Wednesday, December 17, 2008

spiritual decay

I was reading "the tale of 3 kings" by Gene Edwards (GREAT BOOK) and it motivated me to start reading 1 & 2 Samuel.

As I was reading this morning something in the study notes really hit me hard - in a very good way. Here is what it said:

Poor leadership is not the result of personality traits but of decaying spiritual character. What we do is often a direct result of our spiritual condition. We cannot ignore the importance of spiritual character in effective leadership.

When I think about the times that I get frustrated, easily offended, overly critical, sarcastic or just in a bad mood, I can honestly say those times happen more often when I am not spending time in prayer & reading my Bible. 

Every relationship I have, whether it is my spouse, kids, co-workers or friends, is directly effected by my spiritual health. If I am not growing, I am decaying. How I respond or react is a direct result of my spiritual health.

I would challenge you to see if this is true for you as well. If you are constantly in a bad mood or easily frustrated, look at how much time you spend with your creator.

My point: it seems so simple & obvious but we often neglect THE single most important thing in our lives - our personal relationship with Christ. If we are filling ourselves with the wisdom and knowledge from God’s word, we will look & sound a lot more like Him.

What is your spiritual condition? I am sure you can ask those closest to you if you want the brutal truth…

Your spiritual condition is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

feel free to comment

Friday, December 12, 2008


When you mess with most techy devices they usually have a "restore default settings" button. That is so you can get it back to the way it was if you mess it up to bad or don't like it once you've changed it.

I was talking to some people about how we communicate and it seems like we have a "default" reaction to news that we don't necessarily like. When you watch some comedy shows, the typical reaction is biting sarcasm, anger or getting defensive. That is funny to watch but not real fun to experience.

My usual default response used to be sarcasm or humor. I have since tried to respond calmly as opposed to reacting negatively. It is usually better to respond instead of react. The difference is a planned approach. When you respond, you think before you speak. When you react, your default actions kick in and it's usually negative.

Don't you hate trying to talk to people that you know they are just going to take what you are saying the wrong way. It is so stinkin' hard to have a conversation when you are so worried about how your words are going to be taken. Walking on eggshells is really difficult.

My wife and I have agreed to give each other the benefit of the doubt. I confess that we aren't always successful but we try. When you give people the benefit of the doubt, you don't have to get all defensive, sarcastic and attack. You simply hear what they are saying, make sure you understand it the way they intended and then respond calmly.

My point: if people fear telling you things, your default reaction stinks. It's something that you can totally control and you need to have enough self-discipline to think before you speak. If not, people are going to hate you and not want to be around you. If that is what you are going for, well then, keep reacting instead of responding.

No one likes to be yelled at. What if people talked to you the way you talk to them. Stop making excuses, grow up and change your default settings... respond instead of react.

You can thank me later...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The holiday challenge is on. So far the total weight gain for 11 participants is only 4 lbs... I will keep you posted. 

I just read "A tale of three kings" by Gene Edwards again. It is an amazing book. If you have not read it you really should. It seems to hit you right where you need it. No matter how often you read it, different parts speak to you at whatever phase of life you are in. 

I hate surprises so if you are getting me anything for Christmas, please tell me. 

I am falling in love with my wife more and more as each day passes. I am not in trouble or anything. We have just learned to communicate better and that has been amazing. 

I am learning to not let the little things bother me. My new motto is "it is what it is". I don't try to read to much into it and I choose to take it as it comes.

I have started journaling again and it is helping my walk with God. I find that putting my thoughts on paper helps me focus. If anyone ever reads my journal, they will think I am psycho and I will probably be locked up. Yes, I have probably written something about you!

One thing that is so heavy on my heart right now is that there really is a God and He really has a plan for my life. If that is true then each day is part of that plan and is intended to make me more like Christ. I can't just think the good things are from God and not the bad things. I need to keep this in mind each day and in every circumstance.

Thank you to those of you who participated in "1 thank you"... Special thanks to those who are thankful for me (big points for that). 

My daughters are absolutely amazing. I am humbled to be part of their lives. I can't wait to see what God does in and through each one of them.

I am still counting my blessings from Thanksgiving. 

Heroes is a great show. I can't wait for 24 to start. 

My wife and I played "I am thankful for..." we took turns naming things we were thankful for and it made a 2 hour drive seem like nothing. 

I am typing really fast.

My point: these are random thoughts that could all be blog posts of their own. I am to full of energy drinks to focus on only one topic...

I love energy drinks

I am done typing

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the "don't gain" challenge

I read a stat that the average weight gain over the Holiday season from Nov to Jan is 12 pounds. Say that out loud "I am going to eat so stinkin much & not work out, that I am going to gain 12 pounds." 

That is a drastic change in lifestyle. More food in general. More junk food and less physical activity. That is why I am throwing out this little challenge. If you are up for it feel free to join in. 

Here are the details:
//Weigh yourself on Monday November 24th. That is the weight you must maintain until Jan 3rd. This is not a weight loss competition - lets be realistic. It is only to help keep from gaining. You don't have to tell anyone what your weight is, you just need to use the original weight as the target. 

//Each week you weigh yourself. If you have gained any weight, you owe $1 per pound you have gained. You cannot earn this money back if you lose it a different week. If you lose weight, that is great but you don't get anything for losing weight (other than the sheer satisfaction of knowing that most of the country isn't able to do what you just did).

//Every week you report your status. Either "no change", "gained ?" or "lost ?". Again, you owe $1 per pound gained. I will keep a tally of the money owed and keep everyone updated of the pot weekly. 

//At the final weigh in on Jan 3rd, the person/people who did not gain any weight wins the penalty money. If more than one person wins, we put the names in a hat and draw out one winner. 

//If no one maintains the weight, the person who gained the least amount over the competition wins the money. 

//If 3 people maintain the weight and one person loses any weight, the person who lost the weight still only gets the name in a hat. The goal is not to lose but not to gain. 

By saying "maintain" that means you never incur a gain penalty. Every time you weigh in, you have either stayed the same or lost. 

Here is a scenario. You start out at 150lbs. The first week you weigh in you weigh 148lbs. You owe nothing. The next week you weigh 150lbs again, you still owe nothing because you do not weigh more than the original starting weight. The next week you weigh 151lbs, you owe $1. The next week you weigh 150lbs again, you owe nothing but you don't get your $1 back. 

There are many people who said they would be interested in a competition to motivate them through the holidays, lets see if they meant it and will put their money where there mouth is...

My point: accountability is the best way to accomplish a goal. The goal is not to lose weight but to not gain weight. We can beat the national average if we do it together. The average person is going to gain weight over the next few months, lets not be average. 

Let me know if you are interested by leaving a comment or emailing me

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

good grief

Remember how Charlie Brown used to say "good grief"... I started thinking about that. Is grief good? 

Today was probably the roughest time of my mourning the loss of my precious Megan. She was born on Nov 8th and died on Nov 12th. Deni and I usually spend some time on Nov 8th remembering her life and doing something in memory of her. We watch her video and we talk about those 4 days we spent with her and we cry cry cry...

