Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Facebook.... Who would have thought that a Harvard only social networking software would evolve to something that included everyday folks like myself. My original intent was to use this tool to better communicate with our two daughters. One daughter is in France and the other is soon to graduate from college and tour Europe and spend some time in Chile.

So I signed up and added my two daughters as 'friends'. Well low and behold, 5 of their friends added me as their friends and the friendship blossomed! I now have 14 friends not of my own solicitation. Imagine if I really tried ;-)

Facebook is more than just email. It's pictures (tagging pics), writing on the wall, private email, and many many more things (some of which I haven't tried yet). Perhaps the single most pertinant question is "What are you doing now?".

Try it sometime. You'll never want to do email again!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thanks!


My woodpile was so high and deep, I was just wondering how I was ever going to get it all split and stacked. Thanks to a group of men from my church, that question was answered. God is good!
Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

West Albany Repeating Champs


West Albany HS repeats as 5A football champions! In high school sports this is somewhat difficult to accomplish. This year especially for senior quarterback Reese Miller. For just 7 months ago his dad, Greg Miller, died from cancer.

This time, he said, he was able to enjoy the moment and is thankful that coach Nyquist gave him a call early Saturday morning to take him and his younger brother, Garrett, to their father's resting place.

"All I wanted to do for my dad," Miller said, "was win a second state championship."

He then paused, looked up for a brief moment, and continued his celebration with his friends.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm Very Thankful

This year is a year of blessing 'firsts'. First of all I am thankful for all the people that have been praying for me and my spiritual growth. This year has certainly been a growing year.

I would like to thank my wife for being such an encouragement for me despite all of the new pains that keep cropping up. For my two daughters whom I am very proud of. Nat for her stepping into a leadership role with the GFU volleyball team this year. Tal for her finding her true love in France (of all places;-). For all of the new family members (Matt, Paul , Agnes, Lucile and Anne) whom we will get better acquainted with this summer. Also special thanks go to Ed and Connie for graciously opening up their home for Tal and Matt's wedding next summer.

Also my Mom in Eugene (too bad she's a duck fan ;-). She has been a constant source of encouragement over the years. Also my sisters Judi ( very thankful for the salmon steaks and all of the pictures from current events) and Janet for their support in coming to GFU volleyball games to watch Nat. Also for sister Bev who keeps us financially fit ;-)

All in all this has been a very blessed year... Thank you!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Word... "Time"

Yesterday Dee Duke, pastor at Jefferson Baptist Church in Jefferson Oregon spoke at our men's breakfast. He had many illustrations on how we as Christians can become God's favorites by spending time with him. This can come through prayer and reading the word. Prayer should be a time of 'fellowship' not just presenting God with our needs and requests.

Great time in fellowship and prayer. A total of 48 men attended this event.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Unique Memory System

The below video illustrates a unique memory system that includes an electronic parrot named 'Peedee' as a drill instructor. Turn you speakers on as there is audio associated

with this. video
Enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's been a while...

Wow, it's been a while. Since my last post, my oldest daughter (Talia) has gotten engaged to a 'Frenchie' (as she says) and will be living in France for the near future. Our youngest daughter (Natalie) is finishing up her senior year at GFU ('Fox' as the natives say ;-) She keeps fairly busy playing volleyball for the Bruins.

Today, I'm fairly sore as I spent all day yesterday cutting firewood that was made possible by the clearing of land to make way for a horse pasture. Special thanks to Pastor Denny for all of his hard work in helping loading and unloading all of this wood.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Olympic Trials


A few weeks ago the US track and field championships were held in Eugene. During that time Steve McConkey (founder of 4 winds ministries) gave his testimony at our men's prayer breakfast and summarized what he was doing at the trials. Because of his testimony he has been banned from the China olympics and their website has been hacked.

4 Winds is an evangelistic and teaching ministry working with track and field athletes throughout the world.

Steve and Liz McConkey have been in track and field ministries since 1981. Steve was a U.S. National Club Coach from 1982 through 1992, with teams headquartered in Eugene, Fort Worth, and Minneapolis. Athletes were ranked eighty times by Track and Field News. After 1992, 4 Winds started working with athletes on all teams.
They have ministered at the Olympics, the Olympic Trials, and the USA Outdoor Championships. Steve gives evangelistic talks throughout the United States and advises post-collegiate runners. Articles on the ministry have appeared throughout the world.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Tribute to Tim

Last Friday I gave the devotional for our Men's Prayer breakfast. During that devotional I played a video clip from one of the recent Democratic debates in which Tim asked all candidates what their favorite Bible verse was. The results are presented below.



Little did I know that latter on that day Tim would die from a fatal heart attack at the age of 58.

Also the following is a tribute to Tim with his son Luke.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Life is so Precious

As many of you have already heard, Grammy-winning Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman suffered an unthinkable tragedy Wednesday when his 5-year-old daughter was killed in an accident involving her brother.

Chapman's youngest daughter, Maria Sue, was hit in the driveway of her family's Franklin, Tenn., home by an SUV driven by her teenage brother.

