Saturday, November 28, 2009

Food induced coma is over.... now what?

These past couple days was a feast like I hadn't had in a while. On Thursday we went over to spend the day with some dear friends from church and ate like kings. That wasn't enough celebrating though.. my Brother and Sister in law came over from Ohio later on Thursday and we ate some more not to mention our own Turkey feast on Friday. Let me tell you I think it was the best turkey Beka has ever made. I don't need much on turkey day - just stuffing, sweet potato casserole and a bird. We had a great time but I feel like I need to get to the gym to redeem the last part of the week and get a head start on next week.

Growing up a pastor's son my family never had a lot but mom and dad always made sure that we had a great dinner and time together. Because we didn't have a lot we didn't waste ANYTHING. I admit that it has turned me into a bit of a food Nazi. I hate wasting food, heat, energy, money, ____________, _____________. It has turned me into a bit of a pack rat as well. I find it very hard to throw stuff away especially of there is sentimental value attached. I still have a shirt that my youth group gave me as a going away present from 15 years ago.

This morning I woke up and found that not only the mashed potato's and the stuffing (no not the stuffing!!) and the turkey all got left out last night after someone made a sandwich and fell into a coma without first putting away the leftovers. I surprised myself with the feeling of loss that came over and soon after the anger.

After shutting everyone out for a couple hours to mourn the loss of my precious leftovers I realized that I had been thankful for the wrong thing. The stuffing didn't get up this morning and make my bed or do my laundry. The mashed potato's didn't iron my pants or sit at my feet during a movie. The turkey didn't keep me healthy or pay the penalty for my sins. Don't get me wrong, there's something special about sitting at a table filled with food that God so graciously gave me a job in order to pay for it. And there's something comforting about curling up in a lazy boy and watching the Lions get their butt's handed to them every year after the feasting but there is nothing like looking past the food to see whose at the table to enjoy it with you.

Don't let Black Friday leak over into the weekend. Think about what you're really thankful for!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Eight Crazy Nights!!

If you're anything like me you don't make "Date Nights" a priority like you should. In a perfect world Beka and I would go out every Monday night and catch a movie and dinner but more often times then not we think about it the day of and feel bad for asking a sitter on such short notice and we end up getting a Redbox movie and eating some pizza.. at home.

I was reading Christianity Today's Marriage blog and came across a post with Eight great ideas for date nights.

What do you do for fun with your "Date"? Where do you like to go and how often?

Here's a couple excerpts from the blog but go here to read the entire article.

Take in a local show or concert. Your town is probably teeming with gifted and creative performers at the local high school or college. So check to see what's playing. It's less expensive than the "professional" versions and often just as fun. At the end of the evening, share your favorite moments of the performance. Then "go back in time" to your own high school or college days and reminiscence together about your favorite school event or memory and why it was so special. Or see if you can guess some of the clubs or activities your spouse was involved in.

If you have children, ask them to plan your date! Earlier in the week, ask your kids (or friends, if you don't have children) to think of something fun for you and your spouse to do. They get to choose the restaurant and the activity. Then after your date, you and your spouse can give a "report" back telling about the funnest, funniest, or most special part of the evening.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Freebie Friday #1: "Get Crackin'!"

This weekend I’ll be at a fellow youth pastor's ordination around Cincy but I wanted to send out a freebie for something I'm starting on my blog called freebie friday. If you have a freebie to pass on feel free to leave a comment and I will use it in the future. Today's Freebie is from getcrackin Pistachio giveaways @ 5 on Friday's Follow and @getcrackin.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

A Christmas Carreyol

One of our favorite things to do as a family is go to the movies. We have a great theatre (Cinemark) outside of town which is really clean and the chairs lean back which is nice. It's also about 4 bucks cheaper per ticket than the one closer to our house. We usually try to go to the matinee to save a few bucks and tonight we went and saw Disney's "A Christmas Carol".

Like most I like Jim Carrey and this movie left nothing to be desired in all areas. The story for the most part stayed with Dickens but I'm sure you could point out any differences if you're looking for them. The effects were so real! I remember being wowed by "The Polar Express" (which is hard to believe that was 5 years ago!) but it doesn't take an expert to see that there have been some major upgrades in real-to-life after effects in the last few years. Because it was so real, the scary parts (like this Jacob Marley shot above) became too much to bear for any toddlers in tow. Any concerned parent covered young eyes and ears for the better part of the movie and two families walked out. There is a shot during this scene shown above where Marley's jaw breaks and looks like something out of a SAW movie. They nailed "creepy" in regards to the ghosts personalities making them appear to be "tripping" and mentally unstable giving off the idea that they were long-term tormented souls.

