Saturday, July 21, 2007


Thursday am: wife comes to get me to go to coffee. On the way back to work, her Yukon Xl dies- turns out to be a fuel pump. Turns out the brakes are bad too.

Thursday pm: I discover the repairs will cost $1100. I then call an old time friend who is a parts manager at a GMC dealer and he gets me one part over nighted to the repair shop I had it towed to. This, if all goes well, will save me $180. $920 to go.

Friday am: I get a really bad feeling about my truck and the 1200 mile round trip 10 day camping experience we're about to embark on. So I call to get a quote on replacing the clutch. $1200 is the going rate. Ouch.

Friday am: I find out that my Midas brakes are covered by them, but I still have to pay for the labor to replace them. This saves me another $180. $760 to go.

Saturday pm: Shannon calls me from her cell. She's driving my truck and the clutch is on the floor and won't come back up. I have no vehicle to go get her. The neighbors take me down there. $1200 clutch, now not optional. I manage to limp home in second gear. My truck is now half way in/ half way out of my driveway because I can't get it in or out of reverse. Monday I guess I'll have it towed to the clutch shop. $1960 to go.

Saturday, dinner time: Dinner is over and Shannon starts the dishwasher. It disagrees. Freezes. And Dies. I should cuss, but instead I just smile at the stupidity of my world and try and remind myself of the blessing it is in the world to even say your top 3 problems are two broken down cars and a busted home appliance. I decide I'll cuss later. Maybe after I discover that the going rate for a dishwasher is like over $600. $2460 to go. Cussing to commence promptly.

Does somebody have something against me having any savings?

Anyway.... then I checked my voice mail on my cell... which had been on "silent" all day while I worked on TJ's 10 year old birthday remodel his room present.... and discovered I had not sent a letter of recommendation for a student I said I'd send and that I sent my assistant coach to a soccer team meeting at the wrong location. UGHHHHHH!

My family is planning on going camping on Wednesday. I think I might go today. That is if I didn't have to bike there.


Friday, July 20, 2007


Whelp. Ed, the main teaching pastor at our church... said this deep thing tonight at church that I thought was worth remembering. It even caused a "wow, that's good stuff" from the people in the row behind me. Here it is:

"If you follow Jesus at a safe distance,
the problem is you'll end up both safe and distant from Jesus."

Hmmmm.... chew on that for a while... or let it marinate... or simmer... or put it in your pipe and smoke it.... or uh.. you get the picture.


Thursday, July 19, 2007


After seeing two blogs that got their blog rated (marko and dan). Marko was rated G and Dan rated R. So, I finally decided to see what mine is rated out of pure curiosity. My Blog got rated PG-13.

It was because I said "crap" somewhere once and "bomb" somewhere twice. I wonder if this is how movies are rated. Very random if you ask me.

Either way, you can and should do two things.

#1. Get your blog rated here.

#2. Keep anyone 13 or under away from my blog unless supervised by a parent.



Maybe I should hope and pray that my car can be fixed for $500. My initial estimate for rear brakes and my fuel pump assembly is $1100. Oh fun.



Today, my wife came to work to bring me my cell phone and then we went to the bank and to get java. Right as we were leaving the parking lot at Grossmont Center, my wife says, "Brian, the wheels on this car are squeaking, I think somethings wrong with the brakes, and ....." then the car died. This left me, my wife, and 3 small children in the back all smack in the middle of this really small right hand turn exit thing. So we totally blocked the way out of the parking lot. I put the flashers on and then started to push the car out of the way.

Meanwhile, there's a dude stuck behind me. He honks. Honks. Um.... I wanted to stab him with a tire iron. However instead I just walked around, said, "I'm trying to push my car out of your way. It's a Yukon XL. It'll take me a minute." He apologized and then got out and helped.

Oh the joys of broken down cars. So, from the land of broken down vehicles I offer these nuggets of wisdom....
  • Remember, your car will break down someday and the guy who is blocking the intersection by accident and is really wishing they were somewhere else and NOT calling a tow truck right now... yeah that guy... one day will be you. So be nice to that guy.
  • Keep your middle finger in your nose or your pocket or wherever before you wave it around in anger. The tow truck guy said that he got flipped off by a lady while he was helping a car that was broke down a few days ago. He remembered her cuz it pissed him off. 2 hours later he got another call from a broken down vehicle. It was that lady. Yeah... he towed her car.... slower than a car has ever been towed in the history of car towage.
  • Use your horn to celebrate weddings. I know it's illegal. But I'd say break a law in celebration before you use the stupid thing to get angry at someone else's distress.
  • Friends are good. Especially ones that come and save you and your kids from distress moments. Thanks Jared and the Hammond family!!!
  • One final nugget... I have AAA- so my tow is free. But in a really nice conversation with my tow truck driver, I discovered he only gets $7 per AAA call from his employer. No matter how long it takes. Um... so tip your tow truck guy... with money and not your middle finger.
oh.. I really hope this episode is not a $500 pain in my arse.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I'm super excited. Just got my tickets to this in the mail today. I pre-ordered them forever a go. It's gonna be good times in the house of blues.



