Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yes, I am back

It has been very quiet on my blog for the last 2 weeks. Sorry. I have been knee deep in homework for a class I am taking called Spiritual Leadership Foundations. (I am currently working on my masters). I am loving this class. I am reading some amazing books. The problem is I am reading a LOT and having to write critical essays, which is WAY more than just a book report. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed honestly. So I have not felt like I have had time to blog or thought that was the best use of my time. School is also back in session for the rest of my family and it is football season for my son. That takes up TONS of time!

I have just a bit over 1 week left and have a 10 page paper due at the end of it all. I have to write a Bible study on the book of Nehemiah. Do you know a lot about that book? Yeah, me neither, but I am about too. Well, I have been reading through it and listening to it on my way to work every day. So, I have no idea how much time I will be on between now and then end, but I am not done blogging. That is for sure. The 40 Days of Blogging "experiment" was a great one for me. I loved it! I love blogging. I love writing. So, I will be on and off.

What is taking up much of your time these days?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Me and 35 Women??

My good friend Bex has blogged a few times about one of her favorite authors, Shauna Niequist. She has written two books, Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. After Bex blogged about Bittersweet I decided to pick it up and have a peek. There was some struggle stuff in the first few chapters and I was feeling like I could not relate at all. Then I had 3 days in a row that went pretty rough. The last one of them was finding out my friend Lorelei had passed away. Suddenly these words Shauna had written connected with me.

Fast forward to today. Bex, through her crazy magic connections, was able to host Shauna at her home. I had no idea how many people would end up showing up, but I planned to go. Mostly I wanted to support Bex, but I also thought it would be cool to hear this woman who has a really good way with words. Half way there I got a text from Josh saying that it was ALL women and about 35 of them. He was hiding upstairs in his room. I decided to turn around and head home. It would just be too weird.

I pulled into the driveway and looked in my passenger seat. There, looking sad as if I had completely forgotten them, were 8 paper bags that were supposed to be dropped off at the church. Ugh. As it turns out, I had to drive all the way back. On my way there I decided I would sneak in the back door of their house and listen in on what was going on. To my happiness, the back door was open and I walked in. I could hear all the ladies chattering and laughing. Then I saw this spread.

I think I realized the true reason I came over! Look at this. Way to go Bex!!! Haha. I did enjoy some dessert and some good for you snacks as well. Then I sat there and listened from around the corner.

Bex was telling the story of how she had connected with Shauna and then it was Shauna's turn to share. She read a little and then took questions. I kept tiptoeing my way a little closer so I could hear better. I finally got around the corner and moved my arm far enough to catch this picture.

After listening some more I decided it was time to ask a couple of questions. So I popped my head around the corner and asked how her husband Aaron did with all of her traveling and then followed up with asking what her favorite iPad app was. There was some "gasps" at the sound of the male voice behind the wall and some laughter. All in all it was a good time and I was glad I popped in for a while. I headed home early so I could put my kids to bed. Thanx Bex for putting that all together. Great job!

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book? Me? I really love Ted Dekker and I love Bill Hybels' Just Walk Across the Room.

Addendum: Turns out it was an invitation for girls only party. Oops. There must be a movie about guys who do stuff like crashing parties and stuff. ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cheerleader Gets Kicked Off Squad Because of Lyrical Complaints

I saw this interview and was shocked! A 6 year old girl had to cheer the words "Our back aches, our skirts are too tight, we shake our booties from left to right." These are little girls. Are you kidding me? So the mom complained and 100% of the rest of the parents voted to kick her daughter off the cheer squad! What in the world is wrong with these parents? I don't care if you have God in your life or not, this is NOT OK!

I have a daughter. I know I may be a bit on the conservative side when it comes to my kids. Sue me. But this is out of control. I would vote to kick off ALL of the OTHER parents! Keep the kids, but dump the parents. It just makes my heart sad when there seems to be no moral ground held by most people anymore. I know that I may offend some of you when I say this, so feel free to speak your mind, but it is my blog after all. Anyhow, it drives me crazy when I go to see a PG-13 movie and parents are bringing their 6 year old kids to it. It hardly matters what the subject content is about, there is a reason that there is a rating that says if they are under 13 they need parental guidance. But seriously, I feel like there are so many parents who could use some guidance.