This is not a slam on Disney. I was mostly satisfied with the film but would strongly urge you not to take any children younger than 9-10 to see it. Give it a look without the kids and see for yourself. Overall the story was very good and heartfelt especially towards the end. Bob Cratchit and family could have been more endearing. The film focused more on Scrooge (Jim Carrey) and could have paid better mind to the other characters but it's not a deal breaker. My only beef with Disney is the advertising to a young audience where this film is clearly geared for adults.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


No offense to this guy but this is why I don't let Cam touch the Gameboys on display at Walmart..

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Looking for a good fit..

I write melodies. Not that I don't like writing lyrics.. melodies come easy and words and concepts would come easier if I had time to storyboard. If you like poetry or write songs but are on the strong side of lyrics we might have a future. Let me tell you what I want from music.. at the risk of sounding shallow I don't have a strong desire to write worship music. I am very interested however in writing for artists in either the Christian or Country vein. Email me if you are interested in coming together for an impromptu co-write. I'm easy like a Sunday morning and will try to make it work. We don't even have to meet up. You can send me your lyrics or concepts and I can try to have a go at it. All conceptual matters will be kept confidential unless someone offers me a wad of cash for your intellectual property.. kidding :p

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Miley Cyrus is "All Grown Up"

Miley was at the center of attention today with a handful of friends of mine on facebook after I asked a question if parents would allow their children to watch this video.

Should we be at all shocked to see this transformation? We have seen this happen to the majority of child stars with parents who havn't a clue. Don't get me wrong - I like Billy Ray and have him quoted on my facebook profile. I even have a sealed "All Gave Some, Some Gave All" vinyl in my office! But when I heard that Miley has been living apart from her parents since she was 14.5 out west I knew that her "free spirit" was not the only driving force behind her migration.

Disclaimer: If my life were on display for millions to see I'm sure that my parenting skills would be called into question as well but this seems to be a toxic rhythm in the Cyrus Family.

The Cyrus family has God-given gifts suited for a public life and I'm sure that it was not long after Miley was born that her parents knew that they would someday be sharing her with the world. It's exciting to see a child that has these gifts early on but giving a child exposure to fame at an early age creates a skewed and unquenchable desire for constant public affirmation. I have a problem putting young Christians on the stage to lead worship simply becasue of this principle.

This next exerpt comes from a friends blog dated late last year after the "photo shoot":

The picture doesn’t show any nudity, but it shows the shirtless Miley covering her front with a blanket and showing her bare back to the camera. Even though this picture isn’t pornographic, it disturbed Disney and Miley enough that they both issued statements. And most people agree that Miley had been duped so Vanity Fair can just sell magazines.

Obviously this makes me sad. Miley is one of the few superstars that I've felt pretty good about my kids watching and listening to. She seems to have a faith (I've blogged on that before), although I've never heard her talk too specifically about it (Remember people, just because she said "I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" at the recent awards, that doesn't mean anything. Don't ask me to list the people who have said those exact words receiving awards). But, as I've mentioned in a previous blog about Miley, her parents are once again proving to demonstrate questionable judgment.
We should'nt put any stock into hearing someone drop the J-bomb on a crowd of celebs. Most of them have not known genuine saving faith and their faith is a result of social determinism. If their faith in Jesus is real than it is very shallow and void of lasting fruit. I am not calling Miley's faith into question. It is what it is. If Miley does subscribe to faith in Jesus than she does have a tremendous responsibility to represent Him faithfully. Typically that will never happen. Abe Lincoln said that "Every man at 40 is responsible for his own face." Miley has a while to go until she's 40 and a tremendous ammount of influence to boot but at this point in her life most of her decisions are based on multiple 40 year old's definition of true success. Jesus was very strict in this department.
Luke 17:2 (NASB)
It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.
The Bible says further that the world can be pretty convincing in their lies, so much so that their lies sound like the truth at the moment. It talks about escaping this kind of thinking and letting Christ influence us instead of the world.

Ephesians 4:14-15 (English Standard Version)

14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
I'm not giving up on Miley but I will be very cautious in what I allow my children to see. It's not just the skin.. it's what god we allow our children to see other very popular people serving.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Dad is Sending Text Messages..

Me texting Dad today: "It's a go for Saturday" (Michigan Indiana game @BigHouse)

Dad "Looking forward to it. Love ya".

Me "Dad, that was the first text you've ever sent me. I'm proud right now."