This year was a little different. I thought I would handle it ok and we didn't do our normal routine. We made different plans. I was blown away at how incredibly different this year was. I found myself being really grumpy, giving short answers, getting mad at little things and I couldn't see how anyone would want to be around me because quite honestly, I didn't want to be around myself. 

I hated feeling like I did, but I didn't know how or what to do about it. I was pushing my wife away instead of embracing her and getting through this together. I found myself getting incredibly mad at her for not comforting me. I didn't even think about comforting her, I was too busy being selfish and self centered. My grief wouldn't allow me to focus on anyone or anything but myself. I didn't know how to communicate my feelings because I didn't understand them.

The one thing I know about grief is that it is unpredictable. Just because I handled it a certain way last year, doesn't mean I will handle it the same this year. We all handle it differently. 

I learned a lot about myself this year. One of the things I communicated to my wife is that when I am not myself and I am grumpy or irritable, the best thing she can do is give me a big ol' hug... She is taking a risk by doing it but she has to trust me enough to believe that a hug will bring me back to reality and send a much more loving message than getting mad at me or just keeping distance. 

My point: we have to allow ourselves the time we need to grieve. We just have to figure out how to grieve in a way that it doesn't hurt others. I heard that "hurting people, hurt people". I don't think that is the intent, it's just that we don't always communicate our feelings in a healthy way. 

Grieving is healthy but I wouldn't say "good grief".

to everyone who has prayed for us - THANK YOU and may God bless you.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

thank you

Since my blog has become such a massive influence in this country we live in, I have been asked to encourage you, my faithful readers,  to participate in answering the question "what you are thankful for." (Ok, so I realize only 6 people, on a good day, read this blog and they are all related to me but it sure did feel good to write)

We are at the time of year when everyone is getting ready to wake up really early to go shopping the day after thanksgiving to purchase a bunch of worthless stuff for people they don't even like. Some people will be in such a hurry that they will totally forget or not pay attention to what this season is truly about - thankfulness. 

I have a friend who has amazing hair and the church he attends set up a site for people to share what they are thankful for. He asked if my loyal fans (you) would participate. 

If you would go to and leave a comment, that would be greatly appreciated. 

My point: we all have things that we should be thankful for. We need to take time to express that thanks and why not even share it with others. Feel free to leave a long comment or a bunch of shorter ones or whatever you feel like doing. 

I am thankful that you read this blog. I am thankful for your participation...

Saturday, November 8, 2008


4 years ago today, I had the amazing opportunity to witness the birth of a beautiful baby girl. Deni and I welcomed Megan Renae to this world and our lives will forever be changed. 

Megan lived only 4 days but the lessons I have learned and continue to learn will stay with me for the rest of my life. Every year I allow myself this day to mourn. Normally when I think about Megan, I choose to focus on the good things about those 4 days. 

I know that little girl lived her entire life (although short) knowing nothing but LOVE. Somehow there is comfort in that. I don't suppress my feelings, I just choose to focus on the blessings that Megan brought. 

Then every Nov 8th, I will watch a video that we made of her short time on this earth. I watch my family hold her not knowing if she would die in their arms. I look at the pain on their faces because they will not see her again until we meet in Heaven. I see how different we all looked 4 years ago. I also notice how much pain there still is when I watch it. 

One of the coolest things I have learned is that the pain is so great because the love is so deep. If we don't care, we don't hurt. Whenever I talk to people that have suffered loss, I remind them that they are hurting so bad because they loved so much. That can't be a bad thing. 

My point: I don't EVER want the pain to be gone. I choose to allow that grief and pain serve as a reminder that I LOVE MEGAN SO MUCH!!!

If you have suffered a loss, I am sorry. Don't minimize the pain or act like it isn't hard. Choose to embrace the pain as a reminder of the depth of love you have for the one you lost.  

This is my favorite picture of my precious baby girl. She is so comfortable in Mommy's arms. She will have to be comforted in the arms of Jesus until we can hold her again. 

"I love you little girl"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

fun with facial hair

I have updated my facebook with pics from when I shaved my chuck norris beard. 

My point: the beard looked amazing growing and coming off...

here is a small sample

change is coming

Whether you voted for him or not, whether you are happy or not, America spoke loud and clear. The masses came out to let their voices be heard and overwhelmingly they said "change" is what's needed. 

Some people think that no matter who the democratic nominee was, they would've won because people are just that fed up with Bush. The republicans are being blamed for the condition of the country. Right or wrong, it is what it is.

I know of some people who support McCain that are all gloom and doom. Those who support Obama may have a huge reality check coming if/when he isn't able to deliver everything promised on the time table that is expected. This country was set up with checks and balances and somehow some way, I believe this is all part of a much larger plan.

As a Christian, I believe that ALL (not some) authority is appointed by God (Rom 13:1). Because I believe there is a much bigger plan, I have to believe that even this president elect is part of that plan. It is a piece to the bigger puzzle. It has to happen in order to accomplish the ultimate plan. We are witnessing history and again, whatever your opinion, as emotionally charged as you may get, this is a pretty cool time to be alive.

For those who prayed for a different outcome, you need to continue to pray for this president. For those who think this one person is going to make all the problems go away... you should read how this story ends. The Bible tells us how this is going to play out. I don't know why we are surprised. 

My point: It's easy to accept God's will when it is what YOU want - but can't it still be God's will when you don't get your own way. I am a proud American and am anxiously looking forward to see what happens. 

This is a historic time, embrace it and know it is all part of a story & we know how it ends. Stay tuned, it's gonna get interesting...


Saturday, November 1, 2008

who I was -vs- who I am

Last night I blogged in an attempt to be funny... or did I?

I posted a video (I already removed it) that my friend John put on youtube. It is an absolutely hilarious video and I laughed like crazy while watching it but I posted it with the intent to embarrass him - but that is not what friends do.

He was making comments about the pictures I posted on my facebook and I was striking back. I figured if he can dish it out, he can take it. While that sounds good and fair, it just made me feel awful.

As I shared the last time I got to speak at C3 church in a message called "beware of the mouth", I am a recovering idiot. I used to be the one would make fun of people for a laugh. I realized that the reason I made fun of people was out of my own insecurities. 

I am not saying that is why other people do it - it is why I did it. I would justify it with: well it's true, they know I'm kidding, it was just a joke... I would make all kind of excuses. The bottom line is it was wrong. Funny or not, it is wrong for ME to use my words to tear others down. 

I found myself wanting revenge, to make others look stupid because that is what they were attempting to do to me, and I didn't like my motive. I apologize to John "the Truth" TeHaug and to everyone who reads this blog. I became what I used to be and didn't stay true to who I am and I hated that. 

My point: it is a daily battle to sustain the changes I have made in my life. I can't allow others to suck me back into that world.

I am the one who posted the pictures knowing they are funny. I think they are definitely a sign of the times changing. I will keep posting pictures that are intended to be funny and if you choose to make comments, have fun and know that there will be no retaliation. I can take it. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I gave in. I did it. I couldn't hold out. I caved. I was weak and cried uncle... My name is Gary Fowler and I have a facebook

I am not sure why I didn't do it sooner. I guess it was just because I didn't know much about it and figured it was juvenile (I know, why would that stop me). Someone suggested that I do one and I have been getting invites from people to start one so I looked into it and I took the plunge. 

