Monday, November 24, 2008

Alhambra Broncos U10 Region 60 Champions!

it has been quite the emotional week with max dying at the beginning of the week so tragically. max would be rejoicing with me at the end of the week as the alhambra broncos took the championship game saturday against the nightmare 2-1. it was an amazing game and the boys played their buts off. the parents and kids went crazy after the game celebrating. we got all the kids together and i was telling them how proud i was of them... when two dads came up behind me and dumped my own ice chest of ice and water over my head. the kids could not stop laughing. so now kade is a champion in baseball with the phillies and now soccer with his broncos!!! this team will get to play for the region in january so more soccer to come for the broncos. but this week, kade and i are with a almabra tournament team... we play 3 games on this friday after thanksgiving and two more on the saturday. it should be a lot of fun, but should exhaust me too!! pax.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

an urban hero as fallen

max you will be missed! my heart is so heavy today. the work you have done for the last 20 some years in houston on behalf of the kids and families have last a lasting affect on so many. i remember the first time i met you over 10 years ago at a hotel in philly at the kingdomworks conference. i was a young punk, but you always treated me with great respect. thank you for the long talks into the night and giving us urban youth workers someone to look up to. peace.

Monday, November 17, 2008

20 Ways to Smoke Cigars to the Glory of God

1. Smoke slowly and reflectively, as part of the discipline of contemplation on God's word.

2. Most cigar smokers I know look at their cigar a lot while they are smoking, up close, tracing with their gaze the veins in the leaves and admiring the burnish of the oils in the wrapper. A good cigar is a work of art. It makes me happy and makes me thank God for his good creation.

3. Smoke outside and thank God for the skies and the clouds and the grass and the trees.

4. My college religion professor, the late great Princeton-trained M.B. Jackson, used to exit the classroom during test time, pipe in hand, saying, "If you need me, I'll be on the steps sending up a burnt offering." That's a good notion. Cigar smokers like the look of the smoke. Think of it as a burnt offering of thanks to the Maker of all good things.

5. The smoldering tip of the cigar is both enticing and dangerous. Like the sin that leads to hell. There's an illustration for you cigar smoking preachers out there.

6. The proper storage of good cigars takes regular monitoring and care (humidification, temperature, etc.). Mindfulness and intentionality are virtues lacking in the modern Church, and we can thank God that taking care of cigars helps cure "hurry sickness."

7. Good tobacco is cultivated, cured, and rolled by hard working men and women in parts of the world most of us will never visit. I think about this every time I smoke a cigar, what calloused, hard-working, talented hands created my cigar. Pray for those people, that God would grant them long life and health and happiness, and thank God for them and their giftedness.

8. Thank God that he makes places in the world specifically conditioned to produce perfect tobacco: the right climate, the right soil, the right farmers. There are no coincidences.

9. Don't inhale cigar smoke into your lungs.

10. Add your ashes to compost or dump them into the grass or flower beds, as a good steward of creation.

11. Have a Bible study or theological discussion group at a cigar lounge.

12. Hang out where people you don't know smoke cigars and build conversational bridges that allow you to be a witness to the gospel.

13. Smoke with good Christian friends, laughing a lot and talking about things that matter (and don't), and thank God for fellowship. As someone who does this regularly, I can say there is almost nothing more comforting to my soul than smoking stogies long into the night and just enjoying the camaraderie of good Christian friendship.

14. Give good cigars -- good ones! -- out as gifts on more occasions than just the birth of a child.

15. Marvel that someone along the way figured out how to turn the tobacco plant into a cigar (or pipe tobacco) and see that human ingenuity and creativity is a result of being made in the image of God.

16. For the married smokers, thank God you have an awesome wife who is cool with you smoking. (This assumes you have an awesome wife who is cool with you smoking. If you don't, thank God you have a wife who cares about your health, your reputation, your good breath, or whatever the grounds are for her disapproval.)

17. As you smoke, think of all the famous cigar smokers you can -- comedians and writers and actors and painters and poets and filmmakers -- and thank God for their artistry (and for art in general).

18. Pick a spot in your Bible. Light your cigar. Start reading and don't stop until you're smoking a nub. Beats using an hourglass or timer.

19. Take two outside. Light one up. Wait for your neighbor to come outside, then offer him the other.

20. If you buy in bulk, turn the empty boxes into care packages for soldiers or children in third world countries.

i found this list at this blog!

