My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Official Goals for 2009

I'm working on my New Year Goals. The question of "what needs changed or attacked the most" fuels my focus. I've broken the targets into categories...I may add or subtract in the next 24 hours, but here's what I've got so far after a day of contemplation.


1. Read at least one book* a month. I read so many blogs and internet stuff, I need to actually set goals to deeply read books. My current list (in no particular order):
  1. Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson
  2. In a Pit with A Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
  3. IT by Craig Groschel
  4. From Hope To Higher Ground by Mike Huckabee
  5. Making Vision Stick by Andy Stanley
  6. The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture by Cary Oberbrunner
  7. Tribes by Seth Godin
  8. Death By Love by Mark Driscoll
  9. A Different Drummer: My Thirty Years With Ronald Regan by Michael K. Deaver
  10. Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll
  11. Passion For Jesus by Mike Bickle
  12. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
2. Plan, record, and track weekly planning each week and keep logged in binder.


1. Run in the following races:
  • May 3rd: Bloomsday 12k (trying to break P.R. of 57:21 / 7:41pace)
  • June 13th: Helvetia Half Marathon (trying to break P.R. of 1:48:05 / 8:15 pace)
  • June 27th: Seattle Rock & Roll Half Marathon (running with newbie runners for fun)
  • October 4th: Portland Marathon (trying to break P.R. of 04:04:06 / 9:19 pace)
2. Weigh no more than 185 pounds from Feb 1 - Dec 31
3. Run 1200 miles (100 miles a month/25 miles a week) in 2009


1. Plan, experience, and record 52 dates with Jenn in 2009.* I'm hoping to take 52 pictures and write about 52 experiences. A quick coffee, or dinner in the Taco Bell drive-thru don't count! Even though she'll be giving birth to our first child, I'm going to work on creative ways to take her on one planned date each week.

2. Plan, experience, and record one date a week with my new baby girl Elliana.* Honestly, I'm not sure what this will look like, but I want to be able to identify something I took time to plan with my baby girl.

3. Hand-write one letter each week to people who matter to me. Email, text, facebook, and blogging are great - but I think there is something powerful in the hand-written letter.

1. Participate in the Global Bridegroom Fast the first Monday - Wednesday of each month, with intensity.
2. Read through the Bible.
3. Pray very specifically, on my knees, every day.
3. Give away more money than ever before.
4. Personally introduce someone to Jesus and the Salvation He offers (outside of church services).

*this does not include the bazillion books I'll probably be reading on FATHERHOOD!!!

**For the record, I plan on spending bazillion moments with both, but I want to take time to think and plan for each of them in a special way

***I don't really like a category like "spiritual" because a life following Christ involves the entire life and every decision - but this serves the purpose of specific targets to aim for in 2009.

New Year: Increase the Expectations of Your Potential

It's a New Year, and I've been reading about the 2008 accomplishments and experiences of some people that I admire - and their stories are amazing.

Sometimes when you hear other people's stories, it can cause you to shrink in confidence because your experiences aren't at the same level. But I was reminded by the Holy Spirit this morning as I was reading Proverbs 30. It says this:

24 Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings' palaces

Feel the size of an ant? So what!
Have the personality of a rock badger? So what!
Feel like a locust sometimes? So what!
Find yourself green like a lizard? So what!

We can be mighty through God's grace, regardless of our appearance or where we find ourselves in life. Take time in the next two days to increase the expectations of your potential and possibilities. Dream big this year!

1. Determine your Role (Husband, Father, Pastor, etc.)
2. Establish your Goal (Big, Crazy, & Wonderful)
3. Blend it into your weekly Schedule (Make time to accomplish it each week)

Happy New Year you stinkin' awesome ants, rock badgers, locusts, and lizards! The future is bright!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Consequences of Viewing "Marley and Me"

This was the scene at my house after I got back from watching "Marley and Me". They rarely get to be on the couch with us, so when I let them come up, Loomis took full advantage...and I loved every minute of it...of course, Gabby looks a little left out, but deep inside I think she was just happy Loomis wasn't terrorizing her.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow has us homebound...Services canceled...what's a pastor to do?