I looked into it more out of curiosity than anything else but as I got into it, I realized that I am the only person on the face of the planet who did not already have one. Finding people is incredibly easy. I found people from my graduating class in high school and long lost friends from the military. It is a great way to stay connected with people no matter where they are. 

I am still new to it so I am sure there is plenty more that I can do with it but for now I am enjoying getting updates from people I have not heard from in awhile or keeping up with people I see regularly but don't get into deep conversations. 

I get a kick out of some of the pictures people use (mine included). I meant for mine to be funny but some people try to be mysterious or sexy or just plain stupid. I love it. 

My point: Don't let ignorance be the reason you don't try something. I took the time to learn about something and actually ended up liking it. I didn't just assume I wouldn't like it and let that be a reason I didn't try it. 

Eventually I will probably move my blog to my facebook so you better become my friend if you want to keep reading this amazing stuff... 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

mirror mirror

The other day Hannah (the 3 yr old red head) said something that sounded a little mean. I thought "she must have heard that from her mother"... maybe she did or maybe she heard it from someone who looked like me. 

When our kids do or say bad things, we can discipline them but we also have to ask where did they learn or hear that. Sometimes even things we say that was meant as a joke, when repeated, can sound different. 

I can be playing with the dog and say "bad dog" when she scratches the mess out of me or "stupid dog" when she runs off and we can't find her for an hour... but when Hannah repeats "stupid bad dog" it sounds awful. 

Another thing Hannah does now is discipline her babies. If you want to see how they view you, watch them with their babies. Hannah was telling one of her babies how disappointed she was and how it was not nice to do that. It got us thinking. 

Deni and I have decided to intentionally watch the tone & volume of our voice. We want to see if it makes a difference. We will not yell when we discipline or be negative when we talk. We saw a difference in ONE DAY!!! 

Hannah was happier and more positive after just one day of creating a positive atmosphere. She was talking nice to us, her sisters and even the stupid bad dog. Hannah is a very happy active child. It is our responsibility to make sure she grows up in a peaceful home.

My point: when you watch shows like nanny 911 or super nanny, you NEVER hear them tell you that you should scream or yell at your child more. I understand that raising your voice is necessary sometimes. It should be the exception not the rule. 

If you show self control, so will they. If your house is always chaotic and stressfull maybe you should take a peek in the ol' mirror. 

I HATE hearing parents yell at their kids. I want to introduce them to "Mr. Sockfull O. Nickels"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

gary (chuck) norris

here is the progress of my Chuck Norris beard along with some more amazing facts about the man himself.

// guns don't kill people Chuck Norris does
// Chuck Norris uses pepper spray to flavor his steaks
// Chuck Norris has 2 speeds - walk & kill
// Chuck Norris does not sleep, he waits
// the quickest way to a man's heart is with Chuck Norris' fist

My point: My beard looks amazing. 

don't be jealous

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

chuck norris

Chuck Norris facts:

1. if you have $5 and Chuck Norris has $5, Chuck Norris has more money than you

2. there is no "ctrl" button on Chuck Norris' computer, Chuck Norris is always in control

3. Apple pays Chuck Norris .99 every time he listens to a song

4. Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open

5. Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip

6. Chuck Norris is suing Myspace for taking the name of everything around you

7. Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table because he only recognizes the element of surprise

8. Chuck Norris can kill 2 stones with one bird

My point: I am growing a Chuck Norris beard.

I know, the resemblance is STRIKING

Sunday, October 12, 2008

hi Sarah

As a family we took a vacation day today to walk for autism awareness. It was a great event and we were honored to participate.

Then we traveled back to St. Clairsville to see Sarah Palin. There were about 7,000 people there and she did a great job. Seeing her in person didn't affect who I am going to vote for. I know who I am voting for, it was just cool being part of something like this.

Of course, she said all the right things and everyone cheered and clapped at the right spots. It was awesome spending a couple hours with my parents, wife and 3 daughters. I love that they get to see a woman doing what Sarah Palin is doing. 

I couldn't get a good picture of Sarah, so I took one of this lady with a Sarah Palin sign on her head as a hat. I think it shows more support if you wear the sign as a hat.

My point: There is something admirable about standing up for what you believe in. I always want to make sure I can give an intelligent explanation for what I believe. Of course I use the Bible as a filter for my personal life but everyone doesn't do that. 

Religion and politics are the two most controversial topics of conversation. Whether or not I agree with your stance, I think you should at least have one.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

they actually said it

Here are a few things that I thought was funny when I heard them.

Someone said:
"I am just thinking in my head"
... where else are you going to think?

"I am just speaking out loud"
... how else are you going to speak?

"can I ask you a question?"
... you mean ANOTHER one?

"I don't mean to interrupt"
... but you just did.

"I was gonna say"
... you were gonna say what?

"you want the truth?"
... nope I want you to continue lying!

I asked someone "who are the people in this picture?" 
Response: (names made up to protect the person) "Ted, Mary, Jack, Susan and me"... thanks for pointing out which one was YOU - duh

My point: people say some really funny things. Listen and you will catch them. Feel free to make a sarcastic comment or just blog about them. I usually do both...

I'm not saying, I'm just saying...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

measure this

We live in a society where we need to measure things. That is why we have report cards in school, performance reviews & lists to work from. That is why we time our races. That is why we have a scale in the bathroom. We need to know if we are doing "better".

I had a conversation with someone that asked "how do you know if you are growing spiritually" I thought that was a great question. I started to think about that and here is what I came up with. 

Galatians 5:22 talks about "fruit of the Spirit" - it consists of peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. 

If we are growing in our relationship with Christ, we will be growing in these areas. Granted, some of these areas may be a little more challenging to measure than others but we can at least use these as areas to focus on in our lives. 

Do you have more peace in your life? Do you have more joy in your life? Are you finding yourself more patient when you used to explode? Are you being more kind to people who may not deserve? Are you doing more good than you used to? Are you gentle in your actions and your words? Do you find yourself having more faith and less worry? Are you able to visibly see self control in areas of bad habits, language towards others and in your personal health and finances? Do you find yourself showing love when you don't have any reason to?

That my friend is Spiritual growth. 

My point: we can measure pretty much everything else, why not spiritual growth. This is a way to look at your life compared to the qualities & characteristics that the Bible says you should demonstrate. You may not like what you see, but you can't plead ignorance anymore. 

Feel free to agree or disagree. If you disagree, how do YOU measure spiritual growth. I am open to learn

I am going to practice self-control and go to bed so I can get up early & workout...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

set on fire by hell

I had the opportunity to speak @ C3 today. I talked about the power of our words. 

The key text was James 3:2. He talks about how incredibly hard it is to control the tongue. Even though it is small, it has HUGE potential to do incredible, irreversible damage. James gives some very clear word pictures about the damaging effects that the tongue can cause if we are not careful. 

James 3:6 has a very interesting statement about our tongue. It says "... for it has been set on fire by hell itself."

