Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006, Hello 2007

Christmas has passed and now we are hours away from finishing our year! I am grateful for an amazing Christmas celebration and VACATION time I was able to share with my wife and family. I had some great time to rest, too. I am also grateful for all that God has done this year and grateful simply for being able to see another year of God's Grace.

I have been in 1 Corinthians 9 recently where Paul talks about running the race as one who is determined to win the prize. I sense this passage will take me through January and in preparation for the next season of life God has for me and our family. For all the Young Adults reading this blog, next week is our Winter Retreat, and we will talk through what it means to live our lives in God's ways. This includes knowing your passions, gifts, and abilities. I am currently reading a new book called "Living a Life on Loan. According to the authors, it is important to live your life and they made an acronym.
Loves-Live your passions and dreams.
Intersections-Be aware of where your life intersects with others.
Fortune-Steward your resources for God.
Eternity-Remember you are made to live beyond earth. Store up your treasures in Heaven.
I plan to share some of these concepts at our Retreat. If you plan on going and have not yet registered please call 650-364-6304 asap or email

We have three more months of waiting for Baby Gap and it has been an amazing time of preparation. Today, we even were able to buy our crib and baby dresser/changing table with the generous gifts of our family. God is providing.

Mark your calendar for THE DEEP January 12, happening at our home.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Celebrating Christmas on the Street

We had an awesome night Tuesday December 19th.

(Video Below)
We had prepared specific gifts for all our friends on the street with the generous donations of Project Christmas Tree and the faithful giving of our Street Church teams. A group gathered to bake cookies and wrap presents at PCC, and Andrea and Jodi shopped all day long to complete our needs. With a larger team than normal we showed up at on the street at 9pm and served dinner. We had a meaningful time of Christmas caroling, praying, and reading from the Bible and then presented everyone with a personalized gift just for them. The best part of our time was our Bible Study and prayer. In Luke 2:8-20, the Angel gave the good news of Jesus' birth to the shepherds, who just like our friends on the street, were outside in the cold at night. The shepherds were not highly esteemed or rich by any means. Many in society at that time would have looked down on these meek laborers who hung around with smelly sheep. Because of this you might think that they would be the last to hear the news of God's son being born, but God chose them to be the first to hear. God's choice says something. The news didn't come to kings in fancy palaces or the the priests in the temples. God went to the humble and simple out in the fields. That's why we go out to the streets because God cares for the poor and loves them. Watch the video and see God's work (below)!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Choosing to be at his feet

I got home from the gym and it was 7:30pm. Usually Monday nights Wendy and I both work out, have dinner, and relax the night away. Wendy was already in bed because she was feeling sick and wanted to get her rest so I unexpectedly had the night to myself. I immediately conjured up my to do list. I wanted to shower, eat, finish laundry, start packing for our Christmas trip, organize my bills, watch some of my TIVO shows that I haven't watched in weeks, email some friends, empty the dishwasher, and write this blog. I decided to shower first because I was sweaty and it would give me more time to think through my agenda a little more. It was almost within minutes that the course of my night changed. I turned the water on and it was as if these words were spoken. "Mary has chosen what is best." I had my eyes closed as the hot water was beating down on my head. It felt so refreshing and then again, "Mary has chosen what is best (Luke 10:38-42)." That's it. Those words in just that one line fluttered through my mind. I stood there thinking. How did that get in my mind. Did I just think it or did something trigger that? It was a simple sentence actually spoken from the mouth of Jesus to his friend Martha about her sister Mary. Just as quick as the words came, an image came to my mind. The picture was Martha standing in front of Jesus with her agenda in hand. In my mind I could see her holding a to do list in one hand and a kitchen pot in the other.

She stood there realizing her well thought out busy plan really wasn't the best for her at that moment. I only saw the picture in my mind... but I knew how she felt. She felt a little awkward, singled out, and a little ashamed that she elevated house hold chores above time spent worshiping Jesus. That was exactly how I felt. And why shouldn't I? I had been truly longing today for some time to just read and journal. I had made my plans, but God ordered my steps. I actually felt relieved, even though I felt humbled. How could I have missed what was best? I finished my shower, warmed up some leftovers, and made myself comfortable with my journal and Bible. It was such a sweet time of reading, praying, and reaffirming my trust in God in this day and this moment.It was the best use of my time. (And the great thing was that I ended up being able to complete everything else I wanted/needed to do, as well (Hence, this Blog is written). See Proverbs 16:9. And I had more awesome revelation through Psalm 127, that I'll blog about later.

This Tuesday 12/19 we will meet at PCC's Fireside room to wrap gifts for the homeless, bake some goods, and go out to Christmas carol on the street.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Choosing Humility and Simplicity

(In theatres now THE NATIVITY! See it with your whole family, invite others and discuss.)

I wore my red, cashmere, Gap socks this week. (The socks I won from our Christmas party last weekend). I really like them. If you weren’t there have someone tell you about the “White Elephant” game we played. There was quite a bunch of socks to choose from and steal. I “coveted” the socks of others. Yes, it’s true, I must admit I had a little camouflage and argyle envy from Drew, Steve, and Ben. But I also experienced some interesting thoughts and conviction during this game, too. This season of going through the book of James at PCC and my own devotional reading in Luke 1 & 2 has caused me a lot of reflection. I have been spiritually stirred these two ways: #1 with my own lack of humility and #2 with my abundance of things. First, as I am reading about the birth of Jesus in Luke and reflecting on God’s humble beginnings I am amazed. With our own little baby on the way I am even more sensitive to the God’s choices to become a baby. I have been feeling the movements of our little one over the past weeks and marveling at how that must have felt for Mary to feel God move in her womb. And how about the other elements of this radical story? You know like the peasant girl factor (Mary, who needed savior herself read Luke 1:47), the donkey, the musty manger, the announcement to not so highly esteemed shepherds, etc. Just think about the fact that God chose to come at a time in the world when medical technology was at a bare minimum. He could have come and been born in a hospital in the year 2006, with the comforts and luxury of America, but no! He was born in third world circumstances in Israel. He was God, just think about the choices he made. Amazing. Then think about his life: what he owned and where he lived. How much money did Jesus store up in the bank? Nothing. And did he worry and fear God wouldn’t provide food and clothes for him? No. He lived simply day-by-day and trusted God. So, just looking at all those socks piled up on the table the other night reminded me at how much I/we truly have in this country. We have access to anything and everything we want and in most cases we get (or buy) all of our needs (and almost all of our wants) met. So what should my/our response be if we truly want to be like Jesus Christ? I leave that question with you and pray that your Christmas season involves some time to reflect on this topic. It’s a messy journey that requires humility and simplicity. I am right there with you.


12/17 This Sunday: After Sunday at 6 in the Fireside room is CHRISTMAS CAROLING, APPETIZERS AND DESSERTS WITH THE 50PLUS MINISTRY! Come join us for an intergenerational night of celebration.

