Saturday, December 19, 2009

My 30th

So the rumors are true... I turned 30 this year!
When I was growing up I never thought that I would live past my 18th birthday; it is evident that God has a different plan for my life than I thought. This year's birthday was so amazing. Charity totally surprised me with some of my favorite things and gave me some new adventures in life.

On my birthday we went to family dinner at my favorite restaurant, pretty much of all time, Bonefish. This place is amazing! If you have not been you have to go check it out; I love the food, the service is top notch and one of my friends owns it so that is always nice! Charity made plans for us to go on a family date; which I totally loved cause it is always a laugh having Sophie around!

Then for the big surprise... I drove a Nascar! That is me in the drivers seat of car #45! Charity and my mom went in and got this package deal where I drove the Nascar on the track here in Vegas. The deal is called the "Richard Petty Driving Experience" and it was totally worth it!

So I'd have to say that this was the best birthday ever! Not to mention; we finished it off on Sunday with the Chargers beating the Cowboys! Go Bolts!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Janna Shreds!

Here is a quick video of my friend Janna shredding up in Colorado! I love this video Janna so stoked for you!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Series

This year we are doing a Christmas series in our High School Ministry called: "Putting Christ back in Christmas". Lately I, as a pastor, have been extremely convicted by the way society has treated Christmas. This event that is supposed to be about Christ has turned into a consumer holiday that is all about gift giving. I am not against giving gifts, but I am discouraged about the lack of acknowledgment of Christ that has taken place in our society.

The first week of this series I challenged our students to make Christmas about Christ and not about gifts that we put under the tree. I want people to; give gifts, to show their appreciation of others, and to spend time with others this Christmas season but not at the cost of forgetting about God invading the world to save our lives.

This Christmas season will you think about where your priorities lie? What matters most to you this Christmas; are you concerned with getting the best gift, or are you worried about not having the financial resources to get the gifts that your children have asked for? Whatever your fear may be this Christmas will you take some time to really remember why we celebrate Christmas?

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21 (NIV)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Cheesy Sweater Christmas Party

We don't have that many things have become traditional in our High School Ministry. The way we work is that we want to make sure God is calling us to do it; if it works well then we do it again, if it is not impactfull then we cancel it! About four years ago we had a leader who said something to the effect: "Lets do a cheesy Christmas sweater party this year Neal." I have to admit that I was hesitant, at first, but God has used this event to grab students hearts and change lives.

This year we are doing it again and Adena Rossiter (she runs our SL program) made this video with our SL's. I love it!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Before I was married I passed this store in the mail and thought: "Really? People do that?" Yes they do build their own bear and that is exactly what Sophie and I did (thanks for taking the pics wifey!)

So we got to the store and Sophie picked out the first bear she saw (I helped her choose)

Then after you choose your bear you get to fill it up: Sophie hated letting that bear go!

After that you pick out a heart to put in the bear: Sophie decided to throw it on the ground to make sure it was tough

Then we had a Teddy Bear

After that we named our bear; and Sophie wanted to call him "Teddy No No". Not to sure how that worked out but she stills looks for him when I call him "Teddy No No" and she loves that bear we made!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not My Idol

Yahoo helps me out as my homepage because it shares with me some stories that I want to see; and some that I don't. Today a headline caught my attention so I decided to read some of the story. The story shares the girls side who is involved in the action so I thought I would add the video also; we all know a picture is worth a thousand words:

After watching the video I was shocked! I wanted to write the girl and tell her how horrible this is... but I waited... and thought... and remembered back to when I didn't know Christ. I used to play soccer and I got my team in some fights after our games. I am so competative and when I was growing up I had so much anger in my life; I would have done something like this in the heat of a game (not sure if I would have done it multiple times).

Lets fast-forward ten years now; I think of how different my life is right now but seriously I am not above doing this kind of action. I am just as susceptible to sin as the next person in the world. When Christ impacts your life things change; you don't do the same things you once did, your life transforms. I have had my share of fights and this clip reminds me how much I need Christ to help guide my actions and life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Foolishness happens to us all

I'm taking a class on the writings of C.S. Lewis right now and looking at how that ties into Christian Appologetics. This week we read The Last Battle and this quote stuck out to me:

“He did not see at the moment how foolish it was for two of them to go on alone; nor did the King. They were too angry to think clearly. But much evil cam of their rashness in the end.”