Wow, that's a pretty graphic statement. Cool choice of words.  I can't wait until someone mouths off or speaks negative or mean. My response is gonna be "your mouth has been set on fire by hell..." I will let you know how it goes.

The point of this statement is that none of us ever get to the place in our lives where we NEVER have to worry about the impact of our words. We can never stop guarding the words we speak. Our words have amazing destructive power and we need to be cautious of how we use them. 

My point: We need to be careful. We need to think before we speak. Once the words leave your mouth it is like a fire. You can't control or reverse the damage they do. Once they are out there, you have to deal with the consequences and they have to deal with the pain you cause.

Think before you speak and never forget the negative potential of your words. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

say it out loud?

I heard someone say to make good decisions you have to have a process between opportunity and decision.

A lot of times when you hear of someone talk about a bad decision they made, you ask them what were they thinking, they respond with "I don't know!" What if there was a way to limit the damage of a decision.  Here is a suggestion on a way to put that process in place: Say it out loud. Say it out loud? - yep

That's right. Before you do something, say it out loud. When you say it out loud put a question mark at the end of it. It helps you be intentional about what you do and takes away most excuses. 

Here is an example. Let's say you are not happy in your relationship and you start talking to someone online. It is intended to be totally harmless but you choose not to tell your spouse. Say that out loud and it would sound something like this - "I am talking to another person instead of talking to my spouse and I am hiding it from my spouse?" - it doesn't sound like a good idea now does it.

Let's try another one. You sit down to eat and have 2 cheeseburgers a large fry and a huge coke. Here is what it would sound like in form of a question. "I am going to spend money so I can eat a lot of incredibly unhealthy fried food that is going to harm my body?"

Here are some quick ones: I am going to say mean and hurtful things to my spouse until she won't forgive me? / I am going to lie until no one can trust me? / I am going to neglect my children and allow them to be raised by video games and the television? / I am going to look at trash on the internet and lie about it? / I am going to ... you fill in the rest of the question.

My point: if you have someone you can trust it is always a great idea to run it by them. If they are not around to talk to, ask yourself. Ask out loud and form it as a question to see if it sounds like a good idea. 

I am going to blog about saying it out loud? - see how good this little nugget of wisdom works...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

praying in Donatos

We had an advisory board meeting tonight at Donatos pizza. We talked some business, finances, direction and then some "God stuff". That is when it got really interesting. 

We started talking about how we gauge or measure spiritual growth and about spiritual gifts. There was an excitement about what God is doing at C3. 

When all the "business" talk was over, we did something totally crazy. We prayed in a pizza joint. It was awesome. None of us were worried about people seeing us and thinking we are strange or wacked out. We saw an opportunity to practically show God's love and did not hesitate to take it. 

I believe C3 is on the brink of super growth. We have spent about 2 years positively influencing our community. Now we have a great reputation in the community and we can show God's love in our words and actions outside of the church building. We are careful not to shove the bible or religion down people's throats. We simply try to be intentional about living what we believe and teach. We don't always do it perfectly, but we do always try. 

My point: We know that other so-called Christians have done an excellent job of throwing mud on the face of Jesus. We are simply trying to wipe off the mud with each tangible/practical act of kindness. We want people to see a difference in the way we live. We hope when they see the difference, it leads to curiosity - which would then lead to conversations. Those conversations would then give us an opportunity to tell people about the God we serve. 

Do people notice a difference in you? Is it a good difference? Do they want what you have? 

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I am amazed when people are so incredibly generous.

There are some amazing people in this world and I know a lot of them go to C3 church. I am humbled by how much some people LOVE blessing others. I believe when people grasp why God blesses them, they want to bless others. 

I have the amazing privilege of being the messenger of blessings in my position. This week, someone made a generous donation to a family that is having some financial struggles. 

The couple that received the blessing is faithful and still tithe although their income has decreased substantially in the past few months. They agreed that tithing was not an option. They believe that God will bless them if they remain faithful to Him. They were right. God's word tells us that if we trust Him with our finances, He will bless us.  

Even if you aren't able to bless others with your finances or material items, you can be generous with your time help people do things. 

My point: Ask yourself "why did God bless me with this" and chances are, if you are listening, the answer will sound something like this: "so you can bless others"... believe it or not, it's not just so you can buy more "stuff" to store in your garage.

Go bless someone. Just watch how GREAT it feels. 

Friday, September 12, 2008

good friend

I love being part of something nice. 

Today I had an opportunity to deliver some flowers for my buddy. Today is their 10 year anniversary and he is out of town. He coordinated some things that would be special to her and topped it off with flowers. Since he is out of town, he had to ask someone to help. I was honored to be a part of a special plan.

This plan wasn't without a few obstacles. The day was mis-communicated. I thought it was for tomorrow. I even put on my calendar for tomorrow. Then we got caught up getting Rae's 9 month pictures - which went way too long. We stopped at their house on the way home to deliver the flowers and she wasn't home. That was a bummer because Deni had to go to Dr's Urgent Care. 

I was texting my buddy the whole time letting him know what was going on. He let me know when she got home but I was without a vehicle with carseats or a stroller that would carry my girls.  

I was determined to get them delivered because I said I would. It all ended well. My wife got home, I jumped in the van and delivered the flowers. She was very happy that she has such a thoughtful and wonderful husband. She said she blushed but I couldn't tell because it was only lit by a porch light. I was honored to be part of this plan. 

I want to have great friends so I will be a great friend. I made sure that the flowers were delivered because I would have wanted them delivered to my wife. I said I would do something and unless I was physically unable, it was gonna get done. 

My point: we reap what we sow. If you want to know what kind of friend you are - look at your friends. Chances are, you are like them. If you don't have anyone you would call a close or good friend, that says something about YOU!!! 

If you want a good friend, be a good friend. 

Happy anniversary to my friends!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

gary fowler 08

It all started as a joke... why not?

my point: I am clearly the most qualified person for the job. It is up to you to make it happen. 

you got my back? (hopefully, I have yours...)

Friday, September 5, 2008

say it with heart

I am learning a lot these days. I have had to have some conversations that could have gone very wrong and ended up hurting some people I care about. 

As I thought about what I wanted to say and how that would come across, I began getting frustrated because I didn't want to hurt anyone. Then the clarifying question was asked: "how would I want someone to talk to me about this". 

That question helped me go into the conversations with the right heart. One thing I keep in the front of my mind is that even if I am mad, frustrated or hurt by someone, God loves them just as much as He loves me. When you have a conversation with a loving & pure heart, where your motives are to confront out of care, it is amazing what God will do. 

I believe God was honored with the heart and outcome of the conversations. The conversations could've gone really bad and drove people & families far away from God. Instead because of prayer and humility, God softened the hearts of all involved and I truly feel like I am closer to them now because of the heart and attitude involved in the conversations.

My point: We all have a way we choose to communicate, but that isn't necessarily the best way. When we look at people the way God looks at them, it is possible to see the pain or hurt behind the other persons words or actions. We need to care enough about what God cares about (people) to talk to others the way we would want to be talked to - with understanding and love. 