"Just hours before this close knit family was celebrating the engagement of the oldest daughter Emily Chapman, and were just hours away from a graduation party marking Caleb Chapman's completion of high school. Now, they are preparing to bury a child who blew out 5 candles on a birthday cake less than 10 days ago," Chapman's manager Jim Houser wrote on a blog dedicated to Maria that was set up for condolences. "These words are unthinkable to type."

This strikes home as my youngest daughter, Natalie and I saw Steven Curtis Chapman perform at Creation NW three years ago. I just can't imagine what losing a daughter like that would be like. As one person from our church body said recently ..."children are God's gifts on loan to us"...

Here's a video that Steven and his daughter made recently...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Attitude

Your attitude can make all the difference in the world. Sit back and watch this video and be amazed at what can be done when someone sets their mind to do something without letting anything get in the way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What if the family turned to Jesus and stopped asking Oprah what to do...

From the Casting Crowns song, What if my people prayed come the following lyrics...

What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the family turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do

Chorus I:
What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would humbly seek His face yeah
And turn from their own way
Chorus II:
He said that He would hear
His promise has been made
He'll answer loud and clear, yeah
If only we would pray

Watch this “ youtube” video and you will see how Oprah has become totally “NewAge”. You will

be so amazed and disturbed by this.


Sunday, April 6, 2008


This afternoon I was in Eugene to listen to a friend that I haven't seen in over 40 years, Joel Burnell. Joel and his wife Renata are with World Venture teaching at the Evangelical School of Theology in Poland.

Today Joel talked about Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), a German pastor and scholar, who played a central role in the Confessing Church during the Nazi period. Because of his stand for Christ he was executed in 1945.
My take-away is that we need to be more socially (social causes) involved in the community and show that you are different because of your love for Christ.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ever heard of a talking Donkey?


If you’ve never read the story of Balaam and his donkey, you need to check it out. It’s a fascinating story of consequences of disobedience, done like a Disney animated feature film (complete with a talking donkey). You’ll find it in the Old Testament in the book of Numbers, chapters 22-25.

I guess what hits me when I read this story is how Balaam, out of his greed, disobeys God, but in the end God is able to accomplish what He wanted, but to an even greater degree.

God uses different methods for different people. Jonah had a dramatic experience with this. I guess the moral of the story is to obey God the first time!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Power of Words

You know most of the time when you pray you feel like it's a one-way conversation with God. You're talking to him but it seems like he's not talking to you through that same medium (prayer). Well I think it's because he talks to us through his word, the Bible.

As I pray, I'm seeing where he will show me passages in his word that are related to what I'm praying about. For example, early yesterday AM I was praying as part of our church's 24 prayer vigil leading up to Easter. It also so happens that I just started a topical memory system course book published by the Navigators. The second verse I memorized was Galatians 2:20 ... "I am crucified with Christ. I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in this body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

This verse really connected me to what I was thanking God during this prayer session... His ultimate sacrifice of dying on the cross for our sins.

Also during this session pastor Denny pointed out how the armor of God can sandwich the "evil powers" of this world through the putting on the full armor of God. Also it can be noted that the verse (Verse 12) that refers to the "evil powers" is sandwiched between the two verses (Verse 11 and 13-17) that talk about the armor. These pieces (of the armor are all held together with prayer.

Yes, the power of words.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jesus... You Took the Fall. You Thought of Me After All...


This video showcases this artist's unique talent. I saw him in Portland last fall at a Casting Crowns concert. Just simply amazing!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

How Do You Tell Someone They're Going to Die?

While telling patients they're going to die is arguably one of the hardest parts of being a doctor, being on the receiving end of the news is certainly not easy, either.

"There's an overall pattern of how humans deal with forthcoming death," said Sherri McCarthy, a professor of psychology and a grief counselor at Northern Arizona University. "Shock or denial is a pretty universal first reaction. Patients say 'it's not me' or 'I'll go to a different doctor.'"


videoWhile initial reports of Patrick Swayze's pancreatic cancer diagnosis came with predictions that the star would have only five weeks to live, the actor's doctor quickly released a statement refuting the rumors.

Comment from Patrick's doctor:
"Patrick has a very limited amount of disease, and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far," Dr. George Fisher, Swayze's physician, said in the statement. "All the reports stating the time frame of his prognosis and his physical side effects are absolutely untrue. We are considerably more optimistic."

A comment from a fan:
Patrick, keep the faith! I am a lung cancer survivor who has chronic pancreatitis. I am about your age - 54 - to be exact. When I was first diagnosed, I was sad, but needless to say, I had been going through so much pain that I wanted it to end. My family, friends, and coworkers prayed for me to get better. I did not even pray for myself! I told my Creator that I was tired and ready to go. Guess what, He decided to listen to the people who prayed to Him for me and I am ever so grateful. All said, Patrick, I will indeed pray for you to get better, just as my people did for me. Prayer works! You will get through this because you will have so many people praying for you.

A comment from God:
Hebrews 9:27-28
27 And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Meet the World’s Strongest Dad

There are inspirational stories that make you smile. And then there are those that leave you in awe. The story of the World’s Strongest Dad is of awe-inspiring variety.

