answers.

    Wow. May we all keep on learning, asking questions, and never be stubborn enough to think we know it all.



    I just read an interesting article on tithing. It probably doesn't begin to fully broach the subject, but has a good spirit in it's point.

    To read it, go here.


    Crack for the masses

    What's as addicting as crack, costs just under $4.00 and comes out of hibernation on November 1st?

    The gingerbread spice latte!

    Oh the goodness of it all. Besides the regular ol' black cup of coffee, Starbucks knocks one out of the park this time of year. My second favorite is the pumpkin spice latte.


    Ever sat through a long sermon?

    Copyright © Dan Piraro |


    Still here

    Yeah, I'm still here. It's been a week of ups and downs. I have lots to share, but no time to share it.

    God is good.



    Wanna know how they built Stonehenge? Or at least one man's idea? Well, he did it, and all by himself with only tools they would have back then. Check it out.


    20 years ago I was 7. 20 years ago I started liking baseball. 20 years ago I was a front runner. 20 years ago the New York Mets won the world series and I became a fan.

    I haven't been a front runner with them since...but still a fan.

    20 years later, they are one game away from going to the World series. And while I couldn't name their whole roster, or even their first baseman, I have a sense that this could be the year.

    Go Mets! (consequently, they beat the Dodgers [my dad's favorite team] to get to this current series!)


    Retreat Video

    Here it is...the Mid School Fall Retreat Video made by Brian


    We had a unique (dare I say it should not be) experience last night at youth group. For our monthly second Wednesday worship (2W2), we spent the night just reading, singing, praying and then took communion.

    It was a stretch for some students, but I know others and the leaders benefited from the night. We sat in a circle and interspersed songs with Ephesians 4 and 5 along with time to reflect aloud on what we had read.

    It was neat just coming together to be unified in a few things that the Church is called to do.



    First off, my congrats to Jon for his return to the blogging world. Seriously though, he had a good post.

    I have got to comment on our mid-school retreat this past weekend. It was incredible. We saw mid schoolers open their hearts and bodies in worship to God, and He truly used the weekend to direct the course of their lives. May they continue on the course and not be won over by the daily grind. Check out a great video on Brian's blog of the worship time. I'm sure you'll be seeing the whole retreat video soon.


    A Shadow (and other reasons I know I'm getting older)

    This past Monday, one of my high school students did a job shadow with me. We had a great day. No day is typical in my job. Sometimes I'm writing out a lesson, making a flyer or calendar, updating the web site and many other odd jobs.

    This day, we planned a game and music for Wednesday night, went shopping for the Mid-school retreat, planed a giant lake race for the aforementioned retreat, and various other things.

    As I was thinking about the day, I couldn't believe that I was at a point in life where a high school student could job shadow me. It brought to mind other signs I've noticed that I'm getting older, including:

    • The 10th Anniversary 'Jagged Little Pill' from Alanis came out this past year.
    • I was disappointed that "The Container Store" was closed and couldn't wait to go there for the first time.
    • I could spend hours at Ikea and find it fun to buy a wardrobe to store things.
    • I read 4 books over vacation and didn't complain.
    ...and others that just aren't coming to mind right now.

    Maybe the brain cells are going into long-term hibernation.


    "How 'bout that?!"

    Just had to quote Marko on this one. Cool? Cool!

    at my church, they’re in the midst of a teaching series on doubts. in a nice attempt at creating a bit more of a communication loop, they invited people to text message questions during the sermon — questions about points that needed more clarification, or about related doubts and questions. at various points during the sermon, the teaching pastor stopped and some of the questions appeared on the screen, where he read them out loud and took a stab at responding to them. it brought greater clarity to some of the issues being addressed, and brought up some great ancillary discussion. for a large church, this worked way better than having an open mic where people could ask questions, as it was substantially quicker, and allowed for some pre-screening of the questions. it also allowed people to ask questions who would not normally make their way to a mic to ask something in front of a room of 1000 people.


    Uke Again

    If you enjoyed my former post from Jake Shimabukuro (Jake plays While my guitar gently weeps on the Uke), you'll love these two original compositions.

    "Let's Dance"

    Orange World


    "How to" of the day.

    I subscribe to a fun little RSS feed called the "Wiki how to of the day". It is written by anybody, and offers advice on just about everything from removing stains to measure the height of a tree.

    I found today's article interesting. How to Dissuade Yourself from Becoming a Blogger.

    Guess I should have read that one. :)

    Mexico Video Part 2

    Brian just finished the long version (6:11) of our Mexico video. If you already saw the old one, fast forward about halfway through to see what's been added.


    September 11, 2006

    I just finished watching the five-hour ABC production, "The Path to 9/11". It brought back the some of the emotion and shock of that day.

    I'm sure that this is the moment of our generation where we will always remember where we were, such as previous generations did with Kennedy's assassination.

    I remember waking up for work that day, driving in to Costco with a CD in the deck, not listening to the radio. As I walked into Costco at about 11:45am, I was surprised to see many customers—and even managers—standing around the TVs.

    I found a co-worker and asked what was happening.

    He said, "You don't know?!...terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center. It is sick. Wait 'till they show the towers collapse again."

    Towers collapse?

    I just wanted to go home and watch the news that day. But instead I found myself selling electronics. Fortunately, most people weren't in the mood to buy electronics...except for one guy. He wanted to know everything there was to know about a new Dish Network TV system. I couldn't believe it! He acted as if this was a normal day!