I don't always do this, but I will always try from now on. Especially now that I see it can actually strengthen relationships. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

seagull attack

I hate when people give critical opinions with absolutely no intent to help fix the problem or overcome the obstacle. 

Some people think they are offering you such an amazing service by telling you everything wrong with you, your family, kids, place of work... Some people just refuse to be positive. I will now refer to these people as "seagulls".

A seagull flies in, craps all over everything and flies out. 

When you only offer critical observations (you can call it constructive criticism but when there is nothing constructive, it's called crap), you are a seagull. When you complain and gossip you will attract other complainers and gossip mongers. You attract who you are. 

Look around at the people you hang out with. Here is a reality check - YOU ARE LIKE THEM!!!

You may think you are not but seagulls fly with other seagulls, just like wolves run in packs. You flock of seagulls fly around, do nothing of value, you don't help contribute to the better good, you simply find your target and crap all over it -then get out. The target is usually some unsuspecting, innocent victim who is trying to do their best by making positive changes or improve something. 

My point: It is ok to have a critical eye but not a critical heart. If you find yourself constantly tearing things down, you are a seagull. Be honest enough with yourself to admit it and change. 

Begin being critical of yourself first - I guess you can't do that because crapping on yourself is gross...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

running for bagels

I just did the Panerathon 5k race. I finished 33rd overall out of 576.  I finished in 21:16 officially (21:02 according to my watch). I haven't had a timed 5k since my Air Force days. 

This was Deni's first 5k. She did a great job (other than a little ipod malfunction)... I am very proud of her. It was great to do something together as a couple. I respect her for training and stepping up to do a race. It is a lot of fun training together. We had other friends run it too. It was a great time. 

I heard a comment that struck me funny. A kid was standing next to his dad watching people run by and said "look daddy, they are all running for bagels".

That put it all in perspective. Why do we do these things? Yeah, we got a free shirt, some food, water, cookies, chips... but that is not the reason we do these things. (some do it to feed their very unhealthy desire for a trophy/medal). 

My point: exercise & eating right is challenging, but it is good for you physically & mentally. I just want to make sure I am physically able do things with my kids and spouse. I don't want to have to sit on the sideline and watch them enjoy life. I want them to see me as a very active part of what they do. 

I did bring some cinnamon crunch bagels home...

Hannah actually asks if she can go run with daddy. I love that time with my little red head. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

love conflict?

I have never been one to run from conflict. I guess I see it as a necessary part of life and leadership. 

Someone asked me why I "love conflict". That got me thinking. Do I really love conflict. Do I create conflict just because I love it...

After much thought and prayer, I have concluded that I don't love conflict. In fact, I don't even like it. I have found that dealing with conflict is the only way to peace. As long as we are alive, conflict will be present. It doesn't have to be bad all the time. 

I don't love conflict, I love peace. If conflict is not dealt with quickly and directly, it can get out of control and lead to awkward environments or even bitter, unforgiving feelings. 

If there is a conflict, there are feelings attached to it. If those feelings aren't talked through and worked out, relationships can be destroyed. I hate to see this happen. Especially when the conflict is usually the result of miscommunication or something being taken the wrong way. 

I say, give the person the benefit of the doubt. Go directly to them and talk it through. If the person chooses not to hear what you are saying, listen to them first. Sometimes you have to earn the right to be heard. Just because you have something to say, doesn't mean someone has to listen. If it can't be worked out (which is because one or both people CHOOSE to keep it going), handle it in a way that you will be proud of 5 years from now. If you were to retell the story, how do you want to be remembered for your part?

My point: decide if the relationship is really worth ending over something that is probably going to be forgotten in a day, week or month. Give the benefit of the doubt. Let the goal be peace, not getting your point across or proving you are right. Do you want to have great relationships or do you always want to be right?

Isn't it funny how we can be mad at someone for so long that we forget why. 

Hate conflict - love peace

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Well I guess when you hang around people long enough, they rub off on you. Konan does races all the time because he has a very unhealthy obsession for trophies. (He is also very good at them)

He talked me into doing a "sprint triathlon". It began with a 500 meter swim followed by a 12 mile bike and finished up with a 5k run. I was pretty confident I would at least finish but I had no idea how long it would take me. 

I absolutely loved it. I did better than I thought I would and there are definitely things I could do different to improve if I were to do it again. 

My point: you begin to act like the people you hang around. You can also learn from every experience and do it better / different the next time. Who are you hanging around and what do they encourage you to do. What are the people hanging around you doing?

I am blessed to hang around some great people who encourage me to grow spiritually, mentally and physically. I feel sorry for the people who hang around with me...

I am told that you can call yourself a "triathlete" for 2 years once you do a triathlon race. Please address me accordingly for the next 2 years.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

not guilty

Recently I told you how I got a speeding ticket but this time I really wasn't speeding. I went to court to seek justice and let's just say - I feel justice was served.

I went to court thinking I was going to tell the judge my story and he would say "oh, you were wrongly accused. Case dismissed".  Well that may have been a little optimistic and unrealistic but nonetheless, I got what I wanted - not guilty!

I had to call upon my years of watching the "people's court" with the original Judge Wapner (in photo above) and I picked up a few nuggets from Judge Judy as well. I had no idea that this was going to be a real trial. The state was represented by a prosecuting attorney and I was represented by - me!

I figured I was in trouble when he asked for an opening statement. I didn't have one. I was asked to cross- examine "trooper Lee", so I made up something. I was asked to call my first witness and I responded "your honor, I would just like to tell my side of the story". He said, then take the stand. I told my side and then I was cross examined. I wasn't ready for that. 

I was then asked if I had anymore witnesses. I put my wife on the stand... she loved me for that. I was holding Raegan, my 8 month old baby, while I questioned my wife. It was a real hoot. 

When I rested my case, the judge called for closing arguments. While the prosecution was making their closing remarks, I was thinking of mine. 

I actually came up with a humdinger of an argument because the prosecution offered me a deal. They wanted to lower the charges from 86mph in a 65mph zone to 70 in a 65. This would not add any points to my license. The judge asked me if I wanted the deal. This is when I pulled the biggest load of crap out of the bag. 

I figured that if the prosecution was offering me a deal, there must be enough doubt that they wouldn't get a guilty verdict. I told the Judge that my integrity wouldn't allow me to plead guilty to something I didn't do. I actually kept a straight face while saying it. I did feel my wife burning the back of my neck with her laser angry eyes. She wanted me to take the deal... that is until the Judge said "I am entering a verdict of NOT GUILTY!!!" 

I rolled the dice and came out on top. I was banking on "innocent until proven guilty". I had more than a reasonable doubt. I thought that even if the Judge said I was guilty, he would only charge me with the deal I was offered. I didn't have to find out if I was right or not.

My point: You never know when you will find yourself in a position that you are not prepared for. It happens all the time. I just found myself taking comfort in the truth and letting the Judge administer justice. Even if I was found guilty, I would never regret telling the truth. 

I tell my children "do what's right because it's right". I can only control what I do, not what others do. Tell the truth no matter what. You will always be at peace when you do. 

legal mumbo jumbo: if anyone would like legal representation, please let me know. I have won 100% of my cases. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

google yourself

I had a friend from my past recently find this blog. He found it because he googled his name and it came up in one of the comments on a blog post. Go figure...

