Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mentoring boys to men.

No, this post is not about that musical quartet from the 80's.

This video from Donald Miller's group, made me think of our beloved little Cameron (pic below), who we as a PCC family have seemed to adopt as our own-of which I am so proud of his mom, Bristol, and our whole PCChurch family, for all the love around him.

The Mentoring Project - Elephant Musth Cycle from The Mentoring Project on Vimeo.

I get to be one of Cameron's official mentors-as I am one of his "God-parents". This is no trite job in my opinion. Coming from andItalian background and having Godparents myself--all I remember about my GP's is that they gave money on my birthday and Christmas. I don't remember the "God-part." As far as I can remember we didn't talk about God, pray, or share anything intentionally spiritual. But when I did see them, they were loving, friendly, and always full of cheek pinches and good food! (As every good Italian does, which we could also argue is deeply spiritual). But for me, I want to be intentional with Cameron in significant ways, (as well as any kid in my life, especially boys: who need to be taught how to be men)! So, when I see Cam, I try to hug him, say that I love him, prayer over him, or remind him of how God has created him for special purposes. (It's not hard to believe when you see him playing guitar and singing).

Tonight at La Tartine, Cameron and I shared a bowl of Chowder and talked 3.5 year old stuff. Later he asked me to take him to the bathroom.
We waited in the cafe hall for the "boys room," and it was taking a long time. Meanwhile..more 3.5 year old convo happened (lots of questions and asking "Why?" when I gave an answer). The guy before us must have had some serious business. The "Girls' room" was open and I suggested it to Cam since we could have easily have snuck in and used it (and honestly I just wanted to speed up the process), but Cameron really wanted to use the "Boys' room," and insisted on waiting. It hit me how monumental that is..using the "Boy's room," it's a rite of passage: another step for boys to feel manly! I loved that little moment! Cameron wasn't about to sell himself short and he was willing to patiently wait. And I'm glad we did!

Intentionality doesn't have to be BIG, it just has to be intentional.

Look into a child's eyes, affirm him/her, put your hand on her/his head and pray a blessing, kneel down and hug a child and ask about their day..then really listen, put a child on your shoulders and parade them around while singing their praises and shouting their name,

Be intentional. Intentionality is a lifetime... and it's a lifetime of five minute interactions, week long trips, two-minute phone calls, three page letters, hour-long conversations, weekend retreats, afternoon adventures...

This is NOT the End of the Road.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nothing like it

I have taken this week off to relax post summer stuff and to restore for the fall. Although I'm still tired (but no where near as tired as my wife who nurses our often sleepless youngest 2 times a night, thank you Wendy!), I've had just amazing times with my wife and kids. It's not like we're vacationing in Hawaii (oh how I wish), we're just home hanging out, swimming beneath piles of laundry, dishes, and diapers, but we're just home together, eating together, doing errands together..It's good! Often, I literally find myself saying in my head, "Thank you God! I love being a husband and a dad," as I chase my oldest around the house and listen to my youngest squeal with baby delight as she watches. Last night I was out for a few hours and when I came home the girls were sleeping but I just had to go in and see them. I just watched my daughter sleep. I put my hand over her and prayed. Thanking God and asking him to continue to bless her, protect her, and grow her into the person he has created her to become. There is nothing else in the world like this. Gratitude, pride, fulfillment, and hope..even in exhaustion, there is nothing like it. Nothing. I'm so stoked to have this awareness and realization come often! It's needed because honestly, there are just as many tiring/difficult times competing with those beautiful moments, that I could easily forget God's goodness and find hundreds of things to complain about. Here's a few shots of those times of joy...

Here's my daughter Isella sitting in a tub ("Look at me, Papa,") we are using to collect school supplies for our friend Autumn's class in EPA. Her 1st graders who got no crayons and barely any supplies because of CA budget cuts. If you'd like to contribute let me know! She and her co-workers are in huge need.

And here's Lulu, just smiling as usual non-stop with her amazing chubby cheeks, while we got to enjoy some downtown RWC.

Brad Pitt quote

There was an article in BILD, a German newspaper, this past week about Brad Pitt. When asked about God it quoted him as saying, "I'm probably 20 percent atheist and 80% agnostic. I don't think anyone really knows. You'll either find out or not when you get there, until then there's no point thinking about it."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

VLOG 13 August 2009 TRT 3:26

August 2009 Vlog
(Thanks to producer-Israel Soler:)

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm refreshed

It's not that I got any more sleep than usual, it was the simple fact that I got away. During a full and busy summer, I had a vacation! I started out my summer blogging about what I was anticipating, and I just finished it a few days ago....TAHOE! One full week. Relaxing. Beautiful. Ahh. For Californians it like a cheap Hawaii. Thank you God for creating it and giving my family the opportunity to go. It's a special place that we've gone with my wife's family for the past 5 summers, now my kids get to enjoy it.

