Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Update on Stacey

I have been asked by a few individuals on how Stacey is doing, so here is a little update on her progress.

When she had her surgery, she was hoping that another seton was not going to be necessary. But, alas, it was and not in her most desireable location.

However, she bounced back from the surgery very nicely and probably pushed herself a little too hard even though she is doing great (a little fatigued at times).

She bounced back so well that she found herself "at home" in the kitchen helping with the VBS meal. She is a real tropper.

Her next appointment is on the 14th. It can not be moved. They have squeazed her in to make this happen with the GI and the surgeon. The small problem came into play because we have a staff retreat on that day.

Within 5 minutes though of Stacey calling and letting me know that the appointment must be made ... a few phone calls, office visit at church was made and we had people watching / picking up kids and someone to go to the hospital with Stacey.

The church people are being sooooooo helpful as we navigate these choppy waters. It is so fantastic to have a supporting congregation around us.

Thus, we will know a lot more on the 14th. We may find out what the next steps will be, we may get her on a treatment plan and we may begin the aggressive medication (humira). Whatever the steps are, I know these things (yuck, that sounded like Glen Beck):

1. The hospial system she is in his AWESOME
2. We have a church who is in our corner
3. We have GREAT insurance where we can rest with ease

Thanks for all the concerns, the prayers and the financial gifts to the church as they pass them out to us for medical bills from the Indiana insurance fiasco.

Quotes ....

*** if you want to see the poster bigger, click on it ***

As I was looking at my quotes to the right of the page and thinking about the Parady Motivator Generator; I decided to make some of the quotes into posters. If I am not careful, the poster making could become addictive. Thankfully it only takes two - three minutes to do one.

I think that uncertainity can be very difficult for individuals. It can be extremely difficult for those who are analytical. However, we must step up to the plate and make a decision and move forward.

It has been interesting because these past 3 weeks, we have looked at decision-making within the college class at Zion. There are definitely people (not necessarily in the class) who are afraid to make decisions.

I am thinking about some up-coming ministry decisions and changes that may occur within the ministry and I know that there can not be any uncertainity ....

Monday, July 30, 2007

DIY Attempt

Here is what the DIY will look like. You add the pic and text and it creates the poster for you. I will have my eyes open for pics and stories and think of posters that can communicate some key thoughts ... this could be fun

The Mask ....

Emerging Grace did a FANTASTIC blog on this past Friday. If you have time, take a look at her posters that she created. It may help to look at the posters that she was responding to. I always enjoy her posts and these posters were fantastic. Here is one of them ....

I have "preached" being authentic within our ministries and have cast it as part of our vision and the poster above is a great example. She also gave a "hit" to where she made them. I am going to have to try my luck and see about placing them in the youth room ... if they meet a purpose.

Closing Program

I changed the video at the last minute. I decided that the video needed to have a theme. Thus, I changed the borders and effects ( transitions / sounds ). Here is the video we showed on Sunday morning. The video now matches ... water / sand / ocean.

The Theme was the Great Bible Reef.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

V.B.S. 2007

The V.B.S. crew at Zion did a great job. Here is my photo presentation that I put together to be used for the closing program on Sunday.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Edwards Commercial

I have to say that I did enjoy watching the YouTube Democratic debate this last week. I thought the questions overall were good and enjoyed seeing how the potential canidates answered the questions.

Each canidate had to make a video and I thought that Edwards was kinda good. He gets slammed for his $ 400 haircuts. He was not afraid to put it in his video which was intriguing to me. Here is video.

I am not sure if I should or am allowed to state my views on the canidates. So, I will be mum for the time being. As we get close to the states voting in the primaries, I will do pros and cons (IMO) of each canidate and try not to reveal which way I think the parties (both) should go.

Cross America ... Again

Well some more bills and insurance news came across the mailbox this week. I just kinda laughed because there is not much else to do.

Our new bills from the 3rd surgery in Indiana (not all of them) came in and here are the numbers thus far. The total amount is $6,204.05. The insurance paid a whopping $507.

No, THAT IS NOT A MIS-PRINT. We are responsible for $ 5,697.05.

