Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One of the best gifts


Lori and I are holding two stars, each made by Jordan at Preschool! He brought them home about two weeks before Christmas and placed them under the tree!

He was so excited that these two gifts were the first to be opened Christmas morning! He was so happy to give something that HE made!

Jordan gets it! He understands the joy of giving something because it means so much to him! Perhaps that's the power of giving our hearts/lives to others. It means more because we are giving something precious...ourselves! Would you consider making a larger commitment to invest in someone else in 2009? Would you consider giving without expectation of return? Would you give and not attach strings?

If you consider the example of Jesus Christ, He gave knowing some would respond and others would not, but He did not withhold himself because they would waste the gift! Jesus gave anyway! What will you do? What will I do?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Life is a Puzzle

Yesterday our family was working on a huge puzzle. As part of our time together, we discussed how a puzzle is like "decisions" or "our lives". Maddie and Austin had some good insights that I wanted to share. Of course, like most examples, they may break down if pushed out too far, but bear with the simplicity and you will understand why we had such a good talk.

*Puzzles begin like a mess! It's just a pile of stuff. Sounds like life!
*Most people work on the edges first. The edge becomes a guide by which we can successfully complete the picture.
*We talked about God being just like the perfect straight edge of the puzzle. By His direction and boundaries we can complete a great "decision" or "life".
*Trial and error is part of completing a puzzle, just like life or decisions.

Friday, December 26, 2008

If there EVER was a look to describe Christmas!


Just a candid shot of Jordan on Christmas eve, but it really tells the story. He has been the best, looking forward to Santa and presents!!!!

The boy is very funny. During the Christmas Eve service at Heights Church he leaned over to me and said, "Dad, you smell like beef and cheese". It's a movie line from "Elf" and I about died laughing!

Thanks Jordan for being one of the best parts of Christmas 2008. Most of all I thank God for sending the best gift of all...Jesus!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Very Simple


Merry Christmas! I hope your celebration of Jesus' birth is great!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Condemn

A friend asked me about what it means to condemn? Part of the discussion could center around our responsibility to speak the truth to other followers of Christ or part of the discussion could center around calling sin, "Sin"! I would be interested in your thoughts.

I believe we need to be honest about what is true and right, however we need to balance that truth with love for others around us! Sometimes we get too far into judgment and forget to pay attention to our own "junk". Other times we neglect to speak what is true out of fear of being hurtful.

Perhaps we need to learn to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).

Is it possible to condemn in a right way? What role does condemnation play in our lives? What role should it play? How did Jesus handle condemnation?

I look forward to further discussion!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Come vs. Go

As a Christ follower, I have grown up on the church. My first 19 years were in Oklahoma in a small town then on to Southern California, the St. Louis area and now Prescott, AZ. I have attended church for the better part of 35 years. During that time, the message was subtle but nonetheless clear! "Come to church and hear the message".

Over the past year I have been challenged to reconsider that message. The "church" Jesus was establishing had the word "GO" involved. In the final scene of His life on earth, Jesus said,

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

The book, "Organic Church" says, if we are going to be the church we have to be willing to sit in the "smoking section". That means we have to GO meet people where they are and tell them about Jesus in that place. The author goes on to say that we shouldn't say, "Stop smoking and I will tell you about Jesus".

Step 1. GO
Step 2. Meet and let people start where they start
Step 3. Love them (you are not condoning sin or validating lifestyle by loving people. Jesus spent time with cheats, prostitutes, the sick and loved them without condoning their lifestyle)
Step 4. Whatever change in them is up to God. You are not the Holy Spirit! You are not the one who changes people! Your role is to GO and meet people with the love of God.

Parkway Christian Church in Surprise, AZ changed their youth ministry into this model and they are experiencing amazing results. Flatirons Community Church near Boulder, CO practices this method of going out, so their weekend services are full of people who have never been to any church service before.

As for me...I am GOING out to meet people and see what God has in store. Join me!

Friday, December 19, 2008

David and Goliath


There are so many different ways to discuss the story of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17 of the Bible. Yesterday morning I participated in a discussion about this famous story with a group of men over coffee.

We talked about COURAGE. We talked about the CONFIDENCE of the opposing army (Philistines) with their great warrior. We talked about David not seeing the battle as SWORD vs SWORD.

For me, the greatest insight was pointed out by Mark Womack! He talked about David spending so much time as a young shepherd alone in the fields with the flock that he did not regard the battle the same way the soldiers regarded it! Every solider saw the huge opponent and could not imagine battling him directly.

David comes on scene and volunteers for the fight because he is not going to battle "sword to sword" or "spear to spear"! David is going fight based on experience. He faces Goliath with the weapons he knows how to use.

Here is where it really came to life for me! Mark connected David's relationship with God formed out in the field with not seeing the battle like the other soldiers. David could not understand battling Goliath in any way other than his training. He would use a sling and stones!!!!

How many times do we face Giants in life but assume that we MUST face them with the weapons that THEY CHOOSE???? Could I learn to see my challenges through a different lens? Could I assume a different set of rules to operate with?

