Worshiping the “Magnificent”!

•March 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This song from U2s new recording “No Line On The Horizon” just blows me away. Pure worship!

Check it out!

U2 “Magnificent” on The David Letterman Show



I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after I haven’t had a clue
Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love unites our hearts

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent

Happy Thanksgivng

•November 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I had a great Thanksgiving with my wife’s family. Besides eating too much we hacked a trail through the thick underbrush of an Alabama forest. Lots of fun & hard work.

BTW fried turkey is the best!

I’m thankful for so much really. Family, friends, my wife & kids, a great place to live, a job that is very fulfilling & faith in Jesus. Of course the list could go on – health, technology, good music, etc. but to keep a thankful heat is sometimes a challenge. I think a key is to remember that what I take for granted, many do not even have. I’m so blessed & today I’m thankful. God help me be more thankful 365 days of the year.

Here are some facts about Thanksgiving :

280 million turkeys sold in the U.S. for Thanksgiving celebration.

13.1 pounds of turkeys consumed by the typical American, with a large part of that done at Thanksgiving time.

272 million turkeys’ give or take a few were raised in U.S. in 2007.

1.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes produced in 2006.

690 million pounds of U.S. cranberry produced in 2007.

99 cents cost per pound of a frozen turkey in December 2006

1 billion pounds of pumpkin produced in 2006.

Seems like this would make a good Thanksgiving cooking device.

•November 19, 2008 • 1 Comment
Awesome grilling machine.

Awesome grilling machine.

President Elect Barack Obama

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Breaking the blog silence!!


Last night I watched history being made as the citizens of the United States voted in a new President. While many are upset and many others are elated, the historical significance really is unprecedented. I watched as tears streamed down the faces of many in Grant Park in Chicago and felt the emotion of the moment for myself. Granted there may be much to be concerned about (In my opinion this is true with any election and any president and any government.), but the realization of MLK Jr’s dream is most definitely amazing.

It’s very easy to forget that less than 50 years ago no African American was allowed to vote. Just short a generation ago many African Americans were segregated from whites in public schools, transportation, restrooms, restaurants and other public places. While we still have some levels of segregation in areas (like neighborhoods just to name one area) – the problem is much better than it’s been in our past. Let’s continue this progress and celebrate the historical significance of the fact that last night our nation elected an African American man to serve as its next President.

“It would be an understatement to call this a watershed cultural moment in our country’s history.” (quote from Justin Taylor’s blog and inspiration for this post)

Let me give you an important reminder from Romans 13. As President, Barack Obama has God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God and respect him in his role. This passage also says that God put him in this position. So no matter who you voted for or if you voted – If you claim to be a Christ-follower, this is our calling.

1 Timothy 2 gives us a specific mandate to follow for those who are believers in Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)   1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

  • We are to pray for Barack Obama.
  • We are to thank God for Barack Obama.
  • We are to pray that his leadership will allow us to live in peace.
  • Our lives are to be characterized by godliness and holiness (I believe this includes our response or reaction to the election).

BTW – check out the why of this mandate (God’s ultimate goal for humanity).

While this may be the end of an era, it’s not the end of the world. So pray, take courage and trust our God who “establishes authorities” over us – Romans 13. Put your hope in Him and pray for His rule and reign in your heart.

Brilliant N.T. Wright quote

•April 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I was reading an article in Newsweek where N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, is interviewed. Along with his responces to questions about the Resurrection of Jesus,the church and even the Qur’an – Bishop Wright was asked about a meeting this summer where …the subject of gay unions and gay clergy will top the agenda. What do you think will happen?

I think it’s going to be messy. It’s already messy. It’s not clear quite what the Lambeth Conference (The Lambeth Conference is held by the global Anglican Church that takes place every ten years at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is the one occasion when all bishops can meet for worship, study and conversation.) could say, let alone is likely to say, that will make things more sharply focused, more wholesome.

This is the task we have been set at the moment, and we have to address it. At the same time, I wish we could prioritize so that we were actually talking about issues of global justice and debt remission and global warming and so on. I mean, there’s something very bizarre about the rich arguing about sex while the poor are clamoring for justice.

