Small Towns and Big Towns.

Tuesday night we stopped in a small town called Grand Island, It is Nebraska population is about 30,000 or so. We stayed the night there so we could split the trip to Colorado up some.

Yesterday morning while we were at breakfast I noticed something that I dont typically see in springfield. Everyone there was excessively nice. In the span of 45 minutes or however long it took us to finish eating, three people made comments about our family like: "Your children are great", "You have a perfect family", or "My goodness they are so adorable". Mind you this restaurant was not excessively busy there were probably only 15 people there.

So what is the point? The point is that in the busyness of large towns we have lost sight of community. When Amanda and I got to the car we were laughing because it seems as if in springfield or another large city a person would be more likely to ask you to shut your kid up than comment on how great they are.

Here is to keeping community even in big cities...

I Freaking Hate Corn...

We left today to go visit my Dad and Step mom and brothers in Colorado today. Drove for about 8 hours an now we are stopped at a hotel waiting for room service to bring my hamburger.

It was really interesting driving in the car that long with a 12 month old and a 3 week old. Levi was like a caged wild bore trying to get out, Luke was really good fussed every few hours but other than that he was great.

When we got to the hotel Levi was so excited to get out of his seat he started tweaking out and shaking his head back and forth. Now he is running around the room like a crackhead.

I will be posting this week, probably not the everyday norm but still often...

I hope you are all having a good week!

I Cut My Digit.

It hurts like crazy. I put some glue stuff on it but I think Im going to be missing half a finger tip...

It hurts... Its deep... Bad night...

When Was The Internet Created?

Some people amaze me. If you didnt know this already 999=911 in Europe...

Web 2.0 And You

If you don't know what I mean by Web 2.0 Click here. If you are two lazy to read the main thing you need to understand is that the internet is getting to be more community based.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the whole evolution of the internet in relation to the Church and how we work with individuals, other Churches, communities, and really the world. If you notice the Web has changed from a strictly information based organism to a community of people for all around the world joining in on each other lives.

Think about this, right now every one of you are a part of at least one social network, probably more than that. Whether it be Myspace, xanga, Facebook, twitter, or whatever else you are a part of a web based community. Right now I can think of about 10 different web communities that I am a part of. Some of them are forums where people from all around the globe get together and talk about theological stuff. Others people talking about sustainability and green living. It seems like there is a niche for everyone in the Web 2.0 world we live in.

Not only are we fully plugged into the world via our computers. Everything we could only do on our computer a few short years ago we can now do from our phones. This generation more than any other has the opportunity to be connected with people from different geological locations, religions, ethnicitys and so on.

So what is the point? Why does it matter that we have the opportunity to be so connected? There are a few reasons.

The first reason is that it give people a whole new arena to experience life. Think about it, there are actuality places on the web where people go and literally live a second life. Its a place where people go and experience community, only its over some wires that stretch all around the world. There are Churches that are strictly online, and others like that have both online campuses and actual physical campuses.

The second reason it is important is that web 2.0 allows for total transparency in peoples lives. It allows others to experience life with people they do not even know. Example, some of you reading this right now have never met me or my family, but you, though pictures, experienced the birth of our second son. On top of the fact that it allows for us to experience life with each other. One of my main goals is to change the view that the a lot of non Church people have on towards Church people. Anyone reading this can tell that I am just a normal guy working though life, trying to figure stuff out just like everyone else.

The last reason I want to talk about is this: Web 2.0 allows us as Christians to meet and address needs not only in our physical communities but also our digital communities. Another blogger that I read a lot did a live prayer session over the web. During this time he prayed for needs that his readers had sent in over the course of the day by the time her started praying there was 93 request. You can view his blog here. Another really cool aspect of this is that because we have the ability to reach literally everyone with an internet connection things like To Write Love on Her Arms, The One Campaign, or any other cause you feel like naming have a chance to get rolling and needs can be addressed. I am not saying that those are Christan organizations I am just using them as an example.

I have spent enough of your time, this is a really long post but it is something to think about. The time in which we live is like no other, as a body of believers we have an opportunity like no other generation before us to spread the Gospel in a authentic and transparent way should we choose to.

If you have had an experience with where a online community helped you out or you noticed needs being met by one I would be curious to know about it. Comment or email me!

Why I Hate and Love Apple All At The Same Time.

If you know me at all you know I love macs and everything about them. From the user interface to the sheer classiness of their look. But, the more and more I realize I really dig Apple's products the more and more I realize I hate Apple.

I have been using macs and apple products for a few years now and I am starting to notice some things that really irk me.

The main one is the fact that whenever they upgrade something you have to get a whole new everything to fit it. Im not talking about software or the way their products work because all that is great. But you have to buy new cases, docks, headphones and whatever else.

Example: The iPhone 3g does not come with a dock, ok cool I will just use my 2gs dock... Oh, it dosent fit!!! I hate you Apple. So now most people go and buy another 30 dollar, nice packaged, shinny piece of plastic.

Not this time Steve. You can call me a dork, but I just spent 45 Minutes sanding and cutting down my iPhone 2g dock so my 3g fits in it. Eat that Apple...