I believe David found a new way to see battles. Can I follow his example? Can you?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Normal struggles

Lori, my incredible wife, and I were having a "normal" discussion that I believe many couples have. The circumstances or topic may not be the same as other couples but I reminded that what we struggle through is a normal part of life.

We were fighting through how to meet each others needs in a busy time with 3 kids, jobs, busy schedules, expectations, hurt feelings and me being too sensitive. I am such a baby!

In the end, we reaffirm our love for each other and continue on our road TOGETHER. I don't know how it will end completely, I just know that I am traveling WITH HER to the end! We work toward allowing each other to grow and change through life.

I hope this helps you in your relationships with other people. Whether a spouse or a friend, those people in your life are worth your effort to grow and understand. People are the most important commodity on our planet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Extreme Makeover vs. Biggest Loser

John is a Middle School Pastor at a local church. He recently made this comparison while teaching some students. It's simple but profound. Consider these simple concepts with me.

1. "Extreme Makeover" was a show that would provide corrective procedures to change the outward appearance of the participants. They would have cosmetic surgery, hair styles, workout routines and dental issues repaired. It was cool, but the change was intended to be primarily outside moving toward inside change.

2. "Biggest Loser" is a show that teaches it's participants about HOW they go into the shape they are in and what needs to change to keep them from that ever again! The learn healthy eating habits, workout routines but the real challenge is to deal with their internal "demons".

If we seek CHANGE, then the pathway begins inside of ourselves. We can ACT like we are different and it may appear that we are different, but if we haven't addressed internal issues then the change is superficial at best.

It is possible to fool others into thinking what we want them to think about us because we can control the appearance, but don't be fooled. In 1 Samuel 16 it says, "Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart". Simply, you could fool me, but you and God both know what's really going on inside.

Why don't you become a "Biggest Loser" like me and work to be different from the INSIDE OUT!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Follow up to "Christmas this year" post

If you read the post from last Sunday, and read Matt's comments in reply, you will better understand what I am going to write next.

First, let me lay some groundwork. Matt and I are friends, in fact his desk at work sits 20 feet from mine. Matt loves the Church as the Bride of Christ and will defend her from attacks.

Matt's point in writing was to ask me to not unfairly blame the "church" for judgment of people. In actuality it's not the church that judges people...it's PEOPLE who judge people. The act of judgment happens in and out of church by young & old, black or brown, Christian or not Christian.

My purpose in writing the "Christmas this year" post was declare the love God has for everyone regardless of what you may feel.

Part of what has transpired in my life over the past few years is a search to better follow Jesus Christ, to understand what the church is supposed to look like and what I should do to help the American Church become what God wants.

As for me, I have determined that the Church in America today may not be all that Jesus desires it to be, but I AM GOING TO BE PART OF IT! I believe that Jesus wants me, as an individual, to follow Him. When I follow Him, act as He acted, live like He lived, love like He loved, invest in what He invested in then I am becoming part of the Church that He desires.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A long run

Yesterday afternoon Greg and I want out the Peavine Trail to continue the training for our first marathon! The schedule called for 19 miles. Bottom line...it was going to be ugly!

The temperature was about 37 degrees and breezy. Over the next 3 hours it did not get any warmer and the wind was difficult to deal with. We both survived the day with Greg finishing all 19 miles and I made 18!

I was reminded about taking on big challenges in life! During the run I had an option to bail out and only run 14. It sounded good, but I kept my mouth shut and just kept going with Greg taking the lead! By the end of the day, we had each gone farther then ever before. While I did not complete my goal, it was great to achieve something more than I have ever done before.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas this year.

The parties have begun for the Coyne family. Last night was the annual Anderson party. Tonight is a small group party and Tuesday night is a staff party for David.

We are busy preparing the Christmas card (a long process). The pictures are taken, ordered and ready. The letter is written and all of that has been stuffed into the envelopes. Just the labels remain and that part of Christmas is ready to go!

It's beginning to look and feel like Christmas. I awoke this morning to a light dusting of snow with more forecast over the next few days. In the midst of it all, we are watching lots of kids Christmas shows and all claim the same thing: "the real meaning of Christmas".

Well, my take on Christmas as we see it today is based on celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the most influential figure of all time. For us today, it's more than just a birth that we celebrate. The message behind the birth is this: God loves YOU and you are never too far away to made right with Him.

I hope this message is an encouragement to you. Too often we feel the sting of judgment from people who attend church, we feel like we are unworthy because we make mistakes (sin) and we think that God is going to get even with us or something. God's message at Christmas is one to remind us that He Love You! You can be in a relationship with Him and not be "religious" (doing just that actions of faith). I would encourage you today to find someone who is following Jesus and ask them to explain God's love to you!

Understanding God's love is the best gift you will ever get at Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flarp! It's for boys!


Jordan received a gift that would make any young boy smile. It's a plastic jar full of a goo that makes a farting sound when you push your hand into it!

The picture says it all. For what seemed like hours, he ran around and said, "Wait, I got one" and would make the noise, laugh hysterically and repeat.

I love boys! They are so crude. Perhaps someday Jordan will grow to be like me (a man who loves Flarp too).

