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Archive for March, 2006

some stuff I read at SonScape

March 31, 2006 2 comments

Here are some of the books that I read and had God speak to me through while I was at SonScape:

– Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry
– Brennan Manning, A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred
– John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus
– Reginald Johnson, Your Personality and the Spiritual Life
– Otto Kroeger, Type Talk : The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work

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Jacob the photographer

March 31, 2006 1 comment

Here are a few shots Jacob took of the family tonight. I think he has an eye for this kind of thing.

Posted by Picasa

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driving in a winter wonderland

March 21, 2006 1 comment

Today at 12:41 pm Stephanie and I left Maple Grove, MN. Right now (11:22 pm) we are sitting in a hotel room in Salina, KS. A massive snow storm has shut down Interstate 70 and halted out attempt at an all night drive. We are having a good time being with one another though despite the sometimes tough driving conditions. Stephanie drove through the worst of it all. She is a trooper. And I am a lucky guy.

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see you next Friday

March 20, 2006 6 comments

Tomorrow Stephanie and I are leaving for Colorado Springs, CO. We are going to spend 8 days at the SonScape Renewal Center. This is a place specifally designed for pastors and their spouses to get away from it all and focus on their relationship with one another and the Lord. At SonScape we will have time in a group setting with four other couples, some private counseling as a couple, and plenty of time for individual meditation and devotions. Stephanie and I are driving there so we’ll also get about 35 hours of ‘windshield time’ with one another as well.

I am looking forward to this time to get away and re-focus on things that are truly important. I am anticipating that God will do wonderful things in my and Stephanie’s hearts. This is a step in the right direction for us as a couple and for me as a person. It will be hard to leave the kids for so long, but I am confident that in the end even they will benefit from our experience.

Please pray for us while we are gone. Pray that God would speak to our hearts and heal us. Pray that he would continually help us to ‘shine’ in his glory and that we would be transformed more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. Pray that God would meet me in the shadow of Pike’s Peak and show me things about his love and grace and mercy that I have never experienced before.

Please pray also for the brave souls who are entering into the war zone that is our home and staying with our two wonderful little terrors. We will surely miss them!

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happy birthday Stephanie

March 20, 2006 3 comments

Yesterday was my wife’s 26th birthday. We went out for dinner and had a great night talking and being with one another without the distraction of the little ones we love (thanks to Eric and Anne Bloomstrand who watched them). My wife is an amazing woman who I am learning to love and cherish more and more all the time. She brings so much more to life’s table than I can adaquetly express in a blog post.

Among other things she is…

-funny
-God-loving
-beautiful
-caring
-kind
-forgiving
-hospitable
-beautiful
-a prayer warrior
-sensitive
-willing to try things
-willing to laugh at herself
-a great mom
-tender
-improving as a cook
-easy to be around
-and beautiful

Stephanie, thank you for choosing me to share your life. I don’t deserved to be loved as passionately as you love me. Thank you for making me better and for showing me Jesus everyday.

ps- This is a great post for everyone else to write about how awesome Stephanie is. Leave her a note in my comments or go to her blog by clicking here.

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our woodland hills trip


So the last few weeks Stephanie and I have been taking the opportunity to worship together and check out a few of the churches in our area that we don’t normally get to visit. Today we met our friends Jon and Emily Towey at Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood, MN. Woodland Hills is probably familiar to many people mostly because of its highly popular and occasionally controversial Senior Pastor Greg Boyd. To learn more about Boyd check out his interview over at the Leadership Blog.

Here are a few thoughts about our visit to Woodland.

– The church meets in a renovated K-Mart. There was poor signage outside and no one helping anybody park. Parkers would have been helpful as we were coming to and leaving after the service.
– Once inside there were huge signs that showed you where to go. If you get lost in there, no one can help you. The signs are massive and clear. They are simple and down to earth. I loved them. There were also many people standing near information ready to assist you.
– The children’s check in was the best we have been at yet. However, even here the sign-in desk was under-staffed and so our wait time was longer than necessary. The children’s hallway was very secure and the kids room were clean and filled with very friendly people and bright fun toys.
– The worship room was large with nice chairs and plenty of leg room. This was a nice feature. The draw back of the room were poles that blocked site lines and the camera guy who sat 30 feet off the front of the stage up on some type of platform.
– A large African American man led a charismatic worship set. It was great to worship in a different style and to be stretched in the many ways we can give God praise.
– Boyd’s message was great. He talked about worship and how that means we ascribe to God all that is true about him. He talked about how as we repeatedly ascribe truth and worth and beauty to God (in one case he slipped and said booty which was pretty funny) we become transformed more and more into God’s likeness. He used 2 Corinthians 3:13-18 as his main text. To download it, click here after 4 pm on Monday.

We enjoyed our time at Woodland Hills. I loved Boyd’s passion and intensity in sharing the message. His love for God overflows out of his mouth as he speaks. I believe he desperately believes in the Kingdom of God and its life transforming power.

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unwritten

March 20, 2006 1 comment

I know that the song wasn’t very good for the fate of American Idol hopeful Alya Brown but the lyrics from Natasha Bedingfield’s song Unwritten have really been hitting me lately. Here is a sample from the chorus:

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

You really have to hear it to appreciate it.

I think this would be a great song to do in church someday during a service. Listening to the song reminds me that God has a plan for all my days and that despite whatever baggage my past holds the future remains wide open, yet unwritten. And my desire is to write a ‘Master’piece with whatever days I have left before me.

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