Monday, July 30, 2007

Overwhelmed in Worship

I was leading worship in High School group yesterday. It was going to just be me on the acoustic guitar, but the HS staff wanted to try to have a band so we threw some drums and a bass on stage and had a couple staff guys play. It worked out pretty well, but it was funny when we were getting ready. We just did four songs.

The first set was Undignified and Oh Praise Him (Crowder). The kids just got back from camp and so they were pretty into it. They had fun with Undignified and then really started going.

Then after the message by Matt Doan about not letting their camp experience fade like the rush from an energy drink (which was great but filled with a lot of obvious "I didn't really prepare" moments like asking everyone for one thing about camp that changed them, breaking into small huddle groups, and talking about the summer theme in general terms - sorry bro, I had to call you out) we played two more songs. But the bass player was leading worship in our Elevation service the next hour and had to leave. So it was just me and Peter playing drums for Enough which was good.

Then we started to play From The Inside Out (United) and one of the students comes up on stage and just starts playing the bass - perfectly with no charts or anything. It was awesome. Then we are singing the song and I hear the kids really singing out and the words were really speaking to my heart and I suddenly and surprisingly become overwhelmed with the Spirit of God and feel tears coming and my throat tighten up. I couldn't sing and the kids just kept it going.

This was one of my most awesome worship moments ever and it was so unplanned and beautiful.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bitter Blogger

I loved my Dinner Party for 6 post and I get no love. No comments. No arguments. No lists of your own. I am a bitter blogger and I think that's why I haven't had a post since last Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dinner Party for 6

Marko did this and asked others to post about the six people they would want to invite to a dinner party. This could be anyone in the world or throughout history - obviously alive or dead. If they are alive, they must be people you couldn't normally hang out with because they are too famous or something like that. I'm not going to include Jesus just because that's too obvious. This is also supposed to have a good, interesting cohesion as a group. We'll see.

Here are my six people:
1. Bono. Hands down. Easiest choice in the world. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a psycho-fan about U2. Bono has some of the most interesting opinions about Christianity, music, and humanitarianism of anyone alive. Those are three of my favorite topics to discuss so it should be sweet.
2. Jael - the girl in the Bible that stuck a tent peg through a dude's forehead. I want to hear how that went down. Plus, it would be fun to hear her and Bono discuss war and pacifism.
3. Mario Batali - I love this guy's food and he seems like a fun guy to have dinner with so I think he would enhance any dinner party. He also would have to cook the food and bring the wine.
4. Martin Luther King Jr. This would also add to the war and peace conversation, plus the side of how we should live and act as Christians with the needs and issues that we have in the world today. Plus, he is just pretty sweet. He would have the volume and energy to keep up with Mario and Bono. Lastly, Bono would probably be intimidated by him and that would help me feel more comfortable around Bono.
5. Diedrich Bonhoeffer. I love this man's writings and they have been very inspiring for me - especially the notion of costly grace vs. cheap grace. He also led a group of Christians that tried to assassinate Hitler so he would be an interesting addition to the war and peace conversation. He could hold his own with these big guns.
6. Ryne Sandberg. He was the great hall-of-fame 2nd baseman for the Chicago Cubs and is my favorite baseball player of all time. He would be there for when I get bored of the serious war and peace conversation and I just want to ask him questions about baseball.

I love this list. I can't wait for the meal. Too bad it will never happen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Zoo Today

I took the day off work today and took Grace to the zoo with my sister and here three adult kids and my brother, his wife, and their three kids. It was a pretty awesome day. We were there from 9am-3:30pm and saw a bunch of amazing things.
This picture below is Grace and her cousin Lindy. They are great friends.
Grace and Lindy
This next one is of the first highlight. We saw a black Jaguar being fed a leg of lamb on a rope. The jaguar had to attack and "kill" the leg of lamb before being allowed to eat it. AMAZING!
Jaguar eating
Then we saw a white wolf being walked down the path and the zookeepers told us to watch out. I don't have a picture of that though. The next highlight was of the gorillas. I liked this picture. Very dramatic.
This next one is by far my favorite picture of the day. The polar bears were so active and fun. I got a bunch of shots of this one playing with his ball - this was the best.
Polar Bear
The last photo highlight was of this rhino eating leaves. Funny lips.
I love the zoo and I love family. Today was a great day. But right now I am seriously pooped.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Brick and Famous People

We watched the movie Brick this weekend. It was super weird, but sort of cool, mostly weird because all these high schoolers talk like it's the 1920's and they are geniuses. It was all filmed at my high school, San Clemente High School, so that's why I watched it. Then at the end I see: Written and Directed by Rian Johnson. I was like, "Wait a minute? I know that guy." He was a guy in my grade at my high school that I knew and talked to occasionally, but I have not seen or talked to since high school. Now he is going to be directing a film he wrote called The Brothers Bloom - a studio picture with real famous actors like Rachel Weisz, Adrian Brody, and Mark Ruffalo.
It was also weird in the movie because there was an unseen character who is killed named Frisco Farr. There was a guy in my high school named Frisco Fayer. The girl who gets killed was named Emily Kostich (played by the girl who is Claire on Lost). There was a girl I was pretty good friends with and actually went on a date with named Kristen Kostich. That was tripping me out during the movie.