Here in Portland OR we view snow a bit differently than most, because it rarely falls over here over an inch. One inch will give us 24 hour news coverage...6 inches will give us weather identities such as "ARTIC BLAST 2008" (say that in a Monster Truck commercial you know what I mean)...and anything over a foot of snow will give us a State of Emergency address by the Mayor. Now that snow levels are reaching 14" the city has shut down...highways are being closed, and people are asked to stay in their homes.

This greatly affected area churches over the weekend including ours. Services were canceled, Christmas programs were put on hold, and ministries, outreaches, and operational costs that needed funding were left empty since no one could give.

Yikes! So here I am on a Monday morning, and I can't get out of my house. I live on a dead end street, which has acted more like a wind tunnel, funneling all the snow to the end...and since our house is the last one on the street we have been forced to welcome the drifts to park in our yard...and they're not even paying us rent!

So, I have a couple options...bust out the movie collection and sit on my blessed assurance all day, or be productive and connect with as many people as possible - pastoring from home. I'm going to choose the latter - although the accountability of posting it in a blog helps me get motivated!

One day of chillin' is cool...but we're going onwards of a week now. Gotta make my day count! Peace out everyone. Stay warm!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God wants to rock your world(view). Jesus vs. Santa

You once believed in Santa right? I sure did. But then I grew up. I realized that Santa was just a fun, comforting, made-up character that fulfilled childish fun. He served his purpose (and still does), but it's not like I still believe...I'm smarter than that.

You once believed in Jesus right? Maybe. Maybe not. I sure did. But then I grew up...And I still believe...even though I have grown up. Even though it's no longer popular...I'm smarter than that. It's easier in our culture to have a popular humanistic worldview that promotes a view of , "to each his own", "what's right for me may or may not be right for you".

So...what's more believe in Jesus and hold steadfast to faith in the Bible and God's plans for our lives, or to do whatever you want to do because you don't want anyone telling you what to do with your life. Hmmm...

I know that "religion" has screwed up a lot and distorted the reality of Jesus - but regardless of what others have done, you get to choose who and what you follow. And I choose Jesus, not because I "feel" like it. But because He is the Son of God. He is truth. Truth is not truth because I believe it. (I can "believe" that a million dollars is in my wallet, but that doesn't mean it's truth - it's just what I believe). Truth is truth because it's truth - and it's my responsibility to follow truth regardless of my preferences, because in the end Truth prevails.

Let God rock your world(view) this Christmas season. Because Jesus isn't like Santa.

Don't you owe it to your (responsible, mature) self to investigate the answer? Wouldn't it be a thoughtful and reasonable act to figure out if your life is on the right path? Here are a couple non-invasive books that I'd recommend anyone to read - especially mature, reasonable, adults - that don't believe in santa. I really like this one, and this one.

Merry Christmas,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Well the weather outside is frightful...

Ahhh...nothing like snow in Portland! It rarely snows here, but we've got a blanket of snow and it's not going anywhere! A couple inches today, and then sub 30 degree days all week and snow showers in the forecast means we get to enjoy a winter wonderland here for the whole week! The fingers are crossed for a white Christmas, but for now we'll enjoy what we have! Loomis (my boxer) got his first taste of snow today and had some fun.

...Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Wonderful Weight of Responsibility: For Christians

How easy it is for Christians to hold to a belief system, yet neglect the responsibility to pray and expect miraculous signs and wonders to take place in their lives and churches. I'm certainly guilty of that and not following the pattern of prayer and expectancy we find in the book of Acts:

"And now, O Lord...give your servants great boldness in their preaching. Send your healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus." Acts 4:30

These people were absolutely passionate about God showing up and doing incredible things in the lives of people. They didn't pray out of duty or routine, but because they held the responsibility to seek God and turn their world upside down. Look at the results:

"After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached God's message with boldness. " Acts 4:31

I'm being revived by this Scripture. It's been too long...Lives must be changed. I can't handle nice services and people that don't really experience the true power of God. I must accept this responsibility.

