ugandan orphan's choir

LifePoint hosted the Ugandan Orphan's Choir last Sunday night and our family had three little girls and a chaperone stay with us. It was a true blessing to have these special ladies in the house -- especially for Hannah and Hope. Through limited English and the universal language of smiles, the girls got along great!

One of the girls left a note for Hope, part of which said "You showed me love and fun." I'm actually tearing up again (sorry to disappoint you real men out there).

Most of the kids who stay at the village sponsored by Childcare Worldwide in Uganda have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. Though the spread is declining, it is still devastating. They estimate that there are over 2 million orphans in Uganda -- a country about the size of Oregon.

I'm glad our daughters got to befriend girls from another part of the world, a part of the world that is experiencing struggle. And yet Fina, Ruth, and Joann beamed with love, joy, and thankfulness ... even thanking me for cooking after every meal. My prayer for Hannah and Hope is that they grow up with a sense of two things -- thankfulness and vision. To be thankful for what they have and to have the vision to see how they can make a difference.

Ruth, Hannah, Joann, Fina, and Hope


i'm a dummy

I’m a dummy. Maybe I’m only admitting what some of you have known for a quite awhile. If so, please be kind ... my children may still think otherwise.

What brought me to this recent revelation? The book I bought at Barnes and Noble told me I was a dummy. In fact, it reassured me that I wasn’t the only dummy but part of a larger group of dummies. There are times when one can find comfort in numbers; I’m not sure this is one of them.

Sitting three feet away from me is a book entitled, “InDesign CS2 for Dummies.” It’s mine. It’s not a gift for someone else. I am that dummy!

The “For Dummies” series of book have swamped every conceivable topic. Based on the large number of titles in the series, I can only assume that I’m surrounded by a bunch of dummies. Fortunately, I’ve not seen the “Brain Surgery for Dummies” book yet. But I emphasize yet.

Since we’re being candid, can I let you in on a secret? You’re probably a dummy, too. That’s ok: God loves dummies.

The “For Dummies” books are designed for people who want to learn, expand, grow, and develop. But the title alone forces you to admit that you don’t know it all; in fact, you may not know anything at all.

Take it from this dummy: When it comes to matters of faith and spirituality, we all have room to learn, expand, grow, and develop.


a day of guests

Yesterday was a good example of what it means to be a church community. Our worship leader was out of town, our main sound tech was out of town, and I was at Disneyland -- out of town. And yet the wheels of church didn't grind to a halt!

snapshots from disneyland

We took the girls and went to Disneyland over the weekend. We spent Saturday at Disneyland and Saturday at California Great Adventure. Everyone had a good time and no one got lost or otherwise injured.


where are you going?

I'm going to Disneyland. Each year -- around the time of Hope's birthday -- we take the girls to Disneyland. Since this is a three day weekend, we're sneaking off to the house of mouse. This will be the first Sunday since we started LifePoint that I won't be physically present!

after God's own heart

Logo for March teaching series at LifePoint.


sdsu softball

One of the young ladies on the SDSU Lady Aztec softball team is Tamani Wells. We've known Tamani and her family since our days in the Bay Area. She also attends LifePoint with us. We took the girls on Saturday and watched a doubleheader. First game ... good result. Second game ... don't ask!

first softball game

Action photos from the girls' first softball games.

the girls at school

Hannah and Hope both attend Southwestern Christian School in Chula Vista. Here are a few pictures from a recent chapel service. Hope was named Student of the Week in her first grade class.


it's a crazy world

Crazy. That’s about the best way to describe the news lately.

First, there is the story about the astronaut who drove 900 miles from Houston to Florida to confront another lady over a lover. Never mind the fact that she’s married and has three kids. Or that she drove the 900 miles wearing a diaper so she wouldn’t have to stop for potty breaks.

Then Anna Nicole Smith dies in a hotel room in Florida. She’s the former Playboy model, former wife of an elderly billionaire, and a former reality show celebrity. In the weeks leading up to her death, two men were embroiled in a paternity suit over her five-month-old daughter. Now a third man, the husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, says he might be the baby’s father.

Prince Frederick von Anhalt, Gabor’s eighth husband, has been married to Gabor for 20 years but claims to have had a 10 year-long affair with Anna Nicole Smith.


And where has God planted you and I — right in the middle of this crazy world! It’s no mistake that we are Christ-followers living in 2007 instead of 1507. You are not here by an accident.

And what does God expect us to do in the midst of such a mixed-up world? He expects the same thing that he has always expected from those who follow Jesus — that we will live as authentic extensions of Jesus himself.


a dancing mom

As I'm sitting here at Starbucks, waiting for an appointment, there's a mom with two small boys dancing in the line at the counter. And then I notice the back of her jacket -- Irish Dance Team.

morning scriptures

Listed below are a few of the Bible verses that I was reading this morning during my early morning Bible reading. In light of the current challenges and opportunities facing LifePoint, they seem almost providential :-)

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16).

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:2).

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth - everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf" (Isaiah 43:5-8)

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19).


halftime report

Here's my perspective on the Super Bowl ads ... at halftime. Most creative: the Dorritos ads that were created by amateurs. Among the worst: the Garmin GPS ad with the map monster -- what was that! Among the most confusing: the CareerBuilder.com commercial that featured the office in the jungle.


softball opening day

Both girls are in softball again this year -- Hope is in the Mini's division and Hannah is playing in the 10 and under league. Here are a few snapshots from today's opening day ceremony ...


great adventure of faith

Following Jesus is an adventure of faith. There are times when God prods or pushes us into areas where we might be fully prepared. His timetable for action doesn’t always match our own; in fact, I’m not sure he consults our timetable at all.

This adventure of faith is filled with twists and turns. Those looking for a straight line from accepting Jesus to spiritual maturity will be frustrated to know ... There’s not one! A Christ-follower must be content to know that God is in charge and is at work in her life.

But it’s also the twists and turns that add excitement to this great adventure of faith. For when we least expect it, God shows up and in ways we may not have predicted.

What a great God we serve!


camp theme

Here are two graphics I just designed for Opportunity Camp's theme. Full picture:

Text only:

new website released

I just finished redesigning the website for Opportunity Camp, a camp I've worked with for the last ten years. Opportunity Camp provides a week of free camping for kids from Contra Costa County Social Services and is staffed entirely by Christian volunteers. A fair number of these kids are in foster homes or group homes; others are in the social service network for various reasons. Opportunity Camp really is unique among Christian camps.

My "official" role is Director of Spiritual Development ... a fancy way of saying that I create the teaching material and speak at the morning and evening assemblies. Most of our campers have little or no church background and have a hard time sitting still -- a great combination for a pastor!

You can download a copy of the teaching material if you're really bored and need something to do.