So, the running totals for the 3 surgeries with all bills not in are the following:

Bills: $ 24,097.54

The Insurance Paid: $ 2,507


That is almost 90 / 10 COVERAGE .... HOWEVER in the wrong direction.

(sarcastic voice) Thanks for the coverage


I am not sure how many of you have heard of Patrick Lencioni but he has become one of my favorite authors this past weekend. I have read 2 of his books this week. I have actually read each of them in a day. I read the first book on Friday and then the second one on Saturday.

The two that I have read are the following:

Silos, Politics and Turf Wars
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive

These books fall under business or leadership. However, I believe that they are practical to church and your daily life. He does "fables". They are easy to read, good plots and teach a lesson.

Hopefully, I will write about them soon and their possible impacts in my life and the ways that I do ministry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Love RX Coverage

Can I just scream that from the mountain top ???

Today was the first day that I walked into the prescription store and requested drugs (meds) for my wife. I gave them my insurance information and said that I would be back later to pick it up ....

Swiping the debit card was SOOOOOOO much easier today. I can no longer fear taking a prescription in and worry what the bill will be.


To those of you who do not have it, I am sorry. I can feel your pain with what we have paid in meds the last 4 months. I think that I may make a "saving chart" for us to see how much we saved from now to the end of the year.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Can See It

The new host for the Price Is Right has been named. The winner is

Drew Carey talks during the CBS Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. in this file photo from July 19, 2007. Carey was tapped Monday July 23,2007 to replace silver-haired legend Bob Barker on the CBS daytime game show 'The Price is Right.'

Friday, July 20, 2007

Quote on Faith

Jonathan Sacks speaking on faith as he compares Job's suffering and success:

Faith does not mean certainty. It means the courage to live with uncertanty. It does not mean ansers; it means asking questions, it means that challenge has not been sent as a punishment, but as a call to responsibility.

One of the things where I think that we are following short is in the following area:

We need to stand up and question the presence of things that are wrong in the world.

Take a look around you. Begin to take notes on some of the things that are wrong with this world. There is a lot of injustice out there. What are they ? What are you (I) doing about them ?

In God's Gravity, there is a challenge given. I would like to share it with you:

There comes a point when we need to move. Like Job, we need to stand up and break the silence; like Abraham, we need to step up to the challenge; like Ester, we need to take risk; like Moses, we need to make ourselves available; like Amos, we need to begin to right the wrongs that surround us.

I wish that I can step out of my comfort zone and do a few of these things. I think that I am finally getting there.

Christ UMC: Big Stuf '07

Alrightee !!!!

Here it is. The Big Stuf pics to the theme song> It is not exactly what I was "shooting" for BUT I think it is a very good memory maker. Thanks for the trip !!

Thanks Trev for the suggestions. Next time, I will try the next format to see about the quality.

We Are Home !

It is 4:45, we are home. A 12-hour day. A drive up to the clinic ( about an 1 hr. 15 mins ) and then her procedure / recovery and the drive back.

She is doing great. A little tired, a little drugged, a little off-balanced but doing well. They had to put in another seton - not what she wanted. But in the end, I believe it will be best for her.

I have got to tell you, the waiting at the Clevland Clinic is UNBELIEVABLE ( in a fantastic way ).

They give each family a code and you can watch these boards ( like the airport for arrival / departures ). By looking at the board, you can tell when the patient checked in, when they went to the pre-op room, when they enter operation, when they went to recovery and when they went back to their room.

They also give you a vibrating pager ( like you get at the restaurant ). They page you when they have updates. It vibrates and you go to the front desk if you want the update.

So, I got updates for the following items:

- when she went from the anest to the op room
- when the op began
- when the op was done
- when the surgeon was free to speak to me
- when she was moved to her recovery room

Every single person was extremely friendly and helpful. We also had a family surgery day briefing. They explained everything that was going to occur. They informed us on the boards, the pager system and where to go for any help.

Another nice thing was in the hospital, they have subway, starbucks, mc d's among other restautrants and cafe's and a regular cafeteria.