12/19 Tuesday 7pm
Meet at PCC to make Christmas cookies and gifts for our homeless friends. Then come down to Menlo Park for Christmas Caroling. Fireside room 7pm. Email

12/22 Friday Night GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING at Frankie Markovich's House email to RSVP. Bring $5 for stuff.

12/29 Friday MEN'S NIGHT OUT 8pm Pizza @ BJ's in Foster City and Broomball 9:30-11:30pm
more info tba.

12/31 NEW YEAR'S EVE EVENT AFTER SUNDAY AT 6. Karaoke, comedy, food, etc.

January 5-7
Winter Retreat in Twain Harte. Brochures will be available this week. See the literature rack in PCC’s worship center. Sign up now for $65 before the price goes up.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Young Adults Christmas Party recap

Thanks to all who came, served, hosted, and participated in our Young Adults' Christmas Party! It was this last Saturday night December 9th. The rain didn't stop our travels since it was a "progressive dinner event." For more pictures scroll all they way down to the end of the blog or see the slide show on

We started at Christina's House (pictured here with her cousins below).

We had appetizers, mingled around, and had the fun activity of creating Christmas card pictures with a box full of Christmas costumes.

The Wong Family jumped in the fun, too, with Prince Owen Alibaba.

After a time of ice skating in Foster City and eating BJ's Pizza we ended up the Jen and Glenn's House for Dessert and Hot Cider. The Christmas gift exchange game took on a new twist with socks and secret hiding elves with upgraded prizes. Everyone brought and wrapped up socks that we traded White Elephant style.

My shirt says: Re gift Responsibly.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Choices continued

This week at PCC Gary Gaddini, our lead pastor, challenged us in such a perfect way.
How will you spend your time and will you dedicate it to God? Do you have a Godly perspective with your faith and how you live it out?
If you weren't able to hear the message check it out! REAL FAITH HAS PERSPECTIVE 12/3

So taking this challenge, and trying to dedicate our time to God, Wendy and I had a family meeting. I live for things like this. I am not fully sure why, but I love planners, palm pilots, calendars, etc. I love knowing what is going on today and what to expect (as much as I can) for tomorrow. Honestly, this can be bad, because I love having stuff to do all the time, so planning in such a way helps me see where I need to back down and relax. So we both plotted out the remaining days of December (less than three weeks until Christmas. We made sure we knew what parties (we have four) and other events we're going to this month and made sure to carve out together time, rest time, work out time, and Christmas shopping time. It was such a welcomed and refreshing decision to make choices regarding our time for communication purposes, but also so that we can enjoy the season and not feel overwhelmed. We have one friday where we made sure to do nothing. We both but a big NOTHING over that date! We want to be home to rest and pack for our Christmas travels.

When you can spend some time receiving the gift of God's peace. Make sure above all else, that you make time for that. Even as I type I am convicted of how easily I don't allow God to lead me beside quiet waters! Psalm 23 has been such an encouragement and gift to my soul! I hope you know how much God loves you!

I hope you who read this are able to enjoy this season because even in this blog I am going to list a BUNCH of options of things going on this month. I hope you can be a great manager of your time and not feel pressure to do it all! Three important things for this weekend.

12/9 Main Street Cafe 10:30am 150 Elm St. come for breakfast! and
CHRISTMAS PARTY Saturday 5:30PM (RSVP on Evite)Starts at Christina Stenstrom's and ends at Glenn and Jenn Wong's house.
12/10 Sunday at 6 in the Fellowship Hall and
PCC CHRISTMAS CONCERT SUNDAY 7:30PM After Sunday at 6 (NO young adult dinner).
12/22 Friday Night GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING at Frankie Markovich's House email to RSVP. Bring $5 for stuff.
12/29 MEN'S NIGHT OUT 8pm Pizza @ BJ's in Foster City and Broomball 9:30-11:30pm
more info tba.
1/5-7 Winter Retreat and Snowboarding Twain Harte/Dodge Ridge

Monday, December 04, 2006

Young Adults Christmas Party

Location: Christina's House
When: Saturday, December 9, 5:30pm
Phone: 650-364-6304 X252


As a Christmas theme we are asking two things:


This party ALSO requires that you do a little moving. We will be going to at least 2 locations BUT WE MAY HAVE A THIRD LOCATION STILL TBA. WE want everyone to carpool so we can bond in the cars and take up less space for parking at our locations.

5:30pm Meet at Christina Stenstrom's House
(Appetizers will be served)

7:15pm-Foster City Location TBA Bring $20 for possible activity and to donate for food at the end of the night

8:30pm Meet at Jenn & Glenn Wong's House
(Dessert & Drinks will be served)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Events for Young Adults

12/9 CHRISTMAS PARTY Saturday 5:30PM (Evite available now)Starts at Christina Stenstrom's and ends at Glenn and Jenn Wong's house.
12/10 PCC CHRISTMAS CONCERT SUNDAY 7:30PM After Sunday at 6 (NO young adult dinner)
12/22 Friday Night GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING at Frankie Markovich's House email

1/5-7 Winter Retreat and Snowboarding Twain Harte/Dodge Ridge

Remember to check out our

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Update for our Street Church

Hello all. In Jeremiah 22:16, God fondly remembers the reign of King Josiah because he took care of the poor and needy. God says, “Isn’t that what it means to know me?” I love this because God says that to know him means to know his heart and his heart is for the poor and needy! That’s what we are about on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Much thanks to all of you who served on Thanksgiving, too. Those that went were raving about the food!

In this edition:
1-Great news: another church partnership, music, and resumes
2-Storage, donations, and Christmas gifts
3-Tuesday cooker schedule
4-Still looking for Thursday servers and leaders
5-Next lunch meeting January 12

1-It is getting very cold out on the street, but that won’t stop the church from gathering. We had a fantastic night last night where lots of coats and scarves were given out. Our serving team is growing with all ages of people showing love and hospitality out there. And we are very excited to have music now! Colin, a gifted musician from Central Peninsula Church, has joined us and wants to use his music to bless our friends. They loved it last night We also have Andrea who works at the Maple Street Shelter in RWC who has joined us and offering to help write resumes for those looking for jobs! I have also met with the new young adults pastor at CPC and he is praying about how we can partner together to be externally focused!

2-Gloria Ambrosini has been generously giving a storage for all the sock and coat donations and we finally have a liaison who has stepped up to help coordinate what’s in the storage to the street. Welcome Jodi Brison to our team! Contact her at if you want to help/donate or be involved with our special Christmas gift give-out on Dec 19th! (See below #3)

3-This month: December Tuesdays cooking/picking up

5-Eileen Clark/Nikki Forshee
12-Mary Hanlon/Kim Learned
19-Mary Sleeper/Nikki Forshee—this is our special night we’ll be caroling and giving out gift bags, too! Email for info, to donate, or get involved. Or just come make cookies and sing with us at 9pm!
26-Esther Strathdee/Kim learned

Thursdays Ruby Jacques has the list if you need more info!