Dick Hoyt is one half of Team Hoyt. The other half is his son, Rick. Rick has been disabled from birth. He can’t walk or talk. In 1972, a group of Tufts University engineers set out to help Rick. They built a computer he could use to write out his thoughts. (You’ll see him typing with it in the beginning of the video.)

video

His parents learned that Rick loved sports. Rick told his father he wanted to enter a five-mile benefit run. Dick pushed his wheelchair-bound son in the race. Soon they were competing in marathons, triathlons and even the Ironman. To date, Team Hoyt has run, biked, and swum in 958 events. Check out Team Hoyt’s Web site for the full story.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Carly's Miracle

This week ABC news ran a video story about an autistic girl named Carly.

Carly writes about her frustrations with her siblings, how she understands their jokes and asks when can she go on a date.

"We were stunned," Carly's father Arthur Fleischmann said. "We realized inside was an articulate, intelligent, emotive person that we had never met. This was unbelievable because it opened up a whole new way of looking at her." This is what Carly wants people to know about autism.

"It is hard to be autistic because no one understands me. People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can't talk or I act differently than them. I think people get scared with things that look or seem different than them." "Laypeople would have assumed she was mentally retarded or cognitively impaired. Even professionals labelled her as moderately to severely cognitively impaired. In the old days you would say mentally retarded, which means low IQ and low promise and low potential," Arthur Fleischman said.


Here's a video that tells her story:

video

"If we had done what so many people told us to do years ago, we wouldn't have the child we have today. We would have written her off. We would have assumed the worst. We would have never seen how she could write these things —

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Men's Breakfast a Success


A week ago last Friday (Feb. 8, 2008) men from South Albany, First Assembly and Grace Bible joined the men from North Albany Community Church for a first ever prayer breakfast. Unofficial head count was 64 men.

Dan, Denny and Bob got us started with jokes and intros/Mike Silva. Russ turned us into 'passionate' gambling men. Dwight had a very convicting testimony. Gene cooked a great meal.

Time well spent. I was truly blessed by this... Ron

PS Special thanks to Jim C. for the picture

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tornado victims find miracles among misery


Miracles never cease to abound. Classic story is found during last week's tornados down south.

CASTALIAN SPRINGS, Tenn. — The muddy field was littered with debris after a wave of violent storms: Living room couches, strollers, children's toys. So when two rescuers came upon a baby, they thought he was a doll.

"We grabbed hold of his neck (to take a pulse) and he took a breath of air and started crying," said David Harmon, a firefighter from a nearby county who was combing the field for tornado victims.

The boy was found at least 100 yards away from where his family's house had been, possibly lifted by the storm's fierce winds, according to witnesses at the scene on Thursday. There was no trace of exactly where the house stood. His mother, who did not survive, was found in the same field.

In a region devastated by tornadoes that killed at least 59 people as they swept through five states, the infant was a sign of hope. The 11-month old boy, named Kyson, was surrounded by flattened homes, bricks from a blown-apart post office and snapped trees, a devastating scene similar to so many communities across the South.

The baby's mother, 24-year-old Kerri Stowell, was one of six people killed in the small community, said Sumner County Sheriff Bob Barker.

Jesus was a healer and miracle worker like no other before or after. He made the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the lame to walk. He healed the sick, cured diseases, fed the hungry, cast out devils and raised the dead to life. St. John says, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." John 21:25.

In the 35 recorded miracles Jesus performed, 23 were physical healings; in three the dead were raised; in another three, food and drink were provided; two were large catches of fish, and the four remaining ones included: calming a storm, walking on the water, withering a fig tree, and providing tax money in a fishes' mouth. Each of Jesus' miracles met a specific material or physical necessity. There is no record of Jesus exercising divine power merely to satisfy idle curiosity.

Eventually, everyone dies. However, because of the greatest miracle of all time, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, there is hope for all of us to live again, and be permanently healed. "Jesus then said, 'I am the one who raises the dead to life! Everyone who has faith in me will live, even if they die." John 11:25. CEV.

The second step to having a wonderful life is accepting the life changing miracle offered to you by Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "If you are tired of carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light." Matthew 11:28 CEV.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Having Fun down south ;-)

North Albany Community Church is sponsoring a youth trip to Oaxaca, Mexico from Feb. 1st to Feb. 9th. They have created a blog. Click here to go there.

Below is a recent posting:
So, in case you do not know what we are going to do in Mexico, I will tell you. We are going to Oaxaca, Mexico to build latrines (bathrooms) and to run a VBS. We will be building at the work site in the morning and then going to different churches to run a VBS program for the children. We have several prayer requests. Could you please pray for one of these requests as you read over them? A few requests are the health of the team, the safety of the team, that we will accomplish all the God wants us to do, and for at least ten people to accept the gospel. We have several others that you would expect from a mission team such as ours. Please keep us in your prayers. We will need it to complete everything that we set out to do. Thank you to all who supported us financially and you who continue to lift us up with your prayer support. It is greatly appreciated. We look forward to see how God uses us in the upcoming days.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

All's Prayer in Love and War!


Weird title for a blog post huh. I thought so also until I heard Dave Cetti talk about this at Worship NW yesterday. What Dave is talking about is prayer is not just asking God it's the total communication with God. Prayer is often approached as the preparation for battle. But the Bible is clear: Prayer is the place of battle. If no one prays no battle is fought. Prayer is striking the blow, service is gathering the results.

