Monday, April 30, 2007

The day that was Sunday

This time of year is always busy in my world; this weekend was a great sampling of that. To borrow a phrase; the following took place between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday...
  • worked until 0730
  • ran home for about an hour nap
  • worked 1100-1500 for commencement
  • Bethany LL pictures
  • very short nap
  • caught the end of the race... Jimmie woulda got him if the could have run the last lap and a half.
  • Boys' LL pictures
  • few hours sleep
  • back to work at 2300, which got off to a bang with a medical run in the first half hour!

Monday could be another marathon day. Several things that must get done, a great number more that should get done, an almost insurmountable list of things that would be nice to take care of. Time to make the most of the rest I can get and remember that "I can do all things...".

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day Off Blog - Friday/ Saturday

Day off was Friday night so I did the following Fri/ Sat:
  • programmed graphics for worship (thanks Cam for running them)
  • ran around Elkhart/ Mishawaka looking for "white belt loop baseball pants" at a reasonable price.
  • cooked supper for the kids/ I (do frozen pizzas count as cooking??)
  • ran back to Mishawaka for red socks
  • hung out with kids so wife could get away for a few hours/ fell asleep early
  • entire day (0930-1700) at LL Opening Day
  • hung at home with wife. kids --
  • compared who got the most/ worst sun -- Micki won, er lost
  • took nap
  • back to work Saturday night

Friday, April 27, 2007

Brady Quinn Highlight

Had to post this after the last blog post.

The most important things... NFL Draft Edition

I know a guy that is so worried about what will happen to Brady Quinn in the draft on Saturday that he h as spent extra time this week setting up his cell phone so that he can get to the Internet but also so that the draft results are texted to him live as the picks are made. All because he has to be at work and cannot watch it live on TV. He does not know Brady personally, is not related, and obviously has no stake in the fortune he is about to acquire. The question comes to me; why is this so important to him? There are numerous rabbit trails to take on this but let me also add that this is a guy who is by his own admission struggling in his marriage and with his kids. He is also struggling to see any relation to how God fits into the equation of his life's circumstances.
I love sports and ND football as much as I think many but I am thinking that should I get to this point; I deserve whatever household item my wife deems fit banged off my noggin. I do not bring this up to cast stones in this guy's direction but rather to point out that the dangers of taking our focus off the important things that come in life and focusing on things that have no lasting meaning.
Robert Frost
"The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work."

I am afraid that the above is too often true of us. Whether we are talking about our relationships (God, spouse, kids, co-workers, etc...) Or in dealing with ourselves we would rather stand back and analyze the situation than take action. I could say that "I need to lose 20 pounds" but unless I take the actions necessary to make a difference it is nothing more than a good thought. It's time to stop letting all those good thoughts be just that. Things that God is reminding me I need to make a priority:

  • letting my wife know how important she is by words AND actions (ie. knock some things off the honey do list)
  • tell some people around me how important they are to God
  • creating more memories/ experiences for my kids

What is it that you need to focus on?

By the way, I hope Brady is drafted by the Bears in a last minute trade. It's only 4 months until the first ND game!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Practice game

We had a practice game on Tuesday night. I was pleasantly surprised with how we played. The guys were a little more aggressive at the plate than they haev been and we didn't make any major snafus on defense. We do have a ways to go but I need to be reminded that they are doing some pretty good things. It's is real easy as a coach to only look at the things that need imporovemnt and not gove praise where it is due. Baseball is fun, kids are fun, haveing an opportunity to create relationships with people is important. Focus the key. Opening Day is Saturday; hope my perspective remains in tact when they count for real...

FPU Week 11

Only two more lessons left. It has been a fun and rewarding group so far. This week's lesson was about Careers and Extra Jobs. Too many of us assume that we will never have to look for another job. We are comfortable where we are, we don't like change. Time for a reality check! The real world stats indicate that many of us will have 18 jobs in our lifetime. The hard fact is that as long as you are some one's employee you could show up in the morning and find out that your job no longer exists. This lesson gives great advice on how to approach the world of getting a job. Dave also talks about the possibility that for a period of time in our lives we may need to explore the possibility of an extra job. Not as a way of life, but as a temporary way to boost your income to pay off debt or save for something special. Great resources in this lesson!!
Almost everyone made it to class. I suppose we should extend an excused absence to they guy who had an emergency appendectomy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's OK to ask God what He's up to!