May you enjoy the season through the eyes of a child.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

13 years

Today is my oldest child's 13th birthday! It's a great milestone for the Coyne household and for me as well. Today, I become a dad for 13 years. When my wife reminded me of that this morning, it made me smile.

I love being a dad! I love teaching and leading these children in our care. While we take this responsibility very seriously, we also remember that these three children; Maddie, Austin and Jordan are on loan to us. They have always been a gift from God and we will treat them as such!

Today we celebrate Maddie turning 13 and she is amazing! She is so much like her mother and that makes her even better (in my opinion)! She is kind, hard working in school, driven to do well, she loves people and communicates well. She loves people, the environment and animals!

If you think of it today, say a prayer from my Maddie. Ask God to help her continue to become an amazing woman who will make a difference in this world, or even better encourage a child around you with the same prayer and support.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Book


"God Came Near" is a great book to help celebrate Christmas! We used it last night during a small group discussion at my home. We read the chapter titled "The Arrival". It's an artful retelling of what happened the night Jesus Christ was born and how people missed him!

As only Lucado can write it, he declares that people missed the birth of the Savior not for any bad reason, "the missed him because they simply weren't looking."

Sometimes we get confused! If something doesn't happen like we think it will, then we miss it. God, from the beginning, was introducing a Kingdom that was backwards from what most thought it would be like.
...the King was born as a poor child in a stable
...the greatest among you will be the servant
...to win, you must loose
...Jesus cared more about meeting those rejected by society, than those of power, wealth or influence

Are we guilty of missing Jesus today? Do we miss Him because we "simply weren't looking?"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Who are you walking with?

Last Friday I sat in a small group of people and enjoyed a dialogue with Wayne Jacobson. He is an author and pastor, most notably he contributed to "The Shack" and is the publisher of that book as well.

One phrase that Wayne used has stuck with me since. It sticks because it helped create some "form" to the function that I have been following. Whether in a local church or not, house church or work place the question we need to be asking is "who are we walking with?".

From my perspective I take it deeper to ask, "who is God wanting me to walk with?" It might be someone on a flight to just have a good conversation. I am learning to enjoy more about those I meet, trying to listen and understand. This is a new challenge because I was taught to have conquests for Jesus. You know, "I have to win them for the Lord"! Now I find myself talking and listening instead of having an agenda.

The basis of this type of life is "roles".
I believe that I have a role to play and so do others!
I believe that God has a role to play in the lives of those I contact.
I believe God wants people to understand His love for them FIRST.
I believe people understand mistakes or wrongdoing even if they don't admit it!
I believe our world needs more love than judgment. There is enough condemnation already!
I believe the "Church" needs to see the example of Jesus Christ in the Bible as an example to follow...He loved everyone.
I believe Jesus challenged the religious of His day and loved those who were scorned by that same group.

What role are you going to play? Are you going to invest, listen, love, understand and walk with those whom God puts in your path? Will you have an agenda of winning them or will you let God play His role of life-change? Will you let the Holy Spirit of God bring conviction or will you try to play the voice of God and bring conviction?

For those who read my blog...Thanks! I write it as part of my process to continue to follow Jesus everyday. I hope you find it worthwhile occasionally. I don't have any grand designs other than that!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Progress

It's one of my friends favorite ways to describe work, "Making Progress" is what he will say. He is talking about moving forward on a big project or knocking out a number of smaller items in hopes of getting a lot accomplished.

For me, progress means getting further, but it's not always forward! My guess, this is your experience as well. You take two steps forward and one backward.

In my marathon training the schedule calls for long runs on the weekend like 14miles, 15 miles, 9miles. The next set of 3 weekends is 17miles, 18miles and 13miles! Looks like two steps forward and one step back.

In learning to follow Christ we make incremental steps of learning and doing then fall backwards. I have come to believe and support this type of progress as our camp works with students. Incremental progress is normal. We should expect it and continue the process forward as best we can. For this reason, I now use "Following" Christ as a way to describe what I am doing.

For me and many others in my life, we are following Christ. Instead of equating church attendance, service in church, giving a tithe weekly and more as equal to being a Christian. I know am practicing the art of following Christ. I still attend church, give and will serve again soon, it's not what it means to be a Christian for me any longer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FairTax

Okay, I am a fan of FairTax. The only way this legislation will ever pass if WE THE PEOPLE force our representatives to do it!

In short, FairTax removes all withholding from your paycheck. It eliminate the IRS and Social Security payments from your check. "Take Home Pay" does not exist any longer. You take home all your pay.

Business no longer have FICA matching and their taxes disappear as well! Instead of taxing based on wages, FairTax is a tax on spending. 23% is buried in the price of goods/services purchased. IT IS NOT 23% OVER THE PRICE.

Here are my top 3 favorite things about FairTax.
1. Anyone visiting the US that buys goods will contribute to our Social Security system. 75 million people annually.
2. Money made illegally could now be taxed.
3. Households "legally" in America will receive rebates monthly for essentials like groceries and medicines based on poverty level. There is an actual penalty for being in America illegally.
4. Of the top 500 companies in the world, 400 said they would build their next plant in America and the remaining 100 said they would relocate the entire operation to America.
5. "Offshore" money would be better suited here in America which would help the economy.