Famous people from my High School while I was there:

Rian Johnson
Jorge Garcia - Hurley on Lost
Tiffany Brissette - the girl who played V.I.C.I. the Robot on Small Wonder. She was already famous while we were in High School but we all just made fun of her and asked her to pick up desks and stuff like that.
Then a bunch of surfers like Shane Beschen (Top 5 in World) and Colin McPhillips (3 Time World Champion of Longboarding who I used to surf with all the time).

Are there any famous people from your high school while you were there?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007


Excellent Sleep & Other Stuff

I felt guilty for trash-talking Ella too much on the blog. I have had excellent sleep the past couple of nights. Last night was the first time Ella made it 6 hours. She ate at 10:15pm and 4:15am. Not bad. So thank you Ella for the wonderful sleep. She is an awesome baby and we love her a ton.

Last night was Grace's last soccer game as part of The Pink Ladybugs. We had a pizza party at LampPost Pizza afterwards. It was pretty fun. The parents of the team bought me two $25 gift cards to iTunes and Borders. Books and Music - I love them both!! We are not going to do soccer in the Fall. Grace likes going to soccer, dressing up for soccer, playing with the girls, snack, and the tunnel after the game, but I don't think she actually likes playing soccer. So we will have her do it next summer after she is a bit older. She already does swimming and ballet so we have enough activities.

I went to Beach Boogie with our Jr Highers yesterday after speaking at Jr High on Wednesday night and it was fun. I feel like I'm finally starting to get to know some of these kids a little bit. I got sunburned on the sides of my back yesterday at the beach. It hurts pretty bad.

Alright, you probably stopped reading a couple paragraphs ago.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Awake Since 2:00am

Yes...I have been awake since 2am. Ella was crying and wouldn't sleep and I eventually just had to go watch TV with her on my lap.

TV Notes:
The Next Food Network Star - I want Amy to win. The other two are annoying and Jag is a cheater so they eliminated him. I like Amy's point of view - a good mixture of culinary expertise, French style, and housewife.
Hell's Kitchen - this show is getting annoying. The people can't even cook. Where do they choose these people from? They suck. They overcook and undercook constantly. One potential executive "chef" didn't know what ahi was. Give me a freaking break???
Top Chef - this is the coolest cooking reality show on TV and I just discovered it. They are all actually real chefs who know what they are doing. It's a pleasure to watch instead of being painful.

Yes, I am a little too into cooking reality shows.

I have to speak tonight in Jr High and I'm going to be exhausted by 8:00pm after being at work for 10 hours by that point. I also went to sleep last night at around 10:30pm so that's about 3.5 hours of sleep. AAAGGGHHHH!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Church Office

These are hilarious - especially the second one. It's The Office, but for youth ministry. It mocks youth ministry in a way that probably only youthworkers will really think is funny, but it made me laugh out loud.

Episode 1

Episode 2

ht: Chris Goeppner

Friday, July 13, 2007


Our sleep situation had been pretty good. It seemed pretty normal - waking up to feed the baby every few hours. Then she started sleeping about four or 4.5 hours in the middle of the night. But then last night happened. The sweet, adorable little baby you see in this picture turned into a she-beast and we didn't sleep a wink.

So I'm really tired right now. Sleepy tired. Falling asleepy tired.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bumper Sticker

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said, "Christopher Columbus - Terrorizing America Since 1492."

It was a pretty strong statement that Europeans and European-Americans are the real terrorists in this country. I am a European American so I will use the pronoun "we" when discussing them. We are probably not so much terrorist, but more like an occupying force. I looked up websites about the bumper sticker and the people behind it are Native Americans and Mexicans who were the original occupants of America. I get their point. We come in and conquer them, put them on reservations, or push them out of the good parts of the land. Then we have the gall to get mad when others try to come into our country without following the rules.

I guess they just don't have as big of guns as we did back in the day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


A couple of Bea's friends from work, Becca and Evi, came over tonight and made dinner for us. Evi brought some cupcakes from Sprinkles. This is the uber-trendy cupcake place that always has a line out the door for cupcakes that cost a pretty penny. They are quite tasty.

We had four cupcakes and cut them into four pieces each and we got to try all of them. There was a Chocolate Coconut, Ginger Lemon, Strawberry Banana, and a Red Velvet. Our rule was that we couldn't just eat them. We had to take a bite, savor it, and then discuss. My favorite was the Red Velvet - smooth, sweet, but not too rich. The Strawberry Banana was next, then Ginger Lemon, and finally the chocolate coconut. The chocolate one was really dry. Overall, the cupcakes were a bit more dry than usual.

