Tuesday, October 28, 2008


NO, we are not auctioning off our children. But after tonight, we are considering selling our 3 to get these two.. just kidding. relax. don't report us.

OK... but for reals check this out. We have a friend from high school who has a blog and a mean talent with a sewing machine and she's combined the two to change the world by creating her own little private e-bay of sorts. She's raised money for the International Justice Mission several times and right now, she's doing one to help us out.

You can hit up her blog here if you'd like a beautiful apron for yourself or a friend as a gift to both yourself and our family! HURRY. AUCTION ENDS REALLY SOON.

Right now the highest bidder is a friend of mine, Neely who is also adopting! You should go to her blog and buy these cool shirts too and help her family out. Shannon and I both have one and we need to get some for our kids now.



Well, we are working hard to raise the funds we'll need to get our kids home from Africa. Here's an update on the process on our end:

NECKLACES AND BEADS AND SUCH: It's a long story, but here it is really short and in a few pics. When we were in Uganda we learned of these necklaces that the "mommies" make at the orphanage out of magazine paper as a small business venture for them. It's pretty amazing actually. Here's a few pics of the process:

Well, we brought home with us several hundred dollars worth of these necklaces and bracelets in the hopes that we would be able to sell them for raising funds for the orphanage- or so we thought. Turns out it was (at least in part) for us to raise the funds for the adoption. Consequently, God has given Shannon several opportunities- some up north and some down here in San Diego- to tell our story and sell the beads. She even got invited by our local public elementary school several times where Shannon subs too! Here's the display that we made for the Halloween gig at the school last Saturday.

All in all, it's brought in something like $1400 for us. Sweet way to raise funds and bless Uganda in a bunch of ways!

LETTERS: We have sent out letters and are about half way done. Our goal is to have the remainder in the mail by this Friday.

RANDOM MONEY: I found some savings bonds from high school graduation that I liquidated for the cause and had the State of California send me a letter about some unclaimed money I have from a childhood stock I got from my grandpa. Yep, my grandpa gave me stock. Anyway- it had an unclaimed dividend that I'm chasing down. Random and cool.

BOOKS AND WRITING: I think I've found a way to bring in some more flow with several extra writing gigs that might not only be a blessing to the youth ministry world but a blessing to us as well.

GARAGE SALES, AND E-BAY, AND SHANNON'S SUB JOBS... and a bunch of other stuff I'm praying will fill in the gaps... but that's where we are so far.



Friday, October 24, 2008



My dad and I are going to be building some sheds to get the shovels and bikes and stuff out of my garage over Thanksgiving week. I should then have a wood shop again in our garage with some space to build. First up: a desk/wall unit for Billy and Jake.

But no matter how awesome I get at woodwork, I doubt I'll ever have the time or devotion to make one of these. Crazy. Crazy stinking awesome! I bet Jesus is proud of this guy. I want a 700 horse power wooden car... sorta. Both scares the hell out of me and inspires me at the same time.

Watch these 3 one minute videos. The first is a description of this grad school project. The next two are the freaking building and splicing of a wooden loom they made for the exterior material of this project. Ridiculous. These guys are amazing.


One of the first things I ever bought as a child was a pentax changeable lense camera. I wanted one like my dad had, so we went to this camera swap meet thingy and bought this 1950's camera with screw in lenses. I loved it. I used it all through high school and even developed my own film in a series of photography classes I took.

When I graduated from high school, I spent $1000 I had saved up (my parents were not happy with me- I did it while they were on vacation and I was home alone) to buy my first auto-focus SLR- a Minolta. I used it all the way up until about 18 months ago when I got my first digital SLR- a Sony a100 and have been addicted to digital photography and photoshop ever since.

I then walked past my friends computer today to notice a pretty sweet desktop background.

I asked him here he got it, and he said he'd send me the link. Yeah... well it was a photographers dream link. Check out this for some awesome pictures you can dump in your desktop backgrounds or on your mulitmedia slide shows for free. Stinkin awesome! I hope I become a photographer like that someday.