That strikes me as an incredibly wise statement that we who follow the way of Jesus should take to heart. Man, to read it alone is very convicting.

“…there’s something very bizarre about the rich arguing about sex while the poor are clamoring for justice.– N. T. Wright

God help us to have the “mind of Christ” in living redemptive lives in our world.


So I’m thinking about getting another job.

•April 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw this article and I just might have to go for it. Imagine going 800 mph with a rocket strapped to your butt. Acceleratingly exhilarating!!!

Are you fearless? Do you a have razor-sharp reactions and the sponsor-friendly good looks of a young Robert Redford? Think you’ve got what it takes to drive a supersonic jet car at speeds of more than 800mph?

If so, you might be just the man (or woman) to take the wheel of the North American Eagle, a 42,500bhp jet car with everything it takes to smash the land speed record, says its maker, except one thing – a driver.

Last week the team behind a joint American-Canadian attempt to win the world record back from the British launched an open contest to find that person. Those not put off by Richard Hammond’s recent brush with a jet car are welcome to apply, provided they are between 20 and 40 years of age and have relevant experience in motor racing, flying or other extreme sports (clocking up speed-camera points doesn’t count).

Photogenic features would help in the team’s effort to attract sponsorship. So far applicants have included two pilots and a handful of boy racers. The field is wide open.

“When you throttle this car up, you know you’re going for a ride,” says Ed Shadle, 66, co-owner and creator of the North American Eagle (NAE), who is reluctantly giving up the driver’s seat. “It’s a lot of fun to drive. But if my age is stopping us getting sponsors, we have to remove that barrier. We’ll put some hotshot in the driving seat who looks like Robert Redford and see how that works.”

The 56ft-long jet car runs on solid aluminum wheels – rubber tires couldn’t handle the heat – and a single test session costs more than $18,000 in worn parts and burnt fuel. At full throttle the NAE burns 160 gallons of fuel a minute. It covers a mile in 4.5sec and is capable, says Shadle, of reaching 800mph (37mph faster than Thrust) from standing in 20sec.

The record attempt is planned for this autumn in the Black Rock Desert, which is one of the few places with a surface long and flat enough to accommodate the NAE’s six-mile stopping distance, even with its custom-designed magnetic brakes and two 8ft-wide parachutes.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to help team North American Eagle beat the competition, send a 400-word e-mail listing your credentials and a photo of yourself to landspeedracing@gmail.com. Be warned, though – Shadle is not entirely resigned to ceding his place in the record books to a young upstart. “I can always go and take the record straight back from them,” he chuckles. “Not a problem. We’ll show those young studs this old guy can still lay down a good run.”

Now that’s a job and I’m completely qualified. Might have to get to writing that essay.

For the full article go here.

Bubble Mountain

•April 15, 2008 • 1 Comment

Back when I was in high school we used to hang out in downtown Iowa City. There was a walking area there and a fountain – benches – etc. Lots of people gathered here because of it’s close proximity to stores, bars, theaters, etc. One night a few friends and I went to the grocery store and bought some liquid dish washing soap and some plastic bags. We put a bunch of soap in a plastic bag and one of the guys hid it under his jacket. We walked back through the down town walking area and tossed into the fountain and kept walking. We came back 30 minutes or so later and there was a mountain of foam that a few people were playing in and lots of others were standing around watching and laughing. Good memories.

I saw this Sony commercial and feel inspired to go find another fountain.

Do you have mad fighting skills?

•April 4, 2008 • 3 Comments

My confidence level is a little down today – only 19 that doesn’t seem like very many.

So how many five year olds could you fight?

I know that you’ve felt like it before. No? – try coaching t-ball or hosting a birthday party or having kids.

Fighting 5’s

My Story – Your Story (Is it a good story?)

•March 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Last week as I flew to Iowa and back for my Grandmother’s funeral I listened to a few messages on my iPod. One that’s been sticking with me all week was by Donald Miller (guest speaker at Mars Hill – Grand Rapids MI) about our lives as story. He talked extensively about what makes a great story. As you live your life are you living a great story? Are lives affected and people changed for the better because of you? Are you living out God’s purpose for you (what you were created for) or are you just pursuing safety?

