Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recommended Reading (My Friend's Journey with ALS)

I've been a "church goer" all my life. Seen lots of things and met a lot of people along the way. Of course, there are stand out individuals and happenings over the years that are etched in my mind. One of those individuals--Patrick McGoldrick.

Patrick McGoldrick came to be the "youth pastor" at my church when I was finishing high school. He turned that place on its head soon after he arrived when he disbanded the vast majority of the "activity" type things that the students were doing (choirs, drama, handbells, karate, puppets, etc). You see, he believed that the heart mattered much more than actions. At the time, I was a bit livid. He was taking away all of our stuff. I had poured my life into those things. So had a lot of others. He was RIGHT, though. He wanted to rebuild some foundational things, which required some stripping away. I am very thankful for the impact of "Pastor Pat", as we called him at the time. I am but one of many lives he has changed by following the LORD in whole-hearted obedience, even when it's not necessarily easy.

Pastor Patrick McGoldrick is currently the Student Pastor at Cornerstone Baptist in Roseville, MI. He announced Sunday that doctors have diagnosed him with ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It is not curable. He has started a blog over at https://patricksstory.wordpress.com/ I'd recommed you to head that way and follow his story. I'm confident that it's going to be an adventurous journey for him and his family, and I look forward to seeing all that God is going to do through him.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Boss

I overheard my 4 year old yesterday yelling at her big brother:

"I'm not bossing you around! I'm just telling you what to do!"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

This would be my first muskie. I caught it Monday night at Alum Creek Reservoir, only 20 minutes or so from my house. My buddy, Greg Hastings, who fishes for muskie competitively(ish) in a league was having his best day on the water ever, and called me at 5pm, after releasing a fish that was 14 inches bigger than the one you see me holding. Of course, I immediately cancelled my plans for the evening and drove straight to his boat (barely stopping before my car entered the water!). He'd ended up landing 11 fish that day in total. Generally, muskie fishing is a bit like salmon fishing in northern CA. You can troll 2 or 3 big lures on a big body of water, and wait for a rod to double over. The difference is that muskie have HUGE teeth and it requires a special leader, etc. Similar to salmon, a 2 or 3 fish day is a great day. An 11 fish day is NUTS around here.

My fish was 33 1/2 inches long. They only care about length here. I bet it weighed 12-14 lbs, though (but not "official").

Greg's 47 incher was caught on a lure that he'd made himself--about 8" long or so whittled from cedar, then painted and laquered, etc. Made him feel great, as you might imagine. He has a simple aluminum 14' deep V with a small motor. Nothing fancy, but it catches fish!

Oh, we also caught a suicidal "saugeye"--a hybrid fish here in Ohio that's a lot like a walleye. No idea what that fish was thinking going after what we had on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conflict Resolution

I'm excited about a new message series that we're starting at Journey on the Beatitudes. I've been reading the two passages (one in Matthew and one in Luke) over the last few weeks, and again came across this passage, which immediately follows the Beatitudes:

Luke 6: 27-36
27 "But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don't hold back your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks from you, and from one who takes away your things, don't ask for them back. 31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do [what is] good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do [what is] good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."

I've had multiple opportunities lately to put this passage into practice--both with individuals and on corporate levels. It really never ceases to amaze me how far one will go in the choice to serve money (mammon) vs. God. People will absolutely sell out to make a buck, it seems. Even in those cases when I feel the most mistreated, I know that I am called to show mercy. To love. To give. To expect nothing in return. To do "the right thing", knowing that it will be used against me. And mostly--to trust God. He alone is the ultimate Judge in cases such as this, and there WILL BE a day of accountability for all actions. In the mean time, I again choose to follow God's clear counsel and trust Him for the outcome. So...I wait.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How To Get the Best Pizza Deal

So, Dominos ran their commercials one too many times for us to resist, so we just ordered their new recipe pizzas to try them out while watching my brother's kids for the evening (yes it gets crazy around here when our kids are together--yikes!). The big special Dominos has been advertising: 2 mediums for $5.99 each. Pretty good deal, right? However, while on hold to place the order, the automated message announced another special for our consideration: 2 extra larges and any bread order for $19.99 Also sounded like an OK deal.
Rookies would just try to guess which one would produce the most pizza for the buck. I'm no rookie. I needed to remember high school math equations that I learned from Mr. David Stockman NOW. Was that Pi r squared? What is Pi? Ugggh.
While searching quickly online for the correct equation to use, I found the solution that saved me: some guy named Abe More placed a pizza value calculator online, calculating the exact square inches of delicious pizza when you punch in a few basic numbers. By giving the size of the pizza (12 inch, 14, 16, etc.), and the amount you paid for it, the site will calculate for you the price per square inch of pizza. Click HERE to try it for yourself. It's quite simple, but is just what I needed.
So, the results? 2 extra larges was a significantly better deal, rendering a whopping 20.11 square inches of pizza per dollar (plus the breadsticks), vs the mediums, which came in at 18.85 square inches per dollar.
And was the new Dominos pizza good? Very.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Rose Bowl Parade vs Little Big Planet

