Friday, August 29

Live Blogging FaithQuest

This weekend I will be blogging from FaithQuest. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, August 26


Portland's own Donald Miller led the closing benediction at the Democratic National Convention last night. When asked by Christianity Today why he agreed to participate, Donald replied, "Somebody calls you and asks you to pray, you do."
Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.

Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.

Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

Let Him be our example.


Monday, August 25

Who Knew?

For some reason I find this oddly fascinating. I look forward to my next drive in the country to see if it is true of the Oregon species as well (note to self: take into account the wind conditions). Don't snicker - this is important research, people!

Thursday, August 21


If you are close enough to be able to be in Portland by tomorrow or Saturday afternoon, you absolutely must get yourself down to the Waterfront for the Luis Palau Festival. There are great activities for the kids, X-treme sports, and amazing musical performances. FREE! When you come, text or twitter & we can hook up. If you want to see the cool work that Allan does, go to the Media Tent & ask for him.

Friday, August 22

2:00 - 6:00 p.m: Family Fun Zone

3:00 & 4:30 p.m: Presentations by Bob and Larry of VeggieTales® and ventriloquist Mark Thompson

2:00 & 3:45 p.m: Livin It® Demos

5:00 p.m: Main Stage Performances Begin

City Prayze

Phil Stacey

Kirk Franklin

7:20 p.m. Luis Palau


Chris Tomlin

Saturday, August 23

2:00 - 6:00 p.m: Family Fun Zone

3:00 & 4:30 p.m: Presentations by Bob and Larry of VeggieTales® and ventriloquist Mark Thompson

2:00 & 3:45 p.m: Livin It® Demos

5:00 p.m: Main Stage Performances Begin


Hawk Nelson

Mercy Me

7:15 p.m. Luis Palau


UPDATE: I was right - it is worth the trip to the Waterfront! Oh my goodness, there are a gazillion people there! Don't bring your bike (unless you park it away), a large stroller, or anything else hard to lug through masses of people. My highlight? Chris Tomlin. That man is something amazing. Loved hanging with Stephanie for a while, then Kymm the rest of the evening. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 19

Happy Anniversary

Weren't we the cutest little things?? Could either of us have imagined on August 19, 1995 where we'd be today? Three lovely and lively kids...our little house...both working in vibrant ministries that focus on Kingdom work...and a marriage that gets better and better with time. I like walking this journey with you and look forward to growing old with you (except for the annoying old man habits you are already developing). I love you.

Monday, August 18

Look At Me!

I'm still doing some tweaking, but it was high time that this site became a little more pretty. I knew as soon as I started messing around with downloading templates and moving things for which I have no business touching, Allan would grab my laptop and make it all good. Sure enough, he locked himself away for a while, all for the sake of my little blog. How's it working for you?

Friday, August 15

The Shack

I've been sitting on this post for a few days, waiting for the right words to use. Those perfect words never made an appearance, so I choose to just write it anyway. Here's the gist of my message: If you do not have it, go out or get on amazon today and get yourself a copy of The Shack. I am at a loss as to how to break this book down here; I think I need another read through before I can begin an attempt at dissection. Although a work of fiction, this book has the ability to radically enhance one's vision of the Trinity. As I read, I could not help but feel that the author was fully anointed by the Spirit. I just don't see how a human, without the words of the Lord, could use language in such a beautiful way to paint a picture of the dimension surrounding the Trinity. It reminded me of how This Present Darkness changed the way I considered spiritual warfare. As I now envision angels riding on my car or surrounding my house (Allan and I named our head guardian "Mordecai") because of Peretti's insights, I now find myself considering my relationships with Sarayu as an integral part (you'll have to read it to know what that means). Have I convinced you yet? You can see more about it here. Read it - I'd love to talk about it with you.

Tuesday, August 12

Hi, My Name Is __________

First impressions are a funny thing. Not always ha ha funny, but sometimes a huh, that's strange funny. Recently I was with a group who, for some sadistic reason, decided to share with each other our first impressions of each person present. This might have been a better exercise had we all been inebriated. We were camping, so I can only imagine it was the mix of campfire smoke and pine scented air that caused us to partake in such a game.

I communicate well, I'm intimidating, I'm stylish, I'm unorganized and irresponsible, and I married a cool guy - those were the first impressions that I had given. I had to ask myself the same question I ask my kids whenever someone says something to them that stings. Well, is it true? Are you really stupid/ugly/boring (or in this situation) unorganized/irresponsible/stylish? Heavens, no! Those three words in particular are not ones that I have ever heard uttered in a sentence along with my name. It was only after this internal dialogue that I was able to see first impressions for what they are (and even laugh a little).

