Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scheduled Date Nights? 

In the almost twenty years of marriage to my bride, we've never really had a regular "date night"... nothing against a scheduled "date night" alone but it just hasn't seemed to fit with us as such... instead we try to nurture our relationship in other ways through our daily living of life (much like this blogger did when her regular date night concept wasn't going to fit the schedule).

We live a little ways out of town so when driving our family to town, and my wife and I get to sit in the front of our 15 passenger van together, we joke of our "date"... we laugh, but it's true-- we are connecting with each other in a meaningful way as we talk and spend time together. We take short "dates" when we hold hands going into the store together without the kids. Spending time working together, getting up early and sitting on the porch (tried this for a while), reading together, playing with the kids as a family, etc... wonderful ways to develop and strengthen the intimacy of our marriage.

I care more deeply for my bride today than I ever have... I think it's working :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

long time no post (remix) 

I am again amazed how long since I've posted... coming up on a year!

I've had things I wanted to write about a number of times but haven't gotten to it. Maybe it was procrastination or being busy or perhaps might perfectionist tendancy to wait until I can do it well.

Several good things lately...

Maybe I'll get to the blog more often. Maybe not :-(

Saturday, December 27, 2003

long time no post 

Wow, been a long time since I posted... We're in Roswell along with many of my relatives at my parents' house enjoying the holiday. Lori and Joshua went to see Return of the King along with about a dozen others from my family. I stayed with my younger kids. Judah's playing, Annika's being entertained by Uncle Eddie, Zach is asleep and Phoebe is on my lap. Seemed like a good time to check my e-mail and remember that I haven't blogged in a while. Not much to say... very good Christmas celebration with family. Joshua is feeling sick. Probably just an ear infection, but at times a subtle panic begins to well up-- is it back and the outcome... ? Regardless the Lord is good and He has been so good to me and my family. I am blessed way beyond what I deserve. Peace and awe, as we remember that God truly became one of us, for us! All praise to Him. :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Pleasant Sunday 

This has been a very nice day. We spent a few hours and meal with good friends of ours-- Ralph and Debbie and their family. Lots of laughs and good food. Even got to play some euchre.

This evening David Beam stopped by. I greatly respect he and his wife. We had the blessing of being in the same lifegroup with them (same group we got to know Ralph and Debbie above). While he came by on other business, he took some time to talk with us about planting a home church (we'd mentioned where we thought the Lord was leading us to his wife a few weeks ago). He was very encouraging and spoke from his own experience including a church he and his wife started in Mexico and their present ministry in the county jail.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Protect our rights, Love our King, etc-- All this for the Low, Low price of clicking Forward! 

I'm talking about a particular strain of SPAM like e-mail... the religious urban legend. Now that we're in the age of the internet these rumors appear to spread faster than ever. Actually, I'm frustrated by all of the hoaxes that are forwarded-- from medical cures, to tragic stories to viruses-- many of these can be shown to be hoaxes with a quick google search or by visiting sites like www.truthorfiction.com. That said, religious hoaxes, in particular, bother me the because they are embarassing for the Christian community as a whole. (I guess the same could be said for any hoax a Christian forwards?). Yes the scripture tells us that we will be thought of as fools, but I don't think God was thinking of self-inflicted foolishness! Let's let our foolishness be the foolishness of the cross.

Anyway, I'm thinking about this today because I've received another round of e-mail hoax petitions that I need to sign to protect religious freedom in the U.S.A.... never mind that this rumor has been floating around for about 27 years. What's odd to me is that extremely intelligent, wise, mature christians that I respect forward this kind of stuff to me. In fact, I have personally guided a number of these folks to websites where they can check out the validity of a claim and even given them suggestions on how to tell if a message might be a hoax using simple guidelines. These same people still keep forwarding rumors that are proven false and are doing nothing to enhance the credibility or integrity of Christians. So why... well, I wonder if there is a fear that what if this particular "urgent" message is real and I do nothing that would be tragic.