We are looking into the New Year, and if you know anyone who can cook or give of their time, please let me know. Cooks, if you plan on continuing in the New Year, let me know!

4-Please pray for our Thursday team. Our leaders, The Jacques need to retire from their weekly duties (they have served for over 2 years) and would like to train up a team of people to serve and facilitate Thursday nights starting the first of the year. If you or anyone you know can help, please let us know.

5-Next team lunch meeting is January 12th. 12:30pm-2 in the fireside room! Hope to see you all there for lunch, prayer, training, and connecting new people to our ministry. Invite your friends, neighbors, and care group members.

God bless you all as you celebrate Jesus this season!

Grateful for all of you,


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A poem by Maya Angelou



When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin.'"
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible.
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches.
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner,
who received God's good grace, somehow.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Preparing for Christmas

Well, Thanksgiving 2006 is now just a memory and we only have four days of November left. That actually pumps me up. Wendy and I just got back late last night from our vacation. It was extremely relaxing and totally fun. It was a much needed break for us both. As we cruised around in our rented car, every radio station we listened to was playing Christmas music. It was actually quite funny driving around in 85 degree weather while singing along to "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas." But it did spring board us into a jubilant mood! How's that for being festive..Jubilant! It's true. Like little children we'd be singing out loud, catch a glimpse of each other and burst out laughing, practically letting out a little squeal of joy because we were so happy. And yes, we squealed! Well, at least I squealed a couple of times (I'll leave Wendy out of this) because I was happy. Happy #1 that we were on vacation, but #2 that Christmas was coming. I really love Christmas, or maybe I just love parts of it. I love the Starbucks drinks (egg nog chai and peppermint mochas), the lights, the music, the smells, the decorations, and the time to relax and be with family. I definitely don't love the rushing around to five different Christmas parties in one weekend or being busy with decorating, church activities AND normal life responsibilities all in the same month. I definitely don't like shopping in crowded malls with long lines full of impatient people like me. Am I a Grinch? This got me thinking about the importance of perspective. Because with four days left of November we have a lot of choices here. December for some is hard because it means finals, going into debt Christmas shopping, exhaustion trying to get every thing done, and still for others this season is dreaded because it can be sad and lonely with out certain loved ones, or even frustrating WITH certain "loved ones." But in reality we have a choice here. It's all about our perspective. If we truly want to have a perspective that brings us joy (enough joy to squeal) and brings honor to God, it is going to take some thinking and some action. So for this month I hope to blog about choices and how we can choose truth, choose to have a Godly attitude, choose to be peacemakers, and choose to focus on Jesus this Christmas season. (This will take time and being in the word to align your perspective with God).

My first suggestion is start RIGHT NOW by choosing and dedicating this month (of potential craziness) to God no matter what awaits us. We need to think rightly and live in good healthy boundaries so we can enjoy this season and honor our savior. I am going to pray this myself, too. Adapt this to your life, but here is what I will pray.

Abba God, I stop to consider what you want for me. Your word says that whatever I do, all my words and all my actions, should be done to honor you. I want that. I want all that I do to honor you. I want the way I spend my time to honor you. Father, I want the way I treat myself, my wife, my family, my friends, and others around me to bring you honor. I want the way I spend your money to bring you honor. I pray that for this month. Give me your perspective on money this month. I pray that I could think and act like Jesus Christ. I want your joy no matter what. I will choose to be with you and remember your word. I want to make good choices with my time. I want to respond to you in faith and to others with love. I love you and want to love others. Thanks that this season is about you, your son, your plan, and your love. I dedicate it and prepare for what you want! I love you! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Some truth to align your perspective:

God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him (Jesus) and through Him to reconcile himself to all things, whether things on earth or things in heave, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him

Monday, November 20, 2006

Beautiful Day Video and this week's happenings

I am so proud of our church and community.

In one day we accomplished so much! Thanks to all of you who made Beautiful day happen! What a way to serve our community and show them what following Jesus is all about. This whole day was an effort to bless people with out strings attached. We didn't pass out any flyers about PCC just served and blessed them by taking care of their needs.

Here's what is coming up the next couple of weeks for young adults!!

11/21 Tuesday Night 9pm Street Outreach Menlo Park

11/23 Thursday Thanksgiving Day 9am Turkey Bowl (Football at Woodside High School)
11:30am-2pm Thanksgiving lunch at PCC Fellowship hall

11/24 Friday The Deep 8pm in the Worship Center basement (Choir room)

11/26 Sunday at 6 resumes but there is no official Young Adults Dinner

12/9 CHRISTMAS PARTY 5:30PM (Evite coming soon)
12/10 PCC CHRISTMAS CONCERT SUNDAY 7:30PM (NO young adult dinner)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Doing God's will

In Jeremiah 22, God talks of King Josiah as one who truly knew him because he was doing what was right, acting justly, and protecting and helping the needy. That stirs me as we talk about faith with out deeds is dead. Compare the requirement of action to be attached to our faith with what kind of action the Bible constantly talks about regarding the poor, orphaned, and widows.

As Wendy and I got away this weekend to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, we kept returning to the desire and the leading we sense from God. The desire and leading to adopt. For me personally, it doesn't take long for me to have an emotional response when I hear stories of orphans or think about God' plan for our family to adopt. There are millions of children around the world with out parents, with out love, and living in discouraging circumstances. Whatever stage of life you are at, married or single, you can care for the orphans of the world.

For this weeks 2 cents, I offer you what voice of the orphan has put out for Christians to respond in faith and action.

What You or Your Family Can Do
To care for orphans and waiting children

Pray for Them
Go online to find a waiting-child listing (AdoptUsKids or Rainbow Kids). Print out a picture and description of a waiting child and tape it to your dashboard, refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Every time you find yourself waiting – in traffic, walking through the kitchen, looking in the mirror – pray for this child. Plead with the Father on their behalf.

Want a change of pace for the dinner hour? This simple one-page guide will help your family explore what life must be like for the most vulnerable of our world.

Speak Up For Them
Keep a picture of a waiting child in your wallet or purse. When you are visiting with other believers pull it out and ask if they, or someone they know, would give this child a home. Be their advocate.

Become a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).</strong> CASA volunteers are trained citizens appointed by judges to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children. These are people who volunteer their time to get to know a child in foster care and speak to the court on their behalf. Visit National CASA for more details and to find an office near you.

Mentor Vulnerable Children
The ranks of the fatherless and even the motherless continue on an upward spiral as the breakdown of the family continues unabated and births to unwed mothers increases. Mentoring offers an opportunity to help to break this cycle by providing a Godly role model and friend to a foster or otherwise vulnerable child. Learn more about mentoring and how you can make a difference to these children.

Support Those Who Support Them
Mow a foster parents yard, offer to baby sit, or organize a few days worth of meals when a new child is placed in their home. And tell them often that you appreciate what they do.

