Tuesday, December 30, 2008

car salesmen ...

we spent the entire day with car salesmen ...

we threw our kids in the car (huge mistake) ... and drove into Sacramento ... we've spent the last 9 hours car shopping all over the city ...

the Honda Pilot ...
the Hyundai Entourage ...
the Kia Borrego ...
the Toyota Sienna ...

actually, it's the first time in 10 years we've shopped for a car ... punch me in the neck ... anyways, we almost bought 19 different cars ... so many options ... the sun roof, DVD players, 6 disc changers, electric windows, tinted windows, hydraulics ... pimped out mini-vans ... fortunately, we fought the urge to cave in ...

tomorrow, we set out again into the land of family cars ... I think we'll leave the kids with my parents ...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stirring Anniversary ...


this coming Sunday, we celebrate our two year Stirring Anniversary ...

we planted the Stirring church in January 2007 ... two years later, God has surrounded us with such amazing families and couples and students ... men and women who are so hungry for God ... we are so blessed and grateful for our church and how God has spoken and led us this past year ...

when God dreams ...
we are family ...
becoming who we are ...
face to face ...
we love, we make disciples ...
the elephant in the church ...
simple ...

one year ago, Dan and Alyssa Lance moved with their family from Riverside to join our staff ... we love these guys ...

four months ago, Emily Branca came on staff with a passion for the Stirring kids ... she is such a great leader with such a genuine heart for children ...

four months ago, Jenna Barney joined our staff as our worship leader ... Jenna chases after God ... there are few worship leaders with such a bold and focused passion for God ...

this year, T.J. Macke came on board to pastor and lead our Jr. High movement ... I enjoy his relational and creative approach to reaching the next generation ... we are grateful to see our Jr. High students learning how to follow Jesus ...

three months ago, Sean and Rebecca Gafner joined our staff to help plant the Sunday morning campus ... what an amazing team ... I can see God in their lives ... we are so blessed by our friendship with the Gafners ... and Sean's jambalaya ...

oh yeah ... and October 12th, we planted our Sunday morning Eureka Way campus ... we did it ... props to the launch team and everyone else threw down to make this happen ... once again, our team is the bomb ... they are servants ... and they are so in love with Jesus ...

it's been one amazing year ... period ... don't miss our two year Anniversary this Sunday morning and night ... worship and stories and vision and food ...

Friday, December 26, 2008

One Gathering ...

hey everyone, this coming Sunday, December 28th, we're having an all Stirring gathering at the Eureka Way Campus at 10 am ... we're calling it the One Gathering ...

yep, the entire Stirring packed into the Adventist Church ... filling every pew and the balcony ... it's gonna be sweet ...

remember, NO Sunday evening Stirring ... No 5 pm gathering and NO 7 pm gathering ... One Gathering at 10 am ... everyone's invited ... coffee and donuts and muffins and pews ... bring your mom and your children and your friends ...

this Sunday, we're wrapping up the Simple Series ... it's been such an amazing few weeks ... live simple, love loud ...

and then next Sunday, January 4th, we'll celebrate our 2 year Anniversary as a church ... we'll be reflecting on where God has brought us as a church and where God is taking us this coming year ... you're all invited ...

merry Christmas and a happy new year ... stay away from creepy Santa ...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

creepy Santa ...


the other night, we were walking downtown and we came across Santa Claus, just sitting there bored ... yep ... no crazy long line of kids ... no elves ... no cameras ... no Santa sign ... no hype ... plain old Santa ... just sitting there all by himself ... bored ...

when Ava saw him sitting there, she ran up to sit on his lap ... creepy ... some old man in a Santa costume downtown ... passing out candy canes ... talking to my daughter about Barbie and roller skates ... what am I supposed to do? ... it's Santa ... I felt like tackling him on the ground and ripping off that fake beard ... and shouting, "you're not the real Santa because I saw the real Santa in the Mt. Shasta mall!" ... and then I'd run off with his beard ... but I didn't ...

at this point, my youngest daughter Adiah is terrified ... she refuses to sit on Santa's lap ... thank God ... instead, she runs up and grabs a candy cane and runs away ... amazing ...

yep, Christmas Eve at the Cascade ... Wednesday night ... 5 pm and 7 pm ...

I spent some time today reading through the Christmas Story and praying about the gathering tomorrow evening ... I'm stoked ... Garrett Viggers and Jamie White are leading worship ... we're showing a couple of our Stirring films ... and Bill Randall and I are reading the advent Scriptures ... sweet ...

this Christmas, may we know the peace and joy and love of God ... and whatever you do, don't sit on Santa's lap ... it's a trap ... grab a candy cane and run ...

Monday, December 22, 2008

the longest day of the week ...

it's late Sunday night ... I'm laying in bed wide awake ... it's been such a great day ... I'm convinced that Sunday is the longest day of the week ...

if you're wondering, this is my typical Sunday ...

wake up at 7:30 ...
get dressed and cruise downtown to the Eureka Way campus ...
I drop off the laptop computer ...
I cruise down to Starbucks for a doubleshot on ice ...
I speak at the 10 am gathering ...
We eat lunch at Burrito Bandito ...
I nap ...
I cruise to the Bechelli Campus ...
on the way, I buy two footlong turkey Subway sandwiches ...
I speak at the 5 pm gathering ...
I eat a Subway sandwich and drink iced tea ...
I speak at the 7 pm gathering ...
I pray for people, tear down a stage and cruise home at 10 pm ...
my wife and I watch a movie ...

tonight, my wife and I watched "Run, Fatboy, Run" ... amazing ... what a great film ... I hope I get it for Christmas ... once again, I am inspired to write and direct films ... since the first time I watched "Good Will Hunting" in the theater years ago, I have been fascinated with film writing ... actually, I wrote a film years ago, but I lost it ... bummer ...

anyways, I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve at the Cascade ... don't miss it ... enjoy God and drink protein shakes ...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

vanilla protein shakes ...


I'm drinking two vanilla protein shakes a day ... with a banana ... I'm hooked ... and I'm working out a bit ... 4 times a week ... gluts and biceps and legs and chest and triceps ... unbelievable ... I'm that guy ... 'gym' guy ... drinking shakes and eating chicken and curling dumbbells and doing crunches on a huge pink ball ... yep ... crazy ...

my work out partner is a professional trainer ... I've put on 5 pounds ... my arms are huge ... I can bench almost 135 ... everyone at the gym knows my name ... last week, I got crazy on the weights and almost killed myself ... jacked up my neck ... just a reminder, I'm still a little guy ... drinking vanilla protein shakes with bananas ...

anyways, it's been such a great few weeks ... it's great to alive ... and ripped ...

Monday, December 15, 2008

simple ...


at the Stirring, we're in this series called simple ... in a world spilling into the margins, Jesus calls us back into a simple focused life ...

we've talked about money and time and relationships ... we live in a culture that devours margin ... margin is having space in your life ... space for God and space for relationships ... margin is running but not running as fast as you can ... margin is showing up somewhere early ... margin is not having to be somewhere in five minutes ... margin is getting to the end of the month and having money leftover because you spent less than you earned ... imagine that ... margin is rest ... margin is life ...

and when we live without margin, we get stressed out, we get self consumed and more than anything, relationships suffer ... because relationships happen in the margin ...

when it comes to our paychecks and our schedules and our time and our relationships, Jesus calls us to become a people of margin ... spend less than you earn ... learn how to rest ... enjoy God ... spend a Sabbath day with your family ... unclench your fists and let God be God ... stop trying to control every aspect of your life ... stop trying to cram 7 days work into 5 work days ... slow down ... take your shoes off ... chase what matters ... do you have margin in your life? ... this is what it means to follow Jesus ...

our prayer is simple ... teach us to live simple so we can live loud ...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

90 days ...


90 days to go ... 4 kids ... what the heck?

We're stoked about this little girl ... a few weeks BEFORE we knew we were pregnant, an older lady prayed for me at the Stirring ... she encouraged me and then prayed for my family ... she asked, "how many children do you have?" ... to which I replied, "3" ... she smiled and responded, "you've got another child on the way, a little girl and she's a special one" ... I laughed to myself ... not another child, and for sure, not another girl ... a couple weeks later, we found out that we were pregnant ... and yep, a little girl ... tampons and periods and boyfriends and lipstick ... my future ...

I'm so blessed to have such an amazing wife and family ...

