One Year Ago Today

It was one year ago, today that we celebrated a very special birthday, the birth of Benjamin Andrew Eberly, weighing in at 8lbs, 12 oz!

Much has changed over the year! Now weighing in at a whopping 30lbs. and full of life!

Tomorrow is party day for both Benjamin and myself! How cool to share a birthday with my son!

Today Robin and Benny are traveling home from California. Can't wait to see them!

Winter Youth Reflections

I just got home from Winter Youth. What a fantastic time! I am very tired, yet very excited about what God accomplished in our lives this week. Thank you to those that prayed for us.

Our main speaker was Freddy T. Wyatt. Freddy is a very gifted speaker from Louisville, Kentucky, and really challenged us and the way we view worship. The theme of the week was We Shall Behold Him - Life As Worship. He addressed it very well!

Craig & Jake LIVE emceed the week and as well as spoke individually. Craig Gross is the co-founder of, a ministry dedicated to helping people break free from the grip of pornography. He shared some amazing things that God is doing in the lives of people that have been sucked into that lifestyle. He spoke on how loving people, including porn stars and producers, the very ones that the church wants to shy away from, is one of the greatest ways we can worhsip God. Excellent!

Both Shawn McDonald and Sara Groves played in concert. Both of them were great examples of people seeking, finding, and serving God.

Paul Ramey led us in worship through song, each session. The biggest hit of the week was definitely the David Crowder song, You Are My Joy! The students couldn't get enough of it!

By far the highlight of the week for me was the many youth group debrief times we had. Several times a day we would meet as a group to discuss the things heard and what God was doing in our hearts. It was very exciting to see our students come to grasp the full meaning of what worship is, that it is far more than singing, or a worship service or gathering. It is the way we live our lives. It is a daily lifestyle. One of our students realized and shared that we find our greatest joy when we find our satisfaction in God alone. True worship!

I was encouraged personally as I continue to discover myself what real and true worship is. May we as the church realize that what we do outside the walls of our church buildings is where real worship takes place.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
- Romans 12:1

Week In Pictures

We had a wonderful time in California over the holidays. I'll let the pictures tell the stories.

My hometown, Brea

Meeting Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm

Benny's first merry-go-round ride

Standing in front of The Silver Bullet

Benny's first taste of birthday cake!

Winter Youth Celebration

After a great week in California with family, I'm now off to The Winter Youth Celebration, a big high school student conference held annually here in Portland. The conference runs from December 27-30.

I love the theme this year...Life As Worship! The very topic I will be preaching on this Sunday! (For those interested I plan to post the audio file of my message next week.)

It's our prayer that the Lord does great things in both the hearts of our students as well as us as a staff. Your prayers are valued as well.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Once Again

180 Student Ministries once again finds themselves in a Youth Specialites email!

This picture was taken at our High School Beach Retreat this last May.

See the last one here.

Fruitcake Freedom?

Last night, as we usually do while in California, Robin and I went out to dinner with my sister Lisa and her husband Mike. We had a great dinner at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill. Man was that some good tri tip and barbequed chicken! But I digress. After we ate dinner we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery for a little ice cream to take home to eat while we watch a movie, "Christmas Vacation", I might add!

While at Cold Stone we noticed an interesting promotion they were running. It's called Fruitcake Freedom. The idea is that if you bring in an old unwanted holiday fruitcake they in turn will give you, the fruitcake hating customer, a $5 discount off any 8 inch ice cream cake. Sounds like a good deal! You can read more about the promotion here.

The real grabber at least at the particular Cold Stone that we were at, was that they said that they would be donating all the fruitcakes that came in to a homeless shelter. To that I thought to myself....really?! Now I am all for giving to those in need, but fruitcake?? At the risk of offending fruitcake loving readers of mine I must say, I'm not sure I would wish that on anyone! Cold Stone themselves even says on their web site that receiving a fruitcake is an "unfortunate event."

So I guess if you receive one of those bizarre culinary delights, you can take it in to Cold Stone, but you might just encourage them to use it as a door jam to hold their door open for others in need of a little of their wonderful Sweet Cream flavored ice cream.


I finally got a chance to sit at the computer so thought I would give a quick update on the ol' vacation. We're having a GREAT time!