I Am Now On Twitter

You can see my twitter page by clicking the little "T" in the where to find me section. if you don't know what twitter is click here and then make your own.

Life Lesson #1

I will be doing these Life Lessons from time to time, whenever I do something totally stupid and I think you all can learn from it. Other times maybe I will learn something really cool and feel the need to share it. This time I just did something stupid.

Life Lesson #1-
Never eat sushi from the mall...

If you are anything like me you enjoy some raw fish from time to time. It is a great tasting and healthy little snack. However, as great tasting as raw tuna can be, when it is wrapped up in seaweed, yummy rice, and assorted veggies when that wrapped tuna is no good it is a bad day... I ate this stuff last Thursday and I am finally returning to normal. So learn from my mistake don't eat sushi from the mall. And if you absolutely feel the need to don't choose actual fish, get some of that imitation crab stuff and not real fish.

Now playing: After Edmund - Tears
via FoxyTunes

What is the Church?

This past Friday while waiting in line at the ATT store for the new iPhone I struck up a conversation with one of the other guys that was in line as well.

I had noticed he was reading a book so I asked him what it was and it turns out it was The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne(links to Amazon and Wikipedia). If you haven't read this book you should as it is a nice, short, good read. Anyway, we talked about the book for awhile then we started talking about the way we see the community of God working and the way it should be working.

One of the big issues I brought up was the fact that we do so much for people in the Church but we neglect our neighbor right next door. It seems like we see needs inside the Church and around the world but our neighbor next door is struggling to put dinner on the table. I think to fully understand the totality of the situation we need to look at the book of Acts. In the book of Acts the Church did something revolutionary. I am not saying we should do it today because in our society something like this would not work.

In acts chapter 4 Luke writes, "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet."

There are a couple things we have to understand about this passage. First, the Church did not keep all that money to themselves, they used it to meet needs in the community, such as taking care of the needy, widows, and funding missionary journeys. I feel the need to further emphasize the face that I am not advocating selling all your stuff and giving it to the Church. That sort of thing does not fly in today's society, but what I am saying is this. If you are driving a Lexus and your neighbor has no food to eat we have a problem.

America has moved away from this place of community where people simply take care of each other in times of need, and moved into this area where we are all about getting ours, making a way for us, driving nice cars, and owning big houses.

I think the heart of the gospel is people helping people. Its not just about "getting saved", yes that is part of it, but that isn't all of it. I would argue that it is fairly low on the totem pole. It is what we do after we recognized our need for Christ. I am not saying that we are saved by what we do, that would be contrary to scripture, but I am saying if we are saved it will change what we do...

Now that I have taken 10 minutes of your time I will let you go with this:

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27.

The Evolution of Family

Its funny how quickly things can change in a family. Im not just talking about my direct family as in Amanda and I, but family as a whole.

Yesterday we were talking about how not long ago it was just my Dad and I in my direct family. It has only been 6ish years since it was just the two of us, and now its Dad, Michelle, Jacob, Andrew, Me, Amanda, Levi, and Luke. All this in a period of 6ish years.

If you would have asked me 6 short years ago if at this point in time my Dad would be remarried with two kids and I would have two kids of my own I would have said there is no way. But It happened and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my Wife, I Love my Kids, and I love my Dad, Step mom, and little bros.

It is weird to think about the fact that in 6 years my Dad and I have successfully added 6 people to our immediate family.

Here is to marriage and pro creation!

Downside- we don't all fit into one car anymore...

It Feels Good To Be Home.

We made it! We are all home and doing great. Levi is asleep and Amanda and I are going to eat then sleep. I will take some more pictures tonight and post them.

Levi really dosen't seem to care to much about Luke yet. I was holding Luke and Levi snuggled up to me and then patted Luke on the head so that is a start.

I hope you all enjoyed keeping up with the happenings this weekend!

We Are On The Way Home

As I type I am in the car on the way to get Levi we were discharged about an hour ago. Yay for being home

Posted with LifeCast

More pictures

More pictures

Last post for tonight!. He is here!!!

We are getting there!!!

Dilated to a nine here we go!

Contractions are...

Three minutes apart....

I will keep you updated.

We are in the room



Where the magic happens

We just got into the labor room here are some first pictures

Here we go....

Amanda is dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced. We will be heading to the Hospital at 7:00 tonight and if she is not contracting consistently yet they will make her and we should have a baby tonight!

Check back often I will be picture blogging from the room!

I was feeling better...

So I know I said I was feeling better, and I am but I decided to go to the Doctor yesterday just to be sure. It turns out I have strep and two ear infections. Who the heck would have thought.

Amanda's due date was yesterday so pray Luke waits a bit for the antibiotics to start working...

Do You Blog?

I am curious about how many you readers blog...

I dont know some of you and I would like to so post a link to your blog in a comment or email me a link.

Heck even if I do know you and your blog post a link anyway, not everyone knows you.

Now playing: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Tick
via FoxyTunes

My fever finally broke, and the Doctor said he would induce.

