Friday, June 27, 2008

HEM Jeans

I read an interesting blog about purchasing jeans. This blog is written by a woman. The Blog is called ---- Church of the Customer Blog

Below is the story, you can link to it from HERE ~

A tale of two stores

Unless you are Heidi Klum, two of the most dreaded shopping experiences for women can be buying bathing suits or jeans.

So with a masochist's zeal, I ventured out recently to two specialty stores to buy both items; one sells only jeans, the other only bathing suits. Each featured an impressive selection of high-end inventory.

One expertly alleviated my dread. The other enhanced it.

One is building a strong word-of-mouth foundation. The other is probably not growing by referrals.

For jeans, a friend referred me to Hem, a "jean bar" in downtown Austin. My friend said Hem's personal service was unmatched. Boy was she right. Loree (one of Hem's owners) had me try on at least 20 pairs of jeans to assess my body type before settling on final selections. Her knowledge of jeans was remarkable, including contradicting what I heard on an Oprah show that back pockets on curvy-hipped women make your butt look bigger.

Loree was brimming with confident knowledge, and she shared these tidbits:

  • Wash dark jeans with a capful of white vinegar the first time. It sets the color and keeps them from fading.
  • Hang your jeans to dry instead of drying them in the dryer. They will last longer.
  • Get smoke or other smells out of jeans by putting them in the freezer overnight.

Because of Loree's attention to the buying process, I bought two pairs of jeans confident I will look great in them. That will be my rational and emotional foundation to a strong referral.

Then it was time for a bathing suit. Through Google, I found a specialty store in Austin. Bathing suits only. The selection was huuuuge. Racks and racks of styles and colors. Daunting, certainly, exacerbated by the store's young employees who spent more time chatting with each at the register than helping me or other dread-stricken women. I found two suits but who knows if they are the right ones for me. Zilcho referral.

When it comes to luxury items, there's an inverse relationship between price and service. The higher the price, the higher the expectation for hand-holding during the purchase.

Hem understands the model. In fact, a week after I picked up my tailored jeans, I received this in the mail. Nice!

Img_0061

Michael now speaking ~ Why include this on my blog? I checked out Joe's and Kasil jeans. They cost around $190 a pair. I won't spend that much on a suit, no less more than $15 on jeans, less if available. BUT the point is the HEM understands who they are serving. It's not about themselves and standing and chatting. They know their product and are experts.

For the church . . . how well do we know our mission? Our Product? Our customers?



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Telling Sheriff Shaq . . . NO!

I love what the County Sheriff did in Phoenix. Shaquille O'Neal was made a deputy, but in light of his comments in a rap song about Kobe Bryant, the sheriff is taking away his ceremonial badge. GOOD for the sheriff for standing up for what is right and not giving into superstardom!


The article is below ~

PHOENIX -- Shaquille O'Neal will lose his special deputy's badge in Maricopa County because of language he used in a rap video that mocks former teammate Kobe Bryant.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center's use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice. Arpaio made Shaq a special deputy in 2006 and promoted him to colonel of his largely ceremonial posse later that year.

"I want his two badges back," Arpaio told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Because if any one of my deputies did something like this, they're fired. I don't condone this type of racial conduct."

Shaq was seen in a video posted on the celebrity news and gossip Web site TMZ.com rapping that "Kobe couldn't do without me." O'Neal skewers the Lakers' star, with whom he won three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002 while with Los Angeles, for not being able to win a championship without him.

"I was freestyling. That's all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever," O'Neal told ESPN.com Monday. A call to the Suns on Tuesday seeking comment from O'Neal was referred to his public relations firm, which didn't immediately respond.

Arpaio, who describes himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff" and is best known for feeding jail inmates green bologna, clothing them in pink underwear, and making them work on chain gangs, said he didn't expect his actions would teach Shaq a lesson. But he hoped he learns that as a role model who wants to someday be a full-time sheriff, he needs to know his words matter.

"Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't think that either conduct should be out there publicly, even if media wasn't there," Arpaio said.

O'Neal previously served as a reserve officer with the Miami Beach Police Department while playing for the Miami Heat. He also volunteered with the Tempe Police Department after being traded to the Suns in February.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

Conversations

Today I had 3 great conversations (God situations) with people I am trying to lead into church. Sometimes we don't realize how these contacts make a difference with others. I'll try to recap quickly ~
  • 1. My car salesman and I were talking more about church than about getting my new car. He apologized for not being in church, but said I would see more of him. Didn't expect this to happen when we first met, yet, God has very specific plans. We need to move with God's direction.
  • This leads to the very simple thought / question . . . are we connected to God, so we can follow His leading?
  • 2. I received a call from my banker who wanted to talk about her health, her need for prayer, and a desire to give to the church, notwithstanding our bank account. After talking on the phone, I asked her if I could pray for her, I could tell she was tearful in the end. Debbie really made the first contact, but now we are tag teaming her. So . . . we are working on the car salesman and banker.
  • 3. Then we are at baseball all star practice today and I guy I met through football whose son is also on the team is having back surgery on Thursday. I told him I'd be there for him, he tells me he's a little anxious about it, so after shaking hands, I gave him a hug, he's much bigger than me, and simply said a prayer for him. Afterwards, I told him whatever he needs we'll be there . . . pick up his son for practice, food, whatever.

    It's interesting that no other man he mentioned his surgery to offered to pray or offered to pick up his son. Not that I am better, but that is what the church should be about.

So, it was a good day of contacts with people who are just outside the walls of the church, but moving ever so closer to the church.

Going back to the initial question . . . who are you having spiritual conversations with? Who needs to know about Christ through the way you are living your life?

New Car Buying Adventure

Well, we've settled on a car . . . in fact, we ordered a car . . . in fact, we don't have the car, we've seen the car, we've sat in the car, but we don't have the car. Ready for the story . . . ?

There are not many Toyota Corolla XLE's out in the marketplace. That is the one we selected and are working through Toyota of Muncie. I sat at the computer with the salesman, Matt, and the sales manager, Scott. After awhile I learned the codes and was able to use the computer and search for the specs we wanted for cars within 300 miles.

Next, they have a vehicle trader employee whose job it is to trade their vehicles for vehicles at other dealerships. A trade was consummated and our car was coming from Wisconsin. Muncie sent out 2 cars for the one. A driver returned on Thursday night from Wisconsin and we were to pick it up on Friday. That's when the fun started.

First, the salesman, Matt, couldn't find the car. It was not entered into the computer and was parked in a corner he didn't see. Then he found the car, called us and said it would be cleaned, detailed, and ready to go. YAHOO!!

We got to the dealership and talked to Matt for a few minutes, got a cup of Starbuck's (YES) and waited for the car to be driven around to the front. One of the detailers noticed something and told Matt, there was a cigarette burn on the floor under the drivers car mat. Matt was fuming. I had to calm him down. The sales manager asked what we wanted to do, after talking about it, they were going to throw in some heavy duty car mats, good enough. He also saw a coffee stain, so they were to have that cleaned.

The car was brought back and Matt noticed a pen mark on the drivers seat, and a stain on the headrest, back it went for cleaning. After it came back, we were talking and we noticed more stain marks on different areas, plus we discussed the fact that the car had 747 miles on it. Far more than the 300 or so we expected. The joy was fading and Matt was fuming.

Matt and Scott spoke, then spoke to the General Manager. Eventually, he came out and spoke to us. For Debbie and I the warm fuzzies were gone, the new car smell was gone. The other dealer probably used that car for their managers to drive, but didn't tell our dealer about that.

Toyota folks were wonderful. They didn't seem upset with us, not that we did anything wrong, but I do know some places would have tried to push us into the car. They didn't. The general manager knew we were doing a trade in and Debbie mentioned it as well, so he gave us a 2008 Corolla to drive until they get our new car in.