It has been 80 degrees that last two days!! My kind of Christmas!

We spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm today. Awesome time! We even got Benny on the Log Ride. He loved it! Go to the Knott's web site and check out The Silver Bullet. It is the roller coaster pictured on the homepage. Amazing!

Tomorrow is In-N-Out Burger for lunch and birthday celebration for Benny and I!

Fun times! I will post lots of good pictures soon!

Outta Here

The weather is clearing! Thanks to all of you who prayed with us. While I don't believe God cleared the weather just for us, I have to believe we were part of the reason! Like I said in a previous post, I love when God does stuff like that!

We are looking forward to some serious Southern California sunshine, fun with family, and free tickets to Knott's Berry Farm, compliments of Joanne Hale! Thank's Joanne!

This may be my last post for awhile, so I hope you all have a terrific holiday and enjoy celebrating the birthday of our Savior, Jesus!

White Christmas

We had our family Christmas today due to the fact that tomorrow, weather permitting, we are traveling to California for the holidays. The cool thing is...we got a white Christmas! It snowed today!!

Unfortunatly it is supposed to turn icy tonight, and not get above freezing until Tuesday! We are praying that we will still be able to make it to the airport and then actually get off the ground!

We had a great day today! If you'd like to see our pictures, including our Christmas (palm) Tree, their all right here.

From all of us to all of you...
Merry Christmas!

Busy Good

The weekend is here and a busy, yet good weekend it is going to be!

To night is our annual Youth Staff Christmas Dinner/Party. Always a good time! God has blessed me with the greatest team of people to work with. Each of them is uniquely gifted and plays such a valuable role in our ministry to students. We have a lot to celebrate to night! I am thankful for each of them!

Tomorrow during our Education Hour at church, we are having a combined Middle School and High School Christmas themed worship time. We will be keeping both groups together for a time of focusing on the difference Christmas makes in our lives and how we as His children are to respond.

Tomorrow evening is our family Christmas celebration! Since we are heading to California on Monday we are going to have our own family Christmas celebration tomorrow! We'll go out for a nice dinner and then come home and give and open gifts together.

Monday after work we head for California to spend the holidays with my parents and sister and her family. We are really looking forward to the time but are a bit concerned and would appreciate your prayer. The weather forecast is for freezing rain and ice! That is not a good combination for getting to the airport let alone getting a plane off the ground. Please pray with us that the Lord brings good travel weather on Monday!

Well gotta get's the weekend!

Prepare The Way

We had an incredible night of worship with our high school students last night. On the second Wednesday of each month we have our Second Wednesday Worship (2W2). 2W2 is a night in which we lay aside our regular Wednesday night program and instead, spend the whole night seeking the Lord in worship. Last night the theme of our time was Prepare the Way.

We began our night looking at how the way was prepared for both Jesus' coming to earth and His ministry while here with us. We looked at Luke 1:26-56 and discovered how Mary prepared her heart for what God was going to ask of her, that of course being the earthly mother of Jesus. We also looked at Luke 3:4-18 and discussed how John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus' three years of ministry here on earth. We then spent the rest of the evening preparing our hearts for Jesus. Jesus desires to have His way with us and make us into someone very beautiful and useful for Him. We must prepare the way for Him.

As we spent the next hour singing and reflecting we also participated in different worship stations. There was a station for journaling in which students could express their hearts and feelings to God through writing. There was our Reflection Wall, a space in which students can creatively, through artwork, reflect and express their hearts to God. We also had a Prepare the Way station set up.

The Prepare the Way station consisted of a long paper pathway. Along the path were rocks, and to the side of the path were tea light candles. At the end of the path was a cross. We had each person go to the station and reflect on what the "boulders" were in their lives that keep Jesus from making His way to them. As we realized what those boulders were in our lives we wrote them down on a slip of paper along with a prayer of confession to God, and then nailed them to the cross. We then wrote on the pathway the names of the boulders in our lives, prayed, and then lit a candle. The candles symbolized the light of Christ making His way into our lives as we clear the path for Him.

The Prepare the Way station was an amazing experience and a beautiful picture of how Jesus desires to make His way into our lives and how when we clear the path (prepare the way) He then lights our path and begins to do great things in our lives.

