Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Memories of Christmas...in my garage!

It's that time of the year again. The time for fattening food, relatives, travel and overspending. Commonly known as The Christmas Season! Well let me sound off on a few things relating to this season. Let's talk gifts. Just a few weeks ago I embarked on the grand task of cleaning out my garage. That is only what a few very "different" people look forward to once every few months. I know a guy whos wife cleans out their garage with a rented dumpster every year...not really she just throws everything away. If we weren't supposed to have all of that junk God would not have created garages for us. But, back to my topic...my garage being cleaned out. In my quest for order and sanity I rediscovered an old christmas gift circa 1988. Trust me the gift in discussion was something "out of this world" in 1988! So awesome that it has ended up in my garage forgotten and so "out of fashion" twenty years later. Well that brings me to the thought of gifts...if you can give one that is great, but if for some reason you are not able to...that is just fine. As you can see from my cleaning project that no matter the value of the gift you give or receive it will be forgotten sooner or later. However, I had forgotten the gift even existed but regardless of the condition of or the popularity of the gift I still remember vividly "who" gave the gift to me.

My mother!

Even though I had forgotten about her awesome gift from Christmas 1988, I have never forgot how much she means to me and my family. So I think that the important lesson to learn about christmas is to make the memories last because the gifts will not.
So as each of us approach the last few weeks of 2008 and we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Allow me to remind you to take some time to make some lasting memories with your family and friends. They are the only thing that will last the test of time. To be honest you never regret good memories...but you can regret buying a Haliburton briefcase that would throw out the shoulder of a young man let alone the shoulder of this middle-aged man. Well come to think of it back in 1988 I was a young man! Now that is a reality check memory!

Skip the briefcase and stick to the memories they last longer and are never forgotten in the garage!

That's what's on my mind.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Being Thankful!

This is a portion of things that I'm thankful for.
But, before I get into that I want you to know that my thankfulness like many other folks is not limited to a few days in November. I do attempt to be thankful year round however this time of year brings about a renewed thankfulness. So allow me to share with whomever reads this my reasons for my gratitude.

1.God-Everything good and perfect comes from Him.

2. Tasha-Without her I would not have the children that I'm blessed to have. She is the iron that sharpens my life and refines my perspective.

3. My Parents-Every year of my life brings about a new respect for what they endeavored to place into my character (all of the bad stuff is my fault and not theirs).

4. My "older" Sister...not bigger...just older (inside joke) and my Brother-in-law Bryan Holston along with my nephews.

5. Jordan my youngest nephew and one of the best all around 18 year olds I know. He follows advice even when he doesn't agree.

6. My Calling-I could be doing many things but none of them would ever bring me the satisfaction nor challenge of doing what God has called me to do. Nothing else has the eternal impact that working for God has and I would not trade that for anything in this world.

7. Good friends.

8. First Church Family.

9. My health.

10. Gods provision-In times like these I am very grateful for what God has provided for my family and I.

11. The United States of America-The greatest country in the entire world. With all of its short comings it remains the greatest of them all.

12. Jason and Leah West-They have become more like family. I appreciate their tireless labor of love for Revivalution Youth Ministry and anything else that they are asked to perform. They carry a huge portion of my burden and enable me to fulfill the vision God has given me.

13. Seth-He is a life filled with potential and personality. He is becoming the young man I only dreamed of.

14. Lane-She is the party that everyone wishes they could attend. She is the life of everyday that we live. A ready smile, up for anything and sweet beyond words. What a daughter!

15. Aidan-When you become an adult...look out world! Please meet your future President/Extreme Skateboarder/Video Game Designer. I am somewhere in the ball park.

16. Everything!

I am convinced that being "thankful" is a choice and not a set of circumstances and if you want to hear more of this you would need to be in our service tonight. My life is far from perfect and I suspect it never will be. In spite of that I am thankful for the life that God has blessed me with.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

That's whats on my mind today.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Everyone Needs an Anchor!

To say that these are trying times is an understatement. It seems that everything is shaking in our world today. The economy, politics, doctrine, families you name it and it seems less stable then...say one year ago. To some of us this was expected. To those that are looking through the lens of Gods word we understand that trouble will come as we approach the immanent return of Jesus Christ for His church. But expecting it and embracing it are two very different things! How things arrived at this point...I am not sure I understand entirely. That being aside we are still in this very challenging atmosphere and we must deal with it or become victims to it. I chose to deal with it and here is how I recommend "dealing" with it. Make sure that the anchor points in your life are secure. Anchor points are those things in life that will never change...I know that this may seem overly simplistic to some but why assume people know when you can make sure they understand. There are things in life that should never change like our doctrines. I am not a spokesperson for the world but I speak for myself so if you do not agree stop reading and log off! So what follows is my list of important things we should ensure are very secure in our lives and convictions.

