Friday, December 5, 2008

What happened to fall?

As an anti-global warming guy, I have to laugh at the freezing temps we are experiencing this year. It seems like we skipped fall and have been ushered quickly into winter. I want to hold onto fall as long as I can, so here are some pics to keep you thinking about Autumn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Headin' for the Hills

Well tonight I leave for the mountains of North Carolina. We have been planning this trip since this summer. Everything is coming together, gas is cheaper and I got some cool gear that will make packing much lighter than last year. We will be hiking over 30 miles in 3 days carring about 25-30lbs on our backs. The total elevation gain as we go from peak to peak is over 5000 feet.
This is the perfect time of year because of all the autumn leaves and the cool weather. We will have a little rain Friday but overall it will be in the 20s in the evenings at the higher levels and low 60s during the refreshing!
The only problem is that I am sick; I got hit by the bug last night and have less than 24hours before we hit the trail...I got a sore throat and the pray for my health to come back. Sickness won't stop me but it will make it a lot easier to be well.
The exciting part is that this weekend, I will be able to use the program material I developed. The guys agreed to be my guinea pigs and I am grateful for their feed here we go, on another adventure!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I know I know...

It has been a say I have been in a funk is an understatement. So much so that I boycotted 2 months of blogging. Ok, that is not true...but it is interesting how people deal with adversity.

Some people just get busier and stay distracted by the 'stuff' of their lives. Workaholics and the like...

Well, that is not me. I am a pouter, and so is Cessie, so we just "take our toys and go home," suck our thumbs and sit in the corner. It is weird because I would have argued with anyone that my spiritual gifting was FAITH. But in the last year or so it has not been.

I don't like a pity party and I hate making excuses...they are so cliche'. So I just stay quiet and withdraw. I can fake it pretty good on the surface and I am talented enough in church life to still be effective, but I am not happy or fulfilled in where we are or see a lot of hope in the near future. Though it is hopeful, it take lots of energy to live in that hope at this point.

Forgive my ranting but this is kind of therapeutic. I am fine and God is still in control. I know all the promises God has for me and He still speaks. It's one of those seasons where things don't "feel" right. Relationships are strained, finances are limited, and the Ministry is just there. No movement on any front and sometimes it just all hits you at once. Ya know what I mean?

Keep praying for us, and don't take this post for more than it is. Just 'words for the wind" (the book of Job).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Day of School

Well I am getting old...of course I dont know it yet, but the fact that my first born son has started kindergarten must mean I am entering into the realm of the elderly. Teehee :).

All joking aside, this day was about Nathan. He has an awesome Christian teacher in the public school (Summerfield Elementary). Her name is Mrs Rutherford and her husband is lead pastor at The View Church ( a church plant in Riverview). He was super excited to start school and in typical Rice fashion he was the loud, social one in the class, asking the other kids their names as they sat sheepishly in their seats.

Nathan is ahead in letters, numbers, and time. We thought that if Mommy was going to be in school, so should Nathan. So here he goes, growing up right before our eyes!

Friday, August 15, 2008

What a Gift!

God is so good! I got to do a baptism at camp this year. This was such a God thing and it was totally dropped right on my lap.

I got to meet a new friend in the process. His name is Forest and he was a former staffer here at Camp Baldwin. As most of out lives go, especially after high school, Forest was not satisfied with the choices he made in the last few years and months and really felt that their were some unanswered questions about his relationship with God.

Forest was excited to have me at camp and about Wednesday he pulled me aside to share his story with me and to get my perspective. I share with him God's love and God's desire to be his Father and for Forest to be adopted as God's Son. We made the connection with Jesus that that was who Jesus was (Son) because that is what God wants of us, sons and daughters.
So Wednesday night after some thought and prayer Forest sought out the "way" to nail down this relationship, and he believed and confessed his desired relationship with God through Christ. I baptised him Thursday night August 14th at the Lake Hanel waterfront of the Camp Baldwin Boy Scout Reservation.

What an honor it was to share this time with Forest and to be used by God in a powerful way. Thanks Forest for seeking out answers, being a 20 something and wrestling with your faith is not an easy thing to do. Please pray for Forest as he returns to Oregon State University this fall and that he would find a good church and jump head first into God's Word.

We also took advantage of the LARGE group of friends that Forest had supporting him and had the Lord's Supper (communion) directly following the Baptism. 20+ staffers joined us for the Lords Supper and I got again to share the Gospel as we walked through the elements and took it together. What a victorious night!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Extreme....yeah right!

