"Hold on, my hands are glued to my face."

hola blogworld

well it's been a quick past couple of weeks for me as we near the end of the year. last weekend was our merry christmas madness event which is kind of the end cap event of the year. it's a giant video scavenger hunt, so now i have myself buried in front of my computer editing hours of video and i couldn't be happier. this event kind of signifies the start of a new time for me, and with the success that we had last weekend (no cops involved, no parent calls, and no kids throwing up on camera) it really is nice to be off to such a strong start for this upcoming year.

so onto the observation stuff...

must read.
i've been reading this great book lately, '9 things you simply must do'. i highly recommend it for all of my friends in the post college years that despite age, career and education are still trying to figure some stuff out. a lot of books are written for teenagers, and there is a whole section at any bookstore for people that are slightly older, but there really seems to be a vacuum when it comes to the mid twenties. it's almost as if we're supposed to have most of life figured out by now, and you're kinda out of luck if you haven't. i like this book because it doesn't assume that the reader is completely messed up, but takes a look at an average person and offers realistic suggestions on how personality traits can be amped. good stuff. right now i'm on the sixth principle so i'll wait till i'm done to give a synopsis.

you ever notice how a new haircut can completely change a person's personality?

dantheman and futuremom called last week with news that she is five weeks pregnant. awesome. i can't wait to be the surrogate uncle that spoils the kid rotten. anyways, we were talking on sunday and i decided that instead of going the usual route of suggesting names, i would offer up a list of names they shouldn't name their kid. so here are the:

10. Adolf
9. Ebert
8. Manny
7. Jezebel
6. Orenthal
5. Buffalo
4. Katrina
3. Velveeta
2. Tupac
1. Khadafi

riding a bike.
so after six months off, i've officially started back on the dating scene. yes, it was my choice to take six months off, and no, i'm not really in one of my 'high fidelity' moods just yet. anyways, i've had a few dates in the past couple of weeks which is always a good feeling. i'm figuring out too that my largest obstacle to overcome at this point is probably proximity. at least that's what i'm telling myself. if that's not the case, don't tell me. gracias. if anything significant comes out of these dates any time soon i'll be sure to update everyone, but for the time being, it's good to be, as george kastanza put it so well, "out there".

the berlin wall.
there are certain things we never thought we would see in our lifetime. the berlin wall come down, the end of communism, pauly shore disappear, the list goes on. add to that list me calling myself a fan of country music. before you get any images of me wearing a sleeveless nascar shirt, i have to explain. it started over a decade ago when i first heard ring of fire, and started listening to johnny cash. then came willie nelson (thanks to dad) and some waylon jennings. then there was the swingers soundtrack with roger miller and george jones. i kind of stalled for a while but this past year i've really started listening to more country. i think the key is i have to find the right kind of country. i'm not big on the mainstream toby keith, kenny chesney stuff, but throw in some kris kristofferson, randy travis, george strait or even some hank williams and i'm good to go. i haven't given up on my old punk or reggae music, but i'm realizing that when it comes to content i'm able to relate a lot more to some country singers more often than other guys. call it growing up, call it being employed, call it whatever, but the more i listen to some of these guys sing, i really like what they have to say. there's a sense of everyday life that these guys really get a hold of, and a lot of the country i'm hearing really lines up with my spirtual beliefs. to be honest, i would actually rather listen to most country singers sing about God than christian artists. i think there's a lot more honesty coming out of the country scene, and def more originality. well. i'm not moving to nashville anytime soon, but i figured anyone that knows me well would get a kick out of this.

the onramp is there for you to accelerate to a safe highway speed. use it for such.

super bowl.
chargers 38 saints 27

customer service.
so i was in the apple store today because my ipod has been having some issues lately, and i couldn't get it to recharge. i'm waiting in line when this guy cuts in front of me and demands the lady at the counter fix his problem. so he starts in on this story about his ipod nano not working for the past few days and starts asking questions about his warranty. the lady plugs his ipod in and nothing happens, then she flips the ipod over and sees a huge dent in the back. "What happened here?" she asks. "I stepped on it a few days ago", he replies. she shoots a quick glance over at me shaking my head, and then asks the guy, "is that about the time that it stopped working?" "Yeah, i think so." at this point i'm thinking this guy is just stupid and doesn't deserve and ipod, but that changes as he keeps on talking. he then goes on a twenty minute rampage about how the warranty should cover this, and wants her to open up his ipod to prove that the dent is what is causing the ipod to not work. pan over to me sitting at he counter with my best 'you've got to be kidding me' face. so now this guy is actually getting irate and starts on some tangent about how there has to be some defect with ipods. the defect is they don't work when you step on them. so the lady goes to the back to print out this guys warranty contract, and he looks over at me expecting sympathy. i just shake my head. then he starts talking about how stupid it is that apple doesn't cover this kind of damage to me. i just sat there and listened to him ramble, and it became increasingly obvious that hew was trying to get a free ipod. so as he's going over his warranty, the lady steps over to me to help me out. i mention that my ipod isn't working either, so she plugs it in and takes a look at the diagnostics. she says that the battery isn't charged, and i mentioned that i had it plugged in all night, so we figure there must be something wrong with the battery. then i remembered that my car charger had not been working with my ipod for a couple of days, but i thought it was the chargers fault. so she goes to the back and comes back with a big box and says, "i'm really sorry, but you're going to have to up load all of your music again, because i have to give you a new ipod". this makes the guy down the counter just incredibly angry and he starts bringing over the manager. so now he's yelling at both of these ladies when i hop in and say, "look man, it's pretty obvious that you're just trying to get a free ipod. you broke yours, own up to it. it's your fault. you wouldn't blame toyota for a car wreck if you ran a red light." the ladies are doing their best not to just crack up at this guy being called out. he asks the manager for a formal complaint form so i step in again and ask for a customer service satisfaction form. the guy asks who i am so i hand him and the manager business cards he just kinda stops and she starts to laugh. so she looks at me and smiles and says, " i'll get both of those for you guys." long story short, i walked out of there with a new ipod and didn't have to pay this fee that they would typically charge and that guy walked out of there a tool with no ipod. gotta give props to both of those ladies though, they never lost composure once and even after he left they still didn't talk bad about him. i complain enough about poor customer service, so it's only fair to mention when people really excel.

i've been thinking bout getting another tattoo, this one for my mom. i want to get a mockingbird holding a yellow rose, but i'm not really finding pix of mockingbirds that i like. any help would be appreciated. oh yeah, the story behind the tattoo is this: my mom has always loved the book/ movie 'to kill a mockingbird', and she has always called me 'boo', after her favorite character in the story, boo radley. the yellow rose is my mom's favorite flower so it kind of works well together. now all i have to do is figure out where i want to get it.

and last of all, i thought i would leave you with my favorite items from this years merry christmas madness list. hope these make you laugh.

Top Ten Items on the Merry Christmas Madness 06 List:
10. set someone's clock ahead one hour w/o them knowing
9. drink a bottle of syrup
8. ride a bike as slow as possible for thirty seconds
7. saran wrap the entire team together
6. find someone with 1% milk and let them know they could drink whole if they wanted
5. glue your hands to your face for ten minutes
4. pick a strangers nose
3. sing 'bad boys' with a police officer
2. give a stranger a wet willie
1. sing a christmas carol to someone named carol

well, check youtube soon for some highlights. one love, one heart.


"it's only a happy turkey day if you eat steak" - matt

hola bloggers, i've got a relatively short post this week but in my defense i do have to say it was a holiday weekend, so i had my brain turned off for a while. whatever, here we go.

fantasy league.
quote of the year goes to mi amigo a-list who had this gem for me as we were watching the chargers beat down the broncos last week. there we all were watching sunday afternoon football, me in my chargers jersey like a super-fan, all of us downing pepsis and salsa... anyways, every break there was a commercial for eragon, some movie about a dragonslayer. i kept complaining about all the dungeons and dragons type stuff that was coming out in recent years and how much i can't stand stuff about wizards and dragons and all that. fortunately the conversation moved on to fantasy football which prompted this genius quote, "fantasy football is just dungeons and dragons for cool kids. look, you're even dressed up!" busted. and i was laughing too hard to get a comeback together. good stuff.

this past weekend was pepperdine youthfest. it hasn't been an event that i've really been behind the past few years because i've been out of town for thanksgiving weekend, and all the stories i've heard are pretty bland. but this year i was pretty impressed actually being able to go to the event. it's not that it was this groundbreaking spiritual event, it was just a good weekend mix of praise, discussion and fun. now if it were only on a weekend where half of my kids weren't traveling...

this year i spent thanksgiving with the cuz and our friends in camarillo. it was a good mellow thanksgiving which is exactly what i needed. we skipped turkey and grilled two of the biggest tri-tip steaks i've ever seen. throw in some mashed potatoes, grilled corn and (because it's us) some homemade salsa and it made for a great meal. cap it all off with an office marathon and call it a good day. and it prompted me to get together a:

10. my longboard. i rode my board more this year than i ever have before. there's something kinda fun about being able to say 'sometimes is skate to work'.

9. hdtv/dvr. i love being able to watch what i want to watch whenever i want to watch it. i find myself actually watching less tv now that we have a better system, and i only really watch the few shows that i'm interested in like the office, heroes, and lost. oh yeah, it's great for football season too.

8. myspace/facebook. this might sound really lame, but i love being able to check in and see what's going on with my friends. i'm not the greatest about calling people up or keeping in touch so being able to get a quick glimpse and leave a quick comment helps me stay in touch better.

7. the end of the year. i love the change that comes with knowing that it is a new year. 06 hasn't been my favorite year, but i have grown a lot so i guess that's a positive thing. let's just say i'm looking forward to being able to enjoy 07.

