Wednesday, December 20, 2006

great fundraising strategy

more reason to like justin timberlake. lol.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

the iverson watch is over

i have for the last 11 days continually checked espn throughout the day to find out if iverson had been traded. my waiting and seeing is over he is a nugget. what do you do when you loose the nba scoring leader for 15 days? you trade for the second leading scorer! is this a good trade? i will give my opinion later!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Program 2006

Kade 2006 Christmas Program

click on the picture to see the rest of the pics

what is a christian?

a video that was posted on god's politics blog!

Present Future Quotes

i have been a little tied up but hope to finish the book this weekend but just thought i would throw a couple of snap shots from the book that hit me... for your reading pleasure.

"As He hung on the cross Jesus probably never thought the impact of his sacrifice would be reduced to an invitation for people to join and support an institution."

"Still another form of denial shows up in the church's obsession with internal theological-methodological debates designed to determine who the true believers are while the world is headed to hell in a handbasket."

"Religious people don't see people; they see causes, behaviors, stereotypes, people 'other' than them... Religious people have always been a problem for God."

'We need to go where people are already hanging out and be prepared to have conversations with them about the great love of our lives. This will require our shifting our efforts from growing churches into transforming communities."

the last quote gotting me truly thinking about a new project that i have blogged about over the last year and it is about BELIEVE, a community ministry that will strive create a place of refuge for alhambra high schoolers and create partnership not only with churches in the community, but with the police officers, social workers, library, business men and women, and the school district. as i form a stronger partnership with kingdom causes in regards to this project, my hope and prayer is that churches would have their eyes open to move time, energy, people and maybe money to value something that if it works out could truly transform a community.

when i think about community transformation and the work of building god's kingdom in alhambra. i get very excited. i spent a lot of time with alhambra high school students who are very interested in spiritual things, but have so many barriers to joining what they think is christianity , becuase it equals "church" and not the biblical sense of the word church, but the sense of the word that is implied in many of the quotes above. the sense of the word that loves to thrown stones at their behavior and decision making, but truly care very little about the life they deal with at home.

the present future for me looks great. i have much hope that in 2007 BELIEVE will begin to make a lot of noise for the kingdom of god. it will make a lot of noise to help those that want to walk with jesus and maybe not walk through the doors of a building between 9am - 12 pm on sunday morning.

this post is getting long, so if you already stopped reading cool for those that work for the govt please keep reading. haha. i was asked a great question yesterday morning and i will end with it. if you are a part of a small group of people, maybe 10 - 20, and you meet regularly to study scripture , worship, pray and love each other and encourage each other to grow the kingdom...

is that enough? do you need to go to church on sunday morning? or is it enough?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Call

a video production of urban youth workers institute about two amazing urban youth workers.

The Present Future

i walked into my office today and remembered i had pulled a book off the shelf last week that i had gotten probably like six months ago. it intrigued me at the time, but i was in my non-reading stage. since i am trying to move back into j-lou the reader, i was thinking that i should put it on the list to read. i am reading two other books right now (ones from the old post). so i read this portion of the introduction...

"i also don't get kicks out of deconstructing a world (american church world) i was once very fond of. it is is a world that nurtured me when i was young and imparted faith to me and has continued to confirm and legitimize my life calling. i grew up in the home of a bivocational pastor, whose dad before him as a mill village pastor... i began ministry in the church thirty years ago as a college freshman. ministry and the church have been my world. but it is a world that i find increasingly find difficult to feel at home in because it lacks spiritual purpose and missional vitality.

i'm talking about the church world in north america. a world that has largely forsaken its missional covenant with god to be a part of kingdom expansion. it has, instead, substituted its own charter of church as a clubhouse where religious people hang out with other people who think, dress, behave, vote and believe like them." (p. xii-xiv)

i was very lucky and i say extremely lucky to serve along side a pastor for almost nine years that was not trying to build and grow a church the traditional way. he was genuinely concerned about people learning to follow christ even if it meant them going somewhere else or not coming to all of the programs that were established by our faith community. the trouble and frustration comes when people come from other congregations and attempt to place certain status quo situation on our faith community. as i read this introduction, especially the parts i bolded, my heart inside connected so deeply to those words. ministry and church has been my world for so long, since 1993. i would say about two years, i began being discontent with what i was seeing in the church as being a part of uywi for the 11 years i am in relationship with many churches. i saw young people thirsty for spirituality but now wanting to sit in a service on sunday mornings and say that i went to church. i would also say in the last two years i have been on a journey to better understand the kingdom of god and how that affects ministry and church. so i am excited about this books second chapter, 'the shift from church growth to kingdom growth'.

i remember sitting on a plane reading generous orthodoxy by brain mclaren. i was coming back from some reload (i think i was flying somewhere every other week, so who knows where i was), but i remember reading his words and having tears come into my eyes. brian stirred something in me that has not settled and at the time i thought i would figure it out over the next few months, but little did i know my definition of family would be rocked as i was trying to redefine my faith and issues with the traditional church and a growing deeper desire to be anything but republican. lol. not sure why... but it seemed like the issues that broke my heart were different that those of people who had mentored and raised me.

i am so rambling... but deal with it. haha. i have no idea if i figured out much over the last two years in regards to my issues with theology, traditional church, ministry and people who love the status quo, but i know that this book will be read in the next week because it touched a core of my heart so quickly, so my ethic books will take a pause and reggie mcneal will get my time and energy this week and i will pass any and all memorable quotes from the book that i think you should read. peace.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

N.T. Wright's New Book: "Evil and the Justice of God"

i have been intrigued by n.t. wright a conservative theologian that has influenced the thinking of many people who i have been reading i guess has written a new book. here is a link to a blog that share an excerpt from an interview with him. i am looking forward to reading this book.

"Wright says both theologies (the gnostic gospels and the left behind novels) cultivate a "private spirituality" where Christians are encouraged to forget Jesus' prayer that his followers work toward bringing the "kingdom come on earth." Why address global warming if the world is going to be wasted anyway?