Dad "...This is the second"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy 40th birthday, Internet

Ok so I'm a couple of days late but read the whole article Here: September 2, 1969: Forty years ago today, in Leonard Kleinrock's UCLA lab, a group of computer scientists managed to pass bits of data from one computer to another over some some gray cable. In doing so, they created the first node of what we now call (long dramatic pause)... the Internet.

Caption Please..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Puppy Love

Couch time with the pooch.

Dear "Palooza"

Dear "Palooza",

Please be removed from our urban, and common American English... forever. Just because someone has a brilliant product, or idea that just so happens to start with a "P" doesn't mean you have to be directly behind it for cheesy marketing purposes. You were fine back in the 90's and I'm sure that the directors behind Lalapalooza are glad they've given PiratePalooza, PizzaPalooza, PotterPalooza and the rest of the world equal permission to use you at their bidding but you have got to stop. You are like a 35 year old man refusing to get your GED living at home bumming off of dad selling
license plate covers on Craigslist. It's time to move on. If you should choose not too do so, you will be reported to abuseapalooza or even better yet, policeapalooza. Face it palooza, you are a looza.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I don't want to be that guy..

Yes I could ask the dude talking on his cell phone for the church's red dodgeball back while he is working on his free throws but I don't want to be that guy.

Have you ever watched something that belonged to you being taken right in front of your face?

Sorry - Last Bacon Story. Promise.

Ok - maybe it's a sausage story but its still pig. Last night after a Costo run Beka told Cam to bring some groceries in. Technically they made it into the house but one bag full of - you guessed it - sausage and some other items (around 50 dollars worth) got left in the basement to be forgotten about until this afternoon. Should I take it out of his allowance? Ok - I guess I could shoulder some of the blame but at least I will have felt that justice was served!

Yet Another Bacon Story

This week has been a great week at Grace. We have had so many people helping to make this week a success for our kids at VBS.
With that said I have been getting up earlier than usual to ensure that the kids are ready and fed before we leave. I was really in the mood for bacon this morning with all the posts and such but the closest thing I could find in the freezer was turkey bacon. It wasn't all that bad except for the part when I was dropping the second installment of bacon into a sizzling pan... without a shirt on.
This was no later than a minute past the rinsing out of the coffee cup when the sprayer head from the sink decided not to turn off when I put it back in its spot while pointing directly at my unsuspecting ab.

The One Pound BLT Sandwich

My friend Dave Daniels holds the record for eating the largest BACON sandwich I have ever seen.
It is from Tony's I-75 Restaurant in Birch Run MI.
I want to see something like this at Applebee's - Way to go Dave!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Do you Love Bacon?

I always enjoy Carlos' posts. If you like bacon here is something you won't be able to pass up!


Now you can make yourself taste like bacon. J&D’s Bacon Flavored Lip Balm($13/Pack of 4) for Bacon enthusiast!
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7%, Oxybenzone 4% Other Ingredients: Petrolatum, Ozokerite, Beeswax, Mineral Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Vera Oil, Vitamin E Acetate, Flavor, Sodium Saccharin, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Phenyl Trimethicone.

Youth MinistarZ Video - Hilarious!!

I saw this over on More than Dodgeball and thought you would enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Doggy Doctor

Milo has a couple of spots on his neck and I did enough googling to narrow it down to either ticks or heat rash. I wish my insurance covered pets.

Beka's Post Carpel Tunnel Hand

I thought about submitting this for the cover of Saw 6.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Show Me Your Office Chair.

This is the chair we use at home. We got it off of Craigslist a few months ago. Beka just painted it so its pretty uncomfortable without the cushion.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Humble Birthday to Me!

I was getting kind of irritated on the way home from Bigstuf. We had stopped at a sonic for lunch and some of the kids went to the dollar store to "look for a restroom". We were waiting on a few pokey little puppies and saw one of the straggelers walking out with a baloon.

Under my breath I was teasing him for his purchase until he walked on the bus and wished me a happy birthday. Ouch!! Thanks Jake - you made my day.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Deep Fried Mac

These last few days I have been in denial that my Mac has a logic board issue.

Sweet Stage Lighting at Bigstuf

It has been a great week so far here at Bigstuf. Great worship and teaching, community time with students, new friendships established, and the beach of coarse!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Taunting Lobsters

We are eating here at HammerHead freds in Panama City at Bigstuf before we register. Some of the lobsters have money attatched to their claws - I don't think PETA would be to happy with this.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Real Zeal!