I am finally starting to feel better! I really don't want to be sick when little Luke comes. My temperature had been 102 since Saturday night despite the mass amounts of Ibuprofen I was taking. It broke last night though, so im feeling a bit better. My throat still feels like someone is constantly cutting it with a tiny chainsaw but thats ok.

I forgot to post this on Friday but Amanda's doctor said if she has not had the baby by Thursday he will induce, so that is good. I cant wait to see baby Luke!

Now we are just praying that Amanda doesn't get this bug that Levi and I had, and the Levi doesn't get it again.

Oh How It Sucks To Be Sick...

I feel like I got ran over by a freight train... Fever, sore throat, achy muscles and headaches. I haven't really eaten in like two days. Here is to being sick...

First it was Levi that had this bug, now me, hopefully Amanda dosent get it as well.

I hope you are all doing good!

No meal monday is coming up

Thats right its Friday already and Monday is just around the corner.

So let me know what I can pray for you about!

If you dont know what im talking about CLICK HERE.

Now playing: Bob Dylan - Rollin' And Tumblin'
via FoxyTunes

I added somthing...

If you look to the left you will see a "Where to find me" box. In that box are pictures that link to other areas of my online presence. If you click them they will take you to me...

The love of the Father from the perspective of a father

Like I had mentioned the other day this is something that has been on my mind a lot recently. We have been talking about it a lot recently but even before that the love of the Father has been on my mind.

There is something about being a Dad that makes you realize the love of the Father in a greater fullness. I also have to say that this is sort of a double whammy for me because my dad is the best dad in the universe (I know you all think yours is). Really though I have modeled a lot about myself after my dad. At the same time Im modeling myself after the LORD. But, this post isn't really about me or how great my Dad is that is for another day.

So the question is, what about being a dad makes me think I have a greater grasp on how the Father loves?

First, I don't know what it is about seeing that little goo covered being that is part you and part the person you love more than anything for the first time, but it is sort of surreal, emotional, and unexplainable all at the same time. You have no idea who your child is or who he is going to be but you already love him with this kind of love that is unexplainable. Its like this feeling that you would do anything in the world for your child no matter what the cost.

Second, as a dad you feel the pain of your child. No, when Levi falls and scrapes his knee I don't literally feel it but I do feel for him. The greatest example of this happened in the midst of all his ear infections. If you don't already know Levi had, at last count, 8 ear infections between January and may when he got his ear tubes put in. I think this was the first major one he had, let me set the scene for you all. The night before this happened we had taken Levi to the Emergency Room because he had been screaming none stop, I dont meen a whimper I mean a blood curdling scream like no other scream you have ever heard in your life. The Doctors there said that he had Colic, which I though was a bit fishy considering he had never had it before but they are Doctors right? Long story short It wasn't colic (who would have thought). The next morning was just as bad as the night before so we took him to urgent care. Lo and behold he had a massive ear infection. I should add that by this point He had been crying for like three days straight. It was during this time that I realized the Love of the Father. As I stood there in the Urgent Care room holding my 7 Month old son while he is screaming uncontrollably I began to cry, Im not a big crier, but even know im feeling the water works just thinking about it. This wasn't a little cry this the was the shoulders shaking ugly cry. But in that moment I realized that the Father feels for us just like I feel for my son when he is in helpless pain. When we are hurting the Father feels our hurt just like I feel my sons and my wife's.

Third, and last for now, I realized this the other day when Levi took a digger while he was walking around outside; have you ever seen a little kid fall down and hurt himself? Do you notice how instinctively they look up for their parents to help them. When Levi fell he did just that, he looked up for me and did a "DA DA DA". Here is the issue we face as adults we have forgotten that when we fall we can look up and say "DA DA DA" and the Father is there to help us. Instead of waiting for the father to swoop us up into his arms and make our pain go away we stand up, brush off our knees, and keep walking. But in all reality everything the Father is about is grabbing us up and helping the pain go away.

Even as I sit here tonight I am trying the fathom the Love of the Father. I know as much as I love my son He loves us all so much more than that. Really I cannot comprehend a Love any bigger than I have for my Son and Wife. So to say that God loves us so much more than that is crazy to me, but it is true.

I don't know about you but I want to experience the love of the Father more that I am now. Even know I am learning things from my Son, as I live life as a father im learning how The Father Loves. I am going to leave you with the lyrics from the song "How He Loves" by John Mark McMillan.

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us so

Chorus 1:
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Verse 2:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,
And the heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

Chorus 2:
He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Verse 3:
Well, I thought about You the day Stephen died,
And You met me between my breaking.
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony.
...They want to tell me You're cruel,
But if Stephen could sing, he'd say it's not true, cause...

Chorus 3:
Cause He loves us,
Oh how He loves us.
Oh how He loves us.
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Now playing: John Mark McMillan - How He Loves
via FoxyTunes

Im thinking about something

I have been thinking a lot about love lately, probably just because our Church has been talking about it a lot. But Im working on something like "The Fathers love from the eye of a Father". I haven't had a chance to work though it all yet. Look back soon, hopefully in the next couple days.

Until then think about the Fathers love in comparison to your fathers love.