With the advent season upon us, use it to prepare the way for Jesus in your life. Don't merely focus on the birth of Christ this Christmas but focus also on why He came to earth, to draw us into relationship with Himself, and to use us to build His kingdom. Make sure that your life is free from the "boulders" that might prevent Him from fully making His way into your life.


"If all of the unchurched people in the United States were a nation of their own, they would be the eleventh most populated country on Earth. Only Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia would have a greater head count."

- George Barna, "Grow Your Church From the Outside"

Napoleon Fun

Ok...I'll admit it, I'm a Napoleon Dynamite fan! I mean what do you expect, I'm a youth pastor. I have had countless "Napoleons" in my ministry over the years.

Well If you share in my love for Napoleon, then you must see this! Be sure to click on all the the quotes! It's pretty fun!!



I am thankful to be in my office this morning! I am always thankful to come to work, because I love what I do. I love the ministry God has given me.

Today I am just thankful to be here. Let me explain.

During breakfast this morning I flipped on the TV to catch the news and weather report. Scrolling across the bottom of the screen were school late start announcements. There weren't very many, but Sherwood was one of them! Due to freezing road conditions schools were starting two hours late this morning! I thought, that's strange, as everything looked ok to me when I looked out the window. Well let me tell you...they knew what they were talking about!

As Brittnie and I headed out at 7:00 to get her to school, it all made sense. It was slick, and in my estimation, pretty trecherous! It was a slow, slow drive out of our neighborhood. Even the main highway was slow and slippery. As I approached Roy Rogers Rd. the country road that I take to get over to the side of town in which Brittnie's school is, I was trying to decide if I should take it or go a completely different route. Roy Rogers Rd. is definitely the quickest route, and the road I take every morning. As I approached the intersection that I would need to trun at, I was debating over and over in my mind whether I should turn. I figured it would be a pretty slick route as it goes through an area that the fog just seems to collect in, and it was the fog that was freezing to the road.

Just as I got to the intersection, I decided not to turn, and take another route all together. Good choice. I continued on straight on Hwy 99 and within a mile the roads were perfectly clear! It was smooth sailing all the way to school. Thankful, we were.

The exciting part to all this, and what I am thankful for, is as soon as I dropped Brittnie off at school I flipped the radio over to the news (can't listien to that with Brittnie, she only wants music) and heard the traffic report. The big story was Roy Rogers Rd.! Apparently it was extremely icy and trecherous, so much so, that the sanding trucks were even having a hard time keeping it clear! They also reported numerous accidents along the road.

I'm certainly not thankful for the numerous accidents, but I am sure thankful that God kept me from turning left on to Roy Rogers Rd. like I have always done!

I just love it when God does stuff like that! Thank you Lord!

iPod Revolution

The revolution continues.....kind of.

Church Signs 3

Not sure this is the best approach either.

Thanks Gman.


I have been listening to Matt Redman quite a bit lately. I love his song "Let My Words Be Few" It is a simple yet profound song.

It goes like this...

You are God in heaven
And here am I on earth
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

And I'll stand in awe of You
Yes, I'll stand in awe of You
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus I am so in love with You

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

God I am in awe of You for:

• Your grace toward me
• The blessing of my beautiful family
• The blessing of my church family
• Being allowed to serve You in the capacity that I do
• For the beauty of Your creation
• Your incredible provisions in my life
• The gift of music

"Do not be quick with your mouth,do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven

and you are on earth,
so let your words be few."

"Much dreaming and many words are meaningless.
Therefore stand in awe of God."

Ecclesiastes 5:2,7

Church Signs 2

Finally a church sign I can get excited about!

Imagine that!

Church Signs

Church signs have always intrigued me. You know, the ones that have the reader board on them that allow for the message to be changed. At my previous church I was the Pastor of Signs & Wonders, meaning I was the pastor that wondered what went on the church sign!

I must confess, I think most church signs are really pretty bad. Rarely do I see one that I think will really have any kind of significant impact on the community at large.

Anyways I was driving around town this morning and I came across this one.

Any guesses as to what the message will be about this Sunday?

Cup O' Joe

Where is this guy when I need him?

What would we do without coffee?

Could it be that there is even a spiritual component to coffee? See Steve Taylor's thoughts on coffee.