"In both cases, you have this underlying motivation of leaving the world behind," he says of Gnosticism and the Left Behind novels."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

my foursome for golf

i love this question. if you can play 18 holes of golf with three other people. who would that be for you? so my foursome would include michael jordan (if you know me that is a no brainer), jim carey (my favorite actor) and the last is very hard to choose. the choice has to be who would i want to have a 3 hour conversation with or someone who i would love to watch interact with mj and jim. here is my list of potential candidates to fill the foursome for j-lou.
  1. Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer. I think i would choose to caddy and decline even swinging a club anywhere near him. lol
  2. David Chapelle, to see him and jim carey play golf together would be hilarious.
  3. Bono, thanks to mary glenn input, he has to be a strong candidate. great musician, but also great conversation about faith, justice and politics.
  4. Pete Carroll, if i become long term friends it could lead to usc tickets and sideline passes. this one is all about leverage and long term impact. lol.
ok. j-lou readers sound off with your four and feel free to vote on my final addition, because i need to send an evite out to them soon to get the foursome a tee time. peace.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group Suggests Exit Strategy

here is a section of a report by a bipartisan group that has done a study on the state of iraq. they are suggesting an exodus out of iraq.

"All U.S. combat brigades not necessary for force protection should be out of Iraq by the first quarter of 2008, the Iraq Study Group suggested Wednesday in its widely anticipated report recommending a path for the United States' exit strategy from Iraq."...

"The report offered 79 recommendations, including three critical suggestions — changing the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq, prompt action by the Iraqi government to hit milestones on reconciliation and new and enhanced political and diplomatic efforts in Iraq and the region.

It specifically states making sure the United States not commit U.S. forces for an open-ended commitment. It calls for a push for a U.S.-Arab peace, including direct talks between Syria and Israel. It calls for engaging Iran and Syria "constructively" to resolve the Iraq crisis." Fox News

read the rest of the article and the pdf of the actual report. the report is only 160 pages, so i am sure you all well read it indepthly.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

one of my heroes

i am so excited to hear about a new ministry that was launched out of Clemson university with the support of a guy who was not too messed up while in my youth ministry at gateway. the ministry is called Tigers GO! they are trying to create long term solutions in new orleans and other third world countries. please take a look at their site. his name is jarrod carr and just wanted to give him some props and look forward to providing any help that i can and maybe rolling out on one of these trips in the next year. thank you jarrod for carrying on the life and vision of oikos in south carolina. love god, love people... nothing else matters.

fox news interview with jim wallis

my consenting blog

ok. i have been in a number of staff meetings and a great xmas dinner at flemmings, so i have not been able to post over the last two days. but for all of the trojan haters and care bear fans. i give the care bears credit they played a great game and beat us. i even called my good friend chris, who is a big ucla fan and gave him props and tipped my hat to him.

so this is to get jeremy off my back, so he does not keep telling me that i am quiet now. becuz i do not know how to be quiet. so again i would like congratulate the care bears on their invitation to the emerald bowl bid and hope they will be victorious against the power house program of florida st. and we do hold our heads in shame as we will walk humbly into the rose bowl versus the lowly michigan wolverines. so that is all i have to say about this. lol.

Friday, December 01, 2006

recreational activity is coming to an end

well the sharks are coming to a closure this weekend with our last game. we have had a great time on the soccer field. the kids have made some real progress and had a lot of fun. we were not suppose to keep score, but i think we lost like 2 games. they would have not lost those games, but becuz the kids became such good friends they had the tendency to talk and mess around on the field instead of stay focused on the game. we follow the game with a party at my house for the team, as i prepare to watch the care bears fall to the trojans and determine how to get my but to glendale az and than get the book on how to sneak into sporting events, so i can see them play the ohio st buckeyes.

the end of soccer means one other thing... the preparation for year 2 of t-ball. i am already registered to be the manager again and told kade we will begin practice on our own immediately. lol.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

j-lou is 33!

what is up j-lou readers? i am now exactly 33 and two days. my friend chris took me to vegas and spoiled the crap out of me the last three days. much love to chris. i turned 33 which i sometimes think is pretty old and other times i think i got a lot of living to do and am looking forward to what the next years have to offer. i think it was chuck swindoll or john maxwell said, the first 35 years of your life is when god is preparing you for your largest impact. so i feel like the last two years have been a fire that i never want to go through again, but hopefully it will be used for something good and maybe great. i really have not been too personally lately, but i said its my birthday .... what the hell.

my approach to theology, politics, relationships and faith have been a great adventure over the last 20 months. i think i appreciate jesus more now than ever, but am more confused about applying his teaching to ministry. it probably because most of the systems that i was trained to do ministry, seem less like his style. i am not even really sure if he had a style. but like said... i have a few more years to try and figure it out. i know that when it is time for the greatest impact of j-lous life to happen i will know. i know it is not manana, but if chuck and john say i got two more years. it sounds about right.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

i told u so.... YES!

ok, 10 - 1 is looking awful nice right now with one game left on the schedule next week. the dames lived up to what i expected of them and played as if they were up against the likes of army, navy, north carolina, air force and whoever else they throw on the schedule to make them look decent. and if you play like that against the trojans that always play better in november than any other month. so trojans do not look forward and take care of business against the care bears and if i win the lottery i will pay for bens ticket and airfare to watch the game on january 8. the tickets are already ridiculous and i can probably buy an lcd big screen tv for the price of my trip.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

wow. this guy goes off

i stole this blog post from rudy at, but enough of you people probably don't venture over to rudy's blog even though you should. so read it via j-lou.

good cause... help if you feel led

j-lou readers. a good friend of mine in houston is trying to help his cousin a teacher in south central help a middle school girl get to washington dc. read the letter and if you feel led... break her off a buck or two. peace.