It was great to email back and forth a little with this guy and he was pretty surprised to hear of my career / profession. I get that response A LOT when people from my past hear that I am a pastor. Anytime I see someone from when I was growing up, from high school, college or the military, I usually begin the conversation with "I am sorry..." I was an absolute idiot. (I know you are saying "was" - shut up). 

Here is the way I see it. I was blind, now I see. When I was making fun of people, tearing them down for my own personal enjoyment and living a life that I am not proud of - I was blind. Then I developed a real relationship with Jesus and "now I can see". 

I see that the things I was doing were empty and led to places I didn't really want to go. Now that I can see, I try to encourage, uplift people and make wise choices. I really do try to treat others the way I want to be treated.

My point: no one will deny what I was and hopefully no one can deny what I have become. When people see you, something comes to their minds - what is it? What did it used to be and what is it now. If it isn't any better now that you are a little older and hopefully wiser, you need to evaluate your life. 

Go ahead, google yourself and see what comes up. 

Some of you have the pleasure of not knowing me back then - believe me, I was worse!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

up & down

In life we all have our ups & downs. As a 2 year old, Hannah embraces them. 

Hannah has decided to name her 2 pet goldfish "Up" & "Down". I thought that was pretty brilliant. I love when she so innocently does funny things. When asked to name her fish, she simply said "Up & Down" like they were such obvious choices for her free carnival fish. 

I was opposed to getting these "free" fish because they are not really free. You gotta buy the tank, decorative rocks, the plastic plants for their entertainment and the food for the disgusting little things. So now the free fish cost us a little money but I think that is a very small price to pay for the memory. Eventually they will be dead and I will flush Up & Down - down the toilet, but for now, I get a little giggle every time I see them. 

My point: take time to reflect on things. Life is happening so fast that it would be easy to rush right by some humorous moments. I love spending time with my family and even if I never look at another picture, I have my memories...

I am not sure if it is Up or Down is in the photo...  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

gold Jerry - gold

I love the Olympic games. There is something amazing about watching people compete for the title "best in the world."

I can't even wrap my mind around that. Best in the WORLD!!! Not just your school, city, town, state, region or even the United States... THE WORLD! Wow, that is amazing.

I can't even imagine the training and discipline that has to be their life. Their lives have to be laser focused on their diet and activity. I am sure they have to say "no" to a lot of things. Things that other people may call "fun". I am pretty sure that they have probably questioned whether it is all worth it. But then... then they get a glimpse of what could be. As the day approaches, they can begin to picture themselves on the stand getting a medal placed around their neck and having the beautiful anthem play. (I am getting all misty eyed)

What if we put even a small fraction of the discipline into our relationship with Christ. Wow! Maybe we should be disciplined enough to press through the frustration of life and say "no" to things that aren't good for us anyway and pray for a glimpse of how it will feel to stand before God and hear Him say "well done, my faithful servant".

My point: as amazing as the gold metal and anthem would be, it has to pale in comparison to being welcomed into Heaven to spend eternity with our Creator and Savior. When God looks at me, does He say - that guy is GOLD or does he see unrecognized potential. 

As an American and a 3 generation war time veteran (I bet you didn't know that), I love this amazing country. No one can question that. I hope and pray that no one questions my love for my God either...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

holy nose

At first glance you may think it is a mole, a piece of dirt or a booger hanging on for dear life but upon further review - Becky got her nose pierced. 

People do a lot of different things for various reasons. I wonder how many people are walking around with marks, holes or ink on their bodies from a time in their life when they made decisions without fully thinking them through. I am one of those people.

I have a couple tattoos. One of them is from my military days and I just really wanted one. I thought about it enough to make sure I didn't get one where it was seen all the time. I even decided to get one that I would not be ashamed of when I was an old man. I got my zodiac sign, Pieces. Yes, I have an astrology symbol on my ankle. Yes I regret it. It isn't a bad looking tattoo but it represents something that I have never believed in. 

I never read my horoscope or looked to the stars to predict or foretell my future. I was never into that stuff and definitely don't believe in it now. With that being said, if we don't put thought into what we permanently do to our bodies, how much thought do we put into anything. 

My point: think it through before you do it. Especially something permanent. What message are you sending by putting a hole, ink or marks on your body. What are you doing when you eat certain things or spend money you should not be spending.

Life is made up of one decision at a time. Make more good decisions than bad ones and do your best to make sure the bad ones don't do too much damage... 

I think I am going to grow a mustache - who's with me?

Monday, August 4, 2008

last first

A couple weeks ago we noticed that Raegan has some teeth in that chubby little head of hers. 
I began to think about how fast time goes by.

When I try to feed her, there are times I get cereal up her nose and all over her face. This is really cute until you are in a bit of a time crunch. 

One morning, I was trying to get her fed and ready to go somewhere when she started being so nibby and wouldn't keep her head still for me to cram the spoon into her mouth. Just as I started thinking about getting frustrated I realized how much I am going to miss times like these. 

There is a song by Trace Adkins called "you're gonna miss this". He sang it on the finale of celebrity apprentice last year. I remember really liking the song then and even more now. 

Each time she does something for the first time, it is the last "first time" for her. The last first tooth, the last first step, the last first da da... (I gotta stop so I don't cry)

I am going to miss this. I am going to miss my baby (the last one) needing me to carry her everywhere, feeding her and yes even changing those nasty diapers. As she begins to learn and do more, of course I am excited for her but there is something about knowing that she is the last baby I will ever have that makes me a little sad. 

My point: in this season of slowing down, I am really enjoying seeing her be a baby. I absolutely love watching my girls grow up but I just wish it didn't seem to happen so fast. I will not allow myself to look back and say I missed it, I WILL be able to say I enjoyed it to the fullest. 

Yes, her shirt says "my heart belongs to daddy" - you just can't read it because of the rolls...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

women work?

I saw this sign today and thought it was funny. 

It made me think of my wife. To the banker my wife would have to say "I don't work" which simply means I don't have a job outside the home to bring in a paycheck. Believe me, she works. 

When I have a day off, I try to make sure I do things to give her a break because as a stay at home mommy, her job is never finished. I get to go to work (that I love), have adult conversations, go out to eat with people, be outside, have quiet time and set my own schedule. She sets her daily agenda but has to adjust based on potty training and feeding schedules... 

Then when I get home, I do my best to help too. I don't think that just because I was at "work" all day that I get to relax when I get home, just like it would be wrong for her to relax all day and start doing things when I get home. 

We are a team and teams win or lose together. If she is really needing a break, it is my job to give her one. If I don't participate when I get home then I am selfish. I don't understand the concept that I "work" from 9-5 then I relax while she still does everything until it's time to go to bed. That seems a little unfair. 

My point: I believe bringing in a paycheck is important but so is making sure your spouse has a break. Teams win together and lose together. If my spouse feels like she is losing then we both lose. In marriage we need to be about partnership and sharing the load. 

