Archive for December, 2008

2009 Personal Goals


Every year I make a list of goals that I have for the new year.  Yesterday during our services, the last Sunday of 2008, we recounted where we have been and looked to the new year for things that we are setting as ministry goals.  I have 2 new focuses that I want to make happen this year at Impact.  You can hear them here.

Above and beyond ministry goals I believe personal goals are healthy.  Without a clearly defined goal there is no real telling as to where you are headed.  It was Abraham Lincoln that said,

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do and how to do it.

When I set goals I know how to plan my time and finances to reach for what I want to accomplish.  With the end in mind I can plan my journey.  Here is what I am looking to accomplish over the next year:


  • Use all of my vacation time
  • Hike 5 more NH 4000 footers 
  • Travel with the family to Philadelphia in April
  • Run a 1/2 marathon by July
  • Weight -195, current – 215
  • Monthly date night with Kim
  • Increase financial support to Global Benefit/Smyths
  • Sponsor 1 Rwandan child 
  • Stop checking email on days off and holidays/vacations
  • Have more fun with the girls -play games, walks, talks
  • Take more pictures 
  • Continue Daddy Dates with Megan every Friday morning
  • Gym 3x per week
  • Read 2 books per week
  • Increase time spent mentoring next-gen leaders
  • Write a book on leadership and youth ministry


I like accountability.  I like people to ask me how I am doing on different things that they know I am working on.  When others know what I am trying to accomplish and ask me about how it is coming it keeps me from slacking or choosing to put things off until later.  

Feel free to ask me how I am doing with these goals when you see me.  I enjoy the idea of accountability.

Bono on the Incarnation

Love this quote from Bono:

bono“I remember coming back from a very long tour…. On Christmas Eve I went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. …It had dawned on me before, but it really sank in: the Christmas story. The idea that God, if there is a force of Love and Logic in the universe, that it would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty… a child, I just thought: “Wow!” Just the poetry. Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. There it was. I was sitting there, and …tears came down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this. Because that’s exactly what we were talking about earlier: love needs to find form, intimacy needs to be whispered. To me, it makes sense. It’s actually logical. It’s pure logic. Essence has to manifest itself. It’s inevitable. Love has to become an action or something concrete. It would have to happen.  There must be an incarnation. Love must be made flesh.” – Bono

I would just add to what Bono said in that when love became flesh, love became knowable, power became knowable.  May you know this power and love the same way that He knows you.

Merry Christmas

This morning was different.  This morning the kids woke up and then woke me up (Kim was already downstairs getting dinner ready).  We sat around the tree and opened up a few small presents.  The onslaught of wrapping paper was minimal this year.  Part of the morning was a disappointment because the excitement of ripping into presents was short lived.  

I think this post is more for me today.  I feel like I needed to view this video and see the faces of those who have been blessed by my sacrifice (and the sacrifice of many others) again to recalibrate my thinking and gain the right perspective once again.  I am thankful that we don’t have credit card debt going into the new year because of excessive spending on gifts.  I am thankful that this year we were able to be generous to many others in our giving.  I am thankful that my family has a greater perspective on the world around us.  I am also thankful that there are many families in Rwanda that have and will continue to have access to fresh, safe, clean water.


I pray that each of you have a fantastic day, whether you are at home, traveling to see family or serving in a shelter or soup kitchen.  Merry Christmas to you all.  I also pray that each of you have found new ways to creatively meet the needs of others around you.  May this Christmas be a season that is less about blessing yourself and more about how you can be a blessing to those who have so little.

Holding Fast


I’ve found myself so wrapped up in leadership and ministry books over the last few years that I have pushed aside any time for fiction or documentary.  One book recently grabbed my attention.  With my interest in mountaineering and my love for adventure I thought I would would take a bit of time to read Holding Fast by Karen James.

This book tells the story of Kelly James, a climber who lost his life on Mount Hood while climbing with some friends.  While the author, Kelly’s wife, spends some time outlining the life of Kelly and giving the reader insight into who he was as a person you become more and more interested to continue reading.  Through research and conversation with rescue workers Karen was able to piece together the final days and hours of her husbands life.  

The real takeaway for me in reading this book is the true need for community in our lives.  Without people to surround ourselves with we will have a much harder time making it through personal tragedies.  In addition, and even more important than the community aspect is prayer.  Karen had an incredible network of people around her that were praying for Kelly and his two friends who were stranded on the mountain in the middle of an intense storm.

To read of this tremendous loss and see how Karen has been able to make it through serves as an encouragement to me.  I know that the community that I belong to will hold me up should a time come when I face a tragedy.  The power of prayer is evidenced throughout this book.  Faith is a necessary part of each of our lives.  It was Karen’s faith that kept her going and it is her faith that will keep her going.

If you have the need for a good book during this winter season I would recommend picking up a copy of Holding Fast.

Found The Perfect Gift Yet?

If you are still looking for just the right gift for your man and still don’t have a clue for what to get I give you the solution: Mandles!

I will say my honest favorite would have to be burrito fart…  Sorry, it’s Monday and I don’t think on Mondays.