When we left, Scott virtually hugged me. I think they are so used to people who would become furious and rip into them over this. We never did, in fact, we felt kind of guilty for not taking the car since the dealer now has it, and will have to sell it, but it will now be cleaned and in good shape.

Overall, our experience was positive. We were disappointed, but never angry. Nobody at Muncie tried to rip us off, they were helpful and willing to work with us. In the end, we told them order a new car, we're not going to another dealer, we're here and staying here. I think they appreciated our attitude . . . which led to their approach.

As I told Matt, the cool part of it all is that he and his wife came to church last week, and this week his wife brought her mom. What adds to that is that she and her mom are both Catholic.

Anyways, that's our saga, hopefully we have a new car soon and new attenders from Muncie . . . and if not, at least we opened the eyes of Matt's wife, Sarah, to new possibilities she did not know about before . . . she assumed all Baptists were jumping up and rolling down the aisles, playing with snakes and shouting . . . She enjoyed the worship experience and found it refreshing.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cool Outreach Event

Tougher Than Hell Motorcycle Rally
Posted: 17 Jun 2008 09:13 AM CDT

Guts Church (Tulsa, OK) had their 8th annual Tougher Than Hell Motorcycle Rally this past weekend. A 2008 Custom Harley Deluxe and a 2008 Ford Mustang were given away. And over 1,500 bikers rode a 120 mile poker run. Afterwards, ’70s rock group Bad Company performed, and fireworks capped off the night.

It may seem far from your typical church event, but at the end of the night hundreds of bikers dedicated their lives to Christ. And over $300,000 was raised to provide starving kids with clean water and food.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finger Lickin' Fallin' off the bone ribs

I bought some pork ribs on sale and decided to try out a new recipe for oven baked BBQ ribs. They were some of the best fallin' off the bones finger lickin' lip smackin' ribs I've ever made. Just about as good as any restaurant. I was duly impressed with myself!!

Just thought I'd share my evening cooking adventure.

Also made a pot of chili (I call it poor man's chili). It has lots of kidney and black beans which are good for Zachary, filled with lots of fiber, add lots of hot sauce, some tomato sauce, meat, spices and it's as good as anything out on the street.

A successful evening of cooking.

Little Things . . . they Mean Everything

I read about a pastor from N.Y. who wrote the following ~

I went to McDonalds recently . . . because I got a coupon in an Amazon.com order for a free Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. I ordered my sandwich, a small fry and a small soda. The total came to $3.47 - I was a happy camper. I can’t remember the last time I ate lunch for under $3.50! McDonalds Southern Style Chicken Sandwich

About two bites into my ‘Chick-Fil-A-look-a-like’ sandwich I glanced at the receipt. And that’s when I noticed it:

Eat-In Tax . . . 0.25

I was a charged a QUARTER for eating my meal in the restaurant where I ordered it. I was no longer a happy camper.

Now, before you think this must be a 'New York City' thing, I want you to know that this happened outside NYC . . . in a standard suburban McDonalds.

The issue was not the actual 25 cents . . . .The issue was not 'tax' as I don't mind paying any legitimate tax (render under Caesar and all that). . . The issue was that McDonald's was charging me a hidden fee to eat the meal I purchased from them on their premises.

Here's the point: The issue wasn't the quarter but the feeling the quarter caused. It left a bad impression on me that I’ve been living with for several days now. Over a mere 25 cents, McDonald's left me feeling bad about the entire experience (and overall the chicken sandwich was pretty good).

In 1988, I heard bestselling author Harvey Mackay speak and he said -

Little things don’t mean a lot - they mean everything!

I've lived with that quote for almost two decades! In this case, one little thing at a fast-food restaurant left a huge negative impression on me."

So the question for us at FBC is this ~ ~ ~

What are the little things we are doing at which may be leaving negative impressions on our guests or regular attenders?

