Friday, October 31, 2008

Jackson as greenhair spike dude.

Jonah as the joker

God is God! And we are NOT!

This is a powerful story about the song "God of this City" an anthem that is spreading across the world proclaiming that regardless of what is going on around you, God is in control. I have been hearing so much garbage flying around cyberspace, especially during this election time (does anyone hate politics as much as I do?) People are talking about the end of the world happening if the person they like is not elected. Same emails flying around the previous 8 years, has anything changed? It makes me sad that people are placing so much confidence in a man, The truth is, nothing has happened or is going to happen that God hasn't allowed, he will always be on the throne. And even if we elect the person some people feel is right- he doesn't have to power do stop anything that is going to happen anyway. I wish people would be as focused on helping the hurting as they do trying to get "their" guy in office.

Enough of my rants- God is in charge. And this song is a great reminder. The kingdom of God is growing strongly in area's of china and places where it is illegal to be a Christian, God will still be God regardless of who thinks they are in charge

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The beanie project

Elizabeth is leading a project that hopes to give out 1000 winter beanies for the homeless. Cool stuff, love seeing people using their passion to benefit the kingdom.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jerrods birthday today.

Today is jerrods 25th. Colette and the 210 crew brought him a zucchini cupcake. Yummy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

COS basketball team

We took pics today for cos basketball. I help as a coach and chaplain. Fun group of girls.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I haven't written much lately, I have allowed my life to overtake me and I seem to have let the tyranny of the urgent begin to rule my life. Life is rough and hands out things that we feel we don't deserve. Today i got a call from my sister, a year ago she adopted a child from a young gal strung out on drugs. For the last year my sister has taken care of the child and gave him a great life within their family. Today a judge (who probably should be drug tested himself) ripped the child from my sisters family an gave him back to his birth mom who is most likely still on drugs, without a home a job or transportation all because she needed a baby fix that will probably last all of a week. (can you sense my anger.) Can you imagine a the fear that this poor child will face being taken away to a strange place and basically left to fend for himself.
Listening to a heart broken mother having her baby torn from her arms is a tough thing to get your mind about. (A mother doesn't necessarily mean birth mom) Its especially tough when its your sister.
We had a tough conversation, its hard to see God at work in times like this. It s possible we may never see how he is present in this situation- but he is!
Its times like this when faith becomes either something you really have or something that you just talk about when times are good. If you happen to stumble upon this say a prayer for my sister Esther, she could use it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jerrod at elevate tonight.

The community that Jesus wants us to be part of. Matthew 9 36 shows us how he views us.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

From Louie Giglio

I often feel like I don't have anything to write, like today! I often feel insignificant and allow myself spend a good amount of time reminding myself of my failures. I am thankful for some guys like Louie, who are constantly reminding us how big God is and how much he value's us and how our short comings, mistakes, and fears cannot separate us from God.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do you have a Jerrod?

These next couple of weeks at elevate we are going to be learning what it means to be involved in "community." We may all live in a community whether that be Visalia, Tulare, Hanford, or elsewhere. But few of us truly experience community as God intended it to be. Many of us are constantly around people and encounter scores of people everyday, but do we really know who those poeple really are and do they really know us. Jerrod is one of my favorite poeple in life, what I like about him is that he forces me to be "me" when I am around him. That may not always be comfortable or the easy thing to do but it is exactly what I need. I don't have to be "pastor Joel" or have it all together when we talk, in fact he would call me on it ii I was. Authentic Honest relationships are really the only way to experience true community, where we can be like they were in Acts 2:42-47 "being committed" or "devoted" to one another, and making sure to take care of any one in need. looking forward to getting gritty and uncomfortable in the next few weeks- that is usually what it takes if we want these kinds of relationship to shape and mold out lives. He is just sitting to my right, this picture is from my cell phone in fact as soon as I finish this sentence I am going to thank him for making me be real.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Codie in DC

Codie is in Washington DC this week, so I have been running crazy chasing kids around, as I will be until Sunday night. I am really excited that she gets to do this, especially after gaining a new appreciation of how much she does around the house and with the kids while holding down full time job. I am truly a blessed man, and feel a great deal of excitement for her to be able to experience this trip. I really feel like I scored one of those Proverbs 31 gals. (except for the whole shopping for wool and flax and knitting a entire wardrobe for the family.)

