Monday, July 30, 2007


So as you can see, I added a new wrinkle to my blog, no not the elephant... a poll question. (over there, above my picture->)

I thought it would be loads of zany fun to ask a totally random question, get your responses and then use my incredible insight laced with intelligent humor to make comments on the results.

I guess we will see how it goes.

My point: if you read this blog at least participate in my weekly poll question. I need to create fun somehow.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I have been banned. They are trying to keep me down. I feel like my freedom has been violated, I will not stand for this, I will rise up...

Ok, enough of the drama. Here is the truth. I decided to put the word "anal" on one of my blogs about my dog. I guess there are some filters out there that will not allow access to sites that contain certain words. Who would've figured that "anal" was one of them. I am pretty impressed they caught it.

I just think it is hilarious that there are filters that would not allow access to my blog. In some strange way I think it is really cool to have been banned. Almost like now there is a sense of "I gotta check out what this goof is going to say next" (I am referring to myself as the "goof"). I got feedback from a lot more people than left comments on my blog. Maybe you don't want people to know you read this stuff (I don't blame you). I was very surprised that some of you actually take time to read my version of reality.

When I think about it, I guess I am glad that the filters are doing their job. I think we have all typed in words to do a search and was very shocked at the results that came back. Although I don't think anyone would have developed a porn addiction or committed evil deeds because they read about my dog's butt, I am impressed that other sites with similar words were banned too.

My point: We should all have filters in our lives. We should have "banned" stations on the TV or radio. We should definitely have whatever filter that was that banned my blog. Sometimes we can get weak and we need help to do the right thing. No matter how strong we think we are, it is good to have some built in accountability. I like the idea of filtering some of the things that could potentially harm me or my family.

Thanks to all of you who actually read this crap I call writing. I am finding out that there are a few of you out there that are as twisted as I am. Maybe reading my blog makes you feel normal... I guess the world takes all kinds.


I had the privilege of doing a wedding of a friend and former student from when I was a youth pastor. This guy actually sang at my wedding. It made me think of some really great memories... Any time I do a wedding it makes me remember my own. What an amazing day with many of my loved ones there to share our special day.

I also love to do pre-wedding conversations (most people call it counseling). When I talk to the couple before they get married I ask specific questions. I love hearing "the story" about how they met, first kiss, the proposal, why they want to get married, what are some things they love about the other...? This is all done in conversation. I watch the couple as they talk. I can get a pretty good idea of whether they are shooting some fluff or if they are genuinely in love.

Based on the conversation, I offer them some of my observations (again, some call it counseling). I feel obligated to share my insight and inform them of some potential red flags I may see. They are at least aware and we can come up with ways to make sure they do not become major obstacles to their relationship.

I love having my wife with me when we have the pre-marital conversation. I love hearing her insight but more than anything I love the conversations we have afterwards. We can't help but talk about when we would stay up for hours and just talk. Or IM late into the night. One of my favorite topics is the first kiss. I will never forget that...

I love being in love and I love being reminded of why and how we first fell in love. I know we have our anniversary but I get to use everyone elses weddings to remember ours. I think it is good sometimes to just break out the old videos and look over the pictures. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day activities, kids, work, housework... We need to be intentional about taking time to remember.

My point: We have a memory for a reason - use it. Whether it is your anniversary, a song that takes you back or a totally random thought, take time to pause long enough to remember what was special about that time.

Take some time this week to talk about when you were just dating. Start some conversations with "remember when..." and see what happens. I would love to hear the stories. Maybe you can ask someone else to hear their story. Watch them light up when the feelings start coming back once they begin to "remember".

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

it's a girl

We found out yesterday that we are having another baby girl. Even though I was openly saying I wanted a boy, I am crazy excited about having another beautiful baby girl.

I remember praying "Lord, I would love to have a boy..." then proceeded to list all the reasons why. Looking back, I realize I was campaigning for God to give me a boy just in case He was undecided up to this point. Maybe He was still trying to make up His mind.

The night before we went to the ultrasound to find out the sex (actually there was a bunch of things they look for but I knew all that would be fine, I wanted to know boy or girl), I was praying for "Encore". I then realized that God already knows the sex, the future name, the person my child will marry and every other decision this kid will make. I found myself laughing at how ridiculous I felt for asking for something that was decided well in advance.