* Are we being stingy with printed materials?
* Are we skipping the 'little things' in worship and not telling people when we are about to pray or when its time to sit down?
* Are we assuming everyone knows what to do and where everything is? I'm thinking of the children's time, it will be announced for now on.
* Are there funky odors in the bathrooms that a 25-cent (okay 99 cent) deodorizer would solve?
* Are there lights burned out in the children’s area or somewhere else?
* Are the labels on the envelopes we mail out more than a little crooked? (Harvey Mackay is in the envelope biz)
* Are we giving our guests a 25 cent greeting, while giving our old buddies a $5 greeting?

You get the picture. Let me remind you again ~

Little things don’t mean a lot, they mean everything!

What changes do you/we/I need to make this week that will remove negative impressions and leave people saying 'Wow!' when they leave your church on Sunday?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Joshua's Debut

Tonight Joshua had the opportunity to pitch. It was the first time he has ever pitched. He's always wanted to pitch, but never has. He entered the game in the 2nd inning and ended up giving up an infield hit, he made an error after picking up a ground ball, and between all that he struck out the other three batters. In the next inning, he gave up an infield hit, threw a runner out at first, struck a player out and got another ground ball out. An impressive debut. His team finished in 2nd place. A good job!!

Joshua also made the all-star team for 10 year olds. So, he is excited about that. Good for the boy. We celebrated with DQ.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Tiger E(A)ffect

Did you see the US Open Golf tournament yesterday? Tiger Woods is amazing. He needed to make a 15 foot putt to force a tie and go t oa Monday playoff and he made the putt. In fact the guy who was winning (who is ranked 158th in the world, Tiger is 1) watched it in the clubhouse and said "I expected him to make it." Someone then added, "well, he's Tiger Woods."

How amazing to have people expect you to make it because you have proven yourself already. When Woods was asked about his bad start to the day, he shrugged it off and said, he knew if he could play even par he would win. He was one off from even, and he would have won.

Imagine the affect Woods will have playing this guy (Rocco Mediate) who has never won a major championship, competing head to head against a guy who has 13 majors. The effect of Woods certainly has an affect on his competition.

Woods relishes the pressure, simply because he does not see it as pressure, and plays right through it. He practices and practices and practices. Recall the video on the final Sunday of the spiritual discipline series about Woods.

Think about how dedicated we are to our spiritual lives and how the pressure of life should draw us even closer to God.

Church invite

On Saturday I was talking to a car salesman, looking at cars and talking to the sales manager, we were talking about religion, they knew I was a pastor, and the salesman and I spoke at length about faith, marriage, etc. I invited him to church, and how cool to see him and his wife walk into church yesterday morning.

It's not always easy to walk into a church for the first time, but glad they came.

Last week I had 3 significant conversation about Jesus with other people. That's not as much as I would like, but hopefully them make an impact. One of them I mentioned earlier is the banker. She said she will come to church, so I am looking for her to come and will find more reason to get to the bank. Maybe I'll need to get a crisp, clean $100 bill.

So . . . who are you talking to about Jesus?
Are you talking to anyone about who Jesus is in your life?

Sunday Reflections

I really enjoyed and more than that, felt the power from our first two worship songs yesterday. Good job, Doug and the praise team.

I also liked the opening prelude video. It was something different, whose theme was very basic, "WORSHIP THE LORD." Let me know your thoughts on it.

Worship seemed to run smoothly even with my $100 offer. It really is amazing to think God does not want us to live lives filled with guilt, but wants us to be redeemed and experience His grace and live that way, being grace bearers who make a difference.

We had a good Father's Day, we went to Texas Roadhouse for a great lunch, enjoyed our time together, and told one another why we love them. It was fun to do. It was also fun to stick Zachary, and then Joshua's heads into their bowls of salad. The boys loved it, it was silly and not the way mom and dad normally act when out for a meal.