First impressions are a fickle little puppy. They wield a great deal of power - substantially more than they should. I wonder how many great relationships I have missed out on because I turned away before I got to know someone. How often have I mislabeled someone as aloof when she is simply shy, or a grump when I didn't know of the especially bad morning that he had when we first met, or so stinkin' talented that we'd have nothing in common.

So that's it. I think I'm going to make an effort to see first impressions for what they are. And, unless it involves marshmallows, I think I'll stay away from campfire games for a little while, too.

Monday, August 11

Keeps Us Rolling

If you ever need a good chuckle, check in with one of the funniest guys I know.

Friday, August 8

Let The Games Begin!

Today is a day that I look forward to for years at a time. Four years to be exact. The Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics! I just get goosebumps typing those words. Excuse me one moment while I stand, and, with my hand over my heart, recite the Pledge of Allegiance in solidarity with my proud countrymen and -women who are around the globe at this moment, preparing to represent our fine land in the great tradition of sport! sigh. I just love it!

There have been more memorable Olympic moments than I could possibly recount here. But I shall try, shan't I? [I've never used the word "shan't" before - I think I like it.] Okay, I'll limit my list to the summer Olympics; no winter allowed. And I'll limit it to events I actually remember seeing.

* The archer lighting the torch in Barcelona, 1992
* Ali lighting the torch in Atlanta
* North & South Korea walking together in the opening ceremonies in Sydney, 2000
* That one runner guy who pulled his hamstring and was helped to the finish line by his dad in 1988
* Zola Bud, running bare foot, tripping Mary Decker Slaney, who hit the deck in L.A., 1984
* Kerri Strug and the bum ankle
* Rulon Gardner, the big farm boy from Wisconsin, who took down that great Russian beast, who had not lost in 13 years, in the most amazing wrestling match of all time (except maybe Jacob & God)
* Greg Louganis smashing his head on the diving board
* Michael Phelps winning eight medals in the pool in 2004
* Cathy Freeman, the Aborigine, winning in Sydney
* Mary Lou Retton's all-around gold in 1984
* Carl Lewis on the track in 1984

What am I forgetting?

Thursday, August 7

Committment Embodied

I'm not a big fan of forwarded emails. You the ones I'm talking about, right? Readers Digest-worthy jokes. Why Global Warming is a Conspiracy! Nauseating mom infomercials. So, here's the warning - this is one of those.

Allan and I try to catch the Ironman on t.v. each year (I'm waiting to see Jason Hill there). No other show does a better job at compelling its viewers to lose pounds of water through tears shed. Their bios are epic - we were drawn to the story about this father and son the year they participated.
A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?' The father despite having a heart condition, says 'Yes'. They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, 'Dad, let's join the Ironman together.' To which, his father said 'Yes' .

For those who don't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile marathon along the coast of the Big Island.

Father and son went on to complete the race together.
Watch this (cue sappy song):

Tuesday, August 5

Think Christian

I recently told you about We The Church, a website of only prayers and praises. There are some other good Christian websites that I have been following for a while that some of you might enjoy as well.

Deadly Viper is an website dedicated to conversations on "the issues of radical integrity and radical grace". Their focus is to develop leaders through intentional, transparent, and honest conversations about key character issues. Oh, and they love Chuck Norris, if that makes any difference to you.

At Think Christian there are a lot of lively discussions by a panel of Christian writers about Christ, culture, and the ways that faith plays out in everyday life. I will be writing book reviews for this site in the near future, so keep a look out for that!

Flowerdust, aka Anne Jackson, Ragamuffin Soul, aka Carlos Whittaker, and his wife Heather at Whittaker Woman are three of the most popular Christian personal blogs in the nation. They're popular for a reason - good writing, great humor, and tough topics all to the glory of Jesus.

Christianity Today has two areas to which I return again and again. Gifted For Leadership is dedicated to discussions for women who are "capable, called, and gifted leaders". CT's movie section has some of the best written, unbiased reviews out there.

What sites or blogs do you recommend?

Saturday, August 2

Two Years Old

Wow - no one needs me to say how precious, how beautiful, and how truly special you are, my dear Miss Fiona. Two years ago you came into our lives in a, well, rather violent way. But you and I survived that ordeal together and have been bonded in a special way ever since. I absolutely adore you, and I am so excited to see how you will rock this world. I love you, my sweet girl!