Yeah, I just jumped off the side of a cliff. What a rush!
This was tame compared to the stuff that the climing guy Josh has done. One step at a time I guess. i am really digging this rappeling stuff. And If I can find a mountain in florida I am totally going to climb it! HA HA

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I am back

Yes I am back...back online (blogging) and back at Camp Baldwin. I spent the last week here and missed the opportunities to update my blog. But I am here, alone.

No kids, no wife. Please pray for me! I got 2 more weeks and a total of 21 days away from my family. This is a great time to focus (me and Jesus time) but it is lonely too.

I had lots of participants this week in my program. But only 1 actually completed all the requirements. I made some great headway with some of the Staffers and I hung out with some old friends from last years camp that visited this year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Elizabeth "Betty" Hazelhurst

10/26/ 1933-7/18/2008

Known as 'Grandma' around these parts. Betty was the ultimate cheerleader and a great encourager. We loved her so much; she will be missed greatly.

Many people wear thier religion as a trophy to be paraded around for all to see. Betty simply loved, just as Jesus commanded, "to love one another". She never wanted to be the center of attention or to make too much fuss about life's problems, she knew that as long as we stuck together and loved one another, everything would be alright.

We don't have to say 'good-bye' to this great woman, just "see you later". She left this earth in peace, and will meet us again in heaven.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

LDS Week

So it is not offically called LDS week by Boy Scouts, but 1 week a per summer all the Northwest camps have a "monday start week". This is to accomidate those troops who want to worship Sunday and begin camp on Monday. Many LDS church troops sign-up a year in advance to secure this week. So out of 28 troops, 4 are non-LDS.

All that to say is, that it has been difficult to get participation from Scoutmasters. They take care of all of their spiritual formation 'in house' so they need little imput from the outside. For example I had 20+ scouts interested in my Chaplain's Aid program...this week I have 2. My interaction with scouts and leaders has been positive, just not as many opportunities as in the past weeks. I am trying to be intentional without chasing people off.

Keep the prayer coming!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pics Galore

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Twice in a week

I just had my 1st 'Christian' chapel Service. It went really well. I had about 25 kids and adults which is 10% of the total camp. That was my average last summer, so its good to see. The sad thing is as I go from camp to camp, talking about godly things the older (15+) scouts are not interested at all. At one campsite I was ignored, by all 25 scouts and leaders except 4 and not one of them was an adult. I got a little emotional leaving that campsite, I just saw in action the disconnection MY generation and the 'boomer' generation has had with God and their children. In my humble opinion, having 'faith' in Scouts seems to be an inconvenience for many. Now I'd like to add their are some great Christians here too, there is a very obvious line between the two. In some sites God is embraced and in others God is treated with mild neglect. Keep praying for these scouts.

Got to swim this week, and shoot guns! The water was a glacial 65 degrees, with a 60 degree wind chill. Once you get wet you can't escape the cold! Caleb was shivering!

I know i promised time...

Monday, July 7, 2008

We all made it safely

I promised myself that I would blog more while I am here and keep you all informed more than once a twice a week. So....I am not as on top of it as I had hoped,but it is not because of laziness, I just run out of time. The day starts at 6am and I get to shower and bed around 10:30-11:00pm. I will do better this week.

Camp details:
We are at a Boy Scout Camp near Dufur, Oregon. We expect about 2,000 campers this summer. This week we have over 300 including staff. I just had my chapel service last night and it went great, except I forgot the second verse to 'Blessed Be The Name', but I challenged the Scouts to pray. I cannot mention or teach about Jesus specifically here but I am believing that the power of the Holy Spirit will convict these kids and adults to a deeper relationship with Christ. The simplest way would be for them to simply pray and allow God to do his work, and if God is who he says he is and can do what he says he can do; then prayer is enough. Cessie said that I balanced that line well and maintained my Christian integrity, and REALLY put God on the line to show up. So pray that those who take up this challenge will see some fruit early and often.

The kids are doing great, of course. They are picking up where they left off; playing with sticks and singing all the camper's songs. Plus, their is a lake for swimming and about 50 horses we get to ride. This is gonna be a great summer!

I'll post some pics later this week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today it begins!