More later. Thanks for the prayers.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back To The Drawing Board

Well, my video editing has hit a snag. When I save it, I am unable to save it into the correct format to upload it to the blog. I am sure it is a very simple fix but I can not figure it out tonight.

((((( Trev ))))) can you help me ???

I am using muvee and trying to load it through YouTube. What do I need to save it as in the option format ?

Tomorrow morning, we make up at 3:30 am. I think that is more like waking up during the middle of the night. We are headed up to the Cleveland Clinic for Stacey to have surgery and then to meet with with GI.

My reading material of choice while she is in surgery and loopey land is the following: Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars

Everything in town is covered. My mom is headed over late tomorrow night to be with Stacey but the kids are covered tomorrow and Saturday from individuals from the church. They have a fantastic schedule set up for them and individuals are helping in every area.

Thank-you so much Zion for being there every step of the way and making sure that this weekend is manageable for is. You have covered everything and are willing to do more if needed, it means sooooooooo much.

Rhythem '07: Big Stuf

It took me a little while (I apologize) but here it is. Here is the video (greathouse style) from Big Stuf. It is my pics from the camera set to the music "Rhythem of Your Grace".

I love the song and it was the theme song from the week, so I thought it was quite appropriate. It is nothing too fancy, but I think it makes a great recap. Thanks for the trip memories.

** this will be processed thursday afternoon - around 4 pm **

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blood: Water Mission

It has been 6 years. I can not believe it has been that long ago. Six years ago, I spent 3 weeks in Africa. I was in Gahna. Ever since then, I have had pulls on my heart strings for Africa.

There are many organizations that are doing wonderful ministries in Africa. Today, I want to highlight one of them. Take a moment and swing by their webiste. You can make a difference.

Make a Difference

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kids In The School Yard

Enjoying the adventures outside of the school.

Best Buddies

Bethany and her Best Buddy

Isaiah Makes Fire

Well ... he tried.

I Want Control !!!

Over the past years, I have really moved past this phase. I, at times, still struggle with it but for the most part, I do put it in God's hand. I came across a paragraph that I want to share though ....

We share the temptations of Josiah and Asa and Uzziah, too. We want a world that is safe, where we are in control, not the almighty Creator, the One we cannot pin down, box in, or predict. We place ourselves on the throne and rely on ourselves alone. We take the reigns in the hope that life will work out a little better if we can control it. Yet this control is a mirage, at best an ice sculpture on a summer's dawn. Can we control our lives ? Can we really leave God out ?

The paragraph can be found on page 43 of a book called "God's Gravity: The Upside Down Life Of Selfless Faith". The book is written by Craig Borlase.

This is one of four books that are rocking me hard and really challenging me.

I am not sure where you are at in your life and if you are trying to control everything in your life. It is tough to give over the reigns. But, I do think that the God of the Universe who created you can do a better job than you. Maybe that is too in your (my, our) face. I am not sure.

Anyways, as I continue my journey, I need to keep my eyes open and make sure that I am not trying to control things and where I am ... drop the reigns and let God be in control. When He is in control, I find things go alot better.

In a sense, I think that is how I survived the last fiasco in my life so well. I just handed it over and went with the " I have no control mentality ". Some people think that I am / was nuts. At times, I agree but at the same time, I know that I am in a more healthy place in my life ... which can lead to "forgiveness" post for later on ....

Back to more challenges in the books that I am reading ....

Monday, July 16, 2007

She Shoots & Scores

Bethany scored her 1st soccer goal today. She was so excited.

Brothers Gored !

At the same time ...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Housing in the U.S.

Tonight, I watched two episodes of America Has Talent (think that is the name) while doing some reading and reflecting. The show was a nice break from some deep thoughts that I have / was contemplating.

I came across a quote today that has me shaking my head.

Here is the statistic:

10 million
number of Americans with two or more homes
Number of Homeless Americans

I really do not know what to say about this statistic. It just jumped out at me.

What should we do about this ? Or should we just lay it at the feet of the homeless and tell them " suck it up - get out of the situation ".

