King of all Burgers

I love this new Blog that my wife and I as well as out kids are doing. Fun, tasty and a bit of a dinner adventure for all of us. Check it out!


IMG_6768 Chef’s Notes: Even though I looked at three different shops, there was no lamb mince. (There was beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and veal but no lamb.) So I grabbed some beef. The recipe says you can use lamb, beef, pork or venison so technically, I was still following orders. I put blue cheese on Ryan’s, but only his. The boys had melty cheddar and (even though it was not in the book) I had (leftover) camembert. Because come on, I am not passing up the opportunity to put camembert on a burger! Also, I let the boys put the things they wanted on their burgers. 11 yr old built his according to the recipe, and the younger two ate theirs in pieces. Burger here, bun there, apple on the side.

Foggy Burger (age 4) I liked my bottom of my sandwich and I liked the middle of my sandwich and…

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Soulprint, Discovering your divine destiny.

By Mark Batterson.

I love Mark Batterson and find myself returning to his books often. His natural transparency and easy cadence make for a quick and memorable read. He is a voracious reader and that comes out in his writing so you always feel like your getting more bang for your book, but not this time.

Soulprint reads more like a reworked earlier manuscript from messages he has preached. Ostensibly if you have followed his blog for any time whatsoever you feel like you have read this book already.

I highly recommend Mark Batterson if you have never read him, but would point you in a different direction than Soulprint. Try “Ina Pit” or “Primal” you wont be disappointed.

I received this copy of Soulprint from blogging for Books for review purposes only. Soulprint is 192 pages long and was printed by Multnomah Books 2011


It was youth group and lock-ins, football games and bowling. There were movies and popcorn, card games and sushi runs in the Homi van.

She wanted to be a mom and I just wanted to be close.  Close to the laughter, joy and beauty that surrounded her. The beauty that she is.

The way we started is the way we still live. Life was made to be enjoyed, and I couldn’t imagine living it without her. 13 years. and counting…


One More Cast

Its hot. and I love it.











So we loaded up the hyundai and headed to the mountains to fish.

We chose the ancestral fishing grounds on the back side of heartsock grade to the river called tucannon.

I have been fishing here as long as I can remember. I started out fishing the stocked lakes while my dad would fish the river, and my sisters would read in the van.

When it is hot out I can think of nothing better than wading down a river, fishing pool after pool of cold mountian water, seeking the elusive native rainbow. Well, not too elusive if you have a black rooster tail lure. I’m no purist, and while fly fishing looks elegant and carefree, I prefer actually catching fish to beating myself half to death with a light weight fiberglass rod.

It was a great day. Fishing, family and an ice cream stop, all only barely an hour away.

What do you do to escape the heat?

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Check Engine

The check engine light had been on so long I didn’t even notice it any more.

We are a one car family. Not because we have to, but because we have to. So we go through the difficult work of planning, negotiating and rescheduling this and that, depending on who demonstrates a greater need or ability to negotiate. It has helped to simplify our activities and lighten the load of expensive gasoline. Dont get me wrong, I am far from being green, in fact I would much rather drive an SUV over the compact, sheet metal overcoat we currently enjoy. So off to the shop went the Hyundai.

Hyundai like Sunday.

“I just can’t tell you with any certainty that A or B is what’s wrong with your car”.  Charlie seems like a nice, honest mechanic as he relays the conflicting diagnostic report. “What I can do is chase down problem A for X more amount of dollars”.

Chase it down, Charlie. We are all counting on you.

I was reading the story of Ruth today, from the Bible. It is a pretty amazing story of loss, bitterness, love, redemption and God’s faithfulness. If you have never read it, you should check it out. In the story, Ruth follows some bizarre instructions from her mother in law in order to snag a husband. She lays down at his feet during a harvest camp out and he wakes up, surprised to see a woman at his feet. She tells him what she’s after and his reply is immediate.

“Don’t worry about a thing, I will do what is necessary.”

Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just because it Easter, but I was really impacted with the words. “I will do what is necessary”

This story, which is key in the lineage of Jesus, provides just a glimpse of the redemptive picture that God would unleash through His son Jesus and His resurrection, which we celebrate this Sunday.

Sunday like Hyundai.

