Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ducks Take the Ice!!

Todd Bertuzzi in a Ducks jersey - weird.
Teemu Selanne not in a Ducks jersey - sad.

The Ducks playing the Kings in London for the first game of the season - dumb.

GO DUCKS!! Prepare for boring hockey posts that you all hate.

Update: It's dumb that the rink is 3 feet shorter in London. The neutral zone looks ridiculous. Also, I hope that Scott Niedermayer sees the Ducks losing 3-0 in the 3rd period to the measly Kings and will come back.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sick Family

Bea took Gracie to the doctor yesterday and it turns out that she has bronchitis and laryngitis. The laryngitis is a bummer for a little girl who never stops talking. She can still talk, but her voice is really scratchy. It's so sad seeing your little girl so sick. The chest cough is pretty bad, but they took an x-ray and it's not pneumonia. We would appreciate any prayers for our daughter.

We have all been fighting colds in our family which is just a hassle. The sad thing is that our trip to Los Rios Ranch to go apple picking, pumpkin patching, and raspberry picking will be postponed to the next weekend. I was seriously looking forward to going up to Oak Glen and doing all the country stuff like picking fruit, playing silly instruments with the bluegrass band, and eating tasty BBQ. It's an amazing place that you should definitely check out if you are in SoCal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

You know what I want??

A new U2 album and a tour. That would make my day, no my year.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Why I'm Like Michael Scott

It's kinda frightening but I'm realizing that I'm more like Michael Scott from The Office than I would like to think. I don't think that I'm racist or sexist or homophobic like "The World's Best Boss" but I have my ways that are similar.

1. I like to play in the office a lot.
2. I knock the phone out of my staff's ear sometimes and I have no idea if the conversation is serious.
3. I have a supply of "poppers," those little balls that explode on stuff when you throw them at things. I like to take them and throw them at people in the office every once in a while.
4. I want to be liked by my staff and I would call all of them friends and some good friends.
5. I'm sad when people don't like me.
6. Bea just bought me the same "World's Best Boss" mug that Michael Scott has on his desk. He bought his mug for himself. For me, my wife bought it. Neither one of has had a staff member buy it for him.
7. I know that "Boss's Day" is coming soon and I really hope they do something for me this year. Isn't that pathetic?
8. Michael Scott has Dwight Schrute that really wants to impress the boss all the time and is pretty weird. That clearly is Matt Doan.
9. When I need a break from preaching preparation study or computer stuff I will just walk around the office looking for someone who will talk to me.
10. I made something called "The Wheel of Lunch" which was from an old "Wheel of Fortune" wheel we had for games, but we replaced the money spaces with restaurant names for choosing lunch spots. I will post more about this later.
11. I hate policy and bureaucracy the same way that Michael Scott does. Except I don't hate our HR people the way that Michael hates his.

Which "The Office" character do you think you are and why?
Have you seen these Michael Scott traits in me?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why Do We Love Blogging?

I have been into this whole blogging thing for a couple years now and I have been thinking about why my generation connects with blogging so much. Tons of my friends have started blogs in the last year and I love it. I have never been a good journaler. I would always start a journal and then do about 10 entries each day, then that would turn to every few days, then once a week, and then nothing. But I keep blogging for some reason. I think that it has to be the connectedness to other people.

I like to write down my thoughts and that is helpful for me, but I love to write down my thoughts and hear what people have to say about it. The genius of blogs isn't about lots of people reading them - the genius is the "comments" section. I love comments. I wish I could have "comments" sections of other parts of life - preaching (most the time), meetings, driving, sports, etc.

Someone I know had someone say that they thought blogging was narcissistic. I vehemently disagree. It's not about me. It's about community and interaction. That's why I try to get all my friends to start blogs. That just makes the community even better.

Why do you love blogging?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm learning...

...that I'm a jerk sometimes to people and I hate that about myself. I really really hate it. I have to devote myself to changing that. I need help from my friends and family. I need help from God.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Peace Isn't Always the Answer

Most people who would read this blog know that I am somewhat of a pacifist - not a strict pacifist, but I definitely am a peace lover. I even mentioned this past Sunday in church how American nationalism intertwining with the church really bothers me.

I read this excert from an LA Times article in THE WEEK and it made me think. It didn't totally change me, but it made me think. Please read and tell me what you think.
"If you want peace, prepare for war," the Roman general Flavius Vegetius Renatus counseled more than 1,600 years ago. This was not belligerence, said Bruce Bawer, but wisdom based on history and human nature. Our world has always included rogues and bullies who prey on the weak, and the more prepared and willing a nation is to defend itself, the less likely it is that it will have to go to war. But the fast growing "peace racket" denies this age-old truth, insisting that all war is unjust.
It goes on to say how they have no quarrel with murderous dictators like Kim Jong Il or Fidel Castro, but that the U.S. is the source of most or all of the world's oppression and poverty. College courses teach that if terrorists kill American civilians, it is wrong to respond with violence. Instead, we should try to reason with these fanatics. It's a message that could only appeal to pampered young Americans totally insulated from the realities that Vegetius spoke of centuries ago. As George Orwell once observed, "To abjure violence, it is necessary to have no experience of it."