Somehow, I do not see that is what God wants us to do. Maybe, just maybe, we as churches and christian communities to look at this from a broader standpoint. I think that I can guarantee one thing: it may cause a little hardship, we may have to give up so conviences and we may have to give up some of our tous and giving up toys can hurt.

Walked The Town

I had the opportunity to walk the town a little bit today with Bill. We walked downtown and passed out VBS door hangers to the downtown community. I enjoyed the fellowship, the walk and conversations with some of the individuals that were out on a tremendous day - absolutely beautiful.

I Fell For It

One of the things that I find interesting is numbers. I have like math and multiplying since I was a youngster. There are also individuals out htere that "have tricks" to make them multiply faster. I thought this was going to be one of them, I was wrong ... watch and see .. oh well

Friday, July 13, 2007

Emptied The Card

Well, I emptied the video card from the camera and loaded it into the computer. Since it is a new comp, there is not music on there but there were 10 sample songs. I grabbed one of them and mixed the card and music to make a video.

On the card, there were pics from the kids at the last day of school, them playing in the back yard, the new house, end of year party at CUMC, big stuf and more.

We will have fun with making videos now that we have a comp that can handle some media. Here is the mixed version ... a little of everything and the pics were done randomly .. so it is a little "bizarre"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Find This Funny

I am not sure why .. but I do


I am posting the video on this page. With it being embedded all the videos from him are imported. I have not seen them or watched them. I am not sure if they are all clean .. This one is clean .. it is just kinda dumb and pointless and that is why I found it funny ..

Right Now

I am going to include words to a song from a group called Beautiful Republic. This is dedicated to individual that is on my link page that is going through some tough times.

I am going to include their video as well. HOWEVER, I do not think that most who visit this blog will particularly enjoy this music.

To my friend that I have not known that long ..... You are in my prayers. I hope and pray that you can get the rest you need and you will not feel that the rest is putting you behind.

I bite my lips hard on a few of the words but I know that they are true even though I try myself to skirt them at times.

Right Now Lyrics by The Beautiful Republic

you want a change, it's written on your face
you feel alone, a little out of place
you hide away the scars and the mistakes
you've been tired, uninspired
something's gotta give

right now
He knows who you are
the light in the dark
He picks up your broken heart
right now
He's telling the truth
that you will make it through
His love can rescue you
right now

we've all been there, we're walking down the same road
so don't be scared, you're not out there on your own
just take a breath, and shut out the madness
letting go is beautiful
theres so much more just waiting there for you

right now
He knows who you are
the light in the dark
He picks up your broken heart
right now
He's telling the truth
that you will make it through
His love can rescue you
right now

this is your life
the giving and the taking
the journey and the making
this is your life
the fighting and the kneeling
the hurting and the healing
don't blow it all away

right now
He knows who you are
the light in the dark
He picks up your broken heart
right now
He's telling the truth
that you will make it through
His love can rescue you
right now

A Song That Speaks

I am not sure if this are the exact words that a friend of mine is looking for that is currently asking a lot of questions, but when I heard the song, I was reminded of her.

The song is Suddenly by Superchick. I have embedded the video here - a live performance and then listed the words below. Maybe they will speak to her or to someone else who may be in a place that needs to hear these words.


She feels lost in her own life
Treading water just to keep from slipping under
And she wonders if she's where she's supposed to be
Tired of trying to do it right
Her dreams are just too far away to see how steps she's making might be taking her to who she'll be

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly i am where i'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, i was supposed to be here

She feels locked in her own life
Scared of what she might lose
If she moves away from who she was
And she's afraid of being free
There's a way she knows is right
And she can't feel the things she knows and so each step she's taking
Is a step of faith towards who she'll be

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly i am where i'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, i was supposed to be here

And here where the night is darkest black
She feels the fear
And the light is farthest back
And through her tears
She can see the dawn
Its coming skies will clear
And the light will find her where she's always been

And suddenly it isn't what it used to be
And after all this time it worked out just fine
And suddenly i am where i'm supposed to be
And after all the tears, i was supposed to be here

July Reading List

This month, I am going to read at least 2 books. The books are the following:

As I read and reflect on these books, I will give some of my thoughts on the books and how I believe the words in the book will impact my life and the ministry.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Steeler Fans

Are there any Steeler fans out there that are close to me or the Pittsburgh area that would be interested in going to the Steelers game versus the Ravens ??