1. God

2. Consistent prayer

3. A love for Gods word

4. Family

5. Our commitment to Gods work

6. Our passion to reach the world with this gospel

7. A fresh commitment to our home church

8. Staying faithful in finances to Gods kingdom (when the economy shakes our giving shouldn't)

9. Relationships with Gods family

10. Everything else!

When you think about it what things matter the most are only the eternal things. Houses, cars, savings, investment portfolios you name it. Those things are only temporal and will pass away like all other earthly things. So to borrow a cliche that best fits where we are,
"Keep the main thing the main thing!"
Thats what I'm thinking about!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just the Four of Us!

We knew it was coming!
Yep, Monday evening my lovely wife Tasha left us. It would have been understandable if she had left us for some exotic location. Even wife/moms need a break, but she left us for Alabama! She didn't really leave us for Alabama she left us for 1 Grandma, 7 aunts, 1 uncle and 1 cousin.
All 4 of us left behinds were glad to see her get to go...she does not leave alone very often and when she does it leaves a huge hole in our lives. But, she's gone so all we can say is bring on the party!
Yep when Tasha is away we play! So far we have had coffee for breakfast...all of us (I needed it and the kids just wanted it). But that is not so strange around here we all drink coffee. I know that all of those chemicals are not good for your children, however I come from a long line of people that start their younguns on coffee and Dr. Pepper at very young ages. If they are able to sit upright on your lap, they would most likely enjoy a drop of Dr. Pepper on the tip of a straw or spoon. But that's for another blog.
So, we are taking a holiday today, seeing that it is Veterans Day! Which with the sacrifices made I feel they deserve a week of days and not only one. If that were the case this would be a great week to do it. When Tasha is gone! That would make my job much easier to say the least. Five straight days of National Holiday vacation from Home School!
It isn't going to happen so we are going to "buckle down" and do some work and then play some more. Not sure what we will do for the rest of the week, but I'm sure I can come up with something fun to make the days go faster.
Well if you see a large cloud of smoke on the horizon it's most likely one of the kids cooking dinner! Don't worry the front door is about three steps from the stove...so we most likely made it out. With all of the coffee we have lots of energy!
JS, SS, LS, and AS
(we are in this together)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I went for a ride...nothing deep here!

The title says it all. I received a call on Monday from some friends who were riding their motorcycles through the Bay Area on Tuesday. They invited me to meet in S.F. and ride with them through Nor Cal. Being the rider that I am I worked it out and met them at the Golden Gate Bridge Wed morning.
Now...if a picture paints a thousand words...I could use a couple of pictures to describe what I saw as I pulled up to our meeting spot. To my surprise there was a mass of people milling around and having a grand time. Mind you, I surmised this in just 2 seconds as I looked for my riding buddies. Of course it was not hard to locate them, I simply drove into the center of the milling tourist and "PRESTO" there they were.
It so happens that a bus load of French tourist...from France for all of you world travelers...were sitting on the bikes trying on the helmets and taking pictures with the "three riders" and their bikes. I guess that Harley Davidsons are quite popular over in that foreign country.
Well off we went to eat breakfast in Sausalito at a small hole in the wall joint. It was here that the adventure continued. As we were being seated at our table someone...not sure who...ushered over an elderly lady and set her right down at our table. There we were sitting in our ball caps and leather chaps geared up for a "ride" and they brought her right over and sat her down with us. Of all of the people in that place they put her at the "riders table". Can't remember her name but turns out she was a retired foreign diplomat for the US government. Now I couldn't make this up...it really happened like I'm telling you. She sat there and we chatted her up, peppered her with questions. Listened to her stories of being posted in Kingston, Jamaica and let here listen to our mindless banter as we cut up (cutting up is mandatory when riding around the country with friends).
We left Sausalito with some good breakfast and a few lessons under our belts.
1. Traffic cones will lodge under the frame of a moving motorcycle.
2. If you hit a traffic cone there is a chance it will fly up and could bounce into the lane of the oncoming traffic.
3. That little breakfast joint serves the worlds most expensive pancakes.
I have found that you cannot describe the beauty of the state of California with mere words...we live in an awesome place. But, suffice it to say that we saw some of the grand wonders of Gods creation in the next 5 hours as we traveled to Carson City, NV.
Between our travels and after our travels we spent some quality time at Dudley Perkins Harley Davidson and Carson City Harley Davidson getting some things adjusted and oil leaks investigated respectively.
As I hit the road to go home about noon on Thursday I left riding the wave of a great time with three of my minister friends. As I climbed up the back side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains a thought crossed my mind "I think I'm going to get wet!" I was right...I did get wet. I rode in the rain for three hours on my way home...and not one moment of regret passed through my mind. I had been with some great men who by their very friendship are helping me and I was heading home to see my precious family. No regrets only anticipation!
I made it safe and sound and after a phone call the next morning I discovered that they had made it safe and sound also. So it's all good from where I'm sitting.
Thanks to Pastor Jerry Rowell of Yuma, AZ, Pastor Guy Godwin of Tulsa, OK and Pastor Steve Buxton of Chula Vista, CA for the invitation and the adventure...I needed it!
If I get any pictures..I will post them...I know you're dying to see them!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who Wants To Go To Monterey?

