Monday, March 22, 2010


Have had zero time to blog this month. Gonna break that trend and celebrate Jake cuz I've been wanting to do this for a while now.


He's 7 years old. He is a clown and keeps us in stitches. He has a HUGE heart. He is definitely the most gifted dancer and rapper in our family. He can even give his little brown sister a run for her money with his moves. (Billy has no moves. None. Zipola- unless you count shaking your butt as a move. Then he has 1 move. Kid has 2 left feet and ruins all the African rhythm heritage stereotypes. Don't worry though, Jake has enough for both of them.) Jake likes to act and pretend and has a vivid and powerful imagination.

He is both the original little brother and the newest big brother and he does both with passion. He is fragile. He is tough. He is always the first to volunteer to "fight the bad guys" when the brothers are too scared to take out the trash at night. He is all boy and last week filled a bin with dirt full of worms he had collected from the empty lot next door.

He recently told me in a car ride home from church that it's his job to "pwotect" Billy at school. When people are mean to him on the playground, Jake told me he leaves the game he's playing to go and make sure people are not taking advantage of his little brother's lack of playground street smarts. If so, he says he doesn't talk mean, but "I say it kinda loud that this is not ok. They listen to me. Billy's not very loud dad."

Billy thinks he and Jake are going to grow up and live together. If you ask Billy, he'll tell you what kind of house, car, and everything you can imagine that He and Jake will be doing together. Often when he sees something new or that he likes at somewhere like Costco, he'll say, "Jake and I are going to have one of those one day."

When we were in Africa as a family, everywhere we went for dinner, Jake collected bottle caps. And not just one from every kid on our missions team and family, but one from everyone in the whole restaurant and even asked for a bag from the waiter/waitress. By the time our month was up in Africa, jake had quite the loot. We were trying to make a basket or something like the ones we saw in Africa, but it was taking forever. So finally he decided he wanted his name on his wall with them. He bugged me like crazy to get it done and on a recent rainy Saturday, we finally made it happen. I hammered. Jake and Tyler drilled holes.

Jake is also the only one in the family who has ever answered the question, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" with "a pastor like dad." A few months ago he gave me a handmade heart-shaped note. On the front it said, "dear dad". On the inside it said, "I'm going to take your job and you can't stop me." Dang that kid is funny.

And most recently, he has started writing his own "worship songs." A couple of weeks ago, he crawled into my bed beside me in the morning and said, "hey dad, want to hear the song I wrote?" I said yes. He then proceeded to sing me a song he had written on several sheets of like a 2 by 3 inch pad of paper. I stopped him mid-song to ask when he wrote this. He said simply, "Yesterday at rest." I said, "Oh", and he kept on singing it. I'm not a big video guy anymore cuz of the time they take to edit and render and such, but I had to get this one on video.

Here Jake is singing two "worship songs" he wrote.

3 Cheers for my "good ol buddy jake." Dang I love this kid.


Friday, March 05, 2010


What is sacred? What subject would I say is a "holy ground" kind of space. What would you say?

The older I get, the less I consider sacred ground. Most of my beliefs I won't even fight you over, cuz I don't think they are very important or central the immovable, distinct, and essential core of who God has made us to be. I don't think they are central to the Gospel or redemption or God's image kind of relationships, so they aren't worth much argument for me.

But there are 2 things I find myself caring a lot more about lately:

  1. parenthood- especially fatherless homes
  2. the integrity of the marriage covenant
I think both have been royally screwed up and politicized- both in the church and outside the church- perhaps to the point of no return. Perhaps we have to just give up on the modern concept of them and return to essential Biblical concepts and call them something all together different. I dunno, maybe "responsibilityhood" and "union covenant" instead. Maybe we need new words for them so we can go about defining them differently.

But something has to change! (warning: rant now to follow.)

I had a student -who I hadn't seen in a while- drop in our high school men's small groups last night. While I was setting up and waiting for the pizza to arrive, he flippantly told me that he was going to get married and that his girlfriend was pregnant. At first, because of his tone and facial expressions, I thought he was joking. But after further questioning, it turned out he was telling me the truth. I asked him if why he was getting married. He said, "I don't know" and laughed. I asked him if he was prepared to be a Dad. He smiled and laughed again and said, "Yeah, man, I'm ready for a little mini-me to run around."

I punched him. Yep. I did. We have a long history. Long enough that I should have hit him harder. I almost kicked him out of small groups that night for the simple fact that he was flippantly entering into 2 of the hardest and most sacred relationship covenants in life: unconditionally loving a spouse and raising/providing for a child - all of which have been made in the image of God. I would love to have celebrated his not aborting his child or stepping up the plate of responsibility if I could have gotten any remote sense of awareness on his part at the journey he was about to embark on. But there wasn't a hint of it.

As the pizza was being delivered, the 20 something delivery boy overheard our convo and my initial response and proclaimed to the student, "Don't get married. It sucks. I've done it twice already." I wanted to punch him too.

I was pissed. I'm no perfect husband or father... far from it... but I have to draw the line somewhere.

