Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Randomness 062811

- First of all, what the heck! Is it really almost July!?!? No way! Can't believe we've been here in Esco for a year! Seems unreal!

- It's been awesome having Nate C. around!!! Can't wait to get the whole Cantastic crew out here!!!

- Sometimes my 'mission mind' and my 'professional mind' think very differently. Because my mission field is also my secular employer, I've got to find a balance between the two, otherwise my mission field may be no more! Of course, what I consider a 'proper balance' leans a bit more on the missions' side of things, but nonetheless, finding the balance is an ever-changing work.

- Started reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Only one chapter in, but so far, I'm a fan. Its very sociological, which, for a BA in soc kinda guy like me, is a good thing. Also excited cuz I'm going through it with my super cool friend JJ! Good times.

- Working extra hours lately, and will continue doing so throughout July. Its a weird thing. Fun and stressful. Something I'm thankful for and curse at the same time. Pray for my energy reserves!!!

- My wife  rocks.

- I've got good peeps.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Ever hear Jesus referred to as "All (or 100%) God. All (or 100%) man" during his human life on Earth?

I have.

In fact, I've heard this a lot, but had never really thought it through much before. I mean, sure, I knew Jesus was God and born as a baby and all that stuff... but anyway, last week I had a synapses; a 'oh, I kinda get that in a new way' moment.

In men's Bible study we're reading Luke. In chapter 22, verse 24, Jesus is quoted, saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."

Jesus was referring to his upcoming crucifixion, and like any other man I know, he was praying that he might be spared the unfavorable fate awaiting him.

All-100%- "please God, I don't wanna be tortured to death" -MAN.

All-100%- "Your will above all else" - sacrificial lamb- savior -GOD.

Completely, wholly, undeniably man.
Completely, wholly, undeniably God.

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Resident: I get lonely and eat.
Me: I'll make peanut butter fudge.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Knowing, growing, going

Knowing where I am in life, understanding my areas of strength and weakness, evaluating mistakes made and claiming ownership of them. Confessing sins and asking for forgiveness.

Using this knowledge to grow, applying it to life, and building upon my skill set. Seeking strength from the Lord, praying for His guidance, and depending completely on His mercy and redeeming qualities.

Embracing lasting change, moving on,  giving God glory and praise for bringing me to a new place of being.

*This has been an interesting week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


God has done immeasurable things in my life, and, of course, in the lives of many others’, through your obedience and service to Him.

There’s no doubting that this next year of your life will be a continuation of your ministry; building the Kingdom and glorifying the name of Jesus Christ.

I love you, friend.

Happy birthday.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

snapshot 062111 1300 PST

Sushi + friends = good times
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From Up Here

My view from up here is pretty awesome.

I see hands go up in worship.
I see heads nod in contemplation.

I see God doing His thing; taking some ordinary men and using them for something extraordinary.

And He is glorified.

But its taken time for me to fully appreciate the view from where I sit each Sunday morning. I've had to adjust; I've had to learn to find the 'warm 'n fuzzies' of church in new ways.

I used to lose myself in worship Sunday mornings. Whether in the congregation or as part of the worship team, I would close me eyes, throw up my hands and praise God. As a part of the Branches of Escondido, I've had to find a certain balance while serving in the media booth, to do what I do worshipfully without losing myself enough to miss slide changes (which still occasionally happens ;o)

Also, you just don't get that "ooh and ahh factor" you might usually get while listening to an awesome message if you've practically memorized it through the week while making bullet points for the big screen.

But I've prayed about it. And the past two weeks have been incredible experiences as far as service to Him and corporate worship. I find that balance I mentioned to be easier and easier to achieve each week, and I'm learning the joy of deeper personal study as I pour myself over the pastors' notes.

Not to mention the wonderful fellowship with our fantastic media volunteers.

God is good.

So, yeah, from up here, the view is pretty awesome.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

snapshot: 061811 1300 PST

Gettin' schooled on the Beatitudes by James, working on sermon slides, and listening to the Branches worship team.

Sweet moment.

I want more of them like this.

And I can't wait for tomorrow's service.
Gym or Guitar Center? That is the question . . .

Friday, June 17, 2011

Snapshot 061711 0900 PST

Chilling and listening to Nate C. play guitar, sing, and worship God from the next room over.

“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; 
his name is the LORD; exult before him! Father of the fatherless 
and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” 
Psalm 68:4-5 ESV

Thursday, June 16, 2011

like a noisy neighbor?

There are a lot of things I know. Or, things I think I know....
And I have all sorts of belief.

But every now and then certain thoughts, or ways of thinking, attempt to make residence of my brain; destructive little boogers. Like noisy neighbors, these thoughts are not in congruence with what I know and believe. They're disruptive. And problematic.

