Saturday, December 27, 2008

Always a Favorite!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Video from Our Church

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My New Theme Song

Andrea showed me a very funny song I have to share. I am pretty sure this woman, Anita Renfroe, just copies my random thoughts!

This is my new theme song! I am going to think of this song every time I have a craving!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What are Mooks and Midriffs?

Please take a look at this blog to find the answer.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Psalms by Piper Part 3

The third Psalm Mr. Piper addresses in this series is Psalm 51. The title of this sermon is "A Broken and Contrite Heart God Will Not Despise." As you may know, this Psalm is from a time in David's life when he is confronted by Nathan about his sins.

Some things that stuck out to me were:
  • David is truly full of sorrow over his sins
  • If you look at the story in 2 Sam 11-12, you see an early occurrence of God putting away the sin of David. This is what He does for us.
  • David doesn't make excuses for his sin, he owns that he is a sinner
  • David points out the the root of his sin is that he lost the joy of his salvation. This is important for us to look at.
Here is the link to the video "A Broken and Contrite Heart God Will Not Despise"

Here is the main link

Here is a link to Psalm 51

Monday, November 24, 2008

What if Starbucks Marketed Like the Church?

Andrea sent me this email this morning. It is a link to a very interesting video that really has me thinking.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Psalms by Piper Part 2

The second sermon in the series on Psalms by John Piper is entitled "Spiritual Depression in the Psalms.

This is an incredibly important word for people who find themselves in times of trouble. The Psalmist deals with how to handle adversity and trouble in God. He deals with hopelessness and despair from the world and how to deal with yourself in it.

Here is the link to the video Spiritual Depressions in the Psalms.

Here is the main link.

Here is the link to Psalm 42.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Psalms by John Piper Part 1

The first video of John Piper is "Songs that Shape the Heart and Mind." Mr. Piper tackles Psalm 1, and encourages the audience on several points. I am going to give you several points I got out of this message.
  1. The Psalms are to be read to influence, not only to instruct.
  2. The Psalms are meant to be sung to yourself.
  3. The Word of God is meant to be learned.
  4. You can find yourself in many of the Psalms. Wherever you are in life, you can find yourself in the Psalms.
This is the link to the Video of John Piper, Songs that Shape the Heart and Mind.

This is the main link.

Here is a link to Psalm 1

The Power of Music Intro to Series "Psalms by John Piper"

Does anybody know the name Elvis? Of course you do! When you hear that name your mind goes to the vault and pulls up Jail House Rock, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, and a whole slew of other songs. As you think of the name your hips start to swing! If you are not careful you might end up swinging and singing in the shower with the back scrubber as your microphone, trying to mimic Elvis' every move! The next thing you know you are standing in the shower with a shampoo waterfall hairdo singing Jail House Rock in the mist covered mirror with a million fans (in your mind) screaming and cheering for you!!!

What if I said "Come Together?" Your mind travels to the Beatles. You have a million and one Beatles songs coursing through your veins. Your mind starts to think of the "love" generation.

Jimi Hendrix? Automatically, you grab your air guitar and start playing the greatest solos ever heard!

Devo? Whip it!

Pink Floyd? The Wall. We don't need no education anyway. You start to feel negative toward all your teachers.

Just about everyone I know (save for two) gets lost in a Journey song!

Eminem? Your hand goes up, your other hand holds the mic to your mouth and you start rapping away.

The Cure? If you know them you think, "the front runners to emo."

My point is that music has an incredible power to influence the mind, emotions, dress, and sometimes the actions of a person. Many times people will sing themselves songs to comfort themselves in times of trouble. Whole cities can be found singing Queen's We Are The Champions when their local sports teams win a national championship. The Cure's Killing An Arab made a resurgence after the atrocity of 9-11. The whole 60's were influenced and shaped by musicians and what they were doing.

I was pondering where to go next with our youth ministry and how to help them find a true hunger for God when I started thinking about the power of music in our lives. I felt the urging to go to Psalm 1. I started to study and think about the Psalms and how they can help us. Fortunately, I ran into a podcast from John Piper on my Zune. It happened to be on Psalm 1.

Over the next several weeks I am going to post links to the series John Piper did on the Psalms. I want to post them after our youth have heard them so that any who missed can catch up, but I encourage you to take a listen as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Just Wanted to Beat Mark to the Punch!

Mark Freer is one of the better blues guitarists I know. He is a man who loves guitar, and watching him play it totally shows. He is one of those people who you can just tell gives it his all when he plays. Besides that, he is also a great pastor.

The reason I am posting this blog, though, is not just to tell you a little about my friend, but to beat him to the punch. He often posts YouTubes of some great music. To me, the song Voodoo Child is like a pinnacle of guitar playing. It has been done by the likes of Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. I wanted to post the links of this song before Mark did. I am posting them in order of my favorites.

Well, We Tried Hunting

Jordan, my younger son, is notorious for wanting to do things at the last minute. For example, one year, the day after the 4th of July, he wanted to go and buy fireworks. He is also notorious for not investigating things well. I say these things not to draw you to bad conclusions, but to help you enjoy the mind of a thirteen year old boy.

For several years we were into Scouting. He was the one who was really into the outdoors. Nathan, my oldest, liked the outdoors, but not as much as Jordan. This could be because we found Jordan as a baby swinging from tree to tree when we decided to take him home. Anyway, Jordan loves the outdoors.

Scouting took on the progression to shooting things. Jordan has built an arsenal of K'Nex guns, including semi automatics, shot guns, pistols, rifles, and even a potato gun and hand grenades (the potato gun is pvc, and the hand grenades are K'Nex). When he is up north he can be found searching for the perfect branch with which to make a bow and arrow set.

Well, it came... The time when all men who crave meat go out into the woods in search of big game... That time when mankind pretends to be a tree, sits totally still, thinks animal thoughts, wears clothes that make him look like the jolly green giant, sprays himself with deer urine spray to smell like the wild, doesn't shave, doesn't wear deodorant, doesn't change his clothes for days, moves through the woods like a silent ninja, carries lethal weapons, lives on beef jerkey,... I think you get the idea. Hunting season came. Yes hunting season came and Jordan wanted to go. Well, he doesn't have a license, has very little time shooting, doesn't have the appropriate clothes, pretty much is totally unprepared, except he has an unrelenting desire to join the ranks of the nature loving big game hunters.

