Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rafting

I love to white water raft! It is an absolute blast. The Deschutes river is a really good one for newbies and more advanced rafters. There is class 3s and a 4. I have been guiding for the last 11 summers. I usually guide 4-5 times a summer. Our church (different groups from it), friends, family, other youth ministries. Today I guided for the roots group. We had a blast.

We only lost a few here and there and did some cool debriefing during lunch. We talked about leadership and what we learned from the different things we participated while rafting. Great stuff brought up there.

We hiked up White River and did the natural water slides. Then floated down the river back to the raft. I have a pretty good bruise on my shoulder and a good sunburn on my arms and feet. I sure am itchy already.


Maupin, here we come.


Oars Unite...river, here we come.


Train to our starboard bow.


Lunch time.




River jumping.



7 of us cram into the Jeep.


Mt. Hood is amazing!


I love lawn art.


Good Night

Friday, July 25, 2008

Motorcycle Culture


I have found there to be an interesting culture in the motorcycle world. I have been riding for over 13 years and since the day I started riding I discovered an interesting phenomenon. First, there are 3 clear riding groups. There are the speed bikes (crotch rockets); cruisers and Harleys. There are also dirt bikes, low riders and touring, but these are the main ones. I ride a cruiser. It's a 1982 Suzuki GS450. It's a great bike and I have really enjoyed it.

It did sit for a few years in my move and then when my friend Randy took it to do some work on it, including a waiting period for me to save money for some parts. I got it back this summer and am riding again...finally! So good.

The other thing I discovered as a "rider" is that it doesn't matter what you ride, there is always the drop-the-hand-down-two-fingered-wave whenever 2 riders pass each other. This ALWAYS happens. I love that. There is a "brotherhood" with all bikers and there is something about belonging, even if you never meet each other.

This pic is of my bike with some things strapped to the back I had to pick up at GFU today. Great day for a ride!

UPDATE:
Clearly the scooters are part of their own world. Occasionally I will give a semi-wave to a scooter rider (Josh shout out)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Roots


I am currently sitting at Mosaic Church and doing "training"with our Roots students. There are 5 of them and they are really cool. Roots is a discipleship training "school" of sorts. They spend 3 months in community where they learn and serve and live together. It is a great concept. After that they go overseas and work with missionaries. There they will serve the communities that the missionaries serve. All designed to give them opportunities to see if this is a possible future for them.

I am taking them through the timeline of their lives. We are looking at places and experiences that have shaped them, people who have influenced them, gifts and abilities, places of pain, where their heart is drawn most to God and their dreams and passions. I am excited about this.

Next week I will take them rafting and do some team building exercises and then teach on how to put together a message the next day after that. This is a great group of students and I am really excited for them to be on this journey at this point in their lives.

Check out more info what this is all about at rootscma.org.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Street Party

Last weekend we decided to have our 2nd annual street party. We are actually having another one in August on National Street Night Out day, or whatever it's called. We like our neighbors so we decided once was not enough.

We got the BBQ out and had brats and other yummy dishes everyone shared. The kids decided that they would put on a play for us again and as is usual, we laughed very hard. They are hilarious. Then Kynzi sang Mr. Mom for us. Will she become an actor? I don't know. (side note, Karston told me he wants to be a youth pastor and do what I do when he grows up...how AWEsome is that?! Not bad since he has wanted to be a maker [McDonald's french fry maker], a race car driver and a Red Sox player for so long)

We also made s'mores in our little city approved outdoor fire place.

Here are a few pics from that fun night.





Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Youth Quake



We are smack dab in the middle of Youth Quake. It's our middle school service project camp that we run for our district. We have around 15 churches or so represented here with almost 200 students and leaders.

The whole concept of this camp is to help middle school students learn how to serve God by serving others. The basis of this comes straight out of the Bible. Check out this passage from Matthew 25 in the New Testament. It is a record of Jesus speaking. He basically says that whenever we care for someone else, it is like we are caring for Him. Amazing! When we give a hungry person some food, it is like we are giving food to Jesus. I love that!

These middle school students are tearing it apart. They are serving like crazy and I am just amazed. Our service projects include the following: working with the elderly at care centers; doing absolutely free car washes; working in community gardens with the area food shelters; making, serving and eating lunch with the homeless. There are a bunch more things and they are so cool.

Tomorrow we will be putting on a carnival at Grant Community School for kids of all ages. Every church will be running several different booths. There will be face painting, balloon popping, bean bag tosses and a bunch more. Of course there will be free cotton candy and sno-cones. yummm.

The evenings are filled with fun and serious times. We did the amazing race yesterday and it was so much fun. There was a dunk tank and there was getting into frozen clothes and slip and slides and launching of those marshmallow snoballs, just to name a few things. We went to a park with water fountains to play in and had a huge soccer game and enjoyed some amazing BBQ chicken.