The trick is convincing politicians to pass legistation that will remove their power and the power of many lobyists, etc! Think about.

I like Neal Bortz book "Fair Tax; Answering the Critics". Check it out.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wayne Jacobson coming to Prescott

Wayne will be in Prescott next weekend and the UCYC staff will have some time with him. If you are unfamiliar with Wayne, he co-authored "The Shack", "So, You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore", "He Love Me" and many others.

His website has much more on him and resources. http://www.lifestream.org/index.html

If you have questions that I could ask him from you, contact me or comment on this post!

Wet Thanksgiving

We left Prescott about 4pm on Tuesday and drove to Barstow, CA. It was an interesting night in the Econo Lodge. We called for a roll-a-way bed for Jordan, but when we arrived there is no space to put it up. I ended up shoving the desk in front of the entry door and squeezed it in.

That night it rained and most of the rest of the trip to Mariposa! The best parts were seeing the clouds/fog roll into the mountains as we came from Tehachapi into Bakersfield.

Wet or not, I am grateful to have my family of 5 with the rest of Lori's family. Hope your food, family and travel is amazing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Visual Update


Here is my eye, 9 days after reconstructive surgery. Amazing.

Throughout the process, NO PAIN. Crazy, but it was never an issue in any way. Thanks for God for sparing me, You did not have too!

Uncharted Territory

Today, three of us headed out for the longest run that any of us has ever attempted. Tye ran 14 miles (3 more than ever). Greg and I attempted 17 (3 more than our best) and made it. It was a great run...up til Miles 15-17!

At that point in time, both of us cranked up the music and finished. I was thinking about the mental game of trying to do something new. Trying to finish a run 3 miles further than ever attempted is a daunting task and one that nearly got to us! Our legs were screaming the last 3 and our minds were wondering if we could even make it. To make matters a little more challenging, we climbing slowly for a 1.5 miles and then finished with 1.5 miles of downhill.

This one thought occured to me as we were trying to finish. "When you find yourself in uncharted territory, just keep doing the same things you would do when you are familiar with what to expect." For us that meant just keep moving forward like we had been doing for the first 14 miles. It Worked!!!

We finished in a total time of 2 hours 33 minutes and with an average of 9:02 miles! Pretty good for a couple of clowns!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just another day

Helping kids with homework is actually fun for me...until last night! Both Maddie and Austin had a lot of homework to accomplish and it was lots of writing and thinking.

While I love to teach and empower those around me, it was the end of a long day and I just couldn't do it. I remember having a brief conversation in my own head about why this is important.

I have the chance to really help my children learn to think and express themselves in writing. Wow, that's a great gift and one that I am proud to see developed. So, tired or not, I have signed up to help my children because they are mine!

I offer these words to remind you of how valuable your role is in the lives of others, especially your children!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dreaming about Kauai


September 06 Lori and I traveled to Kauai with the Smiths! While standing on the scenic overlook of this waterfall, we realized that someone was down in the pool of water.

What the heck! We need to go down there as well. You see the evidence of swimming in this amazing place. While I have many memories of this trip I have a cheap coffee mug from Hilo Hatties that reminds most about that great week.

What do you dream about? What destination inspires you? Is the beauty of this planet we call home? Is the the people you meet and spend time with?

For me...I am going to keep dreaming about a return to Kauai and trips to new places as well! We all need great memories...Lord knows we have enough bad ones stuck in our heads!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Simple Things are just that...Simple

I am not alarmed by having cancer. I have known since August and the doctors have not been overly concerned, so I have not. While it's cancer, it's just going to be removed and we continue on. The GOOD thing about having a "brush" with death is that it reminds you about what is really valuable.

Here is my short list of things that are very special...simple pleasures.
1. A kiss from Jordan (he's 4 years old)
2. Holding Austin on my lap (9 years)
3. Talking with Maddie about her friends and how cool my eye is to her! She can't wait to take pics.
4. Laying down with Lori and keeping warm under a blanket.
5. Holding Lori's hand.
6. Coffee with a friend.
7. A great discussion with friends or a belly laugh with them as well.

If you have been missing these simple things, I recommend you take some time right now and enjoy a few!

Monday, November 17, 2008

James 2 thoughts

Last night our small group of friends who attend every different church in town met together to discuss James 2. So you don't have to look it's about showing favoritism and faith/deeds. What a great discussion!

We spent the majority of the time discussing how we, as followers of Jesus Christ, must wade into humanity even when we don't have answers or know what to say. If we are really going to be THE CHURCH, then we must get involved.

For some reason "the church" has labeled issues like Abortion & Homosexuality as the worst kinds of acts, yet I don't see them as unforgivable or something the church should elevate over other sins not as visible. Sins like mine! If I really love people, then I must be willing to love them where they are regardless of performance or choices made!

We agreed to work on our issues of favoritism and to show our faith by what we do! God help us...God help me to REALLY LOVE PEOPLE without strings! Help me to listen, encourage and walk through life with others on this planet.

May the Church not be separate from the culture it lives in any longer.
May the Church be Holy as God describes, yet up to it's elbows in humanity!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The morning after


Friday morning I underwent plastic surgery. It was an odd experience and you can see the results. I suppose there is only so much you can do with the subject...ME!

