Oct 16, 2008

bye bye blogspot

I'm moving over to wordpress.

I'll be at ryanguard.net so come on over and check it out.

farewell blogspot.

new creation

I know this video has been pretty viral, but I wanted to showcase it here too! So good.

New Creation from FC Post on Vimeo.

Oct 15, 2008

about a baby

About 7 months ago, while I was working at Cornerstone, I got a call from a very concerned woman. She didn't go to Cornerstone but she needed to talk to a pastor. She connected with me because she was concerned for her granddaughter who was a high school student, and I was the high school pastor.

Her granddaughter Chelsea was 15-years-old and had just become pregnant. To make things worse, she was about to get an abortion. Here's a portion of the email I sent out to our church staff after my first conversation with Chelsea:

"I got a call today from the grandmother of a 15-year-old girl who is pregnant. She is heavily considering getting an abortion, and to make things worse, her mom thinks it is a great idea. Apparently her mom and even her grandmother have both had abortions in the past. The grandmother and mom are pulling her in two different directions on this one. At first, her grandmother asked the pregnant girl (Chelsea) to meet with a pastor. Chelsea said absolutely not, but a few days later she called her grandmother in tears and agreed to meet with one. So I got a call just now from grandma, who put me in touch with Chelsea. Chelsea agreed to meet with me on Thursday to talk about everything. Apparently her mom is pressuring her to make a quick decision, even recommending that Chelsea end the pregnancy tomorrow. Chelsea told me on the phone that she won’t make any decisions until after we talk on Thursday. She seems very much in favor of getting the abortion."

So I asked for prayer, and did my best to prepare for our conversation a few days later.

I can imagine what their thoughts and conversations must have been like on the way there.

"Maybe this is the best thing for the baby."
"I'm just not ready to be a mother."
"Maybe we'll just go ahead and do this today before it gets any harder."

Here's the second email I sent my team:

"I got a call from Chelsea's grandma (who has been opposed to the abortion the whole time). Chelsea's mom, who has been pressuring Chelsea to get an abortion quickly, set up an appointment for her today at an abortion clinic she found online. Chelsea agreed to go with her mom, saying that she would at least listen to them... but saying she didn't want to get an abortion today.

So they get in their car, on their way to the abortion clinic. They arrive, and the first person they see is a woman who is from Cornerstone. Why would they see a woman from Cornerstone at an abortion clinic? Good question... The mom had made a mistake. She searched online for an abortion clinic, but to her dismay she accidentally located the CHANDLER PREGNANCY CENTER which is a CHRISTIAN Pregnancy Center that exists to help young women handle unplanned pregnancies.

It gets better. After realizing their mistake, they still agree to hang out and listen to what the Chandler Pregnancy Center has to say about abortions (they are very gentle by the way). After watching some videos and listening to the details about abortions, Chelsea left feeling absolutely opposed to the abortion plan. Not only that, her mom apologized to her for ever having pressured her to get one. She told her daughter that it is completely up to her what she does with the baby!!!

I was upset before I learned this because I was planning on asking Chelsea to go and visit that very same clinic... but we weren't meeting until Thursday night at 6:00, and the clinic is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I knew that waiting the entire weekend was way too long. So God went ahead and did what only he can do.

Chelsea said she still wants to meet with Lindsay and I on Thursday. She said she wants to talk more about some of the options that the clinic told her about. As best as I can tell, it sure does look like this baby is on its way!!!"

Chelsea and I actually got to share this story at a banquet for the pregnancy center a month later, and this past Sunday she had her baby dedicated at Cornerstone.

Oct 14, 2008

are you fat?

I got to have lunch with a guy named Fred Morse today. Fred has been working in church ministry for over 40 years. It was awesome to share a table with him for an hour.

He told me that I will speak to the masses as a pastor, but that I will have the greatest impact by focusing in on just a few lives. He told me to find a few fat guys to pour into, which was a whole lot funnier to hear him say than it is to read me writing it!

"Fat friends are faithful, available, and teachable."

Are you fat? Are the people you're leading fat? Do you like acronyms as much as me?

Oct 13, 2008


I played 18 rounds of golf this morning for a "pastor's appreciation" tournament... and I was horrible. horrible. horrible.

And then I played in our first softball game tonight and we lost, and I was horrible again.

This was my worst day of sport-playing ever!!!

I am sitting here in awe of my badness.

Anyone wanna play some Scrabble on Facebook with me?


Oct 9, 2008

we we our we our we we we us we we us our we

The confusing title is the exact order in which John unleashes these plural pronouns in the first four verses of 1 John.