Well for the second year, I've decided that a great way for me to invest in my boys and love on our community, is to coach soccer for 2 of my boys teams in our local AYSO league. (The largest youth sports league in the country with 600,000 kids in it nationwide.) It is a MONSTER time commitment and this year we add attending games for Jake too into the mix. That means 3 games every Saturday, plus 2 practices a week per kid. 2 of those games and 4 of those practices also fall on my leadership shoulders. I give my time for the love of the game and in the name of loving my boys. I also do it in honor of loving my God in the full view of the watching world around me. I do it to keep my eyes on reality, since as pastor my world can easily be swallowed up by a very narrow slice of the world who attends church here in East County.

That having been said, I went to probably the worst volunteer meeting I've been in for a long time. I went needing to be encouraged and supported in the goal of soccer. Instead I was threatened and motivated evidently through "negative" leadership. As one whose full time job involves working almost exclusively with with volunteers, my AYSO coaches meeting last night was a lesson in what not to do with a meeting where I desire to motivate and direct my volunteers. Here's my learnings/reminders from the land of a bad coaching meeting:

  1. Pacing back and forth from one side of the room to the other while ranting about rules and policy does not increase the ownership of the rules, it makes you look obsessed with them.

  2. If you must criticize. Do it assuming that no one in the room is guilty of what you're talking about- especially when 90% of them are not.

  3. Never tell those who do the most in your program that they must not have the ability to say no.

  4. If you don't know how long someone has been serving in your program, don't make your default guess that this is their first year. You look like an idiot when they answer that they've been with you for 8 years.

  5. Have an agenda. Not just one in your head. One others can follow and understand.

  6. Have materials ready before people arrive. No one enjoys volunteering in administrative confusion.

  7. Threatening people with your anger never results in a deeper commitment to you or your cause. It does make them wonder if you are related to Hitler.

  8. The good cop/bad cop team roles is a lame leadership tool. Don't use it.

  9. Don't wait until the very last sentence to tell your volunteers that they are valuable. Tell them first, then prove it by giving them your respect all through your meeting.

  10. If you started doing a job for the love of it and have come to hate it as an unwanted burden, it's time to re-think your role.



Well my blog silence is due to two consecutive one-week long trips with our high school students.

One was with a group of students to something we call OGN and is about 200 students from all over the country who join up at Pt. Loma Nazarene University. It's a week of classes on helping students think intelligently through issues related to things like: what proof is the of the resurrection?, What does Islam teach and how is it different from Christianity?, What are the central doctrines of Mormonism?, What do we do with the problem of evil?, and stuff like that.

We also talk to them about talking with people about God, the power of prayer, turning conversations toward the overtly spiritual, and loving a crowd like Jesus did. They then spend the afternoons putting into practice what they're learning by talking with people on beaches and boardwalks and parks around the San Diego area during the 4th of July week.

I then took a group of 6 students (3 guys and 3 gals) and my partner in crime, Sarah, to go to Saddleback's Student Leadership Conference. This is the second year they've done this and the second year we've gone. Several pieces were different this year, but it was still great. The last day was nothing but student serving opportunities and my group went and randomly collected cans for the needy in front of a grocery store. The end result was like 500 different things donated in 3 hours. Amazing what God does when we trust him. Amazing!!!

I taught a seminar again which was tons of fun and I loved hanging with a really small group of our students for a week when we can do what we want when we want. We also stayed again for an extra day to do some ministry planning for our calendar year. This always generates tons of momentum among my leadership core and gives me renewed zeal for my job. I love dreaming. I'm actually teaching a seminar on that this year at the YS Conference in San Diego. I'll be sharing the process I go through every year to set a calendar/teaching plan and such. Should be good times.

Anyway... after 2 solid weeks with my students, here's what I've concluded:
  • People really are interested in having spiritual discussions. Even with strangers. And not just the crazy people either. Like everyday kind of people will talk to you if you ask.
  • People like to be givers, but a lot of people are skeptical as to what you'll do with money or resources they give to you. Trust trumps gifts.
  • If you get within a mile of sand and water, it's ok, even normal to walk around in underwear and a bra. Men have escaped this pressure or expectation and at least on the west coast of California, they mostly wear shorts and not just their briefs. This is weird to me.
  • If beer is 97% water, then there is HUGE power in the 3% to make people behave differently... especially if you multiply it by about 6.
  • The needs of this World can be found in microcosm in my own backyard. It's crazy to live in a place where the world visits and even lives. I've also never really lived any period of my life in a place where this was not true. I need to open my eyes more. I could learn a lot by talking to the people in my very community.
  • There is a direct correlation between the time you spend with someone or something and the ownership one has of that thing. Ownership cannot be rushed.
  • I love teaching.
  • Experience trumps teaching. Always.
  • Students have an amazing ability to rise to the challenge- especially if an adult doesn't jump in and save them before they are forced to step up themselves.
  • Never underestimate the power of spontaneous late night bonding. It is essential to youth ministry trips and experiences they never forget.
  • I love high school students- but I need my alone time or I start to question that fact.



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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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