Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Wandering

I am wandering through time…
Going here and there…

The direction does not matter…
Left and right are meaningless…
Up and down are senseless…

I am wandering through time…
Going here and there…

Each place is the same as the last…
Each place is completely different…
Each place is simply here or there….

I am wandering through time…
Gong here and there…

When I arrive, I am moving on…
When I am moving on, I am arriving…
When I am, I am….

I am wandering through time…
Going here and there…

Finding, doing, being…
being, being, being…

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It is 2:36 in the morning and I cannot sleep. It might be because I drank too much coffee when I have barely had any caffeine for the past three months. It might be because I have some stressful weeks coming up very quickly. However, I think there is a very different reason. The truth is something has been bugging me lately. That something(one) is God…

I have been letting things get in the way of God. I have been letting human reason stop me from following God’s direction for my life. I have made excuses of why I can do what God wants me to do. Well, that time is over. I am going to move forward with God regardless of the human obstacles I might face.

Church planting has been my heart and passion for some time now. It actually goes back a number of years. I can still remember when I told God that I would go to seminary if he wanted me to go, but I had no intention of working in church ministry. I want nothing more now. But, the truth is, I don’t want to work for any church. I want to let God create a church that will truly reach out to “the least of these.” I want people to truly experience what it means to follow hard after God. I want people to know that God loves them where they are at. He does not ask us to be perfect. He only asks us to give him the opportunity to make us something special and new.

I don’t know exactly how this is going to happen. The one church planting opportunity I thought was going to happen is not. However, it is not happening because it would not be the proper opportunity for God to use me. I thank God for giving me the wisdom to close this door. I also thank him for having me close it instead of him closing it for me. I needed to opportunity to know I can still hear his voice.

I can tell you I am back. I have been away spiritually for a number of months, even though I have only stopped blogging for a few weeks. God and I are talking again and more importantly, I am listening again. I am simply overwhelmed by God’s mercy and grace.

Tonight he spoke to me through that pages of a book by Donald Miller, To Own A Dragon. His words to me were very simple – Follow the passion I have given you…and let me lead the way.

Thank you Lord.

The Horrible Truth

Birthdays can cause the real you to come out and I afraid that happen yesterday. The above picture shows me eating a piece of my birthday cake yesterday. Okay…I know nobody will fall for that one. It is actually a picture taken of me eating cake on my very first birthday. Yesterday was a great birthday.

My wife go me the My Life music compilation Billy Joel put out a few months ago. It is kind of like a greatest hits release, but it also contains copies of previously unreleased demos and some music from three bands he was part of before he launched out on his own. The music from these three groups is pretty bad, but as a true fan, I am still glad to have it. It is kind of funny listening to some of the demos of tracks they eventually did release. Often they changed a number of the words and the music behind the lyrics. There is an early version of Only the Good Die Young that is very interesting. I could not have asked for a better gift.

Today’s post is below. Thanks for listening.

Birthday #33

Since everyone seems to be strolling down memory lane, I thought I would do so today. This is a picture from my second birthday. Just a few hours before, my father caught me sticking my finger into the side of the cake and taking a taste. Fortunately, my mother was able to fill the hole with frosting. Somewhere in the thousands of pictures my dad has (he was a semi-professional photographer) is the actual picture he took when he caught me, but he was not able to find it.

I got to work late today, so my regular post will not come until later in the day.

Merry Christmas

This is my last post for a few days.  My family and I are going to a resort in Missouri for Christmas.  As the resort does not even have a telephone in the rooms, I highly doubt internet access will be available.

I hope each of you has a truly wonderful Christmas.  I pray that you enjoy the time with your family and friends.  It is my hope that those you know who are far from God will see something in you that causes them to start questioning, wondering and eventually praying.

God Bless!

Family Day

Oh, who would guess? Who could have seen? Who could have possibly known?
All the roads we have traveled, the places we’ve been. Would have finally taken us home?
So it’s here’s to you and three cheers to you! Let’s shout it, “Hip, hip, hip, hooray!”
For out of a world so tattered and torn, You came to our house on that wonderful morn,
And all of a sudden this family was born. Oh, happy Adoption Day! – John McCutcheon

In our home we have a special day called Family Day. We celebrate this day three different times per year – Once for each of our daughters. Family day is the day that each of them came home to be with us and we became a family. Some families tell their children about the day they were born. We tell our children about the day they came home on Delta Airlines.

It is actually kind of funny. It took quite a while before our daughters understood that not every child comes home on an airplane. Every time we would tell them one of our friends had a baby they would ask when they were coming home from the airport. Some mothers are even jealous of the relative lack of pain Megan experience in giving “birth.”

Megan and I are truly blessed to have three wonderful daughter. The three exact daughters God planned for us.

Tagged

I was tagged by Jennifer at whatbox.blogspot.com. Having not played tag for years, I thought I had forgotten how. My three girls prefer hide-and-seek, even though they still have not figured out that hiding in the same place every time is not conducive to winning the game.