What does that mean? That means dad has to do research, go to hunting stores, buy tons of stuff, get apprentice licenses, make more trips to the store to buy hunting gear, blow his shopping budget, blow his Ray's MTB budget, blow his Christmas budget, and every other budget, remember how to hunt, find out where we can hunt, drive up north, and a host of other things to be ready for bow season. Wait, BOW season??? Jordan wanted to start the year off with bow hunting 3/4 of the way through the season, AND he wanted to do rifle season, and muzzle loader season. Good thing he waited until late October to tell me...

Ok, all of the research is finally done. Jordan is totally excited. He can't wait to do this. He is sitting on the XBOX 360 playing Alaskan Adventure. I watch his hunting technique... Run through the woods, chase an animal. Shoot relentlessly until you expire all of your ammo... Oh no, this is going to be a long adventure for us. I sit him down to explain how to hunt, or at least how we will be hunting. We will be sitting quietly in the woods in a deer blind. Enter Nathan... Why does the talkative kid enter here? I don't know, but this is where he entered. "Dad, I have always wanted to hunt, but you always said no. I just abandoned ever going hunting because you didn't want to. Now that you are going, can I come, too?"

Oh boy. Here we go. This is going to be a true adventure. "Ok, boys, call grandpa and see if we can hunt on his property."

How do I deal with this? I know, Youtube! They have videos of everything! I will show them some clips of hunting and the mess of shooting a deer. I will show them field dressing video clips. They might not want to go after that... See, the reality here is I used to be a hunter, but I can't bring myself to actually shooting something, though I am a good shot.

"Boys, come over here and watch this clip."

"Aww cool!!!! Thanks dad, now we can't wait to go hunting!!!"

Something tells me that idea backfired...

Let's fastforward to the big day. We are on the road enjoying every memory I had of hunting with my dad when I was a kid. Our jaws are sore from the famous Narski's beef jerkey. I use this as my dad used it. I used this as an intentional way to tire my kids talkative jaws so they wouldn't talk the deer to death the next day.

4:00am opening day. The boys are already up and dressed in their hunting gear. I pack them and the gear up and take them to our hunting blind. It is very dark. We get into our blind and set up. Then we wait. And we wait. We wait some more. The sun finally rises. The woods are teeming with wildlife. "Dad, look over there in the trees. It's a white moose!" "I think I see something!"

I politely remind them to be quiet. This works for the rest of the morning. We headed back to my parents for a quick lunch, then back to the blind. We saw some tracks so we must have just missed the deer...

Back into the blind and the conclusion of the story. One boy sleeps the entire hunt from this point out, and the other talks the entire hunt from this point out..... One dad has to drive us home. What a good time with the boys. Exactly what I thought it would be, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Worship Post

My friend Jeremy posted this a while back. I really have been thinking about it lately. I hear the comment, "it's just worship," a lot as though worship is some routine habit like anything else. I don't claim to be an expert on worship, but I think this video can say all I want to for the moment.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What a Disappointment!

I read this the other day and unsubscribed from this "devotional." Is this how Jesus commanded us to act?

God Removes His Hand from the United States

(1 Samuel 8:1-21)

But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do." 1 Samuel 8:6-9

The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king." 1 Samuel 8:21

God removes His hand from the United States, it is now time to act! With the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the next President of the United States, yesterday marked a watershed day spiritually for this nation. For decades now, this country has been operating in rebellion to God and His Truth. We legally slaughter 4,000 babies every day. We have made a mockery of God's Holy Institution of Marriage. God's plan for the family has been decimated. We have totally given ourselves over to the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of this temporal world. We have bowed down to and worshipped every false god and idol created in rebellion to the God of the Bible.

  • ROB'S NOTE: America has been going in the wrong direction for a long time. I agree that these things are a travesty. But, has God removed His hand???

Out of our rebellion to God, the people have now elected a man to lead this nation who is a staunch supporter of legalized infanticide. Speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17, 2007, Senator Obama said, "The first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do." President Obama will repay the support of those in the baby killing industry by insuring abortion on demand at any stage of the pregnancy, and through executive orders, he will wipe out any progress individual states have made in trying to ban abortions in their state. As President, he will elect judges to the US Supreme Court who will insure Roe vs. Wade is never overturned, as well as activist judges to the Federal Courts who will rule on the side of death in any abortion cases.

  • ROB'S NOTE: I am very disappointed by President elect Obama's stance on abortion. We will need to pray for a change of his heart. We will ALSO need to be on the forefront of the battle now. We will need to actually reach people in sin in whatever condition, young, old, adulterers, rapists, BEFORE there is a need to get an abortion. Yes, I am suggesting that if anyone feels the need to have an abortion, the church wasn't there with the love of Jesus and the Gospel soon enough.

President Obama is also a great friend to the homosexual community and will be a champion of their radical agenda. President Obama will make it easy for gay couples to adopt children. I remember years ago warning people in my Daily Devotional that the homosexual community was targeting your children. People said I was over reacting. Today, an entire generation of children has grown up being brainwashed that being gay is normal and acceptable. They are being indoctrinated as young as kindergarten that there is nothing wrong with this choice of deviant sex. Again, through executive orders he will wipe out any gains made by various states to insure gay marriage will quickly spread across the nation, and the judges he appoints will help the radical gay agenda to move forward.

  • ROB'S NOTE: This is an issue to be concerned about as well. I believe that marriage was first mentioned in the Bible. Could not this, then fall under "separation of church and state?"

Today, the people of Israel should be very concerned. Over these past 60 years, they could always count on the full and total support from the United States government. No longer. It is bad enough we have had numerous Presidents now trying to make peace by giving away part of the land God gave to the children of Israel to those who want to see the Jewish people wiped off the face of the globe. Under President Obama, Israel will no longer have a friend in Washington that they can count on. Sadly for this nation, Genesis 12:3 that promises God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel is still in effect.

The truly sick fact is this will all be done by a man who will professes to be a Christian. Despite supporting the killing of innocent babies, the agenda and special rights of those who choose to commit acts of homosexuality, and believing the universalistic lie that everyone will get to Heaven regardless what they believe, President Obama proclaims to be a Christian. I have told you for the past few years that the biggest problem in Christianity, is the ever growing group of people who make up the Christian left. These are people who call themselves Christians, yet don't hold the Bible to represent Absolute Truth.