I absolutely love the idea of having another child. Another life to help shape and guide. My job is to train this child whether it is a boy or girl. It is an honor to be a father and I can't wait to meet this amazing little girl.

My point: be faithful with what you are entrusted with. It is ok to ask but be we need to be ok with the answer too. God knows what He is doing and if He did everything we asked Him to do, we would all be rich and good looking...

We are kicking around a couple names. We like Raegan, Sydney and Beulah. Feel free to give me your thoughts (as always)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


One of my favorite verses in the bible is John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.

When this verse talks about fruit it is talking about: peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control, otherwise known as the "fruit of the Spirit". Who couldn't use these qualities in their lives? Anytime I like I have no peace, or patience I know it is time to check my attachment to the Vine. When I don't feel like doing something nice or when I lack self-control, guess what, I know my attachment to the Vine is not what it should be.

When we are not experiencing joy and all the other "fruit", it is up to us to ensure our relationship with Jesus is what it should be. I think sometimes we start out the day intending to be mindful of Jesus or remaining in Him, but then the day takes turns or things happen that makes us take our focus off the Vine.

Sometimes the distraction can even be the fruit itself. We can get in the mindset that we have the fruit (peace, love, joy...) so we are good. We then begin to focus on the good things in our lives and lose sight of the source of those good things. So guess what happens then; we begin to lose the good things again. This is such an easy thing to do. The hard part is to "remain in Him" but He promises to "remain in us" if we do our part. In other words, He will not leave us or become unattached from us, we are the ones who choose to do those things.

My point: simple, if you want to be fruity, remain attached to Jesus. Apart from Him, you can't do squat. I think that is a pretty clear statement.

Here is a page from a devotional book I have that talks about the Fruit of the Spirit. Pray it and see what happens in your life. It may look long but it is worth a read. You read this much, you can't quit now... it's your choice.

No occasion justifies hatred; No injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love.
Today I will love God and what God loves.

I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical…the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I am a spiritual being …. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

anal sacks?

I told you a couple weeks ago that my dog was sick and throwing up all over the place. Now I know why. Are you ready for this?... Her anal sacks were full. That's right I said it, anal sacks.

What the heck does that mean you might ask. I thought you might be curious so I asked the vet. Dogs have sacks that used to put out their scent when they poop. Kinda like skunks have sacks, so do dogs. The dogs would use their scent to mark their territory. Well, over the years dogs have become more domesticated so they no longer need the scent or sacks.

As the vet shared this fascinating lesson about the history of the dog butt, I found myself wondering "what the heck does this have to do with my dog throwing up?!!! He further explained that when the sacks get full they irritate the dog. What do dogs to an area that is irritated... Lick it!! Don't act shocked or grossed out, we have all seen dogs lick their butts. I guess since the irritation would not go away, my dog Libby continued to lick. All that licking caused her to have an upset stomach. The upset stomach caused her to throw up. Doesn't it all make sense now. See you just had to stay with me for a minute.

I think full anal sacks for a dog are a lot like bitterness or unforgiveness in our lives. It just keeps irritating us to the point that we get sick. Bitterness and unforgiveness can make you physically sick and can certainly lead to an unhealthy emotional and spiritual state.

My point: being bitter and choosing not to forgive someone is only hurting you. You are not meant to store it up. It needs to be released in order to not irritate anymore. Is there something you need to let go of or someone you need to forgive? Then do it. Stop making excuses. The reasons, whether valid or not, is like the dog licking their butt. It doesn't do any good. It just makes you sick (not to mention it is really gross).

The vet emptied Libby's anal sacks. He simply went in and popped them. Maybe it's time to empty your sacks. Go to the root and pop 'em.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

almost perfect

We had our last softball game on Monday night. We came so incredibly close to finishing with a perfect record, perfectly bad... We lost the first 9 games we played. Not only did we lose them but some of them we lost bad! We finally won one finishing a very respectable 1-9 (ok, it's a stretch)

We went from hoping to win every game to hoping to finish with a 5-5 season to hoping to win one stinkin' game. We would get fired up for every game telling ourselves "this is the game". We got close a couple times but we always seemed to let the close ones slip away. We did end up winning the last game of the season. We beat them pretty bad. It felt really good to finally win.