Monday, December 1, 2008

live simple, love loud ...


just wrapped up a week vacation with my family ... I feel rested and ready for the Christmas season ...

it's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas ... we just threw up Christmas lights around our house ... this year, I'm competing with my next door neighbor ... moving lights, moving reindeer, moving elves, whatever it takes ... it's on ...

we just got our family pictures back from Emily Faulknor ... amazing ... great shots of the family and the kids ... my wife is sexy and my kids are crazy ... I love it ... thanks emily ... you are so talented and we miss you so much ...

last Sunday, Dan kicked off our new series Simple ... I'm stoked about the next few weeks ... life gets so busy and hurried and empty ... Jesus confronts our cluttered lives ... Jesus confronts our busy schedules ... Jesus confronts our shallow relationships ... Jesus calls us back to one thing ... live simple, love loud ...

I'm reading three great books ... Margin, Simple Church and the Pressure's off ... great books calling us back to the simple life of Jesus ... if you get a chance, read Matthew 11:28-30 ... life changing ...

Friday, November 28, 2008

leftovers and michael jackson ...


hey everyone ... happy day after thanksgiving ...

today, we relaxed and we shopped ... I bought a new jacket, drank a Starbucks double shot on ice, and we took the family on a good old fashioned hay ride ... 4000 pound horses ... creepy ...

now, we're sitting around eating turkey leftovers ... there's nothing more satisfying than turkey leftover sandwiches with mayo and cranberry sauce ... apparently Americans consume more turkey during Thanksgiving than any other time of the year ... amazing ... I can't stop eating ... and later tonight, leftover pumpkin pie ... I've already gained 16 pounds ...

oh yeah, and I just found out that Michael Jackson is coming to the Arco Arena next year ... I can't wait ... thriller and bad and dangerous ... the moonwalk ... I'm hoping the Myriad will open for him ... the greatest show ever ...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

family vacation ...

finally, family vacation ... I'm sitting with my beautiful and rambunctious daughters in a condo in Bend, Oregon ... we've been watching movies and searching the woods for baby tigers ... we found a baby tiger cave, but I think the tigers were sleeping ... we'll go back later to capture one and bring it back to Redding ... every family needs a pet tiger ...

this morning, I slept in until 10:30 am ... walked along with river with my parents ... ran around with my son ... drank a protein shake ... and tonight we're going into town for dinner ... and then I'll introduce my son Asher to the world of hot tubbing ... as a family, we love hot tubs ... and tonight my son will become a man ...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

stirring kids film ...


hey everyone ... we're thinking about producing a short kids film for Christmas ... we'd like to film on Saturday afternoon, December 5th around 2 pm ... we're looking for 12 children, anywhere between the ages of 2 and 8 ... we'll be interviewing some of our Stirring kids ... also, if you want to be involved in costume or production, please let me know ... we need costumes and props and flannel graph Jesus figures ... you'll see ...

anyways, please let me know if you have children who might be interested and available on Saturday, December 5th ... we'll be showing this bit at the Stirring and at the Christmas Eve gathering at the Cascade ... sweet ...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

market street manor ...


around noon, I threw my family in the Oldsmobile and we cruised down to the Market Street Manor ...

we joined up with the Cables, the Stirring and the Bridge Community Church to encourage and bless the families living downtown in the Market Street Manor ... moms and children and families and soup and smiles and cookies ... amazing ... we love God, we love each other, we love the world and we love the least ... that's church ...

I love bringing my kids with me ... Ava was asking so many questions ... "why are we eating soup?" ... "who are these people?" ... Ava wanted to make a cameo on my blog ... she writes, "we gave clothes to kids and people ... we gave food, too ... we ate lots of soup" ... (ava's first blog) ...

on the homefront, our whole family is sick ... headaches and runny noses and achy bones ... monday morning, we leave for our family vacation to Bend, Oregon ... I can't wait ... hot tubs and bears ... that's the life ...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

vampires and hot tubs ...

it's 11:14 pm ... I'm finishing up a paper for my theology class ... yep, Karl Barth ...

my wife just called me from Movies 8 ... she's been waiting in line all night for that new vampire film 'twilight' ... high school flick with sharp teeth and creepy goth vampire girls ... she bought me a ticket and she's sitting in the theater right now ... the theater is already packed for the midnight showing ... 496 women and 3 men ... punch me in the face ...

my wife asked me if I wanted to sit with my brother Jeremy or with her ... I laughed out loud ... of course, I want to sit with her ... how embarrassing to watch a girl vampire movie with my brother ... no question, I'm sitting with my wife ... if people laugh at me, I'll just point to my wife and tell them she dragged me to watch it with her ... now who's laughing? ...

anyways, my brother Jeremy just called and asked me if I would sit with him (Meghan didn't save him a seat with her) ... I laughed out loud again ... "there's no way I'm sitting with you" ... so he's stuck sitting by himself in the back of the theater ... he's that guy ... sitting alone in the goth chick vampire flick ...

anyways, this whole vampire thing is out of control ... I'd rather be hot tubbing ... more to come ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

starbucks in heaven?

i spend most of my life in Starbucks ...
reading books ...
writing in my journal ...
studying scripture ...
praying and thinking and dreaming ...
mentoring Jesus followers ...
meeting new people ...
drinking coffee (which I don't really like) ...
yesterday, I sampled the new Christmas blend ...
it all tastes the same to me ...
one question: will there be Starbucks in heaven? ...
coffee? ...
coffee shops? ...
starbucks double shot on ice? ...
I'm curious ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the wild donkey ...


inspired by Dan's message on Sunday night, I wrote a worship song (and I threw some cardboard in the blue recycle bin) ... it's called the wild donkey ... it's from Job 38 & 39 ... here are the lyrics ... I'm hoping Jenna will let me introduce it at the Stirring this next weekend ... sorry, i can't give you the chords for copyright issues ...

verse:
Leaves are green
Trees are green
Grass is green
God loves green

pre-chorus:
who can tell the lightning where to bolt?
who can speak to the baby mountain goat?
who can tell the oceans where to break?
who can comfort the fawn while she mates?

chorus:
You let the wild donkey go free
And God, You still love me
You untied its ropes so it could go free
And God, You still love me


we've are officially done with the elephant in the church series ... greed, sex, drinking, politics, pornography and the environment ... if you missed it, listen to the podcast ... God has so much to say about this stuff ...

to our church, the Stirring ... you have been so encouraging and courageous ... you bless me and challenge me as a leader ... it's been such an amazing two years ... keep chasing Jesus ... there is so much more ... and it's just the beginning ...

Monday, November 17, 2008

the perfect day ...

woke up late ...
worked out with a friend at his private gym for trainers ...
chest and biceps ... I'm huge ...
drank one of those protein shakes with a banana ...
hung out with family ...
ate lunch with grandpa at Tai Cafe ... mango sticky rice ...
shopping for 9 hours at Winco ...
met some Bethel students who were on a treasure hunt in Winco ...
it reminded me of scavenger hunts in high school ...
carried 37 bags of groceries into the house ...
met with the Stirring Advisory team at P.C.I. for dinner ...
steaks, potatoes and salad ...
watched Heroes with my wife on the couch ...
ate a bowl of granola cereal ...
blogged ...
the perfect day, except 9 hours at Winco ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

august rush ...

friday night ...
just watched August Rush again with my wife ...
what a great film ...
these kind of films inspire me ...
to write songs ...
to write films ...
to start a rock band ...
to learn the cello ...

music has always been such a huge part of my life ... I always hear music ... on most days, there's a song resounding in my soul ... I hum melodies throughout the day ... and when I see a piano, I must sit down and tap them out ... music draws me to God ... music draws me to His heart ...

one of my favorite verses in Scripture talks about God singing ... "the Lord takes great delight in you, He will quiet you His love, He will rejoice over you with singing" ... Zephaniah 3:17 ...

I'll never forget an interview I saw with Bono a couple of years ago ... he was talking about music and songwriting and God ... he said, "God gives me melodies, it's my gift" ...

David writes, "God has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God" ... Psalm 40:3 ...