    I wonder how to conclude thoughts on the fifth anniversary of that day. Do I talk about what's happened since? Do I close with a prayer? I know that I'm thankful for the life I have and thank those who gave their lives so I could have mine. I do pray that the families of the victims would find peace if they have not, and learn to trust God.


    State Fair

    Our family has a tradition of going to the Oregon State Fair each year. Over the years, some parts became old, and some more fun. For example: The rides-boring, the animals and 'shopping' booths-awesome! Last year, Ali and I bought enough Quick 'n Brite to last a lifetime.

    We had a great time this year. My Mom and Dad, Annie and I with our spouses Matt and Ali. But the prodigal son AJ is in California on a road trip. We hope he returns soon. I think his plan is Monday. (There will be no party or joyous celebration.)


    Lake Tahoe Album

    I have a new photo album from Lake Tahoe. Check it out at:

    I'll tell you about it soon!



    Last Thursday I popped in Jack Johnson's newest album and cranked it on my way down to Multnomah. I was excited because it was a sunny day. I was excited because I got to sleep in. But I was actually excited because I was heading to class.

    This is what I hope to be one of my last 2 terms, so I have a certain excitement about finishing the job. Especially since I've never been one to finish well.

    So as I am doing my homework, I'll take a break to share with you, my reader...or at least classes:

    Career Development: A standard course where we go through the joy of resumes, and a wonderful career match test. I'm actually looking forward to the class.

    Creative Classroom Communication: A course that unlike its name, is about teaching in any setting.

    Co-operative Problem Solving: Basically learning how to mediate. Very useful!

    Well, back to homework. I have a group presentation already this Friday!


    Monthly Update

    Yes, I am alive and well!

    You may notice the new blog template. I switched over to the new blogger ( which is only avalible for a few at a time. Slowly, I will get things back in order, add links, books I'm reading and the like.

    Lake Tahoe was a wonderfully relaxing time. I'll post some pictures from the experience later.

    School started last Thursday. (Yeah!?)

    I hope that Fall brings a refreshment to life.



    It's been a whirlwind since my return to the states. Last weekend Ali and I went camping with her family and a group of their friends, but returned Saturday night so Ali and I could lead worship at our church. Then Tuesday, we headed to Wild Waves with the mid school group from church.

    Now we are about to leave for the week, again with Ali's family, for Lake Tahoe. It should be a great, relaxing week.

    I hope yours is too.


    Mexico Mission Trip Video

    Brian just finished the short version of our Mexico mission trip video. It gives you a great taste of what happened. When the longer version is finished, I'll post it too.



    My page hits counter does more than count hits. It also tells me where people are when they look at my site, and how they got here (refferals).

    I always expect getting hits off my friend's blogs, or the occasional hit off the 180 staff page or even the 180 newsletter. But sometimes, people get to my blog by searching on Google.

    What do they search for that leads to my blog? Here's a sample:

  • "head on" +"apply directly to the forehead"
  • tetanus shots multnomah county
  • stepupmovie
  • emo-o-matic
  • everclear lyrics "i would buy you"
  • tsunami what was said to the rose to make it

  • ...Very Interesting...

    Breakfast program.

    Our youth group takes a collection for some Compassion children and a breakfast program in Mexico every week. While in Mexico, we got to visit that breakfast program. Out in a beautiful valley was a very poor community in which we played baseball with the kids. Their bat was cracked in two, taped together, and they only had one unrecognizable tennis ball. They didn't even have a soccer ball in the whole community. And soccer was their favorite sport!

    At this breakfast program, the kids come together to hear Bible teaching led by a local pastor, and then receive breakfast from YUGO, with whom we partner. On TV you see the kids who are starving and have the flies all over their bodies but do not care or notice. As I watched these kids with many flies on their bodies, I realized that these kids were the same kids. It broke my heart. But my heart also felt joy, because these kids had hope. They heard the word of God, and their stomachs were fed. It is so amazing to see the gifts from our students each week being used to expand the Kingdom. I'm so glad that our students obey God's command to care for the needy, and to seek justice.

    I have much more to say about Mexico. If you want to read what others are saying, check out Brian Eberly's blog and the 180 Mexico Team Report site.


    Back in the US with China

    We made it safely back across the world's busiest land border crossing. We had a great trip. God worked in us and through us. I'll post all about it soon and let you see some pictures too.

    But for right now, it's easier to just write a few sentences about our return home. My brother, sister and brother-in-law looked after our cat and place while we were in Mexico. And apparently, so did my parents.

    For Christmas, they gave Ali and I a china hutch. But half of it was on order, and then they were going to stain it for us. Well, we got home and both of us noticed that the table in our dining room had been moved.


    Then, there it was! The china hutch, stained, well as many other decoration changes in the house.

    Thanks mom and dad! (And Annie, Matt & AJ)


    You Got Served!

    "What," you say? Our Mexico team's slogan for this year by popular demand and democratic vote is You Got Served.

    Hopefully the trip won't come off as arrogant as the slogan. ;)

    But in all seriousness, I won't be blogging as often as I usually do...uh wait...I don't usually blog that often.

    So, If I can, I'll text some photos to the blog and see what happens.