I'm beginning to ponder how our foolish decisions can affect so much. About three weeks ago I spoke on James 3 and taming the tongue and that combined with this is really beginning to shape my heart and make me check my motives and how many of decisions are based/not based in prayer and the leading of The Holy Spirit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sophie feeding the ducks

Last weekend we took Sophie to Lake Mead to do one of my favorite things (yes it is one of my favorite things). We feed the carp and the ducks. The carp are nasty and the ducks are fun.
Sophie loved it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

C.S. Lewis talks about life

Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.
- Mere Christianity

Sunday, October 18, 2009

When I said "Yes" to Seminary

When I said "Yes" to Seminary I didn't realize what that "Yes" would entail.

That "yes" meant I wasn't going to be able to spend as much time with my family. At the time I said yes to seminary, back in 2004, I was a single man who was engaged to be married. Back then I seemed to have all this extra time to: surf, work-out, sleep in, and things like that. I can't believe that I am still doing school! I am going to be 30 years old in December and I will still be in school. Actually I will be in school until summer 2011.

The truth about that is I started seminary in San Diego and then about 2 months later took our current position in Vegas. I figured I would get landed out here and then start back in about 6-9 months. I ended up getting a promotion and started back to seminary about about 16 months; so there was a break in there. There have been times I haven't taken classes but this last week really hit me on the impact seminary will have on my life.

I traveled to Olympia, WA and took a class called: "Christian Perspectives on Contemporary Culture. The class was on race, class and consumerism; all great topics to study. My yes means I am going to take time away from my family, miss out on TV shows that my wife will be able to watch, have to say no to riding dirtbikes with the guys (at times) and things like that.

But I believe that "yes" is going to impact the world. See I am an eternal optimist. My schooling is teaching me so much about the Bible and how to communicate the scriptures in a way that impacts others lives. I feel that I can handle scripture better than I was able to 5 years ago and knowing the Biblical Languages has been huge. Although saying "yes" means saying "no" to some immediate things I am glad that I said "yes" to going to seminary.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sophie and Dad

So lately, while I am doing homework, Sophie comes and sits on my lap. She looks at the computer and I know just what she wants! So here is some of our fun that I am sharing with the world.
I love that smile!!!

Going in to give dada a kiss

I think she likes to see herself in the camera

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Right now our HS ministry in the middle of a series called "believe". The point of this series is to help High School students better understand the truths of the Bible and help them articulate what they believe in; there are so many things battling for their attention in life and we want to teach them the truth.
The graphic for this series helps explain it; our life is so busy that it becomes hard to see what we really believe. Our students are bombarded with everything in this world that is trying to tell them what to believe and we want to point them to truth that they can share with their friends on their campus.

Here is how the series breaks down:
Week 1: Faith
Week 2: One God in Three Persons
Week 3: Is Jesus is the Only answer?
Week 4: Is Heaven Real? Is Hell Real?
Week 5: Did Jesus Really Have to Die for Me?
Week 6: Is the Bible True?
Week 7: Is There a Thing as Absolute Truth?
Week 8: Why Suffering?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"What Would Jesus Buy?"

Another movie review for you all: "What Would Jesus Buy?" is the last movie that we watched in our household and this one brought up some good subject matter. I am so compelled by the movie that I am putting the trailer into this post:

"What Would Jesus Buy?" started out pretty good. The narrator shared some amazing stats about how much money we, American's, spend yearly on Christmas. The main character, and He is a character, is Rev Billy and he runs "The Church of Life After Shopping". Before I go on, I must make it clear that Rev Billy is not a Reverend. I think (personal thought) that he is dressing up like a Reverend so that when he is outlandish in his actions that people may, key word "may", take him serious.

I think that this movie has great point: we waste SO much money on consumerism! I was very convicted by the facts about shopping the message that his team is sharing. There is so much waste in the world. I wish they would have directed people to share what they could save to help others in need; but that didn't happen.
I did take a few key points from this movie:
  • America has taught me that by getting gifts at Christmas, that are expensive, it means I am loved
  • America has become a consumer nation therefore; I want to look for products that are made in America when my family is shopping
  • I want to use my credit card less (not that we have massive cc debt; we use our cc like a debt card and get airline miles)
If you get an extra 90 min in life and want some laughs and some scenes to make you smile then rent this flick; but be ready to be a bit convicted.