Dear Friends and Family,

I ask for a little bit of your time and hopefully some
much needed assistance. I worked at Graham elementary
for over 6 years. It is located in the heart of South
Central Los Angeles. During my time at Graham I met a
lot of children and always saw my number one duty was
that of being a role model above all else. Positivity
is something lacking in several of these children's
home. Often times all they see are the drugs, gangs
and violence they are surrounded by. It became
increasing frustrating to see innocent children become
products of their environment. The streets are divided
by the gangs and violence and your hardworking parents struggling to show their kids a positive way of life. One of the few children I have kept in contact with is Yesenia Madrigal. She is now 13 years old and attends Gage Jr. High School in Huntington Park. Recently she was chosen as one of four students given the opportunity to visit Washington DC. Winning participants were chosen as a part of an essay contest. Children were ask to identify "the best day of their lives." Her essay was entitled "The day I became Christian." I believe this is a chance of a life time for her...something that will not only be enlightening but will stay with her forever. She is attempting to raise 1400 dollars to cover the cost of the trip. She has been working extremely hard doing everything possible to reach her goal. Selling chocolates at school, around her neighborhood, and various locations. She is also conducting weekly yard sales, baby sitting, and sending letters to family members. Yesenia's Mom is a single mother who works cleaning at a local beauty salon. While unable to provide certain material things...she has raised her daughter to become a respectable and level headed young lady. I feel she is undoubtedly deserving of this opportunity and while she is not aware of this email...I have made it my personal goal to get her to Washington DC. At this point she has raised just over 200 she is approximately 1200 short. The remainder of the money is due by Jan 5th. I sincerely ask for any donation and assure you...your money will make a significant impact in her life.

To Donate, Go here:

Thank you,
Josue Omar Ortiz

Canceling LA Fitness Membership

McDonalds has opened a gym in place of their playgrounds.

Monday, November 20, 2006

2 Grown Men Hug.... Good Day for USC

ok.... for the haters, the skeptics (including me at times this year), the faithful and everyone in between. i love november college football. here are some of the amazing highlights of this weekend.
  1. USC Beats Cal by 14.
  2. Ohio St beats Michigan (score looks closer than the game) Congrads Ben... Sorry Brian!
  3. Rutgers gets their butts handed to them by Cincy. (i thought this was footballl not basketball)
  4. BCS sucks, but if SC wins out it should work out.
  5. Notre Dame beats ... whatever lame school they played this week to make themselves look good. Give the AD an A+ for creating a schedule to help them make a bcs game.
that is my top five things in college football and my christmas wish is that the bcs dies a horrible death and we will all see a playoff system before we die... christ returns (for you predisponsational theologians) or we enter the next ice age. lol.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My 100th Post

ok this is not monumental for some of you out there... aka jeremy and rudy. but it does beat some of you out there with like 4 posts (danielle, jen jen) just playing. haha.

i will make the official announcement that i am reading a book... haha. for everyone who thought it would be something a lot more interesting and personal. but like i have said, i have been pretty lazy in adding new information in my head to think about, so i ordered two books that should give me a lot of things to think about. they are classics too. brian mcclaren actually did not write either of them, but i will read whatever brian writes next, because he really makes me think.

i have posted a picture of the books with a link to their description.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bono the New Model of Christian Activism

i was very intrigued to see the cover of newsweek and the articles it contained. i have been busy and not able to read a lot, but was talking to myself the other day (i love to talk to myself) and said i need to at least read something. i use to read a book a month, but have been pretty lazy. i chose this article to read from newsweek and will attempt to read the rest of them by the end of next week. i was intrigued by the statement that a younger evangelical is more interested in stating what we are for and not what we are against. the statement really resonated with me, because for so many years i could tell you what i was against better than i could tell you what i was for, but as i am really in a discovery mode i continue to be drawn into things that i want to be for and care less about what i used to be against. i like the ending statement from the article that i placed below and it is like four pages long, but it is a good read if you take to the bathroom with you. haha.

"When it speaks, a new evangelicalism should be distinctive for its tone as well. The goal is not only to stand for Christianity's moral teachings but to emulate the manner of its Founder, who showed that kindness is not weakness, and had more tenderness for moral outcasts than for moral hypocrites."

j-lou is out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

spirituality and practice

i was directed to this page awhile back and decided to revisit it today... here are a few of the quotes of this page i have been encouraged by.

Be A Good Steward of Your Pain

"Being a good steward of your pain...It involves being alive to your life. It involves taking the risk of being open, of reaching out, of keeping in touch with the pain as well as the joy of what happens because at no time more than at a painful time do we live out of the depths of who we are instead of out of the shallows."
— The Clown in the Belfry


"Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it's like to live inside somebody else's skin.

"It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too."
— Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC's of Faith

Two Kinds of Church

"The visible church is all the people who get together from time to time in God's name. Anybody can find out who they are by going to church to look.

"The invisible church is all the people God uses for his hands and feet in this world. Nobody can find out who they are except God."
— Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC's of Faith

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

urban and rural defined

i am so happy that someone is helping me better understand urban.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Evan's 3rd Birthday Party

evan was dressed as a pirate with a superman cape. super pirate!

the pinata ended up like lt. dan with no legs by the end of the multiple attacks.

kade and his boys (tyler, anthony and jonathan) spent most of the day playing game cube!

Monday, October 30, 2006

my little boys and halloween

Jack Sparrow?

my boy jake from high school this weekend as... "Jack Sparrow". he spent all day watching the movie to make sure he could act and talk like him also.

jake and me at all american in la habra.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

oh yeah i will be a pirate for halloween

what are you going to be for halloween?

i have been a lazy blogger

i have been a lazy blogger and been busy with soccer that i need to download pics so you guys can enjoy the soccer experience with me. lol i also am busy trying to hit some deadlines for UYWI as we are in the middle of RELOAD and developing the brochure for the national conference, but i wanted to point you to some interesting places that j-lou has seen lately.

- Jeremy and Ben have both got comments in regards to James Dobson and some others on the right wing christian evangelicals thirst for political power over real change. interesting posts... make sure you read.

- the new UYWI blog that i know have a link to on my page. it will be getting posts soon from some great urban leaders (jeremy del rio, rudy carrasco, jaime puente and curt gibson if he is not chicken) and of course me and ben. so please comment on that page as well.

i though i would have more but i need to read a book or something so i have something to think about and comment on. until than j-lou will c u later.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

interesting article on the boarder issue

i just read this article and was connected from rudy's blog... i thought i would share and bring up an issue that is not fixed but has taken a back seat to other things it seems.