I think I might have to actually start uploading some of my pics to istockphoto. I just have to make myself make the time to do it. I'll let you know if and when I get my some of my content live.



Confession: I feel fat most days. I have ever since my feshman year in college pretty much.

I think it's a combination of the culture I live in, the proximity of my youth ministry to the beach, the skinny people I see, the fact that most of the high school students I work with have a metabolism that has no signs of slowing down yet, the truth, and yatta yatta.

Well, a few weeks ago for a DMV physical and an adoption physical combo dealeo, they drew some blood to take some tests to make sure I'm not a crack addict. After the tests came back, they said my cholesterol is great and I'm not doing drugs and that my liver was showing some readings they did not like and called me back in to take the test again.

Today they called me to tell my liver is working fine and something about copper is great too. However they want me on a "low fat" diet cuz evidently they think I might be storing fat on my liver which is making some other reading about something be higher than they want to to be. I don't have diabetes, I don't drink alcohol more than about 1x a month, and I don't qualify as obese, but they say I'm slightly overweight and storing it on my liver.


I swear, I couldn't gain a pound in high school if I tried. Now, if I eat a pound of food, 1/2 of it goes straight to my chin and the other half is evidently chillin' on my liver. Which she says isn't much to worry about, but they basically want to try this rat caught in a trap lab experiment on me.

Oh well, here I go. 2 months of "low fat diet". I'm gonna get ripped too, just to show the doctor how freakin' fit I am. Then I'm gonna walk the beach naked and get a tatoo of a skinny liver.


Thursday, October 23, 2008


I went on my first field trip of the school year yesterday with Jake's first grade class. We walked from his school down the hill to the library and the fire station and back.

Here's what I learned:

#1. The library in our community has free wireless and lets you eat inside cuz they have a cafe too. I just might need to go there to study soon. They have some nice tables too. I kinda dug it. It surprised me.

#2. I know several firemen. Here's what I've concluded about them over the years that I've also confirmed yesterday:

  • they will risk their life to save yours
  • they like it when stuff burns- they are kinda pyromaniacs in recovery. Don't misunderstand, they don't want you or anyone else harmed, but they secretly hope your dryer catches your house on fire and that they get to swing an axe and break stuff and make your house really wet.
  • they are part prankster.
  • they like to eat and excercise. Some more of one than another.
  • they are neat freaks. For whatever reason, they love their stuff organized to the point of everything has a place and in it's place at all times.
  • they have a schedule that makes me jealous. I wish I could work "x" hours on and then get 4 days off. I think I would like to lobby for the whole world to go on that schedule. Let's all work a grip and sleep in our office and then let's go play at the beach for several days and do it all over again. Sounds awesome.
#3. Jake has a lot of energy.

Here's the photos of me and my youngest son for like 3 more months. That's weird to think about.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Not only did the cops catch me answering a 10 second phone call in my car, but the freaking thing is supposed to cost me $135!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! per the note from the court I got in the mail today.


I'm so FIGHTING THIS. This is ridiculous!

Here is the stupid legal record of what occurred. I copied this from my September phone bill:

  • Call #13: Friday. 9.5.2008 8:39 am. TJ calls me at the office. 2 minute call. He's worried he's not going to get to school on time. It's his first time home alone. Mom and Dad are at work.
  • Call #14: Friday. 9.5.2008 8:41 am. I call his ride, can't get a hold of her on her cell.
  • Call #15: Friday. 9.5.2008 8:42 am. I call TJ and tell him I'm on my way home to get him and take him to school. I get in my car and start to drive home.
  • Call #16: Friday. 9.5.2008 8:46am, TJ calls my cell phone to tell me that his ride just arrived and that I don't need to come. I answered the phone assuming he was still panicked and at the exact time I pass a radar holding motorcycle cop who clocks me in at a whopping 55 in a 65 and gives me a ticket for holding my cell phone in my hand near my face as I passed him by.


I want to know what McCain and Obama think about this. I'm voting for whoever thinks this is the dumbest fine in the history of dumb fines. I could have been shaving or changing stations on my ipod instead and both woulda been legal.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Well, I mentioned before that this whole adoption thing has caused us to have to visit and revisit some core level realities of our family.