6. cross country driving. i spent a lot of time driving this year, which is a really expensive thing to do, but it was worth the cost, esp the two cross country trips i took to texas and seattle. there's something about hitting the road that inspires me and clears my head.

5. my kiddos. i have awesome kids in my youth group. they constantly make me laugh, push me to be a better christian, a better leader, and are a great example of patience and grace.

4. friendships. over the past year i've made a few new friends, and really developed some old friendships that have been a huge blessing to me. there's my old faithful friends that have proved themselves to be more solid than ever, and a couple new ones that have made my life so much better. that, and i think this year i'm just more appreciative of friendship in general.

3. grace. the more i receive it, the more i realize i need it.

2. peace. our family is at peace. mi hermana is an amazing young lady who has come into her own and may be the next big thing out of ACU. mi madre has made some great wise decisions on buying property and moving on, and she is able to start a new life for herself. being the man of the family now is a lot easier knowing that everyone else is capable on their own.

1. dad is at rest. no more struggle, no more pain. as the song says, "we will rest in the fair and happy land by and by, just across on the evergreen shore. sing the song of moses and the lamb by and by , and dwell with Jesus ever more".

well, that's all i've got for today. things have picked up enough here lately that i should prob go ahead and cut my lunch short and tackle my to-do list. one love, one heart.


Oh Mylanta.

hola blogworld,

i'll start off with the funny stuff. this came from a conversation with some friends the other day:


10. iron eagle: special edition - where we explore the makings of the greatest 'boy-rescues-pilot-father-from-iranian-prison-with-help-from-retired-colonel-and-high-school-friends' action flick ever. also, we get a behind the scenes look at how to plan your own military style rescue operation. audio commentary by Melora Hardin (Iron Eagle, The Office)

9. charles in charge: season two - i went through season one in a day. i need my fix.

8. the complete bravestarr - the most underrated cartoon of the 80's. a talking, biomechanical horse, a planet called 'new texas' and a hero that can summon the powers of the eagle, the wolf and the bear to fight the bad guys lead by tex-hex. and the main character spells his name with two 'r's. where can you go wrong?

7. full house: the lost episodes - a collection of great episodes that never aired including: "We don't talk about Uncle Steve", "Kimmie and the Klan", "Jesse shaves his head", and the elusive pilot "Why do we eat on one side of the table?"

6. street fighter: director's cut - bonus features include audio commentary with jean-claude van damme (subtitled).

5. the a-team christmas special - the a-team is hired by mrs. claus to rescue santa from evil druglords in columbia. can the a-team rescue jolly st. nick and repair his sled in time to get toys to all the boys and girls? i pity the fool who thinks they can't.

4. perfect strangers - special features include a how-to guide for the 'dance of joy', and a tour of meapost.

3. vanilla ice: live at roxy's - concert footage from his Celebreality Star Tour

2. rad - i'm not even joking about this. i can't wait to see rad on dvd. if you ever owned a bmx bike this movie is the reason why. also, lori laughlin back in the day... wow.

1. the wonder years - seriously, every other show that has ever been released is available on dvd except wonder years. this needs to change soon. you can take your 'boy meets worlds' and your high def tv, i'll take my old taped copies of kevin arnold's teen angst any day. at least until the dvd comes out.

feel free to comment back on any shows i may have missed. now on to the regular blog stuff.

permission pt. 1
well it's about 130 in the morning and i am nearing the end of one of my favorite weekends of the year, the youth specialties conference. it's a great time put together by a bunch of guys who know what youth ministers need to have available to them. meaning that if you really want to be pushed spiritually you can be, if you want to be challenged in your ministry you can be, if you want to be equipped for the next year you can be, or if you just need some time to kick back and be your old self you can be. so as some of the guys sit back and talk about how theologically sound some of the sessions were, i choose to put that on the back burner for a while and laugh at the fact that i played foursquare with two of my best friends for a long time tonite. it's been waaaaay too long since i've been excited about acting like a kid and that's what is so great about this weekend, i feel like i've been given permission to be whatever for a few days. i've feel like i've had permission to go to classes and discuss things that are outside of my normal church of christ boundaries. i've had permission to disagree with theologians and authors, and agree with men and women who share the same desire to work with youth. i've had permission to say yes when i want to, no when i need to and let me think about it when neither one of the first two is an obvious choice. i don't know why this is such a big deal, except that for the first time in a long while i feel like it's okay to forget about bills, schedules, routine. there is freedom in having permission.

band of brothers.
i have said it before and i'll say it as long as i need to. the youth ministers that i call my friends absolutely amaze me. we come from such diverse ministries and backgrounds, but when we get together we all laugh together. a simple lunch turns into a comedy festival, but the real joy is knowing that behind every joke there is a guy who knows what i am thinking. we call ourselves the youth ministry mafia, but band of brothers would probably more accurate. i guess you could make a comparison between youth ministers in general and the 101st airborne, and if you are going to make that analogy then we are definitely easy company, and socal is bastogne. (if you haven't watched band of brothers yet a: go buy it and b: you probably aren't going to get this reference.) the way i figure it, youth ministers are the guys that sent to a lot of the big battles first. we truly are on the front lines of ministry. i don't want to downplay the toughness of the teens we work with, but the youth ministry line is simply more aware of the battle going on. that, and we volunteered. and socal is definitely bastogne. we are outnumbered, outgunned and too stubborn to give up. we have some turnover, but there are a core group of us that are bonded over fighting the good fight together, and as time goes on our ability to look each other in the eye grows stronger because we know the battles that we go through together. here's the thing about our job; no one knows what we go through. if you're an accountant, you work with other accountants who understand your work. not so much with us. we operate in ways that only we understand. i don't mean to sound like an elitist by any means, but i do wish to convey the joy that comes with being able to look a brother in the eye and just know. i know my brothers pray for me, i've heard them. they know i pray for them because they've heard me. i kid you not, we've worn the knees out on our jeans sometimes praying for each other. we pray for each other's kids, we pray for each other's churches, we pray for each other's families, and we pray for each other because we know the Christ has brought us together here, for this job, that no one can do like we do. i also know that behind every fart joke is a guy who knows what it means to teach junior high. i know that when straw wrappers are flying into my drink, someone has just figured out a way to make one of their kids laugh. i know that walking down the street one minute we are going to be talking about some skit from last years camp, and the next we are talking about how Christ used that moment to make something stick for one of our kids. we are a band of brothers, and like the true soldiers that we look up to, we wear the badge of minister with proper respect and pride in the greater cause we serve.

_______________continued a few days later___________________

wreck 'em tech.
i've got to give it up for my amigo wreckemtech. he's one of those guys that has the innate ability to pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it's been since you've seen them. also, it's always nice to hang out w/ another single youth minister. i don't really feel like explaining why, but let's just say not a lot of guys understand the feeling of having someone at their church pray for 'the ministers and their families'. anyways, it's always good to see mi amigo, because he's always a good reminder of faithfulness to me. keep your guns up.

permission pt. 2
i give myself permission to not do anything big today. i've had several days of classes, prayer, and overall busyness. in the next few weeks i have a crazy schedule that starts tonight with dinner with one of my families. so today i'm going to take care of some of the smaller stuff on my agenda, but i'm not going to do anything that requires me to think.

i made a reference to youth ministers as soldiers earlier. you could def make a case for us having a uniform. slightly overweight (too much pizza), receding hairline (too many jr high kids), gotee (makes us look more mature), camp t shirt (something you would never buy at a store) underneath a track jacket, with either sandals or athletic shoes (depending on where you are from) all topped off with a baseball cap. throw in the cell phone, black framed glasses, and some sort of backpack and i have just described at least 75% of the guys at the youth workers convention. the other 25% have a faux hawk.

four square.
there were several four-square courts in the exhibit hall at the youth workers convention, something that you will probably not find at any other convention. so sunday night i got relive some of my least favorite memories of elementary school as me, dantheman, wreckemtech and the aussie played foursquare for about an hour or so. i was having fun being as unathletic as possible, and even more so making the rest of the crew laugh. evidently i even impressed one of the females that we were playing with, at least that's what my friends told me.

17 dollars.
that's how much it costs to provide a years worth of aids medicine for a child in africa. i spent that much on two movie tickets last night. ugh.

orange revolution.
i'm always impressed when one person changes the world. this is a brief synopsis of what i learned about the orange revolution. in the presidential elections of ukraine in 2004, the government lied about the results of the election using the national news program to deceive it's people. while the anchorman was broadcasting the lies that the government had issued, the sign language interpreter in the bottom left hand corner signed that they were lying and that the people were being deceived. deaf citizens watching the broadcast immediately began text messaging everyone they knew and hundreds of thousands people flooded the capital square leading to a re-vote under close scrutiny. simply amazing.

if you're not watching it, you should be. this is by far my favorite new tv show, quickly replacing (the continually frustrating) lost as the best drama on tv. i like the show because it takes a much more realistic approach to superheroes and how they deal with their powers. if you could fly, would you fly all the time? or would it take you a while to figure out this wasn't a passing fad? is the ability to read people's minds really a blessing? or the interesting moral dilemma posed by my favorite character hiro nakamura, do superheroes have a moral obligation to help others? i know a lot of people love superheroes that have superpowers, but my favorite has always been batman, a simple man with an above average will and the bank account to back it up. i like to think that we don't need super powers to be heroes, we can do plenty ourselves. but it's always fun to look at shows like heroes and imagine and be inspired.

hole in one.
my new goal in life. i went to a par three course yesterday and was off on one shot by just a couple of inches. now i can't think of anything else but going golfing and getting that elusive hole in one.

jumping in.
talking to people is easy for me. in high school i learned to master the 30 second conversation while working at the grocery store deli. nowadays, if i feel the urge, i really think i could talk to anyone about anything for at least a couple of minutes. it's pretty simple, if you're not sure what to say, find the lowest common denominator. at a ball-game you talk about the last play or the price of hot dogs. at the store you talk about how long the lines are. if someone is tatted up you ask them where they got their ink done. so why is it taking six months to say what i want to say to the one person i talk to all the time?

do you ever go through old pictures and laugh at your old haircuts?

i love my office. it's on the second story overlooking a preschool and the jr high field. the sun faces the other side of the building so it's always kind of cool in here and there are mountains off in the distance. i keep my door open all day to let a breeze through, but also because i hear the sounds of kids playing all day long. between the jr high to the right, and the preschool right in front of me, i really am blessed. our preacher asked me one time why i keep my door open all day and he never hears my stereo in my office. i told him to open his windows during the day.

the bouncer.
one of my friends is a bouncer at a bar, and he recently said something that has me thinking. he said that people go to bars for a lot of the same reasons people go to church. community, relationships, uplifting, filling a hole... besides the obvious differences in practice, they go to bars because people tend to be less judgmental there. hmm. good stuff to think on.

well, i'm going to go hit some golf balls. one love, one heart.


