Thursday, July 31, 2008

Love as a Compass

A few weeks have now passed since leaving Bend, and I knew the day would come when I would long for the simplest things from my home on the Oregon high desert. The brisk morning air. The radiant glow of a Cascade sunset. An afternoon walk through Drake Park. Conversations over coffee with people I love. Sharing our home and a meal with a bunch of teenagers. These are the things that matter most. Why else would they be wrapped so tightly at the forefront of my mind? Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, said, "I don't want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally." I find her idea to be quite counterintuitive, but no less refreshing, and true. It seems that we too often chase the things we think will bring life or love, as opposed to first loving, and letting that be the compass for our course. Of all the classes I have taken at Life University, I want this to be my major.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll

What better way to get reacquainted with my home state than with a good ol' fashioned earthquake? We just experienced a 5.6 temblor in southern California today. The epicenter was in Chino Hills, about 20 miles away, so we pretty much felt the full force of the quake. I was just noting how interesting it is that a single event can be at the forefront of so many peoples' minds at one time. Imagine millions of people thinking about the very same thing at the very same moment. Nature has a way of awakening people from spiritual deep-sleep, and reminds us of how frail we really are. . . even if only for a moment.

Monday, May 19, 2008

California Dreaming

Christina and I have been in California for a few days now and we are having a great time. Yes, we are here to see family and friends, but we are also trying to work out the details of our upcoming move to the area. Last Friday, Christina and I sat down with the admissions representative at Biola University's BOLD office in La Mirada. To make a long story short, I have never been so excited about an academic program in my life. BOLD is a degree completion program specifically designed for older students who have life and career experiences, but have not completed a four-year degree. To enter the program, one must have completed an Associates certificate, which is why the course will only take me about 18 months to complete. The ultimate end is a Bachelors in Business/Organizational Leadership. Furthermore, Linda (the rep.) informed me that there is an accelerated Masters program in the same area-a prospect we are seriously considering. Ultimately, Christina and I trust that God is guiding our steps as we trust His leading. We will undoubtedly miss our church, ministry, friends, family and the Bend community, but "to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Orleans Relief Chapter 1

It is 8:22am, and things are already getting interesting. Much to my surprise, a light snow has blanketed Bend and I can only imagine what the conditions are on the mountain passes. It is on mornings like these that I pray for the hastening of the pandemic known only as "Global Warming". Today's destination for our team of 27 is Black Lake Bible Camp in Olympia, Washington; about 6 hours north. We will stay at the camp tonight and fly out of Seattle/Tacoma (SeaTac) airport for New Orleans, LA tomorrow morning. Fox News Channel just reported that some flights are being cancelled in Chicago due to inclement weather, which is our first flight destination. To be continued...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Music to Your Ears

Most of you know that I am a true music lover. I have recently learned of three great sites that you might enjoy. The first is kind of music-on-demand site that allows patrons to create what are referred to as "Radio Stations" based on differing musical styles. Pandora typically plays a tune from the artist or band you specify. Then the Pandoran powers that be go out into musicland and fetch songs from other artists that you might find equally enjoyable. This is particularly nice for those who aren't afraid to try something a little different within the same genre. Depending on how you feel about the song that's chosen, you can give it either a thumbs-up or thumbs-down which will fine-tune Pandora's selection process. Next is a site called Deezer is unique in that it works more in database form. Simply type the artist name you are looking for in the search box and a complete list will appear of all available songs from the artist. One can often find full albums of songs ready to stream for listening pleasure. Deezer can get away with offering so many titles because users cannot download any of the songs. Recently, however, Deezer has experienced difficulty with music distributors which has somewhat limited their menu. They still have a great selection of tunes to stream. Finally, I will introduce you to Slacker is a fresh, user-friendly site that works much like Pandora, but without the emphasis on experimentation. Like Pandora, Slacker works through the creation of radio stations, but the stations stay much truer to form than Pandora. Furthermore, the audio quality is fantastic and there is hardly an artist that one cannot find. I recommend creating accounts for all these stations. It's free, and all of the data from your searching efforts will be saved. Give these sites a try and let me know what you find.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Money for Everyone

In a rush-and bipartisan-effort to keep the economy from sliding into recession, the government is going to reach deep into its pockets and send checks to well over 100 million homes by July of this year. At present, working singles will receive about $600 and married couples $1,200. Sure, getting cash into the hands of spending-crazed capitalists sounds pretty good, but Uncle Sam's new deal might turn out to be more bitter than sweet. When one considers both national and personal debt, it is easy to deduce that Americans have a hard time saving. It is a sad reality that many American families are only one paycheck away from financial ruin. Does this seem like a good trade-off for the latest in gadgets, gizmos and accessories? I hardly think so. Eventually, the credit cards will max out, interest rates will soar and the 52" plasma we just couldn't live without will become a bouquet of flowers at our financial funeral. So what do we do with Uncle Sam's allowance? Well, I propose we do something that is rivaled only by putting a man on the moon and getting overly processed cheddar cheese into a can--SAVE. Now, I know this is exactly what the government doesn't want us to do, as the whole idea is to pump the money back into the economy in order to raise Wal Mart's bottom line; but if we are ever going to mend the financial fabric of this country, we must use more than a band-aid to dress a wound that needs surgery. It's called personal responsibility, and that's something money can't buy. Good day.