Plan of Life

One thing that I learned about myself this summer is that I need structure in my life. I am very prone to just going haphazardly about my life and I am thankful for Bill Randall and his impact on my life this summer. He helped me focus on some things in my spiritual life that were pretty close to getting out of whack.
One of my assignments was to write a Personal Rule of Life. This is what I am trying to do to stay fresh in my walk with Christ:

Daily Plan of Life:
• 15 minutes of focused Bible Reading
• 20 minutes of Lectio
• 25 minutes of Prayer
• A conscious effort of prayer throughout the day
• Follow, and apply, the teachings of Jesus in my workplace
• Practice the Fruit of the Spirit
• Pray for my daughter
• Pray, before bed, with my wife

Weekly Plan of Life:
• Take a day of rest; Sabbath
• Have a date night with my wife
• Go to the gym twice
• Sleep in once
• Tithe to our church
• Meet with accountability partner: confess sin and share wins

Monthly Plan of Life:
• Use the first Friday of the month to fast to connect with God
• Spend time with my daughter; just the two of us (Ice Cream or something)
• Slot in a Spiritual Day to reconnect with God and evaluate where I am
• Give sacrificially to missionaries and Compassion International
• Have a couple from church over for dinner

Quarterly Plan of Life:
• Get away for a weekend with my family
• Worship with a different congregation
• Be involved in a local service project or outreach

Yearly Plan of Life:
• Take a week long vacation where I am unavailable to the office (including email)
• Go on a mission trip to follow the Great Commission
• Read the entire Bible

I hope this helps you as you figure out what works for you in your relationship with Christ.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Enemy-occupied territory

Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful kind has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery. I know someone will ask me, ‘Do you really mean, at this time of day, to re-introduce our old friend the devil—hoofs and horns and all?’ Well what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is ‘Yes, I do’. I do not claim to know anything about his personal appearance. If anybody really wants to know him better I would say to that person, ‘Don’t worry. If you really want to, you will. Whether you’ll like it when you do is another question.’

Mere Christianity. Page 46

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trade- Movie Review

I recently watched another movie for my Christian Perspectives class and this one rocked me more than Crash did. I watched Trade on Saturday night and about 10 min into the movie Charity got up and walked into our bedroom where she stayed the rest of the night.

The point of the movie (I think) that my professor wants me to get from this movie is the injustice that happens in this world right before our eyes. I am shocked watching this at how naive I am about child trafficing and the slave trade that goes on in the world and America.

The final quote of this move will stick with me for a while. It was in white letters with a black background:
"We don't see much child trafficing in America because we have chosen not to look for it".
This movie made me appreciate the ministry of International Justice Mission and what they are doing so much more!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Last night I watched Crash for one of my seminary classes this semester. I have to say that I am not really writing this post for anyone but myself: I want to remember this movie. Also, I feel it necessary to say, that I normally do not watch "R" rated movies. They are rated "R" for a reason and I am not watching them for that reason.

If you get a chance to watch this movie (and you can handle the language and racism) it is a good movie. I hope that it will help you understand the way you view the world and how that worldview impacts those around you. This movie really opened my eyes to the type of racism that we face on a daily basis. The racism that we see now does not involve physical slavery, but emotional and verbal slavery.

The impact that racism has on our society, and the fact that it is unaddressed on many levels, hurts my heart. About two years, maybe three now, we did a night on racism in our High School Ministry; I am starting to think that would not be a bad idea to talk about again. This movie has confronted my worldview and the way I live out my faith in Christ. I hope the impact this video has had on me (I cannot completely explain it yet) will not pass soon.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fantasy Football 2009

So last year I posted something about fantasy football and how I wasn't planning on playing. Last season I won our fantasy football league (and it felt good) but there was something about playing again. I have a very competitive personality and its hard for me to do something without putting my everything in it.

This year I made a decision that I would not play fantasy football and not becasue of anyone in my league, honestly I really love those guys. But this year I realized that I have more important things to do than think all week how I will win and then take the day on Sunday to make sure that I win. In short; fantasy football consumed me last year.