Pivotal in this process has been the reading of a new book by Patrick Lencioni called the 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family. I don't know that I like describing our family as frantic... but if the shoe fits... I guess I have to put it on. Regardless of your comfort level with the title, I highly recommend this book- especially to those of you with young kids- though he does show how this process fits families of all shapes and sizes.

The basic premise of the book is that as a business author, Lencioni helps businesses run efficiently and achieve their objectives intentionally. However, while he believes that the family is the most important organization on the planet, he found he rarely applies these basic business practices to his home life. So, the phrase, "If we ran my company like we ran this home, we'd be out of business" becomes the rally cry of this "leadership fable" style book he wrote.

Here are his 3 BIG QUESTIONS and the answers Shannon and I have come to for them:


THE BERRYTRIBE is an interracial family with 5 children. We strive to keep our faith in God in the center of our lives and to spend quality time together. We place a high value on personal responsibility, hard work, and integrity. We are active in our local schools, enjoy camping and day activities together, and intentionally serve Jesus' church- both locally and globally.

  • stay physically and spiritually healthy.
  • continue both Dad's and the children's education.
  • keep our finances in a place where they serve us in stead of us serving them.
  • take the necessary steps to keep our marriage healthy and strong.


THE BERRYTRIBE is focused on Adopting and Assimilating Becky and Billy into our family.

(the book recommends a goal that is 2-3 months long. Ours is more like 4-6 months of stuff, so we broke it down in more manageable chunks. We could have made each one it's own rallying cry, but we chose this route instead)

  • Define and refine our family budget
  • Raise/generate 75% of the funds it will take to accomplish our immediate needs for adoption
  • Sell extra items in Garage sale and over e-bay/craigs list.
  • Complete our international home study.
  • Buy plane tickets.
  • Get Becky and Billy registered and ready for entry into the pre-k class at RSD.

DEFINING OBJECTIVES BY JANUARY 7, 2009 (when we plan to leave for Uganda).
  • Get Billy and Becky the clothes and supplies they will need in our home.
  • Set up the children's rooms.
1. BECKY: touch up the paint, add her name to the wall, kid friendly decorations.

2. BILLY and JAKE: finish the desk wall unit, redo and organize their closet, fix shade.

3. TJ and TYLER: expand the desk, remove the shelves, organize their closet, get a dresser and a mattress for Tyler, fix the shade.
  • Buy Becky and Billy a bike.
  • Learn the necessary hygene and specific needs of black children.
  • Solidify the plan for our 3 boys while we are in Uganda.
  • Complete the raising/generating of funds necessary for our adoption process.

  • Bond with them as a family.
  • Complete the legal international adoption process.
  • Home school them for a smoother entry into the U.S. pre-k class

  • Plan the twins March birthday party bash.
  • Find a solution to Brian's truck for taking 7 people and a dog camping.

  • We will post them in our kitchen so they are clear and visible
  • We will discuss them weekly with our children.
  • Brian and Shannon will assess them every Monday morning in our family planning time.

Well, there you have it. Our family process out there for the world to observe. Hopefully it will encourage you to consider a process like this in your marriage and family. I'm hoping and praying that it helps us say yes to the right things and no to the wrong things in the coming months. I'm also praying that it becomes a regular part of our family, re-evaluating our collective "rallying cry" every time an old one is completed and a new one is needed.

Wish us luck... or better yet. Pray Hard.


Monday, October 20, 2008


When I was in junior high, after my sister and I had made it through a good chunk of our schooling, my mom went back to school to get her teaching credential.

Well, 20 something years later, that hard work and dedication was noticed by the public school district she has worked faithfully to influence and improve. She was nominated by her principal as the San Leandro School District's 2008 teacher of the year last June- which after all the nominations were turned in, was awarded to my mom, Karen Berry. (which my mom tells me was evidently a rarity: you usually are nominated by a teaching peer and usually the award is given to those in the middle or high school level- so this was special all around)

You can read the write up the local paper did after spending a few hours in her classroom here.