For me, it's the line about "insulated pampered young Americans" that really got to me. I haven't been in a situation where I have been attacked. But I guess Martin Luther King was in that situation and he responded without violence.

What do you think?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Crazy Day Confessional

Yesterday was an incredibly busy day. I only worked a few more hours than I normally do, but it was just that I was leading and speaking in every environment I was in.

#1: High School Group at 8:45am. The Kenya team presented to the High School students for about 35 minutes. I probably did too much talking, but we didn't have a video that we were supposed to have so we showed a slideshow of pictures with us talking about it.

#2: Elevation service at 10:45am. I preached in our second main worship service for about 35 minutes. I spoke on the story of David & Goliath as we are doing a series on the life of David. I liked the angle for this almost overly well-known story. The series is called THE PURSUIT: DAVID'S HEART FOR GOD. The whole series is supposed to be about us pursuing having the kind of heart that David did. So the angle on the Goliath story was, "What about David's heart caused him to be able to face the giant so quickly and without hesitation?" What about his heart allowed him to see the world so differently than everyone else? You can listen to it and see the notes and PowerPoint here. I felt like it was a pretty good morning. I felt differently than I ever have before preaching a sermon. I honestly didn't feel like preaching on Saturday. It was an odd feeling. Usually I am a bit nervous in a pumped up sort of way, but I was just apathetic. So I prayed about it a bunch - even into that early morning random wake-up time (4am) when I was out of it and I just started praying and dozing and praying and dozing and praying some more. Then I went into church and prayed while driving. Then I practiced my talk once more and I felt much different. Then I went into the Worship Center at about 7:40am and prayed some more. After that, I was ready.

#3: All Student Ministry Staff Meeting at 12noon. I spoke at our volunteer training on the first point of our Mission Statement - REACH THE SEEKING for about an hour. It was good, but by now I was getting tired and so were people listening to me - many of which were in all three of these sessions.

#4: Lighthouse Area Fellowship at 5:00pm. This is our church's small group program. I lead our first Lighthouse of the fall and it was pretty good - a bit quiet at some points, but a decent start. Poor Kevin was in all four of these meetings. I feel sorry for anyone having to listen to me this much.

So a crazy day, but a good day. I'm happy to be chilling at home this morning. I'm tired, but grateful.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I'm so freaking mad and frustrated. AAAAGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blog Addiction

So what? Blogging is cool.
78%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Free Dating Site

Are you addicted?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Going to YS

We finally registered our team for the Youth Specialties National Youthworkers Convention yesterday. We are taking ten people from our team. It's always fun to have a bit of a crew at YS - talking about sessions during meals, playing video games in the hotel room until 3am, doing mischievous things, and just bonding.

The first NYWC I attended was back in 1993 when it was at a hotel by LAX. I think Amy Grant sang and everybody was all excited - I was the bratty young youthworker who thought all those people were lame. But I loved the event back then and I still do fourteen years later. Something special happens when you see 5,000 youthworkers in a big room worshiping God together and resonating with the speaker in the same way. We can feel alone at our different churches, but we come together and "everything is alright." It's big and loud and inspiring and has good training for my staff.

I also love taking my team to the Hume Lake Youth Pastor Retreat in May for a different sort of time. More quiet, smaller, and with a different method of caring for the soul.

We are going to the San Diego event. Anyone else going????

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Preaching Text-Fessional

I'm over doing the videos for these things because I hardly ever watch anyone else's videos - especially YouTube links. I don't know why. I'm usually blogging in a setting/environment where I can't just be watching videos all the time. Anyways, here is my Preaching Confessional on this morning's sermon.

We began a new series today called "The Pursuit - David's Heart for God." This will be a 14 week series through the life of David and how we can be people who pursue the heart that David had for God. My talk today was called "The Internal Pursuit" as we looked at David's anointing to be king and how God says, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

I think the morning went pretty well for me. I was a bit distracted by some other aspects of the morning that weren't going totally according to plan and I tend to be the kind of person that wants things to happen the way they are supposed to happen. Part of this is my weakness and part of this is people doing what they have committed to doing. But I'm not going to get into that here. I haven't preached in Elevation since August 5th which is actually not that long, but it seems like so much has happened since then with VBS week, then going to Africa for two weeks, and then getting sick for about a week. All this just made me feel like a stranger in my own church and feel a bit off when it came to preaching. I think I was connecting with people for the most part and I think they were genuinely challenged. I said a couple things that I'm not sure if people would get upset about. 1) I talked about how there are other churches in the area with fancier youth rooms and ministry "stuff" than we have. I was making a point that I can get jealous about those things but I have to remember that those are not signs of ministry success in God's viewpoint. I just hope that people didn't just think I was whining about not having a Student Center. 2) I said how I don't like how most churches just have successful white-collar businessman for their elders and how I don't think that is a sign of potential leadership in the church in God's eyes. I just hope people aren't mad at how maybe our church could be viewed that way. I don't think that's how we choose elders, but it could be perceived that way.