This year when it came time to start back up I gracefully bowed out and let someone else take my spot. Here are the three main reasons that I am not playing fantasy football this year:

1. I want to put more into my marriage
My marriage is going super good right now! Charity and I were talking about marriage the other day and the need to invest into it. I realized that if I said "yes" to fantasy football that meant I would be saying "no" to other things in life. Charity and I are getting ready to hit five years of marriage (by the way we are planning an Elvis re-wedding for Jan!) and that is more important to me than winning fantasy football again.

2. I want to spend more time with my daughter
Sophie is at the best age right now! Yesterday I was laying on the ground playing with her and she climbed on my chest and just started cuddling with me; I loved it! I want to invest in her and if I said "yes" to fantasy football that would mean I would have had to say "no" to some of these great moments with her; I'm not willing to miss out on her growing up.

3. I need to focus on school and finishing that up
Right now I am on track (taking two courses a semester and one course in the spring; when BB2 is due) to graduate Seminary in Summer 2011. I need to make that happen and I think that fantasy football would take away from that. I want to get school done before Sophie is too old; I want to have it done so that I can spend more time with my family and less time at the kitchen table (we don't have a home office) doing homework.

So that is why I'm not playing fantasy football this year; I just don't have time for it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My truck and My Spirititual Life

So I hope the title confuses you some, or just catches your attention, because this is reality for me! I once heard Doug Fields mention this topic and it has always stuck with me.
The premise is that my truck can be, and for me mostly is, a direct representation of my Spiritual life. Let me elaberate on that a bit more. When my life gets crazy; my truck starts to get messy. I dont wash it, I leave the gas tank empty (the picture should speak for that), I have trash all over the floor and currently there are graham crackers crumbled on the backseat from my daughter.

When my truck looks like that I know that I need to clean up my life; its like a warning light for me. I know that I need some extended time with Jesus to get refreshed. I can often look at my calender and see how busy I have allowed myself to become without leaving margin in my life to get refueled by Jesus. When I filled up my truck on Tuesday morning I did it right after I had filled up my spirit.

The Bible talks about our spirit longing for Jesus and that is where I was Tuesday morning. I am thankful that I obeyed the logic in my life and looked at my truck. It may seem like a silly, and somewhat childish, analogy but its very true for me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

C.S. Lewis Quote #2

This is from "God in the Dock" by C.S. Lewis:

"A sense of sin is almost totally lacking. Our situation is thus very different from that of the Apostles. The Pagans to whom they preached were haunted by a sense of guilt and to them the Gospel was, therefore, ‘good news’. We address people who have been trained to believe that whatever goes wrong in the world is someone else’s fault—the Capitalists’, the Government’s, the Nazis’, the Generals’ etc. They approach God Himself as His judges. They want to know, not whether they can be acquitted for sin, but whether He can be acquitted for creating such a world."

Sounds like something I struggle with. I often want to blame others for my faults. I need to look in the mirror and handle the growth that needs to occur in my life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What they dont teach in Bible College Part #1

Bible College was amazing for me! Seminary is going great right now! But yesterday, while I as at church, I realized that Bible College taught me a lot and helped me learn how to handle God's word but there were some things that Bible College didn't teach me. I'm writing this to help anyone in ministry, lay-leader or paid, with some stuff that I have had to learn on my own:

Counseling Someone in Need
I feel like people, in general, are very good at consoling their friends. It is easy to empathize with your friend who is in need or feels they have been slighted. But the Bible tells us there is a time to console and a time to counsel. I find that I am getting better at counseling but by no means will I be the best counseling in the world.
While in Bible College I was able to take a counseling class and it helped me out but now that I am actually counseling people; I don't think I remember anything that I read in that book seven years ago. Here is my advice for Biblical Counseling:
  • Allow the person to share their story
  • Listen to the person and be engaged while they share
  • Have tissue handy for when they begin to cry
  • Know the Bible so you can share scripture that is applicable to the situation
  • If you are counseling with a person of the opposite sex do it in a well-lit open area, preferably where others are close (leave no room for question)
  • If it is a person of opposite sex do your best to refer to them to someone you trust who is the same gender as they are
  • Come up with tangible solutions to the problem
  • Give the person no more than three things to work on
  • End the time in prayer
I'm sure that in five years this list will change and my method will change but wanted to share this so that it may help someone. Finally I have to add that you need to be prayed up, connected with God and Spiritually ready for these situations. When you are all three I believe that God will use you to do amazing things in peoples lives.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Santa Maria Vacation

So this week the family took a trip to Santa Maria to see Charity's parents. We flew in on Thursday on Allegiant Air for a great deal! Thursday was Charity's dad's birthday so we just hung out with the family, ate some steak and then watched football.