In our house we continue to have conversations about what our kids can watch and listen to and view online. As they get older we allow a broader scope of things for them. That is natural. My kids no longer LOVE Dora the Explorer and Bob the Builder. That is the nature of progression in life. But I am also not taking them to see Inception. It's too intense for them. I loved the movie, but my kids aren't ready for that. And don't tell me that the parents had to take their kids because all their friends were going. BE A PARENT!!! Parent your kids. Grow up.

OK, I did not know this is where I would go when I started this. I don't like to rant so much. So I will end it here with a final thought. I will parent my kids the way I believe I should and I will try not to judge you for your parenting skills. Just don't bring crying babies into that Romantic Comedy that is rated PG-13 when I am having a date with my wife. Deal? Oh, and please don't vote to kick a 6 ear old girl of the cheering squad because you are ok with your daughter cheering raunchy lyrics. Thanx.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do you attend youth group?

I have been involved in youth ministry since 1993 full time and for 7 years before that working at camp in the summers and retreats. I love youth ministry! It is an amazing thing to be a part of. I get to see lives change! What a privilege it is to be a part of someone's life in this capacity. I have seen a lot of things. I have seen things that have brought me great joy. I have had my heart broken over others' poor choices. I have been surprised. I have been pranked. I have seen miracles. I have laughed a lot. I have gotten to play a lot. My brother says that I live in NeverNever Land.

Studies find that there are tons of benefits of attending a youth group. Knowing this, and after all of these years of seeing it happen, why does it still surprise me when a student who has been doing so well goes off and makes some really bad decisions and walks away from it all. I guess surprise may not be the right word. I don't know what the right word is. Whatever it is, it frustrates me.

Students are leaving the church. USA Today posted an article about it.When I see someone who has been so excited about church and youth group and Jesus up and walk away my heart breaks. I have cried many tears over that over the years. Is there anything I can do about it? I don't know. Ultimately we all have to make our own decisions. We have to live with our decisions. Some will be good and some will be bad. I would never want to force anyone to go to church and be part of something bigger than themselves, I just want others to see how great it can be.

I know some of you may have feel like the church has hurt you. Usually it's not the church but someone in the church who did the hurting.  It makes me wonder though...

What about you? Are you a teenager? Do you go to youth group? Why or why not? Adults, do you find church relevant or irrelevant?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Lighter Fare

If you read here regularly you know that there is a mix of mundane, fun, funny, sad, heart wrenching, etc. It's a hodge-podge of what my life is. The last few entries have been on the tearing up side. Water works have been a plenty. Some have complained that they soaked their keyboards and that Best Buy doesn't cover water damage. So, to help you, my bloggy friend, I am going to the lighter side for a post.

The following are some funny and interesting things I have seen recently that I think are worth a looksee.

Do you ever get frustrated with how fast people drive through your neighborhood? Call your friend who is really good at drawing.

I think this is me?

I want to build one of these rooms and do some fun videos. Wonder if anyone out there can do it for me?

OK, I have no idea how they did this. Trick photography? You tell me. It's pretty awesome though.

I LOVE the Amazing Race...can't wait to see it again. I would love to be on this show some day. It screams me. It's almost like they wrote the show for me, but I just haven't been on it yet.

Never celebrate too early! (I've been there)

There is a reason this video has over 137 million views. We all love to laugh. Try not to the whole way.

I love to fish. Wish I could fish like this! WOW!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Miracles!!!

A few weeks ago I wrote about how a normal day changed completely for a group of choir singers when Lenny Kravitz showed up and heard them singing his song. He joined them and played drums. Another ordinary day that totally changed happened to me.