"The first measure that the House approved was 700 miles of border fencing. It was for show. It showed America that folks in Washington don't really understand how the border works.

First, as any border patrol agent will tell you, there's no fence that can keep out someone who is desperate to feed his family and who's willing to go around, go over, or go under.

Next, every time we crack down on the border, it enhances the bottom line for these multimillion-dollar smuggling outfits. Whereas it used to cost about $500 to cross the border, now the price is closer to $3,000. If we build more walls, the smugglers will raise prices again. That's bad. It creates an incentive for smugglers to stay in business since business is so good.

Lastly, we've built fences before, and it only resulted in more illegal immigration. It used to be that one member of a family would go north -- a father, son or brother -- and he'd work and go back to Mexico for Christmas or Mother's Day.

Each time he returned home, there was the chance he'd stay. Now, it's too difficult and expensive to cross, so the workers no longer go back. Instead, they're paying smugglers to bring their families to join them in the United States.

That's why the numbers have gone up. Like I said, "Immigration Reform for Dummies."

The smart thing is to stop the magnet that draws illegal immigrants here: Jobs, jobs, jobs provided by U.S. employers.

And yet, nowhere in the GOP's 10-point enforcement plan do you find any mention of employer sanctions.

I don't suppose that has anything to do with the fact that the Republican Party is the party of business, and, more and more in America, businesses depend on illegal immigrant labor.

Say, maybe those Congressional Republicans aren't so dumb after all. They know a thing or two about survival. Now if they could only brush up on the requirements of leadership."

by Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune and a nationally syndicated columnist.

fantasy football can change you

i took a year off from fantasy football last year. it has usually been a fall ritual to get into a league and test my management skills in cyber space. this year i was invited by a co-workers to jump into his league and remembered how fun it was before, so i accepted the invitation. i really love watching football and this makes it all the more interesting, because who have a stake in a number of the games. it is almost like betting on each game, but i am not in danger of losing any money.

but what i had forgotten is how this little game called fantasy football can change your loyalty to a team so quickly. my league has 14 teams, which means good player get swiped up fast and after the draft their is really no one left worthy considering picking up. but my starting quarterback for my team is "drew bledsoe" of the dallas cowboys. i hate (greatly dislike) the cowboys, becuase they were my brothers favorite team and me as the little brother has to hate what he likes. that how i started liking the trojans... he is a huge ucla fan thus you gotta like usc.

but now that i need drew bledsoe to do good so i can win this stinkin league... i find myself cheering for the cowboys. i am almost disgusted with myself... but i am in second place in the league, so i am happy.

last week, i love carson palmer, so i am a bengals fan and my heart first wanted them to kill the steelers.... BUT i have "parker" the steelers running back. so i was happy with a close victory and two touchdowns for parker.

i guess fantasy football really shows how much you are willing to sell out for... i guess the movie "pretty women" is right... we all have a price. i am sad to say that mine is a free fantasy football league that has no payout at the end for the winner. i am just a cheap trick. lol

Monday, September 25, 2006

the death of the gathering

i held off on this post for awhile, because i wanted to make sure we emailed all the right people to make them aware of the situation. it was a few years ago... a group of us got together and began to dream and brainstorm about a spiritual community that would focus on reaching people who have felt neglected, ignored or straight offended by the traditional structure and language of the american church. it had also occured we had spent years reaching out to kids in our community, but as they left high school many did not connect with the traditional structure of the church as a whole.

this led us to create the gathering... a journey that lasted for about 1 year and a half. we had a lot of fun... i don't think ben and i would have become so close if it was not for the gathering. i had to step away from helping to lead the gathering, because of my own life drama and a team of people really did step up and lead the gathering. we changed location because of the adventist church not allowing us to meet for free there. i am not sure of when the gathering began to circle the drain, but for the last few months i knew it was inevitable. it was a matter of time before it would be completely gone.

the night of the last gathering... i knew it was what had to happen and it seemed like i was cool with it, but as i chilled with my boys at home by myself. i think it hit me that i think almost everything in my life has been flipped upside down over the last 16 months. what is once considered my life passion and focus has been reshpaed. that is except for my boys (kade and evan) who are the bomb and because of the changes i have a lot more time to chill with them... give them mohawks... pick them up early from school because they bit a teacher. i guess that is the one change that i would not change.

so i think i am good over time with all of the changes and the new refocuses... i am still with uywi... that is the other anchor in my life besides the boys. my extended family has grown to include old faces from many years ago and the constant ones that i have served the community with forever.

i have not quite decided where and who i will call church for me and my boys in the next chapter of my life, but i know that it is not the gathering. i will miss the gathering and maybe someday i will help shape something again that will live out the values that we dreamed of for the gathering, but until than i will continue to make friendships and grow my extended family with those who i interact with. peace.

Monday, September 18, 2006

good weekend for j-lou

- i went to the afi concert on friday night with omar from alhambra and jake from la habra. it was crazy... jake had me in the pit the whole time... i feel like i got jumped three times.
- kade had a great soccer game and both of his grandmas came to see him play. he scored a goal and played some great defense.
- the notre dame football team got thier buts handed to them... YEAH for overrated Irish Team and all thier fans.
- USC's defense shut down nebraska and dwayne jarret put his name in heisman conversations. i did not hear anything out of mr jones the defensive back from nebraska either. hey nebraska .. you need to go back to the drawing board before you are considered in usc class.
- i than had a quick vacation and flew with some friends to houston to vist our friend luis. we sat around and did nothing all day sunday and monday. YEAH! for lazy days.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

i feel like i am back in high school

here is the latest on the mohawk situation. i have not had this much action on a post in awhile. j-lou gets a call from the principal of kades school because someone called them and suggested that they read j-lous confusion, becuase i am writing about how they would not allow kade to have a mohawk. who are you? who placed the call? they did not write down his name. this is ridiculous.

if you know me... you know that i am a carefree guy that loves to joke around. i joke around with most of the teachers at the school and i did have a good relationship with the admin building. i think hair is hair, but if they have a rule its all good. i did not try and fight the system and get parent sigs on the issue i explained to kade and we went home and shaved off the mohawk. i explained we had some great pics and someday he can have it again. i was not angry upset or anything.