I found your pudding cups at a gas station in Carbondale.

hola blogreaders.

it's been a while since i've really had an afternoon to write out my thoughts, but since i've essentially declared this a sick day and i'm still at the office i figured i might as well.

i really should start off with a big thank you for all the phone calls, letters, emails and such that i've received over the past six weeks or so. it means a lot to hear from everyone, even if there's nothing really deep to say. and to answer everyone's question, i'm doing really good. not having to worry about dad anymore is a huge blessing, and it has brought nothing but peace and a sense of gratitude to our family. that, and i feel like i've really been able to focus on things in front of me a lot easier. it kinda feels like recovering from a.d.d. anyways, there's a bunch of stuff on my mind so on with the... what was i saying?

i put that in caps because the cuz got a us a nice big lcd tv for our small apt. i can't wait for the hdtv guys to hook up our dvr so i can watch stuff other than dvds and mr.t.

strange things are afoot at the circle k.
so i met this girl at the circle k gas station a few weeks ago (enter song title 'lookin for love in all the wrong places'). we were both filling up at the same time and she caught me staring at her car and we started talking. 30 seconds turned to two minutes, two minutes turned to fifteen... needless to say it was pretty unexpected. anyways, we had a good laugh because every night that she was available to go do something i had work and vice versa. so we talked a couple of times last week because she was out of town for some trade show associated with her work, not a bad couple of conversations. then i get a phone call from her late friday night. now this wasn't just any phone call, it was a drunk phone call from vegas. (enter the sound of a plane going down in flames and bombs dropping). ugh. first, don't get drunk. second, you should probably avoid vegas for business events. and c, don't call youth ministers you just met when you're plowed. just thought i should clearly state that last part since it evidently is not common knowledge.

identity theft.
so last year i had a run in with identity theft when someone tried to hack into my bank account online and locked up my account for a few weeks. so you can imagine how thrilled i was when i caught a guy in the dumpster at our apt complex going through our paper garbage. we had a few words and i told him i was calling the cops, and he gave me some garbage about just looking for cans. i reminded him that i saw him with a handful of bills, which have zero recycling value. so as i go back to my apt to get my phone, i remembered something i had back in my room that might make the situation more memorable, so i proceeded to fill up a bucket of water balloons. i walked out on my patio and started launching them at the guy who was still in the dumpster. needless to say, he was kind of surprised (actually, i was surprised too, i have never been that accurate with water balloons) when he got hit the first few times. i told him i was going to call the cops after i ran through my bag of balloons which was enough to get him to leave. i threw one down the street for good measure as he was walking away just to make sure he knew i was watching him leave. i figured if any police became involved they would never believe someone would throw water balloons at a guy in a dumpster, and even if they did, it's not like i was violently hurting him. anyways, he was trespassing on private property. anyways, i've started keeping a stock of water balloons on our patio now and i encourage you to do the same.

speaking of phone calls, i have a new pet peeve. when someone says they are going to call you back and they don't... no bueno. here's the problem, let's say for example you call someone on a friday afternoon, you talk for a few minutes, then they say they'll give you a call tonight and want to go hang out and grab a bite to eat. 7pm rolls around with no phone call so you call them to see if they still want to hang out. they say yes, but are running errands and say they'll call you back in a few minutes because they don't have reception at the store. a few minutes go by with no phone call. a few minutes turn into a while, and after that you realize no call is coming so you ditch those plans altogether and call up someone else. then, the next time you see the first person, they comment on how you never have time to hang out anymore. seriously, pick up the phone and dial. flaking out once or twice on the 'callyourightback' happens to everyone, but when it becomes the standard by which you are known, its time for an intervention.

it's embarrassing to use that term, but this story is pretty embarrassing to tell, so it fits. i mentioned before that every tuesday i go to costco (sam's club for you midwesterners) with the sr. saints for $1.50 hot dog and a coke lunch. one of the families there always brings their granddaughter who is five, and one of the funniest kids i've ever met. so yesterday i get up to get refills for me and a few others and i come back and my lunch is gone. i look down at my empty spot and mutter, "where are my hot dogs?" which means i have officially been taken. i look down the rows of sr. saints who are all laughing and i see a five year old trying to hide behind her granddad. i walk down and get my hot dogs back from the five year old who waited till i got up, and with no urging from anyone else went and hid my food. i've been taken by a lot of people, but never a five year old. i don't know wether to be impressed or embarrassed. all i know is this: 1. i have years of being pranked to look forward to. and 2. i can't really get into a prank war with a five year old girl because i lose either way. dang.

i finally found it. an activity that our kids love to do outside of church grounds. bowling. who would have guessed. this leads to a question though, does bowling count as a sport?

this is me right now. there are two battles going on in my body right now. one battle is my body vs. holding down food. the other is my wanting to feel better vs. my willingness to figure out my insurance policy so that i can figure out which doctor to go to.

parent meetings.
the secret to parent meetings is to drop a line about matthew 8 in there at the beginning and have a public sign up sheet if anyone wants to have a private discussion. the other key is to keep talking, and ask as few questions as possible. i figured this out on sunday after being worked up enough to drink a whole bottle of pepto. maybe that's why i don't feel good. whatever, i'll take it if it means a mellow parent meeting.

a front coming in.
you know how you can tell the weather is going to change by that feeling you get. that's how it feels right now when it comes to my ministry. things are changing, i can feel lit. this is a good thing.

the red letters.
that's the name of our series for our ROOTS class this year. we're going through reading all of Jesus' words in chronological order. i suggest you give it a try sometimes. there's so many short passages that we don't spend a lot of time reading because they don't make 'full lessons'. it's been really interesting so far. more updates to come.

well, it's been good to clear the cobwebs off of this blog. for all the facebookers out there if you're really bored and feel like catching up on two and half years worth of my ramblings you can go to http://chapmionshipvinyl.blogspot.com/ . and for all the people who have read this blog from the beginning, muchos gracias for all the comments and such.

and now i leave with some observations i've made about people in general lately convieniently put together in a...


10. no one likes it when you point out that we shouldn't complain about gas prices when we pay over $12 a gallon for bottled water and $15 for coffee.
9. if you tell someone something stinks they will sniff. no questions asked, they have to know for themselves.
8. if there are more than four females in a picture, at least of two of them are leaning in.
7. if there are three or fewer females in a picture, one of them is holding the camera out and you can kind of see her arm in the picture.
6. when pumping gas, a majority of people try and get the total sale to end right on a dollar, even when paying with a card.
5. if you just let the pump click when done and put the nozzle away, people look at you funny.
4. i bought 200 cups of pudding the other day and not a single person said a word to me or asked why i had a shopping cart full of pudding, not even the cashier.
3. if you fart in public, the people around you will be too embarrassed to actually say anything. you should be the one that is embarrassed.
2. not a single reader will try that theory out, but most of you are going to notice that sniffing rule and the female picture rule.
1. if you drive a new car, you refer to it by the model and if you drive and older car you also mention the year. for example, if you ask the cuz, he drives a tundra. if you ask me, i drive a 98 tahoe.

hope you have fun with those observations. one love, one heart.


late night ramblings...

Well, as the title suggests, it’s late and I can’t sleep. When I left the office today I thought I might barely make it home I was so tired, now I can’t seem to doze off at all. I even started watching pride and prejudice on tv, and I got bored before I got tired.

So why am I so tired? Part of me thinks that after a year of waiting on edge, my body is catching up. Part of me thinks I have lulled myself to sleep. Another part of me thinks I simply am a night person, and look forward to the quietness of being up late. Things are so much clearer when you are up late. Your options for activities are severely limited, so it becomes easier to decide what to do. And since there are few people to distract, it’s actually a lot easier to get things done. Right now I am house sitting for a family at church, but I can guarantee if I were back at the pat my room would be cleaned and my laundry done tonight. But, I’m here with either late night basic cable or my own thoughts to keep me entertained, neither one of which really seems constructive. Oh well.

So life has been pretty serious lately, but anyone who knows me knows that it won’t be too long before the crazy stories come out and start to replace deep reflective thought with the stupid stuff that I love to laugh at.

Last night was valleygirl’s birthday and we all went out to benihana’s for dinner. I had a blast for three reasons. 1. the girl I was sitting next to me laughed every time we said ‘fork’. Not really sure why she thought it was funny, but we did get a kick out of trying to make her laugh with food in her mouth. B. me, the cuz and a-list had a great idea for a Mexican restaurant that served dinner benihana style. We would call it ‘tres gueros’. And 3. our chef almost burned his hand more than once looking back, staring at one of valley girl’s friends. I can’t blame the guy for looking (we were too), but not paying attention to a hot grill and sharp knives in front of you should prob take priority.