How can I help? I'm toying with the idea of creating a service that people can check a message for it's hoax likelihood by either copying it into a page on a website or even simply forwarding the e-mail to the service. I was thinking of leveraging the kind of work that projects like SpamAssassin and Razor have done for SPAM and using it to help automatically determine how likely a particular message is to be a hoax or not. Lori said I wouldn't have to get that fancy and just write a key word filter similar to the ones that she has written for a client with a fairly high traffic (for the area) web site that didn't want cussing/approximations of cussing posted to the website. Her stuff does work pretty well and would not be as complicated to design and implement. Ofcourse the geek coolness factor wouldn't be as high, but am I going for something that will be helpful or something to impress geeks like myself?

Sunday, October 05, 2003

planting, other stuff, and ice cream 

It's a been a while since I posted and quite a bit has happened. The family and I drove to San Diego Thursday (25 Sep) so I could attend the ToorCon security conference. Since we were in the neighborhood, the Evan's graciously allowed us to be part of the unconference church planters conversation by joining everyone for dinner and conversation Friday evening. Wow, we were very touched... everyone present that evening gathered round our family and prayed over us and prayed especially for Joshua. Very humbling. We would have loved to taken part all weekend long, but I really did need to attend Toorcon (which by the way was very cool. A lot of neat work going on...)

But back to the present-- this has been a good day. Lori encouraged me to plant something in the ground a few days ago. Actually she suggested I start with planting something in one of the half whiskey barrels that she has been using for landscaping. This was a challenge for me since I don't really enjoy gardening. I guess it was good for me to start learning to enjoy the gardening "process"... Lori suggested my usual attitude is to work really hard at gardening stuff really fast and get to the end result quickly (or something like that). I think she's right. This time it was much more enjoyable-- I took two separate trips over two days to pick out a few items to plant-- flowers and onions. Then I worked on the soil this morning and planted them late morning. Joshua, Judah, Annika and Zach all came out to help at some point. It was a lot of fun and in the end the flowers looked pretty nice, too.

We spent some time focusing on the Lord, his Word and praise. Then we went to the annual Life Chain in Las Cruces where we quietly hold signs along the road that indicate our concern over the deaths of children through abortion, the pain caused to women, and the forgives Jesus brings.

Finally, I just got back from taking the older four children out for ice cream cones at a Tastee Freeze just a few miles down the highway. Lori stayed home with Phoebe (who is a tad to young for ice cream). The purpose was two fold-- first the Mazda hasn't been driven in several weeks and needed to be exercised and second, I wanted to treat the kids to ice cream! Of course, I had to get a cone myself... :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Terror that Wasn't on Jack Rabbit Rd or having the Pastor over for Dinner 

The pastor and his wife came for dinner. For the last ~2 years, he has been pastor of the church that my wife and I first went to around 1989. We wanted to spend an even with them over dinner and connect with them. We also wanted to tell them we think God may want us to plant a house church. Scary stuff for me. This guy intimidates me a bit and we haven't really clicked well in the past. I was afraid but Lori and I thought we should do this and let them in on what God has been doing in our lives. Also a good opportunity to let them know we're okay and didn't drop off the face of the earth since we haven't hardly been to a Sunday service there in six months.
All in all it went quite well! My fears were unfounded. They were cautiously optimistic about house churches and even mentioned a couple they were familiar with in the past (more centrally organized than what we're considering but still pretty neat). They shared about their church planting experience.
We talked babies (we have a baby one day younger than their grand child) and all sorts of things. We asked them to check in on us in 2 or 3 months if they haven't heard from us. God works things out very well. Still don't know exactly what we're going to do and what it will look like but as I told our dinner guests when they asked when we would start the plant... we already are sort of-- we're building relationships. (or something like that-- my wife probably knows what I said better than me).
Another rabbit that needs chasing... why am I uncomfortable using the term "plant" as in "plant a house church"? I use it because it is recognizable, but...?


Ran across an interesting post by a wise lady that I don't know as I was reading through an archive of circa 1995 House Church Discussion List postings on characteristics of successful house church "start ups". Her post deepened my understanding of the importance of listening to people. One quote that especially stuck out:

I don't think I can overestimate the importance that this act of listening has on the people who feel that their perspective isn't very important. It is so empowering! It is a hundred times more powerful than someone just being nice to you. It makes you feel valuable and it lays the groundwork for real relationships.

Wow. I think I can be a pretty nice guy but can I honestly say that I always (even usually?) listen (or pay close attention if I do "listen")? I'm afraid not. I needed to hear this in just the way it was stated. Thank you Jill Crisp-- you have a fan!

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