the post on this blog was a bunch of friends joking around about it... picture us all sitting around in a living room and talking about it. but since ben is in ohio, jeremy is in new york and others are spread around so cal. we use the blog to chat. i was not trying to bring down the school or act as if they are a bad school.

so whoever you are who called... i would appreciate you if commented, emailed, break me off a phone call, send a letter by the mail man (oh i have a mail women... by bad), or stick a note on to my car. whatever ... please approach me if you have a probelm with me and not call the principal... but hey thanks for letting me feel like i was in high school again and had been sent to the principals office. gosh.... j-lou is so confused on who would put hiim on blast.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


here is a MOWHAWK update. i went to pick up kade from school yesterday and all the teachers had a sad look on their faces. the front office... the administration building... the people who write the rules and try to hold the little people down.. told the teachers to inform me that mowhawks are not allowed and kade would have to cut his hair. i went to the front office and asked for the written account of no mowhawks but they just spun their words and made up some crazy story. so we cut the mowhawk off and now he is just another pelon runnin the streets of alhambra. lol. the little people were brought down again... a sad day at kades school in alhambra. we will regroup and survive.

Monday, September 11, 2006

how about a MOWHAWK!?

kade decided he needed a new look for the school year and soccer season. in honor of chuck liddel's ufc victory he chose a mowhawk. kades new look led the sharks onto victory over the fireballs 6 -5. oh my bad, we are not suppose to keep score... if we lose i will forget about the score. it was a lot of fun for our first game and our kids did great. enjoy the pics and we will keep you updated on there run! peace.

Friday, September 08, 2006

the sharks

i have been give a promotion in the world of ayso soccer and am know the head coach of "the sharks" a group of 7 five year olds looking to have a great time every saturday afternoon on the soccer field. it will be a little different than last year, becuz the coaches have to stay on the sidelines and last year we were allowed on the field.

we have a game tommorow at 3 and i will try and get some pics to shwocase on monday.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

booty call

hey since i left a depressing blog earlier, i just thought i'd leave a message for all of the usc trojan doubters that there is always a silver lining in the clouds... usc is ready to go and booty got the call and showed up. it looks like the coaches and the writers are in agreement and have usc up to 3 in both polls.

what a week!

i just send an email to a friend and thought it summed up last week. so i decided to copy it over and blog it for everyone else to read as well...

"I had a pretty crazy week last week. Here is the short version…

Tuesday, I get a phone call at about 7 am that Anais, a girl that was in my youth group and very special to me died the night before in a car accident. I was at a lost for words and really did not know what to say or think. They were about to send an email out about it, but decided I should not here over an email. I was pretty devastated. I think as a dad, the pain is a little more knowing the love her mom and dad had for her as well.

Wednesday, I had to take kade to the dentist because he had a cavity which ended up in a root canal. Boy that was tough to watch but he was a trooper. He did really well. The dentist even said Kade did better than many adults in his office having root canals. I bought him two new toys from the cartoon, "Avatar". Wednesday ended with soccer practice... i am now the head coach of the "sharks".

Thursday, was good during the day, because I did not work and hung out with kade and evan because their school was closed to get ready for school starting next week. So that was great, but I spoke at the viewing on Thursday night. I was asked to share some anais stories, so I did. I held it together for the most part, but saw a lot of former students that were friends of anais and had been part of the youth group or oikso as we know it. We cried together.

Friday was the funeral. It was nice also but sad. You should never have to bury a 20 year old friend. I than needed to get away for the weekend, so me and some friends from la habra got out of town. We had a good time. I think I needed to get away. But than this morning I was reminded of Anais again as I read some messages from people about what I said at the funeral and how much they enjoyed me being there. So I am not doing so good toady… Peace.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


i have been eating and breathing the reload curriculum for the last couple of months, but am excited about getting this training out to thousands of leaders by the middle of next year. all the details on reload are HERE! if you are in one of the 21 cities make sure you hit reload.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yanks complete five-game sweep

this is a day late but much worth posting ... it was a great sports weekend for me.
  • the yankees swept the red sox who i hate passionately and now have a 6 1/2 game lead in the american league east. the greatest victory was sunday as the red sox really felt like they had the yanks, but nothing like a rookie closer choking and mariano rivera being as tough as nails.
  • tiger won his 12th major destroying the competition. i used to hate watching golf, but since i now play 4 or 5 times a year. i really enjoy and appreciate.
  • another weekend closer to usc beginning another run toward a championship with a new offensive crew. i love to see the haters think they are going to collapse.
  • i played baseball with my son kade and other friends and their kids. kade still can hit the ball with his time off. evan loves to attempt to hit the ball and almost makes contact on his own. next year... he will be making great contact.
  • i just found out that kade can play football next year at the age of six and we can return from the recreational activity called soccer that will begin next week. six year olds playing football ... priceless.

Friday, August 18, 2006


i had a great meeting with mary glenn in regards to our continued discussion on uniting alhambra churches to provide activites and resources to the young people in our community. our long term goal is provide a drop in center for youth to attend after school. the summer has been very busy and we accomplished very little, but we are very hopeful to see where god leads us.

we currently have about 6 or 7 churches that are verbally committed and have attended group meetings or at least sat and dicsussed the vision of BELIEVE with mary or myself. we are hopeful to have something more tangible to talk about and promote in the coming month.

if you are locally located in the alhambra area and are interested in being involved please let me know. i know we will need people who like basketball, are available to have conversations with students that english is a second language, mentor at risk youth or hang out at a future drop in center.

