the water wasn't that cold

This is confession time. Our pool has a vacuum system that runs along the bottom of the pool, sweeping up leaves, etc. However, it has a very bad habit of getting stuck in the corner where the steps are. So every now and then I have to go "set it free" and walk it to a different side of the pool.

Today at lunch I noticed it was stuck and went outside to fix it. After leaning down to grab the hose, I lost my balance and ended up in the pool. Standing up. I was in the water up past my waist. Shoes, wallet, everything.

But I fixed the sweeper. And it was stuck again fifteen minutes later.

i'm back

Finally ... it's been over a week since I've last posted a blog. I'm sure this has been a major bummer for at least three people, two who probably live in the far reaches of Siberia. Thanks for reading!

Since 2003, I have had ongoing back troubles. If you were to ask my Georgia-based chiropractor, he would tell you I have a herniated disk in the my lower back. Ask the orthapedic and he would say it was two degenerative disks. Either way -- it hurts when it flares up!

Well, it flared up last Wednesday. Which meant that Wednesday and Thursday were spent lying on my side watching television. I felt my mind and body begin to adjust to the news cycle. Same stories every 30 minutes. By Friday I was able to move around, even drive to breakfast. Spent the latter part of the day back on the bed. By Saturday I was able to walk for extended periods of time. By Sunday I was able to speak at both services, though I confess to running out of gas midway through the second message.

Whenever this flares up, it creates an odd sight. My legs will be straight but my upper torso will be slanted to the left. I stretch, sleep on my left side only, and occasionally try to physically move my body back into alignment.

This time around, I started taking MSM as well as additional calcium. I also reverted to something that is probably due to my dad's influence -- I purchased apple cider vinegar and began drinking three tablespoons three times a day. There's no way I could drink that stuff straight ... I mix it with either honey and water or just straight apple juice. Does it help -- who knows!

Today is Wednesday, one week later, and I'm standing straight again. On my "to do" list once it settles even more is to lose a few pounds and start exercising.

Well ... there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know.


ups and downs of church planting

LifePoint turned six months old last weekend. We held our first public worship gathering on September 11, 2005, and it has been a wild ride ever since.

Starting a new church is so much different than working in an established church. In our previous churches, there was a certain continuity -- the ball kept rolling on its own. I could drive in the parking lot on any given Sunday and expect a certain number of people, and know that most of the volunteers would be there.

In a new church, you have to be comfortable with a high level of uncertainty. We don't know from week to week who may or may not be there. As a church that sublets our worship space, we also don't know what new stuff may mysteriously appear. We've shown up on Sundays and found choir risers (which we don't use), professional lighting racks, missing chairs, no cables ...

On the flip side, we couldn't have asked for a better rental arrangement than the one we have with Mission Valley Christian Fellowship. Working with them has given us a level of stability that is critical in starting a new church community.

There is also the blessing of working with people who are discovering church for the first time or rediscovering it after a long time away. I've always heard that new churches attract new people and it's true.

Personally, it has been one of the most tasking things I have ever undertaken. I can certainly appreciate how the apostle Paul felt when he spoke of carrying the burden of his churches. Numerous mornings I have awoken early with thoughts about needing to do something -- or wondering "how in the world are we going to do this?"

Well ... that's enough reflections for now. My coffee is getting cold.

recent graphics

Here are a few graphics I've been working on lately. Some are finished, others just drafts.


floating our boats

Last Saturday it rained cats and dogs, with my apologies to cats and dogs. We're talking serious rain, not the light sprinkle that most San Diegans confuse for a downpour. At about 9:00 AM I got Hannah and Hope together to make boats out of Tupperware and we sailed them along the curb. It reminded me of a similar time in my own childhood. We were visiting Grandma Hensley in West Plains, Missouri, and it thunderstormed. My cousin and I improvised boats out of old milk cartoons and set sail. Grandma lived on a steep hill and the boats often went faster than we could run.

Good times ...


excused from jury duty

After being called back for day two of jury duty, I was unceremoniously excused by the prosecutor. I think he felt that since I am a pastor that I might be reluctant to convict someone. I got that idea from the question that he asked me. Surprisingly, he didn't ask me my convictions about drinking. What kind of world are we living in?


jury pool continues to shrink

The jury pool has begun to shrink. I'm not seated among the first 24 so I'm not sure about my chances. In my mind there are several I would strike. It's a DUI case involving an old lady - 2 counts.

jury duty

So I'm blogging from the courthouse.


hand dryer at city library

Every now and then we venture downtown to the main city library. It's quite an adventure (Usually connected to the homeless dudes reading magazines to kill time).

Well ... today I needed to wash my hands and used the vintage air dryers in the men's room. It was so strong that it created a circle on the back of my hand! It was like turbo-dryer.


lifepoint cafe ... march 26

Our next LifePoint Cafe will be March 26 and will feature the music of Kim DiVincenzo and Kyle Phelan. Look for flyers to come out soon.

On another music note ... The Gooses will be releasing their first CD this Friday night at Cosmos.

watching the sparks fly

I spent about five hours in the dentist's chair yesterday. For most of the morning he worked to replace a few old fillings and added two new ones. It's the strangest observation to be lying there while a drill is inside your mouth. The smell took me back to my childhood and going to Dr. Spaulding, a dentist on the south side of Peoria. Only Dr. Spaulding didn't have a television with headphones like Dr. Salazar did.