Sunday, March 29, 2009

What are you giving up?

I have grown up hearing about what past generations have given up for those of us taking up space on the earth currently. My father gave up part of himself in World War II, countless others have given their lives in duty to their country or community (just think about the 4 officers who gave their lives in Oakland last week.)

And in memory of all that, I have to admit that so often I forget what our current generation is willing to give up. My oldest daughter, Jessica, a sophomore at Woodside High, along with dozens of other teenagers from our community, is about to embark on giving up a 2nd straight spring break (sleeping in, enjoying the sun, hanging with friends, etc.) to serve in the dirt of Ensenada, Baja California, to serve those who need serving. God calls us to love others and these students are not just going to give "loving others" lip service, they are going to give up what is precious to them to lead by serving. God's peace and protection for you all. May He bless you all with peace!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hard it worth it?

Having spent 14 hours on yard work this weekend, I am reminded the value of hard work. Melanie and I spent the whole weekend making changes to and cleaning up our front and back yards. As we sit here exhausted Sunday night we are delighted with the results. Perfect? No, not perfect, but certainly worth the effort. We love it.

Hard work really does pay off. Dedicate hard work to something and you're sure to find success. Success measured by the satisfaction that the results you achieved are because you put your ALL into it.

What are you dedicating hard work to? Here are some of the things I'm focusing on...
  • Understanding how my faith plays out in everyday life for the blessing of others
  • Guiding my children to grow up and give back
  • Making sure my wife knows how valuable she is
  • Ensuring that my community is led in the right direction

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thank you Africa! You've added more to my life than you'll ever know...

I am fortunate to have been able to travel to the continent of Africa on three different occasions for a combination of mission/service work and vacation. It was very apparent to me after my first trip that the people of Africa (Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia specifically), some of the poorest people on earth, have so much more to offer me than I ever have been able to offer them. Here is the best illustration of what I mean by that...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Really good chicken/corn soup...

Get a stock pot good and hot and add some olive oil. Add a few diced up garlic cloves, some bay leaves...let the aroma infuse in the oil for 30 seconds or so and add diced, boneless skinless chicken. Let that saute a bit and then add an equal part of frozen yellow corn. Let that saute until it starts to brown a little and then deglaze the pan with some dry white wine. Add some chicken broth, salt, pepper and some tumeric to make it nice and yellow. Cook down, adjusting salt along the way, until the soup gets good and rich...maybe even add some half&half or cream. Serve on a rainy night with some good biscuits. Keep in mind, I don't cook with recipes so this is a total approximation and you should add your personality to it. Isn't that what separates good food from great anyway? Enjoy!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Time to find a new thing...

Before Melanie and I were married we bought a little Nissan pickup...shiny red, fabulous stereo for all those 80's tunes, and we customized the inside just to fit us and all the running around we did as newlyweds. As the birth of our first child approached a few years later we realized we couldn't keep the truck. No matter how we could have rearranged things in that little truck it simply wouldn't work as our family was about to take on substantial changes.

I think in many ways our nation, state, and communities are facing similar structural changes. It isn't good enough anymore to talk about "doing things differently" (implying slight modification to the way we've always done things) it is time to realize that the future will demand "doing different things." Whether it is the way we do housing, finance, transportation, business development, childcare, or care for our environment we're going to need to explore different things to do; not just tweak what we're currently doing. Let's start the conversations.

"Conversation is the laboratory and workshop of the student." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My first post...

After creating this blog I wondered (hmmmmm...) what should my first blog posting be about. Something serious? Something fun? Something random? Melanie can't believe I am sitting here staring at the screen speechless (or typeless I guess). It's not so much that I am speechless, I just think that one's first blog posting should be the posting by which all other postings are measured. Then again, maybe if I didn't try so hard on my first posting the others that follow would seem that much better. Yes, that's what I'll do. So, here we go, my entry into the world of blogging...