Despite cold water, we loved the beach. The above picture is me with my oldest daughter. It was so fun (and surreal) to just float together with my little, almost 2 1/2 year old. The conversations were hilaroius and lasting.

During down time I read, (thanks to family members who entertained my daughters). I read (half-way) John Eldridge's new book, Fathered By God, but also this article by Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly (No EW is not a gossip mag, although I'm often embarrassed to be seen reading it in public by it's covers one would wonder if it was some tabloid). It's actually a great source for me to stay connected to (and praying) for pop culture as well as my main source for what movies to see.

Anyway, the famous Stephen King talked about being addicted to "screens." TV's, Computers, Phones, etc. You really should read the article and ask yourself if you spend too much time watching Youtube, facebooking or.... reading blogs maybe?

As I read it, I was so glad I decided to go through my vacation week SANS computer. That's right a full seven days, 168 hours with no email, facebooking, or twitter..and because reception was spotty up in Tahoe, my thumbs rarely were seen trying to text message (unless it was my wife) and my iPhone was forced to take some alone time, too. It was so nice to be completely free. I had much time to play, read, and not feel the need to check messages. I felt very out of the loop. It felt like 1999 again, when I didn't have an email, laptop, and the only phone I owned had a cord. I'll have to try that again. Seriously, I need to consider disciplining myself more. I already have an outgoing message on my cell phone almost apologizing for not getting back to people quickly. It's just too much sometimes. What is it with our culture? Instant and constant accessibility: Texts, emails, facebook, twitter, fax machines, and those annoying cups with strings ...
More on this later...and more on being refreshed..looking forward to what's next!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I love imagination

This summer I taught improv classes for kids. Crazy kids all under 13 creating amazing, chaotic, and outrageous stories performed with out a script, funky props and costumes. What a great reminder that God created us to dream, create, and expressively live a good story! Although God wants us to mature we mustn't ever lose our ability to believe in the impossible as we become adults, especially with our faith. Kids have this innate ability to think, create, and imagine new worlds, new creatures, and new stories. I see this completely in my daughter. She loves wearing her "clicky shoes" (tap shoes, sort of) with her bathing suit, pajamas, or any item of clothing for that matter, while she runs around playing house and chatting with her dolls. People say that as kids grow up, adults teach them that it's not possible to see the impossible (IE miracles, wonders). No wonder why we have generations of adults, and sadly Christ following adults, who don't believe that God, the God who created the multi-milky universe, could still heal the sick, give sight to the blind, or raise the dead. And therefore we have generations of Christians living boring stories (lives) and passing on a stale faith. It's movies and stories like "Where the Wild Things Are," that remind me there are adults in the world that still can imagine the unending and wonderful possibilities that still await us who dream...especially those who dream for God and his kingdom.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I don't want to "GO" to church, either

This somewhat humorous (although dangerous) happening is another compelling reason for the need for correct theology. The church is God's people on a mission, not a building we sit in on Sundays.

If we lived a better story, maybe our kids would want to join the amazing adventure that God has given his people. Get rid of the language, "Go to church." This minimizes God's plan for us be active in engaging with the world in love and to be sharing life passionately with one other. The church is not a place that you can go. The church is a group of people on a mission so the correct question is: are you a part of the Church? Therefore, the question can not be: "Do you go to church?" It's not just semantics... it is good theology.

Anytime I can talk about this I will. And thanks to this 7 year old from Utah for helping me out.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

HWW 2009

Our summer is always complete when we travel to Lake Don Pedro for water-sports, worship gatherings, and relaxation. But, like most of our retreats, we had a van issue. A flat tire 5 minutes from our arrival at the lake. Thankfully, we were safe and we were able to change to the spare quickly.

The weekend's topic of discussion was God's Story.
What story are you telling? Is it worth it?

What's the setting, style/tone, and plot for character (us) in our story?
Are you passionate about living your story? Why? What makes your story different?
What’s one defining moment in your story that stands out (overall or most recently) that has shaped you most significantly?
Who and How is it affecting others?
Whose story has affected you?
What parts of your story do you need to include others in?
Is your story one worth living?
So with that came lots of time for talking about that and hanging out around the lake.

Israel: Brotha, Friend, and personal videographer. You'll usually see him with a camera in hand (which after a fall into the water still works!).

The peeps after boating with two of the Sampson's kids (Joel and his brother Jeff Sampson were so gracious to give their weekend to us for towing people around).



And 1st ever generater powered dance party in the camp thanks to DJ Supershan.

...and a great baptism celebration.

We also had the amazing Andrea Hamilton with us to lead us in music worship again this year. We were very blessed.

Hot Water Weekend 2009=a weekend of worship!
Crazy fun