Life with the cuz is always good for a few laughs, mostly about my odd habits and strange tendencies, but there’s always times like tonite when the cuz calls me out on some of the goofy stuff I say. For example, I used the term ‘avant-garde’ tonite and tried to play it off like I knew what it meant. Busted. the cuz caught me using words w/o knowing the definition. Ouch. Then as we’re walking out of the store were I bought a new hoodie, I mention that it’s getting colder. Busted again, the cuz knew I just wanted an excuse to wear my hoodie. Not anything that’s going to bring sore sides from laughing, but it made me crack up.

Yesterday I participated in my new favorite tradition at work, Tuesday afternoon Costco hotdogs with the senior saints. For $1.50 I can get a polish hot dog and a coke and hang out with some of the funniest people I have ever met. Yesterday one of the guys got to telling stories about putting down animals, and he kept using the term ‘smoked that cat’ in reference to him shooting a troublesome feline. I lost it every time he said ‘smoked that cat, and he started laughing at me and saying it more and things just kinda went downhill from there. I thought we were going to get kicked out to the Costco food court.

So what else has been on my mind lately…
The office season 2 came out on dvd yesterday. If you haven’t watched every episode you are missing by far the funniest show on tv.

Speaking of tv, the only other show I’m really into (lost) just came out on dvd as well, just in time to get a refresher in before season three starts. I should sit down and do a whole blog revealing all of my nerdiness when it comes to lost, but I’ll leave it alone after just a few tidbits of my thoughts. First, I don’t think the writers know where the series is going that far in advance, I think they took a few looks at what the conspiracy theorists were writing online and turned them into plotlines. Second, my favorite character is mr. ecko. I live his back story and the way he uses faith in his decisions. A close second would be locke, because there are a lot of times where he looks and acts like my dad. And finally, kate (Evangeline lily) is by far the hottest person to ever come from Canada. Lastly, I think the whole thing is a giant psych experiment on the characters, and on us the viewers.

Speaking of messing with people, if you are into any of my prank stories at all, you should look up ‘improve everywhere’. By far some of the greatest pranks I’ve ever heard of.

Well, I guess this is some sort of sedative, because I’m actually starting to feel tired. Actually, I just realized the sooner I go to sleep, the sooner I get to wear my new hoodie tomorrow. Before you laugh, you know how comfortable new clothes are, especially sweatshirts.

But before I go, I would like to say thanks to all my friends out there that read this and comment, call, write, whatever. Like I wrote about last time, I’m feeling lately like I have a whole army of friends out there that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

One love, one heart.



for obvious reasons there are a lot of things that have been on my mind lately, too many to compartmentalize with a single quote, or title. so this is simply untitled. to give a further heads up, my original goal of keeping blogs in the first place was to allow me to be able to look back and see where i was and what i was thinking. i've made this public because i don't mind sharing many of the things that go on in my life, but please be aware that i may be talking about some sensitive ideas about my father's passing and related events. please allow this to be a blessing and an encouragement if you choose to read, and i completely understand if you stop here.

my father passed away saturday august 26th, 2006. after more than two decades of fighting a brain tumor, his body is now at rest serving others while his spirit is with our God. Dad was nearing his 52nd birthday, and was happily married for more than 25 years. my mom, my sister and i miss him dearly, but are relieved and joyous that he is now without pain, and in a place of constant bliss.

i'd like to thank everyone for their kind comments, hugs and prayers.

the bio:
in his lifetime he grew up and went to college in arkansas, ran cross country, served as a helicopter pilot in the marines, worked for top gun, burger king, and alaska airlines. he taught fifth grade sunday school for more than a decade, served as a elder in the church for seven years and was always the last to leave the church building. he spent countless hours ministering to those around him, counseling young couples, inviting people out for ice cream after church and spent hours upon hours listening to the stories of those who were blessed to be around him. he took pride in a flower garden that included yellow roses for my mom, went to almost all of my baseball games, and was an avid fan of the inglewood jr high bands and eastlake volleyball teams that my sister was a part of. he managed to make people laugh even when he lost his ability to communicate clearly, and had a distinct chuckle and knee slap that made others feel funny as well. dad had a twinkle in his eye that made women feel beautiful and men appreciated, but was often overshadowed by a distinct smile that let everyone know that they were loved. he has countless 'adopted' sons and daughters and to date, one child named after him. he had several people that he referred to as best friends and countless more that he considered family.

the little things:
dad had a lot of little quirks about him that defined him so much more that anything you would ever think to ask. he loved to sleep in on saturdays, and it would often be well into the afternoon before we got started on any saturday projects. if mom was ever gone, he would always ask me and sarah to help him clean up the house before she got home. when we used to wrestle, he would always giggle, which drove me nuts because i never really could beat him. dad was a great artist. one of the few regrets i have about dad was that i never pushed him to create more art. some of his photography from china rivaled that of national geographic. he always wore his hat a little crooked. dad was never afraid to kiss mom in front of us. dad couldn't dance, but it was a common occurrence around our house to have some motown cranked up and our family grooving in the living room. whenever dad would pray he would get frustrated that the rest of us were still laughing at whatever it was that night that had us in stitches. he knew more little known facts about more random things, and he made sure to share with us whenever possible. dad had terrible form throwing a baseball, but never declined an offer to play catch. dad was always put together, his tie never showed from under his collar because he would ask me and sarah every week on the way to church to check for him. his shoes were always polished, nails trimmed, and he never looked out of date or inappropriate. dad loved to pull someone's leg, but he never let it get out of hand. he was a great chess player, lucky at backgammon and not so great at golf, but he enjoyed any activity he was doing. he was also in great shape despite putting away gallons of ice cream. i never beat him in a foot race. when i was little we used to watch the three stooges on some saturday afternoons, and dad would lay on the couch and i would lay down on his back so i could feel him laugh. on other saturday afternoons we would get up early and go visit some senior saints from church and spend some part of the day doing yard work, and most of the day listening to stories. dad never got everything he needed from home depot in one trip, we always had to go back for something we forgot. he wore the same style of topsiders and sunglasses for years. when it came to sports, dad was a fan of the hometown team, especially the underdogs.

my favorite moments:
there are so many memories that make me smile when i think about dad. my favorite moment was when i asked dad who his favorite baseball player was and he replied 'you are' without hesitation. i remember when dad wrote me a letter in fourth grade that said he was proud to be my father. one time we were at a gas station in a shady part of town and we thought that these guys were going to try and hurt the clerk. without hesitation dad got out of the truck and told me to lock the doors. he never got involved but had things escalated i have no doubt the marine in him would have snapped into action. i remember that was the first time i saw him as a soldier. i remember trips ever week down to the barber shop, and the time when i was seven when i got my first flattop. "this, this and this." the infamous lane six story when dad didn't see the giant six painted on the ground in front of him. the hug dad gave me when i told him i got accepted into college. there are a few others that qualify as favorites, but those are for me to keep to myself.

as for me...
to be honest, i feel really good. i miss dad a lot, but i feel better than i have in a long time. i didn't realize how crazy life had become wondering if every time the phone rang i would have to pack up and race home. i am so glad that i got see dad for a while before he passed. most of our family was there, and several friends as well. we sang songs and read the bible as dad got closer, and had several minutes of just the four of us. despite the sadness associated with that time, i will forever cherish that time with the people i care about the most. my mom shined as a pillar of faith, and my sister's compassion was awe inspiring. as for me, i felt like dad was imparting so much of his spirit unto me. one of the things that i have feared the most is how i am going to cope with the rest of my life without dad being there to guide me along. in those last few moments i felt coming over me this overwhelming sense of confidence and pride in knowing that my dad has equipped me to handle whatever comes my way. i cannot testify enough the role that faith played in these last few moments with dad. yes, we were sad, but we were also welcoming his departure. i was so tired of seeing my dad held back by a limited body. the feeling of knowing that he is free of pain and suffering has taken such a huge weight off of my shoulders. the verse in matthew 5 became so real to me at that moment; "blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted". i am so thankful to God that there are no regrets in my father's passing. my faith is so real to me now after being able to rejoice in these times.

the next few days:
the next few days were crazy to say the least. with so many family members and friends headed into town, the phone calls, the planning, the mourning, things are really a blur. i have to commend my aunt and our friends for planning a great service for dad in dallas. that made our lives so much easier. it was also a blessing to have such a close knit family. we may have our differences, but we truly shine in time like these. the stories, the laughter, the hugs, the meals. i enjoyed and appreciated every minute of my time with family and friends.

after a crazy week with family and friends, mi madre and i headed out to abilene to check on my sister and spend some time with her, and her friends. once i knew that everyone was doing all right, i decided to head out on my drive that i needed to go on. there were a lot of peripherals that i wanted visit or do, but the main item on my list of things to do was go visit camden arkansas where my dad grew up. i'm not sure why i went there, and i really wasn't sure what i was looking for, but whatever it was, i found it.

i left on a sunday afternoon from dallas and made it to camden around dinner time that night. the time went by pretty quickly with the help of some hank williams and willie nelson and a big pepsi to keep me company. it was also made shorter by the anticipation of something big, although i still can't put my finger on what it was.

my expectations were very high for my visit. all i had was an address. no directions, no names, just an address. i kind of envisioned finding some general store in town to walk into and ask some old guy where the street was and how i could get there. for some reason i also had this idea that i would find the house and there would be some family just sitting down to eat dinner. i would tell them about dad, and they would let me take pictures of the house and look around. there was even a small part of me that imagined seeing a younger version of my dad and uncle running through the streets. things were going as i had hoped as i arrived in camden, i stopped in at a church that was just getting out and was able to find out the location of the neighborhood that i was looking for. so i headed down the road past these nice country houses more towards the center of town (read mini mall with wal-mart at the center). i turned onto the side street that would take me to dad's neighborhood and i got kind of scared. i had been driving through miles of small country homes, white picket fences, the whole nine. i was now in a neighborhood that looked like it hadn't seen a coat of paint since my dad left thirty years ago. there were cars up on blocks in yards and people smoking joints on the front porches of several homes. i had to stop because it suddenly dawned on me that finding dad's home might actually not be a good thing. but i was too close to stop. a big part of me prepared for a huge letdown. i stopped and asked some guys working on their cars if they knew where the street was and they pointed impatiently down the road, 'second street on the left'. i drove to the street and was kind of grimacing because this was the worse street in the neighborhood. the whole street was covered in garbage and there were def plenty of backwoods looking folks just kind of milling around. i went down the street once and i didn't see the house, so i decided to give it one more shot. i did a u-turn and headed back up the street and finally found the house i was looking for. it was immaculate, the only house i had seen in blocks with a yard that was kept up, the bricks looked new, the paint was fresh... it looked like the house i wanted my dad to come from.