If you are like me you often have that question amidst life's daily grind. We struggle to see how He could possibly be working things out for the good of those who love Him. Why does He continue to allow those who are in the wrong to prevail? Why are lives cut short? Why does that dream I have of great service to the Kingdom never seem to get off the ground? What is that next element of discipleship that He wants me to take ownership of? This post is not an answer to these questions. It is just to say that it is alright to ask. We may not get an answer we like or never an answer; but it's OK to question things. Salvation Army Capt. Andrew Clark from England posted about this on his blog. This is what he said:

We need to ask the question, Holy Spirit, what are you saying, what are you doing. All the time, this is intimacy. We want to be asking between 3 and 5 times a day. Quieten ourselves on this inside...we'll hear. This will take discipline. We're self-absorbed...we must slow that storm down to hear the still small voice. To slow ourselves down to hear the Lord is a pain, we don't want to do it. That's why he has to tell us to desire spiritual gifts in the context of 1 Cor 14...its about taking the time to love the Lord. To cultivate that relationship of intimacy. When is the last time you asked the Holy Spirit 5 times in day what he is saying or doing? We need to have a lifestyle that asks that question.

God is doing some really cool things in my world right now. There are also some things that have me scratching my noggin. I am thankful that I can freely ask for understanding. And with that, boldly act as I walk in step with Him.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Books #8 and #9 -- Official Little League Rulebooks

Combining two into one post here. I am fininshing my annual reading of the LL rulebook. I am also re4ading the softball book this year because I will likely (hopefully) get the opportunity to be more involved with my daughter's games.

Although short I am surpriaed by the number of people who think that they know the rules but have never even picked up the book, let alone actually read it. Kind of a pet peeve of mine I guess. Every coach, manager, umpire, parent, and just about everyone else should read this book. We could save a TON of time if people did this.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thoughts?... anyone? Seminary President reposnds to VT

What follows is an excerpt from this blog posting. Take the time to read the comments as well. Defiantly thought provoking. What think ye?

“Now if you’re a male student, will you just lift your hand for a moment so I can see you? Thank you for that commitment. God forbid that anything happen like this here, but each of you that just raised your hand said, ‘Never be more than two or three shots before I’m on him. Doesn’t matter how many of us he takes out. ‘ See, all you had to do was have six or eight rush him right at that time, and thirty-two people wouldn’t have died. Now folks, let’s make up our minds. I know we live in America where nobody gets involved in anybody else’s situation. That shall not be the rule here. Does everybody understand? You say, well I may be shot. Well, yeah, you may. Are you saved? You’re going to heaven. You know, it’s better than earth . . . Now one more time, how many male students are there? I’m counting on you.”

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Benny Hinn: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!

so wrong but funny on so many levels

Prince Caspian Underway

The production of the next installment from Narnia is underway. A production blog has been started. Here's hoping that they keep it up to date.

EDIT: I had to take the video down because it played automatically EVERY time you came to the site. VERY ANNOYING, I;m sorry... Anywho... if you want to check out the production blog go HERE.

It's All About Me

insert self imposed conviction here...

Jack Bauer teaches Discipleship

I should probably write these for myself more often. Seems like I am constantly being reminded of the spiritual journey as I watch the adventures of Jack Bauer. This past Monday's episode brought a clear discipleship lesson to mind. It all ties back to Philippians 1:21. While I am keenly aware that Jack is far from a fruit bearing Christ follower, he stands for something greater than himself and realizes that his personal comforts, even his life are not of a greater value than his cause. What if we were to live like this practically? We are often consumed by what we need to do in order to have things as we would like them here in this lifetime. I am reminded of the scene in Gods and Generals when Stonewall Jackson is asked why he show no regard for his life or fear during the battle and he replies that he understands that God has appointed the number of days for each of us and nothing he could do would change that. If it is his day to die, then he will, no matter what he does. Because this principal in in play for Jack Bauer, he is free to live and act as a man who is already dead. Therefore he has nothing to lose. The famous missionary Jim Elliot said that "he is no fool who gives up something he cannot keep for something he cannot lose". If I have become dead to my sins and transgressions then I can understand and respond to the call that "to live is Christ, to die is gain". Sin and death no longer have power or a claim on me; I am free to live my life with an abandonment to God's will. How will Jack save Audrey? Only time will tell. I am thankful that even in a TV story God can make His truths clear. One last thought; we often equate living the Christian life as a sacrifice. Is it really a sacrifice if what we gain in return is FAR greater than anything we could ever give?