Here is the vision:

Believe (in Alhambra YOUTH)

To create a community/movement for Alhambra youth that is:

  • A safe place of refuge
      • Where they can learn from different generations.
      • Where they can build real friendships.
      • Where they can find support from positive role models/mentors.
  • Empowering youth to make a difference in Alhambra (opportunities to serve, etc)
  • Building bridges across diversity (ethnic, religious)

This community/movement – can move locations – this is about its essence.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Threat of a Good Example

steve walker sent to j-lou... j-lou like... so j-lou post... peace

The Threat of a Good Example
By Tim Wise
Occasionally when I'm speaking to college students, attempting to inspire at least a few to commit themselves to social justice as a way of life and perhaps career, I'm asked the question for which there is no easy answer; the one that goes: "What's the point? Can you make a difference? Why fight against such incredible odds?" As disturbing as such fatalism is, particularly from persons so young, I appreciate the opportunity to confront it. It's one of those rare times during a lecture when the speaker has to drop all pretense, put aside academic theories, and actually connect with that one other human being, even if only for a moment. And it is in that brief span of time when one can actually move another to a different place-without statistics or applause lines-by standing in a figurative sense naked before those one hopes to inspire.
And it's a good question, after all. There is much to suggest that justice, peace and equity are pipe dreams; that even our best efforts aren't enough to prevent tragedy. The bombing of Yugoslavia; the embargo against the people of Iraq; the passage of welfare "reform"; the expansion of the prison-industrial-complex as education budgets are slashed. "Don't these ominous trends,' they ask, 'ever make you want to throw up your hands and quit?"
There was a time when I might have said yes to that question, but not anymore. Like everyone, I confront fatigue and need rest. But that's not the same as wanting to quit. And what made the difference was a letter I received many years ago from Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa; a letter he sent in 1988 to the anti-apartheid group I co-founded at Tulane University; a letter in which he thanked us for sending information on Tulane's investments in apartheid-complicit firms-information which convinced him to reject the school's offer of an honorary doctorate.
As if knowing that those of us involved in the divestment battle were doubting our relevance-after all, even if we succeeded would things really change in South Africa? -he offered what I consider an obvious, yet profound rationale for the work of any freedom fighter: "You do not do the things you do because others will necessarily join you in the doing of them, nor because they will ultimately prove successful. You do the things you do because the things you do are right."
There's much to be said for such simplicity, as it's usually a lack of complication which allows people to feel. Religion, after all, isn't terribly complex, but has inspired, for good and evil, millions around the world. Sometimes I think we both oversell and undersell the notion of fighting for social justice. Oversell in that we focus so much on "winning" the battle in which we're engaged, that we often create false hope, and if victory proves limited or fleeting, those in whom we nurtured the hope feel spent, unable to rise again to the challenge. And yet we undersell the work too, in that we often neglect to point out that there is redemption in struggle itself, and that "victory," although sought, is not the only point, and is never finally won anyway. Even when you succeed in obtaining a measure of justice, you must mobilize to defend that which you've won. There is no looming vacation. But there is redemption in struggle.
There is something to be said for confronting the choice one must make in this life-between collaborating with or resisting injustice-and choosing the latter. There is something to be said for knowing you did all you could to stop a war, eliminate racism, or improve your community. There is something to be said for a good night's sleep, and the ability to wake in the morning, look oneself in the mirror, and never doubt that if you died before lunch, you would have lived a life of integrity.
Now some may think such an answer would be of little import to college students, obsessed as they supposedly are with consumerism and six-figure jobs. But quite the opposite is true. Sure, some roll their eyes at such talk; but these are folks who didn't care about social justice careers to begin with; those for whom attendance at my speech was simply a classroom assignment. But for others, including those who posed the challenge, the answer is meaningful. These are folks desperate for lives of principle and substance; desperate for someone to assure them they can do it, and that it's worth it, win or lose. These are people in need of assurance that someone is there for them, to nurture their interest and allow their contribution. But unless we reach them before the "real world" begins to feel more like a burden than a challenge, and before they develop an interest, proprietary or otherwise in maintaining the status quo, they will likely drift, moved to action rarely if ever, having had to compromise so much so soon. And it's important to remind them that every now and then you really do make a difference; you really do improve people's lives; you really do force better working conditions; you really do stop people from being bombed, and tortured. And you never know when that will happen; when your efforts will break loose the dam and send forth waters of triumph. But you do know one thing. You know for certain-as certain as the sun rising and setting-what will happen if you don't do the work; if we don't. Nothing. And given that choice, between certainty and promise, in which territory lies the measure of our resolve and humanity, I will gladly opt for hope.
If a monster like Adolph Hitler can rise from a movement which started with roughly seven guys, sitting in a pub, then surely those who fight for his antithesis can make do with the raw material to be found in Generations X and Y. Surely we can inspire as well as he.
And all of us can play that role. A few years ago, I was approached by a student at San Francisco State who said he had seen me on television, and that in the five minutes I'd been given to explain why whites should challenge racism, I had changed his life. At first I thought he had the wrong guy. It never occurred to me that a few words between commercials could have such impact. But the look in his eyes indicated he was sincere, and it's a look I've seen elsewhere since. And who knows whom those inspired by me, may themselves inspire in the future? What great things might they do? All I know is, it's worth my entire being to be part of it. Recently, I spoke at the University of Oregon, and gave a workshop in the Ben Linder room of the student center; a room named for a man who, in April, 1987, in Nicaragua, was murdered by contra forces, armed by my government, and his; killed for helping bring running water to rural villagers.
And as I sat there reflecting on how I'd felt upon hearing of his assassination, I remembered why he, and the revolution of which he was a part had to be crushed. They both posed, as we used to say, the threat of a good example. And that's when I realized that Ben Linder's life and death sum up why I do what I do, and what's required of us. I can think of nothing more rewarding, after all, than to serve as the threat of a good example; and no higher calling than to be prepared to die for your principles if need be, but even more, to be unafraid to live for them.
Tim Wise is a Nashville-based writer and lecturer, and the Director of the newly-formed Association for White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


ok here we go, i will break down the highlights of the trip and the breakdown of what we did and did not do. it was a short trip in comparrison to my 8 day road trips with 100 people. so four days and 37 people was a nice change.

Day 1 - a travel day, eating five different types of beef stew for dinner, a great discussion about the wounds in our lives and that many of us are carrying a lot of baggage and we ended the evening bowling. a great way to end any first day of travel camp. we did get stuck in traffic and it took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the lanes.

