Showing posts from December, 2007

New Year's Eve

Did you have a good New Year's?

Things were going great at the Balvin's. Got home from work. had a great dinner and a fun time with the kids. Was looking forward to some time with Stephanie. Put the kids to sleep at 8:45.

8:55 - Jacob tells us Andrew puked. Checked. Yup. All over the crib.
9:30 - Andrew is puking all over my shirt as I try to watch Fergie sing on TV.
10:15 - Jacob and Izzy are still up. They come downstairs to watch a movie.
11:00 - Try to put all the kids (3) back to bed. Andrew pukes in the bathroom sink.
11:15 - Everyone is now sleeping. I'm waiting for more puke.

Poor little kid. Being sick sucks.

Not how Stephanie and I planned our night. Glad no one came over.

My birthday tomorrow. I'll probably spend it puking. Sweet.

Learning Not to Steal

Last night as we strolled through Target I turned around to see my four year old son munching on a green grape that he had plundered from the produce section. I instantly stopped and gave him a short 'teaching' on stealing and the importance of not taking things we haven't paid for.

Later, as we wandered the seasonal clearance section, I noticed me boy was grasping something wrapped in the belly section of his shirt. I asked him to unravel the fabric and when he did a small toy tiger was revealed. I thought, "Holy smokes, I have a stinking kleptomaniac on my hands." But then I got an idea.

I took all my kids and headed up to the security office of the store. I asked if I could bring the kids inside and I gave them of the camera room and the benches where would-be thieves sit, handcuffed, waiting for a law enforcement escort out of the store. Then I explained that it is never OK to take something we do not pay for, and I tried to impress upon the kids that fol…

Sunday Reflections

Had a great day.

Visited our old church, did a little shopping, picked-up some pizza and ate w/ old friends, played about 2 hours of the Xbox 360 Rockband game, had a birthday burger at Red Robin, grabbed some clearance Christmas items at Target, and wrestled with my kids before bed.

Yep, it was a great day.

Piper Quotes

John Piper on the need to have a BIG view of a glorious, unfathomable God based on the truths of Scripture...
"A wimpy world view produces wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians will not be able to stand in the last days."Also, Piper on the reality of sin's horrific effects in the world...
"History is a conveyor belt of corpses."


My brother Jeff introduced me to a wonderful time-killing application on Facebook called Jetman. It is an addicting game that is simple to learn and fun to play. Once you get a feel for the game you can begin challenging your Facebook friends to try and beat your scores. Check it out here.

VH1's Top 100 Songs of the 90's

Last night Stephanie and I watched some of the VH1 special Top 100 Songs of the 90's. It was pretty fun remembering all the songs that in many ways defined our teenage years.

The top 5 songs were...
01. Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
02. U2 "One"
03. Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way"
04. Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"
05. Madonna "Vogue"

Some other notables are...
07. Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time"
15. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
29. Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby"
35. Oasis "Wonderwall"
44. The Fugees "Killing Me Softly With His Song"
45. Hootie & the Blowfish "Only Wanna Be With You"
56. L.L. Cool J "Mama Said Knock You Out"
59. Weezer "Buddy Holly"
75. Kris Kross "Jump"
80. Right Said Fred "I'm Too Sexy"
93. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories "Stay"

You can view the entire list here. I'd love to kno…

Merry Christmas from the Balvin's 2007

Christ - Greek - Savior
Mas - Latin - Worship

Christmas - Worship of the Savior

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday.

I Hate Afternoon Naps

Jacob and Izzy climbed into bed around 8:45 tonight. It is 10:31 and Jacob is still whimpering and Izzy is talking away. They have come downstairs for hugs and kisses numerous times, had drinks, been tucked and re-tucked in, and have even tried sleeping in the same bed until they got into a fight over a stuffed animal.

I am trying very hard not to FREAK OUT! I hate afternoon naps. They jack up the whole sleeping routine.
They are now standing next to me. I am ignoring them. Jacob is saying, "Can't you hear us Daddy? He can't hear us (to Izzy). Daddy can you hear us?" "Dad, Dad, Dad!" "Can't you hear us?," both kids at least 88 times in a row.OMGosh, seriously? Now 10:35. I'm bring them back upstairs.

My advice: Use contraception. Always!

2008 Goals

Have you started thinking about your goals for 2008?

I am beginning to formulate a few thoughts. I am working to develop a some goals in the following areas...

