Thursday, January 25, 2007


Ever notice how when you focus on something that you begin to see it in more places around you?

For example, if you focus on the color red and think about the color red and look at some things that are red for several minutes, you will begin to see things that are either red or have red in them (maybe things you never noticed before).

Have you ever been shopping for a particular car and then afterward you start noticing more and more of that make and model on the road? It's like everyone is buying them! In reality, they may have been around you all along, but now in some area of your brain you've become focused on this vehicle. It's everywhere you turn.

If you stop focusing on it, your awareness of the object will dissipate. You're probably not still thinking about the color red, right? :)

What's also interesting is that sometimes we can focus on something to the point we start seeing the opposite image of what we have given our attention (you see the negative side of things instead of the positive). The red square on this post - focus on it for a long enough period of time, you will actually see the negative (a blue-green) when you look away from it.

What are you focusing on today?
What draws your attention?
What are you most aware of?
What do you seem to see every time you turn around?


Lessons From A 4-Year Old

When playing hide-and-seek,
it's important to insure
that there are actually
other people playing.

Peace (from Joshua).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Movies By Mail

I love movies. Some friends of ours got us a subscription to Netflix for Christmas.

Netflix has actually been a pretty cool service.

Apparently, our mailperson must think so as well. The last three DVD's we've received have been open.

So far none of them have been damaged and we've got the DVD's on or near the times we were scheduled to. Not sure what to do about it yet but we are eager to check out the next couple of movies to see if they show up the same way.

Kind of funny yet kind of creepy at the same time. I feel violated in a way. I'll keep you posted on what we find out.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Music Pick: How To Save A Life - Part 2 (long)

If you didn't read my previous post on this, check it out here (I added the lyrics to my blog post).

I'm talking about the song How To Save A Life by The Fray.
Someone asked what the story was behind this song. This is what they say about it on their site:

..."How To Save A Life," was inspired by [Isaac] Slade's experience as a mentor to a crack addicted teen. "I was a sheltered suburban kid when I met this guy. He was a recovering addict, coming out of a really tough teenage life. Thankfully, he was on his way out of that life, so he was able to really look back with some objectivity. The song is more of a memoir about his slow motion descent and all the relationships he lost along the way."
I've listened to this song and heard what The Fray intended. I've heard a wife confronting her husband. I've heard a 'how to' confront check list. I've heard how to be a friend.

This song breaks me. I can picture a friend of mine, who we'll call Mark - though that is not his name. Mark was one of my best friends in high school. We had similar interests in music and both played guitar. We used to hang out a lot, which was a life saver for me because I didn't have a lot of close friends growing up. We were good friends.

One evening when we were hanging out and joking around, Mark got serious and shared some of the personal struggles he battled with, though he was very non-specific. As his friend I encouraged him and offered my support. I reassured him that there was nothing he could do that would ruin our friendship, and even more that God's love for him was unconditional.

I later found out, by accident, what it was that he had tried to share with me. The whole incident was like a slow motion nightmare. Even worse, I reacted horribly. I basically ran because I felt hurt and betrayed. You don't need to know what happened but what you do need to know is that I eventually confronted him on it - and I was harsh, judgmental and stupid. I totally did things the wrong way.

Our relationship was never the same again.

Yes, we made it through that and later reconciled but never became more than just "hey, what's up dude". I know now that I totally screwed up, and lost a friend. What's even more is that he had struggled with his relationship with God and has since walked away from Him altogether.

There have been times in the past where I have blamed myself for his condition - I shoulda, I coulda, I woulda... I know that I had influence over this guys life. I could have made a difference. I should have reacted differently. I could have been a friend.

What I know now is how to confront a friend in love. My relationships are different now than they ever were when I was younger (thank God). I learned from that painful part of my past. I have learned about grace and forgiveness. I have learned about unconditional love.

I talked to Mark about a year ago. We were ok. I know that there have been several others in his life who have shown the care, love and concern that he needed, though he has been unwilling to listen to any of them. He has destroyed his marriage, his family, and his relationships - except with those who will do what he does and suffer with him. I pray for him, his wife and his kids. I pray for future relationships that may be able to open that door and walk with him as a friend should. I pray for his relationship with his Creator.