Friday morning we just hung out as a family. In the morning we ate some food and then went to the park to feed the ducks.

Then at night we went up to Pismo Beach to walk on the beach and just have some family fun! We ate dinner at Splash Cafe (and had the best Clam Chowder!). Sophie hated the sand, but loved chasing the birds.

Finally when we were shopping I saw this sign and it made me laugh so hard!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Burkina Faso Flooding 2009

Please pray for the country of Burkina Faso and the recent flooding that took place last week

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What do I know of Holy?

There is song out right now by Addison Road. I have to be honest that I am not the most knowledgeable music type person. But there is one thing that I know right now: "This song is rocking me". There is something about the lyrics that I cant get over. It makes me feel very insignificant and I probably need that.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Flow Rider

So life has been pretty crazy but I gotta put these pics up. When we were in Bend, OR for vacation Conrad and I rode the flowrider. Here is how I did:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The "New" House

Well... Maybe the house isn't new but here are some pics of our house put back together. I'm pretty thankful for all our friends here in town that have taken care of us in this time. Thank you so much for all you did for us church! We love you.

So you can see that Sophie already made some messes here but we love her!

Here is the kitchen and dining room. The walls are put back together and we were able to make some changes

The living room, hallway and dining room used to Pergo (type) laminate flooring. The kitchen was tile but we decided to tear it all up to match the kitchen and dining room. We did carpet in the living room and hallway to make the house more kid friendly (I mean in March 2010 we are going to have two kids!).
So that is what is going on with the house!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rosie is gone...

In January 2006, after being married for a year, Charity and I decided that we needed a dog. Actually, I may have been the one to decide that! Our friends The Rock's dog just had puppies and they gave us one! We wanted a girl and sure enough there was only one girl: we named her Rosarita or Rosie for short.
Rosie was kinda like our baby for a long time. We took her everywhere!

Well, almost everywhere. We took her to Utah with us on a trip one time, she went to So Cal but never made it anywhere overseas. She loved to sit on my lap in the car and put her head out the window. She didn't what to do when it rained because she was not a fan of the water and when it snowed her she was shocked! The Sophie came and Sophie loved Rosie! When we first brought Sophie home Rosie was a little protector of her and it was so rad!

About a month ago Rosie bite Sophie in the face. I was pretty bummed but told myself because she didn't break the skin that it was ok. I also tried to rationalize it that because we had been gone so much this summer she was just getting re-established in our home. Later that week Rosie tried to snip at Sophie again; I was super bummed. It was a Saturday and I just cried for about 3 minutes.

I was planning on taking Rosie to the pound but just couldn't do it. Then when our house had water damage I needed to take Rosie to our friends The Rock's house. While Rosie was there I asked Nancy if she would find Rosie a new home. So Rosie has a new home now. She has been there about two weeks and we miss her. I miss her eating everything that Sophie drops on the ground. I miss taking her for walks and I just miss my dog. I know I made the right choice but so many times in life the right choice is so hard to make!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The house was a mess

So Summer Camp was great and the bus ride home was not too shabby but when I came home that was a different story. We used to have Pergo flooring in our; dinning room, living room and hallway (key word is "used" to). When I came from camp I found out that our A/C condensate line was clogged and decided to leak on the floor. I was pretty bummed but we have rad friends with a construction company that totally took care of us. This is what our place looked like when they had to tear out the walls and all the flooring.