Day 2 - i wake up and grab alex yepiz and depart to starbucks in the "artsy" of san diego. i ordered my venti americano sat down and it was delivered to me by a nice gentlemen. we returned woke up the other leaders, dialogued about the coming day. the days activity following small groups was to hit mission beach and go kayaking in the ocean. once, we got our kayaks. we were off and runnin. a great day for the kids and us leaders. most of them had never done anything like this before. one kid, "montebello" as he is known by in the group will never forget the experience, as he got hit by a sting ray. he chose keeping his foot in extremely hot water over the numberous group of guys who were willing to pee on him. you could tell he was in pain, but he was laughing as well. he is a good 240 and plays defense of end for montebello high school, so he was glad he got hit over one of the junior highers. he took a nap, the swelling stopped and he was back to about 90% following our evening session about learning to forgive and love those that hurt us. alex shared his story... very powerful. he was ready with the rest of us to hit "boomers", a minature golf, go-carts, video games and other rides for the night.

day 3 - another morning with my friends at starbuck... today alex and i were asked if we were "together" while we ordered. i said yes :) leaders were dragging a little more, but were still ready for the day. after small groups, we hit la jolla beach. i took a few wrong turns so we saw all of la jolla, but the beach was beautiful. it had actual clear water and was just the right temp. the kids loved the waves, the sand and the showers (oh yeah each day the only showers were at the ymca in the morning, so many brought shampoo to the beach). we had a great football game that "montebello" landed in a thorn bush and need ghetto surgery with a close pin to get it out. but my team won (yepiz team lost, but he should comment about some excuse) i really think the best team won. i think our team was thier leading receiver (sorry mark). sean and eric caught everything in the air. we got back to the church for a late dinner, a great session on the storms in our lives and what have we built our lives upon. which we followed with two hours of broom ball. for those who have not played, it is pretty much ice hockey with shoes on instead of skates. and only person to get injured was "montebello"... who else. it was his week.

day 4 - we let them sleep in an extra hour, so i visited the friendly starbucks at 730 instead of 830 but same great service. i love good customer service... i was a marketing major undergrad. today was the challenge for the students... we were off to do random acts of kindness. we had the kids split into four teams (beef stew, albondigas, holly rollers, and mean girls). each team was assigned an area of san diego. they were to walk through the area and determine what random acts of kindness they could perform right than and than gather their own funds to make it happen. they did get a little frustrated, but all four teams did a great job and had a great time. beef stew was at the beach and passed out water and than provided free shampoo to 40 people at the beach showers. i think this is one of my all time favorites... i would have never thought of that one. eric you are the bomb. albondigas - hit the downtown area and hooked up dee ann with some socks and shoes and even a caramel frap. they also passed out water to the street workers. mean girls - did a free car wash and provided drinks for the people while they waited. and lastly - the holly rollers made cards for all of the workers in the "artsy" area of san diego and attached candy to them, so they went to all of the store fronts and blessed them with an encouraging message and candy. great job guys.

we ended the evening with dinner at the beach and a bon fire. we had a great time sharing our experiences from the day and wrapping up the week. as we finished talked sea world fireworks went off behind us... priceless. a lot of tears shed and really did see god orchestrate a great week. it was a blessing to be a part of.

oh yeah and on the ride home two boys in honor of james de jesus who did not go... what a flake... summer skool or somethin'... put away an 8x8 at in n out. that is 8 patties and 8 pieces of cheese. james has added a patty to each of the travel camps he had been on and it would have been his 8th. so the 8 x 8. thanks for reading about our journey... it was great to be a part of some kingdom work and hang with some of my high school boys... tim, devin, nathan, eric, mitchhell, montebello, mark, and sean it was great to roll one more week with you guys. and thanks to the new oikos leaders... keep it alive... and thanks to alex for rollin could not have done it with out you. peace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Travel Camp 2006

i will post a detailed update of our week tommorow, but here is group shot of us the last day!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

oh yeah... i got a haircut

since jeremy posted about his hair trimming i thought i would :)

more confusion

the guy who replaced me at gateway community church had to resign about a month ago and i chose to come back and put together the summer camp we had done annually for like nine years. doing this i have had to show up and hang out with students and parents and do a little recruiting. it has been a little flash back to my days in the grind as a youth pastor. i truly have enjoyed the treat of being with the kids. i am looking forward to sleeping on the floor of horizon park chapel in san diego and hanging with a bunch of students for the week. i am excited about teaching them aspects of the kingdom of god that i have been learning. i am excited to just be in youth ministry for a week.

also, last week i got to hang out with a group of leaders who are helping us shape next years urban youth workers institute. we shared stories and issues that are facing the youth of the city. many of them still are actively serving in the neighborhoods with kids and as we talked i did feel a huge void in my life. i think that is a little bit of the depression. i want to be about making change and a difference. i feel a void and i think it has to do with the pastoral and leadership gifts. i am very confused as how to respond to these issues. i look at my past and there are many things that i wish i could do different, but nothing that i can change.

my prayer is really for god to confirm in my heart as who i am in regards to a number of areas of my life. i feel like i am just floating and not really going anywhere. i read things and get excited but have nothing to do with it. i have aspirations of what a youth group would look like to day with j-lou at the age of 32 leading it and having a deeper understading of the kingdom of god and a better understanding of balance. i say all of this to get it out of my head. peace.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

can someone say travel camp

it has been way too long since i blogged. it has been for a number of reasons, but the core issues i will cover in future bogs, becuz it has to do with some internal struggles. i think i may be a little depressed for some reason as well. i will try to frame these issues to make sense and not be taken in the wrong way.

but with that said next sunday i will roll with 30 - 40 people into san diego on a travel camp. my old youth ministry needed someone to throw a camp together for them and i am a sucker as my old kids called and begged me to come out of retirement for a week. so i said yes... it was only 35 people and not the 100 that i use to roll with... so what the heck!

thanks to pastor pete in san diego for hosting us and the kids for showing love to me. i think it will be a fun week. anyways. i will give you updates on this little adventure as it goes. it should be fun. ok. peace for now and hopefully this will get me blogging again.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

J-Lou in High School

i have no idea why i am posting these pics. my friend jose (guy in the top pic with the porn mustache) had them posted by an old friend on his myspace site. i cannot believe someone had these!