Beka's parents were in for the past few days here in the Burgh. Naturally it was great being with family. Dennis (my father in law) helped me out with a few projects around the house because I break things when I have tools in my hands. We offered them the big bed to sleep in but they insisted on sleeping on the air mattress in the spare bedroom. I bought this air matress a few months ago and already need to use the warrenty because it has a leak that we can't find. They were definitly good sports about it but every morning they would wake up on the floor on an empty matress.

My Father in Law, my Dad, and my Grandfather are all pastor's. God has given them an irrevocable call to preach and they have all obeyed fully. I am inspired, angered, touched, and tormented everytime I hear their stories. Some of the situations they have been in with people in the ministry make me question how they've kept their sanity, let alone stayed in the pastorate. I have only been in the ministry for a decade which seems very small compared to them. I have found that my joy can leak out like a broken air matress and I have no idea what might have caused it.

With the pressure of people looking at every angle of your life it isn't hard for anyone to find where you suck. Many times people in the ministry feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, under appreciated for the work that is being done, and having a feeling of total vulnerabilty. On top of that add potential problems with co-workers, fellow parishiners, and the high ranking dark spirits. I met with a friend for coffee last week who has impenetrable positivity. I am always intrigued by others who seem undaunted in task and relationship so I asked him how he keeps his joy in tact. He gave me a peice of advice to ponder while in formation. "Fake it till you make it." Sounds good and practical especially when doubled up with a tidbit I heard from John Maxwell this last week... "Belief is the lifter." Tonight I read a blog from the resurgence entitled Milestones to Maturity which allowed me to see another peice to the puzzle. The main point in part three of which I read tonight was gaining your own zeal. It is said of Titus that he followed Paul and Barnabus around helping out in anyway that was needed even menial tasks. Here is an excerpt:


Take a look at what Paul says of Titus: "But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit." (2 Corinthians 8:16-17, 23)

What a jump! Titus goes from being the tag-on servant-hearted guy to a leader in his own right whom Paul now speaks of as "my partner and fellow worker." How did this radical promotion happen? Answer: Titus gained his own zeal.

At Milestone 3 something clicks, and we develop zeal, enthusiasm, and initiative derived directly from God. We begin to do things not primarily because we are told to or asked to, but because God's zeal is welling up inside us and becoming our own zeal. The things that God and Paul were passionate about had now also become Titus' passion. He owned the mission for himself. At Milestone 3 our fire is stoked from within us by God more than by a "Paul" outside of us.


Not only is an unrelenting dependancy on God an absolute necessity but we must believe that our mission from God in the world is critical. As a grow in the Lord I am faced with the reality that my belief quotiant can be drained from a number of things. I won't try to name them but it is definitly enough to fill up a few pages.

I don't know how to end this entry any other way but to stop typing.. I will have to finish my thought later. Sorry if it seems a little scattered. I'm tired from driving back from Ohio.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I would like to have seen Jesus a little higher on the list but it's a start.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Least Influential Music Video Ever

Immediately upon viewing the rough footage, Jan Terry realized she had made a horrible mistake hiring the Diff'rent Strokes crew to direct her music video.

Friday, June 12, 2009

How Well Do You Know Your Spouse?

Beka is an ESFZ according to the Golden which is similar to the Meyer's Brigg's. That means she is Extraverting, Sensing, Feeling, and organiZing. Her strengths (Clifton Strengthsfinder) are Belief, Developer, Relator, Responsibility, and Achiever.

All these terms may seem a little stale but they are true in real life. God has blessed her by making her totally unique and special to me and many others. I love her for who she is as well as being an awesome mom for our children. She deserves many posts a day and more than I give her in life.

I love you babe!

*isn't she lovely?*

Do You Have a Good Attitude?

Here is a quote that sounds good but I have not come to a solid decision about it yet from Maxwell's "The Winning Attitude".

"Casey Stengal, a successful manager of the Yankee's, understood the power of associations on a baseball player's attitude. Billy Martin remembers Stengal's advice to him when Martin was a rookie manager. "Casey said there would be fifteen players on the team who will run through the wall for you, five who will hate you, and five who are undecided," Martin said. Stengal added, "When you make your rooming list, always room your losers together. Never room a good guy with a loser. Those losers who stay together will blame the manager for everything, but it won't spread if you keep them isolated."

The "losers" of course are the one's who don't like the manager. This is not always accurate seeing that the "manager" can and will be in the wrong at times. It is way too easy for us in leadership to label people as losers if they are not for us. We don't have that luxury in the church to cast people off so quickly. Sometimes a good dose of humility can change a person's perception of us and sometimes there isn't a thing in the world you can do to win a person's approval.