Remember to make a difference in the world in the name of Jesus.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Doctoral Reply

It's amazing how fast the turnaround was. They received my dissertation on Monday and today I had a response from my first and main reader. I was not sure I wanted to open it and read it. Below is the correspondence from Dr. Larsen,

"Your initial draft is in hand - I love it! You have done a great job! There are of course matters we want to discuss in the oral defense. Dale, the form editor, will have some suggestions for your final draft; we will need to talk about the length. Thanks, by the way, for the reference list. We will now wait for Dr. Wayne Johnson's reaction - we will be patient because he has done very few of these. But you should be hearing from us fairly soon. Again, praise God. I am very pleased with what you have done. Yours as ever in Christ who is our hope, David L. Larsen Isa 54:10"

WOW! I couldn't believe what I was reading. He was writing about my writing. How cool and praise God. I know there will be corrections and I was about 110 pages too long, but some of the appendecies can be cut. For now ... a big deep sigh of relief.

Blogging issues

For some reason the blogs are not posting in the morning. They are all coming in late. I'll try to check on the reason, sorry.

Fill 'Er up (Part 2)

This may not make us feel better, but some gas prices from around the world are ~

Sierra Leone $18.43/gallon
Norway $10.37
Turkey $10.14
Netherlands $10.11
Germany $9.20
Italy $8.78
England $8.56
Israel $7.95
Spain $7.54

down to some pretty lows . . . Anyone willing to move?

Indonesia $2.46/ gallon
Mexico $2.35
Brunei $1.48
Egypt $1.21
Kuwait $.79
Iran $.42
Nigeria $.38
Venezuela $.19

Major difference between North and South ~

N. Korea $2.69
S. Korea $7.38

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_usage_and_pricing

Fill 'er up

I remember the days when we used to go to Martin's gas station, and my dad would say 'fill 'er up with ethyl.' Oh for those good 'ol days of $.299 per gallon.

A headline in today's Indy Star said by August gas could be $4.15 . . . oops, they were wrong, by June 12 it was $4.199 (don't forget that 9/10 of a penny). One year ago, gas was an incredibly high $3.079.

So, what are you going to do different?

How should the church cope with higher gas prices?

How do you think it will impact the church?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Old Posts

Somehow I realized these posts from the other day did not make it on the blog. So here they are in one blog.


Doctoral project
I recieved an email from Trinity, they received my box with my project in it. Yahoo!! Now Dr. Larsen has the pleasure of reading 'til he drops.
Posted by Pastor Michael at 10:00 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Conversations
I had to stop at the bank, we bank in Anderson, a carry over from Dearborn. Most everyone at the bank branch knows us, mostly Debbie. She has spoken about church to one of the tellers and today I sat with her for about 30 minutes and talked about church, why go, issues of forgiveness, etc. A great conversation, and I am hoping she will come this Sunday.

It's great to have these types of conversations, when someone feels free to ask, and I can give an intelligent enough response that they can understand. God is really awesome the way He works!! We just need to allow Him to work through us.
Posted by Pastor Michael at 9:58 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Sunday Reflections
I was really moved by the video we watched in the evening service. Ed Young was brutally blunt, and I loved it. His one prayer for the church was for the church "to wake up!" I wish everyone in the morning service could see it. He spoke to me as well as anyone about waking up from our spiritual slumber. He went so far as to proclaim if you don't tithe and serve in the church, he does not consider you a member of the church, "you are just taking up dust on the church rolls." That is an in your face comment. Anyone who wants to watch it, even in a Sunday School class, is welcome to borrow it.

The message was about 27 minutes long.It's always fun doing child dedications, hoping the little ones don't scream and cry. It's amazing the great responsibility God gives to people to parent children. I am awestruck when I look at Joshua and Zachary and see how they are growing.

We had fun at the swim party at the Dickey's. They put on quite a spread, we had lots of fun, eating and splashing and just hanging out in the heat.