Yesterday I went for a bike ride with my friends Brian and Steve. We hit our 10 mile loop and 30 minutes later Steve and I headed over to the Extreme Makeover Home Edition site. They were doing the big reveal and we wanted to be part of it. I got to be there on the first day and now I got to be there on the last day!

Let me hit you with the highlights...
Back up to last week.
I followed Bex's tweets as she and Josh "stalked" the Extreme Makeover bus around town.
I tweeted that I got to see the moment they told everyone what they were doing.
Bo from Rethink asked if I would do an interview with someone connected with the show.
I went and did an interview with Rich Duncan, the guy who was leading the construction.

Reveal day was coming. Meesh said she was going to volunteer on the final day at 6AM. I would not make it.
Back to the present.
Steve and I got to the site, but they wouldn't let us into the VIP section.
I called Shaney, who worked for the PR company and she took us to a section right behind the bus where all the stars were.
We waited
and waited
and waited
Over the course of the next 5 hours...
Rich Duncan and crew waited right in front of me.
Bill Austin, who heads up the Starkey Hearing Foundation, stood next to him.
They gave out over 400 hearing aids...the best money can buy.
He got interviewed, but it was a short interview from a local news station.
He still wanted to tell stories...Steve and I engaged in conversation with him.
Suddenly I had a moment where I realized God was prompting my heart...

...I told Bill of my friend Kara who is the wife of one of our worship pastors. She has 90% high frequency loss in her right ear and 10% in her left. I asked what his hearing aids could do for her. He said, "Bring her over and I will test her and take care of her."
I didn't know what "take care of her" meant, but I began to pray.
I called Kara.
They were headed out on a date.
I told her she needed to come over right away for a hearing test.

She didn't really want to...she wanted a quiet night with her husband.
Jeff convinced her.
Back up for a moment again...
She's had 2 hearing tests. One when she was little and one when Caleb was born.
1 1/2 years later Caleb stepped on her hearing aid and broke it.
He's 3 now.
Back to now...
They showed up.
I walked them over to Bill and then introduced them.
I left to go to Karston's football practice...I prayed with Steve in the car that she would receive a hearing aid.

An hour later Kara called and said we had to talk.
Often that is not good...but I prayed.
They showed up at practice.
Kara said, "A free hearing test?"
"Just a free hearing test?"
I am thinking, oh no...they charged them!?
"That's what I thought it was."
"You didn't know anything else?"
My turn...tears...

God is good. All glory to Him on this.

Want to read more? Check out Jeff and Kara's blog.

What have you seen God do lately? Or perhaps you want to answer this question? What do you want to see God do?

 I hung out with the Mayor of Salem. Poor thing had to stand behind us.
 Rob Zombie was on hand for helping make the Nightmare Factory even more scary.
 The whole team waiting for a busload of kids

 They just "moved that bus"

That's Bill Austin!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My sister and bro-in-law are expecting!

Nina and Wes have been on quite the journey. You can visit their blog and read more about it, but I will give you a few snippets of it. For five years they have been trying to have kids. The "trying" part includes the traditional kind and the adoption kind. They tried through the state of Kentucky and that didn't work; they tried to adopt from Nepal and that has been put on hold; and they tried to adopt from Ethiopia (ring a bell?).

Well, after 3 months and 2 weeks and 6 days they got a call. (the timeline is a little off because they have been on a list for Nepal and then they had to move to the Ethiopia waiting list) The crazy part was that they were only planning on one child. Nina had a dream they were getting twins and she told her agency, but they said they had never had twins through their agency. Well, they now told her she is the talk of the office because they found out they are getting twins! One boy and one girl. They are currently 2 1/2 months old and MAN are they beautiful! You can't see pics yet until it is all finalized, but I have released more than my fair share of liquid salt since the call came on Thursday.

You seriously just need to watch their video on their blog. Make sure you have some Kleenex or you may drench your couch like I did (true story).