Ok this is last years picture, but today I am leaving for Oregon. This time I will be flying into Seattle to visit family for a couple of days and pick up a vehicle that my uncle has graciously allowed us to borrow. (Thanks Uncle Scott!)
I will be ministering to thousands of Boy Scouts at a Camp just 10 mile east of Mt. Hood. We will enjoy an awesome staff of teenagers and scouts age 12-18. This is an equestrian facility, so horse back riding and gun shooting will be a normal part of our schedule. Oh yeah, and a huge lake is on the property with 60 degree water. Brrrrr!
Getting here was amazing, as usual. 4 weeks ago we bought our plane tickets on faith, without knowing where the money was coming from. Well through 6 or 7 crazy circumstances, (not one circumstance was linked with another) sums of money began to arrive from various places. Someone sold some furniture, people sent checks from out of state, even some classmates from my High School reunion gave an awesome gift. All in all the tickets are covered. Thanks everyone!
Oh, by the way, our house got rented for the next 2 years also. 10 months into this process, God brought the perfect family to use our house. What a relief!
Can you feel the momentum picking up? I certainly can. Some big things are on the horizon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

KingMaker Update

Oregon Trip

God gave me the opportunity to go back to Oregon this summer. If you are not sure what I am talking about, I will be a Chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America again this summer. I will be ministering to about 3000 scouts and scoutmasters at a Camp at the base of Mount Hood, Oregon. The Pacific Northwest is in desperate need for Godly leadership, so much so that they are flying me in from Florida. It was an awesome Adventure last year, so when they called this year I had to say yes.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I actually began planning like I was going by myself for the 7 weeks. Yeah, thinking about being away from the family for that long was a little nerve wracking but because of Cessie's school test in July and the cost of tickets, it just didn't look possible for us to go together. Well...

Cessie was able to take her Elementary Education test early (and passed, yeah!) and some very unexpected money has come our way to buy one of the 3 plane tickets we need to get the rest of the family to Oregon. We are only 2 tickets short, about $1000 for both. Someone has graciously let us borrow their truck while we are there, so everything is coming together.

We are asking for some huge prayer support while we're gone. and if God moves in your heart to give to offset the cost of these tickets, please obey him. We are going in faith, and i have been working some side jobs to help us get through the summer.

Send tax free gifts to our Address: 716 Caliente Dr. Brandon, FL 33511

Make checks payable to: Global Reach Foundation

Keep praying:
For our house to sell or get rented...had some great contacts lately
Travel safety, We leave June 26th and return early August.
2Tickets and travel expenses totalling $1500.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Computer Geek

Yeah it has been a little while...It is all because of Claude Cannon and his Assembly business. I worked with him while in college, 8 years ago. I put gas grills and wheelbarrows together, it is something that makes some money but I hate it. I am not cut-out for that kind of work. Needless to say it has kept me off-line for awhile. But this is my last week...yeah!

OK now that that its off my chest the real blog follows:
I really gotta pat myself on the back for my internet page editing prowess. I am not as computer savy as Jason or Claude, but I just successfully linked my (this) blog to my Kingmaker website.

I used Iframe, which I had no idea existed until about an hour ago. It essenitally opens a window on my website to peer through and control the blog site. A pretty nifty thing if I say so myself.

Check it out (here).

My next project is to learn how to copy and post a screenshot onto my blog. Any hints?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

View from St Louis

Great stuff!

Telling Lewis of 'Lewis and Clark' not to mess around and get scalped.

Wow look at that!

View from the Arch. Our hotel was the cylindrical tower in front of Busch Stadium.

630 feet! We took a tiny cable car constructed inside the Arch in the 1960s

The View Straight Down!

The View from our Hotel Room downtown.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I will be your tootsie wootsie

We are in St Louis, MO. this weekend for a wedding. We took the opportunity to make it a weekend getaway for just Cessie and I. This is just in time for our 7 year anniversary, which is this week...yeah 7 years married!

St Louis is a very large and old city with mostly brick buildings and an industrial flair downtown, but the community parks and the country side are beautiful, lush and green. Lots of runners and bikers to dodge. With cool mornings and mild afternoons it has been a great escape from Florida's humidity.

Well we are off to the Art Museum in Forest Park...Check back for pics later

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Chapman Family


NASHVILLE, TN...5/21/08... At approximately 5pm on the afternoon of Wednesday May 21st, Maria Sue Chapman, 5 years old and the youngest daughter to Steven and Mary Beth Chapman was struck in the driveway of the Chapman home in Franklin, TN. Maria was rushed to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital in Nashville, transported by LifeFlight, but died of her injuries there. Maria is one of the close knit family’s six children and one of their three adopted daughters.

More than five years ago, Chapman and his wife MaryBeth founded The Shaohannah’s Hope Ministry after bringing their first adopted daughter, Shaohannah, home from China. The ministry’s goal is to help families reduce the financial barrier of adoption, and has provided grants to over 1700 families wishing to adopt orphans from around the world. Chapman is a five-time GRAMMY ® winner and 54-time Dove Award winning artist who has sold over 10 million albums and garnered 44 No. 1 singles.

