Friday, August 31, 2007

Books I Read in Kenya

I read three books while traveling to and from Kenya. By the way it was about 40 hours of flight time. I mostly watched movies on the plane. Virgin Atlantic was amazing. We had our own screen with our choice of about 60 movies to watch at any time. My highlights were Blood Diamond and Hot Fuzz - both amazing for different reasons.

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It becomes a bit over-the-top at times, but the plot is riveting and the writing style is enjoyable while being literary. I think this has the potential to be a modern classic.

2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I have never read this classic and I have just recently started exploring Hemingway. I actually really enjoyed this book even though most people I talk to hated it. I love the commitment and love the boy has for the old man. I love the old man's determination and love for the boy. I only wish Hemingway didn't always have to break my heart.

3. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. I avoided this book because of it's commercialization by Starbucks. I just get annoyed by people who think they can read a book from Starbucks or buy a (RED) product or go to an Invisible Children event and think that they are "doing something" for Africa. My mom gave me this book before I left and I LOVED IT. I highly highly recommend it. It's an incredible and true story of this boy who has his entire life turned upside down in so many ways. Go read it.

By the way, I officially HATE Sparks Notes and all those things. So many high school kids have never read a book because they just read the Sparks Notes. It's also weird that no one has heard of Cliffs Notes anymore. What happened to them? They should all be banned by the government. That's a legislation I would vote for.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Still Sick

I'm still feeling sick this morning but a little bit better so I'm going to go to our Elevation Brainstorm meeting, but I'm not going to go until about 10:45 or so when it starts at 9am to give my body some time to rest this morning. I'm half excited and half dreading going in. I wish I wasn't sick. I hate being sick. I feel like my body has been weak lately.

I got my first birthday present yesterday as the gift Bea ordered for me finally arrived. It's a cool backpack that is made for my laptop and other technological stuff. It has all sorts of cool pockets for iPods and my laptop. It should work really well!! So now that we have the iMac at home and I have this bag my MacBook Pro will truly go on the road with me everywhere.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sick and New Things

My body is shutting down from the stress of the whole trip to Kenya and being home and resting. I thought I was just really jet-lagged but last night I started feeling like I might be getting sick and I woke up this morning feeling crappy. I hung out with the kids in the morning and when Bea got home from school at around 11:30am I ate some lunch and then got in bed. I fell asleep instantly and was out for 4.5 hours. I just woke up about 20 minutes ago. It's hard because I was supposed to be back at church for my first day today and tomorrow we have a big brainstorm meeting but I don't think I'm gonna make it. I am also sweating every drop of liquid out of my body, but I don't think I have malaria - I really hope not.

Yesterday, I had a couple firsts when we went to Disneyland. It was at Disneyland where I thought I was just feeling jet-lagged, but at home I realized I was sick.
1. We went on the new Nemo Submarine Ride for the first time - awesome!
2. We went to the Blue Bayou Restaurant for the first time. This is the restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. Not that awesome and really expensive.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm Back and Life Stuff

I got back from Kenya on Sunday afternoon. It's awesome to be back and weird to be back. Life was so different for so long that it's odd to enter into this world again. The freeway on the drive home from LAX was almost scary to me after being in Kenya where you don't really drive over 50mph very often. I felt like the cars were flying past us and it was weird. The jet lag has really been hitting me too.

It has been so awesome to see Bea and my two daughters. I forgot how much steady and constant attention that they need though. It's weird that it is an adjustment, but it is. It's one I love, but it still takes effort.

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday and it came on a strange day. It was my first day back home and it was Bea's first day of school (teacher) which is a huge day for her. So I was home with the kids in the morning trying to remember how to do everything for Ella and play with Grace enough for her to be satisfied with my attention. I was fighting falling asleep. So weird. We went out to BJ's Pizza for dinner which was yummy, but my stomach wasn't feeling so hot. Then I actually went to sleep before 8pm. Not the usual birthday, but oh well.

So I am 33 now which is the age our Sr Pastor says we will be for eternity. I forget exactly, but it's based on a verse that says we will be like Christ in our future bodies or something like that. I know that's kind of weird sounding, but you better get a good look at me now because then you can recognize me in heaven.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Please go to my Kenya Blog for lots of cool posts and pictures about the trip. We only have a few days left.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Check the Kenya Blog

There is good stuff on there now. We are in Kisumu and doing well.