Fourteen of them in 4 verses. It seems a little bit redundant, doesn't it? Perhaps a bit excessive?? We, we, our, we, our, we, we, we, us, we, we, us, our, we...

But then I remembered the story of Ephesus.

Just 70 years before John moved there, a small group of Christians moved in, and God used that small pack of Jesus followers to turn the entire massive city around. A group of people committed to living out this new way of life, smack dab in the middle of the scariest, nastiest, sex-crazed'iest, goddess-worshiping, self-castrating, erotic festival attending community of people that you can imagine.

But things had changed as we know. It wasn't just John. It wasn't just one man with one story. It was a WE story. To John, it was an US story.

I can just picture him writing this opening paragraph; maybe looking up and down the street he lived in while writing this from his home in Ephesus. Maybe he was with some friends. Maybe they were sharing stories. And John, who had all the authority that anyone could ever have, couldn't help but mention that it was a group effort. It was a group experience.

I'm so grateful that it is a group thing, and not a lone ranger thing.

Oct 7, 2008

is that in Newport?

Every time someone talks about something being in Newport, I can't help but ask, "Is that in Newport?"

Here's why!

Oct 6, 2008

domain name

I have been TORN between a few domain names... wanting to ditch the blogger account pretty bad. I have a Wordpress blog set up, but I just can't decide on a domain... will someone hack into ryanguard.com and steal it for me? God will forgive you. In fact, he already has ;)

Any ideas?

Oct 4, 2008


how many drafts do you have saved in your blog? sometimes i write these ranting manifestos of madness late at night, usually to just save them into the "drafts" category for no eyes to see but my own.

do you write things and delete them? do you have a hard time articulating what's going on upstairs, or maybe a filter that just won't let your thoughts come all the way through to the publish button?

do you tell everyone what you really think?

i usually don't hit publish because i occasionally come to disagree with my own rantings... but isn't that all a part of the process of maturing?

i need to be a better journaler...

on my face

A few years ago I skateboarded out onto the patio of my church as all of our students were arriving for the Wednesday night gathering. As soon as my 6'3" awkward body came into full view of everyone my skateboard decided to remove itself from underneath me. It was like someone had tied it to a plane that was taking off... and I was AIRBORNE! I came crashing down in front of everyone, and played it off by laughing as hard as I could and them stumbling away.

Last night I was walking towards a group of students, separated only by a two-foot wall. They saw me coming, and watched as I started to hop over the itty-bitty wall. But my right foot didn't quite make it... instead, my toe caught, which sent me spinning forward, crashing my shin into the aforementioned wall, giving the inertia of my tumbling body enough of a boost to send me into a complete cartwheel. And I just laid there on my back, wondering if God hated me.

Two-foot tall wall... I have a huge lump on my shin, not to mention the emotional scars.

Oct 2, 2008

love and legacy

I just spent the past four days with the Calvary pastors at Hume Lake's annual Pastor's Conference. We actually played hooky from most of the planned programs so that we could hang out as a team. We spent most of our time talking about the strengths of each and every one of our teammates. It... was... awesome. I'm not just saying that. I mean, it was remarkable. I am so grateful to be on a team that loves one another as much as these people do, and that has a legacy of building relationships and ministries as powerful as the ones that are on display here.

Tomorrow night at Calvary we have an event aimed at drawing hundreds of high school students to Calvary's campus. We have all sorts of lures in the water for this one. I'm supposed to take the stage for about 7 minutes to explain that we are a community of people that wants to journey through life with everyone in attendance. I'd rather say that we are a group of people who are convinced that the 2,000-year-old teachings of a Jewish rabbi have demolished our previously held worldviews and left us completely dissatisfied with any and all competition, oh and that our world is screwed up, and that they are way too smart to fall victim to the same old lies, and that change is possible, but that none of the candidates on TV can deliver the type of change that we need. And that our way of life is better, but that they will never know that unless they come and taste and see that there is nothing better than Jesus.

Sep 29, 2008

hume lake

Heading up to Hume Lake in an hour for their annual pastor's conference. I've been to a few of these in the past at Hume, but always to the "youth pastor" ones. I guess I'm growing up.

I don't even know what to hope for. I really don't even know what I need. I haven't slowed down long enough to listen to myself. I don't even know what that last sentence means...

The speaker has the beastliest goatee I've seen in a while (how did my spellchecker not underline "beastliest" just now?). I hope that his messages are at least as compelling as his goatee. Worship is being led by a married couple, which has me a little bit worried.

The conference could be wretched but it'll still be sweet hanging with my team for the week! We'll just sit in the back and make fun of everyone if it's boring (like my back row kids on Wednesday nights).