We pray for their family and their son in this tragic time. Their concert and testimony sealed the deal for us to begin taking seriously the adoption process. So as soon as we get settled in Greenville we will pursue adoption.

Thank you Chapman family for sharing your love with Maria while she was here; God knew that she would receive the love and care she needed in her short life. You were a blessing to her and her to you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


So we played hooky from church this Sunday and went to the Zoo. It was $5 day and we were at my parents housesitting, so church was too far anyway. It was super busy at the zoo, but now that gas is so high and ticket prices are in the $20 range, it was an awesome value.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Damage Control

So we have had a week to stew on the disappointing results of our contract falling through. I wish I had a more victorious story about how God has brought us through unscathed. That is definitely not the case.

We just, as in this morning at church, reconciled our hearts to God about the situation we are in. I began to entertain the thoughts of life without 'Discovery Church', asking myself what I missed, and what was the purpose of this failure? Why does God not want us to go and what else is out there? We were stressed, confused, conflicted, convicted, pouty, angry, (did I say confused...?) and other emotions.

We were exercising our minds, trying to figure out God, and not liking the options we were coming up with. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and early this Sunday morning we, honestly, were unsure what God was doing. We were making contingency plans and searching for other jobs on the internet. Conflicted in our hearts, we were "grasping for straws" for any ray of hope. Anyone ever felt this way about God? Anyone ever given or been given any good advice about how to deal with it?

This morning God whispered to me while in church, "Why are you treating me like an adversary?"...and that was it. I realized that in our search for clarity and direction, we were distancing ourselves from God. Adversary is the literal definition for Satan. So I know that what draws me away from peace with God is the "adversary" working to create disunity. I am not a "devil behind every corner" kind of guy, but like in the garden, with Adam and Eve, I was listening to reasoning that was in direct contrast to what we heard just a few weeks ago.

Just weeks ago we were celebrating with friends that God confirmed His call in us to N.C. and that we just needed to be patient and persevere. We knew then that God was writing an amazing story about us to lead and encourage others. It is not a funny thing to know that the next opportunity to show perseverance, we (I) failed miserably.

Thank You God, that You are patient with me. Help me to be patient with my kids and family. You give me what I don't deserve, and You don't give me what I do a lightning bolt up my......;)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rewind- House NOT under contract

Not sure what is going on but the brakes have been hit on this moving process. The potential buyers are military and have had a change of plans, not their fault but a change all the same. So we are scrambling to get some work lined up for the indefinite future but are confident that we are on our way.

The buyers are still interested and might lease purchase this property but it will take them at least 2 months to figure this all out, we would love to still help them. Until then we will get the house back on the market and use this time to sell the house.

God is still in control and it is just a matter of time before we see this transition completed.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

National Day of Prayer

I started the day off right by co-leading a worship and prayer service at Onething Prayer Center from 12 midnight to 2am. It was an amazing time and I really enjoyed worshiping without an agenda or a church program. We just worshiped and prayed what ever God led us to. It was refreshing to just rest and hear from the Father.

So by the time it was finished I didn't get home 'til 4am, so I am a bit off kilter. But it sure was worth it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Contract Day

Today is the day. We make it official tonight; the house will be under contract and we will move out June 1st. Things are moving very fast right now and I am getting a little apprehensive.

One thing I did not expect is my emotions. I never would have guessed I would be sad to leave this house. But there are moments of grief when I think about leaving. This was our first house, so maybe the sentiment still needs to wear off. Mostly the sadness is for my Mom...she loves me! what can I say?.... and she loves my kids just as much. Pray for her; this will be a big transition for her.

Those feelings are nothing compared to the excitement and joy and relief and encouragement and other 'good words' I can't think of right now. This has completely been a God whirlwind. I cannot sing a worship song without getting all choked up about how God has been so good to us. If I start to sing 'Mighty To Save' by Hillsong, I lose it. God has been so intentional about the happenings in our life, I am proud to call myself a follower of Christ and these moments validate that God's primary relationship with Believers is his Fatherhood. He is the best kind of father to have. Thanks Dad!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Carolina on my Mind

HE DID IT! HE DID IT! God brought a family to buy our house! We had a great meal with the Vasil family and they loved the house the moment that they saw it. They will be signing a lease-to-purchase contract and will buy the house in a year.

So we are on our way, Greenville! We move out of here June 1st and finish raising support. We are hoping to be in Greenville by late August or September. This has been an amazing roller coaster ride but we are so happy that it worked out this way. We get to use our house as a ministry, and God took this extra time to draw me closer to Him. Things really begin to move fast now.