15 Minutes of Fame

Youth Specialties was recently collecting pictures to be used in publications, and email newsletters they send out, and asked youth pastors to send them photos of students having fun together. I thought to my, I have lots of those! So I sent them a few and look what hit my inbox today! My students!

This is a picture of four of our Middle School girls at our recent Fall Retreat at Camp Tadmor.

Everyone deserves their 15 minutes!

What I Want

I know many are hoping and wishin' for an iPod this Christmas. Not me. Oh no, not me. This is what I want for Christmas!

Less Talk

I came across a great quote today....

“ Too many of us have a Christian vocabulary rather than a Christian experience. We think we are doing our duty when we're only talking about it.”

- Charles F. Banning

Reminds me of James 1:22-25.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."

At the risk of sounding cliche..... Less talk, more walk!

Price for Hip

Perhaps this is taking Pauls admonition to become all things to all people a little too far.

Taken from Lark News, a Christian satire site, meaning it's not true....

Hip Youth Pastor Now Completely Unintelligible

AUSTIN — After immersing himself in popular slang phrases, youth leader Dave Jackson has become completely unintelligible to members of his church, even the youth.

"We stopped understanding him about a month ago," says Tanya Gooden, 17, of his youth group. "It was a slow process. Now when he preaches we have to assume a lot of things by his tone, not his words."

Jackson, tracked down at his church office, told a reporter, "Fo shizzle, my nizzle, it's the big mack tizzle, you trackin'? The get-down was off the hook, bra. Big-time ace. Dey scened until the old folk rolled in and the crew got dot gone. Good Sunday, bra."

Jackson can no longer speak plain English even if he wishes to. At times he desperately tries to cross the chasm of incomprehension he has built. For senior pastor Rich Leonard, that's not good enough.

"He's about to shizzle himself right out of a job," Leonard says.

Christmas Spirit

This is some serious Christmas spirit!

How do you think the neighbors feel?

Little Help!

You ever feel like you just need a little help?

Divine Appointment

I got a phone call yesterday that I can't stop thinking about. I received a call from a lady in our church that I have never met. What she said really shook me and blessed me.

On Monday, as I do each Monday, I had lunch with a group of guys from my church. We meet for lunch once a week for fellowship, encouragement, support, etc. Well un-knowingy to me at the time, this woman which I naturally did not recognize, was seated right next to us. She of course knew who I was, as she sees each week on the platform.

In the course of our discussion I shared with the guys an experience I had on Sunday morning. For some reason, on that morning, I felt a great deal of spiritual attack. I was bombarded with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. I was feeling as if I was not making a real difference, and frankly just didn't want to be there. Apparently she heard all of that, and was moved in her spirit to pray for me.

She then told me how tired she was because she had not slept one minute that night, the night before her call to me. She had been up all night praying for me! I don't think anyone has ever stayed up all night praying for me. She then told me that at 4:00 am God told her that she was to call me that day, so she did.

In our conversation she told me that God wanted me to know that He was sitting right next to me that day at lunch. The chair next to me was empty. There were three of us at the table, she said that she saw four. She also shared with me that the reason I was experiencing the kind of oppression that I was, was that God was soon going to ask me to do something very big for Him. That got my attention! If that does in fact come to pass, I will let you know.

She said the Lord also gave her a song to share with me. Here it is...

Light The Fire

I stand to praise You,
But I fall to my knees.
My spirit is hungry,
But my flesh is so weak___.


Light the fire
In my soul,
Fan the flame,
Make me whole.
Lord, You know
Where I’ve been,
So light the fire in my heart again.

I feel Your arms around me,
As the power of Your healing begins.
You breathe new life right through me,
Like a mighty rushing wind___.

So light the fire in my heart again,
light the fire in my heart again,
light the fire in my heart again.

What a blessing. Just what I needed!

Another interesting note to all this is, she never got her lunch! She walked in, saw me, ordered her food and then sat down and waited 20 minutes for her food. It never arrived. She then got up to check on it and was told that they lost her order. By this time she was out of time and couldn't wait any longer and had to leave. Not only did she not get her lunch but she said she had never eaten there before, and never really had any desire to, she for some reason just felt compelled to go there on that day to eat. Divine appointment!

I am still blown away by all this. Clearly God had her there for a specific reason. He used her to convey a message to me, a message that I needed to hear.