Even though I have given the "losers" the benefit of the doubt in this post, there is something to be said of Titus 3:9-11:
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,
11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

Leave no reason for a person to reject you especially if he or she speaks from a bad heart or
references false claims. But if that person speaks truthfully and can and wants to help you must
listen. Here are a few points from a sermon I preached last Sunday night.

How to handle criticism:
1. Listen to constructive criticism
2. Answer misinformed criticism
3. Dismiss wrongful/false criticism from overly critical/hurting people

New Experiences + Teaching Applications x Love = Growth

Cameron got a gift card from a friend to Wal-Mart. He wanted to get a game for the Wii and we said that was cool. The one he picked out was a "Sonic" game which we are familiar with so it wasn't a problem. He was reading the back of the game by the content rating which was Rated E10+. It got that rating becasue of Animated blood and Fantasy Violence. Number one I felt bad becasue I didn't read the label as well as I should have (which has gotten me into trouble before) and Cameron was the one to discover this on the rating.

First we took the game back before purchasing it and secondly I praised him for noticing that about the games rating. Hopefully he will keep his honesty through the pre-teen years.

Today I am reading from one of Maxwell's books, "The Winning Attitude". Here is a littel tid-bit from a chapeter I went through that expalins what can and should happen on a daliy basis in terms of raising a non year old boy (or any child for that matter).

New Experiences + Teaching Applications x Love = Growth

Way to go Cameron - Dad is proud of you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I have a baby Deer

This little guy and his sister started to walk near when I was walking towards him in my backyard until mommy made a snorting sound and took off. I got about 8 feet away - pretty cool.

Must Love Dogs

Only a mother could love this face - or a pug lover. This is my friends dog and that is his real tongue.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I. LOVE. ICE. CREAM. PERIOD. We have had our share of ice cream scooper's in our home and have lost all of them due to the hard nature of our ice cream. One man size dip and they break. I don't like that soft stuff - give me an iron clad scoop of Double Fudge Brownie any day but don't think about dishing me up some Breyer's imitation Chocalate as soft as a tender peice of veal. My ice cream needs something hefty to do the work. That is why this honey of a scooper found it's way into the drawer. Kitchen Aid gets my vote for best in utencils becasue of this ingenoiuos design! This is the kind that will stand the test of many desserts to come enough to make it "heirloom" status. It's one thing to have Grandpa's old toolbelt but it's another thing to have Grandma's kitchen-ware.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here's Your Sign

Not that the byline has anything to do with what I'm blogging about but I saw this sign after listening to Erwin
McManus sermon entitled "Reclaim Your Life". His final statement was pretty cool when he said "While your busy reclaiming your life, Jesus is more concerned with reclaiming you and give you his life."

Free Cat

I had to laugh when I saw this. I was in Ohio today when I remembered that this grease spot was a furry black and white cat who spent all nine lives over two years ago at this exit.

The first time I saw it was on the way back from Skyline chili with a few friends over lunch. I would pass it on the way to drop off and pick up the kids from school and no one ever took it upon themselves to move it. I guess it was funny to everyone to see it wither away to a clump of fur.

You can almost see the outline...

Made in the USA?

Leaving our house today in Ohio I found the time piece my brother got me for being best man in his wedding. It is a nice watch but I noticed under the half dollar with the stout eagle strutting his patriotism on a watch made in Japan. Love you man!

Have you ever seen this color moth?

I saw this pumping gas in Mansfield. Weird.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Its Late

My friends Tony and Janelle came over for some food. I'm pretty sure Janelle didn't want to be in photos tonight - haha! That's what you get for staying up late at my house!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Fusion of Two Things I Love

Does anyone else want one of these all in one shaving bags everytime you see one?

No Rain No Rainbows

We made the best of the situation today when they told us at the y that swimming lessons were cancelled. The fountain worked just fine outside of the Old Navy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meat-morial Day

In all seriousness we owe a debt of gratitude to our fallen. We had a good time today celebrating in their honor today with a few friends. What better way to recognize those who paid the ultimate price with a dinner with friends.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pocket Memories

I found a receipt from fazolis in my pocket from last summer. Man I miss that place!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stitches for Mommy

This is Cal watching some toons in the waiting room while mommy is getting some staples in her head from an argument she had with the support beam in the garage. Its sweet to see how all the kids were so concerned with her well-being. When mom is out of commission the whole world just comes to an abrupt stop. Man we really need to have a garage sale!