While I have made light of this whole ordeal, having cancer is not a laughing matter. I have been positive and rather unconcerned about having cancer. It's not fake, it's just what I have and what I am going to do about it!

When it's all said and done, I would rather loose an eyebrow with cancer than keep them both!

There are times in your life when you have a simple statement given. This morning it was my wife saying, "I'm grateful everyday I have with you". I know that life is a gift, my life is a gift! I recently found out that a long time friend lost his wife after only 8 years. It was devastation to consider, but all the more motivating to love Lori and these kids while I have time. Love those around you who matter as well. Who knows what life will bring!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Grusome Details





Here are the pics from the surgery. A little graphic so be careful! Lori almost passed out!

Cancer Surgery!

I'm 41 and have been diagnosed with skin cancer. Specifically is Basal Cell Carcinoma. It's a non-agressive localized type of cancer. The funny part is that it is located in my left eyebrow!

Well, it's a long story, but yesterday it was succesfully removed...along with most of my eyebrow. Yeah! I am cancer free!

Next I will see a plastic surgeon to repair the eyebrow and try to make it look natural. Below I will be taking a poll of the best solutions. Choose your favorite and post back to me your choice.

A. Have a dry erase board inserted so I can pencil in my mood.
B. Borrow some of Chris Holohan's pale skin.
C. Take some back or butt hair from a "friend"
D. Leave it scarred and look even tougher!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Boys just want to have fun!


I love playing with my sons. Jordan on the left, Austin in the middle and the old guy (me) on the right!

We spent a few hours on a family photo shoot recently and this is one of my favorites!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I have been reading this book. Very cool. I recommend it highly because it talks about the Jesus that we SHOULD have met as His followers. Sometimes that "Church" does not do a good job teaching us about what He was really like.

CAUTION!!! Reading a book like this may shake your faith because it will challenge you! My hope it that a book like this will expose you, as it has done for me, to the Real Jesus. He might confront you because you follow Him by the rules of others instead of embracing a relationship with Him, based on His rules.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lots of Love

Prescott is a cool place. On Sunday we took the family downtown for pictures. We were all over the square, parking garage area, the Palace and more. We found this area next Chase Bank down in the Granite Creek drainage.

For me, this picture represents more than just a man & woman. It represents what brings us together as husband & wife. It represents why we parent the way we do. It represents the love that God has for us and we strive to have for others.

Love (not being too sappy) is what can make a difference in everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

THIS picture says a thousand words


Candy!!!! At 4 years old, Jordan figured this "trick or treat" thing! He was hilarious.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Late night McCain and voting

Lori went downtown last night with two other friends to witness the mass of people in downtown Prescott! McCain arrived about 12:30am and spoke to thousands of supporters and "not" supporters. I chose to stay home with the kids (and sleep). It's just cool to be part of history like that event or voting in a great election.

If you voted, thanks for participating in making this country great.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I love Prescott!

The weather, the houses full of people who get into the holidays, scores of families with children and our family right in the middle of it all. It was Halloween and Prescott is one of the best places to celebrate. Thanks people of Prescott for doing your part to make this a great place. Thanks God for creating an amazing place in the mountains that we can enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Vote!

Rush Limbaugh is right! Yesterday he stated that it doesn't really matter trying to dig up more dirt on a political opponent at this stage of the game. Now is the time to JUST VOTE! Allow your questions to become motivation to vote. See you at the poles. If this is the "greatest election of our time", then be part of it!

We found out the McCain will be in our little town late on the night before election. To participate at a deeper level in the historic election, we plan on going. Should be fun! Look for me on TV!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Close, but never quite there!


That's me in the middle of the screen and I have just caught a small wave with my kids on a boogie board in San Diego.

We had a great time that day at Mission Beach, but once again it's another example of trying to be cool, but not quite getting there.

My friends made the same trip earlier this year to the same beach and they were shredding on the surfboards. Me...well I get to use a boogie board! Seems normal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The reality comes shining through

My above picture was taken in our front yard. Lori and I were heading out for a bike ride and took the shot before we left. As I see that picture today, I am reminded how much hair I have lost over the years.

While I am fine with thin or disappearing hair, it's a sad ending to head that used to sport an "afro"! Oh well, just another sign of getting older or "more mature". Ha ha, like I really getting mature.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A very Male Meerkat



Sometimes I feel just like this guy! Not that I am trying to show off the equipment, but laying back without a care in the world is awesome! My kids said he was like me...Don't know what they meant by that, but I am going to take it as good thing!

Parenting Political Principles

As I wrote yesterday I talked about someone in Washington having the guts to treat America like parents would treat a child. Here is more about what I was thinking.

As we parent our children, we begin with the end in mind. That means we want our children to be good communicators, helpful to others, responsible with their money and their life, and more.

In order to arrive at those goals, we add to our children's responsibilities over time asking more of them until they are ready to stand on their own. Financially, we take care of all their needs until they can begin to work at home to earn additional money to spend as they see fit. They have to save some and give some to help others.

