Friday, April 29, 2011

snapshot: 042911 1500 PST

Just got my hairs did by one of my kids.
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From the Mouth of Babes 042711

"Nathan, I love you... like a father."

(insert sound of heart breaking here)


This upcoming service at the Branches will address tough questions we all have, such as, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

In preparation for this weeks 'edition' of SKEPTIC (a tabloid theme we've created for this series to illustrate common struggles in faith), I started searching online for images I wanted to use for the 'front page.'

When using the prompt 'Is God fair?' to get the 'ol creative juices flowing, well... you can naturally expect some not so positive images to arise.

But I couldn't prepare myself for the reality I faced when Googling the word famine.

Take the picture above, for example. 
Look closely. Five adults.
Look closer. Three children. Three children so starved and frail they're barely even there.

Mother Teresa was once quoted saying, "Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat." There is so much truth to her words. And just imagine the sense of insignificance; the feeling of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for and forgotten by the world, to starve to death. To watch the babies around you starve to death.

My heart breaks for these people; starved, and in so many ways.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

He Will Do The Rest

I've been riding the time-clock at work like a pony. Its been a blessing to not only be offered the extra hours, but to be able to work them without feeling overwhelmed. But the pony is about to be put to pasture. Due to some relieved staffing issues and the organization's renewed vigor for the overtime policy, all the extra hours are soon to be no more.

The extra income was not only nice, it was necessary. But God is good, and He's in control. With the church in full swing and meeting weekly now, prioritizing my time will be essential. What I once had a month to accomplish I now need to complete in a week, and that's alongside some personal goals I have.

So I'm not going to scramble; I'm going to pray. I'm going to do what God brought me here to do.

And He will do the rest.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011


I’ll admit it; sometimes I read the tabloid headlines while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Michelle Obama adopts orphaned alien from outer space? Man gives birth to 100lb baby? Elvis spotted having lunch with Marilyn Monroe?
Really!?!? Yeah, right!

What if you read a tabloid headline that some seemingly normal man is actually the incarnate son of God? Even better yet, that this man-god was crucified and rose from death three days later, offering us eternal life with him if we just have faith?

To say the least, you may be skeptical. And honestly, if you told your friends and family you believed this kind of tabloid story, they’d probably be concerned for your mental health.

But take this tabloid headline and call it scripture, and somehow it’s easy to believe?
Hardly. God understands this, and He wants to give you what you need to take your doubts to a place of discovery, then belief.

What is God doing in your life to make the Living Word truly alive? Take some time today to ask yourself this question.

God is obvious, despite the fact that we are oblivious. Let's address our doubts; we have a Heavenly Father that seeks to see our skepticism transform into faith.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


The second half of my parents' visit to SoCal was just as good as the first.
(Sunday, Monday and Tuesday)
La Jolla, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Coranado Island.
Seal watching. Wine tasting.  Beach walking. Sight seeing. etc.

But most of all, we just enjoyed one another's company.

Snapshot: 042311 0800 PST

Just got back from the San Diego airport to see Dad off. Had a great vist with him. Now, its breakfast time with Mom at The Golden Egg!
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Friday, April 22, 2011


Tuesday began as a father-son-day. Dad and I headed out early to the Antique Engine Museum in Vista. I'm pretty sure this is the kind of place Dad envisions when imagining Heaven! We then took a hike at Lake Calavera, which is a little more like my depiction of Heaven ;o) On our way back to Escondido, we made a stop at Double Peak Park, where the view was incredible and reminiscent of Ireland. At Grape Day Park Dad enjoyed chatting with some fellows at the blacksmithing demonstration. Mom joined us as we visited the farmer's market and Escondido Joe's, before taking the Sprinter to the Oceanside Pier together. I love the the pier at night!!! Another great day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

As of Yesterday. . .

It's great having my parents here to visit! We've definitely kept them busy so far, shuttling them all over SoCal!

They arrived Saturday night, spending most of the evening in the apartment to rest. Sunday morning we hit Dixon Lake before church, then after our message and prayer we were treated to an awesome lunch by Connie and the gang. It was so good!

Afterward, we went on a short ride through the countryside and soaked up the incredible view at Orfila Vineyard, just before visiting Kit Karson Park to pass out some Branches' Easter service invitations. Dad and I then checked out Elfin Forest before calling it a night.

Monday morning we made our way to the San Diego Zoo. I loved it! What an amazing God we serve to create such beautiful things! I believe God really has a heart for animals when considering the countless ones He created, each one so unique to itself.

The week has just begun and I can only hope it continues to be as pleasant as it has been so far!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

snapshot: 041611 1600 PST

They're here! I can't wait to leave work and see them tonight!!!!
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Friday, April 15, 2011


I'm so excited!