This liberal group that President Obama is part of, focuses on a social Gospel, things like world hunger, AIDs in Africa, and climate issues to name a few. These are noble causes Christians need to be involved in, but you can't just ignore issues like abortion and marriage like they don't exist. Most in the Christian left are a byproduct of this seeker/purpose driven/emerging church/liberal mainline denomination generation that lays down the absolutes of the Bible to attract warm bodies. It has flourished due to the gutless pastors who refuse to lead and preach a watered down, feel good, ear tickling message void of hard Truth so nobody is offended.

  • ROB'S NOTE: Okay, this is where I get off.
  • First, who can judge whether Obama is truly a Christian? It is true that many of his policies would lead you to think he is not, but how can you really know?
  • Second, when did it become a prerequisite that the president had to be a Christian?
  • Third, isn't God concerned with those things as well as abortion? Didn't Jesus spend the bulk of his time on earth with the poor, the weak, and the sick? Didn't He criticize the leaders of the religious and political spheres for their lack of involvement? Can it be possible that God is concerned with ALL of these things, that it should be a "both and" type thing and not an "either or" type of thing?
  • Lastly, though I am sure there are many watered down churches in America, when did Bill Keller earn the right to judge them all? There are many churches who are preaching Christ, who care about all aspects of the Bible. Many of them might still be considered politically conservative. This just really irks me that a Christian can be so narrow minded and not see that all of these issues are important to God. Maybe Bill Keller needs to be reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 25:31-46. Maybe he also needs to consider the establishment of the first church after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven in Acts 2...

The nation has had Presidents before who were no friend of God and we didn't crumble spiritually. That is because there was still a vibrant remnant of true followers of Christ. Today, we have the better percentage of two full generations who have never been to church. So many churches today do little or no evangelism. Over the past 40 years, that remnant of true followers has dwindled down considerably as older saints have gone to be with the Lord and haven't been replaced.

  • ROB'S NOTE: Maybe, if there are the better part of two generations who haven't heard the Gospel, we as the church need to roll up our sleeves and get our lazy butts to work!

The effect of Obama's election is that it will empower those who oppose the work of God. Those who serve satan will be bolder and more aggressive than ever. They will be targeting like never before, true followers of Christ. Spiritual crack dealers like Oprah who peddle New Age garbage are ok. Those who promote cults like Mormonism, the JWs, Scientology, Kaballah, and others are ok. The false religions like Islam, Buddhists, and others are ok. Those in the Christian left with their social agenda are ok.

Their target will be zeroed in on those who believe, preach, and teach the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word, representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all matters. They will be out to destroy true followers of Jesus Christ. This will come in many forms, such as laws to call the Bible hate speech as other countries have already done. For the first time, real and tangible persecution is going to be felt by those who refuse to compromise the Truth of the Bible and preach the Gospel.

The end result is that people are no longer going to be able to stand in the middle. The election of President Barack Hussein Obama is going to finally force people to take a stand. You are either a follower of Christ, which means you are also a follower of His Word, or you are not. Jesus said you can't serve two masters. Elijah told the people on Mt. Carmel to CHOOSE who you will serve. My friend, it is now time to choose. If you going to follow Jesus, it is time to act!

  • ROB'S NOTE: I am kinda back on with this point, though I think Bill is too narrow minded in his thinking. Now is the time to act if people like Bill are ever going to be saved. (I say that with sarcasm. I just can't figure out smileys on this blog yet.) This will be a time of choice and the church will need to be on guard. We will need to be more active than ever. We need to unite, though, support our president in prayer, get out on the streets and share the love of Jesus, and embody the Gospel, regardless of what the world around us does.

I love you and care about you so much. I realize that very few can "hear" what I am saying today. They woke up in their bed this morning and it seems like just another day. I can empathize with the frustration of the Old Testament prophets as they warned the people of God's coming wrath and most of the people simply ignored them or wrote them off as kooks. Yesterday, God's hand came off this nation. True followers of Jesus Christ no longer have the luxury of sitting back and doing nothing. Silence is not an option any more. We must take our stand now, or we will no longer have that opportunity. We have the only true answer for this nation and for the souls of men. It is time to boldly and without shame or compromise declare that answer!

  • ROB'S NOTE: Did God's hand come off the nation? Could it be that God knows more of what He is doing than we do? Could it be that God is putting His hand on the nation by causing it to take a great step forward to end racism? Or, could it be that He has just placed His hand on our country in a little more painful place than we are used to? (Meaning a big slap on the butt for Christians in American who have become complacent American consumers over being salt and light.)

As I was praying over all of this the other night, before going to sleep I was flipping through the stations and I stopped at TBN. On the eve of the election, with the spiritual course of our nation hanging in the balance, I expected to see true men of God preaching great messages of repentance and a turning back to God. Sadly, these people are as lost as the sons of Eli or Samuel. What were they doing? Having a telethon, raising money by promising people if they sent them money all of their financial problems would be solved. It was like watching the fiddler play while Rome burned !

  • ROB'S NOTE: Did you really expect to see anything else on TBN?

For those who have been following Liveprayer, you know in the Spring God gave me a vision for this nation. In July, I launched the Jonah Project. The Lord gave me this vision and the Holy Spirit guided me to set up this vehicle for exactly where we are at today. The Jonah Project is the plan from God to bring together the true followers of Christ at this moment in human history, to call this nation to repentance, to turn back to God and Biblical Truth, and to help lead the lost to faith in Jesus Christ while taking a bold and visible stand on the social issues of our day.

  • ROB'S NOTE: Why didn't you have this vision when you were converted?

Let me encourage you today to become part of the Jonah Project. You can go to the Jonah Project homepage at , watch the vision video, and sign up to be part of this great last days move of God. My friend, this is the only hope for our nation and for each soul. There is only one answer, JESUS!!!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Great Post by my Wife!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Devotional About Reaching Out to the Other

The other day I got a devotional that I wanted to pass along.

Relating to those Different from Us
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?'" (John 4:9).

Do you find it difficult to relate to others who are different than you? Do you shy away from interacting with those who may have a different belief?

Jesus interacted with his culture and especially those who thought differently than He. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well it was much like a Christian speaking to a Muslim or a Jew speaking to a Palestinian. Jesus built a relationship with the woman instead of taking an adversarial position.