Baseball Games

Quite a night at the ball yard. Joshua's team won 5-0. Joshua was walked once and struck out once. The time he walked, he tried to score from 3rd on a passed ball, but was out at home. His coach was not happy since he told him not to go. A good learning tool!!

Actually two of the coaches made mistakes and had runners thrown out in the game.

In Zachary's game he was 3 for 3. All singles, he did well to hit the ball. He's getting there. He really had to run hard to beat out one of the hits. He then over-ran second base and was heartbroken since it was in the last inning, and they lost 9-6.

I told him it was a good learning tool. He made a mistake and he'll probably never overrun 2nd or 3rd again. It made me think about my mistakes. . . how many times have I learned from them, or have I repeated them over and over again?

How about you, are you learning from your mistakes, or making them again and again?

Why Mosquito Bites Itch!!

Zachary asked me that question, so with a little Internet research, here you go -

"Did you know that it's only female mosquitoes that bite you? They eat mostly nectar, but when it's time to make eggs and lay them, they need to eat protein (aka - your blood). When the mosquito stabs her needle-like mouthparts through the skin of her victim, she injects her saliva, teeming with digestive enzymes and anticoagulants to help her drink more quickly. Your body sees that as an enemy and produces histamine to ward off infection. That little pink bump left on your skin is an allergic reaction to the mosquito's saliva. (Hence, it itches because it is a foreign body invading our bodies.

FYI!!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Doctoral project

I recieved an email from Trinity, they received my box with my project in it. Yahoo!! Now Dr. Larsen has the pleasure of reading 'til he drops.

Conversations

I had to stop at the bank, we bank in Anderson, a carry over from Dearborn. Most everyone at the bank branch knows us, mostly Debbie. She has spoken about church to one of the tellers and today I sat with her for about 30 minutes and talked about church, why go, issues of forgiveness, etc. A great conversation, and I am hoping she will come this Sunday.

It's great to have these types of conversations, when someone feels free to ask, and I can give an intelligent enough response that they can understand. God is really awesome the way He works!! We just need to allow Him to work through us.

Sunday Reflections

I was really moved by the video we watched in the evening service. Ed Young was brutally blunt, and I loved it. His one prayer for the church was for the church "to wake up!" I wish everyone in the morning service could see it. He spoke to me as well as anyone about waking up from our spiritual slumber. He went so far as to proclaim if you don't tithe and serve in the church, he does not consider you a member of the church, "you are just taking up dust on the church rolls." That is an in your face comment. Anyone who wants to watch it, even in a Sunday School class, is welcome to borrow it. The message was about 27 minutes long.

It's always fun doing child dedications, hoping the little ones don't scream and cry. It's amazing the great responsibility God gives to people to parent children. I am awestruck when I look at Joshua and Zachary and see how they are growing.

We had fun at the swim party at the Dickey's. They put on quite a spread, we had lots of fun, eating and splashing and just hanging out in the heat.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Zachary's Doctor

Zachary had his 3 month pediatric endocrinologist appointment today. All went well. He's growing normally, no abnormalities . . . just an active and as he says "energetic" young boy.

Praise God!!

It's a reminder to count our blessings. To look around us and see how very much we are blessed. It's too easy to dwell on the negatives, on what is not good, but there is so much good right in front of us and God seeks to bless us more and more, but we must be ready and connected to Him to fully experience what He desires to give to us.

Special Delivery

I mailed my project this afternoon. A huge relief, and 2 weeks not to worry about it, until the email comes and I have to get back to work.

For now, it feels great to be done . . . good or bad.

ball game

Hey since it's so late, why not one more post.

Joshua tried a new batting stance and did really well. He had a bunt hit, a perfect bunt.

He struck out, but he fouled off five pitches in a row. A great at bat.

Then he got hit by a pitch on his foot.

He was happy about the game. They won, too, 9-2.