Throw a shower for a family adopting an older child. Often showers aren’t thought of for adoptive families especially when the adoption involves an older child. This greatly encourages adoptive families.

Sponsor a local child welfare social worker and commit to pray for them, an occasional lunch on you, and sending gifts or notes of encouragement

Make One Phone Call
What do you need? How many times do you think people call up a government office and say that!

Waiting Children exist right in your community. Call up your community’s Child Welfare Services office and ask the simple question … “What can we do to help foster children in our community?”

When youth turn 18 in the U.S. foster-care system, they are often left to fend for themselves. Over 20,000 teenagers a year “age out” of the U.S. foster care system with no place to call home. Call your local foster care office and let them know you have the desire to be a support for a child who is aging out of foster care.

Download a Contact Information file to learn how you can ask this simple question – What can we do to help?”

Give Sacrificially to Them
Support reputable orphan care organizations on an ongoing basis.

Give financially to a family in the process of adoption. See Shaohannah's Hope and Life International for more information about financial assistance for adoptive families.

Sponsor an Orphan or an Entire OrphanageMake a difference in a single child or an entire orphanage full of children through active child sponsorships. Or make it a family project to sponsor a single child or an entire orphanage. Write to them or encourage your children to write notes of encouragement to your sponsored children and hear first hand what its like to be an orphan who is being cared by the love of Jesus Christ.

Look up the following websites for more information about sponsoring orphaned children in a program that provides for on site staff who are proclaiming the Gospel and providing ongoing discipleship:
Children's HopeChest
VisionTrust International
Life International

Build an Orphanage
Did you know that your can be involved in building a home for orphans where the children will grow up in a church environment? It’s not as hard as it sounds. Visit World Orphans to learn how to do this in one of dozens of countries. Consider raising this money as a small group, Sunday school class, or youth ministry.

Take a Short-Term Mission Trip
We don’t care where you go, whether it’s the far reaches of the planet or right in your own backyard. Go where you are already invested, go to new places the Lord sends you, but go and experience the face of God through orphans in our world.

Look up the following Web sites for more information about short term mission opportunities:
Buckner Orphan Care
Global Aid Network
Warm Blankets Children's HopeChest
VisionTrust International>
trong>Provide Them a Safe Home

Explore what it would take to become a foster parent in your local community. Your county’s child welfare office is looking for safe and loving homes to place children who must be removed from their current home. Do you have an empty bedroom that could be put to great use for a child in need? What are you waiting for! Contact your county’s child welfare office to find out about upcoming information meetings in your area.

Give Them a Forever Family — Adopt a Child

Waiting…There are thousands of children waiting for a forever family. Waiting to experience God’s unfailing love and hear the message of hope found in Jesus Christ. You can make a eternal difference in God’s kingdom. You can give a child a home through foster care, domestic or international adoption. Caring families are especially needed for older youth, sibling groups and special needs children. Do you have a place in your heart, an empty bedroom in your home, and an empty seat in the minivan that could be put to great use for God’s kingdom?

To learn more about the three types of adoption call 1-800-FLTODAY to order a free booklet entitled Welcome Home: Eight Steps to Adoption.

Monday, November 06, 2006

a real living, serving community

This past weekend was a truly awesome weekend! About twenty of us from PCC's Young Adult community retreated up to Twain Harte (an hour from Yosemite) for a time of rest, prayer, adventure, and study of God's word.

To all of you who went, I want to say a sincere and huge THANK YOU to you! Personally, I had a renewing time in my own heart, faith, and vision for the future of our community. Studying God's word together, singing, praying, laughing, talking, and eating together reminded me of the purity, simplicity, and importance of community and being the church. I was flooded with gratefulness and love on Saturday night with the events that took place through the next door fire. I was so proud of all of you. In our worship gatherings, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to everyone wrestle through scripture about being loved by God (redemption), loving God, and loving others. I loved the honesty and authenticity shown by the group.

As we looked to Hebrews 6, 1 John 1-3, Matthew 22, I was so stoked to see and hear people seeking to apply it their lives!
I hope that we continue to grow as God's people and understand his love so that we can then love and serve others, helping them to become the people God intended.

Thank you to Chris and Kirsten for amazing leadership.
Thank you to Marilyn for fantastic food and hospitality to all of us.
Thank you to Frankie for coordination, maintenance, and leadership.
Thanks to all who served and loved each other and our new neighbor friends.

It looks like our next visit to Twain Harte will be January 5-7! A weekend that will include snowboarding or skiing, too! Registrations will be available soon!

I hope you all will plan on blessing Redwood City on November 17-19th for Beautiful Day.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Carpool arrangements for this weekend

Please pray that we have a safe and encouraging retreat this weekend at Twain Harte!


1-Tony Gapastione/Driver 12:00pm
2-Paul Phelan/Passenger 12:00pm

3-Marilyn Lynch/ Driver 6:00pm
4-Ben Matthias
5-Agoff, Christina
6-Peake, Steve
7-Markovich, Frankie-
8-Murphy, Jeff
9-Jennifer ? (kristen's Friend)
10-Kristen VanMaanan
11-Allard, Aftan ( coming up late because of soccer game???)

12-Dawn/ Driver 6:00pm
13-Brison, Jodi
14-Chidyausiku, Patricia
15-Vontoussiant, Natalie

16-Driving-David Bromberg 6pm
17-Drew Foster
18-Victor Hernandez

Leaving Seperately GREEN MINI VAN
19-Kirsten Grothe
20-Chris Gothold (with possible supplies/food, too)

21-Josh Beck coming from LA

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Coming up!

After our retreat Sunday NOVEMBER 5TH
Feel free to grab some friends and make some plans to hang out, go to Franklin St. Café or wherever you choose after Sunday at 6. There may be some tired people after our weekend retreat who will opt to just go homeand sleep but who knows!.

Saturday November 11th

10:30am Brunch at Main St. Café at 150 Elm St. in Redwood City

Beautiful Day November 17-19
This is a chance to serve our community. Check out

The Deep"—which is a time of DEEP, intimate worship in prayer, Bible teaching and music. Friday night at 8pm in the Basement of PCC’s Worship Center (aka: the choir room). Rod Toews will speak on 11/24 and Tony Gapastione will speak on 12/1. Expect silence, confession, communion, singing, prayer, Bible teaching from James, and experiential opportunities to worship God. This is a time to grow, pray, and celebrate.

DECEMBER 9TH: Coming soon: Christmas Party! More info TBA please mark your calendar for this festive Saturday event, which will start around 6pm.