For several years we have been having a great camp for our young people and our children. We named it "Freedom Week". Now this was not because of anything beyond the fact that the only dates available at Old Oak Ranch were July 4th Week. So, we call it "Freedom Week".
Well every year has been a great success and has blessed every church involved and we see a greater need for our congregations to have what we were seeing our youth and kids get at Freedom Week. So, we launched the idea of Freedom Week Family Camp.
By the way the sponsoring pastors are Pastor Bobo - Redding, CA, Pastor Domingues - Sanger, CA, Pastor Grayson - Concord, CA, Pastor Kasinger - Susanville, CA, Pastor Young - Elk Grove, CA and our church in San Jose, CA. There have been several other Pastors support this event in the past from as far away as Washington, Nevada and the distant land of So Cal.
So here are the details of what is going to happen July 1-8 of 2009 in Monterey, California.
July 1-3 is a simultaneous Adult Family Camp and Junior Camp ages 7-12. The JR. Camp speaker is Pastor Jerry McCool from Auburn, CA and he is awesome.
The Adult family camp is having some of the finest preachers and teachers in the apostolic movement. Pastor Rick Mayo, Pastor Rick Treece, Pastor B.J. Wilmoth, Pastor Larry Booker, Pastor N.J. Wilson and the illustrious Talmadge French who is one of the finest apostolic scholars of our time. July 6-8 is our Senior Camp and it is always a slam dunk. This year our night speaker is Pastor Doug White.
I am so excited for the church's that are involved in Freedom Week Family Camp. With all of the challenges that we are facing what a great way to deal with them by gathering together and hearing clear and certain messages and having deep moves of Gods Spirit that give direction and purpose.
That's whats on my mind...the future of our church and its family's. Make plans to be there and experience this monumental event in one of the most beautiful city's in the entire nation.
The future looks bright in Monterey.

Freedom Week 2009!

Welcome to Freedom Week Family Camp 2009!

Who wouldn't want to go to Monterey, California?

Green grass and great weather.


It feels like you are walking through a park.

Food Court.

New Golf Course behind the Fairgrounds.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eating "Crow"........ man, I hate to be wrong!!!!

Ok...this is hard for me to say...but, I was wrong.
I have been very critical of blogs and their authors for a variety of reasons, all of them I feel strongly about by the way.
But, I was wrong!
After spending the last few weeks randomly visiting the blog world it has occured to me that I have misunderstood the entire thing...well not all of it, but for certain I have misunderstood some of it.
You see, you are reading the blog of the biggest blog critic. I have even named my blog after my favorite descriptive word about bloggers. Narcissistic!
But, alas, I was wrong!
You see, I have been like the farmer standing beside his mule complaining about the "noisy contraption" his neighboring farmer was riding around on. At the same time lamenting the slow pace of his old mule. I have discovered that the world of blogs is a great place to have a voice. So, here I am in a "tractor" store purchasing a new John Deere Blog. Yep, I'm ready to make hay...so to speak.
It seems that with every voice in our world that there is no way of balancing things out. I read a catchy headline online tonight and it sealed my fate. If someone named Katy Perry can write a pop song about kissing a girl and liking it, and said song can be given the "favorite song of the summer" title. Well, its time for the world to hear my voice.
So, here is where I will speak my heart and mind.
I have a reason for this breakdown of my pride and the eating of my words. It is called "reason". There must be another voice of reason speaking out. I know, I know...there are many voices of reason out there. But we need more. The young people of my church and those connected need to hear another voice of reason.
Thats my story and I'm sticking to it!
By the way, crow is not a bad meal to eat if you season it with the right motives.