And while we're on the subject of pissed and drawing lines. If I could destroy any television or movie set in the world, I'd drive my truck straight through the set of the Bachelor and Bachelorette. I'm so completely and totally against this show. I'm sick of the gossip, the deception, the appearance of "good" dating/marriage ideals, and the constant chatter among the believers in my world who watch this @#$&!!!

It's a mockery of marriage.
  • The show is pre-arranged gang dating that...
  • leads to the bachelor or bachelorette having sex with at least the final 2-4 contestants and...
  • then eventually he or she pics one of the finalists to.... get this....
  • propose the faithful and unconditional covenant of marriage to...
  • which evidently they believed was going to be fostered in the environment where for the last 30 days no one has been faithful to anyone...
  • which results in at handful of those who really thought they might marry said bachelor or bachelorette to be mortified that they didn't "win" because the "perfect man or woman" for them, just left the building with some other lucky soul.
  • oh... and which ultimately results in guess what?... They are 1 for 17 in producing a marriage that is still together. Hello? Yeah, it doesn't work.
This my friends is the worlds idea of how we make a faithful marriage and it's total and complete pile of crap. Yep, I edited myself... because there are a lot more accurate words to describe it.

Every single value I have about marriage and family is undermined in this show... it flies in the face of every single dating series I've ever taught and every single verse I can think of about marriage and sexuality in the Scriptures.

For the love of a few things holy, I'd like to declare the mind bogglingly hard covenant tasks of marriage and parenthood sacred ground! I think it's high time we started treating them as such.

I personally have a long way to go before I win any husband/father of the year awards. If that's you too and you want to join me in this monumental task of honoring God in that role, then I'm all in.



Here's some things that left me fat and happy in Chicago last weekend.


Deep dish pizza from Giordanos

Huge sandwiches and homemade chips/fries from Harry Caray


the skit guys are hysterical. Their top 10 list still makes me laugh out loud.

watching Stina revert to being a 12 year old girl when Toby Mac showed up. Dang funny stuff there.


Thursday, March 04, 2010


I spent last weekend with my wife and Ian and Christina Robertson in Chicago at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. It was a good time to get away, think about youth ministry/my calling, have some great convos with old friends, remind myself how blessed I am for God to let me live in San Diego :), and then... to think about my legacy...

cuz the conference theme was "surprising legacy".

And it was everywhere. All over the main session talks, the break out discussions, my own times of reading and eventually all over my thoughts.

This was a deep thing for me. I really care about Legacy. If I was really honest, the word "care" is actually the understatement of the year. Legacy has ties to purpose and significance and intentionality and reputation and vision and so much more. Legacy is a BIG word for me. In fact, as I thought about it, I was reminded that it was like my 6th post ever on this blog, simply titled "Legacy".

At this stage of my life, next month will be 16 years as a full-time youth pastor for me. 11 years in Nor Cal at Powerhouse and 5 years in San Diego with Encounter. As I look back over those years. Here's what I was reminded of last weekend and what I care about so much these days.

  • LEGACY: It's the wake I'm leaving behind. And it's not an "if" thing either. I'm leaving a legacy, the only question is, "Is it one God is honored in?" I'm praying it's a 2 Timothy 2:2 thing God is doing in me.
  • PARENTING: This one scares me to death. I have 5 kids I'm trying to raise to love God and others like Jesus. At the end of the day, after all the students in the wake of my life have come and gone, it's my own reflection in the face of my kids that will matter the most. Oh God I pray for strength and wisdom in this massive and seemingly impossible task you've entrusted to me. May the deepest reflection I see in my kid's faces be yours.
  • THINKING, HARD WORKING, and AUTHENTIC: Those three words sum up some a lot for me in what I hope I leave behind in my family and ministry.
    • thinking: I really pray that I'm raising up Christ-centered young men and women who actually THINK about what they believe and why they believe it. I don't what to teach a single student what to think, I want to teach them how to think- how to think and reason and wrestle with their views and those who oppose them. I don't want them to merely adhere to a list of moral standards. I want them to radically love God and have a morality that is congruent with that. I firmly believe it is possible for a student to be morally right and spiritually dead and I want no part of that legacy.
    • hard working: I'm tired of lazy believers. Call it an old school work ethic if you want, but bottom line, I want to raise up a generation that put some passion into their calling- regardless of their career- and are known for doing an honest day's work. I'm so tired of lazy, apathetic, gutless, predictable, cheap "faith" by those who claim to be following Jesus. Yes, I want to raise up a generation who play and rest well and often... but I think it should be well earned.
    • authentic: I don't want to be fake. I want to be honest about my successes and failures. I want to serve genuinely and love deeply. I want to screw up and seek forgiveness. I want to be a man who is authentically in love with God and to raise up a generation that will be honest about their joys and regrets too, learning from one another along the way.
So bottom line.

I'm leaving a Legacy. You're leaving a Legacy.

But is it one 50 years from now, it will have been worth following?



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 2008

Back to TOP