Tonight, it was kind of like I was one of the girls at a slumber party or something. I guess that's my life now with having a wife and two daughters!! I don't mind. I'm glad that Bea has awesome friends who love her tons.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ella Pictures

Here's a few Ella pictures - as requested from Lauren, my oldest niece.

Friday, July 06, 2007



Grace and Eric chatting

This is just a video of Grace and I chatting about silly stuff.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


We had some fun doing fireworks with the Krusiewicz's on July 4th. I hadn't done them myself in a long time. The pics are just us playing with sparklers, but we did a bunch of other stuff too.
Fireworks Grace and Cate Sitting
Fireworks Grace and Cate Plugging Ears
Fireworks Girls Dancing
Fireworks Eric and Grace 2
Fireworks Eric and Grace 1
Fireworks Eric

10 Wonderful Years!

Eric and Bea
Today marks our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary. On July 5, 1997 we were married at Ocean Hills Community Church in San Juan Capistrano, CA and enjoyed a beautiful reception in the Dana Point Harbor.

I love my wife more today than I did ten years ago. She is an awesome woman and I'm blessed by God to have her in my life. I don't know if I would have been able to picture the way our lives are now on that day ten years ago. Today we are truly thankful and will celebrate at The Melting Pot tonight with some yummy fondue.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I Feel Weird...

because I should be here right now.
Hume Lake Docks
I really should be at home with my family, but there is something in me that is missing being up at Hume Lake Christian Camp with all the Jr High staff and students. I pray that God is blessing their time and transforming their lives in incredible ways for these next few days up at camp. Happy 4th of July Campers!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Farewell to Arms thoughts

I finished reading "A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway a few days ago. A perfect title for a peace-lover like me, but that's not the point. If you think you might read this book and don't know the plot I wouldn't read this post.

The book is set in WWI Italy where the main character, Frederic Henry, is an American lieutenant serving with the Italians and leading a group of ambulances taking injured men back from the front. He has a charming wit and makes many friends near the beginning of the book and begins to use that charm on an English girl named Catherine who is a nurse. They begin a coy sort of romance just behind the front between Italy and Austria.

Then Henry or Tenente as he is called in the book is sent to the front and his leg gets badly wounded by shrapnel from an artillery explosion. He then gets sent back to Milan to a hospital and Catherine is sent there as a nurse. They fall deeply in love and are constantly drinking - to the point where he becomes jaundiced. It's the sort of drinking that sounds very romantic - different Italian wines and brandies and vermouth in cafes and ristorantes. But its all the time throughout the book. They find out that Catherine is pregnant just before he is sent back to the front. While up there, a massive retreat is ordered for the Italians. While he is retreating with his men many bad things happen and he is separated from all but a few. While they are crossing a bridge into a city while marching with hundreds of other soldiers he notices that all the officers are being taken to the side and "questioned." It turns out that people don't like the idea of a retreat and are forming a new army and killing all the officers. Henry escapes by jumping into the river and then gets on a train and hides. He makes it back to Milan to find out that Catherine is in a small village near the border of Switzerland and Italy. He goes there and before he is arrested they both escape in a rowboat across a lake into Switzerland. She is drinking with him and helping row the boat.

They make it to Switzerland and are living happily, deeply in love, continuing to drink fancy wine and have a romantic life until it comes time to have the baby. They head to the hospital where she excessively takes the "gas" for pain. The doctor declares that she must have a c-section after her blood pressure drops drastically (remember this is WWI).

The baby is delivered dead and shortly thereafter Catherine dies. The End.


This book was superbly written and it was so fun to listen in on the playful conversations between Henry and Catherine. Henry overcomes so many difficulties - being at the front of WWI, getting a huge leg injury, going back to the front, escaping assassination, finding his love, rowing 28 km across a lake at night in the rain to escape, AND THEN THE GIRL AND THE BABY DIE!!


It was so frustrating. It turns out that Hemingway was a huge drinker, served in WWI, and ended up committing suicide later in life.

It's so sad that people will throw away brilliant gifts and beautiful relationships for the love of alcohol and self.

Great book, but like many other great books, very frustrating. This is a picture of Ernest Hemingway in Milan in 1918.
Hemingway in Milan, 1918

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Back to Work Tomorrow

My last normal day in the office was Monday, June 18th - the day before Ella was born. I ended up preaching last Sunday but that was my last normal workday. I go back tomorrow. I just go back for a a half day because Ella has her first immunization doctor appt tomorrow and Bea wants me to be there. Then there is the Independence Day Holiday on Wednesday. So I'm only going to work 2.5 days between now and Sunday.

But I'm still not wanting to go. It's not that work is bad or boring or anything like that. It has just been so fun to live in the fairy-tale world of slow mornings and hanging out around home as a family since we came home from the hospital on June 21st.

Calvary Church, here I come!!