This Sunday we plan to meet face to face.

Never Sleep Again!

I found my new coffee! Check this out!

Thanks Marko!


I want to be more like Paul; the Apostle Paul that is. He had conviction. He had passion. He had guts!

In reading Acts 21 I am again reminded as to why Paul is my greatest hero. Despite the warnings of many, in Acts 21 we see Paul returning home to Jerusalem after his long missionary journey. Beacause of the radical message he was preaching, and the unrest that it was causing among the Jews, there were many that strongly discouraged his return to Jerusalem.

21:4 "...Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem."

21:10-11 "...a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, 'The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'"

21:12 "When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem."

I love Paul's response in the face of all this warning.

"Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." (21:13)

Guess what he did? He went! He took the risk, went, and was protected and used. God protected him from the angered crowds and in fact gave him opportunity to minister to them.

Paul had guts! I want to be a risk taker like that. It is my prayer that I might also have the guts of Paul, to be willing to live out the Gospel of Chirst no matter what the consequenses may be.


What a great week this has been! I left the office on Tuesday afternoon and haven't been back all week.

It has been a great week of sleeping in, eating lots, hanging out with my favorite people, catching up on reading, and long walks in the cold November air.

After a fairly busy season of ministry it feels particularily refreshing and reviving to have a few days away to rest and recuperate, and focus on family and all the things I am truly thankful for.

I look forward to jumping back in tomorrow, and heading into the Christmas season!

Brittnie and Benny playing in the kitchen

Thanksgiving feast at Robin's parent's house

Ready for another brisk walk

What I'm reading

Think On This

"...too many of us have lived with the name "church" or the name "Christian," but not with deep passion as Christ's revolutionary community of faith and mission. Christianity has been little more than a belief system for us, not a way of life. It has been an institution, not a mission for our lives. It has made us nice people with confidence of heaven after this life, but not world-changing revolutionaries with hope for justice and peace in this life. It has given us the identity of religious people, not the identity of courageous rescue workers."

McLaren, Brian D. "The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures Of A New Kind Of Christian." San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.


What am I most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Here are three..




Man, I'm blessed!

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

The Race

In preparing my message for Sunday morning I am struck with conviction. We are currently doing a series on Acts with our Middle Schoolers. This week we are looking at Acts 20.

In Acts 20 we see Paul traveling quite a bit. He travels to Greece, Syria, Macedonia, Philippi, Toras, Assos, Mitylene, Kios, Samos, Miletus, and Ephesus, all on his way to Jerusalem. It is his words to the leaders in Ephesus that strike me.

He tells them that he is being compelled to go to Jerusalem, not knowing what may happen to him there. Clearly his life was in danger because of the radical message of grace that he was preaching. He says in verse 24, "..I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." For someone like me, living in this prosperous American culture, that is a spirit that is hard to grasp. Paul elaborates further on this spirit in Philippians 3:7-11.

Here are some radical and for me very convicting words...

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

That is the race I want to run...I think. It's a radical race. It's a race that I believe God wants me to run. It definitely requires a shift in thinking. We must see all the stuff we acquire in this life as "rubbish" and see living out the gospel of Jesus as the most important aspect of life.

What are your thoughts? What is it going to take to truly run such a race?

Turkey 'N Thanks

Saturday night was our annual Middle School Turkey 'N Thanks, or TNT as we like to to call it. What a great night!

Everything about the night was great! The food was incredible; some of the best turkey I have ever eaten! The fellowship was fantastic and worship was wonderful.

My Little Man even got into the spirit of things!

After stuffing ourselves silly, Tom shared some pretty crazy turkey trivia that we all laughed at, and AJ led us in a time of worship in which we had each table read a scripture dealing with thanksgiving between songs.

We also shared with one another the things in which we are thankful for.

Kevin then shared with us some fascinating history on Thanksgiving which made us all the more thankful for the country we live in.

We concluded the night with some amazing pumpkin and apple pie.

See all the pictures here. You'll wish you were there!

We have a lot to be thankful for!

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7


This morning I got to play guitar in "big church." I got to play in the "bigs". It was very fun! Not only did I play, I got to play Jon's Gibson Les Paul. What a sweet guitar!