So this morning, I thought it would be great for us to watch the Rose Bowl Parade together. I whipped up some breakfast first: oatmeal with raisins, cranberries, cherries, walnuts, maple syrup, butter, and a few other things (recipe credits to my dad--he sometimes puts things together that turn out really good...this one was!). After breakfast, we turned on the parade in spite of the fact that Noah really wanted to play a new video game that he received for Christmas--it's called "Little Big Planet." After going 'round and 'round about it for a while, he decided to try a different angle that he knew I would bite on. He was right:
Noah: "So dad, can we just turn this off and pray because God is more awesome than the Rose Bowl Parade."
Me: "Yes, He is. If we turned this off and prayed, what would you tell God?"
Noah: "I would pray that we could play Little Big Planet."
He's a smart one, that Noah. He's enjoying the adventures of Little Big Planet now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Back With My Family

I've been in Columbus for the last week while my wife and 2 children have been in Richmond, VA. My mother-in-law had a relatively sudden surgery which triggered a number of dominos, including Jen and the kids staying down here after Thanksgiving for an additional week (all is well with my mother-in-law).
Coming back to my family was GREAT. Getting off the plane, I couldn't wait to see my wife and kids. When I finally saw them, I knew that they'd had the same feeling of anticipation. Everyone wanted me to sit by them in the minivan on the ride home (my wife won that one!). Everyone wanted a hug and kiss. Everyone wanted to tell me their stories (Noah won that one--evidently he's been creating a book of mad scientist inventions that you really don't want to be a part of...he's pretty scary for 8!).
Once we got back to Jen's parent's house, we had dinner with her family. Her brothers Andy and Ryan were over, and it was a lot of fun. The best part was little Morgen--she didn't leave my side all night. She constantly was telling me that she missed me. She said 3 times across the dinner table, "I love you, daddy." There was a moment when she stopped eating just to look at me for about a full minute (that's like an hour for a 3 year old). Her poppy got in her way at one point, and she just kept moving her head to be able to see me...she didn't want to lose focus. Later that night, she asked me to read her a story, then later to dance with her--I had her complete attention the whole evening.
As Jennifer and I were praying together later that night, I realized the parallel in my evening with the relationship that we are to desire with our Heavenly Father. As his children, we are to desire His affection and attention beyond anything else. We are to love Him and prioritize Him higher than anything else. More than success in business. More than dollars. More than that Christmas present that you are expecting and thinking about all of the time. More than all of the Christmas presents that you are acquiring to give to others. More than...well, more than anything.
Matthew 22:37 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. "

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner

Cranberry Sauce
Corn Pudding
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Pickled Beets
Glazed Carrots
Little Lemon muffin things
Chocolate Pie

NO macaroni and cheese (but I still survived...)

Thanksgiving in Richmond, VA today was a great time with Jen's family. We all have much for which to be thankful.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Yesterday would have been the 40th birthday of my good friend, Jim Hvisdos, who left this world nearly 7 years ago after a bout with cancer. Jim went to school with me at Liberty University, for whom we traveled the country together recruiting (with a great team of others, I might add). Really fun times.... I followed Jim to California to work at Big Valley Grace Community Church in Modesto, where he was the Jr. High Youth Pastor (and I was the worship leader). We had a blast goofing off together in staff meetings, golfing together, praying together and encouraging one another to press on.
Jim was a devoted follower of Christ, who loved God and loved people as well as anyone I know. He was an amazing example to the hundreds of young teens who looked up to him as a role model and leader...many of whom are serving God today because of his influence in their lives.
Jim passed away on Jan 7 (my birthday) as I was getting on a plane to go see him. He had been taken to the Cleveland Clinic here in OH for treatment. While I didn't get to see him that last time here on Earth, I can't wait to see him again soon in heaven. It will be a really good day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

New House Church in Powell

My friends John and Debbie Stickel (also members of Journey Church, Columbus) are taking the leap and starting a house church in Powell. Jen and I are just wild enough to hop in on the deal.
The first meeting will be tonight, where we'll just hang out and watch a movie together. For our future meetings, we hope to begin to look at our marriages, seeking God regarding what it means to be a loving, faithful, God-honoring spouse. Sound scary? Sound fun? Either way, you should join us. It will be worth it...