Thanks for all of your prayers. Continue praying for our support and transition decisions. We need wisdom more than ever.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Concert Tonight!

Our small group is going on a road trip to Victory Church in Lakeland to see Steven Curtis Chapman. Live in concert tonight! Cessie and I are so excited and know that we will "get our praise on." We need this time with God, not to mourn but to celebrate his goodness. He is Good and His mercy endures forever!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't Worry Be Happy...d ddd d dddd Don't Worry

I can choose to complain or I can choose to comply. It is up to me how I deal with our current housing circumstances. Comply is just another optimistic term I am using for perseverance in our time of trouble. But, these 'sucky' circumstances have caused me to revisit a long pondered biblical issue.

What is Good?

Typically I would define good as something that produces a positive result or consequence. Like selling our house to get money to get out of debt and finally get us to where God has called us, namely, Greenville! Or to win a law suit over the mortgage company, who has strung us along for the past 4 months promising relief from our HIGH mortgage payment, only to find out, from a lawyer, that we have no case!...breathe...breathe...Okay, so I am a little miffed about the mortgage situation.

Nonetheless, we are where we are. The house is now off the market so we can refinance and access some cash to upgrade the kitchen and master bath, making the house more marketable. Again, so what is Good? What good can this situation possibly produce...and in my typical fake Christian, plastic smile, gritting my teeth...I would say "God is good." All the while, discouraged, dejected and spiritually dead.

But that is not where I am. I know so many Pastors who fake their way through pain and frustration in their faith, so they can lOOk like they've got it all together, and if you know me, you know that is not me.

I am truly hopeful. God is clear about what is good. "Good is to be defined in relationship to the will and being of God. Good is what glorifies Him, fulfills His will, and conforms to His nature." (pg.450 Erikkson)

Romans 8:28-29
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

I know, cliche' verse...but it is true, especially when you understand that this is not a guarantee to have everything easy but to have God's perspective of the whole story of your life, not just the here and now.

God works out good for those who are using their circumstances to draw closer to, and become like, His Son. Good results/consequences (especially temporary ones)don't define God's will or nature, but can be a positive result of His will and nature working. The cross is a perfect example of momentary suffering for the overall welfare of mankind. Though it is heart wrenching to remember "The Lord's Supper" or images of "The Passion" movie, Christ's crucifixion was very necessary.

So I lean on this verse time and time again..."For our LIGHT and MOMENTARY troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" 2Cor. 4:17 (The eternal glory is deepening your relationship with The Father God).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

People have been praying.

You've been praying for us. I know. I just know it. The wheels are starting to turn, small things are beginning to happen. I have 3 legitimate, financial opportunities in front of me right now, and none are linked so I could do all 3 very easily and dig us out of this house mess at least temporarily.

I am also working on a deal that could get us a buyer. They dont know it yet, and the circumstances are so crazily coincidental that it has to be a God thing. So keep praying!

I try not to over think things and plan beyond God's Will, but it is not easy. I just need to stay on my knees and take things for what they are. Cautious but Confident. God will be victorious!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Stop the bleeding!

As most of you know, we've been trying to sell our house for many months. Many of you also know that part of the reason for that is because our mortgage adjusted back in September and we've been making almost double the payment since then, causing much grief as we have saved our credit, yet put ourselves in some depressing credit card debt.

Anyway, back in December, we were able to begin the process of readjusting our mortgage and we were so thankful because it was going to bring the payment back down to the original price. Well, it's been several months and we got a call yesterday that the process is complete and that it was not going to be at all what they told us back in December; instead they are only reducing our current payment about $50!!! We're so upset and disappointed and kinda don't know what to do from here. It is currently $1034 and we were told it would be $595, now they are offering $959. What a ripoff!

We prayed out of desperation, asking God to somehow do a miracle, because we cannot continue to afford this home at that price. Just after we prayed, our realtor called us to let us know some people who'd seen the house before wanted to come back today (fri) morning to see it again. We NEED them to buy the house! Please pray that they are the ones we've been praying for, the ones we know God already has picked out to make our house their new home. They'll be walking through at 10am....if you remember at that time, can you please pray for everything to work out? Thanks so much!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Squinty and Sweet

For the past 2 years we have taken pictures on Easter. The weather was great again. And very sunny. (Notice the squinty eyes). Plus, we all look different from last year. My head shrunk....a little. And Cessie lost at least 20lbs since then (sexy!) Of course all the kids are getting BIGGER!