    Check out our trip here, and even find some prayer requests:


    Hot Cat

    During our days of 100+ degree weather, Ali and I found many things to do: Sit in front of the fan, go to the pool and then sit in front of the fan, go out to eat, and go shopping.

    Our cat is not so fortuante to have a car or permission to take a dip in the pool, but she did find one spot to call home for a few days...right between the toilet and the tub!

    Myspace Mayhem

    I thought it was pretty cool when movie ads started putting the movie website at the end of their commercials, but the new movie Step Up has made shake my head.

    Their website?

    Where is society headed?


    So I last had a tetanus shot when I was 15—that's 12 years ago. Heading to Mexico in just 3 days, I felt the need to re-up my immunity to the fun bacteria.

    Because I'm a procrastinator, I didn't get to a 'regular doctor' in time, which forced me to call up the travel clinic. I found out that for the tetanus shot and doctor's visit combined, it would have cost me over $170! Yikes!!!

    On the wisdom of my wife who thought there would have to be some kind of county clinic, I called around and found the Multnomah County Health Department. Can you guess how much it cost there? $15. Yup According to my elementary math,

    - 15
    That's almost as good as Gieco!

    Thank you Alison, thank you God.


    Dental Irritation

    I have bad teeth—I am ashamed to say...but I have a great dentist, Alison's Uncle. God has sure provided for me in that area with great dental care from him. By the way, if you're in the Newberg area and need a dentist, talk to me.

    Friday I had the wonderful experience of getting 5 crowns. That's right, 4 hours of fun in the chair, mouth open wide, numbed up for hours. Besides the occasional gagging, it really wasn't that bad. In fact I almost drifted off to sleep while they were making the temporary crowns!

    At the dentist's office, there is satellite TV in every room, so I watched a little of the Tour De France, followed by war coverage on CNN.

    The worst part of the whole day was the new annoying commercial for "Head-on." It's too annoying to actually be on my blog, but I'll put the link here. The gal in the commercial says, "Head-on—apply directly to the forehead." 3 times in a row in a very irritating tone of voice. The worst part was that I saw this commercial about 9 times during my 4 hour visit. Ugh.

    While the Head-on product is stuck in my head, their advertisers have persuaded me to stick with Advil©.


    B-town Kids

    In the words of U2, It's a beautiful day...or at least it was.

    At a high of 80 on the Fahrenheit scale today, it's supposed to rise 10 degrees per day the next 2 days, topping at 102—or so. I know I shouldn't complain, the rest of the country has had the heat already, and now it's our turn. I guess it's back to putting the air conditioner in the back door and letting the spiders crawl over our walls.

    Like I said in my post yesterday, our youth group got the chance to participate in a church-wide outreach time to the local neighborhood.

    After meeting and praying, we set up tables with lemonade, chips, cookies and the fixins' for burgers. B-town Kids set up shop on our sloped lawn and I got to play dodge ball with a few of the neighbor kids.

    After game time, B-town had sno cones, some fun songs, up-front games, and then a short message that sin is gross. It was a great time, and I think a few neighbors are even going to come this Sunday. You never know.


    A great summer

    Out of all the summers in my life, this one has got to be in the top 5. Of course the number one summer would be the last one, in which I became officially and legally taken. Oh, if only I could have another honeymoon to relax and vacate! The summer at Camp Harlow, on the road with family, and when Ali and I went to the Bay Area make the list as well.

    But this summer has been great, and it's still going!

    Alison & I celebrated our 1 year anniversary! I am so glad that she is my wife! We celebrated by going to McMenamins Edgefield out in Troutdale, and then up to Larch Mountain for an amazing view of Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge. You can see the pictures here.

    Four weeks ago I got to be a groomsmen in my brother-in-law's wedding. It was an awesome weekend as I added more people to my family.

    Since then, it has been major prep time for my sister's wedding. While I didn't do nearly as much as Annie, mom, or dad, it was busy! From putting in/fixing walkways in the front yard to helping build benches and setting up for the wedding itself...whew!

    The rehearsal dinner was out at Ponzi Vineyards which has Oregon's oldest grapevines. Besides the usual dinner and hang out time you find with a rehearsal dinner, we enjoyed a wine tasting tour, bocce ball, and a deer wandering the vineyards! Good times.

    The wedding was wonderful! I've got a copy of the audio, and listen to the prelude music - that my Uncle John played - while at work. AJ and I got to play Be Thou My Vision, which was an honor. I'm glad to have Matt as a brother now. He and Annie are great together.

    But one of the coolest parts about the wedding was that all of my mom's relatives were able to come into town! Being scattered across the country - and at times the world - we don't get to see them often. So it was a great joy to spend days and weeks with them.

    Just this past Tuesday, our youth group went white water rafting on the Deschutes river in Maupin, OR. We had a blast! It wasn't too hot to where it was uncomfortable, but hot enough to make the frigid water refreshing. One of the highlights is the "swimmer's rapids," where you can actually get out of the raft and ride the rapids in your life jacket. The rapids form here not from rocks in the river bed, but a narrowing of the river. Always a blast, and face full of water, the most impressive part was that all 21 members of our group floated the rapid! I have never seen that happen before!

    Tomorrow our church and Bridgetown are hosting a BBQ for the neighboring apartments. I admit that I am nervous and excited. I am excited and praying that this would be a big chance for people to see God's love.