In addition, last thursday she was honored in a invitation only Alameda County Teacher of the Year banquet at Cal State in Hayward and she won a grip of gift certificates and such. If I hadn't been in Nor Cal for the past 2 weekends, I would have tried to find a way to get there.

Perhaps one reason that I care so much about being a Christian influence in spaces where that is not so obvious is because of my mom's passion to do just that in the San Leandro Unified School District. She has given years of her time and even money to educating and loving on her students and families- often with well over a dozen different native languages spoken in her classroom by her students. She is well known not only as a hard worker and a good teacher, but a woman who lives her life in response to her Christian convictions. It's truly been a great chance for her to be Jesus to these kids and this recognition was not only a long time coming for my mom, but was also a great opportunity for the Kingdom of God to be given some positive press.

Way to go mom. I'm proud of you!



I have flat screen tv envy.

It doesn't make much sense because I hardly ever watch tv, so I should really give a hoot.

But, regardless, every time I end up at someone's house who has one- which seems like everyone these days, I get a little jealous. I heard that the 32"screens (which is evidently about as unimpressive as a vhs player I suppose) are going to go for $350 or so by the time the "holiday" season rolls around. Hmmm.

But anyway, if you have one of these bad mama jama tv thingamajigs with HD signal, well then you should seriously consider waking up to sunrise earth on Discovery HD at 7am. When I was at my parent's house, we watched it one morning while I ate my breakfast with the boys. It was a sweet start to my day. They just film the sunrise in locations around the planet and give you the nature sounds, no commentary- just an occasional text explanation with a time stamp.

If you love it as much as I did, you could buy it for both of us and we could watch it over and over again too.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


  • "one day" I want to be a full time youth pastor.
  • "one day" let's get married.
  • "one day" we wanted to have a family.
  • "one day" we wanted to own a home.
Those are some of my "one day"s that are now in the past.

I used to say, "one day" I'd like to teach for Youth Specialties.

Well, guess what, that day is here. Enter YS ONE DAY.

I said I wasn't going to post about it any more until I actually saw my face on the official website and today while at a network meeting of other youth pastors, I found out it was up. HA! I had no idea. But it's up there alright. I'm part of a team that is teaching a "one day" seminar for youth specialties on teaching students the Bible. I'm pretty excited about this material and hoping lots of people are super encouraged and equipped to do minister to teens as a result of it.

I'm teaching in the following 5 locations in 2009:

If you're around one of those areas and serve in any capacity with youth and the Bible, I think you'll dig the material- so bring some friends and stop on by.

  • "one day" I think I'll write a book. From the looks of the team's bios- I better get on that soon :)

Oh.. and one funny note on the bios: they edited mine- which is totally within their right. I wrote it with a sentence of "accomplishments" which included teaching an occasional seminar for YS and the roles and writing I'm doing for another organization. I thought that was kinda funny that it was dropped. Maybe they thought it was a lame attempt at credibility. I dunno. I'm just a husband, dad and a youth pastor. Truth be told, I guess that should be enough.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Last weekend, my entire family and I flew to Northern California for Shannon's cousin's wedding. It was by far, the best 3 days I have spent in San Francisco with my family ever.

But since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, here's 20,000 worth.

We had dinner at a steakhouse founded in 1928 with Justin on the night before the wedding.

I spent a lot of time on B.A.R.T. I loved my new iphone bart app. So cool to be able to figure out when the train is coming and when how long it will take me to get where I'm going.

I got off the train on Sunday afternoon and thought to myself, maybe even outloud, does San Francisco ever get any more beautiful than this?

This is the rooftop of the Hotel Vitale where we had the wedding.

Before the wedding, I celebrated this great day while watching the blue angels buzz the city skyline. Always a good time.

Then before the wedding (and before Jake split his head open and had to go the hospital for 2 stitches!) I snapped this pic. My favorite part about it is that I just told my boys to stand there and I'll take their pic. This was the smile and the pose they busted on their own. They really do love each other sometimes.

