Saturday, April 26, 2008


interesting moving coming out.

I'm stoked to see something like this in theatres. Not to be combative, but to dialog.

I had no idea Ben Stein, this actor guy from Ferris Bueller's day off, was a spokesperson for Intelligent Design. I've heard radio broadcasts where scientists, teachers, and other professionals who have experienced negative reactions when bringing up creation. This is just crazy-thinking for me. If we live in such a tolerant society why is there so much intolerance for this conversation. I wonder what the response will be. I've already heard it being called "creation propaganda."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

International Justice Mission

A few weeks ago we had guest speaker Larry Martin speak on behalf of International Justice Mission (IJM).


With the love of God and because of his great mercy how can we not respond?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baptism Celebration April 2008

Two weeks ago we celebrated lives being changed!



Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sin City

So I've been away this week and it's been a good getaway. I realized I was really busy and needed a serious disconnection from work, facebook, email--and even blogging!

Funny thing is I was in Sin City of all places..That's right.. Las Vegas, Baby!. Now, I wouldn't normally choose Vegas to take my family for a's not the 1st location destination on my top ten places to visit. And before I had visited Vegas I probably would have rated it somewhere at the bottom of my top 500. Not just because of the gambling, or cause it's not all that child friendly, but because of the strip and how it can be shady in some places. But, I have to tell you, I liked Vegas (despite the scantly clad women --and men--all over billboards). But really there are some amazingly beautiful hotels and things to see in Sin City In fact, some of the architecture is a complete copy of Italian hot spots and I loved it! And when all was said and done I found myself praying a lot while in Vegas. I couldn't help but feel sad for the men and women (mostly Hispanic) working the streets with "call girl" fliers trying to make a living. My heart broke a lot in Vegas with all the sin and confusion I saw. I was reminded of a Tony Campolo story where he invited prostitutes up to his hotel room to eat dinner and pray or something like that. Wendy and I talked about that how cool that would be (for a minute) but didn't have the $200 to part with. We would just pray out loud as we walked the strip or drove in our car. That was cool.

But the reason we went to Las Vegas was because of Microsoft!

I was actually hired to be a presenter for Microsoft at a huge convention. (Companies often hire actors to be their demo/face people). (Microsoft's trade show was held at a convention called NAB (NATIONAL ASSOC OF BROADCASTERS) for Media & Entertainment companies. 

It's huge and a lot of pressure with big wigs walking around. With guest speakers like Tim Robbins (listen to a portion of his speech here)

and the Lost (TV show) producers. I also feel slightly like Benedict Arnold working for Microsoft of all companies-being that I'm typing on a Macbook Pro while I hear my iPod playing in the background, and uh, I make my phone calls on a an iphone, too! But hey, I work on a PC at in my office and also have another PC at home so I can work the computer technology!

I would walk into this huge center much like Moscone where all the new media and technology is being introduced for the next year's TV and Filmmakers! And every fifteen minutes I would give a 15 minute presentation with lights and video blaring behind me. Here's me "acting" like I know what I'm talking about. (I have no idea about "rich media assets" but they're paying to act like I do!) This made me think a lot about how we can just "act" like a Christian. If you know all the right things to stay, sing all the songs, even "do" all the right things to look the part and to fool a lot of people, but you really don't internalize the truth or become changed by it.

That's what I thought about a lot as I did my presentation. No one knew that I wasn't a real Microsoft employee. If I stayed on script while on stage I was fine. I even felt pretty cool at time being associated with the likes of Bill Gates! :) (If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if Bill was there, I'd be a millionaire. )But when someone asked me off stage about some website development software I couldn't tell them anything that could help them. There were so many parallels for the Christian life that I realized!

Ummm..Why is the guy in the pink shirt video taping? I hope this doesn't end up on Youtube. Funny enough if you search for NAB show on Youtube you'll find lots of stuff, even a tour of our booth..minus me!

Seriously I have no idea how God opens these types of opportunities for me, but he does. And I realize I don't just do these things to work/make money--and in this case not just to promote Microsoft.

But...God puts us in these places and sends us out to be used by him as a missionary! In my case I was a missionary disguised as an actor--playing a Microsoft presenter! So it was so cool that during the week I had numerous conversations about my real passion. It was so cool to connect with one of these techies and talk about God and actually pull out my Bible from my bag and read together. God is cool like that! While riding the monorail from the hotel (10 minutes) I would usually listen to my iphone/ipod and read the word. One morning a man leaned over to me and said, "Great book you're reading." So of course we got to talk. This broadcaster in New Zealand told me about his walk with God, his church back home, and his challenges in having God-honoring business ethics. So as we walked into the Convention Center we prayed together. It was so awesome. I love opportunities like that! It made me so excited for people working in the marketplace and how HUGE the mission field is to share our faith, care for people and wait for opportunities to pray and encourage people toward Jesus.

It was cool to talk with the people working in the Microsoft booth, too, in the limited time I had between each 15 minute presentation. (Every half hour from 9:30-5:30). Some were from Washington, some from the Bay Area, Canada, Italy, and other places in Europe! BTW I even saw fomer PCC'er Debby Sawczuk who was working with a So-Cal company! Crazy! (She took the pics of me on the stage).