I heard about a former friend of mine (I haven’t seen him in years) who threw everything he once cared about (his family & faith) for the pursuit of pure selfishness. Because of his actions his kids, extended family, wife, friends, & all he commits to in the future have his selfishness as part of their story. God calls us to more & better – to live beyond ourselves with purpose in relationship with God. We are part of God’s story – How are you living out your part?


Here’s a post I found on a Donald Miller website that he wrote where he describes life and the choices you make to make your life a great story.

New Years Resolution (Dec 25, 2006)

In the new year, I’ve resolved to write a better story. By better story, I don’t mean the kind you write on paper, I mean the kind you write by walking and talking and breathing.

I’ve been studying a book by Robert McKee about the art of writing screenplay. The book, called Story, instructs on building good stories, creating fascinating characters, keeping audiences interested and so on. I used to think Hollywood stories were not like life because life is more boring. To some degree, of course, this is true, as stories are synthesized. But by applying the same principles an editor applies to a screenplay to our lives, our living and breathing stories become interesting.

So the question is, what principles make a story good? And can we apply these principles to our lives?

Here are some things to consider as we begin a new year, a new chapter in our stories.

1. Great stories include characters that want something. They have dreams and aspirations. Stories with characters that don’t want anything are nearly offensive. These characters have no appreciation for the gift of life, or worse, they refuse to take responsibility.

2. The dreams and aspirations of the leading protagonist are good for an entire community. They are inspirational dreams, or desires for justice, the character is kind and humble and wants for the good of all around him/her. The character does not think too much or too little of themselves.

3. The protagonist does not run from the forces that oppose him/her. A good story has its lead character facing their internal or external fears. They do not live out of their fears, they live out of their dreams.

4. The protagonist overcomes their fears in order to achieve their dreams. They “write” their story daily, because they know what their story is about. They take action.

5. Truly great stories include mystery and the power of providence. The goodness of God seems to reach in and help the character because God loves the protagonist. And the protagonist is good at receiving this love. We see this in the lives of Joseph, Moses, Joseph and Mary, Paul, Peter, Zacheus and so on…

Of course, there are many formulas for good stories, but this is a great one. In the past month, I sat down and wrote down my dreams, what I wanted, and I also wrote down my fears. I know now what I want, and what I have to overcome to get what I want. I know how to pray and I want to ask God to be with me on the journey. The story may not work out in the end. Many stories do not. But at least it won’t be boring….and by “it” I mean “life.” The one who burries his talents is scolded, afterall.

All the best to you as you seek to write a great story. All the best to you in the new year!

Don Miller

From what I understand, Donald Miller’s message is a distillation of his forthcoming book Story: Why Some Lives Make Sense and Others Don’t. Sounds like it will be another great book.

You can listen to his message by clicking the link below:

Donald Miller – “Story” (mp3, Mars Hill website)

War – Peace – Justice – Regret – Rememberance – Hope

•March 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

“The past is prophetic in that it asserts that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. How much longer must we play at deadly war games before we hear the plaintive numbered dead and maimed of past wars?”
– Martin Luther King Jr


Should we also include the approximately 600,000 civilian executions, 100,000 murdered Kurds, 500,000 Iraq/Iran war casualties, and 400,000 children dying before age 5 of preventable malnutrition, all of which occurred during Saddam Hussein’s regime?

War – Death – Pain – Suffering – Hatred – Loss
What is the price of peace?

But, what about the 8 million Iraqis who voted in the last election. 8 million people who risked their lives because they believe in the right to be free. The right to self-determination. Women, who had not been given the right to vote, had the opportunity to have their voices heard. Young girls now have access to education … something that wasn’t allowed in the last regime. Young men sign up to become Iraqi Police, because they believe the right to freedom is worth protecting. All of these people have come from the shadows of a dark dictatorship and have taken the risk to very publicly demonstrate their desire to be a free people. What has prompted them to do this … the United States of America.

There are no easy answers. There is no simple solution. Should we just pull out and let the Iraqi’s figure out their own chaos? Should we keep our military presence over there and police the Iraqi’s to ensure their freedom.
What we do know is that we must pray that the killing would stop and some sense of peace be gained.


Thoughts and photos taken from Shaun Groves Blog