This is the wedding party

Vanessa and Justin with the bride's parents, Tim and Saundra

My wife and I sporting the moon lit sunset of the bay bridge.

The San Francisco Ferry Building.
The sunset over the Bay Bridge.

Night on Embarcadero street and the Ferry Building. (side note: I also got flashed by some drunk girls on the next roof over while taking this photo. Drunk girls are really not that impressive, no matter how naked.)

Bay Bridge Night shot. I think I might sell this one.

Angel's Island caught fire sometime near the end of the reception.

Long story, really short. Shannon and I managed to land a room with this view in the hotel- sorta spur of the moment, after the reception. The grand parents took the kids and Shannon and I stayed the night. This was only the second night I've spent in the city with Shannon, the first being our honeymoon. This view so kicked butt on the one we had in our room that night- which was a union square construction zone. This place was awesome. The icing on the cake was that I opened my eyes in time to catch the sunrise.

Here's a shot of the fire they were now fighting Monday morning on Angel Island.

Wow. Such a great wedding day/weekend. If it is half the picture of what their marriage will look like, then it's going to be one for the record books.

Thanks Mark for letting me borrow your camera.

These pictures and a few more are also in an album on facebook, so feel free to buzz on by my profile and see those too my friends.



Yep... it is. But I wonder how Sarah Palin feels about this site. Oh, and I checked, they didn't make one for Joe Biden either, but someone made a much lamer one for John McCain. Dorks.

Anyway, I wonder how I'd feel if someone made one for me... and yes, that's an offer to all you web geniuses out there. If you build it, thousands will surely sign up to pray for me and my expanding family. I'll even send you weekly updated prayer requests :)

However, on a serious note, I got this e-mail from my old senior pastor about a prayer need in India today that he received from one of the directors of YWAM. Evidently there is mass persecution and killing of Christians occuring currently in one province or state there due to the revenge of a Hindu priest's death which is being blamed on Christians. It's so easy to think the rest of the world is worried about the stock market and not something far more concerning. Here's part of the e-mail:

Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past three days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer. More police have come to offer protection. In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace. In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore. All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in house and burned them to death.

Hey Jesus followers, it's time to pray, and for more than just Sarah Palin.


Saturday, October 11, 2008


If you want the adoption trump card, then read this e-mail I got from Mandy at Welcome Home where we are adopting our twins.

Hi Brian & Shannon,

I have been through the book with the kids 3 times now. They are getting more excited all the time. They love their beds, know the kids names and Zeus off by heart, and are claiming a bike each. They are really excited about a mum and dad. They are just really jazzed. (Note to self: Um, I guess I better buy some bikes before they arrive )

One exciting bit of news is that I have a family of 4 children available. We visited Jonah Jeremiah, Emmanuel and Margaret's mother with them today. The mother is getting the dad to come and sign off at the Lawyers on Monday. If you hear of any family who cant have children and would like 4 at one time let me know.

Many blessings

Any takers?

I actually have a picture of this family from our visit this summer:

Jonah and Jeremiah are the two twin boys in the front left. Mom and Dad are the two adults. The boy in front of Dad is Emmanuel and Margaret is the one in her sister's hands on the far right.

I've been in this family's home. They can barely afford the 4 they do have pictured that are living with them, much less the four more that are up for adoption and are living with Welcome Home in the orphanage. Mandy has tried to help them get on their feet with a few micro loans to start businesses, but to no avail. Adoption in the states or another orphanage appears to be these kids only option at survival at this point.


Friday, October 10, 2008


Well, I knew we had crossed the line in the process of adopting Billy and Becky and we were full bore ahead raising funds and making plans.

However, I had this peace of mind knowing that they didn't know.

Yesterday, that went away. I found out that Billy and Becky's dad had come by the orphanage to sign papers for the adoption after not having seen his children in 4 years. Well, that started Becky and Billy asking if they were gonna get to go home with their Daddy. This resulted in some confusion on their young minds, so the orphanage director decided that it would be best to just let them know instead.