In order to influence our culture it is vital believers engage with those unlike us. We often assume others who come from other cultures do not want to engage with us. This is a deception from Satan. Many who grow up in other faiths do so as a cultural tradition, not because they have strongly held beliefs. For instance, many Muslims do not know what is in the Quran and simply believe what they are taught based on tradition.

Every person is looking for a genuine relationship with God. Jesus operated based on that assumption. Notice how Jesus engaged with the woman.

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet (John 4: 13-19).

Once Jesus established a rapport with the woman He began to engage with her. He spoke supernaturally into her life which broke through the religious spirit which prevented a theological debate. This led to faith in Christ and even the city being impacted.

Why not seek out a relationship with someone different from yourself. You'll be surprised how God might use you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Post for my Daughters

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Government Exists because Worship Doesn't

The other day I had the privilege to hear a person speak on the election from a biblical perspective. He did an excellent job of pointing out a number of criteria that we need to consider when we vote. As he spoke I got to thinking, though. Something made me angry inside but I couldn't put my finger on it.

As I was on my way home I was reminded by a phrase that Mark Driscoll often says. "Missions exists because worship doesn't," popped in my head and would not leave. This really got me thinking about the upcoming election.

1 Samuel 8 tells us the story of the nation of Israel begging Samuel for a king. A weak reason seems to be found in verse 5. "We want a king because everyone else has a king..." (Paraphrase by me.) God reminds Samuel in verses 7-8 that they are not rejecting Samuel, but God himself. Even after things like deliverance from Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and any number of things until that day, God was not enough for them...

This is what was bothering me. So often we are reminded by our "for God and Country" radio station that we need to get out and vote. We need to let our voices be heard in the political arena. We need to support "God's man," in "every" coming election. It makes me want to pull my hair out.

It is very simple, though, as to why this is. Our condition, EVEN AFTER JESUS, is no better of than that of the people of Israel in the time of Samuel. We pledge our allegiance to America, and to the Republican or Democratic Parties simply because God isn't enough for us. We live like everyone else because we want a king like everyone else.

I am going to be taking a look over a couple of posts as to what to do about this. In the mean time, I am convicted as I write this and I hope I can articulate what is in my heart that we might take a step forward.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Test of Freecaster

In case some of you were wondering what is going on in my world I wanted to have my blog at my own site. Unfortunately every time I attempt to start my blog at my site, things go wrong. This latest attempt was just starting to get going then I was hacked!

This has been pretty frustrating for me. I really wanted to get this right at my site. I have been testing other methods for blogging, but the one provided by my host is pretty limited. I am having a hard time getting the old one redone, and I can't find many other alternatives that I like.

Andrea recently set up a few blogs here at Blogger. I have also been helping some of my friends get their blogs going here, so I have decided to give it a try.

One of the things that will be here is mountain biking. One of the cooler sites to see race coverage is Not many of the blogs I have tried using seem to accept the code for freecaster. This post is a test. This post is Sam Hill. He os one of the most amazing mountain bikers of our time. Watch the speed he carries through this run.

Monday, August 25, 2008

You Know Your First Sermon was a Hit When..

..when you preach on the armor of God and your wife tells you, "that was the best teaching on the fruit of the spirit I ever heard."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My First Solo Endurance Race!

If you would like to hear about it, follow this link.

I Finally Graduated!

I posted this at, but I thought I would post it here, too.

I finally have a little time to tell about graduation. I have been enrolled in the New Breed School of Ministry for a long time. It has been a challenging time for me. I have been youth pastoring for about four years, and I just felt I needed to get a better education and preparation for larger amounts of ministry.

After over a year of education in homiletics, hermeneutics, exegetics, theology, doctrine, sacraments, Old Testament, New Testament, Bible Prophesy, Personal Ministry, Leadership, and a whole slew of other topics I can say that this is one of the best things I have ever done. I am now an ordained pastor, which is exciting to say, but more than that, I have been immersed in education that has forced me to take a good look internally and figure out who I am in Christ, and who I am called to be as a leader in the church.

Another exciting thing about this is that I graduated with honors. In high school I think I might have been in the top 90% of my class, but I graduated School of Ministry #1. This is made more exciting because I did it in the midst of all my life duties of family, job, ministry, outreaches, and trying to get my health in order.

Pictures can be found here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The value of a wife Part 1 of millions

I posted this at, but I thought I would post it here as well.

Many men realize often too little, or too late, the value of the woman God has given them to be their bride. I might be one of them who does, but I still do not see how valuable she really is often enough.

Andrea is an amazing woman. It isn’t the fact that she cooks or indulges me that is amazing. It isn’t how she keeps up the house, bills, or kids that amazes me. It isn’t how beautiful she is. It isn’t anything you would expect…

Andrea is hard on me. As a wife she is my helper. Sometimes she does things I like to help me, but other times she holds me to the fire of purification and forces me to grow to be the best I can be. She never lets up and is very good at taking a step back from herself, and forcing me to take a step back from myself. She makes me look at things form a bigger picture than my own self centered thoughts. She doesn’t let me off the hook.

You might think this is awful, and that my wife is a jerk. Sometimes I do. Unfortunately, I look back at these times and see how she has such awesome insight and how she pointed me in a better direction than I might have gone. She helps me to see where I need to grow and then encourages me to do it. I can’t help changing my thoughts on my wife from thinking about these moments in this way. I go from frustration to gratitude. She has my best interest in heart and wants me to reach my full potential.

I am sure I have written about my wife before, but I am not sure I have ever written about her in this way. I write about it because I am grateful that she cares so much. Thanks, honey.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Heaven Bound

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Counter Thought on Socialization

My wife has been pointing out how our children are socialized in her recent blogs, but after hearing my monkey say this, "I would check my email more... But I have K'nex to build," I am not so sure

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Baseline to Measure my Riding

Tuesday I needed to get a break in. Andrea was sensitive to the fact that I have been running ragged lately, so she graciously let me go mountain biking with my racer buddies Eddie and Andy, and my co-worker, Ed.

I was able to head over to the Novi Tree Farm to meet the guys. After about 20 minutes of setting up bikes and letting everyone get ready, the four of us were off.

Novi is a relatively flat trail. I would be surprised if there was 200' of climbing. That is not to say that it is an easy trail. Novi is twisty and tight with few sections that allow you to build good speed and momentum. The climbs always come after tough switchback turns. There are a lot of bumps and obstacles that throw off your flow, too. In its eleven miles a rider can get pretty surprised at how he can bomb and blow up if he is not careful.