Alhambra Broncos Move On

it was a great weekend for the alhambra broncos... we won our semi-final match 4-2 and get to play for the region 60 championship next saturday at 3pm!!!! my phillies won and it will be one great year of youth sports for j-lou if we pull this one out. we practice tonight and firday nite to get them ready.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

2009 Soccer Team Pics

Soccer Team 2009 from J-Lou on Vimeo.
well it has been quite the soccer season. kades broncos are rolling along in first place. we have some great kids on the team and they all are having a blast. i hope you enjoy the little video of the team above and here is a link to check out the still shots. it has been a tough couple of months with evan and school, but soccer has been a great therapy for me. when i am out on the fields nothing else matter and winning is a great icing on the cake. we will keep you all updated on our run to the championship.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Voting Non-Negotiatables

this was emailed to me by jim wallis... so it is not my list, but i so agree and thought it would be good to post and have us all think about our own list.

I am in no position to tell anyone what is "non-negotiable," and neither is any bishop or megachurch pastor, but let me tell you the "faith priorities" and values I will be voting on this year:

  1. With more than 2,000 verses in the Bible about how we treat the poor and oppressed, I will examine the record, plans, policies, and promises made by the candidates on what they will do to overcome the scandal of extreme global poverty and the shame of such unnecessary domestic poverty in the richest nation in the world. Such a central theme of the Bible simply cannot be ignored at election time, as too many Christians have done for years. And any solution to the economic crisis that simply bails out the rich, and even the middle class, but ignores those at the bottom should simply be unacceptable to people of faith.

  2. From the biblical prophets to Jesus, there is, at least, a biblical presumption against war and the hope of beating our swords into instruments of peace. So I will choose the candidates who will be least likely to lead us into more disastrous wars and find better ways to resolve the inevitable conflicts in the world and make us all safer. I will choose the candidates who seem to best understand that our security depends upon other people’s security (everyone having "their own vine and fig tree, so no one can make them afraid," as the prophets say) more than upon how high we can build walls or a stockpile of weapons. Christians should never expect a pacifist president, but we can insist on one who views military force only as a very last resort, when all other diplomatic and economic measures have failed, and never as a preferred or habitual response to conflict.

  3. "Choosing life" is a constant biblical theme, so I will choose candidates who have the most consistent ethic of life, addressing all the threats to human life and dignity that we face — not just one. Thirty-thousand children dying globally each day of preventable hunger and disease is a life issue. The genocide in Darfur is a life issue. Health care is a life issue. War is a life issue. The death penalty is a life issue. And on abortion, I will choose candidates who have the best chance to pursue the practical and proven policies which could dramatically reduce the number of abortions in America and therefore save precious unborn lives, rather than those who simply repeat the polarized legal debates and "pro-choice" and "pro-life" mantras from either side.

  4. God’s fragile creation is clearly under assault, and I will choose the candidates who will likely be most faithful in our care of the environment. In particular, I will choose the candidates who will most clearly take on the growing threat of climate change, and who have the strongest commitment to the conversion of our economy and way of life to a cleaner, safer, and more renewable energy future. And that choice could accomplish other key moral priorities like the redemption of a dangerous foreign policy built on Middle East oil dependence, and the great prospects of job creation and economic renewal from a new "green" economy built on more spiritual values of conservation, stewardship, sustainability, respect, responsibility, co-dependence, modesty, and even humility.

  5. Every human being is made in the image of God, so I will choose the candidates who are most likely to protect human rights and human dignity. Sexual and economic slavery is on the rise around the world, and an end to human trafficking must become a top priority. As many religious leaders have now said, torture is completely morally unacceptable, under any circumstances, and I will choose the candidates who are most committed to reversing American policy on the treatment of prisoners. And I will choose the candidates who understand that the immigration system is totally broken and needs comprehensive reform, but must be changed in ways that are compassionate, fair, just, and consistent with the biblical command to "welcome the stranger."

  6. Healthy families are the foundation of our community life, and nothing is more important than how we are raising up the next generation. As the father of two young boys, I am deeply concerned about the values our leaders model in the midst of the cultural degeneracy assaulting our children. Which candidates will best exemplify and articulate strong family values, using the White House and other offices as bully pulpits to speak of sexual restraint and integrity, marital fidelity, strong parenting, and putting family values over economic values? And I will choose the candidates who promise to really deal with the enormous economic and cultural pressures that have made parenting such a "countercultural activity" in America today, rather than those who merely scapegoat gay people for the serious problems of heterosexual family breakdown.

That is my list of personal "faith priorities" for the election year of 2008, but they are not "non-negotiables" for anyone else. It’s time for each of us to make up our own list in these next 12 days. Make your list and send this on to your friends and family members, inviting them to do the same thing.