Wednesday, December 12, 2012

my foot traffic for 2012-

well, my legs were working overtime this year. when I was in high school, I used to run on the track team: (how about those socks and laces?!)

but in college and in my 20's, I stopped running, and gained a good deal of weight.

I spent a lot of time at the church-gym trying to work it off, but it never really worked.

this year has been different. my little legs have covered quite a few miles.

it started with a fascination with the new almaden mines. I hiked every mile of trail of the new almaden mines this year- which was 34 miles in all.

then I got serious about learning bible verses. so I started walking the los gatos creek trail before work for 50 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week, at about 2 miles per walk. I reviewed my flash cards while I walked. who knows how many miles I put into this trail this year- maybe 200?

then things got really serious. I started dieting, and dropping weight, but I hit a plateau. so I decided to go back to the gym. I also discovered the Nike+ app on my iPod that tells me how far I've run while I'm listening to music. I started slow, and my runs got longer and faster. the treadmill only lets me run for 1 hour at a time. before long, I was running 8, sometimes 9 miles in an hour. this is well over a 10K a night for 5 nights a week. deanna told me that at the pace I was going, I might hit 1000 miles before the year was over. she gave me a goal. once I have a goal, it becomes a focus. and I became very focused on this goal of 1000 miles on the treadmill before the year was over.
it took 2 pairs of shoes, 2 iPods, about 4 different running shorts, and about a dozen headbands (I'm kind of a sweat-er...) but on Monday, I did it. 1000 miles.

I was kind of hoping that the nike app would make a big deal about this, but it didn't. I didn't really either. its just cool for me to lose weight and to finally get the tools that I need to actually start to enjoy running again. one of my new year's resolutions 2 years ago was to start running and to actually enjoy it. and I can now say that after almost 2 years, I have met that goal. I never thought that I would, but I enjoy it a bunch, and look forward to it each night. I miss it when I miss it. and it gives me an excuse to eat more junk, which I love. thanks to my pals Marc and Adrian who have both inspired me with their commitment to running, and achieving their own goals in both running and fitness. 

so my little legs travelled quite a bit in 2012- at least 1200 or 1300 miles. next year, I'm hoping to get to 1500 miles on the treadmill alone, and to actually run a race outside! we'll see about that! hopefully nothing on me breaks!

God is love.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

space//spirituality 11/28

jane has really been into space lately. she has been fascinated by the moon, the planets, and the stars. we recently made a mobile that has glow in the dark planets, and then a big poster-board overview of the solar system. we have also been watching a lot of movies and tv shows about space.

all of this talk about space has had me interested in space too- and usually when my kid and I are focused on something, it turns into a teaching series for the middle school kids. (these poor kids have had to endure sermons about winnie the pooh, toy story and various dr. seuss stories!)
next year I’m planning a series called “be the moon” that talks about reflecting the light of the Son, and orbiting our lives around Him, recognizing, that we are not the center of the universe. I have been reading and watching lots of documentaries about the moon and space, and it has led me to several conclusions, but here is quick one:

space is huge. like crazy huge. like freaky-huge. to the extent that when you think about it,
the earth is like a




floating through the night sky.
(kind of like the whos in Horton hears a who!- which is another story, sermon and blog all together)

not only that,
but space is filled with lots of stuff.
and lots of stars. lots and lots of stars. too many to count- if you can fathom that. I read recently that the amount of stars in space is equivalent to the amount of grains of sand on the shores of all the beaches on the entire earth. that’s crazy. especially when you consider just how big these stars are and how much light and energy they produce-

and the bible says in psalm 147 that God, “determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”

So God knows the name and story of every star in the cosmos-
one for each grain of sand of every beach on every coastline-
God has the capacity to know quite a bit!

I recently read an author saying that there is just no way that God could know the story of every person on earth, let alone the story of every person in history-
but -
if God knows all those stars,
knowing all those people must be no problem!
there are way more stars than people!

and I’ve also heard that there is no way to house all of the believers and Christians,
in all of history, in ONE heavenly city;
but when you think about how BIG and VAST space is,
I think God could find the space-

after all, He found a place for all of those stars-
I’m sure that it would be no problem for Him to find a place for you and me-

God is love.

Monday, November 26, 2012

my EIGHT year old.

its so hard to believe that my little girl is going to be eight this sunday! I'm sure that we'll post some photos from her birthday, but until then, here are so memories from her first seven birthdays:

this is from jane's actual BIRTH-DAY- december 2, 2004.

here is my 1 year-old kiddo-
here is a happy 2-year-old with a big box of big legos- which is only a foreshadowing to how much time she would spend building things out of legos!
here is the happy 3-year-old blues-clues fan!

its a jolly holiday for a 4-year-old Mary-Poppins-fan:

high-five for 5- and a year-long nick-name: J5- 

J6 with a new pair of gloves!

