Apr 30, 2008

here's to you, ASU

Today I turned in my final assignment at Arizona State, and now I be a college graduate :)

I'm graduating with a BIS degree in Religious Studies and Communications.

And you know what... I loved it

I loved mixing it up with professors that had hidden agendas, students who had massive misconceptions, and skeptics who had thousands of questions.

Goodbye ASU.

Hello loans.

Apr 25, 2008


Why are grown men being paid millions of dollars to play a child's recess game? And why did I care so much about who won?

tony parker and a high school brawl

This one time in high school I was at a party, and just about everyone there had drank too much. All the sudden these two guys start arguing, and since the party was taking place at a nice apartment, they decided to move the argument outside. So these two guys are fighting in the parking lot... and then one guy says something sassy to my friend Goran, and no lie, Goran knocks this kid out with a "flying knee". Ya... he jumped from about 4 feet away, aimed his Yugoslavian knee at this loudmouth's chin, and knocked him into sleepytime.

Here I am, just standing in a parking lot watching my friend Goran judo-knee a guy in the noggin... and a mini-van pulls up. A mini van. "Must be a mom and her kids" I thought... nope. It was something like nine teenagers, who just so happened to be friends with sleepytime guy.

They arrive at the scene, slamming their mini-brakes and skidding through the fight scene right in front of us.

My jaw is dropped. This isn't a scene you see every day! "Did that mini-van just e-brake through the fight crowd" I ask in awe?


And then it happens. The sliding door flies open, and emerging from the mini is this MASSIVE dude in a yellow Blink 182 shirt. (Ok, to put this is context, my favorite cd at the time was "Vulgar Display of Power" by Pantera. So this guy's a nerd). So I see a big fella running from a mini-van, and RIGHT AT ME.

I'm just a spectator.

But here he comes, and he's coming fast. Picture a runaway train with a clenched fist coming in your direction.

My jaw is still dropped... and Blink 182 guys swings his fist with everything he's got and punches Ryan Guard in the jaw.

And.................. I'm.................. out.

I wake up and yellow-shirt-guy is still punching me. Goran? Somewhere else... Party? Over. Me? Punching bag.

I get up eventually, with a fat bleeding gash that is currently a scar above my left eye (check it out some time).

I run from Blink 182 guy. And I run... and I run.

Blink 182 guy is 250+ pounds, so I get away.

I come back 20 minutes later to see where my friends are, and guess who's waiting for me?

Blink 182 guy.

What does he say to me as he's chasing me through the parking lot once again???

"You want some more?!"

Tonight, Tony Parker had 41 points and 12 boards against my beloved Suns.

Some time around the 3rd quarter, he scored like nine times in a row... and the picture in my head was of a massive man in a Blink 182 shirt, pounding away at an outmatched adversary. Over and over and over again. And then they started to come back, which made the beast ask once more "You want some more?"

What a long post to say: my Suns got beat down tonight...

Apr 23, 2008

26 elementary schools

Today I visited each of the 26 elementary schools in the city of Chandler, and I am very, very tired. A couple guys I know started a flag-football/cheerleading franchise for wee lads, and they needed some help getting the word out (and I needed a hundred bucks). I plotted out my course last night and thought "This should take about two or three hours, based on mileage, visit times, and Starbucks stops."

Six hours y'all... in my wife's Civic.

I miss my Mazda. And my back hurts from her ridiculously small clown car.

Apr 16, 2008

my wife

Lindsay woke up today at like 5:30am and worked for about 11 hours. She works four days a week, and they're usually not as long as this one, but today was a long one. So she's sleeping right now, because she worked so hard. And for that, and many other things, I love her, and I thought the blogging world should know :)

the gospel in the gospel

This weekend I'm teaching in a youth group out in California and they told me I can teach on any passage I'd like. That's actually more difficult than being given a specific direction, mostly because now I have to choose between a million "favorites". But I know what I am going to do, because I must. I have to teach on Luke 15. I just have to. I've done it before, and it's probably not my "best talk", whatever that means, but I can't not teach on it. Does that make sense? No it doesn't. It's my story, and yours too, but its mostly mine ;) It's the one that when I first read it I knew I'd never be the same. I'd never see God the same. And I didn't even know the context of the story that first time, and the context makes the whole thing explode with life and meaning. It has been called "the gospel in the gospel", because it's that good. It's so well known, and we all know that familiarity can neuter the power of a story (or relationship, or song, or...). But it's new to me every time I read it.