Thanks to all you mommy's for all you do that we don't see and you will never be recognized for. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

slow down

A few weeks I totaled my car. After countless hours on the internet looking all over the state, I found one right next to the church. I had it checked out and bought it. I had Hannah with me one day and she said "Daddy, I like your new car, it's fast!" 

Today, I was going to work and got behind a lady going super slow and it didn't even bother me. I actually didn't even notice that we were crawling at a snails pace because I was so caught up in the scenery. 

I found myself looking at the sky, clouds, trees, grass, the place I wrecked my bike into a fence (another story for another day...) and everything else around. I was going slow enough that I was actually enjoying the journey and not frustrated with what someone else was doing. 

It was in that moment that I decided that I am going to slow down. I am going to go slow enough when I drive to be able to appreciate the scenery. I am going to go slow enough at home to enjoy my family time. I am going to enjoy life instead of rushing thru it. 

My point: Life goes by so fast. Make sure you enjoy the journey and not just focus on the destination. 

I heard someone say that if you want to have a great relationship with Christ, you have to "ruthlessly remove hurry from your life"... that's good stuff right there!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

why i

C3 has been doing a series called "why i". So far we have talked about "why I" smile, doubt and why I trust

This got me thinking about some of the things people do. Why do some people wear the bluetooth everywhere they go. Why do some people only talk about themselves. Why do people drive so fast. Why do they go to the gym and just stand around. Why do people complain about EVERYTHING. Why do they blame their problems on everyone but themselves. Why is popping pills the only option. Why do you say you are in agreement with a decision only to act like a big baby and blame your spouse when you don't like it anymore. 

These are just a few of the things people do that I don't understand. That is "why I" take responsibility for myself. I don't want anyone to think I am not a person of integrity. It absolutely drives me nuts when people say they will do something but never come thru. They say they will help and be a key leader then they never show up but they always have a great excuse. Irresponsible, inconsiderate people are "why I" carry a sock full of nickels...

My point: You are the reason why. Stop blaming your problems on your parents who never hugged you or your spouse who doesn't get off the couch. You can still choose to have a great attitude. Your attitude is YOUR choice. That is "why I" choose to blog and shine some light on this subject. 

Think about what you are going to do then do it. Don't say you will if you won't. 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

moral authority

I heard a great message by my mancrush - Andy Stanley, about "moral authority". He explained that there are positions of authority that we don't necessarily respect. I am sure you have been there. Maybe it was a parent, boss or whoever...

We may listen to them, because we have to, but we don't really respect them. The reason we don't respect them is because they are not consistent. They say one thing and do another or act one way around certain people and totally different at home.

I guess I never put it in those terms but I can now see that is exactly why I didn't agree with some people I worked for or with. They were inconsistent with what they said and what they did. The "public" person was different than the "private" person. I guess the inconsistency made me question if they were being honest / sincere with me.

I totally understand that there are certain people you are different around. I won't let out a loud belch in front of my mom because she would still slap the fire out of me. I am talking more about matters of character and integrity.

As a Pastor, people will ask my advice/opinion based on a title. Before I say anything, I make sure what I say is what I do and that it is biblical. If I told someone that they need to tithe while I am not doing the same, I am compromising my moral authority.

If I have made the mistake they are asking me about, I make sure I tell them - I have made the same mistake in the past but I can offer what I have learned from it. I always want to operate with integrity and not compromise my moral authority.

I was blessed the other day when my 12 yr old, Shayna, told me that I am very consistent. If I say it is wrong today, it is wrong tomorrow too. She told me that she expects me to tell her what to do and make sure she understands what will happen if it doesn't get done. I communicate the task and expectations as well as the consequences. She told me that she loves this. It takes away any questions. If she does something I told her not to do she gets punished. It is that simple.

If I didn't follow through with the consequences or never told her what I expect, I am being inconsistent and she will lose respect for me because I am saying one thing and doing another.

My point: be consistent. Do what you say you are going to do. Don't do what you say you won't do - even if no one is looking.

You can click on Andy's pic to go to his messages. You will not be disappointed

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

twitter kills

I started twittering a few months ago. I have noticed that twittering has caused me to slack on my blogging. For my faithful reader (yes I meant it to be singular), I apologize.

I have figured out that by twittering, I have a mini outlet for my totally random thoughts and updates. I guess by twittering it when it happens, I don't see the need to blog about it later.

I will do better. I am going to go back to a minimum of 3 times a week. I can always find something to have a strong opinion about.

My point: not everyone twitters and I need to be sensitive to my non twittering fan (yes singular again). I will get back into my strong random thoughts for you to discuss at the water cooler.

If you don't twitter yet, you can check it out here. Let me know if you do twitter so I can follow you.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Can you imagine being so good or bad at something that they named it after you. 

When you make a bad shot in golf, you can take a "mulligan". That basically means you don't have to score the bad shot and you can play another one. I wonder why they call it a "mulligan". 

I am sure I can research it but I thought it would be better to come up with my own story, here it is: a guy named Billy Mulligan (that's him in the picture) stunk so bad that he had to hit too many shots to count. Since they could never keep track of all the shots he really took, they just scored the good ones. Thus, every time a person he was playing with hit a bad shot, he would say "I am going to take a mulligan" and re-hit. 

Now to my main thought. What would be named after you? If I said "don't pull a Chris" - what would that mean. What would I be insinuating, would it be good or bad. What about if I wanted to give you a compliment and said "that was such a Hannah thing to do". 

Do I want you to "go give 'em a Gary". I am not sure what that would mean. What do you think it would mean. Insert your own name and try to think what other people would say. 

My point: you are going to be remembered for something, you get to decide if it is good or bad. Are you living the life you want to be remembered for. Does your word mean anything. Does your name make people cringe or smile.

I know when we were choosing names for my daughters, we would say one and wait on the reaction from the other one. We were basically trying to think of all the people with that name and decided if we liked them or not... you did it too!!!

My goal is to make "Gary" one of the most popular, well respected names out there. What!? It could happen... 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

make some one smile

As I was walking into the bank today, I held the door for an elderly gentleman. He looked at me with a surprised smile and said "thanks son, you just made my day!"

That made me feel good to hear but then I started thinking and analyzing his excitement. He is either a very grateful person or people just don't do kind, considerate things anymore. 

If something as simple as opening the door for someone will make their day, imagine what letting a car in when there is a lot of traffic would do. What would happen if we started doing nice things just to "make some one's day"? 

Can you predict what someone would do if you paid for their coffee. I am sure they would think "what's your motive?" or "what kind of freak are you?" - those reactions are kind of sad. I think it is important to be kind and considerate to others. Especially if we call ourselves Christians. 

My point: something simple can make some one's day - you can do something simple. Go out and intentionally look for something nice to do. Even if you don't get the same reaction I got, you will feel good about yourself. Stop being so wrapped up in yourself and start doing something for other people. 

Let me know what kind of response you get. Now go make some one smile - do it - really, get going!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

guilty until proven innocent

I was traveling home in a mini-van with 126k miles on it. It was me, my wife, 2 sleeping babies, and a dog. This yahoo was riding my butt so as soon as the 2 lanes changed to 3 lanes, I got in the far right lane. 