6 years old was also our first "friend-party" at the art beat in cambell-


7th birthday cake-
sigh- and now she is going to be EIGHT-

wow. time really flies when you're having the best eight years ever-
being a dad is fun.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

servants by design

everyone at my work took this test to see how they work with others- here are my results: what do you think? is it me?

DREAMER - This is the part of your personality that focuses inward. The Dreamer part is the imaginative, conceptual and divergent thinking part of your personality that considers possibilities and asks “What if?” The Dreamer’s eyes are turned inward and this part does not initiate or even respond. In order to move outward, you must shift to some other part of your personality.
This is the strongest part of your personality. You can draw on these abilities at all times and have the least chance of experiencing stress and moving into negative behavior when the tasks at hand call for this part.

ACHIEVER - This is the logical, requesting, fact-finding part of your personality. Your Achiever part does not make demands or give directives. It does not even form opinions. It simply exchanges and processes information, asking questions, drawing conclusions and solving problems in a logical and sequential manner. Your Achiever crunches data with no emotions.

ENERGIZER - This is the playful, emotional, and spontaneously expressive part of your personality. Much artistic expression and creativity comes from the Energizer part. Your Energizer cries, laughs, sighs and jumps for joy. This part allows you to express anger in healthy ways, without attacking or blaming someone else, and to experience and express deep grief or sorrow over losses and disappointments.

HARMONIZER - This is the warm, nurturing and affectionate part of your personality that expresses love and concern emotionally through soft words, reassurance, permission, affirmation and appropriate touch. Your Harmonizer offers emotionally expressive, feeling-oriented, unconditional love.

CATALYZER - This is the part of your personality that gives commands (without attacks or threats). Your Catalyzer part gives directives, commands and imperatives aimed at getting something done. It calls others to action and/or compliance. Unlike a request, a message from your Catalyzer part does not ask someone to think or decide for themselves. It directs them to actions; to “do it”.

PERSISTER - This is your protective part that evaluates and avoids danger. The Persister part of your personality is value-driven, measuring everyone and every experience against an internal system of your beliefs and standards.
You have relatively little energy available in this part. You can call upon these traits briefly but then must return to a stronger personality part to energize yourself.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

lectio divina:: ephesians 6

I always find it interesting that the apostle paul gives prayer requests in his letters- here is a prayer request that got me thinking yesterday:

Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

paul ask for prayer for a couple of things here:

1- he asks for prayer that he would have the right words to say when he is sharing the gospel
2- he asks for courage when he is sharing the gospel. the word fearlessly is used twice in that passage.

to me this is comforting, because I’m often intimidated to share my faith. I often fear that I won’t know what to say, or how to say it, or that I’ll sound dumb, or closed-minded, or like some kind of religious sales person. I’m afraid that by sharing my faith, I’ll do more damage to this person’s journey toward jesus than good!

I have a friend who shares his faith so fluidly with so many cool people, and it always goes over so smoothly. for me, I get all nervous and end up with regrets over not saying all that I should have when I had an opportunity.

but paul asks his readers to pray that he would have the words, and the courage- because even paul himself struggled with finding the words and the courage! and I think that he is saying that it’s a little normal to struggle with the right words and having the guts to say what is in your heart.

and paul also seems to give the prescription for this fear: prayer.
he’s aware of the problem, and he’s praying about it- and he is asking others to pray about it.

and that’s a good thing for you and me too- to be aware of the fact that God wants us to share with others the wonderful things that He has done for us-
and to understand that its going to be intimidating and maybe a little frustrating to find just the right words- but with God’s help we will have the courage and the words to say.

so my encouragement to you and to me is to pray for your friends and family that are far from God- and pray for yourself, that when the time is right, you will be able to have the words to say, and the courage to say them with love.

so I’m with paul, and I'm asking you: pray for me- that when I get the chance to share my faith, that God would give ME the right words and the courage to speak them with boldness and love.

God is love.

Monday, October 8, 2012

monday correspondence:: 10/8/12

Saturday, October 6, 2012

standing tall in 2012::

2007: just about 3 feet tall-

2011: almost 4 feet-

2012:  just over 4 feet

such a tall girl! when we first went to this pumpkin farm, I thought, "cool place! we'll have to come back again and have even more fun!" but last night we went there and I thought, "cool place! I'm not sure how many more times we'll get to come here- her childhood years are just evaporating right before my eyes."

enjoy it while it lasts, parents- they don't stay small very long.
being a dad is cool.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

my delights:: 9/23

here is a short list of things I find delightful right now:

1. chip and salsa- I pretty much eat these every day. I can’t get enough! they are like green eggs and ham: “And I would eat them in a boat! And I would eat them with a goat... And I will eat them in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train. And in a car. And in a tree. They are so good so good you see!”