Monday, August 13, 2007

In London

We are on our way!! Everything has been nice so far. I like Virgin Airways. Tons of movies, tv shows, and games. Here is me in London.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Off to Kenya

I leave tomorrow for Kenya so I will be blogging much more sporadically and differently. I will mostly be posting on our Calvary to Kenya Blog which you can find at

If there are problems with accessing that blog I might be posting at

Please pray for team! Pray for:
God's Spirit to work in mighty ways
Life change for Kenyans and Americans
Luggage to make it
Wisdom for myself in leadership

Friday, August 10, 2007

VBS Bears in Kenya

I leave for Kenya in two days. The first team is there now and took about 50 of these bears to give to kids in Kenya. Our team will be taking the remaining 900 bears with us when we go. The bears were made by the kids that came to VBS at Calvary Church this week. Here is a picture of Team One in Kenya after passing the bears out to kids in a village outside of Kisumu. This picture gets me pumped up to go to Africa.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Vacation Bible School is pretty awesome at our church. There ends up being around 1,300 people here each day including leaders and kids. It's wild! I have a sweet job. I am basically the M.C. during the Opening and Closing General Sessions when all the kids are gathered in the Worship Center. My job is to transition and get people pumped up!!
I stayed up too late last night getting my new iMac all dialed in and transferring stuff from the MacBook over to the iMac. I'm loving that I have 250gb of hard drive on the new iMac. SO MUCH SPACE! But now I'm supposed to be getting kids pumped up and I haven't had coffee and I stayed up too late! I think a run to The Lost Bean is in order to make the Closing Session any good.
Our High School kids are so awesome to watch running the Games & Recreation part of VBS. They have totally taken ownership of it and I'm so proud of them. Our students from all three levels are being great leaders in up-front and behind-the-scenes ways. That's the best part of VBS for me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I'm typing this post on my new iMac!! It's money baby! I need to get it all dialed in, but I am loving the look and feel of it so far. It's an awesome machine. The keyboard is so thin and cool. The 20" screen seems gigantic compared to my 15" MacBook Pro. I feel blinded by the light of it. Now it's time to transfer files and get the new Airport Extreme I bought set up too. The icing on the cake was that we got $200 off any iPod with purchase so we got a 30gb iPod for $50.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Calvary To Kenya Blog

We have a blog for my trip to Kenya. There is actually a team already in Kenya that is part of our Calvary Church High School Ministry. I planned the trip that this team is on as well so I am very excited for them to be there. My team leaves this Sunday, August 12th and returns on August 26th. The blog is for both groups so there are a couple posts already.

Check it out at

The Lost Bean

The Lost Bean is by far my favorite new coffee place. It's located on the corner of Irvine Blvd and Newport Blvd in Tustin, CA which is right on my drive to church everyday. It is an organic coffee house that is independently owned. I have been wanting a place to enjoy my morning java that isn't as corporate as Starbucks or even Peets. I also like that it is organic, but that's just a bonus for me.

Most of the other independent places that I have been in the OC just didn't have coffee I liked. I drink black dark coffee or an Americano. That's it. The Lost Bean's coffee is delicious and they have good pastries, even decent nonfat muffins.

Of course all of this will change when the new Calvary Church Bookstore and Coffee House is finished being remodeled. I love The Corner - Randy rules!

What's your favorite coffee place? Why?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Preaching Text-Fessional

I don't feel like making a video confessional and Victor was talking about worship text-fessionals on his blog so I liked the idea. Plus, I only watch people's videos about half the time.

I enjoyed this morning in the Elevation service at Calvary Church very much. We were talking about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in our Lost in Translation series. This is a recurring series where we have a small amount of messages on an area of God, theology, or Scripture than tend to get confused or "Lost in Translation." I won't get into details of my points here, but the key thing is that we are baptized "in the Holy Spirit" at conversion and we are all baptized "into the Body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:13). So we are radically changed for a purpose - to serve others as a member of the body.

I felt a good connection and energy in the room. I think I was communicating pretty clearly and with a good dynamic of speaking strong with conviction and then conversationally talking as well. Something I talked about was believing what is already true about ourself - that we have the Holy Spirit within us and we are new creations. I could have explained more about how we can believe that even when life is hard or when we still sin, etc.

We had a cool response station where people came up and dipped a cloth into dye to represent spirit baptism and then they placed that dyed cloth onto a larger canvas which represented the body of Christ. Everybody seemed pretty into it. Anna Gold and Nicole Gniffke helped make it happen. Here's a picture of it from my phone.

Victor and the band did a great job. As much as I give that guy a hard time and my job is to keep pushing him to continue to grow, he has the most rich, easy to sing with, beautiful voice of any worship leader I know. (Did I just say beautiful???). Victor - you are really good at what you do! Keep giving God the glory, but I love you man.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Facing the Giants

I'm sorry to the people that were involved in this film for my comments because there were some great people from my church even that helped with it. But this movie was embarrassing and awful to me. The moral of the story is basically that without God you will have tons of problems, with God you will still have problems, but they will all work out perfectly in the end.

Everything gets fixed for them. They win all the games. Even when they lose another team forfeits. The coach gets a free truck anonymously - not a bad idea for any rich people at my church :). They were struggling to get pregnant and I thought it might end with them having to keep trusting God even though He wasn't giving them everything they wanted. But no, it ends with her finding out she isn't pregnant and then the nurse realizes she was looking at the wrong test paperwork. She runs out to the car and tells the lady she is pregnant.

God is good because He gives me everything I want???

I Love Jason Bourne...

but not in a weird way. He just rules. Bea and I saw the new movie last night - Bourne Ultimatum. It rocked. Fast moving. Tough. Heroic. Human. I would definitely go see it soon.

I also finished the new Harry Potter book yesterday. It was a pretty tidy ending with some sad stuff. I liked the ending after all seven of those books.