Thanks to Stuart for the HT on this one.



A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how much I love what I do.  Last week while at Disney World we spent some time at Downtown Disney.  While trying to avoid the rain that was falling that morning we ducked into Goofy’s Candy Shop and met Earl.  Earl is from New York and loves all things Disney.  Earl also loves making sweets.

Have you ever sat and watched someone work before?  I don’t mean like a state worker that leans on a shovel as others work around him, I mean actually watched someone work?  I stood for about 10 minutes watching Earl prepare chocolate covered cookies.  He actually brought a smile to my face.  Earl loves what he does!  He was smiling and softly laughing as he tucked the chocolate covered cookie into a bed of M&M’s.  He treated each cookie as if it were a new born baby, gently tucking it into it’s candy coating covers.

Kim thought I was nuts to watch the guy work for as long as I did and to be honest it may have started to creep out Earl when I started taking pictures of him as he worked.  I couldn’t help it.  Watching Earl enjoy the work that he was doing brought joy to me.  

On that same day I had journaled in Philemon verse 7

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Now, I know that Earl was just making cookies with chocolate and M&M’s but there was something spiritual going on as I watched him work.  He knew that what he did mattered and he did it with great care.  He knew that the people who ordered those cookies were expecting something great – and Earl gave them something great.  Not just a cookie, but the joy of seeing someone who loved doing what they do.

I pray that each of you enjoy what you do.  I pray that you find great satisfaction in the work that you find yourself at this week.  I also pray that if you do not, that you would find something in your life that you could do that would bring you joy; that you would serve in an area that you are passionate about.  Here’s to you Earl! For the simple reminder that what we do matters to someone.

Power Returns

After almost 5 full days we have power back on at our house.  Kim and I have been so thankful for the many friends who have offered help and a place for a shower or a meal.  Here’s a photo tour of the roads directly around our house.

This is Elm St – our road.


This is Carter Hill Rd.


and here is West Parrish Rd.


All look familiar, as the trees all cross the roads and land on the power lines.  The pattern I see here reinforces my belief that pine trees are a waste and should all be cut down and removed.  Let’s just grind them all down and send them off to a pulp plant somewhere – just keep them off my power lines!

With power restored I am a happy camper as I prepare for Heroes tonight!

Disney Last Day

On our last day it was really special because it was also daddy’s birthday.  We went to Magic Kingdom and rode on all the rides that we hadn’t done before.  Makenna had Pepe wrapped around her finger and he carried her everywhere.  She also drove a car – not very well, with mommy.


We fooled around for a while and daddy said we were a bunch of animals so I thought this picture was fitting.


Lunch was special.  We ate in Cinderella’s Castle!  Daddy even got a picture with Snow White for his birthday.  The food was awesome.  Everyone called me princess or “my lady” and they kept saying, “my lord” to daddy – that was weird!


Our final ride all together was one that daddy had been avoiding all week but we got him on it.  Yes, it is a small world after all.


These last pictures were taken as we were getting home on our last night.  The picture of the pool is just here to make Miss Margaret jealous some more.


Disney Day 4 & 5

We didn’t have free wifi at the resort so daddy said I had to wait until we got home to post any more pictures.  When we got home we had no power!  So sorry for keeping you all waiting but it will be worth it.  We had a blast at Disney World.  I had the best time with my family!  Here are the pictures you have been waiting for.

My daddy is really goofy!  I had a lot of fun with him.


At Hollywood Studios we had Mr. Potato Head talk to us as we waited in line for the 4D game they had.  It was cool to go on that ride.  Daddy beat us all in the shooting game with a huge high-score.


We made it to the Tower of Terror and I went on it.  Mommy took this picture of me.  I wasn’t so glad to have gone on that ride.  It really freaked me out.  We fell 13 stories and it was dark.


We got to see the live show of HSM3 and they even grabbed Makenna out of the crowd to go up and dance with them.  She did some hand rolling as she walked around in a circle with one of the dancers.  It was awesome!


The next day we went to Epcot and met a bunch of the characters.  I had a few favorites.  Mary Poppins (she even said, “supercalafragilisticexpealidocious”) Belle, and Chip & Dale.


Disney Day 3


We went to Animal Kingdom today!  First we had breakfast with Mickey, Goofy, Donald & Daisy.  They came right to our table and signed my autograph book!

We went on a safari and I got to see a meerkat – I named him Timon, like in the Lion King.  We also saw some tigers and the Tree of Life.  It was cool to see so many animals carved into the tree.


Daddy & I went on the Kali River Rapids and instead of getting wet we got soaked.  I was not happy!


Then we rode on Expedition Everest.  I hid my head through most of the ride.  I told daddy it was terrifying.  He was just proud of me because I went on a ride that many grown men wouldn’t go on.


We went and saw Jiminy Cricket, Pooh, Eyeore, and Tigger.  He  was funny.  He kept bouncing when we were trying to take pictures with him.  It was really warm today.  We wore flip-flops (Mommy told me that I had to say that to make Miss Margaret jealous 😉 )