2. running! it has been my goal for a long time to become a runner who enjoys running- and I think I’m there! I have to run off all those chips! I have been doing an hour a night at the gym on the treadmill. I love listening to my iPod, watching the game, feeling the fans cool me off, and not worry about dogs or holes or bugs. here are some delights that go with running:

3. Nike+- I don’t have an iPhone, so I don’t mess with apps that much, but I just recently discovered that my iPod comes with a running app! it keeps track of how far I have run, and it tells me how much time I have covered during my run. it also counts down the minutes and gives me an encouraging pep-talk when my work out is over. then when I plug it into my computer it cheers for me and tracks my distance over time. this thing has helped me run almost more than anything!

4. Fila Skeletoes- these shoes look ridiculous, but they work for me. one of the reasons I never started running is that my shoes always made my feet hurt. I found a good pair that were working for me, and I also found the skeletoes on sale at Ross. I gave them a try and I think I’ll be using them from now on. I never knew that being able to move your toes while running made such a difference! they are great on the treadmill, but I don’t know if I would take these outside-

5. The Who- perfect running music. I listened to these guys religiously in high school, and have recently rediscovered them. now for a few non-running delights:

6. the big bang theory- this is my new favorite show. a friend of mine recommended it to me and now I watch the re-runs every night. it took me awhile to warm up to the characters, but now I love them so much. its all about nerdy guys who loves science, science fiction and comic books; so basically its about me in middle school! I think I'm going to be Sheldon Cooper for Halloween.

7. kindles!- I love reading on my kindle- and I love it even more when it can automatically read my books to me when I’m driving or on a walk. I wish I had these when I was in college, I would have understood a lot more of what I was reading. I think I learn better by hearing than by reading-

8. survival packs- I have these everywhere: little bags of essentials. I have one in my bag, in my car, in my backpack, in deanna’s car, in my office, in my “walking bag;” they have stuff like bandaids, tissues, wet-wipes, chapstick, water, and advil. basically every time I desperately need something and can’t find it, it goes in the bags when I get home. it’s a purse for men.

9. completed projects- I love working with my hands and using my creativity to solve a problem. I love working with Jane on an idea and then bringing it to life- and there is nothing like standing back and admiring a completed project. recently we updated our planter box to make it look like one we saw at the museum, we made a glow in the dark hanging solar system, and we’re always making toys and playsets. for me this is one of the best ways for me to help my mind relax.

10. vasona park/ oak meadow park- I go walking at these two connected parks every morning. we have had so many special memories at this place as a family, and I have had so many meaningful times of bible memory and prayer here too. the beauty and tranquility of this place during the week is breathtaking; and on the weekends, its filled with the sounds of children laughing, trains whistling, and carousel bells ringing. it’s the closest thing that I have ever seen to the jolly holiday scene in mary poppins with its carousel horses, weeping willow trees, rolling hills and green meadows. there is almost no place I’d rather be than in this park with deanna and jane on a picnic, or with a stack of flash cards on a crisp autumn morning.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


on Sunday morning, I went over to the bathroom at church during the singing time, right before I was scheduled to speak in middle school. when I got into the hallway, I saw one of the students, a young man named justice wandering the halls.

I thought to myself, “he’s not supposed to be wandering the halls! he is supposed to either be with his parents in the service, or upstairs with all of the students!”

so I called out, “JUSTICE! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!”
but he didn’t even acknowledge me.

so I thought to myself, “I know that walk. he’s upset. why is he upset? is he having a conflict with his family? his friends? is he mad at me? did I say something to him that hurt his feelings?”

so I called out, “JUSTICE! WHAT’S THE MATTER?!”
still no response. he just kept walking.

I thought to myself, “that’s weird. wow- he really is upset. he won’t even talk to me.”
so I kept following him and calling out his name- around one corner, and around another.

and I thought to myself, “now I’M offended! after all we’ve been through as friends, he won’t even turn around when I call him. what is this kid’s problem? I’m just trying to help. He could at least turn around when I call him.”

he went around another corner and sat down in a chair. I caught up to him and shouted out,

and then he looked up, pulled the ear-bud out of his ear and said,
“huh? did you say something?”

he was listening to headphones the whole time.