Every Tuesday and Thursday night you can serve the poor and homeless with Street Outreach in Menlo Park!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Real life story connected to James

Last night I was in down town San Jose preparing for our Saturday event called Hallowed. The space that we are using was a former dance club. Now it is used for various ministries, events, and a homeless outreach in it's prime location across from a bench filed park with sleeping homeless campers. On Wednesday nights it is used for an elementary aged boys Bible club (mostly Hispanic). We were setting up our room and listening to the crazy screams of sugar filled kids playing basketball and making crafts. Around 8:30pm the club finished and they were leaving the building one by one, parents were coming in and leaders were cleaning up. I happened to be unloading some supplies from the car when I noticed one of the boys hanging outside and talking with the men who were camping out for the night. A parental instinct fired up in me and I wondered if that boy was safe there. Had he alerted the leaders that he had gone out of the building? So I went in and gave the pastor inside a heads up that one of his boys was hanging with the homeless men outside. The leader poked his head outside and said, "Oh, actually he's homeless, too." My heart sank. Really? He's homeless, too? Can I take him home? This is America not Africa. I guess I forgot that it's possible for kids to be homeless and with out daily necessities in our country, in our state, too. What a timely thought as PCC goes through James' words about caring for widows and orphans, not showing favoritism, and putting action to our faith. What as Christ followers to do about this? It's moments like this that mess and stir up heart. I pray for God's leading in my life and yours!

Hallowed set up continues tonight and tomorrow.
Meet Jeff Murphy at 6:45 tonight at PCC Emma Rhen Playground.
Friday 10/27 same time same place.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Helping with Hallowed..

Would you like to help with Hallowed!

Meet for lunch this Saturday 1pm at Main St. Café 1pm-2:30. 150 Elm St. Redwood City

We need artists, tech people, painters, and people gifted in service to make this happen.

Then come Oct 25-27 Weds, Thursday, Friday to install the art, paint, and prepare!
The event is free Sat. Night Oct. 28th

Here is our statement:

It’s like a marathon this life we live. Some start strong but never finish. Some are reluctant to start but despite pain and exhaustion cross the finish line. Others need help to hurdle the obstacles and run the race with others. Everyone has dreams. Some see them come true, others give up. All of us have problems and issues that can either motivate us to fight and stay the course of life or enslave us and break us down. As you walk in the room think about situations in your life that you must persevere through. Are you carrying on with strength or dragging your feet through the brokenness? Watch the short movie and think about your own journey of perseverance. Where are you in the marathon? Do you want to bow out of the journey? Do you need help? Don’t give up. Stay the course. Add your journey to the wall.
An elephant (of Dr. Suess) named Horton inspired this room. He meant what he said and said what he meant no matter what happened to him. Ridicule, tragedy, and time didn’t knock him out of the journey. He stayed the course. He finished his journey. Horton hatched the egg.

Monday, October 16, 2006


This week I have been reflecting on what it means to be Great. I must admit that if I really was honest about my personal thinking of would be very results oriented. Even though I know that true greatness is not about what I can produce or perform...But if I was truly honest and didn't "spiritualize" my answer about greatness..I would say greatness is synonymous with popularity, money, numbers, publicly witnessed extraordinary events and huge stadiums filled with millions of people shouting my name. But I was gently reminded of the truth of greatness this week.

...I sat in my bed Friday morning listening to one of my favorite broadcasts. Almost daily one of my rituals is to lock into the 8:30am hour of 1100 am KFAX. (It's one of my links on my blog and you can listen online, too). Family Life Today is an amazing ministry that teaches all people. Singles,men, women, marrieds, and parents alike can learn from this show. The topic spoke so much to me. Go and listen to last week's broadcast.

I was encouraged to be faithful to God no matter what the cost. I needed to redefine my understanding of greatness...that when no one is cheering and no results can be seen, even when dreams and goals are not being met..Greatness is being faithful to God. Saying yes to his ways even when it hurts and it brings no results or popularity. It is in the secret when greatness comes. I remember the broadcast talking about reading books to your children at night. The speaker said that it's those little moments that pave the way for a great relationship with your child in the future, but it may feel insignificant in the moment. That really touched me because as I prepare for fatherhood I want nothing more that to be a great dad! I want to have a great relationship with my kids which requires lots of little "un-great" moments that will lead to truly great moments.Just like being a great man or woman of God requires times of silence, pain, wondering, and answer-less prayers that bring maturity and discipline to our lives (James 1) . That's why is it necessary that I change the way I evaluate my greatness. It's Beautifully messy, humbling, and all about God..not about me.

That same day someone emailed this excerpt from Oswald Chambers:

Getting into God's Stride..."Enoch walked with God"...Gen 5:24
The true test of a person's spiritual life and character is not what he
does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the
ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening..A
person's worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of
life when he is not under the is painful work to step with
God and to keep pace with Him-means getting your second wind spiritually.
In learning to walk with God there is always the difficulty of getting into
His stride, but once we have done so, the only characteristic that exhibits
itself is the very life of God Himself. The individual person is merged into
a personal oneness with God, and God's stride and His power alone are

Friday, October 13, 2006

Beautiful Day Nov 17-19

Beautiful Day – you’ve started hearing about it – but what is it?

Beautiful Day is an opportunity for PCC to join with 40 other churches in the Bay Area (seven in Redwood City and San Carlos) to wow our communities with Christ-like love in tangible ways that don’t require words.

The big idea of BD is five-fold:
1. to serve the city through creative, innovative, and heartfelt ways that are both practical and resourceful for the needs of those in our community.
2. for the church to re-establish itself as an influential hub within our community.
3. for the church to build a strategic alliance with organizations, schools, media, government, and local businesses to partner in compassion/service venues.
4. for churches to “pay it forward” with other churches and build strategic alliances within the Christian community.
5. for the community to see that unity and compassion can come from all Christian churches, regardless of denomination, size and ethnic make-up.

PCC is doing that through several projects by ourselves and 2 projects along with six participating churches on the Peninsula.

In the words of the founder of Beautiful Day (Jon Talbert from WestGate Church, San Jose):
In my opinion… (actually it is beyond “opinion”… it is the white-hot core of who I am) the church has rediscovered Compassion to be a more accurate expression of who God is and how he brings about redemptive and transformational change to the world. I’m also convinced that the Bay Area is the most unreached people group in the US not just because of liberalism, but also because of the nature and shape of the modernist “evangelical” church. I believe that WE have done more of our share of the damage than we are willing to admit. (talk to people in the AIDS/HIV community if you don’t believe me).

This is why Compassion matters… to me, to WestGate, to other churches…. to God. This is our chance to lead a more accurate expression of a Jesus-induced-faith journey. We shut-up and show-up! We stop ranting about Jesus and start living like him. We stop shouting what we believe and start showing it. Collectively we change the perception that the Bay Area has of Jesus, his church, and his followers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Eternal Salvation: God's choice or Ours?

Have you ever wondered about ETERNAL SELECTION? Does God choose to save some and not others? Why?

John MacArthur, Master's College President, Speaker, Author is offering for a free CD about this topic email and simply put ELECTION in the subject line. Then in the body of the email put your name and address! The will send you a free CD talking about this topic from the Bible!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

from FrankieMarkovich about Saturday 10/14

Hey All,

If you don't already have plans this Saturday then you may want to consider this. I am trying to get a group of people together to go to Great America during the day, and then the Greg Laurie Concert/Crusade in the evening. If you can or only want to attend one, then that is fine.