This dude blew right by me like I was standing still. We even commented that he was toast because there was a cop at the bottom of the hill. We saw the cop standing there waving his hands and we thought "ha ha, you are busted"... Not so fast

The cop pointed at ME and motioned for me to pull over. I thought you gotta be kidding me. Deni said she looked at the speedometer and it was not over 70. The cop asked me if I knew why he pulled me over and I said "I have no idea"... he said he clocked me doing 88 in a 65. I said this "sir, I have 2 sleeping kids and we are not in any hurry, and I don't think this van could even do 88" - he said it was and proceeded to write me a ticket. 

This sucks. I have been pulled over for speeding before and I ALWAYS admit it when I am guilty. This time, I really wasn't doing it and it is going to be my word against his. Guess who is gonna win that one???

I honestly believe he got the speed of the car that blew past me and tagged me with his speed. How do you go to court and argue that one. Every person that gets pulled over says they are innocent. The judge hears every excuse and sob story there is. What do you do when you REALLY are innocent. What about the "until proven guilty" part?

My point: I am a person that admits when I mess up. I will own it instead of making excuses. The people that know me - knows that if I say I did it, I did it, but if I say I didn't, then I didn't. I have enough integrity and they know my word is good. 

I wish the judge would just say "oh, you didn't do it - dismissed" and bang the gavel. I really don't see that happening. 

If you know of a way to get out of this one, let me know. If I did it, I would admit it. 

Monday, June 30, 2008

hello July

Junkless June is over. I will be up at midnight eating ice cream and drinking pop.

My point: I proved to myself that I CAN go without the junk. Now I just have to learn to eat it in moderation. I will not undo what I did this past month. If you do, what did you really gain from going without.

Many people have had a very positive experience. If you didn't - maybe you should evaluate why you did it in the first place

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yesterday I was coming home from work and got into an accident.

This guy turned right in front of me and I creamed him. Not sure what made him think he could make it but he was wrong - it wasn't even close. 

I tried to swerve to miss him but to no avail. I locked the brakes and braced myself for the inevitable impact. It felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I saw the panic on his face then I saw the airbag punch me in the nose. 

My rearview mirror was dangling, my windshield shattered, some of the buttons came off of the dash, both airbags blew and then I stepped out of the car. My front end is a hot mess. I am not sure how much damage but it's not looking good for the mitsubishi. 

He was cited for "failure to yield when turning left", we exchanged insurance info and off I went. Trying to drive home with airbags hanging there was a little challenging. 

My point: you never know when someone is going to totally disregard common sense and take a ridiculous risk. We need to calculate our risks before we injure someone. 

To answer the obvious question - NO, I was not speeding or texting and no one else was in the car with me. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

thumbs up

When a company gives awful service I will tell people so I feel like I should do the same for companies that give great service. 

Verizon just hooked us up. Recently we discovered Twitter. It was very cool when I thought I had unlimited texting. Then I get the bill and realized it was only unlimited for verizon to verizon customers. BUMMER!!!

I called verizon and explained my ignorance and they credited my account and hooked me up with a REAL unlimited texting package and got it added to my wife's plan as well but here is the kicker - It will cost NO EXTRA a month... go figure. I can't disclose how I made it happen. We can chalk one up for a blessing or for flirting, either way, it was great. 

My point: we need to spread good experiences as much as the bad ones. I like hearing both only because it lets me be cautious of the negative companies and it makes me want to do business with the great ones. 

Good job verizon, you get a "thumbs up". I took the extra time to ask to speak to the person's supervisor so I can brag on her. She made my day, why not make hers.

disclaimer: my wife sat here and listened to the entire conversation and was ok with my flirtation (actually encouraged me to) as long as it saved us money... 

Monday, June 23, 2008

finish strong

We have one week left until the end of  junkless June. I have heard some great things from many people. Even those who have had to pay penalties are reporting that they officially broke the craving for soda, coffee, sweets, snacks... etc.

I have always believed that anyone can start but not everyone can finish. I remember being told that "if you start it, you finish it". It doesn't matter what it is, you do your best until the very end. I have always told Shayna and I will tell Hannah & Raegan - "there ain't no quit in you". Ok, so the grammar is pathetic but you get the point. 

Junkless June is teaching me a lot about the people involved. Some threw in the towel early while others said they didn't officially start it and then there are some who no matter what happens, they will not quit. It doesn't matter how many times they fall, they get back up and run thru the finish line. 

My point: if you are not going to complete the task, don't start it. If you do decide to stop before the task is complete, don't offer lame excuses or a bunch of  garbage that people won't believe anyway. Chances are that you are only saying it to make yourself feel better anyway. 

Just own up to it and choose what you start a little more carefully. You are only making it easier to quit each time you start something new. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

5 ways to stay in love

It is no secret that I love my wife very much. She is my best friend. We have chosen to allow this marriage to be built on biblical principals.  It isn't always easy, but it is well worth it. 

Here are 5 very practical things we have done throughout our relationship to choose to love:

//10 reasons I fell in love with you: one of the first fights we ever had as a married couple, we went to our separate corners. I knew she was too mad to talk so I just went in and asked her to write down 10 reasons she fell in love with me, then whenever she was ready, come and talk to me. When she came in, she was still very visibly mad but she did it. I said, I will read my list of 10 reasons I fell in love with you first. As I read, I could see her body language changing. When I finished, it was her turn and it took the focus off whatever we were arguing about and put the focus on our love. We then calmly talked about what we disagreed on and made up. 

//Filter your actions thru biblical love: one time during a disagreement, I was reading the bible. I was looking for reasons to strengthen my stance on how right I was but what happened was I different, I felt very convicted. I read 1 Cor 13 (commonly referred to as "the love chapter"). I then filtered the way we were treating each other thru the Bible's definition of love. I went to my wife and started working thru the biblical definition of love: patient, kind, does not keep score... (you'll have to read the rest for yourself) and apologized for the way I was acting. I said, love is patient and I was not very patient with you, love is kind and I was not very kind to you & went thru the entire list. She then accepted her part of the argument and we calmly made our way to a loving solution. 

//I Love you because: sometimes we will just lay together and take turns saying "I love you because..." then we fill in the blank and it feels great. 

//I feel loved when: we will also tell each other "I feel loved when..." and point out when we feel loved by the other one. This is great because it reinforces the positive things and of course we want repeat what is rewarded. 

//Heart talk: one of the best things we have done for our relationship is learn how to communicate very tough topics in a calm and loving way. This one is extremely hard but well worth learning how to do it. We don't always do it as well as we want to but that is when we allow the emotions to get in front of the love. When you hear the heart instead of the anger, it is much easier to talk calmly and work to a loving solution.  

My point: of course we disagree at times, but we choose to work thru those times. We don't let feelings stay internal and grow into bitterness. We have a choice to grow in our love. If we say we "Love", do we back it up with our actions. 

If someone asked your spouse: do you feel loved - what would their response be? What are you doing to make your spouse feel loved... 

Before you ask, NO - I am not kissing up for something I did to make her mad... This is just another way to show her how much I love her.