I'm not sure where this blog is going ... it's late ... my teeth ache ... my wife is talking to me about something, but I'm not really listening ... maybe one day, my brother Jeremy will ask me to join the Myriad ... I could wear tight pants, cowboy boots and color my hair black ... goodnight ...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the perfect worship set ...


every worship leader dreams about the perfect worship set ...

you know, the one that makes everyone laugh and cry and fall on the ground and raise their hands ... and the songs all flow together ... and the sound guy has tears in his eyes ... and the drum fills are angelic ... and you're singing words that aren't even on the screen ... the perfect worship set ...

of course, it's all about the perfect worship songs ... so, I've decided to dedicate this blog to the perfect worship set ... 5 songs, that's it ... and maybe one song for ministry time at the end of the service (while everyone stands around wondering IF the service has actually ended or IF they should keep standing around until the pastor jumps back on the microphone and says 'you can be dismissed' or 'awesome') ...

so, whether you're a worship leader or you own a Delirious album or you play acoustic or you can't sing or your last name is Yoder, please WEIGH IN with the perfect worship set ... don't be shy ...

the perfect worship set ...

Show your Power (everyone clapping & Aaron Wardle singing back up)
In the Light (strobe light, fog machine & my brother Jeremy on electric)
Where you go I go (Scott Davis on drums upside down wearing yellow tank top)
I could sing of your love forever (with Russ York & teenage boys choir)
Send Your Rain (grand piano & Jon Klein on harmonica)

Wash Over me (with live marching band during final chorus)

top that ...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

111 days ...

creepy floating baby ...

she's alive ... she's moving ... I think she's Hispanic ...

in 111 days, my life will change ...

3 girls ... 1 boy ... 2 chihuahuas ... 1 huge cat ...

nathan, welcome to life ...

Monday, November 10, 2008

not in my house ...

it's late, but I feel like blogging ... I'm praying and God is speaking ...

last week, God woke me up in the middle of the night ... I prayed ... as I prayed, God began speaking to me about pornography ... God began showing me the war in the Spirit against pornography ... there's a war raging in heaven against pornography ... Satan has this handful of porn ... I saw his hand of porn so deep in our lives, so deep in the church, so deep in our families, so deep in our marriages and even shaping our children ...

as I prayed, I saw the people of God so consumed and defeated by pornography and lust ... trapped under dark clouds of guilt and shame ... though I saw a great army of God's people, each man and each woman felt alone ... some were fighting, but most had given up and given in ...

then I saw God rise from the darkness ... I saw God rise in compassion and justice ... I saw God rise with a sword to cut off the enemies hand ... and I heard God shout from heaven, "NOT in my HOUSE!" ... with holy anger, I saw God cut off Satan's hand of porn ... and the people of God were set free ...

as I prayed and wept, I felt God's freedom in my home ... I felt God's freedom in my marriage ... I felt God's freedom in my family ... "NOT in my HOUSE!" ... I cried out to God on behalf of my son, Asher ... I felt God's freedom for Asher ...

it is for freedom that Jesus Christ has set us free ... the enemy has been defeated ... Jesus triumphed over the enemy on the cross ... the battle belongs to God ... and God rises with compassion and justice to cut off the enemies hand ...

so humble yourselves before God.
resist the devil and he will flee from you.
draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
James 4:7, 8


may you know the freedom of Jesus Christ in your life ...

the church plant ...


5 weeks ago, we planted our Sunday morning Stirring on Eureka Way ... the Stirring with pews ... it's been a crazy few weeks ... we've been tackling the elephants in the church ... greed and sex and politics and pornography ... the perfect way to plant a church ...

props to our launch team ... they're on it ... the prayer team and the worship team and the Stirring Kids team and the greeters and the sound guys and all our amazing Sunday morning peeps ... we're so proud of you ... your love for Jesus and your passion for people ...

we've met so many new families and couples and students ... this past Sunday, we had over 18 preschoolers in one of our 5 classrooms ... unbelievable ... God is speaking and God is filling and God is moving ... I'm so grateful ...

as we move into this stressful, busy, hurried, rushed and depressing holiday season, my prayer is that we would SLOW down enough to hear God's voice, to sit at His feet, to rest in His presence ... God is calling us face to face ... may we live face to face with Jesus ...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

yellow number three ...

10 years ago, I wrote my first song ... yellow number three ... I wrote this song about a painting that hung on the wall in my Lancer's apartment (home of the greatest disco dance party ever) ...

Yellow sky and golden fields, how we used to love to play, and how I came here not expecting anything to go my way

As young as I feel, as far as I can see, running arms wide open on a shady after Tuesday and I would shake off all my leaves

If I could scoop them up and have you once again, and I would shake off my leaves, to have you once again, but you’ve left me all alone, just hangin on a wall

How Can i get away, from all the things that bring me back to you
Somehow I’ll make it through

As young as I feel, as far as i can see, crawling on our hands and knees, underneath a wire on a fence, it catches on your shirt, your Skin Shines through, but I know that you don’t care, it reminds you of the stupid things we’ve done


I dedicate this blog to the boys who lived at Lancers ... I'll never forget those years ... stay classy ...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

national vote day ...

I almost forgot, today is national Vote Day ... so I voted ...

because I love my mom MORE than I love my veal, I voted yes on Proposition 2 for animal rights ... animals need rights, too ... rights to move their legs and extend their arms and walk around fields like all the other animals ... to keep them locked up in cages and boxes is pure evil ... it's animal ...

anyways, I voted and I wore that sticker with pride ... and I just checked online and I guess that Obama guy just won the election ... I think he's a democrat ... anyways, I hope he cares about the animals as much as my mom ...

the porn addicted elephant ...


yes, there's a porn addicted elephant in the church ... it's one of the most evil and destructive elephants ...

in the Stirring, we're in this series called the Elephant in the Church ... we're tackling the issues that everyone's thinking about (or looking at), yet so many times, no one's talking about it ... and we're convinced that when we talk about this stuff as a church, we experience a healthy tension ... and God wants to weigh in ...

we've talked about the greedy elephant (a great way to launch a new campus), the sexy elephant (my mom showed up), the drunk elephant (carried a six pack of Pale Ale on stage) and the political elephant (one word: submert) ...

this coming weekend, we're exposing the porn addicted elephant ... it's huge ... when it comes to pornography, we're praying that God would bring freedom to a generation ... that God would bring healing and hope to our marriages ... that God would shine His light on this scheme of the enemy ...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

to infinity and beyond ...


last night, we took our kids to the Risen King Harvest Carnival ... what a blast ... throwing footballs through swinging tires ... throwing darts at balloons ... cake walks ... huge bounce houses ... hundreds of kids eating candy and running around filled with sugar ... creepy clowns ... who doesn't love carnivals? ...

Asher wore the best costume ever ... Buzz Light Year ... wings and flashing lights ... seriously, he's the man ... I gave him a lollipop and he chilled with me all night ... next year, I want to dress him up as a little Darth Vader ... my kids love Star Wars ...

growing up, my parents were anti-Halloween ... you know, the Devil's holiday ... so we weren't allowed to 'trick or treat' or dress up or bob for apples ... so instead, my parents would take us in the mini-van on a little Halloween vacation ... we would take a family road trip out of town, we'd eat dinner at some Chinese buffet, and then we'd stayed at a classy hotel with an indoor swimming pool and hot tub ... that was Halloween ...

so, while everyone else grew up 'trick or treating' and dressing up like vampire's and butterflies, we were eating at buffet's and swimming in hot tubs ... later on, my parents lightened up and let us celebrate Halloween ... but I do admit, I miss those Halloween family vacations ...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

late night blog ...

I realize I haven't blogged in days ... yes, I'm alive ...

I'm taking a Master's counseling class at Simpson this week ... 40 hours ... I'm learning how to listen and how to pray and how to encourage and how to grieve ... I'm learning how to slow down and love thick ... I'm reading three ginormous textbooks ... I'm drinking coffee to stay awake ...

last night, God woke me up in the night ... I can't talk about it on this blog, but God spoke something so clearly to me for our church ... I prayed and wept and journaled and then went back to bed ... God is so real ... I shared it with my wife tonight ... we're praying for God to give us courage and wisdom to lead the Stirring through such an exciting and stretching time ... God has given Erica so much wisdom ... I'm so grateful to have her in my life ...

I'm praying for Randy and Kristen Miller ... last week, they found cancer in Randy's body ... it's hard to believe ... Randy is one of the most courageous and encouraging men I have ever met ... I'm proud to stand with him in this time ...

these days, I live in a tension ... so much to be grateful for and so much to grieve ... one thing I know, God is so good ...

Monday, October 20, 2008

creepy floating baby ...

yes, the rumors are true ... my wife and I are pregnant ... and not just pregnant, but 5 months pregnant ... and we're having a little girl ... unbelievable ... my crazy life just got a bit crazier ...