i mentioned my expectations before because i learned a valuable lesson at this point of my trip. so many times i build up huge expectations, or extremely low expectations, and many times the reality comes nowhere close to what i was expecting. as i was walking to the door of this house and waiting for someone to answer, i realized that my expectations had gone from one end of the spectrum to the complete opposite, now i was just hoping the person here would actually answer. and he did. a huge old guy hanging out of his boxers. this, i was not expecting. i kind of stuttered for a second before i introduced myself. i barely got my name out when he interrupted me, "i bought this house from a guy named iverson". "that's probably my granddad, i came here to see where my father grew up." simple, and to the point, although looking back i don't think this guy was exactly ready to give a tour of his home that sunday evening. but we talked for a couple of minutes, and then he let me take pictures of the house outside, while he went in and changed. after taking a few pictures i talked to the owner for a long time. we talked about what camden was like back in the day, the local sports teams, the paper mill my granddad used to work at... the weather. it was a good talk, and when it came time for me to leave i started to feel really relaxed. i thanked the man and headed a few blocks into town. i stopped in at wal mart to see if they had any local high school shirts or something, at the time i thought it would be cool to have a camden memento. kind of cheesy looking back, but looking back i think i just wasn't ready to leave town yet. that, and the high school that dad went to was replaced in 1994 by a new mega school that evidently was much needed. so i stopped in at an arby's in town and just hung out and kind did some people watching. it was weird to think that dad never really returned to camden. i was watching these kids from a youth group and i started trying to guess who would leave and never come back, and who would end up staying in camden for the rest of their lives. hmmm.

anyways, i hit the road again, not really sure where i was going next, but figuring it probably included oklahoma since i was in the vicinity (relatively). i felt this huge peace come over me that made the whole trip worth it. i can't exactly put my finger on what it was that made me feel so good, so we'll just chalk it up to God giving me a good day. it was great to see camden though, the road there was absolutely awesome, this back highway through trees and fields... and not a car in sight. i think i drove for thirty minutes at a time in between seeing cars. one thing i did notice was how much the road to dad's town reminded me of the road to church in seattle. it made a lot more sense driving down that road why dad never complained about the thirty minute drive to church in washington, it must have reminded him of home. he never said anything to me, but i like to think that was part of why dad was always in a good mood driving to and from church.

for the next couple of days i ventured around oklahoma, seeing people i needed to see, kids that i worked with, and people that i have come to call family. it was great. it also made me realize several things that have really put me at ease. first, there is no going back. i have always had in my mind this crazy fantasy that i could go back to the way things were if needed, if things ever got too tough to deal with, and i can't. maybe the reason dad never took us back to camden was that he didn't want to see his old neighborhood run down. for all of my stories about enjoying my time in oklahoma, that's what they are no, stories, memories, things to look back on and reflect, not a place to retreat.

my next big realization is how much of footprint i have left on the world. i am not saying i am some kind of big deal, but it was good to go back and see that i had impacted a few people's lives. one of the tough parts of my job is that most of my results are going to be measured over a long period of time, which i'm sure will pay off in the end, but can be tough to realize when you've got your head focused in the now.

catching up with friends. what a blessing. they truly are my muse and inspiration for a lot of my energy and thoughts. from my friends in youth ministry, to my family friends, to people that have come in for a while and seemingly disappeared, i have an army of people that i truly love. i am realizing lately exactly how blessed i am when it comes to friends.

God is big. there are some things that you can only figure out at 70 mph driving across the desert just after it rained. He wasn't using words, but pictures to tell me a story. i could only cheapen it by trying to tell you what He said to me, that and i don't really know exactly what i could say. it was a feeling. call it joy, call it whatever existential term you choose to use, but it was a good feeling.

and lastly, i am capable. according to wild at heart this is the thing that all guys want to know deep down. there is something about venturing across the country by yourself that makes you ask questions you never think of otherwise. the longer i drove the more capable i felt. i returned home energized and revived for my life here. i didn't make any big to-do about being home, i just went in a cleaned up the mess that i left and kind of re arranged my room.

so what now...
now is the tough part. the part where you come home completely changed and your world that you left has remained the same. fighting the same fights with new energy and new perspective. but i feel good. really good. the best i have felt in years. i absolutely miss my dad, but let it be said that faith has completely been a comfort to me, and turned a seemingly dark hour into a time of rebirth and rejuvenation.

well there are plenty of stories from the road to com, and i hope the next post i can share some of the random things life has thrown my way that has made me smile lately. but for now it's late, and my bed is calling my name. God bless you my friends that read this. thanks you for your time and caring and i pray that God will bless you beyond what you can ask or imagine. and now i leave you with two of the scriptures that we read for dad. these have both developed a new meaning for me over the past few weeks and i hope they bless you as well.

psalms 23
the Lord is my shepherd i shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in the path of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
i will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and i will dwell in the house of the Lord

1 timothy 4:6-8

For i am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, i have finished the race, i have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

one love, one heart.


i just up and...

there's a lot of random stuff on my mind so what better way to clear it all up then with a brand new blog!

i'd like to introduce a new feature on my blog I WAS WONDERING...

i was wondering...

why do fast food places have signs that read 'now hiring: inquire within'? where else are you going to inquire? are there people thinking to themselves, " i want to work at mcdonalds but i don't know where to go to get that job"?

who uses the term 'inquire'?

who buys stuff off of the shopping channels? does anyone i know own anything bought from an infomercial?

when do the people at the gas station change the price of gas? every day i drive by the same two gas stations near my house, and every day the prices are different. i've driven by them at all hours of the day and i still have yet to see anyone out there changing the sign. and when do the prices actually change? do they change the meter first or the price displayed on the street?

what happened to small drinks? i remember growing up there were four different drink cups; small, medium, large, and water. now there are medium, large, extra large, collectible/refillable and water. i can understand the sizes getting bigger, but why can't they still call it a small, that's what it is.

what about tapes. i remember having a decent size tape collection. they were a good stepping stone to cds. they were the first musical storage system that were easy to record on. however they don't have the nostalgia that vinyl records have, so i have to wonder what's happened to the tapes? they wore out after being played too much, and they were the most frustrating when it came to finding a particular song on an album, and they were kind of an odd shape that weren't huge, but weren't small either. but, there were millions of them. so the question is, where are all the tapes?

how do some stores stay in business? you know the store i'm talking about. it's the store right next to the grocery store in the strip mall by your house. the one that never has any cars parked in front, and the one you've walked by a million times and have never seen anyone shopping there. you don't know the name of store, and you might not know what's in there, and you probably won't remember until you go to get groceries sometime this week and you see it. how do they stay in business?

where did the phrase "i just up and..." come from? i hear it a lot in westerns when some old guy is talking jibberish, " i just up and moved outta dodge", or " i just up and bought me a new hat".

do psychiatrists have to talk to each other about the stuff that goes on at work? are there meetings where they get together and just cut loose on stories of the crazy stuff they hear? i can just imagine some exclusive back room at some country club is filled with guys telling stories like, "i've got this one guy who who put monkey bars up in his office and started throwing glue at his co-workers" and " oh yeah, one of my patients dresses up like tony from 'who's the boss' and calls everyone mona".

who first looked at a cow and said, "we gotta eat that".

why aren't there peppermint flavored sodas? everything else is peppermint flavored, candy, gum, mouthwash, medicine... why not a soda?

along the same lines... why aren't there soda flavored gum, candy and mouthwash?


prediction for the future:

psychologists and sociologists are going to have a field day with this one. the air conditioning in my office is not working right now (or ever) and it has been pretty miserable around here lately weather-wise. since my neighbors have an unprotected wireless internet router (thanks for letting piggyback whoever you are) and my air conditioner does work at the apt i was thinking about just working from home, and it got me to thinking...

i think in the future many office buildings will become residential buildings. how many people live in one building and travel to another building to work? at the rate of innovation i can't imagine there being a huge need to physically meet everyday at one location twenty years from now. so why not turn office buildings into residencies? obviously there would have to be some major refurbishing, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. with fewer people commuting to work, there would be a decrease in traffic and pollution, which would lead to less stressful work environments. also, taking commuting time out of the day would allow for more families to spend time together.

obviously not every job can be done from home, but if we could utilize these huge structures we have already in place, i think there could be a huge potential for preservation, or at least a slower rate of land consumption.


and for the more serious stuff...

i went to youthwave a couple of weeks ago, and i was really impressed by the way one week can change perspective on so many things. the goal of youthwave is to overcome obstacles in talking to your friends about God. we took training courses in the mornings, and hit the streets of los angeles in the afternoon. the goal was not to convert people on the street, but learn how to overcome fear of talking to them about God. it was a truly unique experience, and one that i hope to teach others.

one of the big lessons i learned that week was letting go. it's tough. sometime we forget that Jesus is in the boat with us and we worry about what we are going to do about the stormy waters. i saw 'we' meaning myself. it's an uncomfortable feeling, to let go, but the more i am able to do so, the more i feel capable of handling the tasks set before me. also, there is a certain pain that comes from trying to be in control all the time. when things don't go the way you want them to, it hurts. especially if it is something you have put a lot of energy into. i started thinking about this last time i was in dallas, and how much easier it is to let go of things now, then several years ago. there is so much less bitterness, and much more serenity, and a sense of place. hmmm.

well, to move on to a lighter note...
do you ever just start doing things differently for no apparent reason? in the past few weeks i've found myself doing so many thing differently than i have before. little things, quirks, habits, interests... for example: taco salads. i used to rag on our preacher, lawdog, about eating salads all the time, but for the past few weeks i've been all about taco salads. no reason, i just decided one day that i wanted one and i've been hooked ever since.
country music: one day i'm giving the cuz crap about cmt, the next day i'm listening to buck owens. go figure.
my shoes: i've always put my left shoe on first, now i'm putting my right one on first. no explanation.
soda: i used to hate drinking soda with ice in it, now i'm filling up with ice and barely getting any soda in the glass.
the weather channel: i usually set my alarm on my tv to sportscenter in the mornings, but i find myself lately turning to the weather channel as soon as i bother to find my remote. actually, this one i can explain. it's been triple digits here for the past two weeks and i'm waiting for the day when the high is going to be 73.

that's all for now i guess. lemme know what you're wondering about and what you 'just up and did'...
one love, one heart.