    Well, Ali and I head off for Mexico next Thursday. I can't wait!!! Training started today, which we began with authentic Mexican pastries from the local panderia. Please check out the web site so you know where we are and how to pray for us.

    Hope your summer is going great as well!



    Wedding Day

    Congratulations to my sister Annie! She is getting married today to Matt Beghtel and will be living 2 blocks away from Alison and I.

    She is getting her picture taken with my mom and dad right now. They look great.


    Hot hot hot

    You know there's something wrong when it's 85 degrees outside at 10:30pm in Oregon! Yikes!

    Go Beav's!

    Oh baby! National Champs....Take that Dennis. College Baseball World Series Champs!


    Seniors '06

    If only this was a post about me graduating...ah, the day will come.

    Tuesday, two of the graduated Senior girls in our youth group stopped by church to say hi. We talked for a bit and then they left. Somewhat to my surprise, they drove by my office window about 30 minutes later saying goodbye.


    Just a while after that, Brian walked out of his office to come over my building for a coffee warmer. He discovered that we had been hit!

    Those girls!

    I will miss them and the other seniors from the group. They have been a great class. They've gone through some tough times together, led the group well, and continue to follow Christ closer each day.

    Thanks all you seniors for the good times!

    Oh, by the way, this is my new car. A black 1998 Subaru Legacy GT wagon. Oh yeah baby.


    Blogging Exile

    No surprise...I've been a bad blogger. I should expect that no one will read this after I've left you high and dry for weeks on end.

    Well I am posting again now to let you know that I will be posting a bunch real soon...maybe as early as tonight... (with pictures!)

    I hope y'all have been doing great!



    Summer's a Comin' can close your mouth and pick your jaw off the floor. Yes, I am blogging again. And unlike my friend Jessica, I don't need to apologize for my blogging absence. ;) But seriously, I'm sorry. Just kidding. But seriously, I'm sorry.

    What could I say about the last month? Wow. Busy. It was the end of the school term for me, which meant two long papers and exams. But before I get back into posting again, I leave you with a bit of laughter for the day. (or at my blogging rate...a month!)




    First of all, I got a new car yesterday. I'll post about that tomorrow with pictures and story. Thank you for your prayers!

    Last night at our High School 2W2 - Second Wednesday Worship - we spent the night reflecting on the suffering of Jesus. Good Friday is tomorrow, the day that Jesus was beaten and hung on a cross to give God glory and to pay for our rebellious ways.

    We watched part of The Passion of the Christ, read scripture, and sang songs that reminded us of the suffering He endured for us.

    After remebering and thanking Him for His suffering, we spent time seeking forgiveness, while listening to "Mighty is the Power of the Cross" by Chris Tomlin. Beautiful words. Our group then came together as a community to take communion, remembering His sacrifice again.

    Then we looked at 1 Peter 3, where we are told to not worry if suffering comes to us, but to keep on doing good. We asked the question: What good could you begin doing that might result in suffering? If you're like me, sometimes we stay away from doing the good or right thing because of the suffering, ridicule, or pain it may cause.

    I don't like suffering. Jesus doesn't call us seek suffering, but to not stop doing good because of suffering. He does, however, call us to die daily to ourselves...hmm...maybe He does call us to suffer.

    It was a wonderful time...refreshing. It helped me take my eyes off myself and remember that it is all about Him.

    I hope you have a great Easter, and remember why we celebrate!


    CSI: Portland

    First of all, I am okay, I thank God that I am alive and walking around!

    On the way to Fred Meyer to buy toilet paper and ice cream after youth group on Wednesday night, I was in an accident. A not so good accident...a head on collision. It went something like this: (Scroll below for pictures)

    I was driving in the left lane heading North and there was a guy behind me in the right lane. There was a car heading South in her left lane. She had her left-turn light on and begun to turn left into my lane. I was going 35-40 and realized that she wasn't slowing down or turning away so I slammed on my brakes.

    All I remember was seeing that we were going to hit, and hit hard...then I'm rolling forward and my ears are ringing. I see that I'm rolling slowly toward the curb now so I hit my brakes again and stop.

    I look around. I'm starting to hear okay again. Something smells really bad. What is that? Woah! Is that my air bag?! Check my teeth, my face...hmm my nose is bleeding a little. Arms? Yeah they move, legs? Yup, them too. Okay. Thank you God that I am alive and don't seem to be too hurt!

    I look around and see the gal's car now turned 180 degrees toward the North. I better get out I think. I walk over to their car. She and her passenger are moving around and look alive.

    When they hit me, they shoved my car into the right lane and I hit the guy who was behind me and to the right. He also seems to be moving around just fine.

    So I go back to the gal's car and ask if they are okay. They don't really say much but look hurt. I call 911 and within 40 seconds, there was a police officer there. The ambulance came next.

    I called Alison and told her I was okay, but had been in an accident. She asked where and I told her just to keep can't miss an ambulance and 3 police cars.

    After we were all checked out I walked the crime scene. I looked at the skid marks, thinking about CSI and how they would investigate. You can clearly see my straight skid marks in my lane suddenly jetting off at a 45 degree angle at the point of impact.

    Then I noticed somebody's windshield laying on the street. No way! Somebody's windshield popped out?! I walked back to my car and realized it was mine as I put my hand through where it used to be!

    So two days later, I still have a sore neck and nose from where the airbag hit me. And now I'm looking for a new car. The other driver's insurance company claimed responsibility so there has been no hassle in dealing with them. In fact, if I ever leave Country Insurance, I'll take a look at Progressive.

