Monday, June 30, 2008

Josh's Surgery Information

Just heard from the doctor's office a couple hours ago. Word is that surgery is set for Tuesday, July 15 at Northridge Hospital. He is first on the surgery schedule for that day. We'll find out the exact time the day before when the hospital calls.

The surgery is planned for outpatient, so he should come home that day. The procedure should take between 60-90 minutes.

Fun News Article!

Just wanted to share that our church was featured in a great article yesterday in the LA Daily News. A reporter called us out of the blue asking if she could do an article on our church. She was apparently impressed by our website.

I originally thought it was just running in a local Simi Valley section. However, they ran it in their entire distribution on page A4.

You can also read it online here. If you get a chance, leave a comment through the box at the end of the article!

Many have walked alongside us over a number of years of tilling tough soil. For those who have and who know our story, it's a fun thing to get to enjoy some positive, free press, and I thought you'd enjoy rejoicing with us!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Satan Interviewed

Craig Groeschel, Pastor of, interviewed Satan for a recent message on unity in the church. He apparently has done several of these interviews. Enjoy some humor today .... or not ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Heart Deeply Moved

I haven't heard numbers and don't know if I will. The site I was at was Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch. Just at that site, there were probably about 150 of us.

Pastors and Church Leaders gathered today at somewhere around 100 different sites for a conference call. I're wondering why we all got together just for a phone call.

The reason for the statewide gathering was to inform Pastors and Church Leaders about the Protect Marriage movement happening here in California right now. Back in 2000, our state voted over 61% to pass Proposition 22, which added a provision to the California Family Code that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

A few weeks ago, the California Supreme Court declared Proposition 22 unconstitutional by a vote of 4-3. Knowing the possibility existed, a statewide initiative was started to put on the November ballot a Constitutional Amendment, which is the only way that the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman will stay the law.

A request to stay the Supreme Court's decision until the November elections to see how the vote of the people would come out was denied by the same Supreme Court. So, last week, our state began to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples and officiating their wedding ceremonies.

"As goes California, so goes the country." If we are not able to move the Church in California to stand up and vote to pass this Constitutional amendment, the consequences will be much more dire than I imagined, or that any of us would probably think. Whatever happens here will eventually impact the entire country.

Pastors could be made to decide to either officiate same sex ceremonies or face discriminatory charges. Churches could lose their tax exempt status for not allowing same sex ceremonies in in their Sanctuaries.

My heart was moved deeply at this meeting. We really are talking about, and facing, the weakening of the institution of marriage and family as God designed it. I was strongly convicted to do whatever I can to encourage Californians to get to the polls this November. You'll hear me talk about this more and more as November 4 approaches.

There are SO MANY issues that demand our time and attention, and that are important. I realize that many people put quite a bit of stock in what I say and how and where I lead just because I am a Pastor. I do my best to honor that privilege and trust.

As I step forward into this season of speaking into this issue, of high importance in my heart is the truth that marriage is not an issue to be defined or ultimately legislated by man, or by political procedure, but by God.

When it comes down to it, while this amendment is a political issue, it is in my opinion more largely a spiritual and moral issue that supercedes any political realm or party.

For now, I encourage you to check out this website, and this one. They will help answer questions and provide more information. Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thoughts About "Biblical"

I've been reading some stuff in the last week or so about what's "Biblical" and what's not. I'm getting kind of bugged by it.

Specifically, it's stuff on how churches do church. The train of thought is "we want to do church Biblically" or "more Biblically."

Haven't you been doing church Biblically before? I know some of the leaders this is coming from, and I know they HAVE been, and fabulously so.

Is it that other churches AREN'T doing church "Biblically", so we feel the need to differentiate ourselves as doing it "Biblically"? Every church wants to have a niche in its community. Something they do or are gifted to do (read honestly: something we don't think any other church is either doing (a) at all, or (b) very well, mmm, or "Biblically").

I know a lot of Pastors. We ALL want this ... to do church "Biblically". Nothing less. Just because I have a desire to do church "Biblically", and it grabs attention for one reason or another that I want that, doesn't mean others aren't doing it "Biblically", or even that I myself am not. But that's exactly what it sounds like.