Prayer is not only for battle but also for resting. This is where we should come to experience God's love for us.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

2008 Goals

My Goals for 2008
John 8:28,29
I Corinthians 9:24-27
Philippians 3:12-14
James 4:13-15

My walk with God
- Bible reading and study
/ prayer/Christian books

· Bible in a year
(Crosswalk.com 'Bible in a year';
337 days last year;
strive for 350 days this year)
· Read at least 6 books this year;
list to include:
· Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy;
· Heaven by Randy Alcorn;
· Wild at Heart by John Eldridge;
· Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg
· Biblical Eldership by A. Straunch

My family
-Relationship with spouse/children/
financial fitness/home projects/vacations

· Write at least one snail mail letter to both daughters
while they are abroad

· Take an extended western vacation with Sally to Colorado
or Europe depending on extenuating circumstances

My ministry outside our family
-persons to invest in/
ministries that you lead/contacts to make and nurture

· Continue to meet weekly with my accountability partner

Memorize 1 verse every 2 weeks (2 per month)

· Post to my blog at least once a week (more pertinent postings rather than copies or links)

My job
-attitudes to develop and foster/
witness to staff/projects to develop and complete
/financial management

· Complete my performance reviews on time

· Witness to staff through actions/posters/cards
(digital photo frame)

My health and fitness
-program of health management
/measurable points of fitness/attitudes to develop


· Walk/exercise at least 30 min./day
(listen to .mp3 sermons/audio books during exercise)

Goal Maintenance -

· Review them every week for January and then monthly

Saturday, January 12, 2008

We're Out of the Boat Now!

Last Sunday January 6, 2008 North Albany Community Church had a groundbreaking ceremony for their new 3,500 square foot lobby. video
It's truely been exciting to see tangible results from a vision that began over two years ago.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two Girls out of the Country


Well it's hard to believe that we are truly 'empty nesters'. In fact we're 'empty countryers' as both of our daughters are now out of the country. Last Friday at 2:00 AM we woke to take Natalie (our youngest daughter) to the Portland airport to depart for the Dominican Republic. Talia (oldest) is teaching English and American culture to middleschool-age kids in France.

Natalie spent an adventuresome night in NYC before heading on to the DR. She now has a blog in which she's journaling her adventures.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Everything we need for living a Godly Life

As this year comes to an end we tend to focus on the next year and how we can set goals for enriching and improving our life. This morning I was reading from 2 Peter 1 about how God gives us everything we need to live a Godly life.

3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness!

4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.

5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.

6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.

7 Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.

8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A 12 Point Cure for Complaining

A 12 Point Cure for Complaining, by Bill Izard (http://www.bulletininserts.org/)

Complaining is unbecoming of the true Christian and yet we are proficient at it. The cure is found in these verses. In Christ we are never hopeless or forsaken. Every trial has meaning. Meditate on this cure in order to change both your language and your heart.

1. God commands me never to complain.

“Do all things without complaining and disputing” (Philippians 2:14,nas).

2. God commands me to give thanks in every circumstance.

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

3. God commands me to rejoice always, and especially in times of trial.

“Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4); “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16); “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2).

4. I always deserve much worse than what I am suffering now—in fact, I deserve hell.

“Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?” (Lamentations 3:39)

“Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-3).

5. In light of the eternal happiness and glory that I will experience in Heaven, this present trial is extremely brief and insignificant, even if it were to last a lifetime.

“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18); “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:19).

6. My suffering is far less than that which Christ suffered, and He did not complain.

“Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).

7. To complain is to say God is not just.

“Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

8. Faith and prayer exclude complaining.

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

9. This difficulty is being used by God for my good and it is foolish for me to complain against it.

“And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

10. Those more faithful than I have suffered far worse than I, and did so without complaint.

“…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. All these, having gained approval through their faith…” (Hebrews 11:35-39)

11. Complaining denies that God’s grace is entirely sufficient.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

12. The greatest suffering, the worst trial or difficulty, can never rob me of that which is of greatest value to me and my greatest joy, namely the love of Christ.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A letter from France

For those of you that don't know, we have two daughters. One daughter, Talia is spending 8 months in France teaching English and American culture to French middle schoolers. Below is an excerpt from a recent email.

...For those of you who have been asking, I have finally found a church in Rouen to get plugged into. I've only been twice but the people are fabulous there! Sometimes they're fabulously funny as well. For instance the first time I went, the pastor and his family were away on vacation and it was up to the congregation to man the service--good times, let me tell ya! There was the most precious old man who was filling in on the piano accompaniment who I think was fairly deaf... yes, it made for some interesting accompaniment and frequently we would get a song started, only to be terribly off key and have to start over and practice a bit! I find that random laughter at inappropriate times tends to not help my weird foreigner status so I tried to keep the cracking up to a minimum. I have decided to kidnap the Pastor's children after becoming friends with them this last Sunday. They are three of the most adorable little blond mischief makers and since the family is originally from England they say things like "that would be just delightful" and "lovely" and "would you like a bit of tea?" Ahh precious....