    It was just a car. But it's no fun having to shop around again. I am most thankful that I am alive.
    One final note, I realized how much of a blogging nerd I am with this accident. Here was the order of events:

    Crash, Thank God I was alive, get out and check on other people, call 911, call Alison, think about how to get a camera to post the scene on my blog....

    These were taken the next day at the towing yard.

    The Front End

    Safety Equipment is Good

    My new "See-through" hood

    Side View

    Probably not going to work real soon

    My removable windshield


    Quote 'O Matic

    Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television. --Woody Allen

    Full circle

    I drove up the long winding road on Mt. Sylvan to the PCC (Portland Community College) Bookstore today to purchase a couple books for an online course in reading drama. It would have been music theory if they would offer it online, but...oh well. I can learn that on my own.

    It was just a short 8 1/2 years ago ;) that my Dad and I drove up to PCC for the orientation to college. (And yes Chris, I know some people that go to school for so long are called doctors.) 8 1/2 years, 3 schools, a change of majors, failed classes, a marriage, 4 moving days (turned into weeks), 2 jobs, and much learned later...I return. I return to finish up a series in literature. English 104, 105, and 106: Fiction, drama and poetry. Fiction was full, so I chose drama.

    I can say that I would make better choices when it came to going to class or not, and putting forth my best work, but I am still pleased at where I am now. I have a wonderful wife, a great job where I humbly get to try to help people follow the direction of Jesus.

    I still have a lot to learn, but look forward to ending the vast monetary spending for education. (But no, I do not look forward to paying back that money!)


    McCarthyism and Mammals

    Alison and I watched Good Night and Good Luck this weekend. It is the film set in the mid 50's around the time when McCarthyism was dominate and - according to the movie and the "DVD extra interviews" - people lived in fear of voicing their opinion on Communism. It seemed to be a pretty scary time, where people could be brought to trial without the evidence being seen by the jury, and yet be convicted. Those who stood up to the method of uprooting Communism were called Communists themselves!

    My favorite part of the movie came in a news broadcast by Edward R. Murrow on March 9, 1953 where he said some profound things that have impact for today.

    No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one... We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

    I suppose I especially like his line about not confusing dissent with disloyalty. It is an important concept not only for America, but even moving forward with unity in the church.

    On a lighter note...I've been enjoying squirrel watching recently. Our cat is...well...large. Our vet recommended a new diet food, and a bird feeder outside to keep her mind active. Well the birds come, and so do the squirrels.

    Each day, kitty and I sit at the back window and watch the squirrel come and eat the sunflower seeds off the deck. We'll sit there with our noses against the window and the squirrel will watch us right back, standing on its back legs. It's quite fun!


    Trench it or Play it

    In the spirit of The Amazing Race "detour", I chose the title of my blog to reflect my day yesterday. Although it wasn't an either/or choice, I got to do both.

    In trench it, Justin, my friend, has a clogged sewer line from roots growing within. Bummer. Instead of shelling out a couple of grand, he decided to shovel out a trench himself, ranging from about 2 1/2 feet by the house down to 3 1/2 by the street. Fortunately for us, the ground is saturated with water from this past month, so the chunks of dirt came out quite nicely.

    I must give my upmost appreciation to all the trench diggers that dig and dig every day for 8 hours straight. I went 2 1/2 hours with an hour break in the middle and I am sore all over the place today.

    In play it, Justin also purchased a used Taylor 314 guitar that is in great condition. We spent time playing a few songs. What a nice guitar. What a nice time.


    Fun Math Finding

    For some reason, as Alison was reading TIME in bed last night, I thought about multiplication. I multiplied 10 x 10 and got 100. Then I multiplied 9 x 11 and got 99.

    Hmmm...does that work for every number?
    3 * 3 = 9; 2 * 4 = 8.
    38 * 38 = 1444; 37 * 39 = 1443.
    0 * 0 = 0; -1 * 1 = -1.
    -1 * -1 = 1; -2 * 0 = 0.

    Sweet! (Well, I think so)

    This means that:
    x*x = ( (x+1)*(x-1) ) + 1

    In other words: If you take a number and multiply it by itself, it will always be one more than the number minus one times the number plus 1.


    Invisible Children

    I know its been a while since I've posted. I'm finally on Spring Break and so excited! There is so much I could talk about. I recently watched Crash, which brought up many racial issues. It makes you seriously question (if you haven't already) whether or not racism is dead. (Obvious answer: no.) What makes it good though is that the movie makes you think about the little ways you might show racism in everyday life. I can't recommend the movie "officially" on account of language, but it was a good watch.

    Now to other important matters. On Thursday, I had the privilege(?) of watching the movie Invisible Children. It highlights a major problem going on in the Sudan and Uganda.

    After 17 years of war in the Sudan, the people have become weary of the fight. Consequently, people are no longer joining the rebel group trying to take down the government. Because of this, the rebel army has gone into Uganda and abducted children ages 5-12. The rebels kill some of the children, mame others, and force the rest to begin killing people themselves. The children become brainwashed into anger, fear, and a life of killing.

    Because of the fear of abduction, thousands of children from the small towns and tribes walk miles into the cities each night so that they can find safety and shelter. After their sleep, they walk home the next morning to continue life.