They were about to go on a major fund raising blitz this week because the "extra" baby was going to require about $5500 more. Up until that point they were excited because they had all their foreign and agency fees ready to go and even a little for airfare for their first travel date. Well all that changed with baby number two, and they needed $3300 by the end of this week. Just as They were about to send out letters to everyone thy knew to raise the funds, an amazing person who wants to remain anonymous to the rest of us, told Wes and Nina they were sending a check for $3300 to cover the rest of their missing funds!

OK, I decided to post the video here. You can read more about their story on that last link.

Wanna hear about more miracles? Wait till tomorrow's post! (my eyes can't handle all of these tears)

I have to be myself

There is a good chance you have never heard of the artist B. Reith. He sings and raps and I absolutely LOVE his style. It is so intriguing to me. When I was growing up in the 80s it was clear that if you rapped, you did NOT sing. The most obvious example was when I heard "Oh baby you. You got what I need." STICK TO RAPPING! It was terrible, yet somehow very sticky in my head. Well, I love to sing and I love to rap. I have grand illusions of one day putting out an album and having several genres on it. I would not be a very "commercial" artist according to Simon Cowell, because I like so many different styles of music.

B.Reith "sticks it to the man" and does both...really well! He even has a song that deals with that exact topic. I even found this video where he talks about it. I love the line:

"So tired of trying to please everyone, a million different opinions
I'm just going to be myself whether they like it or not, I'm giving it all that I got"

I highly recommend picking up his album on his website.

I wonder. Is there something in you that wants to come out, but you keep it tucked inside because of other people's opinions?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A 7 year Dream comes to fruition

Tonight was the official opening to our broadway commons building. It's a part of our church where church, commerce and community come together. We have been planning for this day for 7 years!

First we had a great worship service, filled with music and video that was a look back on the last seven years, and the Word of God brought us by Steve Fowler.

When the service was done all 1100 of us went outside to a ribbon cutting ceremony.

We heard some inspiring words they cut the ribbon and then we walked inside for the grand tour of the new building. It has four floors including a beautiful prayer room that overlooks the city. We also got to see several of the meeting rooms which are filled with the best technology available. Karston was most excited to see the TV that comes out of the floor as the blinds come down and the lights dim.

They also had hot dogs and drinks and snacks and we got to hear Warren Barfield in concert in the Amphitheater.

There is also a medical clinic that is part of the Broadway Commons building that is free for the community. How cool is that?

Another dream Im excited to see come to fruition is going to Ethiopia and bringing my children home. Bex and I were talking after the ribbon cutting ceremony and commented on how awesome it will be to have so many children in our community who have a history of being born in Ethiopia. The day is coming when blended families are not such a strange sight to see. Perhaps for many that time is already here and I just don't see it. But now my heart is singing every time I see a family that looks similar to what my family would look like the very near future.

I love to dream. What do you dream about?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Favorite Tweets

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite tweets people have posted. They each have made me laugh out loud. PS, if you don't know what twitter is, look here.

prodigaljohn prodigaljohn I wish I felt as close to my neighbors as I do to people who flash their lights to warn me of a cop. That is community!
Bex Mann bexmann Turns out my t-shirt is ever so slightly see-thru. This would explain the "looks" I was getting at Target this afternoon. Fantastic.
AndyStanley AndyStanley Just helped G. trim his mohawk. My dad never did that for me.  
 Joshua Griffin joshuagriffin If I eat 11 of these Hostess Cupcakes I'll have 100% of my calcium for the day.
Vin Thomas vinthomas BREAKING NEWS: President Obama wins the Heisman Trophy after watching just two college football games! #fb (RT @racheldurban and others)
Ethan Suplee EthanSuplee When examining a despicable personality I am usually startled by how much we have in common.
MattReeve MattReeve I just got flipped off by a boy scout who was driving a minivan w/his Dad in Chaska, MN. Is there a badge for that? 
kurtjohnston kurtjohnston 
 Hmmm...beginning to question Obama's potential for change; the line n Starbucks was just as long as it always was. 
(written the day Obama was inaugurated)