Andy is the fastest singlespeed rider I know. He is young, light, and full of energy. He has some of the best, well rounded skills of any rider in any discipline to boot. Eddie is a muscle, health freak. He is a former downhill racer and rides everything like it was his last ride. Ed is 55 and a former open heart surgery survivor. Don't let that fool you. He is an accomplished road rider and has calves the size of bowling balls. Then there is me. I am fat, and look like Andre the Giant compared to the three of them side by side. Tell me how you think this ride is going to turn out???

Well, we got going. In the first two minutes I was in front of the group so Andy could see how the big bike moves. Not long into this I hear "crack kills", and check my shorts. They were pulled up all the way. Man, I must be so big that my rear end reaches to my shoulder blades... It was about then that I let them pass.
After each section of the trail the guys waited for me to catch up. The sections were all about 2 miles or so. The order of riders would always be Andy, Eddie,.. Ed,....... Me. They would stop and wait, but I would just catch up make some small clothing adjustments and continue to ride. I made it my goal not to stop for more than thirty seconds at a time.

Overall, Andy and Eddie turned in a 57 minute run. This was expected for them. Ed turned in a 1 hour and 3 minute run. I came in at 1:15. I was very excited with this baseline. It was slow for many riders, but for a fat guy on a big bike to be within 18 minutes of two state champion endurance racers, I was really stoked! I think the guys were really happy about this as well. They have been really good friends to me through a long time and know that riding like this is a real challenge for me.

This baseline gives me something to shoot to beat over the coming months.

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Dirt 2008

It is that time of year again. Everyone says that at every season or holiday. Ah, but this is special. This is the time of year when I can finally ride my bike on the dirt. After 4 months of spinning away on my trainer I finally get to commune with nature. It is a wonderful thing.

Here is how it happened. We were at the Master Builders Spring Regional (audio here) and my buddy, Pastor Ken's daughter, Mimi, starts playing the cute, sweet card to see if I will take her biking. Well, I had a lot to do, but I really wanted to go, so I didn't answer. Mimi took that as a yes and the next day of the regional her and dad showed up with all of their biking gear. Needless to say As soon as it was over and all of the cleanup from the luncheon was done we were on the way home to pick up the boys and the bikes.
This was my first ride back on a cross country bike in a looooooooooong time. Normally I like to do downhill and freeride stuff, so this was like a challenge to me. I also like to ride my Enduro as it is the best bike ever made, so this new Soul Cycles Dillinger 29er was a really different feel.

First impressions of the first dirt for the year. Well, I can tell that I have been on the trainer. I had a lot of energy and was pedaling smooth. I was able to ride everything and really enjoyed it. All of the kids had a great time and that was a plus. Pastor Ken was pretty happy to get out and move. It ended up being a really fun afternoon.

I noticed this bike is tall. 29 inch wheels are a lot taller than you would think. I had done a lot of research as I have two new frames I could have built up. I am actually glad I started here. The 29er does have its quirks, but it seemed to fit my riding style quite nicely. I was able to adjust to handling this big rig in a matter of minutes and went from timid to terror. Ok, I didn't really go to terror as I am very slow. The training helped my endurance, but I still have no speed to speak of .

The lack of suspension didn't bother me either. I must admit that I think that I like a full rigid bike for xc. I was thinking that I may need to get a suspension fork, but it ended up feeling nice and responsive on its own, and the big wheels seemed to roll over stuff more easily. I also liked the rigidity of the rear end. I was able to climb things I haven't climbed in the last year. That is a big accomplishment as this body isn't meant for climbing.

Nothing notable happened on this trip. It wasn't like one of my previous first rides. It was just a fun, relaxing, enjoyable afternoon on the bike with my boys and my friends. Since my schedule is going to be jam packed this summer I will be sneaking in my rides as much as possible. I think I will probably be riding during lunch just to fit it in...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I gots da Gimmies

I had a very depressing meeting with the doctor this week. I have a feeling that it might even get worse. When that happens I get down. The first thing I do when I get down is head to McDonald's for one or two of these tasty Egg McMuffins.

Because this depressing news has to do with my weight I will need to head off the Casual Male XL for new clothes to fit, as most of mine are getting too tight. Of course this is depressing, too so I need to go eat a sensible lunch at my favorite restaurant Cafe Sushi where I can enjoy some fine dining.

Since I am getting so fat, and nothing seems to stop it, I will need to upgrade my mountain bike to one of these just to hold my weight. Most bikes are built for an average 200lb rider for everyday cross country, so that means my current bikes will crumble under my size. It will be depressing to ride a near 40 pound bike through the trail, but it is what I deserve in my current state. The problem here is that no companies make mountain bike clothes in my size, so I will be forced to wear Vanilla Ice Jumpers.

Unfortunately I may just be too fat to ride, and will have to increase my XBOX time, so I might as well get this new TV from Best Buy. If I am diabetic I will have to cut back on Culvers.

Of course I will have to change my eating habits, so I will go back to the McDougall Diet. Or I may have to join Jenny Craig. Maybe I will have to join Bally's. If so, I will need a heart rate monitor so I stay in my target zones. I hope I don't over do it. I might need to get some home fitness stuff as well.

While I sat here typing this my problem became painfully obvious as my dog peed on the floor. While cleaning it I had a hard time bending over and ripped my pajama pants. I will have to get a new pair of those now.

Man, this is a depressing and expensive post. Can't I go to the doctor and get some good news for a change???

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Vision, Vision, Vision

Well, the last several months I have really been challenged by the Lord. As the three of you who read my blog know, I finally got the guts to sit down with my wife and my senior pastors to tell them about the vision to plant a church that has been growing inside me. After that I started talking about it out in public as my pastor directed. This has really stretched me. I think actually telling others with the blessing of my pastor has been a very humbling experience. This is all topic for another blog, though...

So we have been rolling along with youth ministry, then the Father lets me know I need to change direction with the youth. This has been a good thing for our youth. We have a small group, but I must admit that they have been a blessing, and I have seen the Lord work in them in many ways.

It all started when I was praying about the vision to plant this church. I was on the road spending time with Father and was impressed about the need to impart vision now. As I was thinking on this He reminded me about David as a young man. From there He reminded me of a number of young men in the Bible and showed me how they had the same vision.