For Great America: Meet at PCC main parking lot at 9:15. We will go to Great America all day until about 5:00 pm. Admission is $50, but somewhere I am trying to find some $20 off coupons that I had a while back. You'll probably want some $ for food and to also pitch in for some gas/parking if you don't drive. Drivers we will coordinate the morning of. You can also meet up later in the day if you want to do that and not go as early.

For Greg Laurie, here are some details...
Basically, admission is free. Concert is free. Just gas and maybe parking at the HP Pavilion. If you have never been to a crusade before, here is your invitation. It is awesome and powerful. The bands look great too for Saturday night. This also you can meet us there if you don't want to go to Great America.

If you want to meet up with us, you can call me at 650-575-1389.

Hope to see some of you. PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO FRIENDS.

Frankie Markovich

info about Hallowed for Oct. 28th

SAN JOSE, Calif. - (09/28/06) – X-Factor, a San Jose-based non-profit community group, is proud to present the fourth annual Hallowed: An Underground Awakening October 28th at 7:00pm at the Oasis in downtown San Jose. A group of local artists will plan the space with each room symbolizing the pilgrimage and challenges we face as we go through life searching for truth. Guests will embark upon a multi-sensory journey of music, film and art. Some of the Bay Area’s best alternative bands will be showcased in live onstage performances from The Edge and Finding Mercury, with returning performers An Opiate for Angels, Efata, and live mixes by DJ Incognito.Jonathan and Allison Fung, event curators, position this as a collaborative art experience created by and for the community. “This year’s Hallowed returns guests to their childhood as they journey through various children’s books and re-experience the beauty and truth they portray,” said Allison. “Through the eyes of nostalgia and the sentiments of childhood, art can establish a fantastic medium for spiritual contemplation and a lens through which we can examine our world in a simple and honest way.” “It’s inspiring to see how a free evening of art and music can cultivate a sense of community,” said Jonathan. “That’s what inspired us to create a collaborative event like Hallowed, which provides an opportunity for artists and participants to explore the connections between artistic expression and spirituality. Each individual’s life journey is different and they come to their own inner revelation through creating art and experiencing art.” Hallowed has routinely produced crowds of 500 – 600 over the past three years, and X-Factor looks forward to welcoming even more guests this year. Admission is FREE. The event will take place Saturday, October 28th, from 7:00-11:00pm at the Oasis, 200 N. First Street, San Jose, CA. Press Contact:Jonathan Fung408-813-2505

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Coming up...


This Saturday-Brunch at Main St. Café 10:30am, 150 elm St. RWC.
Click here to watch "Main-St-Cafe"

MEDIA TEAM! Starts This Sunday 10/15
1pm lunch at PCC for anyone wanting to create, write, edit, produce, direct, act, etc.
email to rsvp!

Sunday night After Sunday at 6-- 10/15—We are going out to Amelia’s and Young’s ice cream for our last time. (We’ll go to a Franklin St. Café on the 22nd and 29th.)

The Deep on Friday October 20th. 8pm Choir room. We need people to read scripture that night. Interested? Email me.

Hallowed-October 28th San Jose! 7pm

Fall Retreat November 3-5 $55 covers cabins and food! Twain Harte. Brochures are available now. Pick one up on Sunday night! This weekend is an important and valuable time to build community for us! Hope you can come!

great resource!


Monday, October 09, 2006

Righteous Anger

The picture below is of a guy who is angry about war and trying to make a statement! How are you making your mark?

Frenchman Joel Bunot lies pressed on a nail-bed in Deak Square, Nagykanizsa, 240km (149 miles) from Budapest, Hungary, in his ongoing protest against war and landmines.

I am angry. I am praying.

This week Ms. Magazine is releasing a cover story that highlights thousands of women who have had abortions by name.

In summary, this story and list of names communicates how great it was that these women decided to take control of their life and abort their children. One woman found out her child would have down syndrome and made the decision because she couldn't deal with that challenge of Downs. Another woman who is listed in the article said after finding out she was pregnant (unplanned in high school) she got an abortion because quote, "I wanted to do something bigger with myself-I didn't want to be stopped by anything." The woman boasts that she could in finish high school and college and now is considering law school..all thanks to an abortion.

That saddens me and angers me. I am not angry at the women, necessarily, but angry at the idea that abortion can be so numb! It is pushed carelessly in the name of "freedom" without acknowledging the pain and trauma that comes with it. This is not even mentioning the life of a baby killed.

Are we so selfish? Are children so inconvenient that we could use abortion as a ticket to "living our dreams?" How about taking responsibility? How about making choices before to think through consequences of casual sex and sex outside of marriage where there isn't two spouses who understand sex can lead to conception! In my opinion I am addressing nothing more than those who abort because of convenience.

As I read this I was filled with anger. It is unbelievable to me that anyone would brag about an abortion with so much research stating that this act causes such emotional pain in the lives of woman for YEARS (and decades) after!

How about the Amish School shooting. That makes me mad, too! What makes you mad? Listen to Gary Gaddini's message on Anger.

Read James 1:19-21

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I pray for healthy relationships and marriages

My thoughts for the first week of October:
This weekend a member of our young adult, Laura Kostrikin, will become Laura Palm. I remember Laura when she first came to PCC over a summer 6 years ago, and then she served as an intern the following summer. She continued to grow and then joined the Sunday at 6 band. And just two weeks ago we all prayed for her and blessed her into her next phase of life. CONGRATS BEN AND LAURA!

Just thinking about that encourages me about how valuable it is to do life in community. I also continue to pray for great, healthy relationships to develop in our community, too. After being married almost two years myself, I have become more of a “matchmaker” in heart that I ever thought I would. I truly hope for the young adults of PCC to learn what it means to be Godly men/women so that each can enjoy Godly/healthy friendships with the opposite sex that someday lead to godly/healthy marriages and family. I am literally praying for this to happen in our community. I am completely for you all enjoying God’s best!

I hope you all grow together and encourage each other in this as a care group! Again, email me and let me know if you are interested in hanging out and doing a “real talk,” too. ( In our effort to be a living community/serving community here’s what’s going on!

Sunday night After Sunday at 6—going out to Amelia’s and Young’s ice-cream/possible prayer walk

Promise Keepers Oct 6-7. See Jeff Murphy for more info

Saturday-October 14th Brunch at Main St. Café 10:30am, 150 elm St.
The Deep: Friday night October 20th 8pm in the worship center basement.

Saturday October 21st. A women’s retreat called GLIMPSES OF GRACE sponsored by Women at the Well.

“Hallowed”-Halloween experience—10/28 IN San Jose at the OASIS. 7pm. Live Bands and experiential art house.

Fall Retreat November 3-5 $55 covers cabins and food! Twain Harte. More info to come! Registration is available now

Don’t forget every Tuesday and Thursday night you can serve the poor and homeless with Street Outreach in Menlo Park!