How can we as Christians explain away that kind of passion and expectancy? What if we admitted that our services were doing nice and good things, but not truly powerful things!?! As for me, I want to purpose in my heart to expect nothing less than the truly transformational and miraculous power of God to be displayed each and every time we gather, and each and every time I preach God's message with boldness.

We have a responsibility to not just believe in the power of God, but to pursue it and expect it to be displayed in the lives of people. What a wonderful responsibility that need not be avoided!

Any thoughts on this today?

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Wonderful Weight of Responsibility

Today I begin a series of posts on RESPONSIBILITY

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30 (ESV)

"One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?" Luke 16:10-11 (ESV)

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil 1:6 (NIV)

Here is a thought that is just rocking me right now. Life can only be embraced and enjoyed when embracing the responsibility that has been given to you.

No one likes a dead-beat dad, who ditches his family and then won't even pay child support.
No one likes a co-worker who is a slacker - always cutting corners.

No one is happy and excited about life when they aren't fulfilling their responsibility. I don't need to be rich, I don't need notoriety, and I certainly don't need a new life. I simply need to clarify the responsibilities that God has given me with my life involving my family, relationships, job, city, and world, and then live to fulfill my responsibility.

In ministry people often think of success in terms of numbers and who you know, but God is simply asking me to fulfill the responsibilities He has given me whether or not promotion comes in terms of people's viewpoint is up to God.

What is God asking you to do with your life?
What do you need to do each day to fulfill your responsibility?
Why run from certain responsibilities when fulfilling them will truly give you energy and excitement?

Don't run from the wonderful weight of responsibility...It's where life, purpose and a sense of accomplishment can be found.

peace out

Fatbusters Update: Week Three

Well, this week was certainly better than Thanksgiving week that is for sure! I didn't run at all except for 8 miles last Monday - but I was non-stop busy with house projects with all of my free time and that probably burned some calories. I put trim in the babies room, helped paint the baby's room, rearranged the family room, installed a new cable box from the attic in the family room, filled in the trenches of our sprinkler system in the front yard, got a wild Christmas tree up on Mt. Hood, a u-cut tree from Marten's Tree Farm, put Christmas lights on the house and have the first 500 lights on the mountain tree in the living room. Whew!

Bottom Line: Weigh in on Monday morning: 190 pounds. I lost a few pounds this week...pretty good...I'll take it - but I've got to keep pushing it a bit, since I wanted to be at 188 this week.

I ran four miles this morning, and plan on running again tonight - and hopefully will get 25-30 miles in this week.

Lessons learned (again)...
  • be accountable to yourself by tracking what you eat
  • learn what foods do the most damage so you can avoid them
  • talk to people about it (like blogging) or like the conversation I had with Bob Bennett this week (Hey bob!). Talking about it always keeps you motivated and on track!
  • avoid diets if you can like Atkins, South Beach, you really think you'll do that for the rest of your life....nope. Just change your lifestyle and let the weight come off slowly but healthily!

Peace out

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fatbusters Update: The Curse of Thanksgiving

"You can fool yourself, but you can't fool the scale."

Those were my thoughts as I stood on the scale today after a week of eating just about anything and everything at my parent's house last week for Thanksgiving vacation. My mom loves to cook, and I love to eat - a pretty bad combination when you want to lose 10 by Christmas!

The results? I gained 1.5 pounds from last Monday, putting me at -0.5 after two weeks.

Lesson learned (again): Despite the fact that I ran 7 miles Tuesday, 8 miles, and 6 miles on Friday (about 2100 calories burned), it just doesn't come close for making up for the food I ate here and there and the multiple dinner rolls, or the cheese and cracker tray during the Hawks loss to the Cowboys, or the pumpkin pie and cheesecake, and pecan pies, or the big breakfasts every morning, or the 5 pieces of pizza Saturday night....(you get the point).

In other words - your aerobic activity MUST be accompanied by healthy eating or you are fooling yourself into thinking you are losing weight from all that running!

Ok...back at it this week. I'm not too bummed about last week - it was a great time with the family, and it was Thanksgiving for pete's sake!