Bikers, Birthday parties and Baseball.

this post goes out to hub, one of the few and faithful bloggers out there that always seems to come up with some worthwhile stuff.

she had a post with five things she had recently discovered about herself, one of which struck a chord with me because of it's relevance to popular music. i'll expand on that later, for right now i'm going to go back to an old tradition on my blog, the top ten list. without further ado, here are my...


10. i can handle country music if it's really really old and makes modern nashville fans squirm. the cuz bought an old buck owens cd the other day and i've been rocking out to some old country for the past few days. i'm not sure why i like it, but it does get me some crazy looks from my kiddos and my neighbors when i roll up blaring some country twang.

9. newton's first law is true for me as well; an object at rest tends to stay at rest until acted upon by an other object. if i don't accomplish something constructive in the first hour of my day, the likeliness of me completing everything i wanted to do the rest of the day is pretty low. on the other hand, if i get up and get moving the second i'm at work i tend to get some crazy stuff done.

8. i'm a bi-polar neat freak. i think i've actually known this for a while, but never really put it into words. there are times where i go on a cleaning rampage and keep things in all kinds of order, and the there are times where its just good to see stuff all over the place.

7. my hobby is finding new hobbies. i have a long list of things that i would consider hobbies: guitar, songwriting, drawing, stenciling, painting, sculpting, photography, graphic design, baseball, golf, bike riding, hiking, snowboarding, watching movies, reading... the list goes on. here's the thing, i may not be the best at any one of those hobbies, but i have a legitimate interest in all of them. i think my hobby is going back and forth between all of them.

6. i feed off of my friends. not in a bad way, but i really get most of my inspiration and energy when i'm around my friends that kind of spur me on.

5. i can't handle when a picture isn't level. if i see something that isn't level i go right over and fix it without saying a word. lawdog is the biggest victim of this because i am constantly adjusting the pictures in his office.

4. i really really really really don't care about soccer. i tried to be open minded and watch a few of the world cup games and i think i like soccer less now. how can a game end in a tie? and anyone who says baseball is boring to watch and then tries to tell me that 75 minutes of a 0-0 game where guys kick a ball back and forth is exciting has lost their mind. seriously, i tried, i don't get it. soccer is lame.

3. i'm a flake. i need to learn the difference between i would like to do something vs. i can do something. i have a feeling that if you know me then i don't really need to explain this one. sorry.

2. recently, i am much more aware of the spiritual presence in seemingly mundane situations.

1. i still have a lot to figure out.

so going back to hub's post, she mentioned how she preferred bob dylan songs to be covered, rather than actually listening to bob dylan. i couldn't agree more. i think bob dylan is way overrated, and just happened to be the right band in the right place at the right time (see nirvana). call me a traitor to my generation, but there are several bands/ pop culture events that i just don't get, and/or think are way overrated. and because i'm always a fan of a good deal, i'm going to give you a second top ten list for free.

10. Reality TV. If survival is real, then so is wrestling. sidenote: why do they need writers for a reality tv show?
9. Horror/ Vampire movies. one makes it big, thirty more will follow.
8. Celebrity Babies. ugh, i feel stupid for having typed those letters together.
7. Computer animation movies. i think the magic wore off after shrek. i'm just not really impressed anymore.
6. Prince. quick, name three people you know that own a prince album.
5. Neil Young. is it just me or does he look like every police sketch of a deadbeat dad? and do you actually know anyone outside of the pacific northwest that lists him as a favorite? art teachers don't count.
4. American Idol. although i do like watching the would-be karaoke tryouts, i have an issue with forcing the public to recognize someone as famous. also, do you really need to win to get a record contract? not really. it's a pointless competition.
3. Entertainment news. "All the entertainment news you need to know". really? click.
2. (tie) Radiohead/White Stripes. It's going to be tough to explain to our kids how this was the music for our generation supposedly.
1. Soccer. Read previous notes.

what else is there...

oh yeah, so i finally got my record player up and going so i can now listen to all of my old records. i feel like a real musical elitist now. i can say that some stuff does sound way better on a vinyl than cd or mp3, but im not sold on all types of music. jazz: yes. ska: yes. captain and tenille (yes my dad actually bought that record) a definite no. i do have to say that it was cool last night to throw on some old duke ellington records and just chill for a few minutes before i went to bed. last night was def a peaceful night's sleep until the plant lady's car alarm went off at 3am. but as far as vinyl goes, i'm sold. i'm taking inventory of the records i have soon (for insurance purposes) i'll post what i have sometime in the future, it's a pretty impressive list, mainly because dad had an awesome collection from back in the day.

and speaking of music...
anyone who has actually read my blog for a while might remember that i've been working off and on for a while on writing music with the hope that eventually i can record my own cd.

well, i've ranted enough today. the kiddos are calling and my lunch break is up. to all the bloggers out there, feel free to vent on whatever.

one love, one heart.


You could use a little churching up. Slide on down to the Triple Rock and catch the Reverend Cleophus James.

Como estas blogworld.

So my last few posts have been pretty serious, or at the very least very pointed, so I decided to take a break this post and go back to my old stream-of-consciousness style that we all hold near and dear. So without further ado, here are the latest ramblings…

The sounds of driving. I love driving with the windows down. Chalk it up as one of life’s simple pleasures, but I love listening to things fly by as I speed down the freeway. I was out driving today and I realized that there is an almost soothing musical quality to the sound of the highway. I actually did a lot of driving this week, which is prob not the cheapest of hobbies, but I find the more I drive, the more calm and relaxed I am, and the more I have my thoughts together. On Wednesday, I had to drive down to pepperdine, then up the pch to Oxnard and back to simi, and while I was out I had some awesome thoughts I was able to put together for my sermon today. Yesterday I was out driving with a friend, which is how we end up spending most of our time hanging out, and we had one of the greatest conversations ever. Today, I was driving down south, and I didn’t even bother turning on the radio for the entire time I was on the road. In a world where it is really hard to get find silence, I guess having an audio getaway is truly a blessing.

Speaking of sounds, I’ve been in a bit of a musical slump lately. Any of you that know me, know that I’m always finding new music, and kind of recycling through my old stuff to make it new again. Anyways, I was looking through itunes this week for some new music, and I really wasn’t interested in any of my typical punk, reggae, ska or whatever else I listen to. So I decided to go old school and I ran across my new favorite artist, james brown. You know how when you watch a Jackie chan movie, you leave the theater feeling like you know karate? That’s kind of like james brown and dancing. I dare you to listen to james brown for a while and not get up and move around. It’s unreal. So much energy and passion, I should have been listening to him years ago. Anyways, it was a fun week for me musically, and I’m really glad no one has caught me in my office sliding around on the pergo with my socks on.

I thought this was kind of funny, so I would like to point out the train of thought that brought me to my next paragraph: james brown>funk>soundtracks>movies>car wash>…

Getting my car washed. I love going to the car wash. Tyra is the first vehicle I’ve owned that I actually cared about keeping clean. Not only that, but socal is kind of a funny place when it comes to car washes. It’s almost like regular maintenance for your vehicle, but it really is taken to an extreme out here. You really don’t see a lot of dirty cars out here, and there are so many gas stations out here that have car washes. In a two block radius from one of the main intersections by my house, there are three gas station car washes, and two full service car washes. By full service I am of course referring to the places where you have a seating area where you can watch your car go through the automated washing process, and then be hand dried, waxed and detailed by a whole platoon of attendants. At my favorite place, lenny dykstra’s auto center, they even have a baseball memorabilia section to occupy your attention. So I can relax, have a pepsi, check out some 86 mets memorabilia and leave with a ride that smells of coconut. Anyways, it’s one of those things about socal that we take very seriously, and I have def been sucked into that desire to have a clean ride.

Sundays are tough for me from a sleeping standpoint. I am a big fan of the Sunday afternoon nap, however those naps tend to lead to late night think-sessions where you’re not really tired enough to go to sleep when you should, kind of like the one I am currently smack dab in the middle of.

Is it just me, or is it really easy to embarrass yourself playing volleyball?

We were talking about fair-food tonite at dinner, and I had to ask the question, “who was the first guy that looked at a twinkie and decided it needed to be fried?”

I was looking for a new pair of jeans the other day, and I found a pair that cost over a hundred bucks. I immediately set them down because I assumed there would be a charge for looking at them, or some sort of ‘re-folding’ fee. Seriously, I would love for someone to explain to me the justification for spending that much on a pair of jeans.