Then, my pastor has been corresponding with a young pastor in Alabama, I believe. This young man sent him an Mp3 of one of his recent sermons. Guess what??? It was very similar to what the Lord was speaking to me above.

David was a young man in the place where Father pointed me to. He was asked by his mother to bring some food to his older brothers who were in the army. Those brothers were sitting in a camp waiting for a battle to begin. These guys were trained for battle. They were military men and ready for war, but something stood in their way.

On the other side of the field stood a big obstacle. A large man, somewhere near 9' tall opposed the army that David's brothers belonged to. He issued a challenge to the army daily, "One of you face me." I am sure this army was versed in battle, but they were versed in a certain type of fighting and this giant fighting wasn't it. Also, how would you like to be the one who loses to this guy and causes your whole army to be enslaved to the enemy???

David didn't like the smack he heard going out from this guy, though. To talk bad about the army was one thing, but to talk about David's God was another thing. Anger burned inside David. He knew God. God was his friend, his provider, his protector, his father, and spent time loving him daily as he attended sheep. He went to God as he was lone and had no one to talk to. He was comforted and guided by God. This person on the other side of the field needed to be taught a lesson. I can hear David's thoughts, "This guy has to go... No one talks about god like that and gets away with it, that dirty blasphemer..."

Let me sum this thought up for the sake of time as I have a lot to talk about here. His brothers were a little annoyed with David as they had been trained for battle. King Saul had been trained for battle as well. As a matter of fact, if you have already read the story, you know the Israelite army could whip the Philistine army. So what is my point? The Israelite army was paralyzed by not knowing how to face this enemy. This enemy was an enemy of God, though, and David had a real, lasting, relationship driven vision of the Father and nothing was going to drag His name in the mud while David could do something about it. It took a person with a vision of Father to release an army to fulfill its destiny.

Let's look at the older brothers and the whole army as the "adult church", and look at David as the "young church" for a minute. I believe that there is a need for young people to rise up and take a stand against the enemy. I know you may have heard that before, but I think too often the older church has missed the point, leaving another generation burned out. Since I focused on the young church in the youth ministry, I will continue to do so here.

I believe that if the young people of the church truly seek Father, and get a true vision of Him, and oppose the enemy, that the older generation will be able to move forward in battle and the whole body of Christ will be able to achieve victory over the enemy of our times.

You might be saying a couple of things:

  1. You keep mentioning vision, what's up with that?

  2. What enemies?

I guess I will answer them in order.

What is up with Vision?

As we know, the Bible says that without vision, people cast off restraint and perish. I have noticed that a large number of Christians have lost some sense of vision. I have also noted that the older we get, the more vision we lose. I have also noticed that when I am not wrapped up in thinking about Father I am an easy target for the enemy to sneak up and get me sinning. Vision is essential for the Christian. If we do not have vision we follow aimlessly. If we do not have vision we get caught up in "good" rituals. If we do not have vision we can miss Him entirely. For this I submit the following test I found (this test is actually for cycling, but I think it makes a strong point)

As you can see, it is easy to miss something you are not looking for. This is why it is imperative that we seek Him for His vision. We need to seek Him to know Him. We need to know Him to see Him. we need to see Him to have a vision of Him. We need to have a vision of Him to have His vision for the world.

What enemy?
There are so many enemies to our world right now. In our particular area some of them are:

  • For God and Country

  • The American Dream

  • Family above _____

  • Materialism

  • Poverty

  • Injustice

  • Racism

I will point out here that I left a number of holes in this blog. I purposely didn't put the scripture in because if you read it I hope you would know where to find the passages. I thought it would be fun to see if anyone can mark the verses.

Second, I left a number of holes in here as there were a month worth of sermons to our youth. I can't do them all justice.

Third, I just want to hear your thoughts.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Must Listen

I wanted to pass this on to everyone. This audio is from my pastor at our Master Builders National Leadership conference. If you are experiencing changes in your walk or changes in your church, this might shed some light on the subject.

Just when you thought they were gone

The top of the fridge has been bare for several months now. I was under the impression that they had packed up and moved. Who you might ask has backed up and moved? Well, my dear friends, the chicken mummies.

Over this winter I built a mountain bike and did some smaller tasks around the house. I noticed on each occasion that my tool have been missing. I also noticed that for several months my garage, which I like to be kept NEAT, has been pretty messy. I thought it was Jordan. He likes to tinker.

Some other things I have noticed around the house are as follows:

  • My kids scooters and roller blades have been all over the garage

  • My computer died

  • Mysterious bumping on the garage door

  • My dogs have woken up in the middle of the night on several occasions

  • I have had a hard time finding my grill thermometer

  • The middle of the night the temperature drops to like 50 degrees

  • No matter what time it is in the morning I do not have hot water when I take a shower

Today I went to the basement to go ride my trainer. I ended up not riding it because I noticed the door to the garage was opened. I inspected the garage to find four boxes opened and four shivering, bandage wrapped chickens huddled together inside. As I went to talk to them, they all turned their backs to me. After a few seconds I noticed a piece of paper slid in my direction. I picked it up and read it. It said:

"We have frozen out here all winter. We are unhappy with our current accommodations and would like to return to our rightful place on the top of the fridge. Please take this matter up for us as soon as possible.

The Chicken Mummies"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Once Said

I once said, "no matter where I go I will capture the moment!" I was wrong. I have missed a lot of moments lately. Some of them have just been silly things, but one was really dumb for me to have missed.

As some of you know, we visited the restaurant of the Canadian Prime Minister, Tim Horton, and met the Campbell family. Like a dork, I did not bring a camera. It was pretty stupid of me not to bring one. Here we were, eating donuts and drinking coffee with foreigners and I didn't get a single picture. What a dope.

Well, there was a reason I didn't bring a camera, albeit a DUMB one. I wanted to enjoy the time with our new friends. It is so rare that I get an opportunity like that, that I wanted to really have a good time. And a good time is exactly what we had. I won't go into all the details, but it was nice to make friends that day. We had one of those times where you almost have to remind yourself you just met. We shared a lot of the same heart in Christ, and the same pioneering spirit.

As was mentioned in other blogs, our kids hit it off as well. Ours are still talking about meeting the foreigners. It sounds like the boys were of similar minds as well judging by the sugar coated comments in the Prime Ministers suggestion box....

