Archive for November, 2009

Quote of the Night

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

Caleb (my 10 year old):  “Dad, I think we should take the donuts away at church and see how many people show up.”

Memaw (my 83 year old grandmother):  “Yea…I’m with you.”

Alexandria Turns 8 Today

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Family

Eight years ago, our baby girl was born.  I can’t believe she is 8 years old!!!  Here are a few things you might not know about Alex:

  • Her nickname is “Cinnamon Sugar” – I gave her that name because when she was born her hair was a reddish/blonde.
  • She puts on “rock concerts” in her bedroom.
  • Selena Gomez is her favorite singer.
  • She loves gum (much to the irritation of her oldest brother).
  • Her favorite colors are blue and green.
  • Her most embarrassing moment is raising her hand in response to a Disney show in which they asked the audience, “Who got married today?” (she thought they were going to ask whose birthday was today).
  • She loves babies.
  • She wants a puppy more than anything else (much to the irritation of her father).
  • She talks…a lot…and loudly (got that from her mother).
  • Her favorite subjects in school are reading and math.
  • When asked what she wants to be when she grows up she said, “A hair-cuttery person”
  • Her favorite food is pizza.

Charlie Weis Has Been Fired

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Notre Dame, sports

No shock here.

Everyone knew it was coming.

Charlie Weis has been fired.  I like him.  I like his family.  He seems to have done great and charitable things off the field.  I was hoping he would succeed on it.  Sad for him and his family.

Tiger Tell the Truth

Posted: November 30, 2009 in sports

I know it hurts.  I know it is embarrassing.  I know you don’t want to.  I know it is awkward.   Putting off conversations with the police are only making things worse.  People are telling the story for you.  Tell the truth.  Get it out there.  And then move on.  As long as you keep hiding the truth, this won’t go away…and will only get worse.  I’d say the same to my 10 year old.

Isaac forgot his Wii fit resort game at home.

Kelly thought we might be able to rent one from a local Blockbuster, Movie Gallery, etc.

She looked in the phone book for video stores.  She called several.  No luck.

As she was going down the list she was about to call a video store called “Pure Pleasure.

I said, “I really don’t think they carry the videos and games you’re looking for.”


Posted: November 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

My petite frame is trying to adjust to all of this delicious food.

This could be a long list, and I always feel a tad bit awkward bragging about the Living Stones Church.  I’m not sure why that is.  It is sort of like bragging on your children.  They deserve it; what you are saying is totally sincere; you really do think they are the best…but it risks irritating those around you (come on…who hasn’t been around the parent who WON’T stop bragging about their little “honor roll” who said and did the “cutest”…blah, blah, blah).

Plus, I remember what it was like (in the not too distant past) when church life was bad.  And I mean real bad.  Bad bad.  Like…I want to “quit and move to Bald Knob, Arkansas bad” (no offense to Bald Knob, Arkansas…and yes, there really is a Bald Knob, Arkansas).  And I remember in that discouragement how I received the “MY CHURCH IS AWESOME AND GOD IS GREAT AND EVERYTHING IS PEACHY” sentiments of those who were not in my place (I’m not saying this is the right spirit to have, I’m just saying it was my spirit.).  If this is where you are…I know what that feels like…and I can now say with confidence God not only rescues, but he does more than you ever hoped or imagined…and even in the bad times…He is at work (even though in the midst of it…you feel totally abandoned).  Maybe that will be good new for someone.

Anyhow…at the risk of irritating…here is my list:

  • I love all the new people who are walking into the Living Stones Church for the first time.  There are a lot of them. And when I hear their stories (which usually entails suffering), I love them all the more.
  • I think most who do walk in find a church that is down-to-earth and receptive no matter where you are, or what you’ve done, as you walk in.
  • I love watching my children’s excitement and enthusiasm about our church.
  • I love that I got to share the stage with my wife over the past two weeks and talk about BEAUTIFUL:  A message series directed towards women.  You can listen to them on the podcast here.
  • A few weeks ago we baptized 14 people.  That makes 52 this year…and still counting.
  • We had a baby dedication a week ago.
  • We wrapped up a retreat yesterday where we planned out the message series for 2010.
  • Along with that is the excitement and anticipation for if God simply repeated next year what he has done this year…WOW!!
  • At the baptism we broke a non-Easter attendance record.  The following week we broke another.  And then last week (when the “big events” were finished) we still had an attendance that breaks through another church growth barrier.
  • Every Sunday afternoon I meet with our current elders and three other men on their way to serving as shepherds at the Living Stones Church.  I’m exhausted before we start (Sundays are a long day).  But when I’m finished, I couldn’t be more excited.
  • Last night I concluded my Beginner’s Guide to Christianity Growth Group.  I love telling the stories of the Bible.  And I loved the people who were in the group as they brought notebooks, took notes, asked questions, left the group to drink coffee, etc. and really examine everything we talked about.
  • We had 23 4th & 5th graders just at 11:30 a.m. last week.  Throw in the number from 9:30 a.m. and we have a 4th & 5th grade group that is bursting.  I’ve heard great things about the class and I’ve enjoyed watching all the 4th & 5th graders walking around with their Bibles in hand.  I only asked MEN to teach the class (not that I mind if a woman teaches, I just wanted to see how many men I could get involved).  I have enough men to cover two services (one month at a time) until February!!
  • We begin a new series, Elf:  Finding Your Place in the World, in two weeks.  It is going to be a lot of fun.
  • I love our paid staff – Ann Lynn & Jennae Gee.  They work REALLY hard.  They SACRIFICE a lot.  And we would be no where close to where we are today had it not been for God working in and through them.
  • I love our ENTIRE leadership team.  We meet the second Wednesday of the month.  I love their discernment.  I feel confident I could bring any issue to the table and they will adjudicate it well and with wisdom.
  • I’m excited about what is happening in our Kids Kanyon.  I love the roles – Conservation Officers, Rangers, Scouts, Guides, and Trailbuddies.  Love it!!
  • About a week ago the church received a $2500 gift from a family who used to go to our church and has since moved to Washington.  They listen to the podcast and felt like blessing us.  WOW!
  • We have new babies born every week.  We need a separate building/facility just for our nursery.
  • This past Sunday we put 54 “snowflakes” (a “snowflake” represents a child in whom we intend to help for Christmas this year) on our Giving Tree.  ALL 54 snowflakes were gone by the end of the 9:30 service.  When 11:30 showed up – it was just an empty Christmas tree!!  WOW!!  To 11:30ers…as we mentioned on Sunday, if you want to buy a gift card from Target or Wal-Mart…we’ll either find more children…or supplement the gifts for the families that could use it.
  • I love the spirit of our church.  As I listen to the stories of conflict in other churches or the issues that they are fighting over…I can’t tell you how awesome it is to think, “I’m so glad we don’t fight over those sorts of things.”

