Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
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!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Broncos Week 4 from J-Lou on Vimeo.
kade is kicking butt on the soccer field. he is only 7 but playing in the U10 league with all of the 8 and 9 year olds. i cannot believe how well he is doing. the broncos are in first place and picking up right where my baseball team left off in the summer. so i will keep you updates on the alhambra broncos. check out the pics that i made into a movie above!! enjoy.
Friday, September 26, 2008
i grew up in la habra as many of you know and that is not the greatest place to grow up with a perspective of anything but a negative stereotype of people dealing with glbt issues... throw up the churches i landed in and you have pretty much someone not to open to dilogue with people in the glbt community. it was about two years ago that i first met andy marin and it was through a number of phone calls and than he spoke at the 2007 UYWI conference for me. i was a little nervous, but from that day forward we have been working together on projects in one way or the other. this has led to the formation of a coalition and an ongoing duscussion here in socal on the issue... i could try to explain here but jump over to andrews blog and see what he has to say. it is a privilege to walk and do bridge building with andrew and the team. we are moving forward to the next few events that i will talk about here on october 8 and the big training day on novemeber 15.
you always have a different perspective toward issues when you have a relationship to give the conversation context. early this year before this conversation and coalition was formed. i was introduced and would say became friends with a few people in glbt community. i was a little nervous, but always enjoyed the time me and my friend hung out with her sisters. i think that experience also prepared me to better understand how to join the conversation.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
well the weekend went much better because of my love for sports. my stress reliever is kades soccer team... the alhambra broncos and they played at 145 pm on saturday. we got down 2-0 but fought back and took the lead 3-2 on two amazing plays by kade to set up brian for two goals. i had to tell kade that an assist is just as important and valuable as a goal. kade is 7 and playing with 8-9 year olds and is playing great. the other coach told he was yelling at his players for someone to stop kade because he was killing them. evan also played in the morning and had a great time. he is having a little more fun playing soccer this year than last.
i moved my self from soccer field... picked up kurtis to watch the trojans destroy ohio state 35-3. they just dismantled the buckeyes. i than spent sunday at my favorite lounge watching football all day with nfl ticket, poker, cigars and the boys. i so needed it and now this morning evan heads back to school... oh oh oh. lets see how this week goes... it is busy at work with some key things so lets see how this week goes.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
i dont think i have been this tired after a weekend in a long time. my weekend started with a great practice with kades soccer team the broncos on friday night. kade, evan and i woke up at about 630 am on saturday and hit the soccer fields that had us going until about 430. i posted some pics from the day... my camera died before the broncos game...and it was great. we fell down 0-2 early, but played great the rest of the game for a 5-2 victory. the parents were impressed with the team and the one 7 year old kade played great and even almost scored. i was one proud dad. i will get some pics of them next week. i hope you all enjoy the pics of the little 4 year olds out there for the first day of soccer. i have to post a picture of garret soon... he does the cha cha everytime he scores. so all of this to say i was exhausted, but it was all worth it.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
|From British Soccer Camp|
well i have been in hiatus on my blog, but life is going a little bit ... i would say a lot crazy. i am in the process of selling my house, so me and my boys will be packing up soon and not sure right where we will land, but probably in alhambra. i have too many reasons for selling my house, so i am not going to list them. i have been back and forth on it for awhile but somethings kind have forced my hand. the good thing is that i am not upside down or anything.
i am also coaching three yes count them three soccer teams in alhambra... i have all of the 4 year olds and that would include my son evan. he is have a lot of fun. i also have a 6 and 7 year old team that kade was suppose to play on, but he is not. so one team with none of my kids. i have two of kades friends on the team and one dad is the assistant and will help alot. the next team is of 8 and 9 year old and my son kade who is 7. so he is running with the big boys and doing great. this team practices twice a week and the other two just once. so needless to say i have a crazy soocer life and the games start on saturday!!! the last team is my pride and joy. i think they have a good shot. so i am selling my house... coaching way too much soccer... and work is super busy. i have a few really big events coming up and some great stuff with carver middle school in south central is on the horizon.
i pretty much have no life outside that to speak off and it all keeps me tired but i am enjoying the time with my boys... and evan starts school tomorrow which should be exciting!! i will have to update you all on the evanator and see if public school can handle him.
i left some new pics of a soccer camp the boys were in last week too! i hope everyone enjoys.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
i have not really blogged about anything like this for awhile, but my mind has been busy thinking and this is what kept challenging me. chris shared that we are so in love with the divinity of jesus that we forget to remember his humanity and the suffering that existed and the struggle of his life here on earth. we do as people of faith think that if we do all of the right things or try our best to walk a life of faith and to love our neighbor that life will be ok. i have been trying to wrestle with the word suffering and thoughts behind it. i think if i was more to think about the jesus that walked this earth in the human form and experienced the pain and loss that we all feel i may be able to accept my own loss better and help those that loose loved ones.