Friday, June 30, 2006

j-lou's smiles

i smiled becuz i decided to google j-lou's confusion. i was wandering how far down the list i will be, but the reason i am smiling.

take a look ... i made it to the top. i am actually the top three. stupid and probably nothing but it broght a smile to j-lou's face and hopefully will encourage me to read and blog more. but i have not decided what book to read next. so please give me some ideas, so i will have more ideas to read about.

let's what you come up with... peace.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

how to run and jump over a wall

i stumbled across this on the internet. it is "how to run and jump over a wall" and good information that i definitely could have used in high school. this technique would be great for a number of my high school issues:
  • i walked into the wrong neighborhood and young mexicans with shaved heads were chasing me
  • the person whose rims or stereo i was in the process of borrowing came out of the house
  • the police raid a party and the only way out is over the 8 foot wall in the backyard
  • the obstacle course at the local playground would have been so much easier
this is extremely useful information, but i have not recently needed to attempt this feat.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Little Behind

i am only like a few months behind on blogging on this issue, but i read this quote awhile back and loved it. It is a discussion with Brian McClaren about the relaease of the movie and the book, the Davinci Code by Larry Brown.

Do you think the (the Davinci Code) contains any significantly detrimental distortions of the Christian faith?

McLaren: The book is fiction and it's filled with a lot of fiction about a lot of things that a lot of people have already debunked. But frankly, I don't think it has more harmful ideas in it than the Left Behind novels. And in a certain way, what the Left Behind novels do, the way they twist scripture toward a certain theological and political end, I think Brown is twisting scripture, just to other political ends. But at the end of the day, the difference is I don't think Brown really cares that much about theology. He just wanted to write a page-turner and he was very successful at that.

here is a link to the rest of the article in soujourners. i really like a few of the positions that he takes into why the book has really caught an audience with all kinds of people. it has made me continue to re-think what stumbling blocks we have set up in following jesus that makes people turn to a fiction book as more credible than the bible. what is that telling us?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Parable of the Fishing Net

my group gets the opportunity to create the dialogue tonite at the gathering, our faith community here in alhambra. i have been intrigued by this parable for awhile and finally get to throw it out for some more input. the parable is found in matthew 13: 47 - 50.

"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that is thrown into the water and gathers fish of every kind. 48 When the net is full, they drag it up onto the shore, sit down, sort the good fish into crates, and throw the bad ones away. 49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the godly, 50 throwing the wicked into the fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 Do you understand?" "Yes," they said, "we do."

in the past, i think my eyes and my brain would have gravitiated to the last portion of the verse that talks about, "throwing the wicked into the fire". but as i have been analyzing and processing this verse these days i think i have been misguided. probably out of my fear of hell as a child or my condemning and judgmental mindset that is still hard to shake sometimes. as i read this passage the throwing of the wicked into the fire is not my job and should not be my concern. my concern and focus is to live a life after the kingdom value of the fishing net. the fishing net is cast wide and far to gather all people and give them the opportunity to become a part of the kingdom of god. the sorting of the good and bad fish is left to the angels. i am suppose to focus on casting the net.

as i pondered this parable. i think i have been selective over the years of who i think is worthy to be giving an opportunity to be a part of the kingdom. i am willing to cast the net toward those that may seem hopeful of taking the kingdom message and living by it, but those that i feel are hopeless. i may have not even been willing to cast the net out toward them. this is probably the purpose of the parable by jesus, to help his jewish followers to understand that the kingdom of god is not just for the cultural jew who is circumcised and worships in a certain way, but is open for gentiles of all kinds. i think the message is as relevant today as it was in the days of jesus.

how can i be more intentional with my life in casting the net to gather those that others are not willing to gather? so they can here the message of the kingdom. a message of hope. a message of resurection. a message for everyone. who have you NOT been willing to cast the net to, because of your prejudices or issues?

Kade Catches Evan on the Attack!

kade borrowed my camera on father's day to go outside and snap some pictures. he came back in with this classic picutre of evan. we all were laughing. hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Read My "T-Shirt"

Kade and Evan Talent Show!

kade had a great performance to a latin jam. i am not sure of the title but he was swinging the hips with his asian honey. it was not as difficult as his performance, but i think he dances circles around his dad. i think next year, he will be ready for a solo appearance. a number of kids do a solo performance and kades martial arts / break dancing act he does in the living room would put them all to shame. so we will start practicing for next year.

evan made it in the show. i spoke with his teacher the morning of the program and he had been cut from being on stage, because of his tendency to push kids out of thier spots and the potential of launching himslef off stage into the crowd as if he was at punk rock show. but to my delight, as his class took the stage, evan was in the mix. he did not really dance, but circled the group at least twice taking a good look at the props to the back of the stage and even stuck his head between a couple of people. but for the most part he behaved and did not disrupt the show and got a few chuckles from the crowd. dad left with a smile.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

the kingdom of god is like yeast...

i have heard this parable (a story that illustrates a lesson) so many times over the years, but if you missed the general session on Saturday morning of the 9th annual urban youth workers institute. you should download it, because alise and jeffrey nailed it. it was great.

they talked about how god's kingdom is active and at work in so many places that we would never think. he is working and cannot be seen. the yeast is invisible to the eye, but is powerful and what appears is the affect of the yeast. the illustration is perfect for the kingdom of god. god is active and moving and what we many times miss is the affect, because we have chosen not to look and believe that god can work outside of our ministry or outside the staus quo. i think god loves to be invisible in his work. the message of the kingdom of god is hidden from so many, but so powerful. those that find the message, it becomes invaluable. if you have ever made bread... i think you know yeast is invaluable to the process.

i like to personalize stuff... so what does the parable of the yeast say to me in my life. how do i begin to remember that god loves to work behind the scenes? i need to really be aware of god's kingdom and look for ways to partner with him in allowing what is invisible to become visible to those around me. i need to slow down and appreciate the kingdom that is active.

Evan and His Lunch Box

Evan's creativity amazes me!