4 kids changes everything ... beds and bedrooms and clothes and shoes and food and seatbelts and movie tickets and plane rides and college tuition and weddings ... and on top of that, 3 girls ... drama and boyfriends and lipstick and periods ... someone punch me in the neck ...

I'm proud to say I have the most amazing wife on the planet ... and she happens to be such a great mom ... I wouldn't want to tackle 4 little half-hispanic half-norweigan tikes with anyone else ...

God is so good and has given us such fantastic (I love that word) children ... 134 days ... yep, I've got to get that Honda Pilot ...

Friday, October 17, 2008

the elephant in my driveway ...


there's an elephant in my driveway ... a creepy pink wire-frame elephant ... for our 'elephant in the church' series at our church ...

my kids love it ... they're begging me to let them keep it in their bedroom ... no, you can't have a huge creepy wire-frame pink elephant in your room ... nightmares of the worst kind ... worse than clown nightmares ...

anyways, this week at the Stirring, we're talking about the sexy elephant in the church ... s e x ... the M word ... porn ... how to teach our kids about sex ... you know, all that stuff ... sex is God's and sex is good ... and God has so much to say ... invite your neighbor and your mom ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

friends and wheelbarrows ...



yes, I've just purchased 10 yards of playground bark and they're dropping it off at my house this Friday morning ...

so, I'll need a couple friends and wheelbarrows ... we're wheelbarrowing 10 yards of bark into my backyard so my kids can fall off the playground and not die ... if you care about my children, please give me a call and respond to this blog ...

seriously, I think we can knock it out in a couple of hours ... anyone available around 3 p.m. this Friday afternoon? ... I'll buy some ice cream sandwiches ...

ava louise edwardson


every day, I realize HOW much Ava Louise is just like me ... she looks like me ... she talks like me ... she has legs like me ... she remembers like me ... she smiles like me ... and she runs like me (unfortunately) ... have you ever seen me run? exactly ...

and just the other night, I realized that she eats like me ... food can't touch other food ... mashed potatoes can't touch peas ... fruit salad can't touch meat ... beans can't touch the bread ...

a few nights ago, she asked for a bowl for her salad ... she's 5 years old and she already NEEDS a bowl for her salad ... yep, me ... anyone else super obsessive when it comes to food touching food? ... probably just me ...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the Elephant in the Church ...


this morning, we planted our new Sunday morning campus ... the Eureka Way campus ... what a great morning of worship ... coffee, God and pews ... it felt so strange being in a new space, yet at the same time, it felt like the Stirring ... I can't wait to see what God does on that side of town ...

we kicked off our new series the Elephant in the church ... I spoke 3 times today ... this is crazy ... every gathering, I'm trying to remember the stories and the phrases and the verses ... it all gets jumbled together ... but in the end, it's all about what God speaks ... I'm just being faithful with God's words and my prayer is that God would take it deeper into people's lives ...

tonight, we talked about the greedy elephant ... greed is so subtle ... we live in a world of greed, but more than that, that world of greed lives in us ... I asked the daunting question, "when is enough enough?" ... at what point in our lives, if ever, could we stand in front of God and say, "I have enough" ... or "I don't need more" ...

over the past year, more than anything, God has been teaching my wife and I how to be grateful with what God has given to us ... how to live gratitude ... how to live enough ... may God free me from greed so I can become more grateful and more generous with the life God has given me ... and one day, may God bless me with a Honda Pilot ...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

spiritual fathers ...

I am grateful for the mentors and spiritual fathers God has placed in my life over these past few years ... they have challenged me and encouraged me and protected me and taught me and shaped me to become the man I am today ...

Bill Randall ... one of the most passionate and courageous men I know ... he saw something in me ... he taught me how to lead with boldness, how to live with focus and how to love with truth ... I will never forget the years I walked with Bill Randall at Risen King ... Bill showed me Jesus and Starbucks ... now I'm addicted (to both) ... I'm looking forward to the next season of our journey ...

Jeff Coulter ... God brought Jeff into my life in a time when I needed a loyal friend ... he taught me how to pray ... he taught me how to listen to God's voice ... he taught me how to wait on God ... he taught me how to enjoy God's presence ... everyone needs a Jeff Coulter ...

Father Sam ... one of the most honest and humble men I have spent time with ... I'm learning Greek and Hebrew ... I'm learning how to humble myself like Jesus ... I'm learning how to love my enemies ... and on top of that, he's a monk ...

My grandpa ... 81 years old and still leaning into God ... I want that ...

My father ... I am grateful for a father who is crazy in love with God ... he always has been ... and more than anyone I've ever met, my father has a burning passion for people ... he has taught me how to love people ... he has taught me how to love through pain and betrayal ... he has taught me how to love the way Jesus loves ... every once in a while, someone will say, "you remind me of your father" ... years ago, I would have cringed ... but now, I take that as a great complement ... (sorry dad, I will never wear Hawaiian button up shirts) ... I must draw the line somewhere ...

may I become a father to others as they have been fathers to me ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a culture of overload ...


I'm reading a book called Margin for my Seminary class ... someone handed it to me almost a year ago ... I was too busy to read it ... (no margin) ...

We live in a culture that devours margin ... if you are homeless, we send you to a shelter ... if you are penniless, we offer you food stamps ... if you are breathless, we connect you to oxygen ... but if you are marginless, we give you yet one more thing to do ...

I just finished the chapter on overload ... activity overload and change overload and choice overload and commitment overload and debt overload and hurry overload and information overload and noise overload and people overload and technology overload (I love technology) and work overload ... sound familiar ... I just described everyone I know ... overload is epidemic ... it's so subtle, yet consumes us ... we've become a people of overload ...

Why are we always so busy and stressed and strapped and broke and hurried and over committed? ... is this what it means to follow Jesus? ... is this the life Jesus calls us to live? ... as I read this book, Jesus confronts my overload ...

my prayer ... Jesus, teach me how to create enough space in my life to hear your voice and live the pace of God ... I want to be fruitful, not busy ... I want to be faithful, not successful ... and Jesus, I would like the iphone for Christmas ... amen ...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

4 days, 13 hrs, 36 min, 36 secs


today, staff meeting was great ... we prayed for each other ... we encouraged each other ... we drank coffee ... God has blessed me with such a great team ...

4 days, 13 hours, 36 minutes and 36 seconds until we plant our Sunday morning church plant ...

tomorrow, a few of us are taking a roadtrip to Sacramento to pick up some stuff for the for the church plant ... Ikea and Guitar Center ... two of my favorite places on earth ... I could live in Ikea ... couches and beds and toys and upscale cafeteria food ... and huge elevators ...

I just spent an hour wrestling with my 3 kids ... bucking bronco ... pillow fights ... dog pile ... just a few of our crazy games ... Ava and Adiah attack me like little midget ninjas ... and when I'm trapped on the ground, Asher bites me in the nipple and laughs at me ... I'm screaming in pain ... and then Adiah pile drives me in the neck ... and Erica's laughing ... and Ava sneaks up behind with a plastic shovel and stabs me in the back ... apparently, they've watched Nacho Libre one too many times ...

just found out that Rob Bell's new book just came out ... Jesus wants to save Christians ... amazing ... my brother Benji just picked up the last copy at Barnes and Noble ... I'll wrestle him for it (if I can use the plastic shovel) ...

Monday, October 6, 2008

asher's first fight ...


I just wrapped up the craziest weekend ever ...

Friday night ... Sigur Ros at the Greek Theater in Berkeley ... life changing ...

Saturday night ... the Myriad at the Cascade ... glorious ...

Sunday night ... the Stirring ... just finished our vision series ... it's official ... we love ...

so, this morning while I was working out at the gym (chest and back), my son Asher fought his first fight ... he's the man ...

Adiah told me the story on the way home ... this bigger kid stole Asher's green truck at least 100 times ... Asher stole it back ... and then the bigger kid pushed Asher ... Asher stood his ground ... then this bigger kid took Asher's head and smashed it against the ground ... the 'child care' lady ran across the room and grabbed the bigger kid by the arm and threw him in the corner for time out ... Asher screamed a bit, found his green truck, pulled it together and got back to the playing ...

I'm proud of my son ... one day, he'll be that bigger kid (like his dad) ... don't mess with the green truck ...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

the Myriad ...

hey, we're looking for a few guys who are willing to help set up and tear down for the Myriad show this Saturday ... it's going to be amazing ...

you'll get free admission to the show and the base player might even give you a backstage 'piggy back ride' ... seriously, if you're interested, give me a call or respond to this blog ... we need 4 guys at 2 p.m. and then after the show ...

