Showing posts from July, 2008

Making A Tough Phone Call at Work

Yesterday when I got into work the first thing I encountered was a note with some frustrating information on it. I can't really talk about the details (and they really don't matter) but what I want to write about is the conversation that I had with a colleague in another store.

If you've read this blog for a while you know that I usually have a tough time confronting others and expressing frustration or anger with someone else's behavior. In dealing with the note, one of these conversations was necessary.

In the past I would immediately make the call, in a frustrated state, and spit out a bunch of words that weren't thought out or clearly articulated. The common response to a confrontation like that, understandably, is anger and defensiveness.

Yesterday I took a different approach. This time, before reacting, I gathered as much info as possible, talking with my peer who had taken the original call. Then I made a list of the things I wanted to articulate; the list…

New Red Sox Hat

I finally bought a new Red Sox hat today. The one I've been wearing is over three years old and the navy blue has faded to a dirty looking gray. I bought it at Foot Locker with a gift card I've been saving since Christmas of '06!

Acts of Selflessness are Manly

The Art of Manliness recounts the amazing stories of two young men who gave their lives in military battle to save their fellow soldiers. You can read the two stories of incredible selflessness here. I am inspired by this quote from the post,
There will always be an escape, an avenue for retreat. What will you do when you are asked to step up? Will you cower in fear and flee? Or will you have the strength to do the right thing? A man can never know with absolute certainty how he will react in the moment of crisis, faced with such decisions. But you can decide each and every day, in your heart and your mind, what kind of man you want to be. You can decide that running away from challenges will never be an option. And you can strive each day to attain the values and training needed to become a selfless person. Then, when you are asked to sacrifice, you will not hesitate, making the honorable decision will be automatic.Every day, in every single decision we make, petty or grandiose, we …

Trusting in the Goodness of the Father

Isn't it wonderful when our children teach us about Jesus? Not that it is always fun, but the Holy Spirit doesn't waste a moment if you're just willing to listen.
ForIknow the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. - James 1:17 (ESV)Tonight Stephanie is working so I've been home with the kids. I wanted to do something fun with them so I planned out an exciting night that consisted of...

- going downtown to see the water fountain
- getting some ice cream
- playing at the playground
- picking up ingredients for dinner and having the kids help me prepare the food (including their favorites like guacamole and deviled eggs)
- and topping the night off with strawberry and banana smoothies.

Sounds fun doesn't it? Unfortunately things didn…

10 Keys to a Great Best Man Speech

I've been reading a blog called The Art of Manliness for a couple weeks now and it has been very enjoyable. Being that I've been around my fair share of weddings, and seen some good and some not so great best man speeches, I thought I'd share this post.
1. Prepare. 2. Stay sober. 3. Open by expressing gratitude.
4. Tell a story-make a connection.
5. Avoid controversial topics. 6. Avoid inside jokes.
7. Keep it short.
8. End with a quote. 9. Raise your glass and propose a toast. 10. Remember to be yourself.

Read the entire post here.

100 Push-Up Challenge Update

I should update you on my 100 Push-Up Challenge. Right now I am in the middle of week four and doing well. My biggest problem is getting all the work-outs in every other day. I have added a box on the right side of the page to track my push-ups. Yesterday's work-out put me over the 1,000 mark for the summer.

I also am trying to do some running. Finding time for that is tough. I am signing up for the Jesse James Days 15 K (9.32 miles) in September so I will need to start training for that very soon.

If you joined me in the Push-Up Challenge I want to encourage you. Stick with it. I hope you are seeing results. I sure am. You can ask my wife! :)

Sunday Sermon Recap

Just wanted to post a thank you to those of you who came and watched me preach on Sunday, and also to those of you who supported me in prayer. It was a blast to get up in front of my church and share what the Bible says about the physical, spiritual and symbolic roles of bread. The sermon was very well received and I garnered much positive feedback. Some things I heard included:

- nice delivery
- you have an anointing
- you NEED to be doing this
- you have a preaching voice and you say your 's' funny
- something you said made me remember the exact verse I needed to pray with someone

Why do I post those words? Not to toot my own horn (well not solely for that reason) but because it is so reassuring to hear that the sermon you prayed and labored over helped bring people closer to God. It is encouraging to find out how the Holy Spirit used your words in the life of another person. And it is motivating when someone says, like Paul said to Timothy, "Do not neglect the gift you…

9 Hopes and Prayers

Found this on The Village Church's website and I love it.
While travelling the country as a speaker, experiencing the challenges of itinerate ministry, Matt Chandler asked himself: "If I ever get the chance to invest in one group of people, what would I want them to learn in life?" In November 2002, Matt was called by God to become lead pastor of The Village. In his sermons, Matt expands upon the nine answers he wrote in his journal. His prayers for us, as a congregation, are:That we would see that the greatest problem in the universe is not mere moral failure – but a failure to honor God (Romans 1:21)That we would understand that discipline will never bring about love – but love always brings about discipline (Galatians 3:5)That we would realize that children of God are not under wrath – but mercy (Romans 9:23)That we would find that the fullness of all things – including life and joy – is in Christ (John 10:10)That we would experience a holy discontentment with where ou…

Churches Reflect Their Pastors

I was listening to a Matt Chandler podcast today no my way home from work. He was saying that that one thing pastors have to watch out for is that there churches will take on their personalities. Your strengths become your churches strengths and your weaknesses become your churches weaknesses. I think I can look back at my previous churches and see some of this concept operating there. As I ponder the possibility of being a full time pastor again I want to keep this idea with me.