What does that to you? What makes you come alive every time you read it? Or what song does the same thing every time you hear it?

Apr 15, 2008


For the past six years I've created what was called a "30% Growth Plan" for whatever ministry I was overseeing at Cornerstone. The task was basically to plan out the steps it would take for our ministry attendance to grow by 30%. So, if my ministry was 100 students deep during my presentation, I had to talk about how I was going to get another 30 kids to come and stick by the end of the year. Just about every ministry had to do this.

Today I thought about this quote from Dallas Willard's "Divine Conspiracy" (which you must, must, must read... over and over again). He was talking about what a church that was determined to look like Christ would prioritize. He says that its a risky thing to inject a value like this one into your church. He talks about the effect it might have on something like a 30% Growth Plan:
"We may not soon have bigger crowds around us- and in fact they may for a while even get smaller- but we will soon have bigger Christians for sure. This is what I call 'Church growth for those who hate it.' And bigger crowds are sure to follow, for the simple reason that human beings desperately need what we bring to them, the word and reality of The Kingdom Among Us."
This sort of backwards thinking doesn't seem popular in the church. Why not?

Apr 13, 2008


I am such a wimp.

When I get sick, it feels like the end of the world. I almost never get sick. I've had maybe seven headaches in my life. And when I do get sick it lasts about a day.

I've had some sort of stomach flu for the past few days...

My last post was "I can't sleep", which is ironic, because I can't do anything but sleep right now!

I am such a wimp.

Apr 10, 2008

can't sleep

I wish I never had to sleep. I remember reading something somewhere that said God designed us to need sleep to remind us that we aren't God and we need rest.

I used to have a really difficult time sleeping. I would get this strange thought in my head every night, one that I can't really describe, but it had something to do with how I would lay somewhere for eight hours but it would only feel like a few minutes. One minute you close your eyes, and one minute you open them, but they were closed for 480 other minutes... that freaked me out for some reason. I think that's when I started reading at night. It put me to sleep. But now reading keeps me awake (if I'm digging the book).

What puts you to sleep? What keeps you awake?

Apr 9, 2008

music theme park

One of my best buds growing up was a guy named Lonnie. His older brothers were really cool guys, always with the pretty girls, killer jump-shots and all that. His oldest brother Marty came up with an idea for a theme park that would have a musical theme... and the brotha went for it.

Decades Music Theme Park would have different areas designated for different decades- 50's, 60's, and so on...

It would be in Eloy (where?) which is 45 minutes south of my house and like a stone's throw from Tucson. I hope it works out! The Thunderstruck roller coaster looks like a good time.

Apr 8, 2008

mike yaconelli

Oh man, this is so good. I feel like I should put up a disclaimer saying something like "The views and opinions expressed in this video are not necessarily shared by the owner of this blog" but... that wouldn't be very courageous, now would it? Mike wouldn't have fit in well at my grandparents fancy dinners. I think Jesus must have just snatched him up because he couldn't stand to be away from him any more.

Apr 6, 2008

recent sermon

Just tinkering around with LastFM, seeing how I can upload audio to the blogworld. Works like a charm!

Ryan GuardRomans 6

Apr 3, 2008

Back On My Feet

This is a great story from CNN about a woman in Philadelphia who connected her passion with a much bigger purpose. It's good to know that Shane Claiborne isn't alone in Philly.

Check it out


Cavity count: zero

Apr 2, 2008


Tomorrow morning I return to the place where I endured the most excruciating physical pain in my 29 years. Worst than when I:

Was hit by a car and hospitalized for three days
Was beat up by the Gilbert High School varsity basketball team my senior year
Had my appendix revolt in my stomach (I thought it was Denny's food poisoning)

But none of them compared to the anguish I experienced in the chair of my dentist during my last check-up.

It was a routine checkup- an average filling- a beautiful day outside. But I literally screamed like someone was chasing me with a spartan laser!!!

What was the worst physical pain you ever experienced?

buy my car!

It's official, this is the best deal on any car anywhere. It's the lowest price of any 2006 Mazda6 I could find. It's in perfect shape. And it's got a Cornerstone sticker on it. What else could you possibly need?

Buy me

So that I can buy this: