Monday, August 28, 2006

That Messed Me Up!!!

My church over the summer has guest speakers and artist and it is amazing to see how God will weave their messages together. Two in particular had messages that you would swear that the two had gotten together and planned out their messages with one doing part one and the other part two. But the second one is the one that really messed me up. You can get the podcast and listen to it for yourself. The main one to listen to is the message titled "Steve Geyer", but listening to the one titled "Living in Light of Eternity" before it will give you that part one of the part two. There are no other words to use about it other than it really just messed me up, but in a good way!

But then to add to it all my pastor this past Sunday spoke and related things with the movie End of the Spear and how that movie and it's message is going to effect our church. It, for the second week in a row, messed me up. But, again, in a good way! The message is titled "Lost Tribes". If you haven't already seen that movie, I highly recommend that you see it. In my opinion it is better than The Passion of the Christ. But I will let you read my previous post about it.

I hope that those messages mess you up the same way that they messed me up! Feel free to comment here after listening to them.



Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dirty, Yellow Carpeting....

The church we went to visit on Sunday, while we were in California, was really cool. Not just because my friend is the tech guy over there. You could just tell that this was a church that was healthy and going somewhere. And that isn't just because they have a well known worship leader, or a pastor who has written several books or some fancy, schmancy building. In fact, the picture of that beautiful, harvest gold carpeting from the 70's is from the sanctuary there. And as you can see it is pretty worn on the edge of the step there. But yet, this church is busting at the seams and growing.

My friend who is the tech guy there told me that his old church had spent several million dollars on their building and the church has dwindled in size down to 120 people. But I thought that having a fancy building was the key to drawing people to your church and God? I guess it isn't about what it looks like on the inside of the building, but what kind of people are on the inside.

Rick Warren has said, "That people don't care what you know, until they know that you care." And that right there is the key to having a healthy church. We need to stop worrying so much about the look of our facilities and care more about the look of our people and their hearts. I say all of this and I attend a church that recently underwent a building project that made our facilities much nicer. But I can tell you that I know for a fact that my SP has his priorities on caring for the people there.

Too many churches in America also think that programs are the key to success. And while programs are a necessary thing to have, because if you had no aim or direction then you would never go anywhere, the problem lies when you serve the programs instead of the programs serving the needs of your people. And there we are back again at that "P" word! People the the thing that we need to be concerned about.

Does that mean we ignore the programs or the building? NO! But when it comes to cleaning the carpets at the church because they are pretty dirty or helping someone out Saturday evening because they need the love of Christ shown into their lives. I say forget the dumb carpet. Or what about when you are in the middle of a small group and you can tell that the group you have are just not getting into the discussion. What should you do. I say ditch the lesson plan/book and ad lib. Maybe go out for some ice cream and just talk about life or whatever. But to often we don't do this, because we serve the program or lesson.

So what would you rather have, ugly, harvest gold carpeting with stains and a building full of people, or a nice facility and a few people filling the seats? I know what the obvious answer everyone will give is, but is that really what you mean? Is that what your actions are saying? Just some food for thought.


Two more weeks until.....

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Cali- August 14th

***Don't forget to go to the first day and read up, so you can get the whole story.***

Today we headed out to KT's apartment to help her and Derek pack up her stuff into the truck to be shipped off to North Carolina. It took quite a bit of time to get it all loaded into the truck, but we did get it done and then headed off to Souplantation for one last meal before we had to fly back home.

We got to the rental car place late, which of course got us to the airport late. But everything went pretty quick and we got to the gate with about 10 minutes to spare before they started boarding our plane. Flight was really smooth and we ended up getting home about 2:00a. So we crashed and slept until 9:00a when my mother-in-law dropped off our kids.

I am He-man!!!

It is all just about done!

Our last meal in Cali with Derek and KT, but not with Dirk!

The happy couple rests before they begin their long journey across the country.

The honeymoon car!!!



Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cali- August 13th

On Sunday we went an visited Dirk's church, Chrisitan Assembly in Eagle Rock. It was really cool! The worship leader there is Tommy Walker and he and the whole team were really good. The pastor who spoke was really good as well. You can listen to the message she spoke here. If only Kimmy could have stayed awake for it! She had taken a Dramamine before we left, because she thought she was getting motion sickness so she had a hard time keeping her eyes open.