We also had people write a phrase on a piece of foam that can stick on their mirror or window as a reminder. The phrase could be something like "God looks at the heart." This way people can remember the "Pursuit" series everyday and not just Sundays.

The rest of the sermon went reasonably well. I think that people understood the challenge. I think that people understand the series. I think that people are thinking about this concept. It was a weird morning for me and a good morning at the same time. I'm looking forward to getting into prep tomorrow for my talk next Sunday on the David & Goliath story. It will be interesting to preach on one of the most famous Bible stories to ever exist. I think Noah's Ark and David & Goliath are probably the two most famous Bible stories. So how do I make it memorable??????????? I have some ideas.....

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Movie Knowledge

I dominated Chris G, fellow youth pastor from Florida (the state that wishes it was California) in this movie quiz. I think I could/should have done better, but here it is.
71%The Movie Quiz - Movie Reviews

Friday, September 07, 2007


Last Saturday night my friend Jason made me an amazing dinner for my birthday. I was thinking about going to Black Sheep Bistro for paella, but Jason said he would make it. The guy is an incredible cook and the paella was excellent. There was the saffron Valencia rice, shrimp, swordfish, i think halibut, different types of spanish sausages, chicken, and mussels. DELICIOUS!! It was a very good night. Here are some pictures.
Paella whole pan
Paella close 2

Thursday, September 06, 2007


My amazing, intelligent, beautiful wife, Bea Wakeling, has finally started a blog. I am so happy it is beyond words. Her blog is called Vanishing Roads which is from a poem about choices we make in life and how the roads that we don't take vanish. She will explain it better, but I think it's a pretty sweet name.

Check her first post out at or use the lovely link I made her on the right.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Draft

We had our Fantasy Football Draft tonight. 6 of the 12 met at Tustin Brewing Company and had some appetizers and sodas and had an awesome time drafting. The rest of the crew was online at other spots. Here is a picture of those of us who actually had fun - without me in it because I took it. J-Lo, Greg, Doan, Peter, and Brent are looking good.
The Draft
Six laptops on a table at a sports bar is kind of dorky, but really fun! Sorry Victor. Don't hate me. It was a blatantly wrong decision on my part. I'm sorry.

Here is my team. There are 12 teams and we start 2 QBs every week.
QB - Phillip Rivers
QB - Chad Pennington
RB - Willie Parker
RB - Willis McGahee
WR - Roy Williams
WR - Braylon Edwards
WR - Chris Chambers
TE - Jason Witten
K - Jason Elam
Def/ST - San Diego
Bench - Clinton Portis
Bench - Wes Welker
Bench - Eric Parker
Bench - Najeh Davenport
Bench - Charlie Frye
Bench - Josh McCown
Bench - Kevin Jones

We'll see how the Wakebirds do. Hopefully pretty well. I play Matt Doan in the first week so it should be an easy win.

First Day of School

I just had a full-on "OC Soccer Mom" experience. I drove Grace in the new Sequoia to her first day of her second year of pre-school. I walked in with Ella in the stroller and then left. Now I'm at home until I go to work at 11:30am when Bea is done teaching.
This first picture is from "Meet the Teacher Day" yesterday. She has Mrs. Gish.
The next pics are from today outside of her classroom in her pretty new dress.
First Day of School 2
First day of School 1

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Our New Car

Bea's lease ran out yesterday so we were forced to get her a new car. We had saved some money from the sale of our house for a good sized down payment and I decided to keep my old car so we had some better options. We got this for a lower monthly payment than Bea's lease was before!!
New Car 1
New Car 2
A new 2007 Toyota Sequoia SR5. We love it!!

Kenya Thoughts 1

I know that I need to attempt putting some thoughts on the blog regarding my trip to Kenya. It's really difficult to synthesize everything that this trip meant for me. It was an amazing experience and so awesome to serve the beautiful people of Kenya. They were a people that embrace life and love in a way that is so different than America it is mind-blowing.

There is a concept of welcoming someone to your home or school or nation that they have mastered. Karibu is swahili for "welcome." There were countless times when someone said to us that we were "highly welcome" in their place. We knew that we could come back to visit them and be embraced as brothers and sisters. They would feed us even if they had nothing. I felt like I could go and live with them if I wanted to and it wouldn't be a question. How horrible am I (are we) at this concept in the West? I hate our concept of privacy but I am completely ruled by it as well. I am addicted to privacy. This has really been hitting me lately in lots of ways. We care more about privacy than we do about righteous living or unity.

This is a side issue almost compared to other things I experienced on the trip, but it came to my mind first when reflecting on the trip.