God frequently speaks to me through the automobile. Usually I find it  to be moments of recalibration, an opportunity to get back on the right road. This time it was different. It was a reminder that He is good, and He is great. He reminded me that in my life, in the world I live in He didn’t need a diagnostic test to tell Him what was needed. He knew, and He did what was necessary.

In the words of my friend Tim, “Sacrifice beckoning my surrender. Servanthood calling my submission. Life from death. Hope from loss. Peace from pain. Comfort from conflict. Love. Mercy. Unearned. Unearnable. Unmerited. Undeserved. Restoration and redemption. Simply humbled. Simply grateful.”

Today, is Good Friday. Is your check engine light on?

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Try Something New Tuesday

Tonight, I tried something new. I played soccer.

Not very well, mind you, but not horribly either. Except in goal. I was rubbish. (don’t I sound like a soccer player?)

I decided to mix it up in my exercise routine and add some sprinting. Why not soccer? My thought was to join an indoor league, but when my friend Jesse started an outside, 7 a side team, I jumped in with both feet. I bought cleats, shin guards and long socks. I checked to see if anyone was watching my traitorous actions, specifically from the baseball or football department, but no one bothered to notice.

Even though I have no history with soccer, tonight was great fun and I learned some about the game. Everyone was helpful and kind (on our team) and was quick with helpful hints. Unfortunately I had no idea what those helpful hints meant.  Afterward I remarked that it would be brilliant to know what everyone was talking about. So my teammates are teaching and I am learning.  Learning I can do, play better, hopefully.  Maybe not quickly, but I look forward to some improvement each week. So if your thinking about taking up the sport of soccer for the first time here are somethings you might need to know:

  • You run. A lot. Six months ago that much sprinting would have killed me.
  • When a teammate yells “Time” it means you have some time before the defender reaches you, not “time out”.
  • Mark up means to guard a player in order to stop them from advancing the ball.
  • A good goalie is worth their weight in good stuff. I played keeper for maybe 10 minutes, but felt like an eternity, while allowing 3 goals.
  • Even in America, our referee had a british accent. (are they imported?)

We played hard, and ended up losing 11-8. We’ll get them next week. So far this season the Renegades are 1-1.

So let me ask you, when is the last time you tried something new? Maybe even something you previously thought you would never do, couldn’t do? What is stopping you from trying, signing up, or starting? Maybe today is your day to try something new. I hear it does wonders for your health.

I’ll let you know how we do the rest of the season.

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Mulu Char and on being wrong (Dining out in Australia)

Have you ever thought something was one way, only to find out it wasn’t anything like you thought?

not a porterhouse

I am familiar with the phenomenon. Growing up, before dvd players, it was customary to sing songs on long road trips. A family favorite to this day are the Marty Robbins gunfighter ballads. El Paso is the best, but we learned all of them. At least I thought I knew them. One day while regaling those around me in a pretty good rendition of “Cool Water” I was rudely awakened to the fact I was in fact mistaken. The words were not “bickering tiree” they were in fact “big green tree”. Only slightly more pathetic was my insistance that I was right.

To this day there are those in my family who relish in bringing this up.

I think this happens much more than we think. From politics to religion, to the best way to make a german chocolate cake, we are locked into this mindset of rightness. This atitude presents a problem.

This is my third time in Australia and I am keenly aware that I’m not a local. Last night at a local steakhouse I ordered a porterhouse steak. The inner detective in me thought it was strange that it was cheaper than the ribeye, but only by 2 dollars. I cast aside the discrepancy as inconsequential and enjoyed the onion rings. As orders began to be served I was only slightly devastated by the New York strip steak set before me. First world problems, no? (it was still delicious and cooked to perfection)

Most of the time when we are wrong it ends up being mildly embarrassing at best and for those around us, down right funny at worst. Rarely do we think that our wrong ideas will have any lasting negative effects. I mean, its just some lyrics on a page right?

There are some pretty important things that we need to have right, chief among them is that I can trust God and His character, even when things dont look like they should look.

In Exodus 13 there is this bit:

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.[a] The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

It may not always be a strip steak instead of porterhouse, In fact, it may seem like God is taking you the long way around. It is in these times that the true hope of Jesus’ gospel can become very real to you. His desire isn’t to fix your situation, it’s to transform your heart. Like I heard Abe Daniel once say, “What looks like a setback, may in fact be a set up for God to do something amazing in your life.”

Have you ever thought something was one way, only to find out it wasn’t anything like you thought?