    I can't describe the sickening feeling I had after seeing the terrible injustice that is taking place. There are ways to help, which are listed on the web site. I've posted the movie trailer too in case you want to watch.


    Some great guitar & Uke playing

    I am a guitar player, and enjoy any good guitar playing...especially when they can play theme songs.

    The Simpsons Theme Song - from & "alowicious"

    Sweet Uke Playing - from & "crayfish" & Marko



    Broken Blog

    My apologies to all who could not get to my blog in the past few days. I guess something wasn't working. (On Blogger's end or mine, I don't know.) But for the inconvenience, I will give you each a dime if you send me a self addressed envelope explaining how disappointed you were that my blog was down.


    Interesting Fact O' The Day

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day everybody.

    Just a quick fact for ya. Thanks, Justin.

    Regardless and Irregardless mean the same thing. Go look it up!



    Okay, so the book didn't take that long to read. Between staying up late one night, and using one of my 'cuts' the next day at school, I finished The DaVinci Code. I got to say. I enjoy fiction. Its been years since my last fiction. Not bad.

    Besides obvious heresy (of which I've pretty much heard before), it was a great book...very suspensful. On the recommendation of a few, I might read his other book, Angels and Demons. But definitely not until the school term is over.

    On a different note. It was March 9 yesterday, and it snowed! It snowed 2 inches up at my house. I was so excited that I forgot to bring one of my books with me yesterday! There's nothing better than watching snow fall, which I got to do all day. I also smiled at youth group as the mid schoolers erupted with cheers of snow when the night was over.


    New Post

    Okay, I'll post again, but only because Jessica asked. ;)

    Its been a busy fun week(end). On top of the usual schoolwork, Friday night, the Ubels came over for dinner and a movie. My wife made pot roast...mmm...and I made cookies. We watched Walk the Line which makes me want to watch it again with guitar in hand. We had a great night.

    Saturday brought Alison's college roomates into town. We shared meals and the gals went shopping. Good times.

    I finally got to do something I haven't done since December. Go to Starbucks and read a book. I just finished reading The Search to Belong by Joseph Myers (it's on my sidebar). He has some wonderful things to say about relationships and small groups.

    He believes that we put way too much emphasis on small groups, making them the only way...the ultamite way to connect within the body of Christ. He proposes that we need to have relationships in harmony in 4 different "spaces":

    • Public - This space is where something common brings us together, such as a sports team.
    • Social - This space is where we gather together and know each other just a bit more than aquantences, we know each other, but don't share a lot of personal details.
    • Personal - This space are the people that we share most of our lives with. They are "close" friends.
    • Intimate - This doesn't mean just physically intimate. This means that we share "naked" raw, thoughts, feelings, (sometimes physical, i.e. your spouse) and are unashamed.
    His view of a healthy person is someone that approxamatly has 8 Public to 4 Social to 2 Personal to 1 Intimate relationship.

    He says that it is ridiculous that we try to move ourselves and everybody else into personal relationships, when we need many social and public relationships to be healthy, and sense belonging. was a good read. If you lead small groups, or are interested in one man's view of relational studies, read this book.

    Next up...Fiction. I haven't read fiction in over 5 years. I'm going to read The Davinci Code, and yes, I still believe that Jesus is God. I'll let you know what I think of that one when I'm done. (which will be another year at the rate I'm going!)


    So glad for glad for it to be over

    I'm closing in on the end of school for me. Its been a 7 year process, changing majors, changing schools, and all the while growing in maturity (hopefully). I must say that I am thankful for the opportunity to incur debt so that I can go to school and learn the things I do. I imagine that one day, I'll go back at least to audit courses. I love to learn!

    On the other hand, I can't wait to be done! Oh how nice it will be to sit down and read a book because I want to do so, and not because it is required reading. I don't even know what I will do when I get home from work. Clean the house? Create web sites? Read books and books and books? Actually hang out with my friends and family?

    Wow! What a day it will be!


    30 Hour Famine

    Prayer Request and world hunger alert: I won't go into many details, but 29,000 children die each day due to hunger related causes. That is a great big huge gigantic number! It is easy to sit back and say what can I do?

    But this weekend, millions of youth in America, and across the world will participate in the 30 Hour Famine, like our youth group.

    We are fasting from 12 pm today until 6 pm tomorrow night. We are fasting to experience a little bit of what it feels like to have no food in our bellys. (Although we at least have the hope of knowing that our next meal is soon to be!) We're also fasting to seek God's help, and direction in our own lives so that we might respond correctly and compassionately. We are also fasting so that people would see the need and donate.

    If 29,000 children dying every day bothers you, consider saving at least one. Sponsor a child through World Vision or Compassion International. If you can't afford to spend $32 a month for sponsorship, consider making a one time donation through the One Life Revolution, where you can buy 2 goats so that a family can have milk, and a source of income, along with many other items.

    Pray for us this weekend. Pray that God would speak to us and to our Nation.


    Good Sex

    Yes, that's right. We talked about sex at youth group tonight. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, last week I gave an impromptu sex discussion. Always a good time.

    fortunately, Reality Unlimited came tonight. (My blog title was stolen from some of their info.) They are a division of Pregnancy Resource Centers (at least in Portland.)

    They speak about the physical and emotional effects of sex outside of marriage, definitions of sex and virginity, address issues of pleasure, peer pressure, reputation, experience, and expectations in a relevant, fun way.

