Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I met a college student who is a Molecular Physics major for UCSD while having convos at OGN.  He told me that evolution was a "FACT" and that God did not exist.  He had been to several churches and even dated a "christian girl" here and there, but had no interest in God.  I asked him if he knew of any molecular physicists who believed in God?  He said, "yes, but all of them have to disconnect their head from their body in order to do so."

I asked about the intricacies of the eyeball and it's independent parts and how this came about by accident.  He said, "everything has eyeballs" and it's like standard equipment in the animal Kingdom.  I'm not sure what difference that makes, cuz the thing is crazy how it works.... but I didn't bother arguing much and we would have just went around in circles.

I then went to speak at Mount Hermon last week and found this dragon fly just chillin' on a branch.

I snapped it's picture. It's a miniature flying thing with some kinda purpose and wisdom inside it that science simply can't duplicate by with the basic elements alone.  It takes more intentionality and programming than that.   It's crazy the details it has that work together to create this small animal.  I can't imagine how this happened by accident or billions of lucky mutations.  This molecular physicist has more faith than I do.

Click on these pics to enlarge them and draw your own conclusions in the visible intricacies on this simple insect alone.



I have been attending at least a week of camp either as a high school school student or investing into them as an intern or pastor for the last 24 years of my life. This summer I'm going to 3. One I helped run and two that I'm just teaching at.
  • The first was one that I've been helping to run with a group of youth pastors from around the country for the past 6 summers. It's a leadership level camp designed to help committed Christians understand and own their faith in greater and clearer ways. It's called OGN (operation good news) and was June 29-July 5 at the beautiful campus of Pt. Loma Nazarene University here in San Diego. This years theme was AWAKE... and we challenged students to awaken their hearts and minds in new ways to what God is doing in, around, and through them.
  • The second was July 6-10 at was at Mt. Hermon's ponderosa lodge - the exact same place that I had either attended or ran a camp for the first 10 years of my 24 year run. I was teaching at a middle school camp this week via the invite of a former college friend who is now running the camp, Charlie Broxton. The theme was "God is Faithful" and we challenged students to lean into God NOW!
  • The third is this weekend, July 15-19, and is for a couple of ministry friends who are running a beach camp in Santa Barbara at Westmont College. I've never been there, but dang it looks beautiful. I'm excited for what God has in store for us... we're looking at Jesus' life via the sea of Galilee and calling students to tell a better story by living a better story. I can't wait to see what God will do this week.

So what is it about getting away for a week with students that I love? Heres 6 things off the top of my head:

GREAT CONVOS: There is NOTHING like a week away from the norm for some great ministry conversations and movements. Something supernatural happens in the lives of students in camp and it always provokes the best conversations. Better than almost any other context.

LIFE CHANGE: There is the classic accusation that at camp, students experience a "camp high" where they temporarily make changes only to revert back to the old habits. This is always partly true, simply because camp is like no other place and an "emotional high" is inevitable. But I've also seen time and time again this idea of change being short term proved WRONG! Students do change at camp. Real life change really happens when a student gives a week of their life to intentionally seeking God.

FUN: I love watching and enjoying students having fun. Some of the funniest memories I have are students doing something totally silly at OGN or some summer camp. I LOVED watching my son TJ play in the pool and just be a kid during his middle school camp rec. It made me miss camp rec. I almost jumped in or grabbed the Emcee mic just for old time's sake.

FAMILY BONDING: Some of the biggest blessings I have given my kids as a youth pastor is the chance to go play and enjoy themselves in a "big kid" camp setting. They LOVE it. At OGN my family always joins me on our "free night" and this past week Becky and Billy discovered the difference between "camp" and "camping" and fully enjoyed themselves. (Ty and Jake were attending another camp for their age group at Indian Hills with some church friends)

STUDENTS STEPPING UP: In every camp I've been to, students step it up. This year at OGN, it seemed to be an epic level of stepping up. Our band this year consisted entirely of high school and college age students who led their peers in AMAZING worship. It was beyond belief to me to hear their stories of faith as they started conversations with interested people on the beach, stretched their learning in classes, and threw their very souls fully into worship. This past week, I can't tell you the number of counselor comments (and even a couple from peers) that I heard about what an GREAT job TJ was doing helping to lead a cabin of fairly troubled middle school boys. We just showed up and TJ joined a cabin and stepped up to leadership. It was awesome. I was so proud of him. I love it when students step it up!