We learned a lot during the season. Even though we may have missed the playoffs by a mere 7 or 8 games we sure did learn some great life lessons. We saw people bond in friendships that wouldn't have happened on Sunday morning. We saw some tempers being held under control even when sometimes it may have been easy to justify losing their cool. We saw people cheering others on when they were down and being encouraged when we just couldn't seem to get a break. Lets not overlook all the butt patting...

My point: Our pathetic record may not reflect a good or even average season but we had a lot of victories. Relationships formed that will last for a long time. Personality flaws were sharpened. Even when others may see a loss, it is up to you to define the moment. There are lessons in everything, it just may take some extra hard looking.

We have some incredible momentum going into next season. Losing flat out stinks but I guess looking back, I would do it again (I just pray I don't have to).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

step off

This is a picture of my mom, niece and nephew. At first glance you may say see three of the cutest people alive. What you may not see is a label that society wants me to put on these people. That tag is "step".

This is not the woman who gave birth to me. She didn't carry me in her womb for months or go through hours of pain to bring me into this world. Since I didn't come out of her body, people say I should refer to her as my "step mom".

I haven't heard from the woman who gave birth to me in too many years to count. I can honestly say it doesn't bother me one bit. I could choose to focus on what I don't have but I choose to appreciate what I do have.

The woman you see in this picture is the person I call "mom". She is the only mom I have ever known. She may not have experienced the pain of labor but she did experience many years of the pain of raising me. Believe it or not, I was a pretty tough (not to mention STUPID!!!) kid. My decisions weren't always laced with wisdom.

I could tell you a few stories about tomatoes, police, spit or calls from my teachers but this blog isn't about me it's about my mom. I will spare you the details of my idiotic actions. I will not, however, spare you the details of how my mom handled those situations. At first I think she was shocked followed by anger then came discipline and disappointment. She didn't treat me any different than her own child. She could've always looked at me as "someone else's kid" but she never did that. I was always her son.

I will always remember my mom defending my stupidity to my dad. She would try to candy coat it so my dad didn't bring the wrath of the belt. It never really worked though. I still got grounded and whipped, but I knew my parents loved me. They loved me enough to discipline me and keep me from continuing to make those stupid decisions.

I never questioned my mom's love for me and I never will. I used to refer to her as my "step mom" but I will never do that again. She is my mom.

My point: It is possible to love if you choose to. If we truly love as Christ loves us it doesn't matter where we came from, there are no "steps". Love others because it is what we should do. None of us deserve the love we receive from God but He chooses to love us.

When we are part of God's family we are not His "step" children. So when you refer to my mom, sister, niece, nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins... with all do respect you can take the "step" off - or you can step off!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

it's broke

Have you ever needed a flat head screwdriver but used a butter knife instead? What about needing an accurate measurement so you lay out your arm - measuring from your fingertips and make an indention with your fingernail on your forearm where it ends? Then there are the many, many uses of duct tape… let us count the ways it has saved the day.

I am not a handy man by any stretch of the imagination. One of the things that frustrates me when I am forced to do a “do it yourself” job is that I never seem to have the right tools. The 10 minute project always seems to take me at least 4 days. It only gets done when I call someone to help. Guess what they do? They bring the right tools. It always blows my mind when they waltz in and get it done without any problem. I have come to realize it is all about the tools…

We have tools that make our lives easier too. Of course I believe the Bible is an amazing guide on how we should live our lives. There are principals in there that, if applied, life is so much more fulfilling. It is very clear but sometimes it is hard to accept because it goes against our natural desires or instincts. Being nice to someone that is mean, not returning insult for insult, not passing on that juicy nugget of gossip and of course who wants to treat others like you want to be treated when they are treating you like crap.

Sometimes we get off track. We need some people around us to let us know in a very loving way that we are not using the tools we have. I think one of the greatest tools we have is community. A group of people who love you enough to remind you to use the tools you have available. Sometimes we think the tools are broke when we just aren’t using them properly.