I really don't know what we would have done without our church; I am serious. Showcase came and did all the demo and fixed our house back to normal (we changed to carpet). Then our friends Mikey and Kristen let us stay with them; which was way better than the hotel. I am so stoked that we have friends who care. I really don't know how people do life without a church family.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why I need vacation

This afternoon we landed in Vegas coming home from vacation. When I came home to our house (that is finally put back together from being semi-flooded) I realized how much better I feel. Every year we take all our vacation time, yep you heard me right! I take all my vacation time every year. This year we have done some weekend trips to So Cal to see family but this time we went to Bend, Oregon to see one of my great friends Conrad and his wife Karen.
We flew Allegiant Air and got a great deal on a direct flight to Bend/Redmond Airport. This vacation was different because this was our first family vacation with Sophie. Now we have taken those quick trips to see family but this was our first time really taking Sophie on vacation with us; and it was great! Sometimes I go on vacation and then I need a vacation from my vacation because it is so packed with stuff. This time we just relaxed. We; floated the Deschutes River, Feed the ducks, relaxed, ate great food, walked around Bend and just did some family time.
Here are some reasons that I need vacation:

Vacation recharges me
When I go on vacation I am usually ten times too busy and sometimes I question leaving. I like to schedule my big vacation right after Summer Camp or a Mission Trip. I do that intentionally because I know that I am going to be super busy and this is a great time for me to get away and just get recharged.

Turning off my phone and computer is great
Yep, that is true. I almost always turn off my phone while I am on vacation. The message on my phone says something like this while I'm gone: "Hey you've reached Neal and I'm on vacation from (insert dates). If you need anything related to South Hills please call Amy Robledo at 702-616-6700. If this is a personal message I will get back to you when I get some time. Thanks for the call and have a great day". Also, I don't check email and I know that it will be there when I get back. It is so nice to be away from electronics on vacation; I need that.

I need time with my family
And my family needs time with me. I am currently taking a half load in seminary and working full-time. That means I don't get to spend the time with my family that I would like to spend. When I get time to spend with my girls I realize how much I need it! I need time holding my daughter and throwing her up in the air. I need time walking with Charity and getting coffee. I need vacation time to connect with my family and make sure they are doing ok. I need time with my family. I want to make sure that my priorities reflect how important my family is to me and if I don't take vacation that shows my family they are not that important.

It is good for me to get away
I often think thinks like: "I don't have time for this" or "Man, I have so much work to do". When I get away I realize that my job goes on without me. When I leave I actually come back more refreshed! Yep, you heard me right; I come back more refreshed! I come home and I am ready to dream again. I get the sleep that I have been missing. I get the kisses from Charity that I love and I get to hug my little girl. That makes me happy and I need that.

We all need vacation! Don't miss out on yours this year

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Path to Freedom

I am currently writing my final paper for one of my summer classes "Christian Spiritual Formation". I was going through my notes and just found this so helpful during the course that I needed to share it.

If you are struggling with sin holding you back in life here is something to remember:

The Path to Freedom
1) Recognize the lie
2) Renounce the lie: you have worth!
3) Replace the lie with truth (find scripture)
4) Remain in the truth: Practice the presence of God

Monday, August 03, 2009

It keeps getting better

This last week has been super crazy! From coming home to a clogged AC drain to getting out of our house to doing a wedding to family in town to speaking at church on Sunday: our week has been full! If you have kids you know that full weeks= craziness and craziness= jacked up schedules. Sophie had been off her "normal" schedule since Friday and it was no fun but that changed today.
Sophie woke up from her nap a little early and I took her to visit Gilbert at his work (if you ride dirt bikes you gotta check out Red Seven). It was so rad to have some me and Sophie time. I was a little scared cause I forget everything you need to take a baby out; literally everything!
After we got home Charity took Sophie swimming while I did some homework and then Sophie and I played with Photobooth on my comp. Here is my favorite picture that we took.
I love this stage that Sophie is in and just have so much fun hanging out with her. Thank you Jesus for my daughter.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hume Lake 2009

We just back from Hume (well it was like 4 days ago) and I gotta say how amazing it was! This year, before we left, I had all our students sit down and I shared my heart. It went something like this: For the last four years we have made Hume about competition. Every year we go and go with the goal of winning the competition and we have won the last three out of four years. One year I came home with one of those champion t-shirts and you know what? I thought it would feel a lot better than it did!
This year my challenge was to make camp about Christ and not competition. See Christ won't let us down. At the end of camp I had two guys in my cabin tell me how amazing camp was. One said:
"This was my best Hume! I'm so glad it wasn't about competition. I got so much more out of chapel."
That made it for me! I was so stoked on Hume this year! We had the best leader team that I have ever brought (no offense to anyone else) but most all of our leaders have been to Hume before so they know how it goes. I am so thankful for our leaders and thankful for those who prayed. God did some huge things in the lives of our students.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pics from a Proud Pastor

A few weeks ago we took our students to write Bible verses on the metal studs in our new youth room. I was so stoked to see our kids show up to own there area! It was fun seeing them with their Bibles in their hands and their hearts to be there (did I mention that it was about 105 degrees outside?).