In less than 48 hours my parents will be here!

I love them so much, and I miss them tons!

I can't wait!!!!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear Mom,

Twenty-eight years ago you gave birth to me.
And I'm sure it hurt like hell.

I mean, seriously, look at these shoulders.

So, yeah, thanks!
Love you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

duct tape trend

Kimberly's clientele is growing at Studio 158, so she's recently had to purchase an appointment book and a client data organizer.

Now, if you know Kimberly well you'll know two things about her: she loves organizational things like planners and appointment books, and she's not exactly what you'd call a conformist. Kimberly just couldn't bare to settle for any 'ol set of books, so she set out on a mission to find just the right ones; functional yet full of flare.

No matter how hard she looked though, Kimberly just couldn't find anything 'cute' enough. After buying the most functional books she could find, she set to work with some bright pink and zebra striped duct tape and after a few minutes she had the flare she'd been looking for, setting a new trend at the studio: duct tape planners and data books. Its all the rage there now!

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

snapshot: 041011 1700 PST

Soaking up some real California sunshine.
With my toes in some real California artificial grass.
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Colors of You

Here's a quickly thrown-together video of a song I've written recently about my wife, called Colors of You.

My kids love this song at work; I can't get by a day without playing it for them at least two or three times. They call it "Your Wife's Song." I love that this particular song is one that my group-home kids like so much. Its just a simple love song. Its intimate, but not raunchy; its about a husband appreciating the beauty of his wife.

Cheesy love songs are making a big come-back it seems, and unfortunately an overwhelming percent of them are nasty, lustful, 'one-night-stand' themed songs. I hope that this song gives them just a little insight into what true love can really be between a married man and his wife. And I hope it gives Kimberly just a little insight into how wonderful she is to me!

Colors of You

Green and blue
I'm diving into you
and I'm drowning deep in your eyes

And oh, when you cry
no, no baby don't you cry
but its striking when you do
the golden halo in your eyes shine through

Colors of you run through my brain
I close my eyes and see your face
I think I've found my happy place
Its painted colors of you
Like the color of your hair
always changing, I don't care
as long as its your pretty face it frames

And oh, those pink lips
Baby, when we kiss
the world seems to fade away


Your skin when you blush
Its like a sugar rush
I think I'm losing touch with the world

'Cuz colors of you run through my brain
I close my eyes and see you face
that's my happy place


Saturday, April 9, 2011

from the mouth of babes 040911

"Sometimes when I fart I'm like 'Oh, crap! Did I just go poop or did I fart!?"

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Lake Calavera

Today I took an amazing hike at Lake Calavera in Carlsbad, CA with a few kids and a couple of staff from work. The views were breathtaking and the company was great.

Finally making it to the mountain peak is almost like stepping into a sanctuary. God's presence is undeniable there.

The wind was cool and the sunshine was warm; an absolute perfect day for a hike!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Summer approaches...

... and it has a theme song.

It goes something like this; "Duh dut Duh dut Duh dut!"
(Think Jaws)

Tonight, Kimberly and I made our way to the gym to find the place completely packed; not a single cardio machine free for our use!

All those people just kicking away on the treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes, like they're saving themselves from a shark attack.

Or maybe its just from looking flabby on the beach...
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Fourth and Final

Yesterday held the fourth and final preview service of the Branches Community Church of Escondido.

Both Pastor Pink and Pastor Kris were on top of their game.

Kris taught a difficult message of repentance and abstinence from sexual immorality, speaking from a gentle and merciful heart as to not provoke guilt, but to invite the Spirit's conviction upon the congregation.

James (aka Pink) built excitement and momentum for our upcoming Easter service, which also marks our weekly launch. Easter will be eggsplosive at the Branches this year, with five thousand Easter eggs on campus for the children to find and prizes including a Nintendo 3DS and an iPad2! 

If you are looking for a church home, something to do on Easter, or just hoping to win an iPad, join us at San Pasqual HS in Escondido, Easter Sunday at 10:45am! Bringing kids for the eggsplosion and chance to win a Nintendo 3DS? Arrive at 9:45am to register!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

mid-west mix up

Yesterday was hot. Really really hot. And maybe even a little muggy.

Today... well, it started out warm. But the day quickly became overcast and cool.
So cool that on my drive home from work I turned the heat on in my car.

And it kinda feels like home. I mean, what says 'home' to a mid-west boy like myself more than teeter tottering temperatures?

Saturday, April 2, 2011


We're blessed.

My group home kids are on Spring break.
That means lots of hours to be picked up.

Twenty-five, to be exact.
One more twelve hour shift to go, thank God!
Then two whole days off.

Blessed with the hours.
Blessed with the break.