We played the Phillips Craig & Dean song, "Let The Worshippers Arise."

I love playing music. I used to play guitar in a band around the Portland area a number of years ago, as well as lead worship with my students. Anymore I am surrounded by people that are musically, far more gifted than I. I am thankful for Aaron and the great job he does in leading our students in worship each week. Recently I have joined Aaron and have been playing bass with our student worship band, and have enjoyed it immensely. There is something very cool about playing music with others, especailly when leading people in worship.

Thank you God for the gift of music!

Thankful Middle Schoolers

Last night at The Danger Zone, our Thursday night Middle School gathering, we spent some time in prayer being thankful. Before we prayed I asked everyone to think of just one thing they are thankful to God for. We then prayed.

It started out a little slow but then the thanks began pouring out! Students were thanking their God for their parents, their brothers and sisters, their friends, their salvation, their church, their youth group, their pets, their school, God's provisions, God's love, God's forgiveness, and on and on and on. It was incredible. What a great time of worship it was!

I have been told in the past that I am crazy to expect middle school students to be still enough, and serious enough, to pray in a setting like that. How sad. These students know who their God is and are thankful for all that He has done, and continues to do in their lives. So am I.

Tomorrow night we have our annual Turkey 'N Thanks (TNT) with the students. It is a full on formal Thanksgiving style dinner; turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie....the works! The purpose is to have a unique time of fellowship, enjoying a great meal, and to spend time, once again, expressing our thanks to God. I'll report on how the night goes and post some pictures. It's always a highlight of our year!

What are you thankful for this year?


We have iTunes, iPod, iMac, iSight, iLife, iChat, and even iPastor (see the URL of this blog).

I now present to you....iWipe, the Apple-powered, wireless, portable toilet paper dispenser.

I knew I should never have gotten rid of my old Mac SE

Check this out.

Sorry I can't help it....I'm a Youth Pastor!

The Moon

Callie a student in my high school ministry posted a wonderful piece on her blog yesterday about the moon. You must read it.

As I arrived home to night I realized what it was that inspired her. I couldn't help but notice how big and how beautiful the moon was! It was shining so bright! I went right in and grabbed my camera.

When I look up into the heavens I can't help but think about how big, how awesome, our God is. The creator of all, the lover of me!

Perfectly, God created everything. He even set the moon in just the right spot. Did you know that if the moon were only 50,000 miles away from earth instead of 200,000, the tides might be so enormous that all the continents would be submerged in water?


I am moved to worship when I look up and see God's handiwork. I am thankful that He did it for me. To amaze me. To draw me in closer to Him.

Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.

Psalm 148:2-4

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

To him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

Who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

Who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

Who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

The sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

The moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:3-9

Centrality of Love

Here at the Grace Place our stated purpose is to Love God and Love Others To God. It is the core of what we strive to be. It is, I believe, what God desires of us, His Church.

To love God is expressed in our worship of Him. This of course encompasses much! Within the context of the church we often narrowly define worship as the worship service, and more specifically, singing. This last Sunday I spoke from Matthew 5:17-26. Verses 23-24 stood out to me the most.

Jesus is teaching here that if you are coming before Him in worship (offering your gift at the altar) and remember a conflict that you have with someone, to go and take care of that first, and then return to offer your gift of worship. God is not interested in our love for Him if we do not have love for others. How many times have we stood in church "worshipping" when we knew we were having problems with someone? Is that really worship? Jesus would say, no.

John makes it very clear in 1 John 4:20-21. If we say we "love God" and yet hate our brother, we are a liar. How can that be worship?

An important truth that has been rumbling around in my mind lately, one that I actually began thinking on after watching Rob Bell's new Nooma video, "Rhythm", is...the way we love others is the way we love God. I haven't always thought that way. I hope more will begin to.

Love is central. Love is central in our relationship to God, and it means much more than loving God alone, it involves how we love each other.

Let us strive to make the Church more focused on truly loving God and loving others...the two cannot be separated.

A Beautiful Collision

Quite often when I get a song stuck in my head it's a pretty annoying song. I'm sure you can relate. Today has been an exception. Here's the song that has been rattling around in my head all day today. It sure is a good one!