- spiritual growth
- things to start doing
- things to stop doing
- my role as a father
- my role as husband
- my role as a leader/manager
- personal accomplishments and interests

We have all heard the saying, "If you shoot at nothing you will hit nothing." I don't want to hit nothing and be the same dude at the start of 2009 that I was at the start of 2008.

How about you?

They Must Be Crazy

It is early morning. I am waiting for my coffee to finish brewing so I can leave for work. When I backed my car out of the garage this morning I saw two people out for a morning walk. What the heck is wrong with these people? It is 6Am and about 2 degrees outside!


Jacob's First Wedgie

Tonight we had family wrestling match. After getting pummeled for awhile I took matters into my own hands and gave Jacob his first real wedgie.

He said, "Why did you do that dad? (laughing) Why did you do that? (laughing) You are weird!"

From Assembly of God to Covenant to Baptist to Non-Denom to Lutheran?

Tried out a new church in town this morning. It is a Lutheran church that meets in the high school auditorium. Probably around 200 people in the single service.

I had some inexplainable touching moments during the singing. The band was OK, the song selection and style were closer to what I am used to. The preaching was Bible based and they used a fun video to illustrate the chaos of Christmas time. The kids enjoyed their play area, though there are some security issues that I think need to be addressed.

Overall I would rate the experience a C+. I think we'll probably head back there again.

The Struggle to Find a Church that Fits

For the past 18 months Stephanie and I had been attending Church of the Open Door. We both loved the size, the teaching and the worship there. It was a church that fit us well. Since we moved to Northfield, however, we haven't been able to find a church that really excites us.

There are only a handful of churches here that we would consider attending because of their theology. That list narrows even more when we take into account the musical style that fits us best. Finally, almost all the churches here are very small and both Stephanie and I would like to be part of a church that is larger than 200. So what do we do?

There are a few churches that we would be open to trying but they are 20-30 minutes away. We've done the 'drive to church' thing (that was a big negative for me when we were going to Open Door) and we're not really pumped about doing it again. We'd like to be a part of something in our own community that we could invest in and be excited ab…

Building a Case from the Pens of the Past

I came across a large quotation of text this morning that stirred in me the need for another addition that must be made to my personal theological foundations undertaking. While there is little contention that the Bible is the very Word of God (though in more current times this belief has been under attack) it has also been long held in the tradition of the church that God continues to speak through the mouths and pens of his people.

Therefore, I think it would be both prudent and beneficial for me to supplement the Biblical supports for my beliefs with the material of proven, long-standing, and widely acclaimed Christian thinks, writers, and speakers. Here is such an example from the pen of Jonathon Edwards regarding the necessity of evil in the world:
There would be no manifestation of God's grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness soever he bestowed, his goodness would not be so much prized and admired, and the s…

My Personal Theological Foundations Undertaking

What do you believe? Really? When it comes right down to it-do you know?

And why do you believe that? Based on what - your feelings, emotions, past experiences, hopes, Biblical truth?

These are some of the thoughts I had tonight, wondering these things to myself. Then I thought of a project that I think would be very beneficial for me...and possibly for you. What I plan on doing in 2008 is generating a 'list of beliefs.' I want to write out the things I believe, respective to my faith in Jesus Christ and that faith's application to my life. Then I want to write out one or two sentences off the top of my head which explain why I believe what I do. Finally I want to make sure I compare what I believe to what the Bible teaches and straighten out any misalignments that exist.
Belief: I believe that Jesus Christ was lived a sinless life.
Explanation: Jesus had to live a sinless life if he was going to be a sacrifice for my sins. The Bible teaches this in many places.

Fun w/ Dad

Had a little fun with the kids today! The only let you upload four pictures so Mom got left over. Sorry babe.


(HT: Margo)

How Humbling Comes

Francis Chan is a pastor in California. My brother Aaron introduced me to his teachings last year. In the Fall of 2007 he was one of the speakers at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. He recently wrote an article for the Catalyst Monthly about pride and humility. Here are some of his 'tips' on staying humble.
Humbling comes when you stand before the One who knows everything about you. (Psalm 139:1)

Humbling comes when you envision Him as the Potter and yourself as clay. (Isaiah 45:9)

Humbling comes when you compare your age with a God who is eternal. ( Job 38:4, 18-21)

Humbling comes when you remember He can take your life before you read this verse. (Isaiah 2:22)

An Ugly, Ugly Mess

Hope you didn't spend too much time listening to the game tonight. It was another classic example of the physical dominance of Wisconsin teams over Bethel. Back when I played it seemed like Superior (and other teams) were simply too strong and banged us up all over the ice. Bethel has struggled to develop the type of toughness and crispness (with passing) that are necessary to compete with teams from the east.

