Tag Archives: family

HEADED TO ROME!!!

Hey guys!! I am so excited to tell you that Promise & I are going to Rome THIS SUNDAY for a little over a week. We really can’t wait. This trip came as a huge surprise to us! Our good friend is house swapping with a family in Rome and they invited us to come be a part of it. AHHHH!!! Promise and I have been trying to play catch up and research some things that we would want to see before we get there. So, we need your help!!

Have you been? WHAT DO WE NEED TO SEE? Any favorite places, restaurants or key tips? Promise vows to take tons of photos.


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Carlos Whittaker :: Ragamuffin Soul

All I can say is that that I know few people that work harder and are willing to sacrifice more than my friend Carlos Whittaker. This guy has become one of my better friends over the past couple years and I’m so stoked to see him have an opportunity to get some music out there to the world.

Today, Carlos releases his first ever full length project and I’m just stoked for him. I know how hard it is to put a record together and I know today is a big day for him. I think you’ll enjoy the album. You should know that you’re supporting a guy that loves God, loves his family, loves his friends, sacrifices a lot and cares for the least. Click the album cover below to go order his new record and to help a brother out!!


Kate McRae || A Revolutionary…

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Today has been such a mix of emotions for those of us that know 5 yr. old Kate and the McRae Family. For Aaron and Holly (her parents) today has been quite hell like.

If you aren’t tied in to the story of Kate McRae in short this is how her parents tell it:

Monday June 29th, 2009 began like every other day, and ended like one we could have never imagined. Our daughter Kate was taken to the Dr. for tremors in her right hand. We proceeded to Phoenix Childrens Hospital for a stat CT of her head. At 5:30 I, Holly, Kate’s mom, was taken into a room alone and told Kate had a massive tumor on the basil ganglia portion of her brain. I called her dad and our journey has begun. It’s a journey we never would have chose to be a part of, but was chosen for us, and our sweet Kate. She is now in the Phoneix Childrens ICU awaiting tests to determine what it is and how far progressed. Please, our dear daughter needs your prayers, as do we, Aaron, Holly, Olivia and Will.

On Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, the day before Kates surgery, my wife (promise) and I had the chance to go be with Sweet Kate and The McRae Family. We ended up doing a little photo shoot with Kate and you can see some of those photos here:

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Our time with them was so special and we got to run around the hospital and play with Kate. She was in the brightest spirits and you would have NEVER known the little girl had a brain tumor. That day truly was a gift with her. We then filmed a short little video that we called ‘Pray for Kate’ with Aaron and Holly. We really thought people would want to see their face and hear their desperate cry for the world to pray for their girl! They did such a stand up job in the midst of ALL the emotions sifting through their heads.

This video has taken off and in 24 hours it circled the world and rallied THOUSANDS of people to pray. In the first 24 hours the video had been seen over 5,000 times and posted via Twitter/Facebook/Blogs everywhere. It was so viral and so awesome. Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it:

People from all over the world began praying for Kate and it became quite a trending topic amongst communities everywhere. People have been grabbing this story from all walks of life and they even got a visit from John McCain in the hospital. Dr. Phil and his wife Robin are praying, Switchfoot, Natalie Grant, Candance Cameron Bure (DJ Tanner from Full House), the Women of Faith team/speakers, pastors, moms, dads, kids and many more have rallied thier support in prayer for Kate. One thing is true, God has heard the cry of his people for this little girl.

On Friday, July 3rd, 2009, Promise and I were driving home from a few errands and just heavy over the situation. I asked Promise what she thought about doing an online Global Night of Prayer for Kate McRae. Well, she quickly responded with YES and what do you need me to do. We began Twittering the idea and with 2 hours of promo at 8pm PST we had 250 people logged in for a directed time of prayer and worship. We  know that 250 people were logged in, but, we’re finding out that families/spouses/friends/etc… gathered around to join in. We’re guessing that at the time of the live broadcast we had over 500 people worshiping, interacting, praying, singing and lifting Kate up. It was a time filled with the Spirit of God and people continue to go and interact in prayer via the REPLAY stream. We’re hoping to do another Global Night of Prayer this week. It should be another powerful time together.