FINI'

Not sure what language fini' is in, I know it is not Greek or Hebrew, but I know it means finished. I'm done. It took forever to format and reformat my dissertation, and there was only one very minor mistake which meant recopying one page. Otherwise, all 359 pages plus additions is ready to go. It will be in the mail tomorrow.

Thanks for your prayers. They came in great. Now to wait to hear what the readers have to say. At least for 2-3 weeks, I won't worry. Supposedly, my reader will get back to me in that time frame.

Well, it is now 3:45 a.m., I am tired, but feel good!!!!!

Time to go home and go nite nite for a few minutes.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Rudeness

Had someone dump a lot, and I mean a lot of grass by one of our evergreens in the back part of the lot. After the rain, it really stunk. We moved it and dumped it on someone else's land (NOT!).

But how rude someone had to be, and most likely a neighbor somewhere behind did it. It would have killed a lot of grass in the back. Sometimes I just don't get people. I think I'll put up a sign saying, "This is a no grass dumping zone!"

Weekend Worship

Remember this Sunday I'll be representing all women in talking to us men folk about what you want us to know.

So . . . what more do I need to know so that all the men will be in the know!!

Writing Update

Still not sent in, but that is okay with the doctoral program. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day. I had some major evening glitches with margins and some stuff that is way over my head regarding the page set up, etc. Fortunately, Debbie understands more than I do, and she greatly helped out.

Writing and Writing

Well, I finished the main part of the paper, exactly 200 pages, adding in the appendeces will make it closer to 350. I am hoping to get it in the mail tomorrow.

Ball game blues

After a wow game last week, the Eagles have been flying pretty low. Another loss tonight, 5 walks one error and only one hit in one inning led to their demise, plus some poor hitting. In fact, I would call it no hitting at all. They lost 6-3. That's two losses in a row to teams they could beat.

One player on Joshua's team struck out without swinging and his dad grounded him for 3 weeks. You know, as much as I want Joshua to hit the ball and be a star, this is getting a little ridiculous. That boy is not a star, and even if he is, he's really just a kid wanting to try and play ball and have fun and do well.

I know I put pressure on the boys at times, I know what they can do better than they do, but if they ever don't want to play, that's okay with me, too. Just go out, do your best and have fun, win or lose.

Monday, June 02, 2008

One last note for the night

I mentioned I had a great encouragement at night, also had one in the morning, after worship. It is so nice to be encouraged.

I also had two people in the same family encourge me in separate emails during the week.

THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

Writing and Writing

Well, I think I am about there. I am estimating I will mail the project in to Trinity on Tuesday. My best estimates are a total of 335 pages. Hopefully I have not been too wordy. After sending it in I will receive word within 3 weeks about the next steps. Either a major rewrite or revisions, but with the approval to move into the next step which would be my oral defense of what I have worked on and the theology backing it.

Pray for the latter to occur over the summer, which would give us a short trip to Chicago, see family, hang out a little, hopefully celebrate a little, then back home.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday Reflections

I am sitting and typing while Joshua is drumming. Whose idea was this anyway . . .?

Anyway, people seemed moved this morning by all the songs. It seemed like that perfect blending of newer and older songs; especially after Shout to the North.

Talking about our legacies can be powerful. Look at the legacy Christ left for us to follow. That makes communion more powerful.

I am glad we were able to get the video from the song Legacy working this morning. The more we use technology the more it can seem like a curse, but there is so much good that can come from it.

Tonight was another issue as the download for worship didn't work. It said it was a corrupted file. Oh what a joy. It will be worked out before the middle of the week.

I had a nice compliment this evening, it's always great to feel encouragement from others. I don't think we realize the power of encouragement until we get it, then it moves us to want to do even better. So, thank you brother, for the words of grace, love and encouragement.

Time to put the boys in bed, then onto the doctorate. Needs to be in the mail by Tuesday.

Blessings and go make a difference this week!!!

The Courage to Grow!

I appreciate devotionals which are real and relevant.  This devotional perfectly meets that requirement.  Annie Downs has written a powerf...