...
Well, this concludes another fascinating episode of the differences in French and American culture. I hope you have all learned never to attempt French paperwork and always avoid the piles of poop on foreign sidewalks! Newho, for those of you that are Christian, thanks so much for your prayers! They are always much appreciated! My biggest request would be help with the language. Even though I know I get better and better all the time, it still continues to be a big hindrance! There's something about communicating correctly with people that somehow improves your quality of life... ; ) Ciao for now!
Talia

We have another daughter, Natalie who will be (Lord willing) heading to the Dominican Republic to study for a semester. Can hardly wait to see what God has in store for both girls.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Letter from Hell

Have you ever wondered what someone would say if they could send you a message from the 'after-life'. In this video below that scenario was dramatized. Watch and ponder.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Catching Fish


Saw the above photo and was reminded of how we as Christians are supposed to be fishers of men. Sometimes our approach leaves something to be desired ;-).

Below is an excerpt from a recent article written by Rick Warren.

To catch fish, you’ve got to know their habits, their preferences, and their feeding patterns. Certain fish like smooth water. Others are bottom crawlers. Some like rushing water. Others hide under rocks. You’ve got to know what the fish you’re trying to reach like to do. If you’re going to understand and reach non-Christians, you’ve got to begin with their mindset.

The Bible says in Luke 6, “Jesus knew what they were thinking” (GW). In fact, multiple times in Scripture we read that Jesus knew what the people whom he was ministering to were thinking. Jesus gives us a great example of someone thinking like a fish.

Jesus says in Matthew 10:16, “I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Jesus is saying we need to be strategic. Think about who you are trying to reach before you try to do evangelism. Unfortunately, we often fulfill only the second half of that verse. We’re harmless as doves, but not as wise as serpents.

If I went overseas as a missionary, I could have all of my doctrine right – be totally scriptural, I could have the truth that could change lives, but I’d still have to learn the language.

That’s true even in the country where we grew up. You have to learn the language of the unbeliever. They don’t talk in religious terms. I often hear about how resistant people are to the Gospel. But I don’t think that’s true. They’re not resistant. They’re just on a different wavelength.

About 20 to 30 years ago in the United States , CB radios were big. And people would communicate through these radios on different wavebands. I could have the best message in the world and if I’m on channel 4 and you’re on channel 8, it won’t get through. I’ve got to get on your channel.

I’ve got to speak your language. I don’t expect you to speak my language as a Christian. I have to learn to speak your language. That’s called love. That’s called caring enough about people and not letting the method prevent the message from getting through. You’ve got to start where people are.


On a similar note our associate pastor at North Albany Community Church, Rob Buhl related a 'fishing story' from his Navy days. While stationed in Alaska he and a buddy one day went walking up a river in northern Alaska while the salmon were swimming upstream to spawn. He remarked that wouldn't this be a great place to fish. His buddy said no. These fish have but one thing on their mind and it's not eating bait off a hook.

The lesson learned here is to know the right time and the right bait when you are fishing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A MORNING WITH TONY DUNGY

Greetings:

It's been a while and I thought I would get back into the posting mode by referencing something I read this AM from Joel Rosenberg's blog.

Enjoy... Ron

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By Joel C. Rosenberg

(WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2007) -- For the past several days, I've been here at the Christian Booksellers Association convention and have had the opportunity to spend time with some truly gifted authors and performers.

Last night, Lynn and I attended a private dinner for Tyndale authors and staff where American Idol finalist Mandisa shared her sometimes funny and sometimes humiliating experiences on the show and how her faith in Jesus Christ gave her the strength to forgive Simon Cowell before 30 million people when he attacked her for her weight. She also sang three fabulous songs from her new album, and talked about her new book, Idoleyes.

Monday night, we had dinner with Brother Andrew and Al Janssen, authors of a must-read new book about the spiritual revolution underway in the Middle East called Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe In Christ, which I'll review it later this summer.

Monday morning, I had the privilege of being one of three keynote speakers kicking off the trade show, along with Tony Dungy, Super Bowl-winning coach of the Indianapolis Colts and author of the new book, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life, and Priscilla Shirer, the daughter of famed preacher Tony Evans and author of Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks.

Bottom line: Tony Dungy is a class act -- humble, self-deprecating, gentle, and radiating the very quiet strength he writes and speaks about. His new book has just released this week from Tyndale, and we had a great time chatting back stage before the event. I introduced Tony and his wife to my wife, Lynn, and two of our sons (who I must say seemed a lot more excited about meeting a world champion football coach than hearing my talk!).

Tony graciously signed a football for our boys and then went out and gave a fabulous speech. He said the defining moment of his career was actually not winning the Super Bowl this year, as exciting and rewarding as that was (especially when at during a key playoff game, the Colts were down 21 points at half time yet still came back to win). The defining moment of his career, as he writes about in the first chapter of the book, was being fired as head coach in Tampa five years ago. At that moment, he said, he really felt devastated and humiliated and was tempted to quit the business all together. But he described how his relationship with Christ sustained him through one of the toughest seasons of his life. He said Jesus taught him to stay focused, to be patient, to work hard, to be persistent, and to have faith that God loves him and has a wonderful plan for his life.