By the way, I think the employees of stores that offer hundred dollar plus jeans have to pass some sort of service test to prove they can instantly recognize and ignore customers like me who laugh at their prices.

I was wondering what those things at the end of shoelaces are called. The official name is ‘aglet’. Totally random information, but you know the next time you look at your shoelaces, you are going to try and remember what they are called.

I was reading this book ‘freakonomics’ the other day and this particular chapter really captured my attention. It was talking about how the KKK used the control of information to perpetuate fear. They had a whole system of code words and secret handshakes that allowed them to communicate without giving themselves away. One man infiltrated the KKK and learned all of their secret code words and handshakes, with the sole purpose of taking down the entire organization. In a genius move, he gave all of his notes to the producers of the old superman tv show, and they did an entire episode on the klan, and exposed all of their secrets. Some of the terms were so laughable that it all but destroyed the entire group, and they have (fortunately) never recovered from the exposure.

Going back to the lighter stuff, I always wonder how much people that work at those little kiosks in the middle of the mall hate their jobs. Seriously, who wants to work at a fake hair stand in the middle of the mall?

And to end these ramblings, I want to share with you a dream I had the other night. For anyone that has read this blog for a while, you know that I can’t stand tim mccarver, one of the announcers for fox baseball that I have to endure every postseason. Seriously, the guy is easily the worst broadcaster on the air. Here are a few of his gems:

"In the time it's taken to play this game you could have flown from Baltimore to Iceland."

"Watch Darren Daulton use his mitt like a glove."

"He wears his hat like a left hander!"

"There is a world of difference between a count of one ball and two strikes is a lot different situation than hitting with two strikes and one ball."

"As a new day begins in New York, the sun sets in Hawaii."

I think you get the picture. Anyways, I had this dream that I was on a sports gameshow, and tim mccarver was the host. I got an answer right, and he said I got it wrong, we started yelling at each other and then the judges finally stepped in and gave me the answer. I then told mccarver he sucked as an announcer. I soon became a celebrity making the rounds on different news channels and sports shows as the guy who told off tim mccarver. Fox news refered to me as ‘the voice of a generation’, and I even got interviewed by the guys from baseball tonight. When all was said and done I was offered a job as a sports broadcaster/ analyst. Pretty sweet dream.

Well, speaking of dreams, it’s time for me to hit the sack. One love, one heart.


who runs into a plane?

so the cuz was flying back from florida today, and he just called to tell me that he was going to be getting in late because they had to change planes. evidently a food service truck ran into his plane. seriously, who runs into a plane? just thought that might bring you a good laugh.

one love, one heart.


"there are two stories to every side"

thanks mom for the quote.

if you're reading this, then you probably already know that i'm a baseball fanatic, at the very least baseball has a lot of meaning to me. the astros were in town a couple of weeks ago, and i went to another game this past weekend so i've been thinking a lot lately about how much i love going to ballgames, and the impact they have had in my life. mi padre had season tickets when we lived in san diego, and the story is told around our house that dad drew a circle on the map around the stadium to look for a house, and his first circle was still in the parking lot at jack murphy stadium. supposedly, the home we ended up living in was on the line of the second, bigger circle. at the very least, we lived close to the stadium when we lived in san diego, and i got to go to a bunch of ballgames growing up. so i've been thinking a lot about the wisdom that dad shared with me through the years lately, and how much of that came from our time spent at baseball games together. i guess you could call this part...

life lessons my dad taught me at baseball games:

NEVER LEAVE THE GAME EARLY. we would stay until the last out, because you never know what you are going to miss. it could be 10-1 and dad would still be in his seat, because until that last out was called, there was always a chance of something spectacular happening. such is life. there is always the chance that today is going to be an absolutely spectacular day, even if it doesn't appear that way. never give up.

THERE IS MORE GOING ON THAN WHAT YOU CAN SEE. the thing about baseball that a lot of people don't understand, is exactly how much thinking is going on at every moment of the game. sure, baseball doesn't have the pace that other sports have, but there are so many subtleties that go unnoticed. on every pitch, every player has to make split second decisions on what they are to do if the ball comes their way, and keep in mind literally hundreds of little factors like speed of the runners, spin on the ball, texture of the grass... then there's the whole decision making process of what pitch to throw, on what count, to what batters... and it should be mentioned that these guys are there for hours before the game actually starts practicing for that night. i think this is downright spiritual. there is so much more going on in this world that what we simply see. it would be foolish of us to assume that a pitcher is just arbitrarily throwing balls across the plate. it would also be foolish of us to assume that God is not involved with every moment of our lives. just because we can't always see it, or don't notice it, does not mean that it is not happening, and having a huge impact.

CHEER YOUR TEAM ON, NEVER BOO THE OTHER TEAM. i never understood this as a kid, but the more i look back, the more i realize that everyone mi padre knows, respects him. i think a lot of it has to do with that 'never boo a person' mentality that he had. i remember dad being angry at calls, frustrated at players, and distraught over losses, but he kept everything in perspective and never said anything derogatory to another person. if you make fun of someone else, then people around you are going to assume that you do the same about them. not a good way to build trust, but def a good judge of character.

THERE ARE SEVEN WAYS TO GET ON FIRST BASE: hit, walk, hit-by-pitch, fielder's choice, error, dropped third strike, and catcher's interference. there is more than one way to do almost anything, and we all have different God-given gifts to travel different paths. the important thing to remember here is, either way, you end up on first base. my life is not going to mirror your life, and truly being aware of that not only encourages acceptance of others, but it allows others the ability to chart their own course.

I BUY, YOU FLY. dad never charged me for a ticket to a ballgame, but it was my responsibility to go to the concession stands to get our food. he would give me the money, and i would go get two hot dogs and two cokes for us to enjoy. this sounds simple, but look at the trust mi padre showed from the eyes of a 7-14 year old. dad trusts me with his money. dad trusts me to get what he ordered. dad trusts me in this crowd of 30,000 people to be okay. dad trusts me get our food. you think i ever spilled a drop of his diet coke, or came back w/o the correct amount of change? not a chance. i wasn't afraid that he would get mad, i just wanted to keep his trust, and show him that i was the right man for the job.

PARK AND WALK. we would always park on the outer ring of the parking lot and hike our way in to the stadium. i always complained about this because growing up, we're typically taught by society to go after the best everything. dad never worried about the best parking spot. the people that did go after that 'best spot' typically had to spend a lot longer looking for one, and were usually stuck, in traffic longer on the way out. the first will be last, and the last will be first. it's so easy to go after the things that appear to be 'the best', and spend a good deal of time letting that consume you. so much in fact, that you might miss what you were there for in the first place. we never missed an inning of baseball looking for a spot to park.

IT'S OKAY TO VENTURE AROUND THE STADIUM. i have to laugh at this one, because it probably caused mom a fair amount of stress. me and dad typically went to baseball games ourselves, but every season when the astros would come to town, mom and sarah would come too. when it was just me and dad, he would let me wander around the stadium (i knew every spot that sold the best baseball cards in the whole stadium) and chase after foul balls. can you imagine a seven year old sitting still nine innings of baseball? not happening. when mom was at the ballgame though, i always laughed, because dad would say 'go have fun', and mom would always say 'be careful'. i laughed because if she knew how well i knew the ball park she wouldn't worry about me, but here's the deal. dad said what a dad needed to say, and mom said what a mom needed to say. i knew my mom loved me enough to be concerned about where i was going, and my dad loved me enough to let me have my adventure. God cares for us more than we'll ever imagine, but he still wants us to go out and adventure, he never asks us to sit still through nine innings.

YOU DON'T NEED COTTON CANDY. i mentioned earlier that dad would buy me a hot dog and a coke at every ballgame, what i left out of that part was that anything after that was going to be bought with my own money. occasionally dad would buy me an extra coke or some ice cream, but we never spent money on stuff like cotton candy or those little bats, or pennants or anything we didn't need. i wish i followed this lesson more closely, because it was truly an invaluable life lesson. call it the 'value of a dollar' lesson. the reason dad never bought me that stuff was not that he didn't want me to have it, but he wanted me to earn what i bought. i can not recall dad spending a dime on baseball cards for me. but he did pay me to shine his shoes so i could have spending money. looking at my baseball card collection today you would assume that dad's shoes are still holding their polish.

TONY GWYNN. one of the best hitters in baseball never really looked the part, but man could he hit. tony gwynn is a shoe in for the hall of fame, and was always the guy that dad told me to look at for examples on how to play the game. the thing about gwynn was that he wasn't never much of a power hitter, but he always managed to hit the ball. fans are easily drawn to the home run hitter, but a true fan knows that someone who hits for average is much more valuable and consistent. gwynn was patient at the plate, had a discerning eye, and almost never struck out looking. he played for the same team his whole career, and he never argued a call. if he had played for a major market team like the yankees or braves, i have no doubt that he would have been much more popular, but he played every game of his career for the same team, and that earned him the respect of millions of san diegans. see, we love the people that get the most attention, that hit the most home runs, but often times it is the guy that is doing his job well, day after day, that we should look up to. tony gwynn was laughed at because of his size and shape, and i'm sure if he had the look he could have stretched a few more singles to doubles, but that wasn't what concerned him. what concerned gwynn was putting that bat to the ball at every chance.

ALWAYS RUN TO FIRST. i remember dad used to say this a lot. his point was that anytime in baseball that first base was yours, you should get there as quickly as possible. if you had a hit, you obviously wanted to get there quickly, if you were leading off and you wanting to avoid being picked off, you would get there quickly, but there are sometimes we forget the urgency to get to base. if you get walked, don't take your time, get to first. maybe the catcher dropped the ball and you can get an extra base out of it, or maybe it shows that you have no regrets and are ready to take advantage of your situation. an even better example was after getting hit by a pitch. before craig biggio shattered the hit by pitch record, there was a guy in san diego, tim flannery, who was always getting plunked. and he o matter how bad it was, when he made his way to first, he was always running. run it off, don't dwell, don't try and force sympathy, just take your base. dad had a lot of respect for flannery and his ability to shake things off and get to running the bases. i've got a lot of respect for people who don't try and force me to empathize. you got hit, i feel bad for you, and i can't imagine how bad that hurts, but you'll be okay, it's time to take your base.

