Thursday, June 30, 2005


I think I'm about two years behind with this, but I've just "discovered" the job of having a newsreader. I have about 15-20 websites that I enjoy going to either daily, weekly or monthly. A newsreader allows me to get daily updates from my favorite sites instantly (or at least a lot faster than going to each individual site).

The newsreader I'm currently using is called Pluck. It's a free download.

Update: I found another reader called Attensa that works within Outlook. I like that function. It's a beta version, which means that there are still bugs to be worked out. You are supposed to be able to take a feed directly from outlook to a blog, but I haven't been able to get that to work yet. If that ends up not working, I'll probably try yet another one.

Adam and his Uncle Jason

Adam in his swing

Adam's first NBA Draft

You might not be able to tell, but that's a basketball uniform that Adam is wearing. He wasn't as into it as I had hoped.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Prayer of Abandonment

I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you;
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father. Amen.

Written by Brother Charles de Foucauld

Barna's "State of the Church"

I just read a synopsis of George Barna's "State of the Church: 2005." No real surprises, but worth a read.

Here's an article from The Ooze, and another from Barna's website.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Billy Graham on Larry King

I caught the end of this interview the other night, but I just read the entire transcript on Larry's website. Here's an excerpt.

KING: What worries you the most?

GRAHAM: Poverty in the world.

KING: And you've seen it.

GRAHAM: I've seen it, but I've also tried to do a little bit about it. We've raised about $8 or $9 million to give to the tsunami area out in Southeast Asia. My son raised an equal amount in his organization, and we have tried to do those -- prepare these little dents. We can't do much. We try to help in Africa, in Asia especially, and here in the United States. We try to do what we can to help in that problem, and I am so glad that the president has decided to give so much money to the people in need in Africa

Friday, June 24, 2005

Update on Adam

Adam's a really great baby. He's getting more alert everyday. The only time he's really been fussy is at night, from around 11:00 till 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. Once he goes to sleep, though, he sleeps five or six hours straight. Then, after a feeding, he sleeps till 10:00. I call him my little teenager. This is not so great for me when I have to get up early. I'm starting to see how parents can begin going crazy. You find something that makes your baby stop crying, and then you assume that this will work everytime. Normally it doesn't work again. That's frustrating. There's one thing that has been successful three out of three times: take a drive in the truck. Today he's been pretty fussy (we're not sure what that will mean for tonight). I finally decided to take him for a little ride, and he never made a sound the whole time. We'll see how long that continues to work.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


We all got to leave the hospital last Friday. Everyone is doing pretty well. I didn't have internet access at the hospital, so here are a couple of journal entries.

June 14, 2005, 10:45 am
Adam is now a little over 15 hours old and is doing great. I’ve always been told that you fall head over heels in love with your child as soon as you meet him or her. I’m realizing that this is a major understatement. There were quite a few babies born yesterday, and, because Mandy had to share rooms with another mom, I got kicked out. Mandy was ok with this, and it meant I got a little more sleep, but it was hard. This morning I had to go to Zocalo to upload a bunch of pictures and email them out to a bunch of people because my network was acting crazy. Then I had to bring Jack into the groomer at 8:30. I could not wait to get to the hospital to see Adam and Mandy. I kind of feel like I’m floating right now, like I’m in a dream world. It’s a pretty amazing feeling. Hopefully I’ll be able to better put these feelings into words sometime soon.

June 16, 2005, 3:30 pm
While sitting in the cafeteria yesterday I ran into a guy I had met a month or so back. He congratulated me on becoming a father, then asked me to pray for his mother, who was in the hospital with cancer. He said that when he is on the elevator, he always loves it when the door opens up on the second floor (maternity ward), because that's where life is. Those on the second floor are probably the only ones who are happy about being in the hospital. Later that day I was in the main lobby and saw two kids waiting to hear how surgery went on their dad. That really put things into perspective for me. Here I was with feelings of excitement and joy, while these two brothers no doubt had feelings of fear and confusion.

Father's Day

Today I celebrated my first Father's Day. Adam showed his appreciation by peeing on me four times! I'll be sure to remind him of this every once and awhile.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

3 generations Posted by Hello

The happy family Posted by Hello

Mandy and Adam Posted by Hello

Sleeping Posted by Hello

First moments on earth Posted by Hello

What a site! Posted by Hello

Gazing (I think) into his mother's eyes Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005


Lately I've been trying to let Jack hang out in the front yard without his leash, just to get him used to it. He of course doesn't understand that a car can kill him. Both Saturday morning and this morning I had him outside with me while I was getting something out of the car. Both times he took off across the street (both times to see another dog). Both times I yelled at him to stop. Both times he decided to ignore me. Both times he got a stern rebuking, a spanking, and a trip to his crate. I know that he hears me saying no. He's not ignorant. He knows exactly what I mean when I say "no." He just chooses in that moment to disobey.

