My Fickle, Self-Serving heart.

Two years ago, I thought there was far too much post-championship coverage of Florida’s win.  I don’t like Florida.

Last year, I thought there was just about the right amount of post-championship coverage of Kansas’ win.  I like Kansas.

This year, I didn’t think there was nearly enough post-championship coverage of the Heels.  I bleed Carolina Blue.

Maybe it wasn’t the coverage that changed…


Hey folks.  Most of the time the blog is a one-way line of communication.  I say things, and others just listen, with the occasional comment.  This time, I’d love some more interaction.

Our plan for this summer (as previously mentioned) is to go to Santa Cruz, California.  We’ll be gone from May 10th through August 5th.  We had some subleasers lined up to stay at our place while we were gone.

As of yesterday, the people that were staying here fell through.  Now we desperately need somebody (or bodies) to stay here, mainly because our dog needs somebody to keep her company while we’re gone.  We were going to charge folks around 500 bucks per month to stay here, but now that it’s getting down to the wire we are willing to waive the fee if you can keep the dog.  We’d love it if you could pay for any utilities that you use, but beyond that we will let you stay for free.

So, whaddaya say?  Would you like a mountain home for the summer, complete with a very loveable dog?  Pass this along to any(trustworthy)one you know.  Thanks!

I wanna be a world-traveler.

With boots untied and a serious need to pee, I jogged past the visitor center, tripod tucked under my arm.  I glanced at the time: 5:16 AM.  I was hurrying to make it to Bright Angel Point, to watch the sun come up over the Grand Canyon.  It was set to rise at 5:22.  I got to a spot with a great view east and west, and set up the camera.

Then Marge showed up.

I shouldn’t know her name.  I shouldn’t know that she has traveled to Africa and Alaska and the Alps.  I also shouldn’t know that she has no desire to go to the Himalayas and that her favorite thing in the world is dessert in Italy.

I know all of that, from sitting about 30 feet from her watching the sun come up over the world’s most famous canyon.

That’s when it hit me.  I am Marge.  So caught up on myself and how cool I am that I can’t even enjoy what is going on in front of me.  See, Marge didn’t come to the Grand Canyon to see the Grand Canyon.  She came to the Grand Canyon to be able to later, sitting on a boat floating over the Great Barrier Reef, tell someone how beautiful the sun is when it comes up over the Grand Canyon.

And I do the same thing.  In the first paragraph of this post I wanted you the reader to see how well traveled I am.  I want to see the world, so that the world can see me. If I could figure out how to make it revolve around my shoulders, I would.

What a loss it would be to get to the end of my life, stand before Jesus, and tell him how many cities I have visitied, or how many pushups I can do, or how great my magnet collection is.

It’s my prayer that the gospel will continue to change me, and that someday I will actually be more about bringing God glory than about building my list of accomplishments.

But while we are on the subject of my accomplishments, and I can now claim to have peed into the Grand Canyon, just before sunrise.

Welcome to Santa Cruz

Today we saw a long-haired man driving a rusted-out minivan with screwdrivers wedged in the driver’s side window to keep it from falling open. He was driving with his knees eating hummus from a Tupperware dish with a fork. He’s a pretty good representative for the culture at large here. Welcome to Santa Cruz.

Bringing a knife to a gun fight.

I was paired with Patrick, who interned with Campus Crusade along with his wife Molly this past year at the University of Texas.  We took turns sharing how we could use prayer.  I shared how I need wisdom to balance ministry life with family life on project.  I know how to do ministy (or at least I know more about that than I do about how to be a husband and father…) and so my tendency is to default to the campus minister version of a work-a-holic, pouring myself into ministry activity at the expense of my family.

I guess it’s a good thing he prayed.  Who knows how poorly I’d be doing finding balance otherwise.

It’s been a difficult time so far balancing things like staff meetings, meeting with the two students I have been assigned to, helping Jacqueline set up and tear down for meal times (our portable high chair is paying for itself many times over), helping give leadership to the praise band, running sound at various events, spending quality time with my wife who feels most loved by quality time, changing diapers, and finding time somewhere in there to cultivate a relationship with Christ.

The speaker we had come to our “Monday Night Live” meeting two nights ago might as well have been reading from my journal as he described his walk with the Lord in his 20’s and 30’s.  He confessed that his passion for ministry at times eclipsed his passion for his family, not intentionally, but slowly over time. He let his “one thing” become ministry instead of Jesus.

Walking by faith is tough, and scary.  It’s much easier to find a counterfeit and follow after it.  It helps me to understand how the Israelites, just days removed from the Lord’s leadership through Moses, could build a golden cow and worship it.  It’s easier to walk by sight.  My heart is so quick to build counterfeit deities to bow down to, like successful ministry, or a full bank account, or a good appearance to others.  It’s tempting to only blog about the good stuff.

The Christian life is impossible.  How often I forget that the only way to be victorious, to keep all the balls I’m juggling in the air at the same time is to surrender to Christ.  I long for the day that I will selflessly serve my wife.  I long for the day that my interests will be the last thing I think about.

One of the things that I have forgotten hundreds of times since I first heard it is the fact that Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, longs to give me the power I need to live this Christian life.  He has placed in me a new heart, with new desires and new power to fulfill those God-honoring desires.  I’m like a soldier using a knife to fight with, unaware of the assault rifle strapped to my back.

So, keep praying, Patrick.