May 29, 2008

saying goodbye

I've lived here my entire life; 29 years right here in this patch of sand.

I only know in part what my wife must feel immensely, what it is to leave a place so familiar. What it is to leave home.

This is where I live. This is home for me.

I'm ridiculously excited about what is to come, don't get me wrong... but I can't shake this feeling. It feels like... mourning.

I'll probably never be back. My life will never be the same.

My wife must be a very strong person, because this is difficult.

I'll miss my family, and my friends, and all of the incredible students.

I'm about to go do life with a brand new bunch of people... but I'm sure that won't diminish what I feel for this place or these people.

Good stuff.

May 28, 2008

man camp

I'm heading out to California for the weekend to attend MAN CAMP with my new church. Check out one of the videos the guys on the staff put together.

You can see the others over HERE if you think that one's funny.

Looking forward to hanging with all the guys on the team and the other brothas that come too!

May 27, 2008

May 26, 2008

follow the leader

If you're a church worker, you've probably heard of John Maxwell. He's like a superhero in the Church. I love the guy. He won me over at a Catalyst Conference a few years ago. More on that later...

John has written like 25 books on leadership. He's a guru on the subject. I own like seven of his books. I like them. They're good. Read them.

But lets be honest: some of these pastors that specialize in "leadership" are lousy pastors. They're good at leading, but nobody wants to follow them. They don't even seem to like the people they are leading, or God for that matter. They're great with charts and graphs and procedures, but they are horrible shepherds. They have scripts and cliche' statements that they use to make it seem like they care, but anyone with an ounce of discernment can see right through it all.

But John isn't in that category.Well, based on what he said at this conference, I'm assuming he's not. He said something like this:
The only thing that matters is the type of person you are becoming. Focus all of your attention and energy on that, and all of this other stuff will come with it.
He said this while sitting on a stool in front of 15,000 pastors... and he was sobbing. Not like fake, Emmy Award winning tears, but as far as I could tell very genuine tears.

I know we have a job to do. I know we have people to lead, and we need structure and vision and training and systems and leadership principles to follow... but more than that we need to be pursuers of Jesus. This has been my focus- my breath of fresh air these past few months. I'm starting over. I'm being reminded what is most important.

The quote in this picture I took is from "Hearing God", by Dallas Willard. Read it a few times :)

May 22, 2008

caption contest!

This is one of about 50 ridiculous shots from a little bowling adventure last Tuesday. I still have no idea how that happened!

May 21, 2008

business cards

Did some digging and found a website with 42 alternatives to boring old business cards.

Check it out HERE!

I can think of about a dozen cool ways to use ideas like these in the church.

Halloween Party...
Black and Orange balloons...

Or maybe an air freshener for a teaching series on how to keep things fresh in your walk with God?
Someone probably already thought of that...

May 20, 2008

go west, young man!

So, I've got some big news!

I accepted a position in the high school ministry at Calvary Church of Santa Ana!!

Linds and I fell in love with this church and the staff right away. They've got huge hearts, an amazing reputation, and a really compelling vision! We'll be joining a team that already has a thousand amazing things going for them. We haven't nailed down a start date, but I think we're aiming for June 22nd. That's their promotion Sunday, so... I'll be new and scared, the incoming freshmen will be new and scared, and it will be perfect :)

We're definitely sad to say goodbye to our amazing friends in AZ. We love you guys so much, and you are all invited to come and visit us any time! We may be in an apartment for a little while, so you might be on the couch, but who cares?!?! We're like ten minutes from the beach, and Disneyland, and I'm sure a million other things.

Much more info to come!

May 17, 2008

a way with words

I love when my wife shares her heart with the blogworld.

May 13, 2008

So, last night I was walking Bella and...

true story.

Never a dull moment in the life of Ryan Guard.

Maybe God has something up his sleeve in this whole thing...

the Palm Treo

So I renewed my contract with Sprint a couple months ago and got this

It looks sweet, right? I needed something that would sync up with my calendar and email and all that, and it does.

But it is a lousy phone! Why?

It picks up EVERY single background noise within fifteen feet, and amplifies that noise by about 100 decibels.

So, If I'm sitting on my couch and I've got a load of clothes in the washer, people think I'm out white-water rafting. I've had some long phone calls and tried to sneak into the bathroom a few times... busted every time. That's embarrassing folks! But do you know when it's the worst?

When I'm on a phone interview with a church. The Palm Treo is my talking stain...