If a politician began to think and act like this, they would have my vote. America needs to take a long look at what it values and how we got to this point financially and in our society. Perhaps we need to go back to some basics and become conservative financially and liberal in how we take care of others.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Politcally speaking

Do you ever feel like our "representative" government does not really represent the people as it should? I wonder sometimes and most recently during the first rounds of proposed $700 billion dollar bailout. Overwhelmingly the people of America were not in favor of the bailout and our representatives listened...they passed it anyway. Humm!!!

I believe that something had to be done, but giving money away like that was not my idea of helping. Perhaps I believe too much in taking responsibility for actions (ie, the companies who were failing, etc) or someone having the guts to take a stand and provide some "parental" direction as if the country were a child. Some days I just wish that we could be conservative in our approach and finances, but liberal in our dealings with people.

See you soon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On the road again

My new role at camp requires travel. Yesterday, I ran down to Phoenix and drove a few miles. If you are familiar with the area I drove the entire 202 fwy! I was in Mesa, AZ in the far northeast corner then down through Gilbert and over to past the 10 fwy and to Pecos. Chandler was the last stop then back home.

Why? Well, I have been asked to be in front of groups & church leaders that attend UCYC on a regular basis. It's fun and I do love driving. It's also cool to get to know more about the Phoenix metro area.

See you on the road!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

30 inch Pizza


That's right, this pizza is 30 inches across and loaded with toppings. It was one small piece of our vacation to CA recently. In the photo you see Matt, Shawn and myself trying to choke down this monster with some dark Ale. Needless to say the pizza and beer won!!!!

Oh well, it was fun trying! Thanks Kinsley's and Lewis' families for making this part of the trip a blast!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pushing through the pain

I have been attempting to train for a marathon. (I have not decided if I have time to complete the marathon training because of time away from family). During every run there are many times that you wonder if you can keep going. This is especially true living and training in Prescott which has NO FLAT AREAS to run in!

On each run you make a choice to finish or not. Most of the time it means "pushing through the pain" and completing the course or training. There are some crucial moments in each run that will make or break you. The same is true in life!

If you face difficulty at work, home or in relationships "pushing through the pain" is the way to complete to course. After you can look back knowing that you made a great decision to keep moving forward. I pray today that God would help you keep moving forward!

Friday, October 3, 2008

She's the One!


Most of us look for the "perfect" everything! We try to plan out the perfect vacation, drive the perfect car, find the perfect outfit and so much more!

Just one look at this woman in the picture and you will understand why she is PERFECT for me. I love Lori Coyne!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hardship

So, it's been a little fuzzy for me lately. I have tried to see things clearly and understand what is going on in my life, but it's not clear.

In a word, "Hardship" has come my way. It's not overly difficult, it's hard to understand. Sometimes we face difficulty and it's physically demanding, sometimes, like this one for me, it's very cerebral and weighs on your emotions as well.

I was reading about two guys in jail and they were celebrating! Sounds odd but they found joy in difficulty. I want to be like that. James 1:2 says, "consider it pure joy whenever you face trails of many kinds". I am leaning into this hardship and going to grow through it!

Thanks God for taking me INTO and THROUGH the fire!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sorry

I have been a little distracted lately so the writing has really dropped off. Sorry! I will do better about keeping you up to date.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Funny Little 'Man'


Jordan is very special to us! Here is one reason why...

The kid is a riot! He talks a lot and has lots of energy, but look at this face!

He just turned 4 yesterday and continues to add joy to our household. At times he adds stress but what kid doesn't?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wet n Wild Camping


Labor Day, the Coyne's went camping in a tent near Williams, AZ. We joined many friends and their families for "mud" camp.

Basically it rained at night...did I mention we slept in a tent...did I mention that the tent could not keep out all the rain. Humm!

So, it rained at night and it rained during the day, but the trip was fun.

This picture was taken on Bill Williams Mtn. We were up in the clouds topping out over 9,000 feet. Very cool trip and the kids and Lori were great.

While the mud got discouraging eventually, it was a fun trip. However, the next Coyne trip will be in a Condo at a resort. Sounds fun huh????

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A trip home

Today I catch a flight back to Tulsa and will see my family for a day. The purpose of the trip is to help my sister Lee Ann and her entire district of teachers with some team building. We have been talking about doing something for a long time and now it will happen. I am thrilled and happy for her here!

In addition, I get to see my dad who fell and broke his leg about two weeks ago. He is doing great, but I am glad to get to see him soon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Two rides in one day

Just a quick excerpt from our annual trip to Utah for mountain biking.

We arrived at the camp ground at 2am. The next day we were slow getting started (1pm). We rode with 7 people up to 10,000 feet and back to camp. It was about 14 miles. We went back to camp and met up with the rest of our group and rode an additional 9 miles at dusk. Great day riding.

That night we cooked our steak and ate at 11PM. Red meat and red wine in my exhausted body...what a great trip!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My kids


While this picture just has Jordan, it represents more than just him. As a dad I have the honor of living and loving three kids. They are some of the very best parts of my life.

Maddie- She is friendly and considerate of others, learning to really talk n listen. She is the carbon-copy of her mother. She is tall and strong, made for running.