So she read them our book and told me that they would now be reading it every day until we come in January. This sure does seem to change things... or at least make them feel more urgent.

Here's what Mandy (the orphanage director), said to me in an e-mail regarding Becky and Billy's response to the news:

We discussed that daddy in Uganda loved them but is very worried that he had no food for them. Then Uncle William (the men at the orphanage are called "uncle" and the women "mommy") told Daddy that there was a lovely mummy and daddy and 3 boys in America who would love to have Becky and Billy live with them and that they had plenty of food to feed them and a lot of love to give them. Even though Daddy in Uganda will be sad he really wants them to live where there is plenty of food and a good life so he will send them to live with their new mummy and daddy.They talked about understanding why daddy wanted them to be able to go to new mummy and daddy in America. They were smiling at this point. They love food.

Then I showed them your pictures and their faces lit up as they recognized you all. They were thrilled. They knew the things they had done with you here like the bike and to the fair with all the kids etc.

You will get to meet the dad and travel down to court with him. It is good to take pictures with him and keep this story and the newspaper article so if in their teens they ask questions you have the things to share with them. We normally send the relative home a different way to how the children travel home from Court.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 the best the whole thing was a 10. We even got the model plane out and shared about traveling. We told them there are friends from here that will live close to them so they were happy about that as well.

After the whole thing we laid hands on the picture of you all and prayed for you. They prayed out loud to thank God for Mummy and daddy and their brothers.

Yeah, um that e-mail made me cry.

As you read, I found out that we'll also get to meet their dad in Uganda. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Part of me is encouraged and part of me is scared.
  • I'm encouraged because I want to reassure him they will be well loved.
  • I'm scared however that the conversation will go something like, "I love my kids, but I can't feed them. So, I'm reluctantly gonna give them to you rich people who evidently are better parents than I." I'm sure that's an unjustified fear, but it's still there.

One more thing, we also were told it's good to put up pictures in our home, so we added their pick to a frame on our mantel. Welcome to the berrytribe front room.



This afternoon my family went into San Francisco for a wedding rehearsal for Shannon's cousin.

I've never been to, nor officiated a wedding in San Francisco proper, and I'm gonna kick off this experience with a bang evidently. As a pastor, you know all weddings are memorable and you care what people think and how they will like what you do and say on such an important occassion. As a result, they are the only talk I fully manuscript. Add to that the pressure that this one is for family and I'm already thinking this wedding has a lot of weight to it.

Well, then I showed up to see where we are having this shindig and it's on a bay front San Francisco Hotel ROOFTOP!

Yep, outside on the roof. Literally 1/2 mile from the bay bridge and 100 yards from the Ferry Building right on San Francisco Bay. It is beautiful. But it is super distracting. I'm not sure why anyone would listen to me when there is a bride and groom, a beautiful city scape, the bay bridge, the ferry building, birds, and the bay to look at from a gorgeous vantage point. I think I'm gonna have to wave my arms a lot.

And if that's not enough, they chose "fleet week"- which not only attracts thousands but has boats and military shows and the blue angels. The rehearsal was right in the middle of the practice for the Blue Angels. It was awesome! However, needless to say, I was super ridiculously distracted. Even though I've seen them like 5 times at fleet week in SF and once in Miramar, they are so amazing to watch.

The wedding is Sunday at 5pm. The blue angels fly from 3 to 4pm. Um... yeah. It's gonna be awesome. It's also gonna be distraction heaven. I'm going early to watch the show again.

If you have an ounce of A.D.D in you, this wedding is gonna be either the best one or the worst one you ever went to. I'm gonna have to take some some meds before I get there or hope the Blue Angels give me a good fix.

I can't believe I left my SLR at home. I'm stuck with a lame pocket point and shoot canon and this weekend so cries for something better! What was I thinking? Here's some pics... even though the blue angels are fuzzy in my pic.


Thursday, October 09, 2008


Tyler: "Dad, can I eat a plum with dinner?"

Me: "Sure".

Tyler (midway through dinner): "Dad, I don't want this peach, it tastes weird."

Me: "It's not a peach, it's a plum, and eat it. You asked to have it, so you're going to finish it."