I don't know if things would have turned out different for Mark had I done things right. But I do know this: you can never underestimate the influence you have in people's lives. If you are a leader, you cannot take the affect you have on those you lead for granted.

Yes, you will make mistakes. Yes, you will sometimes do things the wrong way. Learn from those experiences. You never know who may be watching or listening - who you may be influencing. You never know whose life you might save.

Thanks for letting me bare a little of myself.

A Few Flurries

I love that this is a few snow flurries with no accumulation.

Only in Chicago! So far 16 degrees before wind chill in single digits.

Looks like it's even been cold in AZ and Southern Cal.

Peace (grace and mercy to you weather forecasters too).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Chocolate Wisdom

The chocolate speaks of great wisdom...

How can you pass up good chocolate and good advice.


(photo courtesy of Kristen)

Cutting Loose

I remember my parents playing cards with family or friends when I was a kid.

It always sounded like they were having a great time.

Now, hangin' with my wife and some of my favorite peeps, I get to have fun playing cards too!

We laughed, talked and had some good ol' competitive fun. For those who don't know, my wife is a pretty ruthless game player. She was trained well!

Cut loose when you have the chance, especially if you can spend time with good friends.


Friday, January 12, 2007

In the Quiet

I sat in the dark of our auditorium today just being still, being quiet. Listening, seeking, wondering and dreaming. It was probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my day.

When do you seek God? Is it only when you go to church (and maybe that's only a couple of times a year)? We typically seek something greater than ourselves when we have reached our limit.

When we have reached the point where we can't seem to do anything else on our own.

What about all the other times?

We began a new series at The Orchard this last Sunday called Soul Cravings and started talking about the deep things... the things our soul just innately craves. We were designed to have these, almost primal longings for our Creator. Sometimes we don't understand it or maybe haven't identified with it in a very long time. Maybe we've shut it away for so long we don't even remember, but it's there. If you search deep down, every human being has been wired to seek out something higher than himself.

To ask questions. To search for answers from someone outside of themselves.

I challenge you to seek out God today, even if for the first time. To find some quiet place and just search for Him. I promise if you chase after him you'll find He's been waiting for you all along.


Scott's in Thailand...

Somebody's got to keep the local Starbucks in business!

Besides, who doesn't enjoy a nice, hot Cafe Mocha on a cold Chicagoland day?!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Music Pick: How To Save A Life

I'm tellin' you - I just can't seem to get away from this song. I've listened to it hundreds of times and I've played it here so you think I'd be sick of it by now.

What's cool is this song is still on the iTunes charts and sounds like it's going to be in the movie Reign Over Me this spring.

This song has had multiple meanings to me depending on where I'm at when I'm listening to it. I know The Fray had specific inspiration when they wrote it but that doesn't seem to apply to me here.

Here are the lyrics (revised - previous link had inappropriate advertising):

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
And you begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
More on this later.

Monday, January 08, 2007

He's My Son

My son Seth is turning out to be quite a ham in front of the camera.

Add one of his favorite songs, a new pair of headphones and a CD player (thanks Granny!) - this is the result.

He cracks me up! It's cool being a dad to this guy!


Bridge or Tunnel

Pretty wild bridge if you ask me.

Not sure how I'd feel about driving underwater, especially if it was storming out. Kind of creative though - you don't have to raise the bridge to let ships pass through!

So would this be a bridge, a tunnel or a brinnel? Maybe a tundge or a brunnel?


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rained Out

It was raining tonight...
you know, because it's winter in the Chicago area and we should be having snow (global warming - who knew?) but instead we had a torrential downpour.

About half-way home tonight, my wipers stop working.
Ever try to drive in pouring rain
without windshield wipers, in the dark?

Did I mention that one of my headlights is half-full of water and therefore not functioning? Neither are my hazard lights.

Quite an interesting experience to say the least.
Hope your drive home was better.



I surprised my wife and took her out to dinner and a movie on Tuesday night. We saw The Pursuit of Happyness and it was a great movie... an awesome story, period. Talk about guts, risk taking, and determination.

I would definitely recommend this movie.

We also caught a couple of cool previews: Wild Hogs and Reign Over Me, which has the tune How To Save a Life (we did this song at The Orchard a few weeks ago when we talked about friendship - awesome song).