What is Providence?

My friend Jon had a great post today calling into question the relationship of luck and providence. Then I found this old post I'd been saving in Bloglines for awhile.The most beautiful confessional statements of God's providence are found in the Heidelberg Catechism: What do you mean by the providence of God? (Question 27) The almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand. What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence does still uphold all things? (Question 28)
That we may be patient in adversity; thankful in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us fro…

My Thoughts on the All-Star Game

Quite a few people are talking about the MLB All-Star game Tuesday night. It was an amazing game that I think should go down as a classic in All-Star game history. One of the big debates, however, centers around the pitching situation. There were at least two pitchers who participated in the extra innings of the game whose regular season teams didn't want them to play because of pitching they had done previous to the game. I'm sympathetic to teams who want to protect the arms of their stars, but I think it sucks for the game that there was so much drama surrounding these pitchers.

Here is my solution. If a player is selected as an All-Star, either that player's team should work out their regular season rotation so that the player is well-rested going into All-Star break, or extra players should be added to the All-Star roster. If a pitcher is selected, but can't pitch, he should be treated just like an injured All-Star. he should go to the game, dress in his unif…

Tennis Balls and Jesus

Last week we transformed the Balvin home into Balvin Kennels as we cared for my brother-in-laws two dogs. One the dogs is a 3 or 4 year old Visla who was more obsessed with fetch than any dog I have ever seen. The dog would literally follow you around the house and yard with a tennis ball constantly in its mouth. Then, if you stopped for something, the dog would drop the tennis ball at your feet or side and simply stare at it, waiting for you to toss it away. The laser like focus was incredible. There was one thing, and one thing only, on the Visla's mind: "fetch."

made me consider what my life might look like if I thought about "Jesus" the way that dog thought about "fetch."

Softball Update - We Won!

We had a very exciting softball game tonight. Our team won 14-13! It was fun to get out and play again after taking last weekend off. I capped a 3 for 3, 4 RBI night (plus a sacrifice fly) with a run scoring single in the bottom of the sixth. Earlier in the game I stretched a double into an in-the-park home run thanks to a fielding error by the right-fielder. Throw in a few nice plays at third and I had an overall fantastic game.

I'm excited to watch the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday night! What a great sport!

Truth and Godliness

Since there are some Arminians who are more godly than some Calvinists and some Calvinists who are more godly than some Arminians, what is the correlation between true knowledge of God and godliness?Good question. Here is the short hand response: "Truth, known with the mind and loved with the heart, is the way God produces all godliness. John 8:32."

Then why do some people with a more true view of God act less godly, while people with a less true view of God act more godly?

Read the rest of the article to find out.

Slimming Down Bloglines Subscriptions

I just chopped my Bloglines subscriptions number down to 15. Since I've been using a feed reader the number of blogs I follow has varied and climbed to almost 60 at one point. I'm feeling like I just don't have the focus, need, time, or energy to keep following so many blogs. I trimmed it down to mostly family, friends, and a few guys around the country who I like to read.

To the Cabin, With the Kids, Alone!

Later today I am headed up north to my parents cabin with the kids. We are leaving Stephanie behind for some much deserved, and much needed, peace and quiet. I'm looking forward to having some fun with the kids, though I would appreciate your prayers so that I don't completely lose my mind.

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

Dads, futures dads, and all dudes ... Take 10 minutes and check this out!

Warning: Don't show this to many women - chances are they will disagree and want to argue with you about it!

HT: The Art of Manliness)

Sermon: The Role of Bread in the Bible

I am preaching at my church on Sunday, July 20. The title of the sermon is The Role of Bread in the Bible. Here is my tentative slide presentation. Any feedback?

100 Push-Up Challenge Update

In mid June I began the 100 Push-Up Challenge and so far things are going well. I have completed the firs two weeks of the training program and have already seen increased muscle strength and some muscle toning. If you click on the link on this page you will be able to see what my weekly regime looks like. All in all, I have done 410 total push-ups in six work-outs!

Saved by Belief or Belief by Being Saved?

This is sure to cause some controversy...
“A man is not saved because he believes in Christ; he believes in Christ because he is saved.”- Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Philadelphia, PA: P&R Publishing, 1965), 101.HT: Of First Importance