Just plain cool:
@greggrunberg RT @erikwilliams: it's true about the nose hairs people. I got 2 of them for $30 off thanx to Yowza!
Rick Lawrence RickSkip Bought T-shirt to help #ErikWilliams in his adoption fund for Ethiopian girl-got it for Lucy's 12th b-day. Get one at 


Thursday, September 09, 2010

My Favorite iPhone Apps

I know there are lots of new friends who have recently joined the iPhone family or iPod touch family. I often get asked what my favorite apps are. I have LOTS, but I like to try things out and then decide whether I want to keep them or not. Some I keep because my kids like to use them, others because "you never know when you could use that." 

Games (paid)
Home Run Battle - the 3D experience alone is amazing! You play to win gold balls, which gets you the opportunity to "buy" different uniforms and bats. The better your outfit and bat the longer you can hit the ball. You can also match up against random opponents or people you know.
Angry Birds - lots of variety in game play, GREAT sounds, and tricky golden eggs (ultimate win).
Tiger Woods - great golf game!
Popper - this is a fun game. It's hard to describe. The sounds are almost worth it alone. Very satisfying. 

Sniper vs. Sniper - amazing first person shooter game. If you like that kind of thing. Play against others all over the world.
Frank Further - put a pig (or a vegetable for you vegetarians out there) in a chopper and then shoot a hotdog (or carrot) down the hallway. See how far you can get it to go.
Jelly Car (1 and 2) - drive your car through a jelly cartoon world. VERY fun and addicting!

Games (free)
Smiles Drop - Bejeweled-esque game. It's my favorite of all of them. The more yu swap before it counts up your points the more points you get.
Words with Friends - this is scrabble...basically, that you play turn by turn with your friends. There is the free version with ads, but it was worth it for me to upgrade. 
Invaders World Tour - remember Space Invaders on the Atari 2600? This takes that and steps it up!
Paper Toss - flick a crumpled piece of paper into a garbage can. There is a fan that blows it at varying degrees. Toss it way off in the office and listen to the sounds. Buy Paper Toss World Tour and get even more action!
Doodle Bowl - fun bowling app with very satisfying sounds (theme here? yes, I like my apps to sound good!)

Things - a great ToDo app!
Dragon Dictation - speak your texts and emails! This is great if it's illegal to drive and text. It's great even if that's not's dangerous!
AroundMe - search for any business and it will give you a map and a phone number. You can also see weather and movie theaters.
Tripit - if you fly, this is the best app out there. Keeps track of your flight number, time, weather in city you are landing, gates, etc.
Flashlight - uses the BRIGHT light on the back of the phone. So bright!

YouVersion - a great Bible app. I particularly like the MANY different reading plans it includes.
Vlingo - do google searches by speaking into your iPhone. Call someone with your voice. Pay the extra and text or email, but I'll stick to Dragon Dictation for now.
Evernote - take notes, take pics or record voice memos. Then it loads it all online. It will even search pictures with text in it for specific text you enter in.

Social Networking
Facebook - it's even better than the actual website.
Simplytweet - this is my twitter app of choice. It's just really good.
Fring - not on wi-fi and still want to do video chat like FaceTime? You can do it with Fring. The video quality is not quite the same, but still works.
Foursquare - location based game. Read more about it in an earlier blog post of mine.
Gowalla - same as above.