A Beautiful Collision
David Crowder

The heart breaking makes a sound
I never knew could be
So beautiful and loud
Fury-filled and we collide

So courageous until now
Fumbling and scared
So afraid You'll find me out
Alone here with my doubt

Here it comes a beautiful collision
Is happening now
There seems no end to where you begin and where I end now
You and I, collide

Something circling inside
Spaciously you fly
Infinite and white
Like the moon and sky

Here it comes a beautiful collision
Is happening now
There seems no end to where you begin and where I end now
You and I, collide

I am so thankful for the collision of God's heart with mine! It certainly is better than the collision I experienced Wednesday.

May there never be and end to where He begins and where I end.

For Laughs...


So I left the office on Wednesday at about 4:00 to head home, to spend a little time with the fam., eat some dinner, and then head back to the church for The Link, our High School Wednesday night ministry.

I'm sitting in my truck, at the corner of Gaarde St. and Hwy 99 waiting to make a right turn, lost in my thoughts, thinking about my day, and the night that still lay ahead, when out of nowhere my truck thrusts forward with the sound of breaking glass and folding metal. I had been hit!

Some 18 year old kid driving Mom's minivan had just plowed into me! Thankfully no one was hurt, well except for his pride. I'm sure Mom and Dad had some choice words for him as well.

Here's the damage.

I took it to the bodyshop yesterday. Any guesses as to how much it's going to cost to fix? Well I'll tell you. $2,916.41! Incredible! At least it's not coming out my pocket. Bummer for his insurance rates!

It's all good though, I never liked my bumper and wanted a new one anyway! Also a good lesson in Godly stewardship.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

I'm thankful for the good things God has given me. If He chooses to crunch them once in awhile, I'm ok with that, usually.

When Things Work

Isn't it nice when things actually work?

Check out this amazing video from Honda.

Apparently everything in the video happened in real time with no special effects, and took 606 takes!

Another Latte Please

Most that know me, know of my love for coffe. At Starbucks there is really only one drink I get. That would be the Double Tall Vanilla Latte, with 1.5 pumps of vanilla, extra hot. Please remember that, in the event that you feel the need to get me a latte!

Well I just found out how many Starbuck's Lattes I can drink before, well, I'm drinking lattes in that "Heavenly Cafe." I can drink a whopping 321.75 cups before that fateful days comes!

Find our how much of your favorite caffienated beverage you can enjoy at the Death By Caffeine Calculator.

Helmet Report #5

If you have been following my blog for awhile now you know that I have been tracking the progress of my son Benjamin's helmet therapy (#1, #2, #3, #4) Because of a pronounced flat spot on the back of his head he has needed to wear a custom made helmet to aid his head in developing into the proper shape.

In my last report I mentioned that his next appoitment was set for November 11, this Friday. We ended up moving his appointment up to November 9, yesterday, due to some head irritation that he had been experiencing, caused by the helmet.

I am happy to share that the doctor was very pleased! He explained that his head has not shown any significant growth, yet there was movement, which is positive! I might add, it is also looking very good! We are real impressed! He then explained that he thinks by Christmas he should only need to wear the helmet at night when he sleeps and for naps. We can't wait!

As always we appreciate so much your prayers. I'll continue to keep you posted!

Mind Trick

This will freak you out. Let us know what your answers were.

Thankful for Grace

We sing about. We talk about. We read about it. I sure am thankful for it! I am thankful for God's grace and what it had done for me, and who it has made me.

I often dwell on my shortcomings. What a dumb thing to do, but do it none the less. I tend to dwell on my past sin, and even my present sin condition. I dwell on my weaknesses and all the things I think I don't do very well. But when I think on God's grace, man do I see things differently!

I am thankful that God has accepted me for who I am and what I am. I am thankful that He has chosen to use me, despite all my shortcomings, to be a part of the building of His kingdom. Wow! Why me?

As I read the Apostle Paul's writings I see that I am not alone.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. - 1 Corinthians 15:9-11

I'm in good company!

I appreciate the chorus of Todd Agnew's version of the song Amazing Grace.

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away

Thank you Jesus for your grace! Let it rain!

Great Quote

"Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you yourself shall be the miracle."

- Phillips Brooks

In The Name of Love...of Course

If only it were this easy to bring the leaders of the free world together. If there was anyone who could do it, it would be Bono of course!

Check this out!