The game is at Heinz field and it is MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL !!!

I am thinking about seeing if I can grab some nose bleed endzone tickets but I don't think that I wanna do the game by myself. The game is November 5th.

If interested, message me or comment here.

Look For The Moment

I am not sure what made me choose this photo. It has been awhile since I have put a photo with a general post; I use to put a pic with each post to represent the post. I think that I chose it because of the innocence and the kids playing and living "care-free".

Now to the post ....

I really think that we miss the point or at least lose focus too many times in ministry. We are comparing ministry of this week to ministry of last week. We look at external factors for gratifications ( numbers, peoples expressions, how we felt, etc ... ).

We also at times are quick to label a day, a lesson or a week as a failure because it did not meet "our standard". What I think that we need to do is look for the moment. We need to listen, we need to "tune" into people and "seize the moment" that is given to us and to them and use it to minister as Christ would minister.

I am not putting this down as I want but this is going to be my prayer: God, in the business of live, please let me tune into people so I can hear the moment and take the opportunity to share live and God with them.

The opportunities may come at odd times, times of the least expected and we need to be prepared. We can not and should not expect for the moments to always come at "our teaching time"

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fans Faces

I saw this photo and had to post it. I am not posting it because of the catch. Travis did make a good catch, BUT, I am doing it because of the fans reactions. Look at how different the 5 prominent faces in the crowd are reacting:

Fans react as they watch Texas Rangers third baseman Travis Metcalf run into a rail while catching a foul popup by Baltimore Orioles' Jay Payton in the second inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, July 8, 2007. The Rangers won 2-1.

Back to the fans reactions. I think it is interesting to look at that and see how they are reacting because when we do things in everyday life, people react in different ways - sometimes each one will react in a different manner.

What if Travis could see only one of their reactions, what would he think ? Would it be different if he saw a different persons reactions ?

I think it would mean a great deal. There is a youth ministry lesson here. Do you see what it is and what does it mean to you ?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Way TOO Much

Well, the second van load is unpacked and sitting in the basement and the garage. Let me just say, we have "way too much" stuff.

From an American standpoint, we might not have that much and what we have is not "showy". But compared to the worlds standards .. we have tons and thus, we have way too much stuff.

Why is it that we ( america ) in general keep accumulating ?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Close Race

DAYTONA, FL - JULY 07: Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 IRWIN Marathon Tools Ford, crosses the finish line ahead of Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2007 in Daytona, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Well, I have not followed it this year. I was going to try but it just has not grabbed a hold of me yet. Maybe, I need to force myself to watch 1 full race. Anyways, I was surfing Yahoo Sports and saw the photo finish. I guess Jamie surprised Kyle at the last second.

a VERY long day

Today was a very long day.

We woke up a little after 6 am and got ourselves ready. We were out the door in about an hour and traveled about 6 hours to Lafayette. We had some lunch - got lost finding the U-Haul truck for about 30 mins. I then waited and waited because they were very sllooooooow today.

I then drove to the old house. Aaron was there waiting for me. It took about 90 mins to pack up the truck ( truck load # 2 ). I then headed back to Ohio.

It took about 6 1/2 hours to get back. The truck was a little slow. But the truck is in the driveway. I then took Bowzer out for a walk and then checked some blogs and emails and some sports stories and posting this before retiring to ESPN and the bed.

Tomorrow will be unpacking the moving van after the church.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4 Words in Ministry

As I have been working on my mind for the new ministry, I have been trying to wrap my hands around key words and concepts. Recently, I heard a speaker that summed up some of my thoughts and how I have approached ministry. Here are the four words: vision, passion, discipline, and risk.


I believe that it is vital to have a vision for the ministry. I do not think that you will reach your full potential if you do not have a vision. I also do not think that you will truly know what to do if you do not have a vision. How do you plan and implent if you do not know what the "end" will look like.