What is getting the attention is any individual churches or Pastor's METHODS that usually have drawn a very large group of people. We tend to flock toward them to find out HOW they did that so we can figure out how to do it where we are (both Pastors AND non-Pastors do this, by the way). And we call it "Biblical". Or at least that's one moniker we put on it. Makes us feel better about it anyways.

I'm all for being "Biblical" and I sure hope we're doing church "Biblically". The question begs, what is "Biblical" church? How can we communicate our heart more accurately, so that it doesn't sound like we're saying others aren't doing it "Biblically" or can't be defined as "Biblical", or that the fruit (numbers) a church produces isn't big enough to say they are a "Biblical" church?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Praying For a Friend in Twitterdom

I heard through the twitter-vine that one of the Pastors I follow just resigned from his church yesterday. Would you pray for Scott & Michelle Harris and their family, as well as their church family?

Join Twitter and follow me here. For more details on what Twitter is, click here. READ THE WHOLE POST to get to the part about Twitter.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Weekend

I really appreciated this weekend! Lots of BBQ'n, which I just love to do.

Friday night, I visited a man from church in the hospital. He survived a procedure this week that he wasn't sure he would make it through. We had the most amazing visit as he openly shared with me some pretty deep things he's been through and some of the stuff he's done. This is a man rescued by Jesus from the brink. He became for me a huge example of someone who is "poor in spirit", the very message I was working on for this weekend.

Saturday, I hit the day hard, churning out the majority of today's message. Started a new series that I've been thinking about for a while, but just decided to start in the last couple days of the week. "Becoming All That You Can Be" from Matthew 5:1-10, the Beatitudes. Challenging stuff, but good, deep.

Last night, q'd some really nice ribeyes and had my sister and her husband and kids over for her birthday. Colleen and the boys saw "Get Smart" late in the afternoon with a family friend, who also joined us for dinner on the spur of the moment. By the end of the evening, I was whipped. A good whipped, but really tired.

This morning, church went great at both services. The message was hard, but received well. Had visitors at church today that had been part of our church some time ago, so it was just heart-warming to see old friends and hear their remarks about how we're missed. Cool thing!

Then, this afternoon, I spent some time watching golf with Colleen, who is the greatest woman in all the world, in my book! Later in the afternoon, I headed to Fry's Electronics to see if they had a replacement power supply for the family desktop computer. They did, I put it in, and the computer works!

I love fix-it projects and all, but it seems lately that whenever I have a project to do, it's extremely frustrating and filled with multiple return trips to the store! This one worked, and that felt good! Q'd some beef ribs for dinner, but overdid them! Peanut butter and jelly for dinner as Colleen and a friend were canning plums for plum jam from our tree in the backyard. Just felt like the Walton's around here. It was cool!

As far as Josh's leg, it seems we'll call the doctor tomorrow and get the ball rolling to set up surgery. It's not that Josh is looking forward to it, but the way he put it is that he "wants to do whatever is best." And, he doesn't want to go to school with a cast. We'll keep you posted on the schedule.

'Nite for now.....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Josh's 2nd Opinion

Today, we saw another doctor for a second opinion on Joshua's Nonossifying Fibroma. He concurred with the diagnosis and the treatment, though he did place it with options.

One option is to let it be and monitor it. It is possible for it to resolve on its own, but there is no telling unless we chose this option of waiting and monitoring.

Another option is to repair it only if it breaks. Painful and more complicated, but an option. UPDATE: included in this option would be fixing it if it becomes painful for him even before any break.

Another option is to repair it now. One difference with this doctor is that he would NOT use Joshua's own bone to graft the void in his tibia. He would use bone from the bone bank instead. He prefers that because it avoids the patient having a second surgery site for donor bone. He also mentioned it would be an outpatient procedure, which seems to make this a more palatable option.

We are waiting through the weekend to give Joshua time to consider the options. The doctor was very good about cautioning me (Colleen was good with it!) to really get Josh's buy-in on the decision. Important especially if we choose to repair now, as the recovery period goes better if Josh knows this was something he decided to do as well. After the appt, Josh's position was to go ahead and repair it now. But we want to give him a couple of days to ponder it. If we go ahead with the repair, we'll call Monday morning and get the ball rolling.