10 Years Ago – I lived in Davenport, Iowa my home town and the best city on the face of the earth (this opinion is not held by the majority of the people in the world, nor the majority of people in Davenport, Iowa.) I was working as the database and fundraising coordinator for a candidate for U.S. Senate. In only a couple of months away from taking a position as a campaign manager for a lady running for US House of Representatives in Maryland. This decision would turn out to be the event that drove me into the arms of God and away from politics. I had just asked my wife to marry me and she had miraculously said yes. At this time the only way she could spend any time with me was to volunteer for the US Senate campaign. I was working an average of 60 hours per week and going to college full time. Essentially, I was a work-a-holic.

5 Year Ago – I lived in Springfield, Missouri (otherwise known as purgatory – who knew the Catholics were right on this one) while attending the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. I also worked part-time as a fundraising consultant with MasterPlan Stewardship Services (an arm of the Assemblies of God Financial Service Group.) Megan and I have been married about four and 1/2 years and were about five weeks away from bringing our first daughter home from Guatemala. My wife was hysterical and I was clueless.

1 Year Ago – We live(d) in Plainfield, Illinois and had just brought home our third (and final) daughter from Guatemala. I determined a son was not in my future and that I had gotten this girl thing down (This was a very foolish determination. I have since realized it is impossible for anyone but God to get this girl thing and even he chose to have a son.) I was working at my current job as Director of Philanthropy (Major and Planned Gift) for Moose Charities. We support a home for children in need in suburban Chicago and a community for seniors in need in suburban Jacksonville, Florida. At this time I was also give full authority over the small group ministry of Community Christian Church at our Shorewood, Illinois campus. I was planning to eventually be on staff at the church, but God had other plans.

Yesterday – I spent a long day at work attending a user group meeting for Blackbaud’s RaiserEdge database. This is the fundraising database we use to keep track of all donation and donors. I also attended a sophomore football game for the Plainfield South High School team. I am not a football fan, but the coach is a member of my small group. I also discovered someone else I know (through blogging) has adopted children. This is always a delight.

5 Snacks I enjoy – I am not sure there are any snacks I do not enjoy as evidenced by the extra pounds I need to lose. However, here are the top five. Any trend you might notice is purely coincidental.

1. Chocolate Ice Cream

2. Chocolate by Hershey

3. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

4. Donuts with chocolate frosting

5. Little Debbie’s Chocolate Donut Gems

5 Songs I know all of the words to – again, any tends are purely coincidental

1. Piano Man by Billy Joel

2. Angry Young Man by Billy Joel

3. Innocent Man by Billy Joel

4. Good Night Saigon by Billy Joel

5. Allentown by Billy Joel

In fact, I think I am going to put on some Billy Joel while I write the rest of this.

5 Things I would do with 100 Million Dollars

1. Give a very large gift to Teen Challenge (www.teenchallenge.com), the proven cure for the drug epidemic and go to work for them for no pay.

2. Buy my mother-in-law a house and make sure she is taken care of for the rest of her life. She is a great woman who has had a hard life.

3. Create a fund to help plant new churches all over the United States with a focus on largely un-churched areas.

4. Provide funds to improve the horrendous conditions in most Guatemalan orphanages.

5. Set-up small funds for each of my children to give away so they can learn philanthropy and the joy of giving.

5 Places I would run away to

1. Ireland

2. Switzerland

3. New Hampshire (don’t ask me why, because I have no idea)

4. San Diego

5. Guatemala

5 Things I Never Wear

1. Shirts without sleeves

2. Clothes with suggestive wording on them (This is not only because I think it is wrong, but also because people who know me would laugh hysterically if they every saw me try it.)

3. Vertical Stripes – my older brother loves vertical stripes so I boycott them

4. Paisley – My wife made me throw out all of my favorite paisley shirts. She will not let any new ones in the house.

5. Old Man Shorts – I am only 32 and I refuse even though my wife loves them.

5 Favorite TV shows

1. Two and a half Men

2. Boston Legal

3. Big Brother – I want to be on the next one. I will either win it all or be out in the first two weeks. There is no middle road on this one for me.

4. Hogan’s Hero’s

5. Anything on HGTV – I know it is a sickness but none of the psychotropic drugs seem to be working.

5 Biggest Joys

1. Serving God – this is not just joy, but meaning and purpose in life

2. Being part of people taking their next steps toward God

3. Megan – my wife

4. Mia, Cozy and Claudia – my daughters

5. Closing a large gift from a donor who really wants to give it

5 Favorite Toys

1. My computer

2. My home coffee roaster – move over Starbucks.

3. My digital video recorder I made myself using a computer.

4. My way too expensive coffee maker

5. My web hosting account so I can play with my blog and make it do different things.

What is cool in my place

1. Our house is way too new so it has little character. I would have to pick my coffee equipment for roasting green bean and my brewing equipment. Coffee is another joy, but it was not in the top five.

about me…

Rainbow Cross

My mission is simple…
To be on mission with God.

My vision is God’s…
To help the widow and the orphan – the Least of These.

I am…A committeed Christ-follower
who loves a good cup of coffee, good friends and a good book.