Imagine if Tony had quit then. What if he had thrown in the towel and left the game he loved after the setback in Tampa? He had no idea at the time, of course, that he was just a few years away from being the first African-American head coach in NFL history to win the Championship. But, as Tony said, God knew what was ahead and He wanted Tony to trust Him and follow Him no matter what.

Tony also shared the story of playing on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. "Mean" Joe Greene once told him that after three tough and disappointing seasons on the Steelers in the early 70s he had almost quit out of exhaustion and frustration. He had come so close to packing it in. Imagine if Greene had walked away from the game he loved in 1973?. What a huge mistake that would have been. That very year, 1973, the Steelers drafted rookie wide receiver Lynn Swann. They started winning big, and went on to win the Super Bowl four times that decade (74, 75, 78, 79).

Too many people, Tony noted, give up on their dreams too soon, rather than summoning up a quiet strength to keep going, even in the face of disappointment and opposition, and thus they never learn just how much they could really accomplish. Where does that inner strength come from? For Tony, the answer is clear: through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In the book he describes that faith and how it has guided him in his career, his marriage, and the tragic death of his son a few years ago. It's a powerful, inspiring story, and one that I'm really enjoying.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Wild Dream


I was reading in the book of Daniel chapter 2 this AM. It's talking about how King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that disturbed him so much that he couldn't sleep. He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed...

Well nobody could interpret the dream because first Nebuchadnezzar required that they tell him what the dream was and then second what it meant. Daniel asked God for supernatural wisdom to interpret the dream as follows...

27 Daniel replied, "There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can tell the king such things. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed. 29 "While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. The revealer of mysteries has shown you what is going to happen. 30 And it is not because I am wiser than any living person that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wanted you to understand what you were thinking about.

31 "Your Majesty, in your vision you saw in front of you a huge and powerful statue of a man, shining brilliantly, frightening and awesome. 32 The head of the statue was made of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze, 33 its legs were of iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and clay. 34 But as you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain by supernatural means. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. 35 The whole statue collapsed into a heap of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. The pieces were crushed as small as chaff on a threshing floor, and the wind blew them all away without a trace. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth. 36 "That was the dream; now I will tell Your Majesty what it means. 37 Your Majesty, you are a king over many kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 38 He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold. 39 "But after your kingdom comes to an end, another great kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third great kingdom, represented by the bronze belly and thighs, will rise to rule the world. 40 Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth great kingdom, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes. 41 The feet and toes you saw that were a combination of iron and clay show that this kingdom will be divided. 42 Some parts of it will be as strong as iron, and others as weak as clay. 43 This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But this will not succeed, just as iron and clay do not mix. 44 "During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed; no one will ever conquer it. It will shatter all these kingdoms into nothingness, but it will stand forever. 45 That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain by supernatural means, crushing to dust the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold."The great God has shown Your Majesty what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain."

Below there is a link to a discussion has pictorial proof that King Nebuchadnezzar actually built the great nation of Babylon. Here is that link

Page 2 of this link is also interesting as it gives more of a history of Babylon.



Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Close Encounter


This is the story about how God protected David and somewhat 'turned the tables' on Saul who had been hunting him down. Read on...

Now some messengers from Ziph came back to Saul at Gibeah to tell him, "David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which overlooks Jeshimon." So Saul took three thousand of his best troops and went to hunt him down in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul camped along the road beside the hill of Hakilah, near Jeshimon, where David was hiding. But David knew of Saul's arrival, so he sent out spies to watch his movements. David slipped over to Saul's camp one night to look around. Saul and his general, Abner son of Ner, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors.

"Will anyone volunteer to go in there with me?" David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother."I'll go with you," Abishai replied. So David and Abishai went right into Saul's camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the warriors were lying asleep around him. "God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!" Abishai whispered to David. "Let me thrust that spear through him. I'll pin him to the ground, and I won't need to strike twice!" "No!" David said. "Don't kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD's anointed one? Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die in battle or of old age. But the LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But I'll tell you what � we'll take his spear and his jug of water and then get out of here!" So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul's head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the LORD had put Saul's men into a deep sleep.

David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance. Then he shouted down to Abner and Saul, "Wake up, Abner!""Who is it?" Abner demanded. "Well, Abner, you're a great man, aren't you?" David taunted. "Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven't you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him? This isn't good at all! I swear by the LORD that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the LORD's anointed! Look around! Where are the king's spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?" Saul recognized David's voice and called out, "Is that you, my son David?"And David replied, "Yes, my lord the king. Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime? But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the LORD. For you have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the LORD's people and worship as I should. Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the LORD? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?"

Then Saul confessed, "I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong." "Here is your spear, O king," David replied. "Let one of your young men come over and get it. The LORD gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the LORD placed you in my power, for you are the LORD's anointed one. Now may the LORD value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles." And Saul said to David, "Blessings on you, my son David. You will do heroic deeds and be a great conqueror." Then David went away, and Saul returned home.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Special Women in My Life



As Mother's Day approaches my thoughts go to my mom and wife as they are very special mothers. According to Proverbs 31 they are truely "P31" women.