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK OF THE LIVESTREAM.

It’s been so amazing to watch Kate’s life ALREADY routing people towards him. She has no idea that she has been revolutionary in some of our lives. She’s just a 5 yr. old girl who’s trying to fight an aggressive brain tumor. She’s got great parents, great family, great friends and a loving church community surrounding her and fighting this journey with her.

I’ve been so encouraged by the many people that have had their hearts gripped by her story and I call it a privilege to be walking alongside the McRae’s while God walks us towards his miracle in her. We really are putting all our eggs in the basket that He will heal her. Why not? Trusting and believing in Him for the healing is our best course of action and until He chooses something different, I choose to believe for her complete healing.

I shared with Aaron and Holly that I would rather pray in faith for her healing and be devestated by His will if He chooses to take her from this world right now. I’m anchored in the healing hand of Jesus for her healing. Let’s keep this faith for them and keep petitioning God for His mercy.

Fore more:

Updates from the Hospital

Aarons Twitter Feed

Stories:

Pray for Kate

Unexpected Tragedy…

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Today is one of those days where you remember the precious gift of your very breathe. I write this note as I’m just about to go to bed on this Friday the 13th, 2009 (a little weird). As I was winding down tonight the news popped on with a story and reported that a commercial plane had just gone down in the Buffalo, New York area. Oddly enough, I flew today and I also had 2 friends flying in to New York this evening too.

Immediately, when i heard the news of the crash, I had that ‘oh wow, what if that was their plane’ feeling. That’s a heart wrenching moment when your not expecting it. I shot out a text to my buddies right away and awaited a response. I finally got one back just a few minutes later. They had made it safe. Praise God!

The irony of the story is that I flew today too and so did 49 other people. The difference is for those 49 people their news wasn’t in favor of tomorrow for them. Their news was met with unexpected tragedy. For the friends and families of those lost in this wreckage it’s the beginning of a process of hurt, pain and restoration. My heart breaks for those people who now have to walk this painful journey of loss because of today. If you’re a friend or family of one of the victims and you’re reading this right now, just know you’re being prayed for in these days.The beautiful thing is that, if we’re willing to find it, there is great beauty in our brokenness. It’s actually a place where our relationship to God can become so simply, yet, articulately intimate.

This incident reminds me, as I get ready to shut my eyes for the night, that my days on this earth are numbered and I want to live my life in the fullness of who Gods made me to be in the Kingdom. While I have this life, I want to love well, play hard, work hard, cry hard, serve well and be an agent of change well!

I needed this unexpected reminder tonight. I’m bummed for the way I’m reminded, in the midst of this tragedy, but, I’m reminded that I want my life to count for great things here and now! What a hope I have in Jesus though. It’s a hope that rings out the anthem, as Louie Giglio says, that ‘even in death we win’ when we’re on the mission with Jesus. May my life reflect Him more today in this reminder and may the peace of God hug these families/friends so close as they wonder how to get through today.

Let us not forget:

Genesis 3:19 – Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return

THANKSGIVING 2008

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These are the kind ladies serving us here in Washington for our Turkey dinner. We have Betty Anne, Loretta Lynne, Marjorie Adel and Sarah Lee. They’ve prepared some GREAT hot dishes and will serve us shortly. As you can see they are EAGER to serve us.

JUST KIDDING.

I’m actually in Silverdale, Washington for this Thanksgiving break. It’s been a beautiful few days here in Washington State and this perfect November Thursday is no exception. I’m up here spending my first, EVER, Thanksgiving away from my family. I miss them, but, I’m very glad to embark on the journey of sharing in new family with my soon to be bride Promise.

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We’ve had a fantastic couple of days just enjoying friendship and family in stunning weather for this time of the year in Seattle. Just perfect!

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Today, Troy Grover (check out his photography) who is the boyfriend of Aimee, Papa Gary (my soon to be Father-In-Law) and myself smoked us a Turkey. I would say we were pretty successful in that it was the first time any of us had ever done it. There will be a video coming soon to show you our journey…it started at 3am this morning! All in all it was a great experience for all involved.img_0552

As I think about the amazing blessings of my life and what I’m thankful for, these things come to mind:

I’m thankful that the God of the universe would want a relationship with me and that He has made it possible through Jesus. I could not imagine my life a part from my journey and quest to know Christ more deeply and find ways to let His love manifest itself in me! This is the essence of my life and I’m so grateful for my life in Christ!

