Thursday, September 27


I've not forgotten about you. It may seem like it, because I don't tell you often enough... but you are here with me.....(yes Y O U)

Monday, April 16

I'm trying to think...

Did anything important happen today? YES! I made my first angel cake and it tasted delicious! I was quite proud. Had fresh, sweet strawberries for topping. I love it when things work out. I had small group tonight, which was really wonderful to get re-connected with the guys. I sense awkwardness on my part in feeling the disconnect... I realized tonight that I am selfish or self centered... probably both actually. School for them is a bit crazy right now and I have no business taking things personally... but I do. Satan certainly has knows which vices work on me. Lord give me strength. Why angel cake today? My friend finally broke the ties that bound him to a thankless job managed by thugs. He's such a genius and I'm so happy for his new position where he will be appreciated and acknowledged for his brilliance. Thank you Lord for your provision. He already seems like a new person... back to his fun loving, whitty, comic nerd, tomatoe planting self. Certainly a burden has (almost visiably) been lifted. It is for Joe, my inspiration came for angel cake because it is his favorite.

How Great is our God

The splendor of the King,
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice,
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at his voice,
And trembles at his voice

How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see How great,
How great
Is our God

Age to age he stands
And time is in His Hands
Beginning and the End, Beginning and the End

The Godhead, Three in one
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb,The Lion and the Lamb


Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing how great
Is our God(x2)

Saturday, April 14

The Outcome

Once again, the Lord has supplied me with strength and tolerance beyond my own ability. He was faithful in hearing and answering my prayer of patience and being slow to anger. The discussion with the property manager went well. I believe we both began the meeting a little awkward and prepared for a fight, however, fists were not needed. Everything was laid out on the table. They said that they did not want us to move out and were going to continue to make improvements. I am cautiously optimistic. The property manager said he realized in the year he's been working there, that they do not have the best reputation and he would like to change that. He also said that he'd like us to stay, continuing on with what we are doing, and there were no plans to raise rent in the fall. They understood why 2 guys have moved out and deducted that from our rent, but would like it filled or resumed in May. So, now roommates are what we need. .....i'm writing crappy.... what is wrong with me??? I totally got lost tonight...I tagged along to a 7 year old's bday party and took her grandma home, but totally got lost returning to the Pump It Up place... SO twisted and turned around...i can't even tell you where i was...i couldn't tell north from south, east from west....i'm not really tired, but feel like laying down.... Listening to the Album Leaf now... it's melodic and meandering.... like my mind.... can't tell if the the tide is coming in or going out.........just spacey.

Thursday, April 12

Raymond vs Landlord

Tomorrow, rather, later today, I am meeting with the landlords to discuss rent and repairs. Yesterday's (tuesday's) blow of receiving the "pay or vacate in 3 days" notice tacked to the outside of the door settled in as a personal defeat. How I detest that feeling! I knew the moment I opened my eyes this morning that today would be a bit melancholy...I feel disconnected from Greg and other guys in my small group...and others I care so much about... rolling over, cuddling blankets, wanting answers, praying that it would all just go away. Why does Satan know my weaknesses? And why must he insist on using them against me? WHY do i let him have any authority over me??? Pastor talked about fairy tales on sunday... guess I was hoping to wake up to the spell being broken and our house transformed and restored. Sadly, reality affirms that fairy tales are for children and do not exist in this world of materialism and greed.

Lord, help me show Your grace and strength to our landlords. Help me to speak with patience. Give me ears to hear what is truly being said - help me be slow to anger. Please help resolve this situation for the betterment of my friends and neighbors and those that live here. Please give me insight to the plans you have for this house and those that come in contact with us. Help me rely on You. Please change the minds and soften the hearts of the landlords, blinding them to their greed. This whole situation is in Your hands.... .. .

Tuesday, April 10

Happy Easter!

Good Friday service was really good this year. Was this the first time I've been to Good Friday? It was a busy day. Mowed 2 lawns and washed a very dirty car and 3 SUV's. Super gorgeous day and in the mid 70's. Love it when the weather is nice. Had Easter brunch with the Andersons...mexican. I made cheesy cheddar homemade bread, but it was really doughy inside. They were kind with compliments... it tasted ok, but was really doughy. Erg! This always happens when you want to make a good impression. Sat in the front row at church which I never do... Pastor Richard was hitting a point home and actually wacked me on the knee! I felt every eye turn to me and my face go beet red, but still, I tried to play it cool... pretty funny really. Glad I wasn't sleeping!

Tuesday, April 3


Is it just me, or is time flying by for everyone else? It's time to talk about some good things. Of course, 39 days since the fire and things are still in disrepair. For example, the maintenance/contractors have scrapped off some of the charred and burnt bits in the carport, added new 2 x 4's, and painted over the blackened surfaces. Obviously, this can't be up to code, nor can the musty mildewing carpet that they flooded last week... but this is a blog of good things today.

First take a look at the new video feature. I filmed the Bellagio fountains while in Vegas a couple weeks ago. It's kindof silly, but entertaining just the same, aaaand without nudity which is hard to come by in Sin City.

The sun shown brightly today. There's still a brisk coolness in the air, but oh, how the heat of that glowing planet warms my soul. Today, I had a man to man talk with a friend and learnt a little bit more about the birds and the bees. I worked on a flyer/poster for a friend which confirms that I am not a graphic artist... however, she was kind enough to give me her approval. I spoke with an individual whom I've tried to befriend, but have always gotten the sense that he didn't like me. Turns out, it was all in my head. One friend is getting more excited as the interview process furthers for a job that is one of a kind. He's a little inexperienced, however, certainly more than qualified to make things happen. I had nacho's and a ham and cheese sandwich. I was given four terrific seats to the Mariner's (including paid parking) that I was able to pass on to one of my guys to share with his friends because of a meeting prohibiting me to go... Turns out that I wasn't really that bummed I came away from the meeting quite encouraged.

It's stil funny to think of myself as a mentor. My burden tonight was not feeling much of a spiritual icon. Sure, our meetings go on for about 3 hours and we have been highly focused on relationships, encouraging one another, building each other to be the men Christ has called us to... so in these respects, I am confident things are ok. My weakness is not being quiet and asking for the Holy Spirit to speak to me and even through me. John 14:26 says that the "Counselor... will teach you all things..." I get all caught up in what I can do instead of listening and allowing things to be done through me. How feeble, my own ambition! Others at the meeting were very encouraging and even went as far to say that I've been an example to them! The consensis ultimately, was that we all need to listen to the Spirit and have someone walking along side us, guiding, encouraging, correcting, praying...

Monday, March 26


This last week has flown by, right up to this very morning! I woke late, in a panic, interrupting a very pleasant dream with lots of my friends (lots being too many to fit into a picture) outside on a hot sunny day, by a lake filled with giant orange salmon, laughter and smiles around, to a non sounding alarm clocks (yet again) alerting me to be ready for my 8:45. Sleeping through my alarms is not so unusual, but dreaming is. My heart is still racing from the lickety-split whirlwind of getting ready.

The week has also flown by in that I've not had a chance to mention that this time last week, I was in Las Vegas. It was a quick business trip that I was able to employ four friends. We worked hard and played hard (except for the day we layed by the pool which could actually -in my book anyways- be interpreted as "working" hard). We finished the labor part in two days with two days to spare. So, we drove to the GC. On the way down, we were amazed by Hoover dam and the new, extremely high bridge they are building 1000's of feet above the existing road. It was nice to ride comfortably in a brand new 4runner. Lots of laughs on the way down, and amazement at God's handiwork. Who knew that a big hole could be so beautiful?! On the return, I longed to stop at In-N-Out, but everyone was crashed. I just drove and drove. I thought it was weird that the temperature was going up as the sun was going down, but didn't think much more of it. Evan work up wondering where we were. I told him, "7 miles from the border." He laughed and said, "What border?" I just shrugged my shoulders. Turns out that I didn't make a wrong turn... I simply didn't make a turn at all and landed us in the Mojave Desert. We had a good laugh, and if time wasn't such a factor, we would've kept on driving. All in all, it was a fun and relaxing trip. I didn't think about the depressing realities of home for 5 days with my friends by my side to keep me focused on good times.

In the photo: Ryan, Greg, Rob, Evan & Me

Wednesday, March 21

Day 26

It's been 26 days since the fire. To the right is what remained of the Silver Bullet. The carport is double wide. The fire started on the north side and she was parked on the south side. Flames climbed up the wall and ran across the ceiling, down the southern trellis creating an oven of intense heat. The drivers wheels blew, as did all the windows. There were lots of explosions. It's ridiculous to be attached to a car, but it was hard to see her towed away. A clear message from God that it was time that I let her rest in peace.

Repairs are coming along slowly. The house still smells of smoke. I just returned from a business trip to have reports of flooding in the basement room. So now we have soggy, mildew carpet smell competing with lingering smoke odor. Fans run constantly making it even colder in these high-30's temps.

I've tried numerous times to contact the tenant coaltion without any luck. I know that the landlords will be expecting rent soon, however it seems the conditions are not suitable for living. Where is the balance in exemplifing Christ and not getting walked on? Two guys have moved out already, a third is on his way out. I'm not reacting the way I typically would which is confusing to me. I still feel we have a purpose for being here...but also want to be smart in our decisions, not getting walked on, being a nuisance (without being a jerk) so they will want to sell the house, keep peaceful relations so they don't jack our rent up in the fall. This situation is so frustrating....I wonder if this is what it feels like to live in Ukraine.

Sunday, February 25


Today, rather Saturday evening around 9:30pm, someone set our carport on fire. I was watching tv in the dining room, Justin had just gone to bed, everyone else was gone, and the motion detector light came on. Typically we save the carport for our guests, so I looked up to see who was coming in. I usually also keep an eye out for the possiblity of wind, or unwanted street vagrant. I peeked out the window and saw a little sunset color mixed in with the white motion light. I was a bit puzzled at first--who want's to admit what they're seeing is a fire? As I was reaching for the door to go outside, I thought I smelt smoke. I nervously and fearfully kicked off my slippers and ran outside and saw the far side of the carport on fire. Frantically, I began dialing 911 and yelled for "George!" (my neighbor). 911 was not connecting. I kept screaming as loud as I could. Just heard my yelling and saw the growing flames from his bedroom window. I redialed 911 and finally got through. I screamed into the phone, "FIRE! Big fire!" and repeatedly gave them the address. Repeatedly because he said I was breaking up. While talking to him, I grabbed the garden hose and tried spraying things...anything... it was useless but I had to do something. Justin yelled at me to stop and I told him to take the propaine tank from the bbq away. He did and got to a safe distance... a crowd started to gather. Flames were growing... there was popping and exploding noises... presumeably my windows and car tires... I kept spraying futilely. I had to do something. People yelled at me to stop. I ran inside to insure the guys in the basement were out... the stairwell was filled with smoke. Impossible to descend. I went for the hose again, but was overwhelmed at the size of flames and suddenly realized how ridiculous my battle was as flames ingolfed the entire wall and ran along the metal roof. I began to fear that my motorcycle would explode or worse, my car. The street was now completely aligned with people. Most were friends and neighbors. Fire truck after fire truck appeared... I think six, perhaps seven in all with numerous other paramedic vehicles. I watched as they battled and defeated the blaze. Once the flames were under control, I regained some composure and began calling housemates, delivering the sad and shocking news. Most were able to find alternative places to sleep. Fortunately, our house is made of brick. Fortunately, the storage room with the lawn mower and gas cans, paints and other flamables was only seared on the outside. Some things melted, but was not ignited. I'm exasperated......

Thursday, February 22


Although the sun shone brilliantly and was full of warmth... it was still a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day....

Wednesday, February 21

The Beginning of Lent

Lord, I give you my life. And in so giving, I give you all that I am, and all that I have, realizing that I am created for Your purposes. As you reveal such purposes to me, may I be sensitive to respond, knowing that in so doing, I am stepping into the place of life, blessing and adventure that awaits me.

Monday, February 19

I love a moon at 8%

Sunday, February 18


I'm shocked and amazed that folks from around the globe have checked my blog out...crazy! I'm not even sure what all to put on here... is my life that interesting?

I will say that I just had a great 3:28 conversation with my friend Erik in Lyon, France. It sounded like he was right next door! Time just went by. It was terrific catchin g up with him.

Ok... that's all I got for now... suggestions welcomed....