    I highly recommend them! Quote of the night:

    Cinderella didn't have to take her dress off to win her prince.

    Welcome YS Readers

    Welcome to all you YS Newsletter Subscribers. I am a 'Ministry Assistant' to the great Brian Eberly, who gets to work with youth, lead singing (worship if you prefer), and generally enjoy life!

    I'm married to a beautiful woman, Alison, and the rest is on my blog. I've pulled out a few posts for you...these aren't a best of, but a sampling of what I'm thinking...

    Welcome to my blog! Drop me a comment, or tell me about your blog.

    About me:

    Thoughts on scripture and life:


    Day of Snowboarding

    It was a beautiful morning up at Mt. Hood. There might be nothing better than standing on top of a beautiful mountian, looking out over all of creation...then ripping down the same mountian on a snowboard.

    Justin, Dennis and I had a great time. But the afternoon became dreary as clouds, wind, and ice pellets made our cheeks freeze.

    I've posted the photo album here. You can check out two movies I shot below. The first is of me snowboarding down one of the main runs (about 30 sec.) and the second includes my face (about 6 sec.)


    New Template & the Freeze

    First, if you're a regular or a semi-regular at my blog, (Notice that I specified the indefinite article, therefore not possibly referring to the state of your intestines), then you will notice my "new look." It really isn't that different, but none-the-less different.

    Second, I am so excited because I'm going snowboarding tomorrow with my friends Justin & Dennis. It's a good thing that we didn't go yesterday...wind-chill factor was -15!!!


    Valentines & Mexico

    I'm sure there are many other blogs from guys that rant on Valentines Day, so I'll be brief so that you'll graciously read the section on Mexico.

    Why is Valentine's Day such a big deal?

    Done with my rant.

    Our Youth Group is going to Mexico in the beginning of August! I am so excited to go back and see what God will do through and in us.

    But Aaron, you say, it is only February. Why do write about such things so far off in the future?

    Well, I say, it is because I just finished putting the 2006 Mission Trip website together.

    Ahhhhhh, the reply comes.

    Check it out.


    2 Thoughts - totally unrelated

    Thought 1
    We had a great night at Youth group. We had our Second Wednesday Worship (2W2), where we spend the evening worshipping and learning through different experiences such as singing, praying, silence, writing, painting, and scripture reading.

    This month's theme was Thanksgiving...that's right, its not just for turkey. It was a time to remember all the things we are thankful for, such as God, His character and what He's all the things (not necessarily just material) He has blessed us with. We then asked the question, what should we do with our thanks. That question was answered from 2 Corinthians 9, where God's blessings to one people, resulted in thanksgiving to God, giving to the needy, and thanksgiving from the needy to God.

    Our blessings should produce thanks...which should produce...more thanks!

    I have so much to be thankful for. A roof over my head, a job, plenty of food, a beautiful wife! An awesome family, a gracious school, functioning limbs that can play a guitar.

    Thank you God!

    Thought 2
    Again...totally unrelated...and not for the squeamish, but did I hear the sideline reporter at the Superbowl say that they had to hold up towels around a player so that they could "pull his pants down and tape up his groin." ???



    Many (Random) Thoughts

    • Its been another long week...and I get the feeling that they're not getting shorter.
    • I spent Thursday night and Friday day fixing a dead battery. In that process, I broke a screwdriver, made multiple trips to Les Schwab (Tigard & Sherwood), and missed class.
    • After two months of torrential downpour, we're having a week full of sunshine and 60 degree weather!
    • I have an awesome wife, who indulges my cravings for 24. I am only 2 episodes behind tonight's showing.
    • There were some horrible calls made by the refs in the Superbowl.
    • My group project partners and I all own the exact same NIV Italian Duo-Tone leather Black/Grey compact Bibles. Scary!
    • Leading worship using music might be the coolest thing ever. Thank you God!
    • I'm glad that God has a good idea of how to speak through me (when I don't).
    • I am thankful for God's grace. I love that song, Your grace is enough. Man, if God's grace isn't enough for me...then we're all doomed!
    • There's a laptop on for $900 that I desire.
    • My brother (who turned 21 last Wed.) liked beer on his first try. It took me 6 months.
    • My car loan and credit cards should be paid off pretty soon!
    That's been my week. I can't wait to see what happens this week. Hopefully I'll actually blog before next Tuesday!


    Happy Birthday Bro

    I want to wish a very happy birthday to my brother AJ (Andrew), who turns 21 today February 1st.

    He is an awesome brother, great guitar player, absolutely fabulous drummer, has a humble heart for leading worship, loves his family and now his in-laws, My wife, and Annie's soon to be husband very much, and is also a great thinker, using his mind and heart to follow Christ.

    Stop on by his blog and wish him a happy birthday!

    He's the one "drinking" the de-icer


    Photos for you to enjoy (and or disenjoy)

    Alison's wonderful enchiladas!

    Our lazy cat

    Ali & I on our 180 tubing day

    Ali & some of the gals

    Me, my bro AJ and two students

    I'm ready to do some serious damage with this icicle



    I am a horrible person, ashamed in my lack of blogging. Its not that I didn't have anything to say, just didn't have the time with which to blog.

    I've had a great week. Alison and I have spent time with both of our families, been tubing on Mt. Hood, had our noses in the books and enjoyed another week of work.