My point: don’t complain that the tools don’t work if you are not using them right. Find tools that work and use them. Appreciate the people in your life that love you enough to help keep your tools sharp. Maybe the tools aren’t broke – you just refuse to use them.

It is wise to learn from your past and it is stupid to repeat it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

you want it when

Deadlines are not something people usually view as positive. Most people don't like them and even stress over them. Color me crazy but I like them.

For some strange reason, I work better with deadlines. If I don't have a time something is due, I can easily keep postponing it. If I postpone it long enough, I figure it probably didn't really need done anyway. That is not always true.

I am so much better in a structured classroom than doing correspondence courses over the internet. I will finish more books if I have a date to have them read by. I will train harder if I know when the race is.... Why do I do this - I don't know.

I guess I see deadlines as a goal or a form of accountability. I don't like to say I didn't get something done. I guess that makes me feel like a failure. I like being able to say "I did it". Without a deadline or accountability maybe I don't feel completing it matters or maybe its because there is no one to pat me on the back and say "good job" (I love affirmation and encouragement...). Whatever the reason I guess I need deadlines to accomplish more. I feel like I can perform at a higher level when there is a lot to do.

My point: Deadlines are not bad. Accountability is not bad. Goals are not bad. If you hate having deadlines maybe it is because you don't believe in yourself enough to accomplish the task or don't manage your time well enough to complete the tasks you have. Or maybe you simply have too much going on and you need to scale back a little to enjoy life.

How do you view deadlines? You have 2 days to let me know...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

art of diversion

Ever notice how much easier it is to get things messy than to get them clean? You could clean all day and in a matter of minutes it could look like nothing was done in weeks.

When I was in the military, we had room inspections regularly. I would clean for hours only to be told I had a little dust on top of the light bulb above my mirror. I remember thinking I would never spend that much time again because no matter what I did something was going to be wrong. It was never going to be good enough. Then there was this one time I waited until the last minute. I wasn't really concerned about the inspection until I learned it was going to be one of the higher ups doing the inspection. I was desperate so I had to get creative. I took some pine-sol and wiped it around the frame of my door so it would smell clean when they came in. I threw everything in sight under my bed and turned on a small lamp to keep the room dimly lit. No, I wasn't being romantic...

When the crew came to inspect my room, they opened the door and was immediately greeted with the smell of cleanliness!!! Then they tried to turn on the light but I had it set so the ceiling fan was on but there was no light except the lamp. I was sitting there acting like I was reading but was really praying "dear God let this work". I acted like I was not expecting them and looked surprised when they entered. I welcomed them in and said I could step out if they wanted to inspect without me being there. I managed to get them in conversation and before they knew it time had passed and so did my room inspection. They didn't even look at my room. They commented on how clean it looked and any room that smelled this good had to be clean.

I passed without even being inspected because of my ability to cover up and divert... I don't think my room ever got inspected again. The inspector would come in, smell the pine-sol, make some small talk with me and then exit my hidden mess of a room. I was amazed at how easy it became to cover up my mess and keep it from being discovered.

I think this is how a lot of people live. They cover up junk and if it is ever close to being discovered, they divert the attention to something else. This is a sad place to live.

My point: Take the time to get to know people for what is beyond the clean smell of pine-sol (or whatever they try to cover their junk with). Pray for wisdom to know when someone is trying to change the subject or dance around the issue. If you are the clean smelling diversion king - get some help.

What are you hiding... Holy cow, look out!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


We have a family pet named "Libby". She is a great dog that Hannah beats the wahoo out of. Libby is sick right now and she is throwing up all over the place. It is pretty nasty. As sorry as I feel for this dog, it reminds me how disgusting these animals are. Dogs are naturally gross animals. Anyone who has a dog understands that you need to clean up the vomit so the dog doesn't eat it.

Someone recently told me a story about her son throwing up all night in a bowl. She would lift the bowl to him when he needed to throw up and put it back on the floor until it was needed again. Throughout the night, her son used it many times. When morning came, she picked up the bowl to take it to clean it up and discovered it was empty. Yep, you guessed it, the dog ate it... GROSS!!! Not only do they eat their own vomit but they eat other people's too. Ok, you get the picture.