(suddenly my blog is beginning to feel like myspace) ... sucks!

beard challenge ...


I've taken up the beard challenge ...

if you have haven't noticed lately, I have the most beautifully trimmed Norwegian beard ... if you're confused, click here or click here ... if you're jealous or a bit curious, I use a professional beard trimmer and I shave gently twice a week ... a triple blade Winco razor ... edge gel with cooling conditioners ... clean and refreshing ... ultimate closeness and ultimate comfort ... I don't mess around ... it's a beard thing ...

stay classy ...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the Eatery ...

my new favorite lunch spot ...
the Eatery ...
downtown next to Nathan's tattoo's ...
i met a couple friends ...
derrick fleck, dan lance and sean gafner ...
the Eatery ...
I nailed a black angus burger with crazy expensive green leaves ...
provolone cheese ...
mushrooms ...
probably the best burger I've ever consumed ...
Paul David is the manager ...
our waitress Rebekah rocked it with the refills ...
the greatest iced caramel machiatto ...
no brewed iced tea ...
enough said ... take your mom out to lunch ...
the Eatery ...

Monday, September 29, 2008

anger issues ...

let's be honest ... growing up, I had anger issues ... I lived for a fight ... at school, at home, in the neighborhood ...

in the 6th grade, I fought the school bully ... he punched me and threw me on the ground ... everyone laughed at me ... with poise, I jumped to my feet and ran toward him like a train ... I knocked him down a steep set of steps ... he rolled to the ground ... then I ran to the principle's office ... by the way, the bully was hispanic ... yep ...

one time, I fought my brother Jeremy in the kitchen ... I was so angry ... I jump kicked him in the face ... true story ... now he's in a rock band ...

in the 8th grade, I was so angry at this guy ... my brother and I schemed a plan to attack him ... Jeremy slowly crouched down behind him ... out of nowhere, I ran at him and threw my body toward his chest ... he flew back and tripped over my sneaky crouching brother ... we broke his arm ... my mom grounded us for a week ...

one night, I fought my friend Dave Reichle in the Applebee's parking lot ... I was so angry at Dave ... he pushed me ... I tiger kicked him in the stomach ... he never pushed me again ...

fortunately, I'm a bit less angry these days ...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

i got burgers ...


today was officially the longest day of my life ...

I couldn't sleep last night ... I drank a Caramel Latte too 'latte' in the evening and the caffeine filled my lungs ... I laid in bed until almost 4 o'clock in the morning ... frustrated ... my mind running all night ...

I woke up this morning at 6:10 a.m. ... showered ... threw on tight pants and tight black shirt and drove to Rick Pitcher's church in Rancho Murrieta ... I drank iced tea ... I spoke twice ... Rick and I ate Shrimp fajitas ... I drank more iced tea ...

I picked up my family in Natomas and we drove back to Redding ... I almost fell asleep driving ... I drank a large iced tea ...

I showed up at the Stirring just in time for worship ... Jacob and Jamie brought it ... they are such humble worship leaders ... they disappear ... and God's presence was so real tonight ... at one point, I couldn't stop laughing ... I was so overwhelmed with joy ... God is so good ...

then Dan Lance spoke on loving the least ... Dan has such a burning passion for the least in our city and around the world ... we're so grateful to have Dan and Alyssa on our team ... they bring God's heart for the least ...

quote of the night ... "I got burgers" ... listen to the podcast ...

Friday, September 26, 2008

eagle eye ...

just drove down to Sacramento to hang with family for a couple of days ... we're off to get some dinner and see that new movie Eagle Eye ... I saw the preview a couple of weeks ago ... it looks good ... I think it's about a firefighter and his wife or something ... anyways, I love Kirk Cameron ...

we have such a great time in Sacramento ... I don't think I'd ever want to live here, but I enjoy weekend getaways ... Panera Bread and B.J.'s and Chili's and hot tubs and Borders and the Arden Fair Mall ... good old Sacramento ...

Sunday morning, I'm speaking at Rick Pitcher's in Rancho Murietta ... I'm talking about hearing God's voice ... living face to face with God ... nothing huge ...

then we're cruising back for the Stirring Sunday night ... see you there ...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

thank God for coffee shops ...


I spend at least 15 hours a week in coffee shops ...

Tuesday morning at Cypress Starbucks ...
Tuesday afternoon Staff Meeting at Bechelli Yaks ...
Wednesday morning at Downtown Starbucks ...
Thursday morning at Simpson Yaks ...
Friday morning at Cypress Starbucks ...
Friday lunch at Sue's coffee shop ...

and I don't even like coffee ... I'm more of a iced tea guy ...

I'm stoked about the Stirring this weekend ... we've talked about loving God, loving each other and loving the world ... this Sunday night, we're talking about loving the least ... do we see Jesus in the least all around us?

I just finished a short video we're showing at the Stirring this weekend about children and backpacks ... a few weeks ago, we handed out over 200 backpacks to children at Cypress Elementary School ... just a simple way to love children and families in our city ... Jesus loves you, here's a backpack and some white out ... thanks again to Juan for designing such cool shirts for the little tikes at Cypress ... go cougars ...

we love ...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

tuesdays ...


tuesdays are great ... Dan threatened me during staff meeting, but I'll get to that later ...

first, I take my daughter to school ... it's 'take my daughter to school tuesdays' ... and every day, she makes me walk her all the way to class ... i'm such a proud father ... hand in hand with my beautiful daughter ...

and then I'm off to Starbucks to hang with God and Dan ... but not today ... Meghan and Dan and I had a urgent meeting at the office this morning at 9 a.m. ... we're planting a Sunday morning Stirring in 18 days ... there's so much to do ... we freaked out ... then pulled it together ... then freaked out a bit more ...

we drove to shirt zone and ordered 229 'we love' shirts ... the bomb ... v-necks and crew cuts and night gowns and kids shirts and onesies ... amazing ... can't wait to show off Asher's chest hair ...

lunch at Tai Cafe ... drunken noodles and evil prince ... good old times ...

off to Yaks coffee shop for Tuesday staff meeting ... Jacob and Hannah joined us today ... 10 of us around one little table ... thanking God, drinking coffee and talking about the elephant in the church ... today we laughed more than anything ... I think we needed it ...

and then I started talking about Heroes and season three and Mohinder and Sylar and Adam Monroe ... now, Dan is still watching season one and he was getting frustrated ... but I kept talking and talking and talking ... so Dan threatened me ... "if you keep talking about Heroes, I'll shank you in the shower" ...

don't mess with Dan ... three words ... bald, tattoos and shank ...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jesus is my friend ...



If you haven't seen this, you're missing out. I talked to the worship team and I think we're going to start doing this song at the Stirring. Zap!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

what's up with vampires?

what's up with vampires? ... all these vampire books ... all these vampire films ... all over town, grown men wearing vampire teeth and costumes ... my friends are sleeping in vampire coffins ... did I miss something? ... when did vampires become so popular ... I'm so confused ...

yesterday, my wife was talking on the phone with her friend (rebecca gafner) ... and Erica's going on and on about this guy Edward and I can't figure out who she's talking about ... Edward this and Edward that and on and on and on ... who's this freaking Edward fellow? ... and so I interrupt my wife on the phone ... who's Edward? ... and yep, she's talking about some vampire guy from her vampire book ... unbelievable ...

so, I've decided to be a vampire for Halloween ... or a clown ... or a clown vampire ... creepy ...

anyways, just got back from the Stirring ... we have such an amazing church ... I am so grateful for such a bold and courageous team ... I couldn't be more proud of the men and women and families and couples and children and students God has brought into our community ... they are so real and passionate and loving ...

we love ... I can't wait for the t-shirts ... I can finally show off my chest hair ...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

clowns ...


so what's the deal with clowns ... creepy or caring ...

my grandma (in Canada) is one of the most amazing and creative and loving people on earth (and especially in Canada) ... she plays the banjo and writes songs and leads worship at her church and prays for the Stirring every night ... the grandma life ...

anyways, she believes in U.F.O.'s and aliens ... she's seen Bigfoot and the Lochness Monster ... and she's deathly frightened by creepy clowns ... in her own words, "clowns are from the devil" ...

she tells this story about her trip to Paris ... she was on the steps of the Sacred Heart Cathedral ... there are vendors and jugglers and tourists and clowns everywhere ... I've been there ... it's breathtaking and creepy ... one night, this tall clown attacked my grandma on the steps of the Cathedral ... it came running toward her ... she put out her hand and rebuked it in the name of Jesus (yep, the first thing I do when a creepy clown attacks me) ... when she said the name of Jesus, the clown flew back through the air 10 feet and landed on its back ... it got up and ran away ... true story ... I believe her ...

more 'clown blogs' to come ... we can't just sit back and let clowns take over the world ... watch out for clowns ... and Bigfoot ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

garage sale ...

went to the Stirring BBQ tonight ... 2 things I love ... steak and potato salad ... hung out with friends and met some new Stirring peeps ... Beth and Katie and Zach ...

I dropped the family off at home and drove over to the Garage Sale ... it's huge ... furniture and clothes and speakers and books and a coffin ... the usual ... I already bought some t-shirts and a ginormous bag of legos ... one day, my son will build me a lego tower ... and I will knock it down with a jump kick ... good old father/son time ...

it's midnight ... I've been working on a short film for the past 2 hours ... I'm tired ... I need sleep ... my cat won't leave me alone ... stay away from dirty movies ...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

life group ...

we met tonight for life group ... what an amazing group of friends ... over the past few years, my wife and I have been involved in so many different life groups ... some life changing and some awful ... after tonight, I'm looking forward to Thursday nights ... I'm ready to devote myself to a group of crazy Jesus followers ... not to mention the peanut butter brownies ... that's church ...

and we missed you guys, Jenna, Libbie and Ian ... see you next week ...

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and to prayer and brownies ... everyone was filled with awe ..."

Acts 2:42

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

date night ...


the perfect date night ...

we dropped the kids off at a friend's house ... jumped into the Oldsmobile ... all dressed up ... tight pants and a button up shirt ... I took my wife to that new restaurant Rivers ... we ate deep friend Gnocchi, Alaskan Halibut and Jerusalem Chicken Artichoke Pot Pie ...

and for dessert, we drove to Rite Aid for some chocolate malted crunch ice cream ... the best ice cream in the world ... (years ago, I was fired from Rite Aid for giving away free ice cream) ... back then we called it Thrifty's ... back in the good old days, when ice cream scoops were still 39 cents ...

and to end the most romantic night ever, we watched that Owen Wilson movie 'Drillbit Taylor' ... we laughed and laughed and laughed ... one of my favorite Owen Wilson movies ... and I loved him in Fight Club ...

this blogs over ... abierto ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

enjoying mondays ...


my day off ...

I woke up this morning at 9:58 am and realized I have 1000 things to do ... fix the lawnmower ... mow the lawn ... weedeat the lawn ... fertilize the lawn ... take movies back to Hollywood video ... fix my scooter ... buy a hubcap for my Mirage ... get my bike back from sean ... put air in the tires ... buy bark for the kids playground ... get friends with wheelbarrows to help me wheelbarrow bark from the street to the back yard this Saturday ... get stuff ready for the church garage sale ... plant a church in 4 weeks ...

but today, I did nothing ... I woke up late ... I worked out ... I laid on the couch and watched a lame movie ... I read a couple chapters of McLaren's book 'A New Kind of Christian' ... I took my kids to Jamba Juice ... I fed the parakeet ... (oh yeah, we have a parakeet) ... we ate dinner with the Gafner's ... we enjoyed Pumpkin Ice Cream ... I spent time with my wife ... I blogged ...

Go check out our new website ...

thanks to Patrick and Jeremy and everyone else who threw down to make this happen ... we love ... www.thestirring.org ...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stirring tonight ...


I'm never sure what to blog about my evenings at the Stirring ... should I stay surfaced and cordial, or do I invite everyone into my strange, pastor world? ...

I love our church ... not the building or the coffee or the stickers ... I really love the people God has placed in our church ... they floor me with their passion for God ... they are so loyal and generous and encouraging and faithful ... I'm so grateful for such an amazing community of couples and families and students and children ...

I spoke at the Stirring tonight ... but tonight was a bit different for me ... I was nervous to speak (which happens most of time) ... but this week, my hands were trembling during worship ... I felt His kind presence with me ... and yet, I felt so nervous in my spirit ... almost felt like the fear of the Lord ... literally, at one point, I fell on my knees, shaking ... I felt so weak and I began praising God ... immediately, I was drawn to the words of Paul ...

I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling ... my message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power ...

1st Corinthians 2:3-6


that's my prayer for our church ... as my Grandpa always says, "we need God" ... I agree ...

it's 11:35 pm ... just finished watching the last episode of Heroes, Season 2 ... we're ready for Villians ... bring it on ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

prayer ...

we prayed tonight ... the perfect way to begin another school year ... I've never been more grateful and excited to know God ... and to travel with so many amazing friends ... I love our church community ... I'm surrounded with people who want God ... it's refreshing ...

and I met a guy from Turkey tonight ...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

nacho libre ...


I just watched Nacho Libre with my kids ... they loved it ... probably the greatest wrestling movie ever, besides Rocky III ...

for weeks, my daughters have been begging me to watch Nacho Libre ... come on, dad, let's watch it ... but I've been waiting for the right moment ... you can't rush things with little girls ...

but tonight it felt right ... Erica was gone at the Cambodia sharing night ... we dressed up in our jammies ... we brushed our teeth ... and we sat down for a family movie ... Nachooooooo Libreeeeeeee ... and I took the opportunity to teach my kids a lesson about helping orphans ... of course, Nacho wrestles for money to buy salads and foods for the orphans ... what a great Christian film ...

after the movie, Adiah climbed up on top of our couch ... she raised her hands in the air ... screaming Nachooooooo Libreeeeeeee, she jumped off the couch and flew through the air like an eagle ... she landed on Asher and knocked the wind out of him ... I'm so proud of her ... I hope she joins the wrestling team in high school ...

this is my 100th post ... blogging is so overrated ...

Monday, September 8, 2008

watch out Myriad ...


today, my 5 year old daughter Ava Louise wrote her first song ... we were hanging out ... she said, "Dad, let's write a song" ... she brought me a pad and a pen ... in just minutes, she threw down the lyrics to this song ... and I wrote them down, word for word ... absolutely brilliant ... takes notes, Uncle Jeremy ...

You are like the sun
You made my hands, You made my toes
Everywhere I look, I see Your face
By Your hand, we are all fed

Thank You Jesus for the world I have
Thank You that I have You
Thank You Jesus

Thank You Jesus for my life
You made the rain, You made the stars
Everywhere I look, I see Your face
By Your love, we are all Your children


we gathered around the piano and knocked out some chords ... Ava asked if I would play her song at the Stirring ... I replied, "of course" ... I'll have to teach it to Jacob and Jenna ... what a great day ... my daughter the song writer ... I guess it runs in the family ...

featured above is the artwork for Ava's first song ...

mountains or temples ...

so, I've been thinking about this lately ... what does it mean to love God? ... from Genesis to Revelation, this is the heart of the entire God story ... we're God's people on earth, in love with Jesus, calling the world back into a life with God ...

in John 4, Jesus has this conversation with a woman ... she's asking about worship ... she grew up worshipping on a mountain, yet the Jews worship in a temple ...

Jesus replies, "the time is coming and has now come, when worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him" ... it's not about mountains or temples ... it's not about ancient hymns or new songs ... it's not about some style of worship ... God is seeking worshipers ... period ...

God is looking for men and women who are so crazy in love with Him ... who have been so captured by His glance ... who run into His presence ... who fall at His feet ... who listen for His voice ... who search out His heart ... who just can't wait to be with the One they love ...

if you get a chance this week, read Acts ...

and don't forget, we're gathering Wednesday night from 7-10pm for a 'Night of Prayer' ... we want to begin this new season in prayer ... everyone's invited ... come for 30 minutes or stay for the whole night ... just show up and let's learn how to wait on God and pray together ...

Friday, September 5, 2008

we love. we make disciples.


it's 12:47 a.m.

I just finished a short film I've been working on this week for Sunday night ... I can't wait to show it ... seriously, there's nothing I enjoy more than creating and producing films ... and spending time with my kids ... and eating my wife's enchiladas (just in case my wife is reading this blog) ...

when I was 10 years old, my father bought me a video camera ... one of those heavy old school video cameras ... and for 10 years, I shot over 50 short films with my brothers ... crazy films ... Indiana Edwardson ... Rollerman ... the Paperboy ... music videos ... school projects ... I lived behind that camera ...

over the next few years, I want to carve out more and more time to create short films ... in fact, Drew Maw and I are talking about producing a short film for Erase the Dark, our film festival this coming February ...

anyways, this Sunday night, we begin a new 5 week series ... we love, we make disciples ... we believe this is why God has placed the Stirring community in Redding ... we want to spend the next 5 years living these 5 words ...