Random Apps

FAAD - free app a day. One way I get TONS of free apps.
Sleep Cycle - this app reads your sleep cycle, when you are in deep sleep and when you are dreaming and when you are near awake. Then it sets off an alarm within a 30 minute window that you set when you are most naturally awake and wakes you gently. It's amazing. And it keeps record of your sleep patterns.
Runmeter - I think this is the running app I am landing on. I just don't have any other friends who are using it yet. It helps to have others to motivate you to exercising.
Geocaching - if you don't know what this is about you need to go here. Basically it is a world wide treasure/scavenger hunt. It has an amazing community of people and is a lot of fun.
SLingbox - this let's me watch my TV from my iPhone. I have a Slingbox in my home and the app works like a remote control for my DVR. So you can watch live TV, change the channel and watch anything that is recorded. This is the MOST expensive app I own, but I won $75 in iTunes gift cards, so it really didn't cost me anything.
Netflix - you can watch movies and TV shows right on your iPhone!
Yahoo Sportacular - get all your favorite sports score. I get push notification every time the Red Sox start a game and every three innings and the final score. Must have app for sports nuts!
**There are too many photography apps out there to have a favorite right now. I don't have the one that Bex has, but all her pics are really cool, so I am considering buying it.

I Am T-Pain - although I don't like the music that is included, the app used as a Microphone is AWEsome! Autotune yourself.
Soundhound - want to know what that song is playing on the radio or at the store? Just start this app and it will tell you and give you a link to the youtube video, lyrics and more. You can even hum a tune and find the song. And no monthly fee like on Shazam.
Pandora - free internet radio that plays only the song style you want! Simply the best!
Ocarina - like a flute. You blow into the microphone and put your fingers over the holes on the screen. You can even download music sheets to play songs.

OK, I think that's enough. Obviously I love my iPhone! And yes, I like it as a phone too! What are your favorite apps? I would love to add to the list for others out there!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

2 Months on the Waiting List

Today we hit 2 months since all of our paperwork arrived in Ethiopia and we officially went onto the waiting list for our 2 babies. It is strange to sit and really think about this fact. They say the average wait time is 4 to 6 months to get a referral. Most days are not that big of a deal. Today as I sat down and thought about it, I long for them. As I pray each night with Kynzi and Karston we always pray for their brother and sister and for their birth parents. We prayed for them tonight.

I guess when you hit a milestone it makes it more real. So tonight I sit...reflect...dream...pray.

I love you kids! Forever!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

First Day of Middle School

Walking through the hallways, I was reminded of that same smell that lingered in the air for me just 25 years ago or so. It hasn't changed. Oh, we are on a different coast, in a different school with different people, but it's the same. Boys who don't realize they need deodorant; the cafeteria warming up their ovens; chalk dust; old books; trapper keepers. OK, trapper keepers don't really smell at the beginning of the year, but it's a fun thing to say. "Trapper keeper. Trapper keeper." See? Fun to say.

Today our whole family walked Kynzi into her new school. She is a 6th grader! I can hardly believe it. It is hard to imagine that I am here when 11 years ago seems like it was so recent. When I held her in my arms and imagined her life. When I walked her through the church for the first time and how everyone wanted to have a look at her. Now we are here. Paying adult prices at restaurants; babysitting other kids; taking care of chores without us having to do it for her. I am a bit overwhelmed with it all.

Having been a middle school pastor for 8 years, it is difficult to get my mind around the fact that is I were still in that role she would be one of my students. Crazy. I am thrilled for her though. I know these will be amazing years for her. She will grow. She will learn. She will make new friends. She will continue to blossom. I just won't be able to walk her down the halls of her school holding her hand twice a week like I did last year. Or the last 5 years for that matter.

Those are the things I already miss. Those are the things that cause my "allergies" to kick in. Tomorrow we will send Karston off to 4th grade. He is with a bunch of his closest buddies and I am so glad for that. He has a great teacher that Kynzi had for 2 years. He s growing up too. Sigh. Life is good. And soon, they will both be VERY instrumental in their little baby brother and sister's lives. THAT puts a smile on my face.

Do you remember your middle school years? Many people didn't like them. I loved them! I pray that will be the case for my children.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Extreme Makeover Home my town!

Last month my friend Daniel asked me if I was signing up to work the Extreme Makeover Home Edition site that was coming to Salem. I jumped online to register. I filled out the form, but they were really looking for professional carpenters, plumbers, painters, etc. None of these describe me. I have no marketable skills. So I said I was a youth pastor who is a hard worker, is enthusiastic, and quick learner. Daniel works tomorrow, I never heard back.