Tyler: looks at me like I just told him to eat brussel sprouts, starts eating, screams and drops the plum.

Me: "What is your problem?"

Tyler: "There's a worm in it."

Me: "Let me see that... yep. Sure enough, that's some kinda larva worm."

Gross. Evidently the kid was right. It probably did taste nasty.

Me: "Good news Tyler: It's still whole."

I should trust Tyler more. The last 2 times I've poured sour milk into cereal without watching, he was the first one to notice something was wrong. Jake- the skinny little runt of our family- just straight pounds it. Maybe Tyler will be some kind of food judge one day.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I have a friend who said that once I started trying to use twitter for student announcements, it means I drank the Koolaid.

However, I'm not sure that is the case. I do think you drink the Koolaid when you tell people the following over twitter:

  • what you just ate for lunch
  • feel the need to tell the world you are now awake.
  • feel some need to tell the world you are going to bed as if some sort of virtual "goodnight john boy" is now our collective technological responsibility
But, regardless, even if I'm about to get initiated into the cult, we are making an attempt to use twitter as a way to send free text messages to our students cells about our high school program.

You can check out how to follow us at encounterhsm here.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008


... the level of HATRED I have for money.

I hate spending it.
I hate making it.
I hate saving it.
I hate fundraising for it.
I hate managing it.
I hate planning for it in the future.
I hate watching news about it.
I hate thinking about it.
I hate worrying about it.
I hate learning about it.
I hate it at home.
I hate it at work.
I hate it in a tree.
I hate it on a plane.
I hate it with green eggs and ham.
I do not like it- no I HATE IT- sam I am.
I hate it.

yep... that about covers it. Love the sinner, hate their money.

If there's money in heaven, I might have to spend a few thousand years in purgatory to get over it.




I finally got sick of not being able to type something very easily in my iphone in ALL CAPS when I WANTED TO. Like when trying to SCREAM YIPPEEE in a text message was taking FOREVER!

So I googled it. And whalla. Go figure. It was there all the time. Just a setting change.

here's the scoop for those who are even lazier than me on finding the solution:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap General
  • Tap Keyboard
  • Tap the Enable Caps Lock slider

Using the Caps Lock is really simple: Quickly tap the Shift key twice. Instead of the usual glowing arrow that tells you your next letter will be upper case, the whole Shift key turns blue. Tapping the Shift key again turns Caps Lock back off.



Monday, October 06, 2008


One of the things that we were asked to do in order to begin the process of adopting Becky and Billy was create a simple children's book that will eventually be read to them daily in the orphanage until we arrive. We were told some basic guidelines, but essentially its goal is to orient them to our family and home. So, we created this book.

Once we finish our international home study and get our international documents approved- another month or so I think... then they'll start reading this to them daily. We sent it over with Mandy (the orphanage director) as she left L.A. early last week for Uganda to be there all month.

Tomorrow my wife tells our story to a group of women at a luncheon at Neighborhood Church. (Neighborhood is our high school youth ministry home church, where both of us began our faith, where I did my ministry internships, and where our families still attend)

SO: Pray it up for that; they take a love offering when it's over. Pray they feel the love.



My seminary class is teaching us how to freaking sing a hymn right now.

So, here's what I'm gonna do.

Show you how happy my flower pot was today as I mowed my lawn in the hopes that it will inspire both of us.

I had to buy a baby sitter for this- thus this class is costing me an extra $30 to learn about the rhythm, speed, and poetry in ancient hymns.

I'm sure I need this. I'm sure I need this. I'm sure I need this. I'm sure I need this. I'm sure I need this.

There, I convinced myself. My flowers are inspiring.



... a problem

or a habit

that I just can't shake.

I get it under control, and think I have it in the bag.

Then I ignore it for a month or so until the thing is back in my face

so big that it is an embarrassment

and I'm positive everyone can see

so I give it my time and self discipline and make it go away again.

But it'll be back

especially if I ignore it again.



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

Blog Archive

  © Blogger template Blogger Theme II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP