Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mexico Gone for Good

Last week was a Gone for Good (G4G) week at Kaleo. For anyone who doesn't know, roughly once a month instead of our traditional Sunday gathering Kaleo heads out into our community to serve others and show God's love in tangible ways. We've cleaned up an alley in Southwest Bakersfield, painted a dorm at one of the local homeless shelters, thrown a party at a local park and last month we sent out teams of five to six people with $50 and the mandate to prayerfully and creatively go bless people. We called it the Fifty Dollar Experiment, you can read some of the participants experiences here. This month we joined Christ's church of the Valley and went to Mexico for a day and helped build houses for Casa de Amor. (see all the pics here) We had an incredible time I took James and Jason and Becky stayed home with the little ones. 
I was so proud of the boys, Jason helped where he could and kept an eye out for one of the younger kids who came with us, and James worked like a man, really. He stirred cement (by hand) lugged stucco around two hoppers at a time (those things are heavy), applied stucco,  shoveled sand and anything else that needed to be done. All the adults with us were impressed. The down side for him is that my expectations for him are significantly raised. 
I'm hoping to go again in the not too distant future, although I'll probably have to arm wrestle Becky over it since one of us will need to stay home with the youngsters.

Friday, May 23, 2008

What's missing from my reading list?

I read a buddy of mines blog the other day about parenting books and how he has no use for them and never reads them. 2 Months earlier I would have agreed with him flat out. I had never spent any real time reading parenting books. I started a Focus on the Family book called Bringing up Boys once because a group at our church was reading it but I don't think I made it even 1/4 of the way through it.

However I was at a bookstore/coffee shop a few months ago waiting for a friend and a book entitled Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids caught my eye. I'm not sure why but I bought it, it just seemed to fit how I'd been parenting lately. It sat around for a couple months until it got moved to the bathroom. As with any good man, I'll read anything while sitting on my throne, and so I picked it up. It's very good (I wish I had read it years ago), I'll blog about it at a latter date.

So today I came across a blog (women don't go check it out. But if you must, please don't start commenting on the posts and ruin it as a place for us guys to hang out.) and on it links to a few other marriage/husband blogs. The thought hit me-I've spent a lot of time reading about every topic concerning any job I've ever held, but I've spent very little time reading about parenting or marriage. I read about development, vision, and leadership when I was at a development consulting firm–design and creativity when I was at a creative agency–small groups, discipleship, evangelism, outreach etc when I was on staff at a church and church planting, leadership and entrepreneurship as a church planter. So why would I not be reading about parenting and marriage? If the saying "show me your wallet and your calendar and I'll show you what's important to you" holds any truth, certainly my reading list would also reflect to some degree what I value.

I agree with my friend that every child is different and no one book can address how to parent every child; however I also recognize that I've never read a book that fully addressed any topic I was interested in, but I've also never read a book that didn't have at least some insight and wisdom I could use.

I guess all this has lead me to believe I really need to spend some more time reading up on marriage and parenting.

So I have a great parenting book that I'm just finishing, any suggestions for a book on how to love my wife better? or another parenting book?

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Sarah Grace

What can I say about Sarah? Sarah means princess and being the only girl after three boys it's very appropriate. I realize I'm a biased father but she is B E A utiful. Her smile absolutely blows me away. She is already whipping her brothers in to shape, we all adore her. She may come out of this a little over confidant, but she'll never need to turn to some young man for a sense self worth. She has four men (future men) in our house who think she hung the moon. Of course with David around I'm not to worried about future suiters, at this point they're almost inseparable. At three we're only beginning to see signs of her personality. She definitely has David and Jason's charm it will be interesting to see if she gets Becky and James' sense of justice and strength of character. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


We like to say that David has an internal nuclear reactor. If you google perpetual motion pictures of David are always the first thing to pop up. When I was looking for pictures to post of David I had to search a little harder because so many of them are blurry, really. All of his pics basically fall into a five categories David running, David swinging a sword, David messy, David sleeping, David with Sarah. We take pictures of him sleeping because it's the only time he stays still unless of course he's posing with Sarah. He adores his little sister, he will be her great protector when they hit school. David is equal parts sweet and mischievous. He's incredibly difficult to discipline because he has a way of being naughty and hilarious at the same time. You try not to laugh or smile but it's usually to hard.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Jason our second is a charmer. I'm scared of what the next 5 years hold for us. At recess this year he had a girl (6th grader) write her phone # on his hand and asked him to call her. We told him to avoid those girls like the plague. I'm very proud of him, because he has worked very hard this year to catch up in school. This past semester he made Honor Role and was the student of the month for his grade last month. He has an incredible smile and a deep love for his siblings. If we can teach him to harness his ability to influence people for the Kingdom he will be a great leader.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Becky is the one who usually blogs about the kids, but I decided I needed to brag on them some. This blog is supposed to be about God's fingerprints on our lives and our kids are certainly the greatest gift (outside of salvation) Becky and I have been given. So I'll take one at a time in the order they were given to us. I took these pics of James about a week ago. They really show how he's maturing. He plays soccer like he lives life–he's intense but not too competitive, he gives his best, but always looks out for others, he loves to laugh and make others laugh. Of course he's in Junior High so most of his humor makes his parents cringe, but hopefully thats just a phase. James has an incredible moral compass, not that he doesn't also have a sin nature, but usually given time his conscience wins out. He is very tenderhearted and giving and deeply loyal. His friends are friends for life, as evidenced by all the emails we still receive from the ville. Here are some recent pics.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Swarm of Locust

Wow! What an awesome day. Kaleo partnered with Life Journey for our second combined "Gone for Good". [G4G is the outflow ministry of Kaleo, once a month instead of gathering for corporate worship and learning on Sunday, we go into the community and serve.] These absolutely thrill me because they hit the crossroads of two of my biggest passions 1)the unity of the body of Christ and 2)the church serving the community as a tangible expression of God's love. This month we went to The Bakersfield Rescue Mission and painted their men's residence.
I talked to the chaplain this evening and he said the residents of the mission described us a swarm of locus descending on the building. It was pretty cool a group of roughly 45 of us mostly teens (go youth power!) painted the entire building in about 3.5 hours. 
This evening I had the privilege of speaking to their "Disciples" crew. The Disciples are a group of men and women who are going through a one year program with the mission to grow in their faith. The worship was incredible! When people who are keenly aware of their brokenness and all that God has done for them praise Him, it is unforgetable. If only we could all understand our need for God's grace and appreciate it the way I experienced it tonight. I have so much to learn from these men and women that much of society has probably given up on. I was greatly humbled.
Also I wanted to give huge thanks to Becky for taking care of all the kids today. There's nothing sexy about staying behind and watching kids while everyone else is enjoying each others company and slopping paint or worshiping with new friends, but Becky did it (as always) without complaint. It freed me and our team to serve although there was no glory in it. She is the servants servant. I love her dearly and know none of my ministry would be possible without her. I also know she makes Jesus smile. I couldn't ask for a more Christ-like woman.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Some Heros

Last week I was in Florida at Exponential. It was great to hang out with so many incredible men and women who have answered Gods call to start new God honoring fellowships. However the highlight of my week was hanging out with some guys who are my heros. It was cool to have brief conversations with Allen Hirsch, Mark Batterson, Sally Morganthaler and Vince Antonucci all of whom have had a good bit of influence on how I think about and engage in ministry. I even got invited to a private Q&A with Andy Stanley (although I still have no idea why, I was probably the only guy in the room who had a congregation of less than 500 people and certainly the only one with a congregation of less than 50. I'll chock it up to clerical error). However I can't say that these guys are my heros. The hero's I'm talking about I got to spend significantly more time with. ie
Linus Morris who's ministerial longevity, wisdom and graciousness are inspiring (I hope someday I can have made an impact for the Kingdom anywhere half as large as he has and be as humble and approachable). 
David Limeiro who is crazy obsessed (in a good way) with church planting, his encouragement of, and words of wisdom to, me are some of the most valuable I receive because He knows me and the road I walk well.
Eric and Shanon Barnes who just quit a great job at a good church to go and plant even though they don't know where/when/with whom they're going to plant or how they're going to fund it (now I'm trying to remember why I'm so crazy about them. lol)
And my newest hero Tim Reardon. I attended a pre-conference intensive on the incarnational church and I realized (no disrespect intended) I learned more and was more inspired about living an incarnational life just hanging out with Tim than from the intensive I paid for. 
After lunch with a couple other pastors on Thursday Tim said he wished he could hang out with all of us more because there was so much he could learn from us. I think we have as much or more to learn from Tim.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Banners & Gratitude

We're coming to the end of our year of free banners from Group Imaging. I can't thank them enough for their investment in our church and church planting in general (we would never have been able to afford a wrap for the events truck much less all the other banners they printed for us). We just ordered banners for each of our Children's Ministry Classrooms and have a few more to turn in. If you have a need for a banner, vehicle wrap or trade show stuff give them a call.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

One Prayer

I stopped blogging. I'm starting again. Nuff said.

I got an email from the church we attended in Tulsa before we moved out here. They are partnering and inviting other churches to join in a series they're doing in June entitled One Prayer. I love the concept. We'll preach one sermon live and bring in some other incredible speakers from other churches via video. We'll all be preaching on the question, If you could pray one prayer for the church at large what would it be.
It's a tough question. So many things spring to mind. So I've begun the process of building my list so I can cut it down to one.

What would your prayer be?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

the missing aspect

"It's a nice community, real warm and friendly to each other - something I am missing since I am not religious at all. In fact I left church when I was 18, first thing I did when I was coming of age. But I must admit that when I am around people that are religious I sometimes realize that my life is missing one aspect. Religious people in a community are embedded and protected, and when things go wrong, they have the support of their community."
This is from a blog I ran across recently, the author was describing their experience at a Bar Mitzvah. I love reading blogs about peoples experiences with faith, religion and the church, it always challenges me.
I'm reminded about how important belonging is in the Body of Christ. I hope Kaleo is attractive to an "unreligious" world because of the warmth and authenticity of our community.