What do you do with bad neighbors in real life? Do you just wait it out; do the occasional reporting to management and long for the day they're evicted? Or do you go upstairs, knock on their door and address them directly?

I'm not really the knock-on-your-door type. I'm more likely to lose sleep and sanity, all painted up in patience to hide the irritation underneath, just waiting for the next moment of silence.

But we're not just talking about neighbors, are we? Nope.

Its time to march up those stairs, knock on that door, and say, "Shut the hell up!"

Ugh. Here I go. I think...
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Monday, June 13, 2011


“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...”
Philippians 3:20

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A First for Everything

Today Kimberly and I took our dwarf bunny outside on his safety harness for the first time.

He'd never really been outside before and has never had the pleasure of tearing fresh grass right from the very ground it grew.

I'm pretty sure he loved it!

And, of course, it was uber cute.

Branches 011211

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Today's Writing Prompt: Tacky

Write about something you think is tacky.

Short. Sleeved. Button-ups.
Just the thought makes me shutter . . .

Let me say, there are a few exceptions.
But please notice the stress on the word "few."

He's Almost Here!!!

Picture by the super talented Abby Wagner!
I love these people. And I've missed them like crazy since moving out here last summer.

Both Nate and Kate have this certain special quality about them; something that so few people in the world have that there's not really a good name or description for it.

But its a good thing.

The way they do fellowship is authentic; there's an incredible depth to them.

Not to mention, they're also a blast to be around!

I'm so so excited to have Nate as our guest here over the next couple weeks, and only wish his beautiful family could join him! But alas, one day...


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

right here

Today a therapeutic behavior coach stopped me to chat for a few minutes. She has some clients that live on the campus I work on, so she's seen me around with my kiddos, and apparently she's been watching me closely.

This gal really stroked my ego, you know; in that flirtatious way that made me feel really good about myself yet borderline awkward because I'm a happily married man and we're supposed to be professionals here...

So, anyhow, she told me she loved my music; the way I sing to the kids and play guitar. She had some very specific examples of how and why I'm "great" with my kids; I'm so sweet and understanding and caring, and blah blah blah.

It was all very flattering and honestly it was touching. Her words, although a bit over the top, meant a lot to me.

But then she went from stroking my ego to rubbing me the wrong way. She gave me the "you're too good for this" speech. She meant well, and people always do mean well when they says these kinds of things, but... no, I'm not interested in going back to school and being a therapist right now. Yes, I really am satisfied in my work.

Do I really appear to be degrading myself so much that people feel the need to tell me I can "do better" for myself? I'm honored to do life with these kids. In doing so, I'm able to share God's love in a way that'd be impossible to do in just one one hour session a week.

Again, I know she meant well, and I'm sure everyone always does, but this attitude and way of thinking really bugs me. Its practically un-American of me to admit, but I'm happy where I'm at; I don't have grandiose dreams of climbing to the top of some kind of ladder. I'm okay being on the frontline and not having that certain status job.

Its okay with me. But its not okay with me that its not okay with you. Which is lame and I need to just get over it. But dang.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  

Psalm 23:3

Up There / Down Here WK.1

This past Sunday we introduced a new series at the Branches called Up There / Down Here, beginning our way through the book of Matthew. The fruits of repentance are highlighted and stressed throughout this series' 'epilogue' as we prepare to focus on the Kingdom. I'm excited for the upcoming messages of this series and am anticipating the Spirit to speak to us all about how to become more Kingdom-minded and persistent in seeking His will wherever we might be in life.
*Audio of messages are available HERE.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees, And every tree that does not produce fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." Matthew 3:10
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Friday, June 3, 2011

on the battlefield

I can feel the Lord's presence on the battlefield.
My shield. My armor. My orders.

Yesterday Peanut lost it, again. Totally lost it. Somehow he got a hold of a butter knife. It doesn't sound too serious, but in the hands of an actively psychotic, traumatized child, a butter knife wields a lot of danger.

Spiritual warfare becomes quite physical at times.

I won't pretend that I understand why this is a battle this child must fight.
I won't pretend that I don't have questions.
And I won't ignore, that despite my questions and lack of understanding, I'm called to fight alongside him. It's in this fight, on this battlefield, that many of my thoughts and prayers dwell right now. I've had little else to post about, hence the days past since I've last written.

Regardless, I made a prayer request to my church family earlier this week, and the prayers were felt. Very much so. So I'm making another request, a proposal of alliances, so to speak. Will you join this battle through prayer?

I believe God can and will bind the unclean spirits within this child...

from the mouth of babes 060211

"I want brownies!!! The kind with powder sugar on top! And cookies!!! Oh, and sluts!"