Austin- creative and funny, quiet around new people, but he is not quiet with us! He is tall and slender, loves baseball.

Jordan- Loud and funny, lots of energy and lots of words. His laugh is one of the best sounds you will ever here.

At times kids are not easy, but I love being a "teacher" and helping them grow to become amazing people who will care for others, try to follow Jesus everyday and contribute to this world. I love you kids! Thanks for letting me be "your dad".

Sunday, August 3, 2008

80's workout


In the 4th of July parade this summer, both Maddie and Austin appeared helping the summer staff from camp "scoop poop". Basically, we are paid to follow the horse entries through the parade and pick up crap!!!

In this picture, Dave McMurray and Austin are preparing for poop scooping 80's workout style. Their group was complete with neon bright clothing and "Let's Get Physical" playing in the background as they worked their way through the parade.

Gotta say that Dave McMurray was one of the best I have ever seen. Way to go UCYC summer staff!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wandering a little

Since June 8th, we have attended a Sunday morning church 3 times. We have been out of town a lot, but that's more of an excuse than anything. So, yesterday we went to Heights Church in Prescott. I like the kids programs and the corporate singing is great. The teaching was good, but I struggle with "how did I get to this place".

I find that I am not overly critical or overly impressed. It's odd for me to not have movement that endears me to a place or drives me away. I seem to be in "neutrel" not being able to decide what to do.

So, I continue with my family navigating forward trying to be more responsible for my kids spiritual development and continuing to find Jesus daily.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pizza anyone??

In June we made a trip to CA. While there we ate at one of our favorite places...Haus of Pizza.

Located in Costa Mesa on the corner of Harbor Blvd & Adams, it is worth a visit. If you make it there, try the antipasti salad.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Funny Game


It's called "ladder ball" and it's a game like horseshoes, but you could play it drunk without hurting anyone.

The best part is the "color" of the balls. Can I say that in print??

Little boys at camp

I went to camp as a counselor with Austin and 4 other 4th grade boys on Sunday. While it was only a one day commitment until the other male leader could come to camp, it was still fun. Here is what I learned about 9 year old boys.

1. They act like men...sort of!
2. They are easily distracted, like me!
3. They have lots of energy.
4. They don't mind swimming in pouring rain.
5. They don't mind singing and jumping around to celebrate Jesus!

Thanks boys for allowing me to run with you for a day. I loved it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Acts 10:2-4

His name is Cornelius and his story is amazing.

He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"

Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked.

The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

If an angel showed up at my house, that would be amazing enough, but if the report from this angel included reports that God has taken notice of "my prayers" and "my gifts to the poor", that would be too amazing for words.

While I do not worship angels, I recognize that if they show up it's something incredible. The reason this caught my eye is because Cornelius is being recognized for things that most followers of Christ would/should have been doing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The woman of my dreams


Life is fun, especially with a woman like Lori. This picture says it all. Thanks God for giving me a woman to share life with like her!!!!

Great friend

Yesterday I had lunch with an amazing friend. We met at camp a few years ago and he is the youth pastor at a large church in Phoenix. The purpose of lunch was to discuss a recent camp experience and he did just what I had hoped he would do. He spoke honestly and clearly about all that happened for himself and the students from the church...very cool.

Before we discussed camp we just talked about our lives up till that day and what God was doing in us. I am still searching the "Church" and practically trying to find a local church to connect with. He asked some of those "good friend questions" that only someone who knows you can ask. I trust him and his relationship the Christ to speak clearly and honestly to me.

We all need friends like Craig who will speak clearly to us. They bring clarity to our thinking and help us evaluate times in our lives that need direction. Praise God for Craig Beyer!

Thanks Craig for being my friend. I need you in my life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

3 men, 2 much mud and 1 great ride!

Early on Friday morning Matt, Greg and myself met for an early morning Mtn. Bike ride! It has rained for hours the day before, but it was a great morning and we did not care about some water & a little mud.

We were rolling along perfectly and laughing and talking. Suddenly the mud began to cake up on my tires and I suddenly stopped without warning! Over the next 3/4 mile we carried the bikes with mud caked everywhere and our shoes were a mess as well. Finally we were able to put the bikes down, clean the tires a little and our shoes.

The best part of riding like this is the flying mud as you begin to ride again. Luckily we all were glasses so our eyes are protected, but you couldn't risk smiling or you would get mouth full of mud.

Chalk this one up to another "adventure" in riding.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Old friends

I was able to meet an old friend for lunch yesterday. Back in the day, he attended Ozark Christian College and made a trip to my hometown during a concert at my church. A few years later, I made it to So. Cal. and attended Pacific Christian College and who did I see??? Jon, the same guy I met during my senior year. Wow!!!!

Our paths have continued to cross over the years in California and Missouri and we continue to share the state of Arizona. It's cool to have a long term friendship with another man who is trying to follow Jesus. I have known Jon Taylor for more 23 years!

Today, Jon inspires because he is leading in a local Phoenix church and doing a great job. God is good and sees us through whatever comes. For Jon, God is doing some of His best work, creating a great leader of people. Jon is trying to help people find Jesus and follow Him....