Codie sent this to me from her phone this morning.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

People are Awesome

I love people. No seriously, I love people. Last night we had a BBQ for elevate being we got kicked out of our meeting place for a night. But it was cool. We ate great food and people brought tons of food to share. I felt like the disciples the left over baskets when we were done, because there ws much left over. Back to people (my ADD kicked in for a second), I am reminded that the people are the church, they are what mater, not meetings, music, sermons, video's, or food. People are the reason why Jesus died, and why we are here on this earth.
Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in doing stuff for people and planning things for people, and we lose site of people in general. This next week I want really focus on people in General. We are also going to take these next couple of weeks to look at the value of experiencing community with people and being intentional with our relationships.
I look forward to what God has in store for elevate and the relationships that are arising out of this kingdom venture.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thanks Randy


Shopping for BBQ

Elevate BBQ is tonight at 6PM. We moved the time up from 7 because it is getting dark earlier. I am excited for a chance to get away form an hour of sitting and get people together for some great food, and have some great conversation.

Bring some frisbee's, guitars, whatever....
we are gonna have a blast

Monday, October 6, 2008

People in your life

The life we live is made up of experiences, as we experience things we change and grow. One of the most important factors is the people we meet along the way, especially the ones who we allow to have influence on us. One of the greatest gifts God gives us is people who leave a powerful imprint of their character and integrity on us. I am am thankful for the people that I have encountered along the way, a lot of them had an a amazing effect on me and have helped me grow as an individual. There were many I allowed to have influence on me in a negative way, I am thankful for the ones who had a long term positive effect on me.
Through my high school years I had a teacher who was extremely beneficial to my life. The funny thing is that he was kind of a goofball. He was scatterbrained (which is probably why I identified so much with him,) and to be honest pretty nerdy. In the middle of class he would always say "where's my glasses" and everyone would start laughing because they were on top of his head. The thing that really influenced me is that he was always about everyone else, he genuinely seemed to care more about others than himself, and it wasn't an act. I went to a boarding high school 50 miles away from home and he would invite to dinner with his family, and have me over to watch baseball games. He was a huge baseball fan and a the Red Box came right after Jesus and his family. I was in his living room the year Bill Buckner let the ball roll through his legs as they gave the world series to the Mets, I wish I could have been there when they won if for the first time a few years back.
Anyway I am just thankful for him today, and for helping instill some character in my life. This week I want to focus on some of the people who have had an beneficial impact on my life.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jonah pitching

Got the first hit out, dad about had a heart attack.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jesus is a Friend of Mine Part 2

David Crowder did a cover of this Amazing Classic at his church a few weeks ago.
check it out here:

I can't stop- here is the heavy metal version:

if you didnt see the next video down it won't make sense

New Elevate Band

We decided we needed to get a little "edgier" at Elevate. These guys really know how to Rock and Roll.
Groovy Dude!

Remember Jesus is like a Mountie, he always gets his man. CLASSIC


I hate waking up, but I love mornings. Too bad you can't have it both ways. Around my house its the only time its quiet. I have been trying to make some time for quiet in my life which is tough, when you have little kids. SO occasionally I will get up before they do- which is early! They process from legs under covers to legs on the floor is a tough one. Even tougher when I know I have a good 30 minutes to an hour before the kids are up. But once I get up and get that first cup of Coffee and sit out back in Silence I am so glad I did it. I figure if Jesus needs quiet I need it more. Its not about penitence or duty, I am learning that God desires to make himself known to me. James 2:3 tells us that Abraham was a friend of God. I hope that my life resembles a friendship with God. I don't want to spend time with him out of some religious duty, but rather to spend time with the person that loves me most, and to allow him to pour his life into me. Friendship is about communication, its hard to communicate in today's busy world and I think God prefers that individual time with me, and rumor is he doesn't do the BlackBerry thing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Jonathan and Jerrod

No explanation necessary

Mexican food is good for the soul.

I sincerely believe that eating together with friends is one of the most spiritual things you can do. Today I am eating lunch with Jerrod, Jonathan and Aaron at one of my favorite restaurants, amigos. When food is involved it seems easier to share life-especially Mexican.

Hangin with Alex at 210

My drink of choice today

Hangin at 210 today. Already have had 2 cups of coffee, so I am going with the lighter stuff.