And during the downtime we spent time as a family. Every night eating out, seeing the site, swimming, soaking in the hot tub and enjoying a very nice hotel!

It was great because it's all expenses paid by Microsoft! We couldn't afford to stay in this hotel on our own so we are so thankful to God for opening this opportunity!
So while I did my tradeshow, Wendy was hanging at the hotel with trips planned to outlets, children's museums, and libraries.

When I would get off early we had the afternoon to nap and hang out! It was so great!
Since we don't crack the slots we would just sit pool side and enjoy! 80-90 degrees all week!

Isella loved splashing up the pool! She's also been very cuddly lately!

I love being a dad!

We are imagining this summer with her at the PCC pool. She's already looking like such a little girl eating and drinking on her own and sitting in big

One night for dinner we went to the very child friendly Rainforest Cafe--even though we have one in SF, it was fun to do!. Isella was pointing at everything. Good food and fun.

I love my wife and daughter!

And of course if you aren't addicted to gambling, they've got STARBUCKS in Vegas, too. There was two in our hotel, and one was open 24 hours.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good News for your ipod

Hey all. How cool is this? It's better than a mixed tape--except it costs you money.
I just found this cool trick on itunes.

I made an iMix called "Tony's Move Me Mix April 2008" and it has been published in the iTunes Music store.

Basically I just "published" some songs that I had in an itunes playlist I had. Now you can go in and see and buy the songs yourself (and we can enjoy the same music and talk about how it relates to our life and is helping us to experience God)!

Seriously, if you are in the need of some new music or want to find some of the new tunes to sing in worship above!

You should make your own and share it with me.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

a tribute to Matt

Matt's still alive, but I am paying him tribute.
Not since college have I had to say goodbye to a good friend. Ten years ago I was having those deep conversations with my small group pals, roommates, and close college friends wanting those days to last forever. So here I am in a similar place.
My good friend (in life and in ministry), Matt Nightingale, has been called away from PCC and Redwood City. (To read his words of God's calling click HERE). I wasn't surprised by this as I was able to walk through the journey/ search for God's will with him over the past year-- that ended with his realization that his time at PCC was complete. It's so cool for him, and for us all at PCC to see him walk out in faith and to challenge us now to seek God's will for our lives and church family. That doesn't mean I am not sad, though. Definitely grieving a little--ya know----1st--Denial, then anger, numb, now sad. He sang and led us in his last worship gathering at PCC Sunday. It's surreal. He's always just been "my friend" who happens to be a really amazing singer--both he and his wife Luanne, are seriously better than American Idol. And now that they are leaving, it's hitting how amazing these voices--and people really are. But they are also just ordinary, (in the good way), and Christ-like, suffering through the joys and pains of their own journey of becoming who God created them to be. I love that.

I verbalized this Sunday night at their (one of many) going away party-but you look at this couple and their four kids and think they are this perfect little, Beautiful, Christian Partridge Family. And when you get to know then you find out they are great works in progress just like the rest of us. I loved that about them. Before I was married, I spent so much time over at their house that they gave me a key. It was awesome. I could drop by anytime to grab a snack or say hi. I mooched many dinners off of them. It was there where I found much healing in my own journey. I realized I had fears that I would be incapable of having a good marriage or being a good husband and father. But by their example I say how truly all of us need to rely on God and live in his grace to make it one day at a time. Spending time at their dining room table prepared me for how crazy and fun marriage and parenting could be. I also gained in Matt a great friend. One who I loved hanging out with and sharing common interests. I joked that when Matt came to PCC in my 2nd year there I finally had someone who was like me in the art/creativity thing. Our staff is dominated by lots of sports fans (Football/basketball) which I am not--so we became close! So here I am reflecting in this blog!

On Sunday, we as a church said goodbye to them.

They received a well deserved standing ovation during our Sunday Night worship gathering. Such a cool experience. Just like someday when we receive our rewards in Heaven and all the saints (the great cloud of witnesses) and angels cheer us on.

We as the church prayed over them and their four kids, and after had a time to thank them verbally and present them with some gifts. The best one?--Matt got an iPhone! Something about PCC and Apple products! I love it.

(They were serenaded with Amazing Grace banjo style).

The parties actually continue. We had a staff going away lunch this week, and then a musical open night party at the Little Fox on Thursday April 10th, 7pm (21 and over) that all are invited to come.

The great thing is that Matt and I will get some one and one time before they move away at the end of the month. Pray for them. The crazy, Spirit-led part of the story is they don't have a place to go, yet. They are stepping out in faith just trusting that God will provide.


Here is his amazing hit, God of all Light (can be found on itunes, too).

The great thing is that just like college, I still have great friendships with some of my pals from ten years ago. I trust that Matt and I will continue on.

Not only can he belt out any tune from Broadway to Chris Tomlin, he dominated on the National Anthem for the 49ers. . This video is worth it just for the commentary of the filmers.