God speaks to me through my dog. Not in a wierd psychic way. Just through the lessons he wants to teach me. I'm not ignorant. I know how I should behave. I know "the good I ought to do" (James 4:17). At times, though, I choose to disobey. There's also this thing that Paul talked about:

I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?" Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more!
For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there
no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? (Romans 7, The Message)

We seem to be in quite the predicament here. Paul isn't finished, though.

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different (Romans 7, The Message).

I've been spending time lately meditating on Ephesians 4. I think it has something to do with this.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

The idea of moving from being a slave to sin to a slave to God is very powerful. I am not my own.

So...what do I learn from this.

1. My dog, like me, has a sinful nature.
2. Jesus came to set me free from my sinful nature. I'm not sure where Jack stands with Jesus. It's quite possible that he's not yet been set free :)
3. God's grace is amazing!
4. I don't have to disobey God. I need to affirm my loyalty to Him everyday.

I'm amazed at how much God can teach me through my dog. I can't imagine what all I'm going to be learning when Adam gets here!

I guess I'll go let Jack out of his crate.

Another article on the housing market

Which housing markets are ready to pop?

Skyrocketing prices are just one facet of the boom; in many places, paychecks are keeping up. But in many, the gap is widening.

Housing prices have risen so far and so fast, who can afford to buy anymore? Plenty of people. Of course, those people don't live in New York. Or San Francisco. Or Miami. As everyone knows (or should know by now), home prices have increased around the country over the last few years. In some places, they have shot up like wayward bottle rockets--and many people expect them to eventually come dropping down. But prices alone can't tell the whole story. To get a better picture of which cities are likely to be vulnerable to a real estate decline, with the help of, we compared incomes to home prices, factoring in interest rates.

A boom -- but only in pockets
We were surprised at the results: While it has become much more difficult to buy the median house with the median income in many cities, in others it has actually become easier, pointing to a boom taking place in pockets, rather than the nation as a whole.

Read the rest of the article

The countdown has begun

Yesterday Mandy and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. We have a tradition of watching our wedding video every anniversary. We watched the video, and went out to eat, but I think Adam overshadowed our day a little. I don't necessarily think that was a really bad thing, though.

Speaking of Adam, it looks like he'll be coming either tonight or in the morning. It's so crazy that in one instant life is going to change for Mandy and I. I'm going to go from being the husband of Mandy to being the husband of Mandy and the father of Adam. We're going to go from Robert, Mandy and Jack the puppy dog living in our house, to Robert, Mandy, Jack the puppy dog and Adam living in our house. I don't think I've ever had one of these instant "this changes everything" moments.

I hope this doesn't come across as a major freak out moment. It's really not. I'm just taking it all in, and, as I reflect, I realize what a big thing this is. Of course I'm not ready. Is anyone really ready for something like this? I am grateful to God, though. I'm also very proud of Mandy. It's comforting to know that men have been becoming fathers for a long time. I know that God is going to guide us into this phase of life just as He's guided us through every other phase of life. I'm very grateful for that as well.

More updates to come...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Shaping of Things to Come

For those of you who have appreciated the book The Shaping of Things to Come, here's a link to download a study guide.

the great bear Porthos

I'm speaking in a church planting class tomorrow at Golden Gate Seminary. I think I'll lead a discussion on paradigm shifts and the need for dreaming/imagination/creativity. Tonight Mandy and I watched the movie Finding Neverland...while I was working on some notes for the discussion. There's one scene that really struck me. It's the first time that James has met the Davies family, and he's about to put on the first of his many shows.

What did you bring me over here for? This is absurd. It's just a dog.
Just a dog? Just? Porthos dreams of being a bear and you want to dash those dreams by saying he's just a dog? What a horrible candle-snuffing word. It's just like saying, he can't climb that mountain, he's just a man. Or, that is not a diamond, it's just a rock. Just...
Fine then. Turn him into a bear. If you can.
With those eyes, my bonny lad, i'm afraid you would never see it. However with just a wee bit of imagination, I can turn around right now, and see the great bear Porthos.