Game of the Week - Pacman

Going old school this week with Pacman. This version even carries the original music and sounds.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

FPU Week 10 -- Real Estate & Mortgages

Understanding how real estate deals and mortgages is vital to winning at the game of finances. This is another area that we need to destroy some myths that have us beilieving that we wil always have payments. If you want to keep from being normal; do something weird. Here are a few suggestions from the lesson:

  1. Consider the 100% down plan for your home!

  2. No more than a 15 yr mortgage; if you have a 30 at good rate, pay it like a 30

  3. when buying learn to look past the cosmetic flaws and get a deal (you can replace that shag carpect and avacado oven if you get a deal on the home.)

  4. NEVER, EVER get a loan that involves an ARM (you better know what that is as well)

  5. hiring a GOOD realator is usually worth more than the money they cost

Day off blog

this is late but I need to keep my personal accountability for noting how I used my day off. This week it was Sunday night, which many times makes my busy Mondays go easier but often does not lend itself to a relaxing day off. I also work all 7 days this week. Next day off is next Monday night.
  • worship team practice
  • taught SS
  • graphics for worship
  • lunch with Micki and Bethany -- boys were elsewhere
  • nap - it was a good one
  • watched the end of the race -- Jimmie finished 37th :(
  • hung out at home and read, a little time on the internet and had a pretty important talk with one of the boys about life stuff
  • Monday AM let kids sleep in and took them to school -- this is cool for all of us
  • worked at church office
  • cleaned out the van/ did some yardwork
  • baseball practice
  • taught FPU week 10
  • watched 24
  • back to the work grind

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Even in our weakness

Been mulling this for a couple days now. We often are told how great it is that God has chosen to use us to work out His will and plan. Which is true and which is cool. But I wonder how often it is that God works His plan in spite of us. When He does, it's pretty amazing to watch. Sunday's services were an example, at least from my perspective. Crunch time comes often as schedules fill up; this weekend was major league in that area. This led to a middle of the night session to complete the graphics for worship accompanied by attempts to download some software to assist burning a DVD file. This led into a harried start to a worship team practice that never seemed to quite click. After having previewed about 10 minutes of the DVD I burned and deeming it good I showed it in SS only to have it crash with about 10 minutes left. But God showed up! I finished the lesson from the notes and we had more time than planned for discussion which was definitely needed. I actually had to shut things down because worship was about to begin. If only people would engage in SS that well every week. We went to the sanctuary where the bulk of the service just never seemed to flow. Then Bud preached and God showed up again in a powerful challenge for us to get out of our comfort zones and seek out what it is that God wants us to be doing. You can read about that HERE. My point is that even through distraction, unpreparedness, Satan's opposition, and just a messed up day; God does His thing. That's why I'm glad that I get to be a part. I know that my job is faithfulness and at least putting forth an effort (see the Parable of the Talents for what happens to the servant who does nothing) and God will accomplish His will.

Is it really Sunday already?

Man the week can get away from you in a hurry. I just looked and couldn;t believe it had been that long since I had last posted. It's not like I've been sleeping the time away, that's for sure. Here are the highlights (that's probably too big a term) from my last several days:
  • Taxes: I finished our state taxes . Never waited this long before, never again. Also got my parents' done for them on Thursday. Scratch one off the to do list...
  • After a vacation week working 6 days at my "real job" seems to be taking it's toll
  • Home repair: I am no good at drywall stuff and my patch projects are not coming along as well as I had hoped
  • A promised 30-45 minute meeting at the Little League on Thursday evening turned into almost 2 hours... promises, promises.
  • I got to eat dinner with my wife and two of our kids here Friday evening. This does not happen enough. And I get the awful feeling that it is only going to become more rare. I already ranted this week about my boys growing up too fast.
  • Can I just say Walmart is carzy busy on a Friday evening.
  • We got to practice as a baseball team for the first time in two weeks. Looks like almost alle the other teams called off because it was barely 40 degrees. I'm glad we did it. Small progress was made. 11 of 12 kids showed up. I don;t know yet how many games we will win this year but at least my guys seem to love the game.
  • We had a funeral/ memorial service for my uncle Saturday afternoon. (more on this in a later post) Good to see family.
  • Perry Noble made 2 killer posts this week. Read them here and here
  • I am excited about where we are going at CRMC in the area of dicipleship; plenty more to come on this in coming days/ weeks
  • A friend has just recently started blogging. You should check it out.
  • I am excited about church in the morning. I hope we are ready to listen to what God is trying to tell us right now.
  • Nascar is at Texas this week. Three words: GO JIMMIE GO
  • my fantasy baseball team is finally starting to hit the ball. Hope I'm not too far behind already.