The serious stuff is our evening sessions. We have 5 sessions and 4 speakers. I get to speak twice and then Kyle, Jessica and Michelle each get to speak. We also had some special guests from China share with us tonight too. I also have the great privilege of leading worship. There truly is nothing like leading 200 middle schoolers in song about God and to God when they have spent the day serving others. I can't believe I get to do what I do. What a true privilege.

I will toss some pics up soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

CC Deville from Poison...new life?

My friend Rochelle sent me this info. I loved Poison when I was growing up (the band, not the "drink?"). My favorite song was "Give Me Something to Believe In." They were the epitome of 80s big hair bands. "Play it CC" was heard in many of the songs. He is their guitar player.

It turns out his life has been changed. How cool is that. I look forward to hearing more about this. I hope he is not eaten up by the "Christian world" and forced into being on TBN and all that. I think there are a lot of famous people who become Christians and they don't know what to do with the struggle of their new found faith and their fame. Pray for CC and the rest of the band. They are hot again, especially with Rock of Love with Brett Michaels and him being on that singing show with Wayne Brady (pretty funny).

Check out this video from his "official pastor."


Guitar Hero from Pete Wilson on Vimeo.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fire and Explosions

I walked outside this morning to mow the lawn and I saw a huge plume of black smoke! It is Karston's birthday today so I told him to hop in the car and we would go eploring together. It was a nursery down the road about. It's out in "farm country" and away from homes, but it was HUGE!

We got over there and the smoke was dark black and so thick. It was gushing out. I run and ride my bike back here and usually I will see 2-5 cars the entire time I am out there. We saw over 50 cars filled with gawkers just like us.

We could feel the impact of several explosions while we were there. Turns out there were propane tanks a motor home and other things out in a storage shed. There were 7 different fire districts that came in. "Crews from Marion County Fire District 1, Keizer, Woodburn, Salem, St. Paul, Silverton and Southwest Polk County reported to the scene." They used over 32,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze. You can read the rest of the article in the Keizer Times.

Check out these crazy pics!




Monday, July 07, 2008

My Half Marathon Official Pic

Today I went over to finishshots.com and checked out the pics of me and others that I ran with in the marathon. Here are a few of those:
Casey Boda
Steve Unwin (my running twin)
John Stumbo (my Sr. Pastor)
Annie Dudley
Robb Childs
Paul Diaz
Patrick Kelley (classic patrick pics...man he is fast!)
Then there is me...
Erik w/a "k"?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ridiculous Tickets and Hiking





Today we went to the Home Depot for the kids club they do on the first Saturday of every month. The kids built bird houses. It's always fun to go there and the Unwin's joined us. They asked if we wanted to join them at Silver Creek Falls, so we headed out for a picnic and a hike. After we picnicked at south falls they wanted to go up to the Winter falls and hike several of the falls there.

There was no parking available, but some guy pulled out and Jeanne-Ann held the spot for the Unwin's and we parked along the edge of the parking lot/road where other cars park all the time. (do you see where this is going?)



Then we began our hike. It had rained so there was plenty of mud to get all over us and we discovered Salmonberries. My deduction is that they call them that because of their color, not their taste. They are a little bitter and sweet at the same time. Not my favorite, but I tried something new, so that was cool.

We started to head back and got to the cars (lots of mud all over the children and our feet). When I got to the car there was a yellow ticket sitting there which was so "lovingly" given to me by Sheriff Robinson. He wrote that I had violated rule 811.555.

Here is what I found on this rule "810.425 Procedure in certain parking cases. (1) In all prosecutions of the owner of a vehicle for violation of ORS 811.555 (1)(b), 811.570 (1)(b), 811.575 (1)(b) and 811.585 (1)(b), or an applicable ordinance, it shall be sufficient for a police officer to charge the defendant by an unsworn written notice if the notice clearly states:
(a) The date, place and nature of the charge.
(b) The time and place for defendant’s appearance in court.
(c) The name of the issuing officer.
(d) The license number of the vehicle.
(2) The notice provided for in subsection (1) of this section shall either be delivered to the defendant or placed in a conspicuous place upon the vehicle involved in the violation. A duplicate original of the notice shall serve as the complaint in the case when it is filed with the court. In all other respects the procedure otherwise provided by law in such cases shall be followed. Notwithstanding ORS 153.042, the issuing officer need not have observed the act of parking, but need only have observed that the vehicle appeared to be parked in violation of ORS 811.555 (1)(b), 811.570 (1)(b), 811.575 (1)(b) and 811.585 (1)(b), or an applicable ordinance.
(3) A circuit court and a justice court have concurrent jurisdiction over parking offenses committed within the county.
(4) This section does not apply to prosecutions under city ordinances but ORS 221.333 shall apply to such prosecutions. [1987 c.687 §2; 1995 c.658 §116; 1999 c.1051 §89a]