Thus, over the next few weeks and months, we will be having numerous conversations with individuals at Zion and placing a vision down for the youth and family of the church. The vision obviously will flow out of the mission of the church.


If you do not have passion, you will fade out and not accomplish the task at hand. Thus, you need to "buy into" the vision and serve out of the passion. With passion, you will be able to go through the valleys and wait with anticipation for the mountaintops around the corner.

Also, when you have passion and you are living through the vision, individuals will want to come on board. They love to see passion and they love knowing where they are going and why they are going there.

Instead of "filling" a role, they are serving to accomplish an unbelievable task.


One of the things that I believe that hurt churches and ministries is that they try to do too much "stuff". We need discipline in our ministries. I think that the easiest way to have discipline is for you to funnel everything through your vision and mission of the ministry.

This takes discipline. When you are brainstorming about ministry opportunities, you must have the discipline to ask the following questions: Does this ministry assist us in helping us achieve our vision and will we have enough people passionate about the ministry to make it a success.


Without Risk, ministry will not go far. However, you do not want to be reckless. BUT, if you have a vision, you are passionate and you are a student of discipline, you will have the power to take risk when they are under the umbrella of your vision.

My Dreams ....

It is my dream as I begin the ministry at Zion that we will grab a hold of a vision and that we will be passionate about the ministry. We, as a ministry, will be disciplined in what we are doing and that we will be willing to take risks.

I am looking forward to the ministry and grabbing a hold of these 4 words.

The First Week ....

Our House

The first week here has been good. We are beginning to settle into the house. The kids rooms are looking very good. The kitchen is moving along well ( minus the cabinets ). The dining room looks excellent. The family room is shaping up. The living room is waiting for furniture. Now are bedroom and the basement ( with all the boxes ) that is another story .....

The Office

My boxes are in the office. A few have been unpacked. I am hoping to accomplish that task later on this afternoon ( after lunch ). I will have to clear out some space on the built-in book shelves before I can "really" go to town. I then hope to start putting up some pics and items on the walls tomorrow.

The Church

The services on Sunday were nice. We are in the middle of a series on the Lord's prayer. Youth group was very casual. I showed them a preview of Big Stuf ( planting the seed early ) and then Bernie ( the interim ) did the lesson. They are working through a series on Batman Begins and the lesson was on "Walking in the Light".

I am also having meetings this week: staff, church council, financial secretary, etc .. to get my feet wet and to begin the process to hearing the needs of the church and the community.

The first major thing that is occurring is VBS. The youth will also be having a Bonfire and a music festival ( Blink ). So, those are the major things occurring in the next 6 weeks at church.

We have alsosat with church members for the fireworks on the 3rd and were at a cook-out on the 4th with church members. It is great to get to know them.

The Family

The family is doing pretty well. Bethany is at soccer this week. She seems to be enjoying it. After about 30 mins. though - she hits the wall and wants to be done. But she perseveres through the last 15 mins. Jacob is starting the slow process of settling in. He went over to a family's house from the church yesterday and got introduced to a few kids around his age .....

Well, I have been on here for about 10 mins. I must sign-off and get ready for my 10 o'clock meeting and begin to outline some of the things that I want / need to do within the job description at the church.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

We Arrived

We are now in our new home. We arrived around 4 pm on Saturday to about 15 people in our front yard ready to unload the van. There had been a crew there earlier in the day cleaning and sprucing the house up a bit.

The carpet was in and all but one room was painting. that should / will be done tomorrow.

Everything that was on the truck is in the house. The beds are up and the furniture is in the right rooms. Tonight after youth group, i am going to move all the boxes that are in the correct rooms - downstairs and we will bring up a box or two at a time. This way the house will look more like a house and we can have it "de-cluttered" and start positioning the furniture and placing the items on the wall.

Later this week, I will post more about the weekend, the move, the first youth group and what is still left to do.

Thanks for Christ UMC for packing us up on Friday and thanks a bunch for Zion getting us unpacked, setting everything up and going and doing all the misc. things that needed to be done. You made the transition day, very nice.