I’m thankful for my wonderful, beautiful, stunning, life-giving bride to be, Promise! She has become my best friend and I cannot wait to grow old with this woman of God. Her passion for Jesus, her love for me, her uncanny humor, her sensitive spirit, her much needed touch in my life, her love for people and her unpredictbale creativity WOW ME DAILY!!! She is the joy of my life.

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I’m thankful for my family. What an amazing legacy of Jesus they have passed on to my life. I’m forever indebted to parents that trusted me deeply and lovingly committed to do their part in laying a foundation of faith in my life. I’m so grateful for their encouragement, support and help along the way of life’s journey. My brother Ben, a loyal brother. He is kind-hearted and knows me well. He’s my best man! My sister Bonnie, she’s a beautiful gem of love and fun.

For my church! Never forget that buildings don’t make a church…YOU are the church. I know we’re a large community, but, the growth in my young life over the past seven years has lasting significance. I’ve grown in my leadership, my heart for people, my love for Worship, my hope for the local church and have been challenged by the way we risk together. I’ve got miles of possibilities to learn and grow and in this season YOU are the people that will challenge me to become. Let’s keep pushing each other to become more like Jesus, reach out in to our city in a brand new way, shine in the Phoenix Valley like no one else and stretch our arms across the world into Kenya to bless the widow and the orphan.

Lastly, I’m indebted, in ways I cannot understand, to those of you that advocate for the freedom that I enjoy daily in this country. Thank you to those of you that serve as in our military and government. Your commitment to making this country free and beautiful is so appreciated. From the gal deep in the sea on a submarine that’s away from her family for months on end. To the mayors, police, fire and local people…you are appreciated. Thank you for what you do. We live in the most amazing place in all of the world.

We were reminded tonight, by Papa Tangeman, on what the deal was with this whole Thanksgiving thing. He reminded us of how it came to be and, contextually, the need for Americans had for a time to be thankful. He read this to us and I thought it was brilliant. Abraham Lincoln clearly bore a Kingdom heart. A heart rooted in Covenant, Worship and Justice (as my friend Dr. Hubley would say). I know this is a bit long, but, I REALLY encourage you to read this and if you get the chance, after you read, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. Comment away and Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Declaration of Thanksgiving

Abraham Lincoln Manifesto of Gratitude

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”

Ocotber 3, 1863

Rock the Vote!

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Well…

first off, who did you vote for today!? did you vote? if you didn’t here’s my pole:

I had an incredibly awesome experience as an American voter in these last couple days. Last night, I had the chance to sit down on go over all of the candidates, all of the props and all of the issues. It has been a simply fantastic time, personally, to regain a love for this country and it’s possibilities. It’s been awesome to discuss with friends, families, pastors, right, left, moderates and more on what it means to be American.

The thing that I’ve most appreciated are the dialogues I’ve been able to have on what it means to be Kingdom Agents in America. I’ve sensed that a fundamental responsibility I have as a Christ follower is to vote through a Kingdom lens and to be a Kingdom agent with how I struck the ballot today.

I’ve personally had HUNDREDS of dialogues on this stuff and some of my favorite ones with Promise, Chip and Amy Neal, my brother, my co-workers and those of you who read my blog. As Chip and I prayed this morning, after we voted, at the end of the day God is still God and His sovereign plan is still coming regardless of who’s gonna sleep in The White House for the next 4 years. What a hope we have in Jesus and we do have a responsibility to reflect Him well, if we claim to be following Him, as we go to the Polls today.

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The last thing is that I, honestly, for the first time in awhile, just felt so proud to be an American (can you hear the song just caressing your ears…hahahah?!). The above picture is of the line I stood in at 5:45am this morning with a bunch of excited Americans that were ready to vote. It was awesome! I love that we can actually be a voice for the Kingdom in how we vote. I love that I can discuss, agree and disagree openly and honestly. I love that we are FREE. How liberating. Be proud today and high five someone and just say ‘WOO-HOO, America’. hahaha. Is anyone else feeling me on this one?! It is such a blessing to live in this country!!??