This was actually day two of relaxing and enjoying the company of friends. We also got to spend time with our oldest friends and two of our pastors, Ken and Cheryl. We did that on Friday night. Although Ken and Cheryl are always around, and we see a lot of each other, we haven't just sat down and talked in so long that it made our conversation so special. We talked about everything and just had a great time.

Oh, wait, there is more. We also got to see one of our dearest friends, Terisa, on Sunday. Joe and Terisa run the mission board we are on. They are the couple we went to Niagara Falls with last fall. Ths Sunday at their granddaughter's fourth birthday party was the first time we have seen her in a while. She had some complications form a procedure and was pretty touch and go for a week or so.

I did bring the camera for that, as I end up being the photographer for all of Noel's birthday parties. She is only four and has her own personal paparazzi.

Well, that is about it. I still don't have my computer back, so I am limited on what I can spend time doing. If they have to replace my computer, I may suggest a MacBook....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Six Word Memoir

Anotherblogonthefire tagged me to sum up my life in six words. At first I thought this was going to be so hard as I am a pretty talkative fellow, but then I remembered I have a personal slogan:

Live the Faith! Ride it Out!
Live the Faith! Ride it Out!

For info on how to do this tag, go here:

to start a six word memoir meme here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4 .Tag five more blogs with links
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

I tagged:

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Blame Shift

About two weeks ago I was driving down I-275. In my daily travels this is the only road that has a rest area. I had the need to stop at this rest area on this particular day. As I came out to my car I noticed a car parked next to mine. It was a black 2007 Mustang. I got into my car and did my normal routine that I do; you know, check your cell phone for messages, adjust your seat, pray for a minute, get your Mp3 player set up, etc...

As I was doing this, the lady who owned the Mustang walked up. We made eye contact, and I nodded as if to say "hello," which is something I always do if I make eye contact with someone. As the lady went to get her bag into the back seat of her car, she went to open her door a little more, then WHAM! Her door hit my minivan pretty hard by the sound of it. I was debating leaving at this point, but I wanted to see her reaction to this issue. Her reaction was simple. Without batting an eye she continued to hop in her car.

I had a note to write down from one of my voicemails, so I decided not to leave. The woman looked over. She was about to back out, but I think she wanted me to leave first. I had some time to kill, so I continued making calls and doing some of my daily busy work. The woman did her hair, then her make up, then her nails. Keep in mind that this is at about 11:00 am, on a cold winter day. I could see that she was getting a little angry. I still had stuff to do, and no appointments, and I was really wondering if she was going to say anything at all about the door, so I continued to stay where I was. Well, after about 30 minutes, she revved her engine and sped out of the parking lot with a very clear "f--- off" being yelled in my direction. I could only assume that she damaged my minivan, didn't want to acknowledge her wrong, and didn't want me to see her license plate by the reaction she had and how she drove out of the lot.

The other day, Andrea and I decided to preview Spiderman 3 to see if the kids could watch it. I saw a very similar thing play out on screen. Peter Parker's job was being threatened by a new photographer, Eddie Brock. Eddie will do anything it takes to get the staff photographer job at the newspaper. Finally, the boss issues a challenge; "the first one to get me a picture of Spiderman showing him for the villain that he is gets the job. I want Spiderman caught with his hand in the cookie jar!" We all know that Spiderman is not going to commit a crime. Peter tells Eddie he will never get the shot, and Eddie comes back with a "we'll see about that."

Later in the movie Eddie produces a picture of Spiderman stealing money! He ends up with the staff job, but Peter knows better. Peter confronts Eddie of his sin, and produces evidence to prove that the picture Eddie used is a fake. This gets Eddie fired from his job and leaves him hopeless and vengeful.

Eddie does what most hopeless people do. He prays. He goes to a local church and kneels before a cross and says, "God, I want you to do one thing... kill Peter Parker!"

Isn't this an interesting thing. It is interesting to note how often we see it in scripture. Jesus tries to point out the sin of the Pharisees and they respond with hate. Right up to the cross He spoke truth to them, but still showed them love, and their reaction was "Crucify, crucify!"

As I sit to type this, I have a number of incidents flooding my head. I have youth in my youth group who hate me right now because they got caught in a sin the God wanted them to get caught in. I have people at work trying to claim rights to commission for things that I have done. I have people talking behind my back about my work in order to preserve their own jobs. I have people trashing me for trying to live a godly life. I have family who despise me for no reason at all.

In the end of it all, I think about a couple of things. How easy it is for us to shift our blame. The woman in the Mustang did the wrong. She slammed her car door into my minivan. I did nothing wrong, yet she left screaming at me. Eddie Brock lied, and falsified a picture to get a job, then asked God to kill the person who pointed out his crime. People always lay the blame in the wrong area.

It reminds me of two men in the Bible. I could use Saul and David. Saul is confronted and shifts blame. From there he sees David growing in the eyes of the people. He becomes angry with David and spends pretty much the rest of his life in pursuit of him, trying to kill him. This ultimately ends in his death.

David, on the other hand, has an affair. He tries to cover it in several ways which ultimately end up in murder. He is confronted with his sin. The prophet lays out the story for David and he burns with anger at the thought of the injustice. The prophet then reveals that he is the one who causes the injustice. David's reaction is one of repentance. Instead of shifting the blame on someone else, and laying his hatred on Nathan, the prophet, David owns his sin and repents.

May we all be like David...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I was in Florida all week

Boy was it rough!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


For Christmas I got a Microsoft Zune. It is a really neat thing. I can take it everywhere and even listen to it in my car. Like everyone who gets a new gadget, you want to know all of the ins and outs of what it can do.

Enter Podcasting. I have found some really good podcasts that I am enjoying. Some are sermon audio, and some are teaching. Some are news and some are entertainment.

If you are a total geek like me you really want to go to the next level. Since I am the webmaster at our church I thought I would use it as a pilot for podcasting. So, without further ado, here is the Lord of the Harvest Podcast

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm Really Smart!

Even with my wife looking over my shoulder and looking as beautiful as she does I managed not to be distracted.  I focused and am happy to report I know something!

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

I am Smart???


are you smarter than a fifth grader? Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I must not be because I can't get my answers to show!!!  Oh, wait...  Yeah I finally did it!


You are 100% Smarter than a fifth grader.