I said, “why are you sitting here?”
he said, “oh- I’m just waiting for my parent’s bible study to end.”

and I turned around to see the open door of a room full of people praying, and justice’s parents we're there too. they were the only ones looking up at me- and they had one of those embarrassed smiles on their faces. I'm guessing that they heard the whole conversation.

and then I went and spoke in middle school.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

30 things I did on my 30 day vacation:

over the last few years, I have racked up quite a bit of vacation time, so I thought that I would use it up all at once in one big chunk. it took a lot of coordination, planning, and help from an incredible volunteer team, and an amazing set of interns, but starting in late july, I took 30 days off in a row. it was the best vacation ever. here are 30 things that I did on my 30 day vacation:

1. I ran. A lot.

I’ve been wanting to become a runner for years, but I just needed the right tools and setting. I finally found it. Over my break I ran at the gym on the treadmill for about an hour a night, about 7.5 miles at a time, and about 1100 calories each time. I actually needed to do this because of #2…

2. I ate ice cream. A lot.

lately I have had a passion for ice cream. I’m pretty sure that I ate ice cream every day of my vacation; and everywhere I went. From baskin-robbins, to peggy sue’s to the boardwalk, I ate it and enjoyed it!

3. I went to Monterey with my family

we got to visit the aquarium, cannery row, bubba gump’s and the ghiradeli ice cream shop- again- more ice cream, calories, and reasons to go running!

4. I did a lot of work around the house- the DOLLHOUSE.
one of the things Jane and I like to do is make improvements on her beloved dollhouse. Over my break, we added a globe, a refrigerator, and new hardwood floors and tile in the bathroom!

5. I went hiking at Quicksilver-
there are miles of trail near my house that used to be home to the world’s riches mercury mine. I went hiking once with my friend Brandon, and another time as a part of a group with a park interpreter- who is a guide who can explain the history of the area. both times were a delight- and burned off lots of ice-cream-calories I’m sure.

6. I brought my mom over to San Jose-
we took her to all the places we thought she would like to see including the municipal rose garden and downtown Campbell-

7. Jane and I went to the tech museum

8. we all went to go see Mary Poppins- twice.
there was a showing in downtown Campbell and in los altos- both were outside- and we wore our hats to both!

9. we went to Gilroy gardens-

10. I worked on my verses-
on most mornings, I went out to vasona park to review my memory verses. in the 2nd half of my break I also learned Philippians.
11. we all went to Modesto to celebrate Deanna’ parents’ 40th wedding anniversary
we went to this place called John’s Incredible Pizza, which is like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids.

12. I helped my friend Niki get married!
and it was at Casa Grande in New Almaden, the old headquarters to the quicksilver mine.

13. I watched some boxing matches!
it was live at the HP pavilion with some friends from church- it was gnarly!

14. we went to San Francisco to the Exploratorium
and the the palace of fine arts- 

15. we celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary!
at the boardwalk!

16. Jane and I went to watch the San Jose Giants!
it was a crazy-hot day and we left early.

17. I worked.
I know. I met with the interns each week and I wrote a new series coming out later this fall-

18. Jane I went bowling-
and she got a spare!

19. we went to the Morgan hill aquatic center
which is a super cool place that has water slides, splashy areas, diving, swimming, etc.

20. we went to the Jelly Belly Factory!
we also went to the Nut Tree in Vacaville which is a place I used to love when I was Jane’s age- now its basically a shopping mall- 

21. we went to the children’s discovery museum

22. we went to the jungle-
which is a local indoor playground that we really love. we rode bumper cars and got really grossed out by all of the germs and drool.

23. we went to history san jose-
which is a super-cool museum that is really a bunch of old houses brought together to form an old neighborhood complete with an old school, firehouse, ice cream parlor, hotel and trolley train. we just happened to be there during a WWII celebration and there were hundreds of old vets there in their old uniforms and medals.

24. I read-
but not that much.

25. I went to church.
and this is not a small thing for a person who works at church. On a normal Sunday, I get into church late and leave right after the sermon to take care of everything for the ministry; but over my break, I got into church when it started, and stayed until the end. I dropped my daughter off at her class and picked her up when church was over. It was nice.

26. I made a toy for Jane.
Jane and I love to dream up and make our own toys for all of her dollhouse dolls. This is a giant slide for her dolls made out of pieces of gutter that we picked up at the hardware store. It gives me a sense of joy and accomplishment to hear her using her imagination and playing with a toy that I made for her.

27. we did a lot of 3-D time-
at my house, sometimes Jane tells me that she wants to have a 3-D day, which stands for daddy-daughter-drawing-day. (I know- there are 4 D’s in that one.) this is where I take my kindle, and Jane takes some markers and a drawing pad and we go to a quiet place like Subway, Barnes and Noble or Starbucks, and I read my book, and Jane draws a story about one of her many characters. We usually eat a snack too. I like 3-D time quite a bit.

28. we went to happy hollow!

29. I went to the Malibu Grill. A lot.
my favorite restaurant- Jane and I had lunch there quite a bit during my break and watched a lot of Olympics there too!
30. most importantly, I unplugged.
I turned my e-mail off of my phone. I didn’t go to my office. I didn’t check in at middle school. I hung out with Jane and Deanna. I shared many meals with my friends. I refreshed my body and my heart. now I can’t wait to get back to work!