Proverbs 26:11 as a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats their folly (a foolish action)

This verse gives a great and gross image about how God views our foolish actions. When I think that when I continue to do something foolish, it is as gross as a dog eating vomit. When I stop doing something foolish and then choose to do it again, I am no smarter than a dog.

I can think of many things that I no longer choose to do because it was foolish. I used to drink, chew tobacco, make fun of people, feel like I always had to be right... just to name a few. I gotta admit that sometimes I am tempted to repeat those foolish actions but if I do that just makes me a fool.

My point: Quit eating vomit! Stop doing what God thinks is a gross representation of what a Christian is. Stop being negative or talking down to people. Watching those videos or visiting those websites is clearly foolish. As hard as it may seem, be smarter than a dog.

What are you doing that is foolish in God's eyes? Are you eating vomit?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Here is a picture of camel butts. I just thought it was funny.

I believe that someday we will all stand before God. We will have to give an account for our actions. Is that something that sounds like fun to you? Yeah, me neither...

I think when we view our lives from an eternal perspective, we will see it differently. What are we going to say when we try to explain our reasons to the one who created us. To the one who knows better than we do what we were really thinking. What excuse or reason will be acceptable when we run out of "buts".

I am not sure exactly what that day will look like but I am sure that our hearts will be exposed. I can just see us trying to pass off the same lame excuses to God that we try to give to others. When we tell God "but, I was to busy to talk to You." "But, I was scared to tell others about You." "But, I couldn't help the person who was reaching out to me because I wasn't sure if they really needed help or not."

What about the person who ignored their kids or family. Or the one who will try to say "but, they tricked me into it". I am pretty sure that we won't have our spouse next to us so we can blame them. Imagine telling God "but, the woman you put here made me do it" (sounds strangely familiar...). "But, if she wouldn't have said this or that, I wouldn't have reacted that way." It was their fault not mine - but, but but... How do you really think that will go?

If you think it is going to be a free pass because you weren't in control of your decisions, WAKE UP!!! You and only you are responsible for you.

My point: No "but" or reason will be good enough. Stop rehearsing and start learning. Humble your "but" and learn to allow God to search your heart and reveal your true motives.

What will that day look like when there are no more "buts"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

you knew it was coming

I am not sorry to admit that I think toilets are funny. Bathroom humor is timeless. I am sure it says something about me, feel free to speculate...

Anyway, the toilet actually taught me something at the retreat I went on. There was a bathroom with two urinals and a stall. At the bathroom breaks there was always at least 4 people using that restroom (why is it called a "rest"room?).

While a couple people were using the urinals (I was one of them), I saw one person go to the stall and then walk back out. The next break the same thing happened. The next time the restroom was visited I asked why no one used the stall. I was informed that the toilet seat would not stay up. I thought - whatever, I will just pee on the seat. Then I thought I would just practice my sniper-like aim and not get a drop on the seat. Wiping the seat off was never an option.

Then I had an amazing idea - try to put the seat up and see if it would stay. I tried and it did not stay. Then I adjusted the back of the tank so the lid was on different, raised the seat and guess what, IT STAYED!!! I was a hero. It was kinda awkward because there was cheering from the restroom filled with grown men. I can imagine what people outside the bathroom was thinking. Did I mention that I think bathrooms are funny...?

Everyone thought it was pointless to try, but all that was needed was for someone to challenge what was accepted as truth. This lesson that was learned from a toilet is applicable to our life too. Sometimes we get so caught up doing something the same way even if it is not very effective or not working at all. Many people just keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result or accept what other people tell them without trying on their own.

My point: Sometimes it only takes a little adjustment to get a different result. Maybe you need to change the way you communicate or take some extra time for the spouse or kids. Maybe you need a little adjustment to your diet or personal disciplines. A little adjustment and you can be a hero too.

I am not sure what my motivation was to adjust the toilet. I think it was more the threat of a ruptured bladderor fear of wetting myself and definitely not the promise of men cheering in the bathroom...

As sick as it sounds, I got something from the toilet.