Please keep praying for our building as we move forward and watch God work in the hearts and lives of families and students.

This last picture makes me smile. This is Kody Rock; Kody is one of the first kids I met in Vegas. I met Kody when he was in 8th grade and just saw him graduate High School. I am so stoked on how God has grown him and made him the man he is now!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Brushing our teeth

So lately Sophie has been doing this funny thing when I brush my teeth; she likes to bite the other end. Not only does she bite the other end of the toothbrush but she smiles while doing it!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Personal Rule of Life

I am working on a "Personal Rule of Life" right now and thought this example was super cool!

The Rule of Martin Luther King Jr.

Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

Remember always that the nonviolent movement in Birmingham seeks justice and reconciliation, not victory.

Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

Pray daily to be used by God in order that all might be free.

Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all might be free.

Observed with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

Seek to perform regular service for others in the world.

Refrain from violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

Follow the directions of the movement and the captains of the demonstration.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I am convicted today

This week we have had John and Jenny Van't Land in town. John and Jenny are missionaries in Dakar, Sengal in West Africa.
I woke up today and have been convicted and I can't get over it (I haven't spent time with Jesus yet) but I am not sure what it is. Well I am kinda sure what it is. I just took a class on Global Issues in Evangelism and I am rocked! For the class I did a presentation on the 10/40 Window; the most unreached area in the world. 3 billion of the worlds people live there and we only send 3% of the worlds mission force there.
God is rocking me right now, not just because of that but because of this too:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in​ the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
I am convicted by this. I am convicted that I don't go. I am convicted that I have so much and there are people that have so little.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quote for Sunday June 28th

Here is a quote that I am using in my message tomorrow:
"If Christians around the world were to suddenly renounce their personal agendas, their life goals and their aspirations, and begin responding in radical obedience to everything God showed them, the world would be turned upside down. How do we know? Because that's what first century Christian's did, and the world is still talking about it." –Henry Blackaby

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is Kajabi Kan Kan?

I have often told people about this game called Kajabi Kan Kan and they ask about it. I think the best way to explain it is to watch this video:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Swim Time

Today I was able to run home from work (a little late) and go swimming with the girls! It was so fun! Charity takes Sophie to the pool like every day; look how tan she is! She loves the water. After we got out I messed up her hair and gave her a mini-mohawk. I like to think in my head that she likes it! I am so blessed to have such a rad family!

You also gotta love Sophie rocking her tongue out! She is so rad

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Solitude Highlights

Today, for class, we did a Spiritual Retreat. The retreat was on the property of Risen King Church in Redding, CA. We meet at Risen King and did some class time together. The rules for the time were:
1) No Talking for 2 hours
2) No phone
3) The first hour we just spend silent with God
4) The second hour we could read our Bible or journal

Here is an excerpt from my overview of the time:
I was able to sit on a rock and think about my word for the first half of our time today. I wasn’t distracted in the first half of my time. I was able to focus on God and think about His creation. I had a chance to just be; and I needed that. I was able to look at the fish (minnows), the reeds, the flowers, the birds, the trees, the grass, the water and the ducks. This time was so sweet just being with my word and realizing that God is the one who created all of those things.
The second half was equally as encouraging. I spent time reading the Psalms and just trying to focus on God. I took time praying and looking at creation again. Towards the end I was distracted some and began to think of time.
When I return to Vegas I want to figure out a way to do this more. I see a huge value in just relaxing with God, turning off the phone, and just being in the presence of God. We miss our on so much because we are so "busy"... I hope this post encourages you to think about the need of silence in your life.

Our dorm in Redding!