SUPERNATURAL UNEXPLAINABLE STUFF: Seriously, when students take risks at Camp, God catches them. He just does. If you haven't been to camp in a while, then sign up. Seriously, go counsel or help administrate or drive a bus... or something. Just get there. God will rock your world as you watch and participate with young people chasing after Jesus.


Monday, July 12, 2010


Shannon and I have gotten away twice a year since we have been married. Once around November for her birthday and once around June for our anniversary. Really, these are some of our best memories as a couple. This year was no different, and thanks to a whole slew of people who took on a kid or two, we managed to escape for 3 days to celebrate our 16th anniversary.

We stopped by the county fair on our way out of town and bought some fattening grub and some small miracle product- cuz if you don't- it's not really the fair.

Then this year, we hit up another new hotel we'd never been to in Newport Beach. I picked it because it was part of the "four sisters" hotel group. I think it might be on my bucket list to go to all their locations. We simply LOVE their spaces.

In Newport Beach... I went for a run on the beach. Shannon got her nails done. We ate sushi. Shannon took a bubble bath that maybe had a solid 12" of bubbles completely covering the tub; it was comical. All I heard was "oh my" and turned around to see my wife disappear in a wall of white bubbles that made my childhood bubble baths look like... well... child's play. Her learning: "maybe just half the bottle next time" :) We went to a really expensive dinner. We read some. We watched a few sunsets. We went for a bike ride down the boardwalk. We watched the Ghana/U.S. match in our room and hotel lobby. We had a great time.

Here's some pics of our 3 day date.



TJ and I got to do the behind the scenes tour at PETCO in his last week of school about a month ago.

Here's what I learned:
  • there are 300,000 giant nuts and bolts massive metal beams in this place.
  • the tiles on the front came from India and it's supposed to make it look like it fits the southwestern U.S. Go figure.
  • the field is off limits to everybody pretty much. It gets mowed daily or something ridiculous like that. The runway around the outside is made of some crazy mixture of finely crushed rock.
  • there are people who pay $40,000 per year for seats behind the stadium and end up watching much of the game in an exclusive club behind home plate with crazy expensive food and flat screen tv's.
  • the visiting team dugout has no back rests on their benches and nowhere even remotely close for them to pee during the game but the padres backrests and a bathroom that is readily accessible. Who knew "home team advantage" included toilets?
  • there are no windows on the announcers booth and no way to close it even if it was raining... which it does so little.... that they skipped the windows.

  • the "Western Metal Supply Company" building in the corner was originally declared unfit for the structure by current building codes. To avoid having to destroy it, they had the state declare it a national historic building. Then they built the stadium as an "addition" to the old building. No joke. Bureaucracy is stupid. I hate red tape. Sooo Stupid!

  • the "park within the park" is open every day the team doesn't have a home game. Oh... I so need to take my kids and play whiffle ball and have a picnic there. And... watching 150 middle school students spontaneously start playing games and rolling on the ground made me wish my church had a MASSIVE grass lawn. Our concrete jungle inhibits normal social play for all ages that grass simply invites. If I could redo one thing in our church, I think I might bulldoze a chunk of the parking lot and install grass and park benches/tables around it instead.
  • maybe next time TJ can get us a tour of the WORLD CUP!!!! Brazil is the summer before his senior year. I hear a stadium tour calling us!!!!



Ok... I'm about to go on a several hour blog-a-thon and tell you why I've been silent for weeks and what lies ahead.  I wonder if anyone even reads this thing anymore I've been so flaky.

Speaking of wondering who is still around... I wonder if this little friend is still around.  We've been gone for a while now, but for much of May and June, I would wake up early and thumper would be in our back yard munchin' on my grass.  Some people have goats.  We evidently have bunnies.

He/she lives under my shed... OR maybe used to live under my shed.  In the past 3 weeks I've deposited two bunnies in the trash can.  One I found in the mouth of some crazy neighborhood cat chowin' on it in my back yard.  The other one my kids found today while eating lunch.  It was gross.  Totally covered in maggots... gross.  No I didn't take it's picture... but I have no idea if we need to have a funeral for our furry friend or not at this point.  Maybe tomorrow morning will tell me.   Maybe I'll go put out some carrots. :)



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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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