You are smarter than a fifth grader. no doubt. There is no need for you to retake school. Keep on doing your brain excersise like sudokus and crossword puzzles, and you'll soon be smarter than a sixth grader! Good work!

are you smarter than a fifth grader?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Reason to Love my Kids

As we sit here in our room in the middle of the night we are finding more reasons to love our kids.  We are going through an art book with "nakey" pictures painted by Micheaelangelo and laughing with our kids because Kitty covered every nakey painting.  The funny thing is many of them aren't really nakey.  I am glad she has such high morals.

Ally mentioned that she didn't like the rendition of David.  She is disturbed becasue he is 14' tall and nakey.
Out of this came Nato biting his toenails and deciding that he is going to make a statue of Godzilla, "butt naked"!

Too funny not to share!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tagged by My Pumpkin

My daughter tagged me so I am going to participate.

1.How many brothers do you have? 0

2.How many sisters do you have? 1

3.Can you whistle? Yes

4.Do you like "Silly Songs with Larry"? Absolutely

5.How often do you wear black? A lot

6.Do you like to wear black? sYes

7.How about pink/purple? Not so much

8.What is you favorite veggie? Tomato and Onion

9.How often do you lose your hairbrush? Only on mission trips

10.How long is your hair? to my ear

Rules: If you are tagged you must copy and paste my questions and answers onto your blog, delete my answers, answer as you would, and then tag some more people! (You must notify your tagees by comment or message, and don't forget to include these instructions.)


I will tag Andrea and maybe someone else.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007 and 2008

Well, it is that time of year again. That time when we look back on the year that was, and look forward to the year to come. It is a time of reflection and a time of optimism. For many it is a time of resolutions and plans to change things.

I am not sure how I handle things like this. I feel, like most, that resolutions are something you look back at with regret as many new years resolutions don’t make it too far into the year. As a matter of fact I don’t think I even had any resolution make it past the first thought let alone the first week.

Somewhere in the midst of my busy life I do get to spend a few minutes alone with Father to see what He thinks about things. It seems that He gives me some type of theme every year and that at the end of each year He shows me how He was doing that theme. 2007 was “the year of big things.”

How did “the year of big things” pan out? Some of the things were truly big, but some of them were of lasting impact, making them much bigger in different ways than they appeared. I will put together a quick summary of some of them:
• Our best financial year ever
• My best sales year ever (I grew my territory over $500,000)
• Starting to get over the hump of our oldest going through “life changes”
• Our most widespread church outreach year
• Bible College
• Bass guitar
• Seeing some degree of spiritual growth in each of our children
• Our oldest son’s first mission trip (Peru)
• My wife being able to leave work in the medical transcription field
There were also a number of things that I thought would happen but God did them in a different way:
• I thought this would be a year of numerical growth in our church. God has our church in a “Gideon’s Army” state. What is going on is truly of the Lord at our local assembly. He is breaking down the “8 Mile divide”, and the racial and socio economical issues that will hinder us from being effective in ministering in our community. He is causing us to move from “suburban church doing urban things” to real understanding of the community we minister in. We are not just a church in a community, but we are a church who has purposed to be multi-cultural and multi-socio economic. In order to work out this vision we have to deal with our prejudices and He has been doing that over 2007.

• I thought this would be a year of explosion among the children, youth and young adults. We did outreach for them. I had hoped to see numerical growth. Instead, I lost a lot of key people who minister to children and youth for a number of different reasons.

This is where being a salesman is bad. It seems like everything is focused on numerical growth but there is another aspect I didn’t see until later in the year. As we lost those key people, and some of our children moved out of the area things started to seem hopeless. Toward the end of the year we got hit with some tough news that the family we had hoped to pass the children’s ministry on to needed to take a break. This was like a last straw for us. How was this a “big thing” other than another “big bad thing?” Well, at this time I still don’t have an answer to everything, but I must stop and see what Father is telling me about the situation.

Our children and youth ministry is named “The RAD Project” for a reason more than the fact that I am an 80’s BMX has been. It stands for Redeemed And Discipled. For a number of years we had been walking in the Redeemed portion of that name. I thought this was going to be a year of Big things in that half of the ministry. I was expecting more numerical growth and seeing more lives Redeemed. Father had decided this was a year to move into the other half of the name.

As we were losing hope about everything (in some sense), my wife happened to see one of our pastors who teaches in the children’s ministry in the hallway with one of the children talking about a passage in the Bible. There was a lot of one on one interaction and it ended in the two of them praying together. I can attest to the things in the youth ministry as well. As the youth pastor I can tell you there has been significant growth among the youth. They have not been exempt from the things going on in our church. Instead of looking like a typical youth ministry, these youth are dealing with their junk. God has orchestrated each of our youth dealing with issues in their lives at an early age as they walk with Him. This is much bigger than anything I thought possible.

• I thought this would be a year of big time to deal with issues. Father had different plans. I have been busier than ever. I was thinking that I would have all these “coffee moments” with Father and He had me running like Forrest Gump. I thought I would slow down and He had me speed up. I am still not sure about how and why all of this happened but at least I have learned that I can hear Him on the fly and that I can do more. I also learned that I need to rely on Him more in doing more.

So where do we go in 2008? I believe 2008 will be “the year of getting fit.” It will be a year of exercising in a lot of new ways.

• As I have been going to Bible College I am seeing myself getting fit. I see all this running as a way of getting fit. I believe this will spill out to our church as well. With our workers worn out, this is a great time to rely solely on Him. This will be a time that He moves as opposed to us moving.

• I lost nearly an entire year of mountain biking and feel physically horrible, so I determined to get a bike built for winter training. I am happy to report that I have been training for at least three times a week for the past four weeks. This is another way of getting fit, obviously.

• I have to get fit at work. My marketplace in Michigan is drying up. Industry is leaving at a record rate here. I have to learn new markets and diversify my understanding of the business. I have to exercise my strengths and build up my weaknesses.

• Our family has to get fit. As I sound totally consumeristic here, we have to learn to maximize our time with our kids. We have to help them exercise their faith. We have to look for more opportunities to train them in Jesus’ way. We can’t let time slip away from us with being idle.

• I also believe this will be a year Andrea and I will be exercising a lot of new things. We met with our pastor and his wife last week and discussed a number of things. One of them was the growing desire to plant a church. We are now in the place of praying about that with another couple and we will be looking for a location to do some satellite work. I don’t know where this will lead, but it will definitely be an exercise.

Well, those are the things I see on the horizon about getting fit in 2008. I am sure there will be more, but I wanted to get some of them down on paper.