For this and more info: Please check in the following resources:

Friday, September 29, 2006

Convicting truth

This is a letter sent by the coordinator of PCC's 72 hours of prayer:

We send you weekly prayer requests from the body of Christ at PCC for your prayer. Some involve physical, relationship, situational, emotional and spiritual needs. Many of those needs are visible and observable.

I'd like to enlist you to pray for the Body of Christ at PCC the way the Lord sees us. Ask the Lord to show you how He sees Us spiritually.

I think we see ourselves as fairly diverse, friendly, capable, family oriented, good with children and youth, fairly wealthy with a beautiful facilities, great staff, relevant programs, great worship, outreach oriented, and missions-minded.

With all these great things, there can be a potential problem.

If our priorities aren't what God's are, these great gifts can become idols leading us to be proud of ourselves and self-reliant with our strength in ourselves rather than in God. Then, Revelation 3:17-22 applies.

Then the Body of Christ at PCC can't function as a Body. The Body's role is to minister to the needs we see in other members of the Body and outside the Body.

We become like a heart patient who has arterial blockages in the blood supply (the life of the Spirit) getting to the heart (our affections, motivations and priorities).

The vitality of the life of Christ flowing through the Body is essential for us to be fruitful in 3 areas: 1. Becoming Christlike in our character; 2. Manifesting the fruit of the Spirit; and 3. producing fruit--new believers.

I mention these things as areas of focus in prayer. Some of the people who fellowship with us need a new heart through a new birth, a "heart transplant." They currently trust in God plus other things or don't believe that Jesus is the only way to God.

Please pray, using the metaphor of the heart patient that God will remove all blockages so that our hearts may be fully His and his life will effectively flow through us.
proud hearts: that we are self-confident and know how things work. We trust in our own opinions and assessments. (Psalm 108:12, 13.)

Pray for the blockages that are: seeds of doubt, unrest, disappointment in God and fear.

Pray for the Body to trust God when His will is a mystery, when they have and unclear or cloudy vision of Him.

Pray that God will expose hidden and secret sins, unspeakable sins. Pray that people will confess, repent and forsake them so obstructions will be removed.

Pray for God to remove blockages that come from sadness, grief or loneliness.

Please pray that our focus would be on Jesus, that we would keep our eyes on Him by faith in difficulties (Heb. 12:2).

Please also pray through the verses of Hebrews 12:1-17 as they could apply to those in the Body at PCC.

Thank you for your intercession for the Body at PCC.

God needs people to stand in the gap so He can make this Body what He designed it to be. Many at PCC have done all we can to help ourselves and the Word has been faithfully preached and often, all that can be done humanly has been done. So, we need to come before God in prayer so that His glory can become manifest in our midst, in our Body.

Russ Llewellyn
PCC and 72 Hour Prayer Coordinator


We are talking about God's love and our relationship with him as our Father tonight. I have realized we can never talk enough about God's love and how to know him more. That's what Paul prayed for the Ephesians..that our hearts would be open to know God more! And, I sometimes need a "re-introduction" to God..the real God..

Check out James 1:16-18 and Read Psalm 103.

Come to the Choir room tonight and worship from 8-10pm (basement of worship center)

Chris Gothold and Kirsten Grothe lead music.

150 ELM ST.
Redwood City, Ca 94061



Amelias and Young's Ice cream again

(possible prayer walk)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A real answer

A friend of mine emailed me and asked how I was doing on some specific areas that he knew were challenging for me. In an effort to be vulnerable here's my response:

My teeth on the other hand..Ug..It’s shaming at times for me.because I know to others it may not seem like a huge deal but all this dental work I have had to go through the past four takes a toll.but let’s just say I am on my face crying out to God a’s weird and very humbling realizing the waiting process.
Some people deal with cancer or the death of friends and family, and for me..this is my thorn, my trial. That's where James 1 comes along and teaches me to be mature.

So keep praying. I have touched hopelessness and depression in a very real, yet not extreme way—which again causes me to reach toward God and struggle in his love and grace instead of running toward unhealthy escapes, which for me can be TV, magazines, movies, celebrity websites, etc.

Prayer and Driving

Many of us do "prayer walks." We pick a day/time and walk around praying. Then say AMEN and try to do it again another time. Rather than limit it to a church event, why not consider it a lifestyle worth adopting.

Pray everytime you are walking around. No matter where you are. Work, School, grocery store..AND then there is "Prayer Drives." OR "Prayer Biking."

In between and during putting the car into Drive, braking for pedestrians and dogs, hitting up the drive thrus...why not pray for everything and everyone you see. Simple.."Hey God, open the hearts of the taco bell people so that they can know you." Or "God, thank you for...the sky, the trees...this light that turned green, or red.." Seriously..find anything to thank God for. Bring the annoying people who can drive to God. And of course try doing some listening. God will speak to you through music, the silence, your thoughts, your radio...

This is a lifestyle.

Praying in whatever we do.

(1 Thess 5:24)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Goodbye Helen

Today Helen Craddock went home.
Helen lived for 98 amazing years. I knew her because she and my great grandmother Josephine were good friends. I only met her four years ago on her 94th birthday --which was April 12th of 2002, and I instantly fell in love with her. This little Chinese woman had the personality and the wit of a ninja. She lived in San Francisco and I would often visit her care facility. She lived with a very diverse popluation of senior citizens and would often introduce me to her neighbors. She made fun of how most of her time was spent listening to her friends talk about all their aches and pains--while she in her little apartment (which was barely a studio) would watch soap operas, talk shows, and game shows on her two TVs that usually were on at the same time--and of course super loud. She had a hilarious sense of humor and made me laugh every time I visited her. In a way, Helen was my Morrie-(Tuesdays with Morrie). God used her to grow my heart and value those aging people who can't get out and about. My unique relationship with Helen reminded me that God extends the borders of our "blood" to bless us with close relationships with people who become like family.

Every time I left her apartment building she would stand in the hallway and watch me out her window. She would always wave and say, "I love you." and I would tell her back the same.

Helen touched my life. She believed Jesus for who he was and what he did and I loved reading the Bible to her, talking and praying--always the Lord's prayer. As I reflect, we would often talk about the day she would go to heaven and be done with life here on Earth and now she finally has finished her life here. I treasure the memories I have with her immensely. Death is not the end. She lives on forever with God. What a gift she was to me.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A familiy on the way!


God has given me a great gift-my Wife Wendy, and now a child to share with her!

Pray for our little bambino

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My top 6

My top 6 pursuits worthy of time...
1-Live into your identity in Christ and your relationship with God as your Father. You will never be disappointed with spending your life understanding God's love. Make time for your relationship with God and BE IN HIS WORD! Read the Bible, and all books about Gods love and the roles of the trinity. Talk about it with humble, trustworthy, Biblically rooted people, do word studies in the Bible and examine how your family of origin has affected you and your understanding of God as Father. Seek to live in Gods forgiveness, and extend it to others. God really loves & likes you. Worship Him accordingly and reverently.