May 11, 2008

kingdom vs. candles

In the previous "Drop it Like a Tot" post I responded to a comment that had been made, and in my response I created a little scenario. It might be a good idea if you go read that really quick, and then come back and read the rest of this. So go ahead :)

Welcome back. So, Lindsay and I have been attending SSCC for the past couple of months while we wait to see where God is going to land us. I've been friends with the youth pastors for a while now, and I met with their senior pastor last year to talk about partnering with him on some amazing stuff they've put together.

All that to say: my scenario came to life today. After a sweet morning of worship, the pastor Mark said:
"We usually give the moms of SSCC a nice candle or some flowers as a gift on Mother's Day. But... candles melt, and flowers eventually wilt, so we thought that we would do something that would last a little longer, and would reflect the hearts of our moms. So... we decided to buy beds for the women and children living at The House of Refuge, because right now many of them have to sleep on the floor. We thought that you guys might appreciate that more than a candle, so we bought the beds on your behalf, using the money that we would have used for your candles or flowers."
Linds had read my little scenario, and so we both looked at each other as he was talking and made faces like, "Are you kidding me??" I hate seeing Lindsay cry... except in moments like this, when the tears are from an overwhelming sense of joy. It was awesome.

And tonight, about 70 moms and 140 children are sleeping in beds, and not on the hard floor, because the Kingdom of God is alive and well.

May 10, 2008

How do you remember that?

I get that question pretty often from relatives or from anyone I might be talking to about my childhood... I have some really vivid, yet completely random memories about growing up. I can remember a few things as early as four years old... sort of like snapshot memories with a pretty descriptive subtitle.

And I can typically retain most of what I read these days, so I'm good for a quote or two. Its the same with movie lines. You might say some word, any word really, and it will instantly push a button in my brain that triggers a movie line, or a memory, or something else like that. But while I think about it, I'm horrible with directions (Lindsay is my little road map sitting shotgun), so I have a somewhat selective memory I guess.

But I've got nothing on this lady.

Would you consider this a blessing or a curse?

May 6, 2008

drop it like a tot

The Church is pretty desperate to reach the masses these days, so much so that they have tried just about every gimmick imaginable. We get Christian celebrities to come speak at our churches, helicopters to come drop Easter eggs, we give away Hummers and Harleys, we make it snow in the desert, we hand out door prizes, free dinners, and trips... not to mention a million other creative ideas. Now I'm not saying they're all bad ideas (although I am saying that they are gimmicks). But there's one gimmick that I haven't seen here yet. It's actually more of a ritual, sort of like communion or baptism...

But not quite.

It's only a matter of time before we see... the baby drop.

May 4, 2008

Dear diary

Well here we are, 26 days before the severance package ends. I thought that by now I would have landed a job, sold the house, and saved the day. But so far... no such luck. For those of you that own a house in Arizona, you know that this is no longer something to be excited about. I think that I could sell my baseball card collection for more than my house right now.

Right now we have a handful of churches we're talking to. There are a couple in California, one in Florida, and all-the-sudden this beauty in Nashville just hit the radar. There's a local church that I'd love to work at, but I'd have to Tonya Harding a friend of mine to get the job I'd want. I've applied at IJM like eight times and World Relief a time or two, but apparently I'm rejection-letter material. That's ok, because I'm horribly under-qualified for every job I keep applying for!! My cover letters are pretty inspiring though...

This whole thing has been crazy, but the truth is, I've never felt closer to God. It's a different kind of closeness than I'm used to for sure, but it's a closeness nonetheless. I have no idea how we're going to pull all of this off, but I'm confident that God will provide everything we need. It might not look like what I had in mind, but at the end of the day, we're in good hands. There are a couple churches we're really excited about, and even if those don't work out, I have no doubt that God will find a place for us to plug in and do some damage for the kingdom. We'll keep you posted!

May 3, 2008


I heard this sermon by Louie Gig a few years ago at a PDYM conference, and it has pretty much reconstructed the way I pray. I think it is worth your 53 minutes.


May 1, 2008

speaking of money...

Here's some good news!!

75 inches

That's how tall I am, when I'm not slouching.

According to Malcolm Gladwell's latest book:
  • In the US population, about 14.5% of men are six feet or taller
  • Among CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, that number is 58%
  • Only 3.9% of American men are 6'2" or taller
  • Researchers discovered that an inch of height is worth $789 a year in salary (because tall people typically get paid more. It's science.)
So... as you may know, I have been interviewing at some churches lately. Some of those churches have Googled me and found this site. And I thought it was important for them to know that, according to my height...

I'm worth $59,175 annually. Bling Bling!!! haha!!!

How much are you worth?