810.430 Movement of illegally parked vehicles. A police officer who finds a vehicle parked or standing upon a highway in violation of ORS 811.555 or 811.570 may move the vehicle, cause it to be moved or require the driver or person in charge of the vehicle to move it. The authority to move vehicles under this section is in addition to any authority under ORS 819.110 and 819.120. [1983 c.338 §402; 1995 c.758 §6]"

My favorite line from this..."the issuing officer need not have observed the act of parking, but need only have observed that the vehicle appeared to be parked in violation of ORS 811.555." I think it's fun that they only need to observe that a vehicle appeared to be parked in violation. So it is totally subjective. What I say really doesn't matter.

Now, we did not see any signs until we left that area that said no parking on the shoulders. I realize that I should know ALL the Oregon laws by now, I mean after all, I have lived here 11 1/2 years! We were only partially on the shoulder and partially in the edge of the parking lot. Lame!

Did I mention the ticket is for ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE DOLLARS!?!?!?!!? Seriously? That's what we are charging? That's what you are spending your day doing? Too bad you weren't there to stop the guy who crashed his car into our church yesterday because he was intoxicated. Imagine if you spent time trying to stop people who are actually breaking valid laws and potentially hurting people and not spending so much time just driving up and down an area that is used that way ALL the time and just fattening your county checks!

There, I have dumped it on you blogosphere. I am sorry you have to take the weight of my frustration, but you are the only one who listens and I don't have to make a long apology to later. We have a court date, Jeanne-Ann said she would go, we will surely get it reduced. Seriously...$145 for an alleged parking violation? Ridiculous!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Live Love

I just sat down with my friend Paul Gunther Jr. He was sharing his story of a new ministry that he has started called Live Love. Basically, he is working with villages in Africa and is getting people to raise money for different projects including nets to protect from mosquitoes carrying malaria to building wells for drinking water in villages.

He says, why can't we do it? He has a goal of raising enough money to buy 1.4 million nets, which is 10% of the population in Malawi. I think this is incredible! I love his dream. Here is an excerpt from the web site What is Live Love.

"What Can Be Done?
Malaria is both a preventable and treatable disease. One way it can be prevented is by giving families and individuals insecticide-treated bed nets to sleep under. Malaria has been brought under control and even eliminated in many parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Yet in Africa, with increasing drug resistance and struggling health systems, malaria infections have actually increased during the last three decades.

Despite the magnitude of the problem, there is a simple and cost-effective solution to prevent malaria deaths. For just $8, we can purchase a bed net, deliver it to a family, and explain its use. A family of four can sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net, safe from malaria, for up to four years. The benefits of bed nets extend even further than the family. When enough nets are used, the insecticide used to deter mosquitoes makes entire communities safer—even for those individuals who do not have nets. Although $8 for a bed net may not sound like much, the cost makes them out of reach for most people at risk of malaria, many of whom survive on less than $1 a day. Nets are a simple, life-saving solution, but we need your help to provide them to those in need."

Maybe this is something you want to check out. He is so willing to talk with people about it and what people can do. There is way more to it than what I am talking about here. He does school assemblies, church speaking functions, etc. He dreams of communities having LiveLove days all over.

Check out the website (although he says it's gonna be redone in the next week or so) and hit him up with an email.

Who knows what could happen?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Hitchhikers & Hot Air Balloons

video
This morning, after crewing for our hot air balloon, I headed to work. I had to get gas so I pulled into the pilot station and saw a guy at the corner with a "Seattle" cardboard sign and a big, happy smile on his face. I thought, "I'm picking that guy up if he is still there when I am done getting gas." Sure enough, he was there. I said, I can only take you 20 minutes up the road, but there are more cars getting on there.

Quentin jumped in and he began to tell me his story. He is from France, but has grown tired of the politics there so he left. He moved to Montreal and then decided to go on a 3 month trip. He hitchhiked to Mexico and then hitchhiked all over Mexico. He has only paid for 2 nights in a hotel or hostel. People have either taken him in or he has worked for a room or he has camped out under the stars.

He asked me what I did and I began to share. We got to the exit and I offered to buy Starbucks (yes, I know, he is from France and they have very cool little bistros for coffee, but he said he liked Starbucks). He then began to share his spiritual journey with me. I did the same. It was really cool. He has some interesting thoughts, but I was clear in what I believed and showed him love. We had a great conversation and then I sent him off with a Starbucks gift card and prayed for him.

I don't usually do that, but today I felt like it was the right thing to do. I think we were both blessed.

Thanx Quentin!
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