Archive for the ‘Real’ Category

Social Networking

I just had a great conversation with my good friend Dr. Fermin Whittaker this morning about the topic of Social Networking. We talked about ministry effectiveness and the need for authenticity in all of our motives. Are we really after the numbers or is there another bench-mark that we should place our aim? We talked about community and how that word has become elemental in our culture.  Questions began streaming as we talked, I’m asking myself: What am I doing to take what I do to the next level of impacting lives? How can I do a better job of communicating?
Dr. Whittaker is an out of the box thinker, which allows him to step into the thinking processes of young people and look at what’s coming soon with excitement for change rather than dread. Speaking of change… (more…)

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Mountains On My Mind

It’s after 1am and I can’t sleep. I have to be up early tomorrow morning to meet with the guys for prayer and coffee, but every time I try to force myself to fall asleep my brain kicks into overdrive and I start to think about hiking in the mountains. I’m consumed by it. I bought a book the other day about places to hike and camp in California, I started reading a little bit and it’s seriously keeping me up at nights. Just looking at the maps and thinking about the wilderness has inspired me to want to climb all the highest peaks and see the most beautiful vistas California has to offer. I read about a bunch of 3-4 day backpacking trips in the Sierra’s that until now were never really my idea of fun, but now i can’t stop imagining how great it would be go leave tomorrow. I’ve decided that I need to buy a whole bunch of gear too. Every time I try to close my eyes, hiking boots, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, the new camera I want to get all flicker in my mind. They would cost over $2,000 if I went out and bought it all. If it’s not the gear its my need to get back in shape and ready for my next exciting adventure that has taken over my life. I’m losing sleep and all because of this new found passion I have to climb things. Seriously, more so than my birthday and Christmas, I can’t wait until July 8th-12th when I’ll be hiking up Mt. Whitney with Tim and Joe Gentry. I really need to sleep before then.

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Your Future Self

In church they told us to write down our prayer requests and look back later on and see where God has worked in our lives. Such a good idea. I never do it, but it’s a really great thing to do, I would just have to assume. But all of that aside, I’m not writing a spiritual post today. Today it’s about remembering.

About a year ago believe it or not I was in Muskat, Oman visiting my friends Ross & Jennifer. It was one of those trips that so much happened within a couple of weeks there would be no way to decipher the order of of events or the many things we did without recording it somehow. As you may know, my prefered method of recording is through text. Old fashioned, i know but it works for me. So I journalled a list of words and short descriptive phrases from my trip. This might have been the coolest thing I have ever done. (more…)

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Dumpster Bear

The bear

While I was in college, I had the opportunity to be a lifeguard and summer staff leader at Pine Summit Christian Camp with my friends Thomas and Christal Castro. One of the best things about that summer was that I got to spend a lot of time hanging out and getting to know high school students. During one of those weeks of camp, a young man named Tony graced us with his attendance. Tony was in 8th grade and was too tall for his age making him just a bit uncoordinated. He wore the punk getup, with a sideways cap and baggy jeans perhaps to fit in or maybe to look dumb intentionally. This kid from the beginning had an easily identified M.O. He was there to impress the chics. Everything he did had the hidden or not-so-hidden agenda of scoring himself a camp girlfriend. (more…)

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“Thank you for that.”

I woke up today and thought to myself “I enjoyed life much more when I was writing.” I realize that by writing this thought down, my mom will upon reading this call and ask if I’m depressed. So, the answer will be no, because I’m writing. The trouble is where to begin when it’s been nearly 6 months since my last post. A few months ago, I lived in the suburban town of Clovis, in a new neighborhood, in a new house that my roommate Mike had bought right behind a brand new elementary school. We’ve been good friends and he knew my financial situation so he gave me a really good deal on rent. I had my own room, my own garage space, I could go out in our 100 sq. foot back yard (really little, but also nice and quaint) and sit on the brick wall and look at the stars at night. We had a fireplace and a huge tv, wireless internet, and a community pool 100 yards away, much more than a missionary needs. It was great and I was content. Mike is getting married at the end of May to his fiancé Ersilia, so a natural inclination to change domiciles became apparent. (more…)

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Re:action – Possession

Tangled Web


It’s the theme of many intense thrillers that has you at the edge of your movie theater seat. It makes for a great story in classic literature and it raises eyebrows when mentioned in conversation, but is it real? Demons…really? In the 1998 film ‘Fallen’ starring two of my favorite actors, Denzel Washington and John Goodman, a convicted killer Edgar Reese (played by Elias Koteas) holds a demonic power that is mysteriously spread by touch. Detectives Hobbes and Jonesy, (Washington and Goodman) must solve the mystery of this demonic power before it infects the citizens of their town and kills again. Jesus’ encounter with a violent demon named “Legion” in the gospel of Mark chapter 5 suggests that possession is real, but I don’t see too many crazy old men running around grave yards these days or serial murderers blaming their crimes on a demonic possession.   

I can remember an encounter that I had in high school in a coffee shop in town with a man in his late forties that spoke to me with such opposition that I claimed he was demon possessed. In hindsight, I was a closed-minded, content Christian that didn’t know better, or want to know better. I simply jumped to a conclusion when I was uncomfortable with opposition to my concrete faith. (more…)

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Re:action – Crooked.



It was quite possibly the most difficult year of my youth but one of the most defining times of my life. I’m pretty sure I can describe myself back then as a semi-athletic but awkward 5th grader, capable enough to do the things other boys in my grade did, but not as socially accepted as the other guys. I was always left out of the conversations and I wasn’t ever included in the laughter; in fact, most of the time the laughter was about me. Either the way I ran crooked so my legs didn’t look right or some other reason to poke fun, they always cut me right where it hurt, my self-esteem. I was never good enough to be one of the guys, and they let me know every chance they could. Fortunately for me (more…)

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