I can go on…

Before you think, “Sounds like everything in your church is just honky dory” – let me tell you…we have issues…OH MAN do we have issues…

I can offer my “Dear God…Help Us Because…” list –

And I will.  After Thanksgiving. 🙂


Kelly’s Big Birthday

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

Today is Kelly’s birthday.  She turns 40.  I’m still in my 30s.  (Yes…I am going to rub it in).  But, even while I’m still in my 30s (barely)…she is far more beautiful at 40.  Happy Birthday Kelly.  I love you.  May this be the best year of life…ever.

Jimmy Clausen was punched in the face at 2:00 a.m. at C.J.’s Pub in downtown South Bend Sunday morning.  Apparently it was an altercation that involved someone mistreating his girlfriend.  The result…two black eyes for Jimmy Clausen.  In Charlie Weis’s Tuesday press conference he refused to answer questions about the altercation and in practice Jimmy was wearing a tinted visor on his helmet to keep anyone from seeing his two black eyes.  Come on Jimmy…could it have really looked worse than what we witnessed on Saturday?

My first thought – why would you be in downtown South Bend eating a cheeseburger at 2:00 a.m. if you are the starting quarterback at Notre Dame and you just lost a game to Connecticut?!?!  Then again, have you ever had a C.J. Pub cheeseburger?!?!  If you were looking for consolation is a most excellent choice!!  They are my second favorite cheeseburgers.

And what was he supposed to do?!  He was defending his girlfriend’s honor!

Yesterday my blog lit up looking for information on Jimmy Clausen’s girlfriend!  Apparently my blog post in regards to his hair (from last year) seems to have captured the attention of “Jimmy Clausen girlfriend seekers.”  If he still had this hair style, then I can understand why someone punched him.

OR – if he showed up to CJ’s Pub like this:

I can understand why someone punched him.

But come on South Bend.  Take a chill pill. Don’t be punching the 4th ranked quarterback in college football.

It could have been my mood, but I entered in and out of boredom a lot during this episode.  Felt like a hodge-podge of different elements trying to be crammed into the last week on the ranch.

What I can say is:  I’m glad Bob & Amanda and Liz & Danny didn’t make out on this episode.  I must confess there were several moments when I was getting concerned by it.

During the episode my wife thanked me for not crying as much as Danny. 🙂 You’re welcome.

This was the last week on the ranch!!  It kind of snuck up on me.  The season is nearly over!

During the episode they had a challenge where they were strapped to a barrel full of footballs weighted to the exact amount of weight they lost per week.  With their total weight loss strapped to their backs, they had to one-by-one run to markers to remove a football for each week of their time on the Biggest Loser campus.  Allen won. Rod Woodson of the Pittsburg Steelers was on the show (I wonder how many of the contestants knew who Rod was).  And what did Allen win…tickets to the Pro Bowl!  As Allison Sweeney was setting it up I think everyone was thinking tickets to the…”Super Bowl.”  And when she said “Pro Bowl” I think I heard a deflation in enthusiasm.

One moment that I wondered how it must have felt was at the end of the challenge.  Once they placed all of their footballs on the markers and were released from their barrel they then had to run and tackle a massive cutout poster (glued to a foam backing) of their “old selves.”  I wonder what they thought and felt.  I would imagine that would be quite a perspective.  The “new me” versus the “old me.”  Would the new me feel angry, hurt, ticked off, etc. with the old me…or would it be pity, sympathy, regret, etc.  I would think it could be a collision of emotions.  I would have danced with my cutout, and then punched his lights out! 🙂

Falling below the yellow line on tonight’s episode – Allen & Liz.

In a surprise (to me) move, Amanda actually sided with Liz (I guess they bonded…didn’t Liz just write your name several weeks ago?).  Allen’s attempt to persuade Amanda by rational game play backfired.  And he ended up going home.  Good-bye Allen.  Nuts.  I was hoping it would be Liz.

Four people moving to the finals – Amanda, Rudy, Danny, and Liz.