I have. And I expect it will happen again. But I know that God is trustworthy, and we wont be eating out at Mulu Char again, too expensive!

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17 days of sun…er it’s the rainy season

on the plane

So we are in Australia. On the Sunshine Coast, visiting friends and family. It is summer here. The rainy season.

The visions of hot sun that powered me through the snow shoveling a couple weeks ago were met with clouds and rain upon our arrival. I was nonchalant. “Does it rain often this time of year?”, I asked, hoping my voice wasn’t shaking. All the time was the quick answer.

The long answer involved stories of flooding, and the explanation that workers who work outside have something called “wet days”. Five a month if you work for my brother in laws company.

Wet days? The nice thing is that it  is HOT. And humid. I love that. I know what your thinking and your dead wrong, humidity is pretty great.

One our first day here the kids were outside playing in the park and we hadbeen here about 5 hours. We were doing our best to stay awake after 17 hours in 2 planes, one delay and the drive north from Brisbane. The rain didn’t stop us. Then it happened. Aidan crashes his cousins bike into a ditch full of big rocks. It was pretty bad, but we slapped some Paw Paw on it (my BIL puts it on everything) and fed him some ibuprofen and he was back out there playing football in no time. Who needs to see out of BOTH eyes?

the john locke scar

So far the trip has been amazing. Great friends, wonderful food and good times. Oh, and the weather has been fantastic. The only rain I felt was the first day, and since then it has been sunny and hot. Which reminds me of something the pastor said at church today: God doesn’t look at the things we look at, He looks at the heart.

Here is the prayer he shared right before communion.

God, may we truly know you as Yahweh. The ever existent, the ever active, the ever able God. Not just by description, but by discovery. Not just by reputation, but by revelation. Not just by expression, but by experience. May we know your person, may we know your presence, may we know your provision, may we know your peace.

Have you spent time with the present and active God today? He chose you, I hope you know that. I hope you know Him, and I hope you learn, like I am, that even when you think you need sunshine, that God is present and active, even in the rain.

traditional australian bbq sausage sizzle

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the good God in the details

I came across a post from my wife today on facebook.

I’m reading Exodus. God is telling Moses exactly how to build and decorate the tabernacle, and I’m thinking, “Why does He care so much about every detail?” But, then I think that if He designs His dwelling places so carefully, I can know that I was designed with the same care and attention to detail. He has made me to be exactly who He wants me to be.

What a great thought. The guy who came up with the saying, “the devil is in the details” had to be the devil himself. In fact this idiom, or unlikely expression was adapted from the earlier quote, “God is in the detail”. This quote has a variety of sources most notable among them, Gustave Flaubert.  Counted as one of the great western writers, Flaubert’s expression stated,  “Le bon Dieu est dans le detail” or the good God is in the detail.

Gustave Flaubert was according to those who study such things, a perfectionist. Edmund Chandler says, “Flaubert believed in, and pursued, the principle of finding “le mot juste” (“the right word“), which he considered as the key mean to achieve quality in literary art. This would seem to me, at least, a worthy endeavor.

In Christianity the devil, lucifer, Satan, or whatever name he goes by now, is the father of lies. His desire is to supplant God in every way that he can, bringing himself into the limelight, rather than God. The devil wants depserately to be in the details. Unfortunately bad things can and do happen, but here is what I’m learning: Jesus didn’t come to fix my situation, he came to fix me. Instead of looking to someone, anyone, to give me a hand out or a hand up God is speaking the perfect word into my soul. Jesus.

What about you? Do you believe that the good God is in the detail of your life? That perhaps He has found just the right Word to express Himself to you and the community you are a part of?  We are, the Scripture teaches, fearfully and wonderfully made, and like my wife said we can be exactly who He made us to be. In the brokenness of this life He is trustworthy. He is close to the brokenhearted, He comforts those who mourn. He speaks order, detail and love into the chaos of our lives.

The Word, the perfect Word, became flesh and moved into the details.

Everything they hold dear…

Today, I made a tyvek wallet, getting ready for a craft on wednesday night with my awesome group of middle school students.

I followed a design I found on, but substituted tyvek for paper. Tyvek is that near tear-proof/ water proof paper that priority mail and fedex uses. Pretty neat stuff really.

You can find the design I used here.

Here is the finished product.