Bethel Hockey Online

Bethel has a difficult test tonight against UW-Superior @ 7:05pm. The teams from Wisconsin are always big and strong and tough. You can listen to the game online by clicking here.

Becoming the Greatest by Being the Least

Three times in Mark 9 & 10 Jesus teaches about servant leadership: becoming first by being last. This is a wonderful Biblical teaching and ideal that many people in the Christian faith, I presume, would espouse to. It is also a wonderfully difficult truth to put into practice in a world where it seems the majority of people who rise in leadership do so through networking, brown nosing, manipulation, underhandedness and power-over strategies. The power-under servant leadership variety of Jesus requires a tremendous amount of faith for the person hoping to climb a corporate ladder or assure themselves of the opportunities they feel they deserve. There is a tremendously delicate balance between taking the reins for the assurance of our own success and allowing God to move through our humility and continued service to others.

Crossroads New Website

A few years ago I went to a financial stewardship conference at Willow Creek Community Church and I was introduced to Brian Tome, the senior pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Cincinnati, OH. Tome is a dynamic speaker whose authenticity and enthusiasm are contagious. For a long time the website of Crossroads failed to replicate the energy that their senior pastor gave off. However, they recently released a new site (and, finally, a podcast) that are very nice. Check em out.

The Developing Computer Skills of My Kids

Tonight Stephanie took Isabelle and Andrew on a quick errand. While they were gone I sat done to read a book but my attention was quickly drawn to the computer screen. My four year old was sitting on the chair in front of the desk with his feet hanging a foot and a half from the ground, playing computer games on

I was shocked as I watched him navigate the screen and follow the prompts he was given. Amazingly he knew how to manipulate the mouse to select and move things on the screen. He also knew how to identify and utilize the back arrow so that he could return to the main game option screen. These are skills he has developed almost completely on his own by watching Stephanie and I and trough trial and error. My three year old is close behind him, watching and learning from her older brother.

Bethel Hockey Recap

It's been a good last couple weeks for the Bethel Royals hockey team. Last weekend they swept a scrappy Augsburg team. Jeff didn't put up many points but his aggressive play inspired his teammates and made him a threat every time he was on the ice.

Royals shut out Auggies 5-0
JB stats= 0g , 0a, +0

Royals score four unanswered goals to beat Auggies 4-2
JB stats= 0g , 1a, +2

This weekend Bethel had another tough series against the St. John's Johnnies. Bethel was badly out shot each night, but their goalie played strongly and they held on to win Friday. Saturday night was much too close for comfort as it took a game tying goal with 9 seconds left to send the game to overtime and ultimately to a tie. Jeff had another great series, played tough and creating opportunities for the guys around him.

Fogerty, Damjanovich lead Bethel past St. John's 2-1
JB stats= 0g , 0a, 4 PIM, +0

Eastman's goal forces overtime, Bethel and St. John's tie 3-3
JB stats= 0g , 2a, +1

Season Total…

Quote the Raven: Ouch!

I think the Baltimore Ravens exhausted themselves last week against the Patriots. The game against the Colts tonight is ugly...currently 44-7 with 1:42 left in the 3rd quarter.

May I be in DC in May

For various reasons I've wanted to go to Washington DC the past two years. This May I might not be able to resist the urge. Ben Arment is a guy whose blog I've read for years and he's putting together a one-day conference event with some men who I could hear teach about Jesus all day long. He's calling it 'The Whiteboard Sessions' and if he announces Matt Chandler this week as one of the speakers I might be booking a flight that same day!

Its Tough to be a Kid

I keep having this reoccurring thought about how frustrating it must be to be a kid. It really hit home last night when I tried to put Jacob to bed. We were watching a kids Christmas movie when I decided to cut it short and put him to sleep. He was very upset and pleading his case to see the end of the movie.

It must be really tough to have such little say over what happens. Stephanie and I decide when to put the kids to bed. We decide when and what they can eat. Nobody decides those things for me. I sleep and eat when I want. We decide what we listen to in the car. If I don't feel like kids song, then despite their requests, we listen to something else. We decide what activities will take place and the kids simply have to deal with it.

I understand that as parents we have to make certain decisions. It is our job to teach the kids healthy habits and we have to protect them from making decisions that are detrimental to them. But I feel like I need to do a better job takin…