Look who's bloggin

I just connected my BlackBerry to my blog, so Jackson helped me test it. Now I can blog on the run.
Ps. I take back everything I said about Mac, it is the best, I need to evangelize guilt free. Thanks for the reprimand Darrin, I guess I am responsible for this wing of the one true OS.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I love MAC, do I love it too much?

I made the switch from from PC to MAC about a year ago, and I must admit I have become a macaholic zealot. I just read an article from Kem Meyer an artist whom I respect a great deal a faced some serious conviction of my MAC arrogance and PC mudslinging, I had to take a honest look in the mirror and need to change some of my recent attitudes. Here is that article:

Negative campaigning

A few weeks ago, my friend Lisa made this post on her blog.

This verse from the Message version of 1 Peter, 2:13-18 just struck me today...whether it's mudslinging in the political arena, or the mudslinging we do to each other - it's messy business and I don't like it one bit.

"Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They'll end up realizing that they're the ones who need a bath."

The correlation to politics and church fighting is almost instantly obvious. But, when I read it. I immediately thought of something else.

I'm going to stick my neck out on this one. But, somebody has to say it. The verbal ribbing and good natured competition between MAC and PC users has reached a tipping point. It's not spurring good-natured competition, but fostering division and discontent.

Turning brother against brother.

Sound dramatic? Maybe, but it's been a burr in my saddle for quite sometime and I'm curious if anyone else sees what I see. Advocates on both sides of this choice are starting to resemble fanatical partisans and religious zealots.

In Branding Faith, Phil Cooke says that branding has become a religion.

"To secular culture, brands and religion have merged. The truth is, savvy marketers and advertisers have tapped into our global human aspirations for a sense of belonging, value, meaning and worship, and have turned ordinary, everyday products into brands--and eventually, brands into religion."

"There is no question that there is a dark side to the world of the brand. Brands have distorted the buying and selling of goods and services, hyping products based not on intrinsic usefulness or value, but on desire alone. It has distorted our priorities, making us believe that without this or that product, our lives will be meaningless and empty."

I think this is what has happened with the MAC/PC tribes.

Where do I stand on the choice? I believe they are both great tools. I could use either one and be happy with what I have. I think you should choose what you want based on your own preference, needs and budget. But, just because you use one doesn't make the other bad.

Negative campaigning is poor form in EVERY arena, even technology.

October.... Seriously?

Can't believe its October, whats what is up with this heat? I am so ready for the cool weather. Tired of sweating and wondering what the electric bill is going to be cuz the air conditioner keep on clicking on. I'm guessing its going to go from 90's to the forty's... so much for having a Fall season.

Death Interrupted

Last night we finished our life interrupted series with a very uplifting topic- Death. I have to be honest that was a heavy topic to attempt to share what God has to say about it. Death is a topic we (I) try to avoid. The interesting thing is that God's word doesn't avoid it, in fact through out it we are encouraged to embrace the concept of death. Paul talks about death being gain.
The truth is I think we all fear the fact of losing someone we love more than facing death ourselves. When it comes to death it is hard for our mind to wrap around the fact that death is part of his plan. I won't try to pretend to have a handle on this, I still hurt from some of the experiences I have of losing people close to me. I am starting to realize some things about death and how God works his plan. I was sharing last night about how I learned much about handling the concept of death from my Dad who has lost a wife and a daughter tragically. I shared last night his story of feeling the closeness and presence of God in a overwhelming manner when he had to look the death of a loved one right in the face. I am moved that Gods love surrounds us at these tough times. But how can this be part of his plan? Death is something that Jesus came to defeat, but it is also something that is not bigger than his plan. I dont understand it, what I do know is that God will always work things out for the good of those who love him (romans 8:28).
sounds like a trite cop-out verse some times, but it is true. Last night I was reminded how God works those things out. My life is the result of a tragic death. I am sure that my Dad never thinks about the loss of his wife a enjoyable moment in his life, but through the pain and healing of that death, I am Alive. After experiencing the loss of death and the presence of God's comfort, my mother entered his life and and I a product of God's plan. Can I explain it, no. but does God work everything out- even death for his Glory? Yes.
1 Corinthinas 15 says it well

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Ok I am done being morbid, lets get on with life