Here is a little video, I made for our students, of our room in Redding. We are totally staying in a dorm room!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What my day looks like

This summer I transferred colleges, to Tozer Seminary, and had to come to Redding, CA for two weeks. Charity and Sophie are here with me and wanted to give you a glimpse of what my days have looked like so far:

6:30am- Sophie wakes up (this is an estimate)
7:00am- I need to be out of bed and in the shower
7:25am- Leave for breakfast
8:00am- Christian Spiritual Formations
12:00pm- Go back to dorm to get Charity & Sophie for lunch
12:10pm- Leave for lunch
12:15pm- Arrive at lunch
1:00pm- Global Issues in Evangelism
5:00pm- Go get Charity & Sophie for Dinner
5:25pm- Eat dinner
6:00pm- Family time
7:30pm- Sophie goes to bed/I start homework
11:30pm- Finish homework
12:00am- Go to bed

I am pretty sure that every night, so far, Sophie has woken up at about 3:00am crying. She goes back to bed, but this is our schedule so far. I am kind of venting, but what I can't express, in words, right now is what I am learning. The classes are amazing, the guys are super rad, and being away with Charity is just down right amazing!
Thank you for all of you who are praying for us right now.

Monday, June 08, 2009

C.S. Lewis Quote

The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, "Give me All. I dont want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cornerstone Christian Church

Today Charity, Sophie and I went to Cornerstone Fellowship where our friend Ryan Bicker works. Cornerstone is in Livermore, CA up in the East Bay Area. I could go into a "pastor's review" of the church but that is not what I have planned for this.
It was so nice to arrive at church with Dana, Ryan's wife, and drop off Sophie. Ryan introduced us to her teacher and then showed us around the Children's Area. The Children's Staff was well prepared and very orderly. We loved how organized the place was and just feeling comfortable leaving our daughter in a new environment.
After we checked out the building we did something that I love; we went to church. We were able to go to church and attend. We sat together and I didn't have to worry about getting up to do announcements or to check on anything. I was able to spend time worshiping Jesus with my wife and then listening to the pastor.
The pastor killed it! I loved his message on Acts 2:37-42 (I think). He spoke from the heart and was very biblical! If you live in this area you gotta check out Cornerstone.
Finally after Church we went to get lunch! The pastor encouraged everyone to meet new people and spend time with them over a meal! We decided to take him up, but just to do with Ryan and Dana. We had a great lunch chatting with them and just getting to catch up on their lives. We are very thankful for them in our lives.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Here is a pic a student drew for me during finals...
(you gotta click on it and read it)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Laggin on putting up some new pics

Here is what Sophie and I have been doing lately; sometimes we bring mommy to take our picture!
Hanging out at Town Square; just walking around

Sometimes I make it home from work to go swimming

We went to Seal Beach

I took Sophie on the swing too

"The Way of the Heart"

I just read The Way of the Heart by Henri J.M. Nouwen. I wrote a book report on this for Seminary and here is an excerpt of what is going on in my heart right now:

“The very thing we need to do is set apart a time and a place to be with God and him alone.” - Henri J.M. Nouwen
This is something that my pastor, Miles McPherson, in San Diego taught very well. When I was a younger Christian I was able to practice this spiritual disciple in a daily basis and I think that is why I chose this quote. I remember waking up, struggling to wake up may be more truthful, at 5:00am to spend time with Jesus before heading off to Bible College. I remember getting on my knees and seeking Jesus. I remember reading the word and falling in love with it. I remember journaling out my prayers so I wouldn’t fall asleep; my heart longs for this special time with Jesus, again, on a daily basis.

I was doing well with this time with Jesus; I was able to wake up early and spend time with Jesus. I had my days where I had long nights out with students and times on missions trips that I wasn’t able to get this special alone time with God but I never really felt as empty as I do right now. I am not sure if it is because of being a new dad or seminary or work. I would love to have something to place the blame on; but the only blame can lie with my choices and me.

I need to make the time again to spend with Christ. I need to make a bedtime and stick to it. I need to take the time to focus on my savior. I want the energy and rejuvenation that Christ brings to my soul and I long for that. My soul thrives when I spend, at least, a dedicated hour of prayer and reading in the morning. I get convicted when I read the Bible for the first time, on some days, to study a message for the church. I think there is more and I want that daily time with God again; I need that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Newest Tattoo

I bet you can imagine the questions that I get being a High School Pastor with tattoo's. Not that that isn't enough; I keep getting them. And, between you and me, I have no plans to stop getting them (I have to note that I have no plans to get sleeved or any on my neck). I just love the fact that someone has the ability to put my ideas on my body.

Most of my tat's have been well thought out and that is the case with this one also. I just kept thinking that I want something to remind me every morning of what my feet need to do and that is what this tat is all about.

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”