Sal and I have been blessed with two lovely daughters, Nat and Tal. Below are a few pics of various activties that they/we have been involved in.

Fun at Mary's Peak:

Tal's chalk driveway that
greeted family members at Easter:








Nat and Steph on their Road trip:





Canon Beach:

Monday, April 23, 2007

God is on my side

(AP) The photo caught the world's attention: a lone 15-year-old girl holding back a wall of riot police moving in to demolish Jewish homes illegally erected in the West Bank.

Speaking for the first time since The Associated Press image won a Pulitzer prize this week, the girl, who would identify herself only as Nili, said God was on her side during the confrontation.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Job

For the past 22 days I have been reading about Job and how he continued to trust God despite his suffering.

The Book of Job helps us to understand the following: Satan cannot bring financial and physical destruction upon us unless it is by God's permission. God has power over what Satan can and cannot do. It is beyond our human ability to understand the "why's" behind all the suffering in the world. The wicked will receive their just dues. We cannot always blame our suffering and sin on our lifestyles. Suffering may sometimes be allowed in our lives to purify, test, teach or strengthen the soul. God remains enough, deserves and requests our love and praise in all circumstances of life.

Why do the righteous suffer? This is the question raised after Job loses his family, his wealth, and his health. Job's 3 friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, come to comfort him and to discuss his crushing series of tragedies. They insist his suffering is punishment for sin in his life. Job, though, remains devoted to God through all of this and contends that his life has not been one of sin. A fourth man, Elihu, tells Job he needs to humble himself and submit to God's use of trials to purify his life. Finally, Job questions God Himself and learns valuable lessons about the sovereignty of God and his need to totally trust in the Lord. Job is then restored to health, happiness and prosperity beyond his earlier state.

Practical Application:

  • Don't get angry at God. Use problems to strengthen your character and bring glory to God.
  • Refuse to be proud.
  • Do you feel like God has left you to face your problems alone? Trust God to work in your life day by day.
  • Let God be your source of security.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fruits of the Spirit


In Galatians 5:22,23 Paul talks about the fruits of the Spirit. At North Albany Community Church the women are participating in a "Clue" club. They have been given "secret partners" to give "clues" and gifts to for an eight week period of time. This week's clue is to describe which "Gifts of the Spirit" the clue-giver best exemplifies.

Below is a self-rating Fruits of the Spirit score card.

Rate yourself honestly on the fruits of the Spirit in your own life on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 means this is the way I act today, 1 means I have a long way to go on this item.


LOVE. Love is pre-eminent in my life. I see all people through the eyes of Christ. I have a deep compassion for the lost, the lonely, the weak and the poor. I am magnanimous towards those who "get in my hair." I keep no record of wrongs. I give selflessly, sometimes till it hurts. I go the extra mile. I would rather forgive 20 injuries than avenge one. God always comes first.
JOY. People know me for my joyful disposition even when there is a cause to grieve. There is a contagious radiance about me because "the joy of the Lord is my strength." I remain strong and positive when things go wrong because I trust in God. I am quick to see the brighter side of things. I know that for my shattered plans, God has better plans. My contentment springs from the knowledge that God is sovereign and Jesus is coming, again.
PEACE. The peace of God rules my heart and mind. I stay calm in disturbing situations because my eyes are fixed on Jesus. With few exceptions (and I'm working on these) I enjoy wholesome and beautiful relationships all round. Whenever relationships are strained or fractured I take the initiative in moving toward healing and restoration. I can see the dark spots in my own life and am quick to confess them. I am willing always to pay the price of being a peace-maker in a world of bruised relationships.
PATIENCE. I never make hasty judgements or speak hasty words. I am not quick at jumping to conclusions. I am patient with people when they fail or fall. I face opposition and discouragement with composure. I never give up. I keep cool while others are hot. I am not irritable or easily angered. My "tolerance level" is extremely high. I can put up with a lot. I accept people for who they are and not for how they perform. When I confront others, they feel I do so because I care!
KINDNESS. People feel "love's touch" when they're around me. I am blessed with a M-I-L-D disposition (though, occasionally, I do turn that "M" upside down). I let God deal with the bitterness, anger and malice in my heart. A deep respect and consideration for others, coupled with a forgiving spirit, makes relating to people such a pleasure! The kindness of Jesus is seen in me.
GOODNESS. The goodness of God touches my life and then overflows into the lives of others. I am a caring person, a friend and neighbor to many. A genuine benevolence characterizes my life. When I see a need, I respond to it in the compassion of Christ. I am sensitive to the evil and suffering around, and seek to be an instrument of God's liberating touch. Uplifting the quality of people's lives is a major concern to me.
FAITHFULNESS. I make promises and keep them. I am a man of my word. People can count on me. There is no gap in what I say and what I do. Fidelity is the hallmark of my marriage and other commitments. I do not flirt with the world or with anyone. I am true to the Lord, to my spouse, to people, and to causes that God entrusts to me. They are all sacred to me!
MEEKNESS. I am willing "to go under" any yoke that God wants me to to be SUBMISSIVE to God and to one another out of our mutual reverence for Christ. I freely and willingly accept all that God, in His providence, gives or withholds from me. I am willing to step "under the yoke" with Christ and my co-workers in kingdom service. I am willing to step aside when it is time to do so. I bring myself under the authority of Christ and His Church. I can "glory in my infirmities so that the power of God may be made manifest in me." I bear provocation without being inflamed by it. I give a soft answer when angry words are spoken. I respect my own rights and the rights of others, willing to give up mine if the Lord so guides me. I am a pro-actor not a reactor. I relate to others as one among sinners never arrogantly.
SELF-CONTROL. The key to my life is self-mastery. I am temperate in my thoughts, words, and actions. I live a disciplined life-in private and in public. I have complete mastery of my body, my mind, my emotions and will, my time, my possessions, my desires and appetites. I never lose control. I don't eat too much, drink too much, work too much, play too much, or sleep too much: no excesses whatever! Jesus is Lord over every area of my life!
Thanks to Rev. Neville Koch for the fruit of the spirit rating exercise.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Power of "Un-"