I can't wait to spend the next few weeks calling our church to give their lives to what matters most ...

read the book of Acts ... for the next few weeks, we're going to live in the book of Acts ...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

superheroes ...

yes, I've been having dreams lately about superheroes ... it's great ... sometimes I'm flying ... sometimes I'm regenerating ... sometimes I'm traveling through the time/space continuum ... and then I wake up and I'm standing in my boxers at the edge of my bed ready to jump ... and my wife is staring at me ... but she can't see me, because I'm invisible ...

my wife and I are 4 episodes into season 2 ... so far, a bit disappointing ... I guess the writers were on strike, which makes sense, because the writing sucks ... but of course, we keep watching anyways ... were bored and addicted Americans ...

also, I've been reading through the book of Acts the past few days ... fantastic ... kind of like heroes, but with the risen Jesus ...

the book of Acts just floors me ... if you haven't read it lately, read it tonight ... just read it and see how God speaks to you ...

I've been praying this Acts 4 prayer for our church ... that God would enable us to speak His word with great boldness, that God would stretch out His hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of Jesus ...

after they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken ... and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly ...

Acts 4:29-31 ...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

the Stirring ...

it's 10:33 pm ... I just got home from the Stirring ...

Derrick spoke tonight ... he told the story of the thief on the cross ... one of the most creative messages I've heard in a long time ... if you missed it, get the podcast ... light some candles and listen to it with your family ...

and Jenna led worship ... we sang a new song tonight ... one of Kim Walker's new songs ... amazing ... and just when I thought the night was winding down, Jenna pulls out 'better is one day' ... yep, old school ... the place erupted ... hands in the air ... crying out to God ... young and old ... I think someone choked on their coffee ... that's what happens when God shows up ... and then, out of nowhere, Dan starts playing this Metallica guitar lead ... and I'm rockin' the keys like Billy Joel ...

I'm stoked about this coming year ... God is so good ... I love our church and where God is leading us ... and Metallica ...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

weekend in Sacramento ...

my family and are spending the weekend in Sacramento ... we love spending time with my parents ... and getting away from 118 degree weather ...

last night, I slept for over 10 hours ... it's the first time in 12 years ... then we jogged down to Fitness 19 and worked out for an hour ... traps and gluts and biceps ... it's my life ...

now we're headed off to the Sacramento Zoo ... I'm not a huge Zoo fan, but my kids are freaking out ... they love animals ... Ava already has her little animal checklist and Adiah's talking about monkeys and lions ... I hope I get to ride an elephant ... if so, I'll post the picture tonight ...

I'm looking forward to the Stirring Sunday night ... we're wrapping up the face to face series ... it's been an amazing and shaping summer for our church ... God has given us such an amazing team ... they are so God crazy ... I can't wait to see what God does this next year ...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

filming, dancing and drunk ...

I just spent the last 2 hours filming a short video at downtown Marketfest ... it's a short bit for our new series this fall ... I took my daughter Ava ... we had such an amazing time ...

the downtown night life is fantastic ... snow cones ... belly dancers ... drum circles ... face painting ... balloon clowns ... and of course, drunk dancing shirtless people ... welcome to Redding ...

tonight, I remembered my love for film making ... the lighting and angles and colors and movement ... shaping and framing each and every shot ... children laughing and smiling at the camera ... old people hugging ...

and I love being around so many different people ... especially half naked hippie dancing people ... it reminds me of my years at Simpson ... we used to throw the greatest dance parties ever ... back before they outlawed dancing ... and half nudity ...

anyways, thanks everyone who helped out with the film ... you make the world a better place ... keep dancing and stay away from clowns ... (speaking of clowns, in the near future, I will blog about clowns) ... stay tuned ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Christian words ...


just met with the Sunday morning Launch Team ...
great evening at the Gafner's ...
chips and salsa and iced tea and carrot cake ...
we can't wait for the Stirring with pews ...

so, tonight we banned a few good ol' Christian words ...
like fellowship and dovetail and congregation ...
and of course, potluck ...
so, we need a new word for the 'after church' potluck ... any ideas?

Sean Gafner's suggestion ... the Feast ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

tuesday 'take my daughter to school' day ...


yes, it's official ... tuesday is 'take my daughter to school' day ... we wake up early ... we brush our teeth ... we throw down waffles and yogurt ... we throw on our backpacks ... and we're off to school ...

this morning, I tried to drop her off in the parking lot ... but she threw a fit and made me walk her all the way to her classroom ... holding her hand ... skipping all the way ... unbelievable .... the sacrifices we make as dads ...

and in the parking lot, yep, we passed good old Dan and Zeke ... holding hands and skipping, too ... what a beautiful picture of a father & son bonding ...

this afternoon, our Stirring Staff spent 5 hours locked up in a small room in Yaks ... freezing cold ... we laughed and dreamed and shivered and drank large amounts of coffee ... I can't wait to jump into fall and to plant this Sunday morning church ... it's fantastic to be alive ... it's 9 pm ... I'm still shaking from the coffee ...

Monday, August 25, 2008

the greatest 90's rock albums ever ...


i woke up at 9:56 am ... the best morning of my life ... i love sleeping in ... like it's my job ...

this morning, my daughters dressed up like princesses and we danced ... we danced and frolicked around the living room ... but when we dance, we must have the perfect dancing music ... most of the time it's Josh Groban or the Beach Boys, but this morning I threw on the Cranberries ... amazing dance music ... my daughters love the Cranberries ... fantastic princess dancing music ...

so, all day I've been thinking about the greatest 90's rock albums ever ... here it goes ...

#5 ... Nirvana ... Nevermind ... these guys have always been role models to me ...

#4 ... Pearl Jam ... Ten ... i memorized every song on this ablum ... the greatest album ever until Radiohead released the Bends ...

#3 ... DC Talk ... Jesus Freak ... finally, Christians had permission to be freaks ... thanks for being bold with this ablum ... i saw DC Talk on their Jesus Freak tour in San Diego ... the first Christian mosh pit ever ...

#2 ... Counting Crows ... August and Everything After ... so many high school memories ... my blue topaz ... cross country ... the cafeteria ... being duct taped to the school flag pole ...

the #1 greatest 90's rock album ever ... Radiohead ... the Bends ... i admit, I was a bit obsessed with Radiohead ... they gave me the nickname, 'Radioheadwardson' ... not cool ... i just liked the music ...

Friday, August 22, 2008

awesome ...


I was talking with a friend last week and he said that he’s been talking like me … he’s saying ‘Awesome’ all the time … he says that’s my word … Awesome … I guess I use the word Awesome all the time … so much I don’t even notice it … I asked my wife, do I really say ‘awesome’ all the time? … she replied, “yep,” to which I replied, “awesome!” …

But what does Awesome really mean? … in my world, Awesome can mean so many things … in fact, it can get confusing, so here it goes …

Awesome means ‘that really sucks and I’m glad I’m not you!” … when someone shares with me that they’ve just been fired at work or they can’t pay rent or someone in their family is sick, I will say, “awesome” and hang my head low in empathy and understanding … try this sometime …

Awesome means ‘I don’t know what else to say’ … when it gets really awkward, either in a conversation or at the end of the Stirring 2nd gathering and I have no idea what to say, I will say, “awesome” and we smile and go our separate ways …

Awesome means ‘punch me in the neck and it’s not really awesome’ … when someone shares with me that they just got their girlfriend pregnant or that they are leaving the Stirring to go to a ‘real church’ or that they just robbed a bank, I will say ‘awesome’ and punch myself in the neck …

Awesome means ‘I’m not really listening but I want you to think I’m listening’ … sometimes I don’t listen well … I’m working on it … but in the meantime, when someone is telling me something really important and I’m tuning out, I will say “awesome,” which means I really love you but I’m having trouble listening right now … this one doesn’t work well with my wife, Erica …

Finally, Awesome means ‘awesome’ … when something is truly awesome, I will say, “awesome!” … what else would I say? …

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the church plant ...


so, just hours ago we walked through the space for our Sunday morning church plant ... we, meaning Sean Gafner, Dan Lance and myself ... we couldn't be more excited about this space for our church plant ... it's perfect ...

brick building ... A frame church ... stained glass windows ... and of course, blue pews ... simply Old School ... and not to mention the grand piano ... fantastic ...

we've got 8 weeks to plant this church ... to pray ... to get the team ready ... to raise $30,000 ... no problem ...

please pray that God gives us favor in this new community ... we've already been praying for the families and couples and children that God will bring into our lives this coming year ... as we plant this new church, the last thing we want is a church filled with more Christians, especially from other churches ...

more than anything, we need God ... we need God to give us wisdom and courage ... we need God to fill us with His Spirit ... the prophet Zechariah writes, 'not by strength, not by might, but by My Spirit says the Lord" ... we are crying out to God for the impossible ... we're crying out to God for a generation ... and in 8 weeks, we'll be crying out to God from blue pews ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

heroes ...


so, a week ago, my wife and I rented the first episode of heroes, season one ...

no one recommended it ... no one raved about it ... I just walked by the movie aisle, saw it sitting lonely on the shelf, and I brought it home ... I guess I've been going through a super-hero stage in my life ... in fact, a couple of weeks ago, I went out and bought two new t-shirts ... yep, the Incredible Hulk and the Marvel Super Team ... and then I tried to fly off the roof ...

anyways, 7 days later, we've almost finished the whole first season ... we have two episodes left ... absolutely amazing ... my favorite of all the television series ...

Alias was cool, until season 4 ... we tried watching lost ... one word, LOST ... we watched 5 seasons of 24 in a row ... if you think Jack is dead, you don't know Jack ... and then we watched the first two seasons of Prison Break ... we loved it ... it reminded me of high school ...

but so far, nothing compares to Heroes ... brilliant story, cinematography and special effects ... and deep down, every one of us wants to be a hero ... save the cheerleader, save the world ...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

everyone has a book in them ...


so, I’ve been thinking about writing my first book … it seems like everyone else is writing a book …

Dan’s writing his first book, “Born in the Pew” …

My dad’s writing his first leadership book, “Accelerate” …

Bill Giovannetti just finished his first book, “How to keep your Inner Mess from Trashing your Outer World” …

Trisha Wheeler is working hard on her creative writing project, “Painting on Wings and Clouds” …

John Klein just told me about his upcoming autobiography, “Like an Angel” …

and I can't wait to read Dave Reichle's most recent book ... "the Sixth Love Language" ... I think Aaron Morkert's co-writing a couple chapters ...

and of course, Jeff Yoder’s writing his Christian novel, “Jesus and the Amish” … it releases this December …

To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m a ‘book’ kind of guy, but one of my professors once said, “everyone has a book in them” … I have no idea what that means, but I think I’ll give it a shot anyways …

So, I need a name for my first book … any thoughts? …

I was thinking about calling it, “When Heaven Invades Earth,” but someone told me it’s already taken …

Friday, August 15, 2008

4,659 words later ...

two minutes ago, I turned in my Greek exegetical paper for Tozer Seminary ...

17 pages, 4,659 words, 12 sources, 32 citations and 114 hours later ... I'm finally finished ... seriously, I thought about quitting seminary 14 times ... and throwing my laptop computer from the top of that strange, 2 million dollar, Simpson bell tower ...

for the past two weeks, I've practically lived in the Simpson library ... depressing ... I thought about bringing a sleeping bag and camping out in the silent study area ... I've read 10 commentaries ... I've had the strangest conversations with Bethel students ... I know every librarian by name ... I took two naps on those huge bean bags ... I thought about stealing one, but I didn't think it would fit in my trunk ...

anyways, I'm looking forward to the greatest weekend ever with my family ... and designing the rock wall for the kids fort in my backyard ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

oh, that Georgia ...

my wife and I were working out yesterday ... I can bench about 90 ... yes, I'm stronger than I look ...

after working my biceps and neck muscles, I jumped onto the cardio machine ... and as I worked my calves and my gluts, I began watching television ... CNN ...

and then, breaking news ... the Russians are in Georgia with guns, 35 miles from the capital ... the Russians, in Georgia ... and I'm watching live video ... Russians attacking innocent people with guns and weapons and blowtorches ... in Georgia ... my heart begins pounding ... I'm freaking out ... the Russians are in Georgia ...

my wife was working her calves and gluts about 4 machines across the room ... I turned off my I-Pod and yelled across the gym to her, like a crazy man ... "Erica, the Russians are in Georgia" ... everyone in the gym hears me ... I'm pointing violently toward the televisions, a look of terror and on my face ... she's confused, but begins tracking with the CNN story ... yep, the Russians are attacking Georgia ...

this whole time, I'm convinced the Russians are in the United States, in Georgia, attacking our country, 35 miles from the capital ... and then, 5 minutes later, it hits me ... oh, that Georgia ... amazing ... I quietly finished my work out ... true story ...

Monday, August 11, 2008

the Olympics ...


my wife and I have been watching the Olympics tonight ... swimming and gymnastics ... some Phelps guy just won his 9th gold medal ... brilliant ... I think he's 14 years old ... the question is, are you a Phelps Phan? ...

anyways, the Olympics take me back to the days when I played sports ... my 'golden' athlete years ... this may be a shock to the blogging world, but I was quite the athlete ... Central Valley High School ... the high school of Champions ... baseball and cross country and tennis and pickle ball ... not to mention, I played soccer for Simpson College ... yep, those were the days ... the glory days ... back when athletic competition was more than a simply a pastime ... it was life ... back when sports wasn't about money and fame ... it was about honor ... before drugs and steroids and supplements ... I will never forget the 90's ...

and did anyone watch the Olympic opening night? ... fantastic ... props to China ... I've never seen anything like it ... children flying with kites ... that huge LCD screen across the stadium ... lights and fireworks ... that crazy segment with the moving boxes ... over 15,000 people dancing and singing and performing ... (way better than last year's 4th of July show at the Civic) ...

anyways, I'm in the Olympic spirit ... tomorrow, I will probably run or swim or throw a javelin ... and they I'll drive to Hollywood Video and rent that movie 'Nadia' ... amazing film ... back before the Russians invaded Georgia ...

my crazy weekend ...


I've been running for 100 hours straight ... welcome to my crazy weekend ...

Thursday night ... dress rehearsal for Matt and Lindsay's wedding ... later on that night, church planting meeting at Paul's house ... we packed 38 people into one living room ... we're planting our Sunday morning church in 10 weeks ... amazing ...

Friday night ... Matt and Lindsay's wedding ... came home to hang with family ...

Saturday ... Hackfest Golf Marathon 2008 ... I teamed up with Pete Metz, Jason Jones and my brother Benji ... we had a great time hacking at balls and digging balls out of creeks ... I think I could really get into this golf thing ... aren't pastors supposed to be golfers ... like Rick Pitcher ... over all, we raised over $18,000 for our new church plant ... thanks guys ...

Sunday Night ... spoke at the Stirring ... Jenna led worship ... Alyssa's water broke ... Sean wore a Diego backpack ... we had an awesome time of worship and prayer ...

I prayed for a guy who came to the Stirring with his friend for the first time ... this is the first time he's ever experienced God ... another guy came running up to me ... he said, "I have no idea what's happening to me, for the past four weeks, when I come to church, all I can do is cry" ... God's changing him into a new person ... I've known this guy for a year, and for the first time, I can see joy in his eyes ... I prayed with a girl who grew up in church, but she's never really met God ... she wants to know God ... God is so outrageously good ...

now it's sabbath ... I'm going to sit around all day and do nothing ... and then mow my lawn ...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

face to face ...


tomorrow night, we begin a new series at the Stirring ... face to face ... we were created to live face to face with God ... so why don't we?

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Exodus 33:11

I believe that God is looking for one person ... anyone can burn in a crowd ... God is looking for someone who will burn for Him when no one's looking ... who will worship Him when there's no church service ... who will cry out to Him in the middle of the night when there's no crisis ...

God is looking for one person who will know Him face to face ... and when God finds that person, He will use them to shape history ...

I've been praying for our church for weeks, and especially as we move into this next journey ... that we would know God's voice ... that we would see God's face ... that we would feel God's breath ... that we would become friends of God ... God's face to face people on earth, calling the world back into a life with God ...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

thoughts on Todd Bentley ...

so, what about Todd Bentley and those Lakeland Revivals? ... please do not comment until you've watched this 4 minute video ... I believe this is God's heart ...