2-Live into your God given purpose in life! Develop (and understand) your prayer life and spiritual gifts. What has God called you to do? Read, study, and meet with people who live this out. Pray without ceasing. Study biblical prayers. What can you learn from them? Then makes sure you can teach others. DREAM!

3-Pursue Biblical and healthy sexuality/masculinity/femininity. Study the roles that God has given to men and women. Learn all that you can about sexuality/healthy relationships, and if you want to be married, live like it now in your purity and roles as men and women. (When/if you are married..Prioritze your family above all else. Your spouse is your first ministry). I believe that when men and women truly live out their God given roles, it affects all of society. When these roles are dysfunctional, weak, or lacking power, it contributes to the breakdown of the family, society, and our world. Picking a spouse is one of your most important decisions!

4-Practice all out authenticity and be honest about your brokenness. Find people to share your story with and prioritize God-centered community. Care more about what God thinks of you then what people think about you. Check your emotions. God created you with them and they are good. Live life with trustworthy, intimate friends. The lamest choice in life is the choice to be fake, to live in fear of what people think, to compartmentalize life, or to choose to believe/live lies. Live freely in community.

5-Be a missionary...wherever you live as God has made you. Don’t be anybody but who you are, and do this in a way that impacts and influences our world. Ministry is not just for those who are paid by the church--we live lives of ministry, Mentor, disciple, multiply! Share God’s story help and others know Him (see #1) Get God/ministry/church out of the box: Worship is not just about music. We need to be careful with our church terms. Worship is not just Sunday. I don't think worship can be "good or bad," only vain or empty hearted. The church it not a building, but God’s people, etc.

6- Give, save, and manage money as a steward of the real owner and giver: God. I had to add this because in our life I realized how important and dangerous not prioritizing money can be. Spend more on others than yourself. Seek simplicity. This is hard, but challenging. Your credit card statement/checkbook reflects your heart for God. Avoid debt, materialism, and closets full of clothes and stuff.
Do all of this with while letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly
(Colossians 3:16) and abiding in him so that you connect with the Father. (John 15).

Sunday, August 06, 2006

No Ordinary Sunday

Our whole church took the morning "off" to serve our community. There were no morning "services" because we decided that we would all go out and serve others. So we decided to invite our nieghbor kids over for lunch, games, and crafts. Our good friends Isaiah & Kat Whelpley helped us out and we had a good old fashioned mini-camp in our backyard!! Kat and Isaiah brought over frames which they got to decorate, and after taking their pictures will give them a copy to put inside. Wendy prepared mini-pizzas and they got to put on their own toppings. We prayed together, colored stories from the Bible coloring book, and played games in our front yard. Our little guests were Oswaldo, Jonathon, Cedric, Karen, and Jennifer.

Click here to watch 'Kids-August-6-2006'

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I am going to die

I am going to die. (And hopefully not of heat exhaustion). Its true. Someday I am going to die and believe it or not you will too! Isn't that an encouraging topic to talk about? Well, actually it can be and hopefully it will be as that's my focus this Sunday at PCC. Well talk a lot about DEATH. NO ORDINARY DEATH. We will look into John 11 and Jesus "no ordinary day" with Lazarus. (Our whole church is going through the book of John and studying the extraordinary life of Jesus.)

Talking about death can make us feel uncomfortable. When a death occurs it can bring sadness, confusion, and grief. Jesus himself experienced trouble in his spirit because of Lazarus' death. But maybe, like in John 11, there are extraordinary things that can happen when we have to experience or talk about death. For me, the two places that stir my nerves the most are hospitals and funerals. But these same places have also been extremely redemptive, supernatural, and well extraordinary because of what God has done (And it seems God has a tendency to send me to these places that I might have extraordinary days). Maybe we can prepare, live freely with out fear, and reconcile with others in our life so that when death comes it doesn't cause regret for things unsaid or undone. And with the right perspective, we can prevent unholy anger toward God because of his timing by seeing that death is not the end and God is glorified in death. I know that this is not an easy topic to discuss. For some of us, death is so fresh, as we have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, maybe others still carry the unresolved pain caused by the death of a spouse, relative, or friend for years, while for others this topic is equally challenging for fear of accidental death enslaves or impending sickness threatens to take the life of someone you deeply love. Whatever you are feeling, come and wrestle. Come and cry if you need to. It's OK because Jesus wept, too.

Peninsula Covenant Church

9:15am, 11am, 6pm

3560 Farm Hill Blvd.

Redwood City Ca 94061

Monday, July 24, 2006

Italy comes to Cali

Wendy and I welcomed in Antonio and Ignatia Fante, our friends and pastors from Italy this weekend.

They happened to be at a conference in New Jersey and our church flew them out to the West Coast for the weekend. So we threw a little Italian Party with all our friends, family, mission supporters, and former team members. It was a cool time to reflect on all that God has done, watch our video, and pray together. We ended the night with GOOD pizza, as good as it can get in California: Lucia's! That was just Friday.

Saturday, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I (Tony) got up to PCC by 7:30 am to help serve the women for their all day conference. It was a cool time to help and support the ladies of PCC. Wendy went and had some cool times connecting with her friends.

The whole day ended with a concert by Sara Groves ( who is a very great writer and story teller and my friend and fellow PCC pastor Matt Nightinale ( blasting the night away to a couple hundred sweaty souls. The Kerrs came and joined in the sweat fest with us which was cool! (Saturday Night July 22nd 8pm)

It has been so HOT here. Over 110 degrees. And no one has AC--most houses, our "church building", etc. Ahhhhh, our house is a sauna, and all over our county the window AC things have been sold out. So we have on on order to come by Wednesday!

In between doing the women's conference and the concert. I snuck the Fantes to San Francsico for a quick mini-tour. I took them to our Favorite Italian Restuarant in North Beach called MONA LISA (which they loved and our waiter, Luciano, of course was a cool Italian guy) and our favorite CAFE GRECO and then to Coit tower (the site of our first Kiss and engagement
to Lombard St, and a quick Wharf perusal.

The Fantes came over to our house Sunday morning for cappucino! Wendy made it and they liked it. Thankfully. I was worried because when I took them to Starbucks and they called it "dirty foot water!" It's ok for them to be coffee snobs-cause because of Italy and Chicago, I am a pizza snob!

Here is a picture of four years of Italy teams

trying to all fit at one table in a cafe in California. Sunday afternoon for lunch July 23rd.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Granita on July 4th

Granita like you have never had
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! We started of our independence day celebration with GRANITA. Our team is being treated up! We woke up this morning and Marco and Cinzia took us to Cafe Mito..and we had this amazing gelato type morning breakfast meal. You order your flavor (coffee, almond, peach, strawberry, chocolate, limone, etc) And then you get a warm brioche (Italian Crossiant) and dip it in. This is a Sicilian tradition. Soo good. If you ever come to Sicily, eat some Granita. And of course sip some cappucino!