Have you considered the prefix un-? We use it all the time, tacking it to the front of words to make a point.Undoing the negative un-s from our lives is no easy task, and putting the word into practice after the un- is deleted is even more difficult.

Please take time to watch the following music video, "Never Been Unloved” by Michael W. Smith. The message is powerful. No matter how alone you feel, no matter how many un-s you can tack onto words that describe you, you are never unloved by Jesus.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Availability Vs. Ability

Yesterday afternoon we took our daughter Natalie back up to school after spending a weekend with with us. That evening we attended church with her up in Tigard. This church is a small church of around 100 people but it neat to see how God is working and how they are growing.
Next Sunday they will be going to 2 Sunday services.

Pastor Shawn reminds me of a young pastor Denny (our pastor at NACC). He illustrated the "Availability vs. Ability" point by an example of when he took his nephew and friends down to a skatepark in Newberg. A person that he didn't know (not part of the group) broke his ankle and was is in a great deal of pain. Pastor Shawn took the initiative to take him to the hospital, then wait his medical attention, bought his lunch and then drove him to his place of work. During this time he prayed for him and shared Christ with him.

In relating this story, Shawn illustrated how he didn't have all of the formal abilities but that he was willing to be used as God led in this situation. It would have been very easy to just call an ambulance and been done with it. Instead he invested most of a day with this person which may effect where they spend eternity.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Four things on earth that are Small but unusually Wise




I was reading in Proverbs 30: 24-28 this morning.
There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:

Ants � they aren't strong, but they store up food for the winter.

BOTH ANTS & HUMANS SHARE THESE ENDEAVORS



LIVESTOCK FARMING

herd aphids & "milk" them for nectar-like food

CULTIVATION

growing underground gardens for food


CHILDCARE
feeding young & providing intensive nursery care

EDUCATION
teaching younger ants the tricks of the trade

CLIMATE CONTROL
maintaining a strict 77o F. for developing ants

CAREER SPECIALIZATION

changing & learning new careers


CIVIC DUTIES
responding with massive group projects

ARMED FORCES
raising an army of specialized soldier ants

SECURITY
warding off other ants, insects, and animals

EARTH MOVERS

move at least as much soil as earthworms


SOCIAL PLANNING
maintain ratio of workers, soldiers, & reproductives

ENGINEERING
tunnel from 2 directions & meet exactly midway

COMMUNICATIONS

complex tactile, chemical communication system


FLOOD CONTROL
incorporate water traps to keep out rain

LIMITED FREE WILL
inter-relationships more symbiotic than coercive


Rock badgers � they aren't powerful, but they make their homes among the rocky cliffs.


We as Christians can also learn a lot from the rock badger. This small, fiesty animal (also called a coney or hyrax) knows exactly where to go when danger comes.

The large tattered crags jutting up from the mountains form a perfect hiding place for the badger. For example, if an eagle decides to swoops down and capture this fiesty little animal for a meal, he is protected by the rock. The eagle would virtually have to tear the entire mountain apart to get to its prey!

Locusts �
they have no king, but they march like an army in ranks.

One little grasshopper seems insignificant as it leaps across the lawn; but when it joins forces with other grasshoppers, watch out! The resulting swarm can soon devour all the vegetation in its path. That's because grasshoppers demonstrate the power of community. What they cannot do by themselves, they can accomplish together.

We can also learn a valuable lesson from these small creatures. Believers can make far greater advances for Christ's cause when they act and pray together than they could ever make alone. When Christians are united in serving the Lord, they can become a mighty force for God.

Lizards � they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings' palaces.

Most spiders and lizards are small and somewhat disgusting, yet it's amazing where they can go. Spiders and lizards can be seen lodging high up in 5-star hotels.

How do they get there? Did they climb the stairs or scale the walls? Did they take the elevator perhaps? Who knows? Spiders and lizards can sneak past guards and maids undetected and can even end up in the finest establishments. The author of Proverbs 30:28 marveled that spiders and lizards could be found even in the throne room of kings!

Quote: "In the mystery of grace, God takes unlikely people and puts them into His palace for eternity. And we don't have to climb the walls to get there. Wow!"

--- Haddon W. Robinson