Thanks to all of you that read this blog and interact on it and I hope to further be a source of great dialogue that challenges us to think deeply and respond carefully! it’s a lot of fun. I’d love to hear your experience through this process and how you felt today.

cleaning, sick, graduation, mustache…

well…

after a good, hard and long few days i hit the blog world again! hahaha. how radically addicting blogging is, are you with me? i kept thinking about all the different things i could ‘blog’ about over the last few days and i had millions of ideas. do you find yourself like taking a lot of situations and trying to figure out how you could ‘blog it’? hahah.

anyways…this past weekend was fantastic. my older brother, Ben (who plays in a band called Future of Forestry – check them out if you get the chance), graduated from the University of Phoenix (yes, people actually do graduate from there it’s not just and add or corporate buildings in your city). i was looking forward to the weekend as a handful of family was coming out to Phoenix to celebrate bens achievement. 

one of the things that remained lingering was that i needed to get my house cleaned. being that i’m not at home a lot, things can tend to go a bit unattended and in the case of this week…well, let’s just say it needed cleaning.

here is the before pic:

so promise and i got cranking in the morning…promise is my girl…and she made a list and gave us time goals to finish and stuff! hahaha…it was awesome, but, by midday i was not doing well. i got really sick started throwing up, meantime, my family is on the road and the clock is ticking to get things cleaned.

i was ordered to get in bed, and was assured everything would be taken care of for me. 🙂 thus, this is merely one of the reasons i love Promise – she truly did show me love in a tangible way and transformed my house and probably faster than it would have gotten done with me helping! she’s the best (i love you prom)! look at what she did for me:

i am still very grateful! my house looks amazing, plus, she hung a bunch of her art (yes, this is one of the perks of having such an outstanding artist for a girlfriend) in my house. it looks better on walls than in closets in between her shows. i am one lucky guy, i really do love you promise!

anyways…i recovered and ended up going to the graduation out at the Cardinals stadium on Saturday. one thing that never fails to amaze me is the consistency of graduations. i’ll let the pictures tell the story, but, let’s be sure to note that we were and are all incredibly proud of ben and all his long hours of work/study to get his degree finished. this has nothing to do with Ben and everything to do with…well…graduation ceremonies:

oh this is fun….we love you Ben!!!! YAY!!!

Oh is that ‘pomp and circumstance’ that i hear?! wow, this is fantastic!

wow that’s a lot of graduates that are gonna be down there soon! HI BEN, i think we see you and we’ll wave at you even though you were just with us 5 minutes ago, but, now you’re over there and we’re gonna wave to you like it’s your pre-school Christmas play. HAHAHHAHAHA…seriously though…you know this is how it goes…

oh, wow, PS did i mention Stedman Freeman was the Keynote Speaker!? man, for being Oprah’s man he could use some serious tips on personability, engaging a crowd and laughing. so freekin serious like he knew these people or something. long and tiring to listen too and then all these people have to get THEIR NAMES CALLED, INDIVIDUALLY…

out goes Aunt Jackie and Uncle Ray

out goes my sister, bonnie…

out goes me and my girl…

Bonnie is dreaming, my mom is fading and my dad is barely hanging on, wiping his eyes and face like a baby ready for bed…it ended, we left and then…

WHERE DID HE COME FROM?!?! WOW! okay, i must confess, all i could think of was you who read this blog…whoever you are… as i left the University of Phoenix Stadium and took this picture. i actually asked him if could get a picture of that great ‘stache’ like he was some animal at the Zoo! hahaha. the things i’d do for a blog entry. can i just say, however, that this great, strapping, middle-aged man brought joy to my heart. what if i to could one day achieve in this regard? it may not be a college degree for me, but, a ‘stache’ like that i might could do!

good to be blogging again. more on church today later. Mark Connelly from Superstitions Springs Community Church brought down the house! promise has a good stab at it first though…check out her entry from today about ‘thread’.