Now back to your regular programming...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring Break getaway pics...

I never followed up with the propmised photos from our getaway to the Great Wolf Lodge. Here are a few. You want a place with plenty of water, 84 constatnt degrees year round, a 1000 gallons of water that can dump on your head every fw minutes, and worn our kids who don't say "I'm bored", this is a great place!

You know you're getting old when...

We have all heard and/ or said that line numerous times. Tonight I had one of those moments that serve to confirm the obvious. I dropped my boys off for Youth Group.
All 6th grader were invited for the first part of the youth service tonight. Yup, my boys will be teens later this summer and sending them to youth group only confirms my oldness. I talked with another dad who had brought his daughter and was in the same boat. Where does the time go? Why does it seem harder and harder to let go, even a little? Times like this force me to remember that almost 13 years ago my wife and I stood in front of the church and gave them over to God. We are just caretakers to help them on their journey. Nostalgia and a splash of reality... has anyone seen my cane????

When doing your taxes is a blessing

OK, our Federal taxes were done long ago, the return deposited into our account. After the preliminary figuring of our state taxes we discovered that we would owe a fairly significant chunk. So procrastination set in. The money ws set aside in our savings to pay it but who wants to sent the government money absolutely before you have to? Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and figured them to be sent. Only this time I realized that on the original run through we failed to take the additional exemptions for our kids (Insert V8 slap to head here). In the end we found out that not only do we NOT owe the state, they owe us! To the tune of enough money to nearly refill our emergency fund. We can not readjust our current money strategy back to debt reduction. Had we just taken the first numbers at face value and cut a check to the state we would have made a negative swing in our finances of roughly $600; YIKES. The moral to the story?

  1. Always double check your work! This goes for taxes, math homework, spell-checking and almost everything we do in life.
  2. Procrastination will cost you. Was that refund money mine all the time? You betcha. I unfortunately have to wait another 10-14 days to get my hands on it.

I hope those of you who have yet to get your taxes filed find a pleasant surprise at the end of your work as well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Game of the Week-- Extreme Luge Canyon

How far can you guide the street luger down the mountain before he goes splat?


Book #7-- The Mental Game of Baseball by HA Dorfman

As I stated in an earlier post, I really enjoy the mental part of sports. Baseball is a thinking man;s game. The Mental Game of Baseball dives into this part of the game. By using stories, examples, and providing practical steps/ lists the book enables the reader to be a better thinker on the field.
I rushed/ skimmed my way through this book because it was due quickly at the library and I found my self covering sections of the book without really absorbing any new information. This was my problem, not the book. It is well written and is a useful guide for a ballplayer or coach. I'll probably invest in my own copy at some point so I can use it as a reference.

Book #6 Wrestling Tough by Mike Chapman

Time to get caught up on my books for 2007. My overall reading has not slowed but has diversified greatly. Apart from some articles and such I have been in a terrible form of reading a good portion of a book, starting another, reading some more, and not quite finishing. I'm not sure what the current count of "in progress" books is but I definitely need to institute a no new books rule until I finish a few of these. Anyway, on to the book at hand.

I picked up Wrestling Tough because I love the sport and had not read a good book on it in a long time. I also enjoy the mental part of sports. This is the area that I feel separates the good from the great athletes. No sport requires as much mental toughness as wrestling.
The pleasant surprise that I found in this book is that it is not only a great book for wrestlers, coaches, or parents of wrestlers. The concepts within can be translated to all sports and arenas of life. The authors draw example from many great athletes, nit exclusively wrestlers. This is a must have book if you are a wrestler, coach, or wrestling parent. It is a book you should look into if you want some ideas on mental and physical toughness to get through life. Definitely well worth the time to read. BONUS: It's an easy to read book!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

God is the Gospel - Conclusion

I just realized that I failed to post the notes from the final chapter...
  • God’s highest act of love is giving us himself to love.
  • Oh, how many there are for whom heaven represents merely the absence of
    pain and the presence of eternal happiness! But now comes the absolutely
    decisive question: Is this happiness in God himself or in the
    gifts of heaven?
  • the Christian gospel is not merely that Jesus died and rose again; and not merely that these events appease God’s wrath, forgive sin, and justify sinners; and not merely
    that this redemption gets us out of hell and into heaven; but that
    they bring us to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ as our
    supreme, all-satisfying, and everlasting treasure.
  • the power of the gospel to transform us into radically loving
    people lies not only in our being forgiven and our being counted
    righteous, but also in our seeing and savoring the glory of Christ
    in the gospel.
  • We will remember that the god of this world wants to blind our minds from seeing
    the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4).

FPU Week 9 -- Caveat Emptor

The Buyer Beware lesson is powerful. Once you realize how things are marketed to you and the mental and physiological responses you have to these presentations, you are empowered to make better consumer choices. Taking away "impulse"purchases is a sure way to help you win financially.

I am proud to see that our group is "getting it". The concepts are hitiing their mark and every week stories are shared of how the tools are being applied to their families' lives. Fininacial freedom allows us to make decisions in the light if what we know we should do rather than always fighting the little financial fires that pop up around us.

4 lessons left in this class, I;m hopeful to offer the course in the fall or winter small group semester again. More finaincially free families in the church = a much healthier body!!!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Game time in Wrigley

I was just listening to the radio and you really know that it's baseball time for the Cubs when you hear this guy singing the National Anthem. Thanks to Wayne Messmer for making it sound like baseball, even if it's cold outside.

Saturday, April 7, 2007


I was wondering what some of your Easter traditions are? Corsage for mom? Ham and taters at grandma's? Family egg hunt? Real eggs or plastic candy filled ones? You get the jist. I think that these are great as long as they are a part of the equation. I have really begun to focus that I myself need to lead they way in helping my family collect memories. See the Lion Chasers Manifesto. Creating memories to look back on is important, what they memories point us to is the key. As long as the memories we creatre in the end point us to the One who makes all these things and more possible, I'm in! Thoughts?

Friday, April 6, 2007


Back in the land of the living, and working CPU's! My laptop is dead and I have limited abilities with my Pocket PC so posting has been nearly impossible. We had a great time, hope to post some pics later this weekend. Hope everyone has a blessed Easter weekend.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

FPU -- Week 8

Week 8 (Retirment and college planning) is in the books. We ahd a few missing but those that were in attendance really seemed to connect with the message. Many times the thought of saving for retyirement and college funds is mind boggling when you cant seem to find out there is too much month at the end of your money. The key is HOPE. You must believe that you will not live in the land of perpetual debt and payments forever. I have gone through this lesson 3 times now and it has never resonated more than this one.

Has your hope been stolen by the lie that you will always live with debt/ payments?
Do you systematically save anything monthly for your retirement?
If so, do you understand how those investments work and where they go from your pay?
Do you think that this is too lofty a goal?

Maybe it's time for you to take a serious look at your financial picture and go to Financial Peace University

1 Day does not a season make

I try and tell myself that but after one day of Fantasy baseball my team is down 8-0. Come on guys, thats pitiful. To make matters worse I made ajudgement call on an outfielder and it bombed. The guy I put in sat the pine while the guy onmy bench went 1/3 with a walk and 2 stolen bases. Makes me feel like the accomanying pic. Thats why fantasy is s o fun... or not ... insert grumbling and teeth gnashing here.

Monday, April 2, 2007


  • being on vacation is kinda weird. I can't remember the last time I was off for a whol;e week and didn't have a specific mission (camp, conference, etc.)
  • Living in the midwest is goofy. It's 74 here today. Snow coming Wednesday ...
  • I hope everyone shows up for FPU tonight
  • I am excited that we are taking a couple days just as a family to get away on Wednesday and Thursday. We are going HERE
  • Although I'm not particularly partial to either team I will be rooting for Florida tonight
  • The MLB season has begun. Baseball is great; to play, in person, on the radio, on TV, you name it
  • Easter seems really early this year. kinda like daylight savings time... don't get me started
  • kids will always surprise you will the funniest or coolest things
  • don't know how much blogging I'll do this week. My guess is either next to none or a whole bunch. It is supposed to snow.

Sunday, April 1, 2007