FUNDAMENTALS WIN GAMES. this is probably my favorite of all of these, mainly because it is so true. the more errors you commit in a game, the more likely you are to lose that game. in spring training baseball players young and old start with the very basics of the game and practice them over and over. run. hit. catch. throw. when you execute the mundane, menial, necessary tasks, the likeliness of you accomplishing your goal is excellent. relying on grand slams, or next to impossible catches is a dangerous way to play baseball. if you want a great life, do your homework, go to school, continually learn, work hard at your job, and reap the benefits. dad was never one to play the lottery, he never relied on that one in a million shot to make things better. sure we had amazing things happen to us, but i think that was more a reward for his continuous execution of the fundamentals of running a family.

well this turned into something a lot longer than i had originally planned, but it's all good. i think i'll continue with a couple more things from my dad and then it's time to head home. mi padre is full of all kinds of useful wisdom, and not all of it pertains to baseball. last week when i was back in texas with the fam, we were kind of joking about some of the little philosophies that pops has, so we came up with this:


doing the right thing is always the right thing to do.

take every new couple at church out for ice cream.

beautiful is not a way to describe how someone looks, but a way to describe who they are.
you are more than your job title.

don't let your work define who you are.

be more than nice and friendly, be memorable.

compliment the person on who they are, as well as what they have accomplished.

heart, action, attitude... in that order.

fight to live.

do not confuse being meek with weakness, it takes much more power to hold back when you are capable.

get up early on saturdays and spend the morning helping a widow.

respecting the elderly involves a cup of coffee, and a lot of listening.

and lastly, i want to leave you with a poem that my dad wrote for my sister about three years ago. like my sister says, coming from him these words mean mean a lot.

life is an opportunity, benefit from it
life is beauty, admire it
life is a dream, realize it
life is a challenge, meet it
life is a game, play it
life is a promise, fulfill it
life is sorrow, overcome it
life is luck, make it
life is life-- fight for it!

one love, one heart.


ipod shuffle (stolen from my sister)

yeah so i typically don't like surveys, but this one was kind of up my alley so i stole it off of my sister's blog. it ended up being funny enough to make me want to actually post it.

Put your music player on shuffle.
Press forward for each question.
Use the song title as the answer to the question.
No cheating!

How am I feeling today?
eleven - primus

Will I get far in life?
woodstock national anthem - jimi hendrix

How do my friends see me?
save me - unwritten law

When will I get married?
when she believes - ben harper (so many comments, so little time)

What's my theme song?
pressure and release - chris murray (yeah, this one hits the nail on the head)

What is the story of my life?
The Lark ascending or (perhaps more accurately, i'm trying to make you sing) - david crowder band 

How can I get ahead in life?
the righteous and the wicked -red hot chili peppers

What is my best feature?
walk away - zebrahead (i will leave this one alone)

How is tomorrow going to be?
don't push - sublime

What is in store for this weekend?
aesthetics - king apparatus

What is my life like at the moment?
wanted dead or alive - the slackers

What song describes my secrets?
on my mind - donavon frankenrieter (so true yet again)

What song will they play at my funeral?:
do or die - dogwood

How does the world see me?
hanging on a star - nick drake

Will I have a happy life?
time will tell - bob marley

What do my friends really think of me?
gonna find you - operation ivy

Will I accomplish my goals in life?
mr. smooth guy - suburban rhythm

Will I find true love?
dirt roads - subseven (does this mean i have to go back to oklahoma?)

How do I treat others?
i want to be a cholo- manic hispanic (that's awesome!)

well, i'm officially one of those quiz people now. great. i guess signing up for facebook is all that i have left to accomplish to have the internet community cornered. i think i'll sell out tomorrow.

one love, one heart.


Semper Fidelis.

faithful / adj. 1. loyal, constant, and steadfast 2. plural n. having a strong belief 3. true to the facts or the original

this word has been on my mind a lot lately. i was looking up pictures of my dad's helicopter he used to fly, and i kept running across these marine corps websites with semper fidelis all over the place. semper fidelis is latin for always faithful, and has been the marine's motto since their inception.

so i started thinking about faithfulness, and how it relates to me specifically and these things came to mind as examples of me being faithful:

towards the end of high school i had a tough decision where to go for college. i applied for several public universities as a back up, but i knew God wanted me to go to a christian college. i remember being adamant about this, and never really wavering when it came to trusting God about where i should go to college. as a reward, i think God made it a very obvious decision when it finally came time to finally choose. and despite all of the griping i did about oklahoma, i would not be half the man i am today if it weren't for the growth that i went through at oc. i look back at my time in oklahoma with nothing but fond memories and praises to God for blessing me more than i deserved.

juaner. i would have never been friends with juaner if we hadn't been stuck in the same apt together. it's sad to say, but at that point in my life i was so close minded when it came to who i should be friends with. i remember praying to God that he give me the patience to deal with the 'frat boy- soccer playing- oregonian- psych major- transfer' that i was going to have to live with. juaner is now one of my best friends, and i thank the Lord constantly for the rock that guided me towards youth ministry. i'm just glad that God rewarded me for being trusting enough to look at juaner through His eyes, and not my own.

speaking of friends, there are three guys that were at my third birthday that i still refer to as my best friends. (i know i have a lot of best friends, most have to have prefaces like college, or new, or back in the day. these guys don't.) our relationships were forged through years of growing up in the church, and despite our distance and the frequency with which we talk, i have no doubt that we will go to our graves as best friends. what a blessing to be rewarded with lifelong friends. this may be a stretch when it comes to faithfulness, but i can't imagine us ever not being friends, and i think that helps remind me of the type of ongoing, forgiving love that God has for us.

my parents. i can honestly say that i never had a doubt about my parent's faithfulness through their twenty five years of marriage so far. it seems like the more they are tested, the stronger they bond to each other and to God. in a world were one in every two marriages end prematurely, it is a huge blessing to know that your parents are both going to be there for you. i hope this doesn't sound too self righteous, but i have had a soft heart lately for the kids of divorced, or a single parent homes. i don't know how they do it, but they manage to make it through life at a disadvantage. God bless them and provide them with the love that they need to survive. going back to my parents though, i feel like i have been rewarded for my parent's faithfulness with a confidence and knowledge of God's love that has always been a guide to me.

my job. i decided halfway through my junior year of college that i wasn't going to be a graphic designer. my grades were terrible that year and i was put on academic probation. i remember praying to God to show me the right thing to do. that summer i was forced to live at home and work and take some online classes to catch up. i was pretty humbled, and i was working landscaping, spending most of my days to myself because i couldn't speak spanish. i was really humbled. but, i spent a lot of my free time hanging out with the two interns we had at woodinville, and realizing that youth ministry was a viable option for me. i told my parents that summer that i would finish up my degree in advertising design, but i would be taking extra youth ministry classes when i could. they were very supportive. actually, they asked me what took me so long to figure it out, they had known all along. anyways, the next summer i did an internship in weatherford ok, where i was offered a job. i turned it down because i knew there would be someone more effective for a small town in the long run. on the way back to school after that summer i spent time with dantheman and lukestrong, and they said i should look into doing a semester at park plaza after i graduated. the second day of school, i met with mr wild at heart himself, and he said he would be proud to have any friend of dantheman's come work at park plaza. he said i could def do a summer there, and could probably stay till i found a job. i stayed there until i felt that i had to go home to take care of mi padre and was blessed by every minute of my time there.

moving back home. i never wanted to be 23 and living at home. i also never wanted mi padre to retire before his 50th birthday. but i knew the right thing to do was to head home and take care of pops until mom had the summer off. i knew right off the bat that God was rewarding me for doing the right thing. that time with my dad was invaluable, and i am increasingly aware of how much i wish i could have held on to that time.

but i had to leave. going back to the job hunt, i was turned down by several churches, that i was sure were 'the one'. i was picky when i was looking for a job, and i didn't want to settle. i felt called to be in southern california doing youth ministry, and i was willing to wait for God to provide with the right place. several things fell apart, and it began to look like no one wanted to hire a youth minister with no experience, no bible degree, and no wife. on the last day of my internship in san diego i received a job offer from simi. talk about having to trust God, oh man. i have to say, though, that i was confident that God would provide me the right place at the right time, and He did.

females. these stories so far have gone in sequential order, but they have also progressed in the amount of faith that it has taken for me to trust that God had everything under His control. when i was in college, i just wanted to be able to have a big group of friends that shared my faith. i had a lot of catching up to do socially, and that's what happened. when i moved to tulsa, i asked God to keep females off of my mind for a year so i could focus on ministry. He did, and almost to the day a year later i met up again with nursegirl. the only thing i place as more important than where i am meant to work, is who i should spend my life with, so i really shouldn't complain and/or doubt that God will once again reward me for my faithfulness. i think this one is way underrated considering the time we live in.

so the question i have for myself now is why should i ever not be faithful to God after He has rewarded me so many times? why isn't faithfulness on the forefront of my mind more often? why has it taken me so long to realize this? what is it that God is doing right now to strengthen my faith?

i know i have left out an obvious example of faithfulness when it comes to mi padre, and that is intentional. i open myself up a lot on my posts, but today i need to keep some things to myself for the time being. perhaps in a few days i can revisit this with a post about my dad, but not today. i hope you understand.

anyways, i hope this has been an encouragement to anyone that has read this. i would love to hear your stories about faithfulness, so feel free to respond. (i know thornton has a few, he better put something up here.)

one love, one heart.