Then after church we headed over to a nearby mall to drop off the tuxes. And then onto my cousins house in the Westwood area of L.A.

After arriving there and sitting down to chat for a while we decided to head into Hollywood and do some of the typical touristy types of things. We first stopped by Rodeo Drive. And we saw some of the ghetto sights like the totally ghetto ice cream truck we saw parked on the street. But what was the most amazing thing to me was when we went into the Tiffany & Co. store. When I saw a pair of earrings for $470,000, I nearly crapped my pants! With people around the world starving and dying of AIDS, I just found it hard to believe that people can spend that much money on a pair of stupid earrings. Didn't see anyone famous there, but I hear most celebs avoid that area on Sundays.

Then headed over and saw the famous Hollywood sign. It was a steep walk up a hill to get a good view of the sign, but it was really pretty up there. Although, Kimmy got a little nervous when she saw the sign warning of rattlesnakes and mountain lions that could be in the area. We didn't run into any, but did see a lot of horses at a riding stable in the area and a lizard.

After that we headed down to Hollywood and Vine to check out all of the cool stuff down there. We saw some neat street performers, but the best was this guy all painted in gold acting like a moving statue. It was really neat.

We then headed back to my cousin's house for some food and hanging out time. However, on the way there I got a phone call from my mom that ended up being the topic of discussion for the evening. I will maybe blog about it later, but what I found out was that one of the students at my old church had announced that Sunday to the church, as a form of repentance, that he and his girlfriend were expecting a baby. Sent me a reeling quite a bit, but more on that later, like I said.

Are those two celebs on Rodeo?

The ghetto ice cream truck on Rodeo.

This guy was standing guard outside this store and was as still as a statue, but he was real!

A beautiful look down Rodeo Drive.

This little guy was hanging on the side of the mountain we were climbing up.

The big sign and someone knocked the "land" off of it.

This was the riding stable that we saw.

This is the beautiful view behind us that we saw at the top.

This is the golden statue that we saw. I wonder if his name is Oscar.

I was so tempted to go see the movie again.



Saturday, August 12, 2006

Cali- August 12th (aka Wedding Day)

Today Derek and I woke up at 6:30a, because some dolt programmed the TV to turn on. So I shut it off and immediately fell back asleep to be awoken at 8:00a by the alarm clock, so that I could take Derek to his parent's hotel so he could get ready for the wedding with them. But before we did that we headed down to the lobby for the continental breakfast after Kimmy showed up.

After dropping Derek off at the hotel, I headed back to the hotel and Kimmy and I went down to the hotel pool to swim, catch some rays and just relax. Then we went back to our room and got dressed for the big event. Me in my tux and Kimmy in the dress she brought with her. And as beautiful as KT looked, Kimmy was still the most beautiful woman there, in my opinion. And I am sure Derek will disagree, but he is entitled to his opinion.

I had my first taste of Dirk's world famous chocolate chip cookies. And they lived up to their billing!

We arrived at the church and went in to see the bride. KT was pretty excited and was about ready to get her make-up on. I then headed over to where Derek was and started assuming the duties of best man for the day. Basically, I get to boss everyone around for Derek, so that way he doesn't have to worry about things. About 15 minutes before the ceremony we took our places in the chapel behind the altar. There was a couple of people in there praying, so we had to be fairly quiet as we waited.

Then came "show time" and we got ourselves ready to step out and get ready for the big event. We walked down to the front just as his parent's walked down. Then we stood and waited as the rest of the bridal processional came down the aisle. Then the big moment arrived as KT stepped out with her brother on one arm and her nephew on the other. And then I realized that I failed as a best man, because I forgot to grab some tissue. But fortunately Derek's sister had some and reached forward and handed me some, because tears were actually coming out of Derek's eyes. As if there was any doubt that there would be.

The ceremony did not go off without a few funny moments and the first was when the mom's went to go light the candles and whomever lit the other candle's didn't put the lighter back in the right place. So Father Jerry went off into the back room to go look for it. Only to come out saying that he couldn't find one. And then the young man who lit the candles came up and found it.

