Thursday morning I decided to try something a little different during my morning prayer. I decided to list one hundred things that I was thankful for that day – not tomorrow or the day before, but right then. It was interesting to begin thinking about what I am grateful for and to appreciate little things that often are taken for granted. What would be on your top 100 list ... right now?

mission statement generator

Starting in August, we will be spending the remainder of the year at LifePoint exploring the life of Jesus. One of the messages I will be teaching in August is about Jesus' mission as expressed in Luke 4:18-19. So, in the spirit of the Internet, I went in search of funny -- but true -- mission statements. Along the way, I found this:

Dilbert's Automatic Mission Statement Generator

Give it try ... you might recognize one or two.


a funny typo

Our daughter, Hope, is enrolled this week at a Vacation Bible School at a church that will remain anonymous. All I can say is that it is here in San Diego, it's big, and it's Baptist. And it may not take a college degree to figure out which one.

Well, we decided to purchase a t-shirt that relates to VBS. My wife happened to notice a rather unfortunate typo -- one a spell checker wouldn't catch but maybe a theological checker might have.

Here is the shirt ...

Click any of the images to view a larger image.



There are some pastoral functions that college cannot quite prepare you for. Pastoral things like turning out the lights after everyone leaves and making sure the doors are locked. I do remember a guest lecturer one day talking about his weekly schedule -- when he mowed his grass, went shopping, etc. But I tuned him out after he mentioned yard work and probably missed the part about turning out lights.

On the more "spiritual" side of the scale, four years of college did not prepare me for conducting my first funeral. That was done by my seeking out the counsel of a retired pastor who patiently walked me through the process of where to stand and what to say.

Pastors are often called upon to do funerals of people they do not know very well. I treat every occasion as an opportunity to step into a sacred moment, one that is filled with both heaven and earth. The earth-side I understand all too well; it’s heaven that I’m learning more about.

Quite honestly, it wasn’t until I was preparing my thoughts for my mom’s funeral that I really began to feel heaven. Up until that time in 1995, I believed in heaven. I could have told you about the streets paved with gold and other fine details. But it was all in my head, alongside other interesting facts gained from a lifetime of Sunday School.

But during those few days in early December, 1995, those facts travelled the distance from my head to my heart and became alive!

My hope and prayer is that the reality of heaven will come alive for you, too. Sooner rather than later!



A few weeks ago I spoke on the topic of legacy. To be honest, I never thought much about legacy until I passed 35 on my way towards 40.

The type of legacy I spoke of was not fame or fortune but in leaving behind a positive influence. St. Paul told the early Christ-followers to take care how they built their lives. He reminded them that the quality of what we're building will eventually be tested.

Too often we live our lives recklessly. We blast down the highway surrounded by a ton of metal, weaving in and out of lanes. We treat significant relationships like ordinary socks.

I've spent more time lately thinking about what I'm leaving behind. Jobs aren't just about paychecks but about influence and impact. I want my children to know that I used my God-inspired abilities to manifest good things.

Perhaps it's as simple as beginning with the end in mind. Call it living on purpose or with intention.

Have you thought about your legacy?

job update

As some of you may know, I've been seeking full-time employment for a little while. It looks like I have a pending job offer! I'll share more once the offer is finalized. Of the places I interviewed, this was my top choice. It's a reasonable commute and a job that will keep me intellectualy curious.

Stay tuned ...

high school night at open mic

It looks like high school night at open mic at Cosmos.


wave christian church

Coming soon to Chula Vista ... Wave Christian Church. Jim and Carla Osbourne will be starting a new church in Chula Vista this fall. Jim has been our utility guitar player at LifePoint for almost a year and was attending even before that. I've known Jim since 1991, back when Tonya and I took our first ministry job here in San Diego.

Jim is excited about starting a new church in the town where he was born and raised. Wave is holding their first preview service this morning and is looking to begin full-time services in the fall.

It's exciting to see churches like LifePoint, Wave, and CityWalk spring up in various spots around San Diego. CityWalk is the new church that meets in downtown San Diego. Although that's a good start, there is still so much more opportunity that exists.

folk music

Last night I took Hannah over to Cosmos Cafe for a little music. It turned out to be a folk singer by the name of Jim Hinton. He was an interesting cat and we both enjoyed his music, though I probably did more than Hannah. Part of what made it interesting is that I have a pastor friend by the name of Jim Hinton ... who also works in La Mesa. Hannah asked me," Is that Pastor Jim Hinton from the La Mesa church?"

So this has led me on a Google search to show you contrasting photos. Please excuse the delay in typing this because I'm on the hunt ...

Here are the findings. See if you can figure out who is who.


human tetris

For whatever reason, I’ve become a regular viewer of the KUSI morning news. With my coffee in hand, I’ll catch a mixture of local and national news, with a little Rod Luck sprinkled in for good measure. I’ve decided Rod Luck is KUSI’s version of Waldo ... each morning I find myself wondering, "Where are they going to send Rod today?"

They’ve recently created a new feature called "Wacky Videos" and it features strange-but-true videos. Last week they featured a dog that skateboarded and did jumps on a ramp. But by far, my favorites have been clips of Japanese game shows.

Of these, one in particular stands out. It was called "Human Tetris." Tetris holds a fond place in my heart because it was one of the first computer games I ever had that was in color! Tetris is played by aligning different shapes into a pattern has they fall from the top of the screen.

In "Human Tetris," contestants have different cut-out shapes sliding towards them and they must fit their bodies through the shapes. If it’s ‘L’ shaped, then they must form an ‘L’ and try to fit through. Most of them ended up getting whacked!

In a sense, that’s how it is with the spiritual life. We do not create God’s movement as much as we recognize what he is doing. And then it is our task to align ourselves with the direction God is going. And when we get out of alignment, we often get whacked.

My prayer is that each of us will find the right alignment and experience God’s power in us.


hannah and hope - softball teammates

For the first time, Hannah and Hope are teammates on the same softball team. They played their first game together at the Twin Hills league. Hannah played second and batted second; Hope played various outfield spots. It was special seeing them play on the same team. Both of them are very athletic and seem to enjoy softball. I'll post a few pictures in the near future.

a trip to the padres game

While Hannah was away at camp, we were given free tickets to the Padres game. These are perhaps the best seats we've ever had. They are right next to the field, with only the wall separating you from the field. The opposing team's bullpen (in this case, the Marlins) is less than 20 feet away. Here are a few pics I snapped throughout the game.