We'll let you know what the decision is once we've made it. We appreciate your prayers for wisdom, discernment, peace and patience.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trust Is A Curious Thing

I am trying hard to trust God today! Wait a minute....can you really try hard to trust God? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Honestly, I am not sure if it is or not, I'm just being open with you. I am trying hard to trust God today. There, I said it again!

I am finding myself anxious about my son's doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon. I know a lot of people have deeper and more life-altering or threatening issues that you are dealing with, and I do respect that pretty deeply. Anyone who knows me would attest to that....I think.

I wouldn't say I am a man of GREAT ( meaning "BIG") faith, but at the same time, I don't find myself struggling like I have the last couple of days with the tension of this doctor's appointment. I know God is in control, and He knows what He is doing, and He won't give me anything I can't handle, etc., etc.

Can I just say, "I'm anxious; I appreciate your prayers for my son, Joshua, and his Mom and me"? Thanks!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Catch-up Quick List

CANNOT believe it's been two weeks since my last post. CANNOT believe I've been back from Texas for almost two weeks. CANNOT believe the school year is over. Let me catch you up on what the last two weeks (and then some) have held.

  • Just before I left for Texas, Colleen landed a new job as a Teacher for the Certified Nurse Assistant class at our local Adult School. She starts in September. She's happy. That makes me happy!
  • Also just before I left for Texas, someone in our church called me and said they had a car they were getting rid of and they felt they were supposed to give it to me .... turns out it's a 2001 Ford Crown Vic that used to be a Detective Car with the Beverly Hills PD! It's even black! Sweet ride, and a lot of fun to watch people react when you're driving near them! Really fun car for a Chaplain!
  • Went fishing with my boys for the first time ever two weeks ago! We all caught a lot of perch and I caught my first bass! It was only about 6" long (or was it 12"? I can't remember now!) but it was a blast of a time.
  • The last of 3 homes we lived in during my 4 Jr. High years in Texas was torn down last year. Made me sad.
  • Every trip to see my family in Texas is like a pilgrimage to me now. It's where I gave my life to Jesus and was baptized in 1979.
  • My 12 year old son read 3 books in 3 days while we were in Texas. Amazing!
  • My wife and kids had their first Boots Burgers this time! If you're ever ANYWHERE NEAR Rockwall, Texas, EVER, you've got to get yourself one (or more!!). Just trust me. Watch out though, they're closed on Sundays & Mondays. The rest of the days, they're only open a couple of hours.
  • I almost missed my flight home from Texas. TWO different GPS systems failed me a total of FOUR times with one battery failure, one freeway onramp that had been closed for YEARS and TWO onramps that were closed for construction. And here I thought technology was my friend! Silly me!
  • My 13 year old son is facing significant surgery this Summer for a nonossifying fibroma in his lower left tibia. We're headed for a 2nd opinion appointment with the probable surgeon this Friday. We're very glad it is caught and not causing him pain right now. We are told emphatically by the first doctor that it is NOT cancer.
  • Last Sunday, June 8, our church celebrated a friend's healing from Lung Cancer. Last Thursday, another lady in church went in for a SECOND operation in TWO weeks for breast cancer. This Wednesday, a man in our church will have a cancerous tumor removed from his lung. WHAT is UP??
  • For the first time in .... well, EVER in my ministry .... our church will gather for July & August in one service on Sundays at 9:30 am starting July 6 as we prepare to become a CHURCH WITHOUT WALLS for 6 months. Weird thought.
  • I preached a message this morning on "What My Dad Taught Me".
  • I spent the Father's Day afternoon with my family at the BodyWorlds exhibit in Los Angeles. It was fascinating and I highly recommend it! Topped it off with Panda Express.
That's all for now.

Monday, June 02, 2008


This has been an awesome weekend of just being with family. Not a lot of activity, which has been just fine. We've just been enjoying each other and resting.

Taking naps, watching movies, staying out of the heat, taking walks in the cool of the evening, and making some pilgrimages back to places I lived and spent time as a kid. Makes me look forward to Summer!

We fly home Wednesday night and hit the proverbial "ground running" on Thursday. Blog at ya then!