But Father Jerry was really cool and laid back. I love priests or pastors that are that way. The ceremony was very nice and I think very fitting for Derek and KT. Which to me is a sign of a good wedding. Derek's dad even took part in some portions of the ceremony, because he is a minister. Very nice day, but it wasn't over yet.

Kimmy and I took Derek and KT to a local park where they got some pictures taken and then over to his brother's hotel for the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony, to me, was one of the coolest things that we witnessed. The Chinese have a tradition where after a wedding ceremony the newlyweds will serve tea to the oldest married couple on down to the most recent. This is to show honor and respect to their elders. And each time they do the newlyweds are handed a red envelope, which contains some kind of a gift. And traditionally the mother of the groom will give the bride a gift of jewelry. After all of that, the bride and groom sit down and then they are served tea from the single people that are there. And the newlyweds hand them red envelopes also. It was a really neat thing to see, not only for the tradition, but the honoring of one another. My favorite part of the whole day!

Then of course we headed off to the reception where we enjoyed some very good food, a great cake and a night of dancing. But the biggest surprise of the day came as they brought the bridal party in. KT had arranged for all of us to bring light sabers, because Derek is a huge Star Wars fan. So as we wlaked in we were handed our light sabers and when Derek & KT came in to the Throne Room song from Star Wars we whipped out or light sbaers and held them out for them to walk under military style. Derek was really surprised!

Unfortunately Kimmy and I did not get a chance to slow dance, but we had fun none the less. Derek put together a video presentation with pictures and it was really cool. Unfortunately, the audio was not working but the picture were worth a thousand songs.

As the evening was winding down we noticed that KT's brake lights were on, even though no one was in the car and the key was out. So we tried to figure that out for a while and then Derek decided to just pull the fuse and worry about it when they got to North Carolina. So we loaded up the presents in their car and ours, and we headed off to their apartment. They asked us to stay as they opened up their presents. So we hung out there and Kimmy kept track of the gifts and who gave what for them and I helped keep the cards and gifts organized. Then we left the happy couple to.... well.... you know!

The studs have arrived!

The vows!

Derek's dad praying over the couple.

This picture of Father Jerry is simply amazing!

The newlyweds at the reception.

Who is that amazingly beautiful woman with that guy?

The light saber entrance.



Friday, August 11, 2006

Cali- August 11th

Today starts the beginning of the wedding festivities! But first we need to make a quick stop at the beach before we head inland. So my Aunt Diana, Kimmy, and I headed off to Newport Beach, specifically the area right at 15th Street. We had a lot of fun swimming, boogey boarding and just catching some rays.

After our morning at the beach we headed for our hotel and then to the church for the wedding rehearsal. It was a lot of fun and pretty relaxed. But you could just see the excitement on Derek's face.

After the rehearsal we went out for the traditional rehearsal dinner at the Hong Kong Palace in Rowland Heights. And let me tell you that it was VERY good food. I have always liked Chinese food, but this was not the normal "American" Chinese food. In the words of Derek's dad, "The finest cuisine in the world"! How right he was! We had a lot of fun and enjoyed some very good food. But the night was not over.

We headed out for an evening of fun. All the ladies together and the guys together. We first stopped at one place together and had some fun hang out time away from all of the family. Then we all headed off to Downtown Disney. The guys were hoping to go to see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, but got to the theatre too late. So Derek and I headed back to the church to let Dirk get his truck and go home. Then we headed off to find a place to hang out and shoot some pool. We played a few games of pool then headed back to my hotel to crash and rest up for the big day!

Check out the beautiful view on this beach!

Here is Kimmy catching a wave!

I seem to be doing fairly well at this boogey boarding thing as well.

I am thinking that Derek is just a little to excited here! LOL

Here are the guests of honor at the restaurant.

Check out all of that food! And for the record it was: Abalone over bok choy, Deep fried and steamed sea bass, Shark's fin and crab meat soup, Black pepper beef, Peking Duck, Deep fried chicken, "Long Life" beef noodles, Honey walnut shrimp, Fried rice and Mango pudding (not pictured).