Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Ever wonder if anything you say matters?  Like does anything you do or teach even remotely change a student's world?

Well I do and two weeks ago, after our high school Sunday morning in Encounter, I walked up to a group of guys sitting at a table in our room and said, "What up fellas?  Thanks for coming.  Did you enjoy Encounter today?"  To which one of them replied, "Dude, I wrote you this story" and handed me a sheet of paper he found that we used for people bingo that he recorded the story upon the back of.    

I offer it to you unedited now for your encouragement:

Once upon a time, there was a sloth named Tim.  When no one was around, he liked to soak himself in marinara sauce and pretend he was a meatball.  But one day, he ran out of marinara sauce.  This made Tim very sad.  So, he decided to run to Albertson's!  That way he could have all the marinara sauce he could dream of! So, he went to his local gun store, and purchased 20 pounds of c4, a automatic 50 cal sniper rifle, 2 hand grenades and a big bag of onions.  His plan was to walk into Albertson's, throw the onions at the security cameras so they would cry and not see him.  Rush in to the "sauce" section and fill his duffel bag with all the Ragu he could get his hands on.  The day came, and he got into his sloth-mobile and drove to the local Albertson's.  He rushed in, armed with his bag of onions, and proceeded hucking them at he cameras.  But there was a problem.  The security cameras were onion proof! Cops rushed to the scene and put Tim in cuffs.  He was taken to the sloth prison where he would spend the next 25 years to life.  The End.   
I know, I too was profoundly moved and thought, "Wow, my sermon was riveting and life-altering.  I should keep serving Jesus doing this for a long time."

Then this last Sunday we started our new dating/sexuality series in Encounter we have titled this:

That same student came to me after service, this time finding me and said, "Dude. Great talk.  Really got me thinking today."

Moral of the story: I guess it must be, "Talk about sex or freshman guys will draw stories about guns, onions, and lazy animals instead".

 I'm gonna re-read this post in 8 years and ask myself, where is that student now.   Evidently he should be writing really weird fiction for sponge bob square pants and have a very healthy sexual identity / dating life.  Ha ha.


Thursday, April 19, 2012


I had an amazing time with my family camping at El Capitan State Beach.  We rode bikes, read, braved the rain, ate meals together, enjoyed the beach, tide pools, watching whales and dolphins and birds, and celebrated my 40th enjoying the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors.

Lots of people asked me if my 40th was significant to me in any specific ways.  Oddly enough, I had my midlife crisis at 38 I think.  So my 40th was not that mind warping.  However, I did make a list of several things I want to do in my 40th year- a bucket list of sorts I suppose.  While making that list I realized that in the next decade of my life, all my kids will become legal adults.

If I live to 50:  TJ will be 24, Tyler will be 22, Jake will be 19, and Becky and Billy will be 30 days from turning 18 when I turn 50.

So, with this realization, I have officially declared this my DECADE OF PARENTING INTO ADULTHOOD.  

I have no greater responsibility in the next 10 years and to that end, here's my game plan:

MEET ONE-ON-ONE WITH MY KIDS.  As long as my sons and daughter live under my roof or within driving distance, I'll keep making it a priority to meet weekly with them one-on-one.  Hands down it's been the best parenting move I've made to date.

PRAY RIDICULOUSLY HARD.  I'm more committed than ever to praying for and with my kids.  I know raising my teens into functioning adults is no walk in the park.  I'm giving up before I get started and gonna cry out for Divine help and guidance constantly.

LEAVE NO VACATION DAYS FOR TOMORROW.  I'm going to get away with my wife and kids every chance I get.  I want to camp. Ride bikes. Enjoy the snow and the beach and the mountains and the rivers.  Play pretty much anywhere I can afford to go.  This season will be gone before I know it.  I decided that I want zero vacation days on the books when I hit 50.  I'm gonna exhaust all of them.

PASS THE BATON OF FAITH AND GET OUT OF THE WAY.  My goal is to stop running my kid's lives in the next decade.  I could write for days in this concept, but bottom line is that I'm going to consciously continue to give them the chance to process through the "why" questions of life.  I want to do less for them and equip them to do more.  My greatest goal is for them to mature into thinking, passionate, and intentional followers of Jesus who have an adult faith and life.  Getting there is a maze I might not be able to navigate, but I'm firmly setting my sights there regardless.  

LISTEN AND LEARN.  I'm getting all the mentors around me I can find who have been there and done that.  I have no misconception that somehow you can create a family by formula, but I'm going to do everything I can to learn from the victories and even the warnings and regrets of every parent I respect who is further down this road than I am.

So... to those who have been there and done that or are in the thick of this with me... anything you'd add to my list?


Monday, April 09, 2012


To my faithful friends of my blog, here's an update:  Blog was silent last week for a FULL week of ministry with our high school students.  So much to share there, but no time because this week it will be silent for a FULL week of family vacation and camping in Santa Barbara.

Stories and lessons to come in the weeks ahead.  HAPPY EASTER! The tomb is empty so our hearts don't have to be.  Praise God.



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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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