Friday, June 27, 2008
well, it seems i do not blog very often but life has been throwing so many curve balls to me over the last month that i just need to write about all the good stuff to remind me of all the good stuff and get my head off the stuff i dont like... so here is my own personal counseling session.
- the phillies won the tiny championship for granada park! i am sure everyone who barely even knows me knows about the tiny phillies.
- i am taking part in a new curriculum development piece with the search institute on how adolescents develop spiritually. it was an insightful two days together looking at research and other stuff.
- i went on an amazing vacation.
- i have amazing friends
- i have a great house church that i am apart of... even though i have been a flake this month becuz of too many reasons but no real good excuses
- i was apart of an amazing oc faith based gang summit that took place with over 180 leaders in partnership orange county probation
- i am beginning to get a number of urban coalitions off the ground that i think have the opportunity to create some real change in some communities that need collaborating organizations joining forces
- i am laughing inside thinking i am excited that i get to coach soccer in the next months
- i have two of the most wonderful boys who love me unconditionally and passionately (this should probably be #1, but i guess i can always save the best for last)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
|Fathers Day 2008|
i usually throw my annual fathers day bbq at the house, but we switched it up a little this year. i met up with my friends and their kids to go to the angel game and we had a blast. it was so much fun! i have a few pics of lunch with my family too. i needed a great day with the homies and i got it! thanks guys!
|Phillies 2008 Championsh|
it was a great season and i got so much love for these kids. we celebrated with the families all day. the team party started at 11 am and was going strong all the way til 11 pm. i cant way for next season!! go phillies!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
outside of the election and becoming a laker fan for one series.... boston sucks! my life has been dedicated to the tiny phillies. we are one game away from being the champions in the alhambra tiny division. we are on a 13 game winning streak and look to wrap it up this friday. for those of you on facebook... you are very aware of this :)
i kno probably like ther are two readers left over here but we love you paul! hahah!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
it was a few days after the murder that johnny called and told me that the family wanted me to do the funeral. they wanted someone who knew and loved ralphy to do the funeral. i was scared (never did a funeral) and emotional as i was not sure if i could do it, but i knew that i had to do it. steve from gateway hooked me up with some notes that would help me create a very personalized service for ralphy. thank you steve once again you are there for me.
the service was held last monday and i was so nervous, but was so honored to be asked by the family. the day for me started around 6 am and ended at about 9 pm. the service went smooth, the mass following it was ok and the graveside time was the most emotional. i was truly thankful for the opportunity and for the kind words that ralphy's family had for what i shared in the morning. i will miss you ralphy, i know your neices, nephews, brother, your mother and your seven kids will miss you. i just hope we all can take the humor and joy u brought to us and spread it to those in the lives that god allows us to influence. i am thankful to call you a freind. rest in peace and see you on the other side.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
in the car on the way home, kade was like "dad, andy almo0st hit me ." i said i know, but he does not want to hit you. cause than u go to first base... he commented back... "it will hurt" my assurance that he would go to first base was met with ... "when does soccer season start again". i think kade is in some transition also... he is the youngest on this team too, but he always rises to the occasion and i think he will be alright. hopefully, i will survive too... i woke up last night at 2 am and could not sleep cause i was thinking about this team and how to get them ready for games in a few weeks. i have not been stressed like this in quite awhile. pray for me. :)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
#5 Man on the Moon (His ability in this film to take over a character was amazing.)
#4 Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls (i liked this one better than the first and when he comes out of the rhino butt naked... i loose it every time.)
#3 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (wow. this was a trip.)
#2 Liar Liar (this was really close to being first. the bathroom scene when he beats the crap out of himself is unforgettable. the father son piece to the movie also could have pushed it to #1 as well)
#1 Dumb and Dumber (i think i sharted the first time i saw this in the theater, i know i was crying in the aisle. this was a classic of all time.)
What do you think?
Monday, February 04, 2008
i almost jumped through the ceiling at my friend kurtis' house when plaxico caught the pass in the corner of the end zone. i had a feeling after the catch across the middle when eli got away from a sack and threw it up for grabs. the trojan steve smtih made one mistake, but than had a critical catch on the last drive also.
it was amazing to see the patriots and than for belacheat to walk off the field before the game was over... showed the amount of class that he has... 18 - 1 is done. no super bowl victory. it was great. i love it. i think i need to buy a g-men shirt.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
oh, well. it was great start to a new year. the care bears had a great end of the season and will be on probation soon with rick on the sidelines lol. i will try to post more soon, so check back bi-weekly or every once in awhile for updates on the confusion of my life and the boys who call me daddy. peace.