    Something that is fun for me now is our youth group's new Newsletter Blog. We send out a weekly newsletter via e-mail, but will now conduct this on a blog. That way we can jazz it up a bit, add pictures, polls, comments and standing links. Check it out if you have time and/or you want to see the weekly doings of 180.


    Safe and sound

    I do not propose to know the exact definitive answer on the issue of eternal security. It seems to me that stories of God's grace and the prodigal son, among others, plead for this view. On the other hand, there seem to be many passages which point toward the possibility of "stepping over the line" if you will.

    It is on my mind because we had to do a "Eternal Security in Hebrews" project for my Hebrews - Revelation class. There are good arguments both ways, and I don't intend to choose one right now, or debate for either side. What I do want to do is ask a question.

    Is the question Can I loose my salvation the wrong question to ask?...Or better question is, Is salvation only about getting into heaven?

    If salvation is only about getting myself into heaven, then I suppose wondering if I can lose that salvation is a perfectly good question to ask. But if salvation begins now, and eternal life begins now, then a better question to ask would be Am I following Christ the best that I know how?

    What are your thoughts?


    It's been a while...but school's here!

    I apologize to those of you who come to my blog everyday, and have now seen nothing new for a week. It's been one of those busy ones.

    I just started back in school 2 terms left! So I thought I'd give you a rundown of my classes:

    Hebrews - Revelation: Not too hard to figure out. We'll study the books from Hebrews until we finish Revelation.

    Ethics: I'm excited about this one. The last 2/3 of the semester we'll spend debating ethical issues such as abortion, gender issues, death penalty and so on.

    Doctrine: A seminar class where we discuss what we believe after 4 years of school about various topics like God, the Bible, Salvation. We turn in 8 short statements of what we Believe...and no, they don't have to agree with the professor or the school. They just have to be our beliefs.

    NTBT: Short for New Testament Biblical Theology. I am very excited about this course. Systematic Theology asks what does the whole Bible say about ________...often, inevitably leaving out some verses...almost like a pick and choose method of Bible study. Biblical Theology looks at the books themselves. What does the book of _______ teach? What does the book of _____ teach about _____? How does this specific author talk about ______?

    Persuasion: I don't know much about the course yet, but I'm sure I can be persuaded to pay attention.

    Well, that's about it. I have more to write later.


    A quick quote

    I just saw a quote on the Youth Ministry Forum that I'd like to share with you. (Quote from ruben Shelly, posted by dougout)

    Christians are like manure. Pile it up and it just stinks to high heaven. Spread it around and it fertilizes whole fields.

    What do you think about that? :)


    Not ready to be a parent...yet

    I suppose that my title would make some assume that I am going to be a father soon...but no, don't even think it. I am not ready.

    This past weekend, Alison - my beautiful wife - and I house/babysat for a couple that went on vacation. Their house was up miles of windy roads in the middle of Washington Park at the top of the hill. many beautiful views I must add.

    We "baby" sat a Senior, Sophmore, and 4th grade girls of which 2 needed rides to places, and 1 had a basketball game to play. The 4th grader wanted to play cards... for hours... and hours. She didn't tire from cards, any card game you knew she would play.

    I got to thinking that this was okay for the few days, but I am way to selfish with my time to be a parent right now. I want time for myself, without having to entertain! But now the weekend is over, and I have all the time to myself and my wife.

    By the way. Do you automatically become less selfish when you have a child? Or is it learned?


    Photo Album

    I've made a photo album that you can visit on the right hand side of my page at anytime. So far, I've got:

    Hope you enjoy


    Living in the moment

    I've been living for the next moment, and not this a bad way.

    I attended this wonderful New Years Eve concert at Trinity Episcopal in downtown Portland, which held a standing room only crowd of about 1000. My cousin-in-law sang with the Portland Symphonic Girl Choir.

    There was some great music including an award winning quartet, an erie organ piece, a cello piece played on a cello built in the 1700's!!! and the most amazing violin solo I have ever heard. I don't know how her fingers could move that fast.

    I was listening to the violinist when I realized that I wasn't really enjoying the moment. I was thinking about what was coming up next, and then what I was doing later that night. Then I realized that I couldn't get this moment back ever again.

    I think that maybe this is caused by our culture of media. We have everything stored on tape, CD, DVD, hard drive, iPod, or internet so that we can relive the experience.

    But this experience I could not relive. It was not being recorded for me to listen to later. If I didn't enjoy this moment, I would never get to enjoy it again. So I decided to really live in that moment and take in the violinist and her amazing solo. It made quite a difference in my listening experience!

    Unfortunately, the sad part is that I do this with people, with conversations. I will be talking to someone, and be thinking about what I'm doing next, not giving them my full attention. I rob them of the moment, along with myself.

    So I decided to try to engage myself fully in the last few conversations, living right then, not thinking of what's next...and it too made a difference. Maybe it is because this "new" way of living is less selfish, focused on the other person.

    I guess I hope that you will live in the moment, thinking of the other person, much better than I.


    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year everybody. I hope everyone's celebrations were fun and safe. I have a few things on my mind which I will get to later.

    I just returned from the Winter Youth Celebration. 4 days in a hotel with 1100 high schoolers. We sang, listened to teaching, and stayed up late jumping on the beds. Anyway, I'll start posting again tomorrow.

    Hope you have a great 2006!