So today my good friend Bex was tweeting about seeing the bus. Her and Josh then proceeded to "stalk" the bus. She continued to tweet and then she texted me to find out what I was doing. She knows this is just the kind of thing I love! What a good friend. So on my way to go for a run downtown, I popped in at the Oregon School for the Deaf. I walked onto the campus and they were having their 100 (or 140 year) anniversary/back to school BBQ. There were tons of Deaf School students and parents.

I got there just in time for Ty Pennington and the team to get up on stage and do the reveal that they were there to help them build a new haunted house. This is something that has been a huge fundraiser for the school, as their funding is not particularly huge. They have been doing it over 20 years and the EMHE team was going to make it even better. They were also going to redo a hallway in the dorm, I think and work on someone's home from the school. They had also given out 100s of hearing aids to students that morning.

I recorded the whole thing and then went to watch it back...turns out I clicked stop when I thought I was starting and start at the very end. The good thing was that they had to come back and do the reveal over again because of some lighting issues...for the THIRD time. Josh, Bex and I had moved around to the other side of the platform and got a better spot where the team would walk by us. Sure enough, the bus honked its way up the hill and the team got out and went up to the platform. As Ty was interviewing Sharla there were these helium balloons in the way that he kept trying to knock away. No one was moving, so I went up and held them down for the rest of the time they were on the stage. That's where you can see the interaction we had on the video. Haha. We are pretty close now. ;)

Robyn, who is our main interpreter at our church, will be flying to Minnesota with about 120 others for a week of vacation and fun while the construction happens. How cool is that?

I love what this show does. I hate watching it because there is no chance I can make it through and not cry. If you want to read more about it you can check out our local newspaper's story on  it here.
Below is the video. Check out 2:03. haha.

What exciting thing has happened to you or your town?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Generousity of Others

I have been the beneficiary of many a gift over the years. I'm not going to lie. I have quite enjoyed it. Sometimes it has come as the result of being a youth pastor, sometimes it has come as the result of someone I know and sometimes it is just the result of being in the right place at the right time. You might call it luck. You might call it a gift. I just say thank you. Thank you very much! 

Ducks season opener
A friend of a friend gave us 2 tickets to the game. They were amazing tickets. We sat on the 30 yard line about 40 rows up. It included a parking spot in the stadium parking lot. Right up against the stadium! Oh, and money for food and gas. It was so much fun. Being club level I discovered that club level was more than just great seats, it was about community. These people know each other. They ask each other about family stuff and history and old games. They like sitting where they sit for every game. Oh, record breaking is fun to watch too. With a final score of 72-0 everyone on the team got a lot of play time. Plus, there is free popcorn.

Oregon State Fair
A friend of mine was running a booth at the fair and she gave me several tickets for my family and some friends. So I reciprocated the favor of the day before and we all headed to the state fair. We had a blast there. Thankfully we didn't pay for admission because they gouged as soon as we crossed through the gates of encumbrance. Everywhere we turned we thought we finally had a moment of debt free bliss. Then they would stab us with another dollar sign. We did begrudgingly pay our $30 so the kids could each go on 3 rides lasting a total of 148 seconds.

That being said, we got to go fishing out of a tank, watch some Arabian horses trot around, pet a rabbit, see a ginormous cow, watch some piglets drinking from their mother, catch the dogs jumping in the air and landing in a pool, see a magician who was pretty funny, see some demolition derby cars racing around and enjoy each others company. We laughed. We watched in wonder. We dreamed. We got tired. We headed home. It was quite the day. We ended it with a viewing of the movie Babies, where we got to see some babies drinking like the piglets did. (more for another posting another time).

I am very thankful for the generosity of others. I am glad to be a recipient, but I also hope I am more generous to others. Rick Warren once tweeted something to the effect of "I always want to out serve others." Be generous. Give out of what you have been given. Check out this story.

When was the last time someone gave to you?
When was the last time you gave to someone else?
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