Great job Jon! Thanks for being my friend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Father's Day


Father's Day 2008! Lori took pictures of the the boys in my clothes and shoes! The picture frame also included words like, "We want to be just like you Dad".

Wow! I cried as I thought about these little men wanting to be like ME??? I love them and Maddie so much, but it's difficult to think they would want to be like me.

Perhaps they see more in me and than I can see in myself. Isn't that true of all of us? We see ourselves as less than we are, when those around us see us for what WE REALLY ARE. I know that's how Jesus sees us as His children. And He is the best Dad we could ever know.

Thanks children and Lori for making this day very special and my life as a father...amazing!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 4th celebration


Friday evening we spent some time with friends at their home and the kids got to enjoy a few small fireworks. This is Jordan watching a "screamer". What a blast!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Easy 10k

Four of us from camp decided to race in a 4th of July 10k. It would be 6.2 miles of slight rolling hills or SO WE THOUGHT! As we were listening to the race description by the starter he said, "This is the hardest 10k course in the city of Prescott". What????

At this point it doesn't matter. The information we just gathered only hurts our feelings because we where paid up and dressed up for the run. So, what's a little mental agony...right!

The course was very hard and really took a lot out of me! We all survived and I came in last place, but the race was completed.

I am sure there is a lesson to be learned here, but I am too tired to figure it out!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One bad mother


While I look a little "possessed" I am trying to man-up. This picture was taken outside the Melting Pot restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ.

I am driving my "bad ass" Toyota Camry Wagon and felt like a complete stud next to this Ferrari!

Lori and I thought it was a funny picture, your thoughts????

Books, books everywhere

I have been on a reading terror over the last few months. Here are some of my favorites!

So you don't want to go to church anymore.
The shack.
He loves me.
Unchristian.
Master plan of evangelism.
The book of Acts- the Bible.

Currently, I am completely intrigued about the love that God has for us and how invested he wants to be in our lives. In fact, the Holy Spirit wants to be God IN us! I am trying to figure out how to get David out of the Holy Spirit's way inside me and my thick skull. Can you relate???

Feeling like MEN!

Yesterday the camp rented a "chipper" for getting rid of some tree limbs that we had around the property. It was capable of consuming a 6 inch piece of wood. In other words, it was powerful! So the morning began with me and a few young men from our summer staff. As the morning continued the numbers grew of those willing to get a little dirty.

I found myself yelling when a huge piece went in the machine and came out like nothing. The other boys were having a great time like me, acting like kids but doing work at the same time. In the end here is what we have to show for our efforts.

Deaf in my left ear (should have used ear plugs), right wrist scratched up badly. Some cuts on my left left leg, lots of splinters in my hands and tree sap everywhere. While these were my battle wounds they are representative of each person working the chipper.

It was SO MUCH FUN! I love being a man!!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Try, try again

It's Sunday morning and we have been gone in CA for the two previous sundays. In short, it's the first Sunday after the church we used to attend closed!

So, we will head to a local church this morning at 9am and try it. I hate the church shopping thing, but I find myself doing it for our children and a place where we can connect with others for Sunday mornings. We continue to be involved with a group of Christ Followers on Sunday nights and that will likely be our deepest connection and place of study and growth!

Cheers to another journey beginning!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Looking ahead

So much of life is like this picture above Tye and I are riding the Virgin River Rim Trail and at the time of the shot over 9,000 feet up! We are looking South into Bryce Canyon!

In a small way our lives are like this snapshot. We see what is likely ahead, but the twists and turns of life are really not that visible. In truth, we don't know what is around the next corner. Cancer or some other illness? Trouble with our children or parents? Broken relationships, financial issues and too many other things to name here.

Regardless of your position about Jesus Christ, I for one, am following Him. He is teaching me more about loving people today than ever before. So, if you read this and have issues that make you question God's role in your life- Good! Call me and I will walk with you through it.

I don't have answers to much, I won't judge your position or circumstances, but I am willing to get "dirty" with you as you try to sort through your life. I would honestly just like to be your friend. Heaven knows we need more good one's in our life.

I love you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fires, fires everywhere

I am currently in Ponderosa Basin (near Mariposa, CA). We are staying with Lori's parents and the kids having a family vacation. As I look outside this morning the smoke is terrible. The cool night has brought the smoke down, but later today as the temp rises, so will the smoke.

Yesterday we drove up a mountain road about 2 miles from the house to see the fire burning. It's crazy to watch as these hillsides smoke and flames leap high into the air! We are in no danger at this time, but we have had many thoughts about evacuating with her parents. All is well, and God is certainly still in charge!

Hopefully we will not have a "fiery furnace" escape in our future!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6 Dave's, full flight and a hot night, Part 2

So, we just meet this guy at the airport and head back to his apartment. It's about 105 in Pasadena and we are heading for a birthday party with about 30 people we have never met. The birthday party is for Dave (the airport guy) that we have known for about 20 minutes!

We have a great time with the group and end up back in the apartment (which is about 800 sq/ft) and there is no room. It's sweltering heat upstairs so it looks like a rough night. The apartment was too small to have us crash on the floor so we end up on the floor in an empty apartment, however the was two window A/C units...probably saved our lives.

After a short night of sleep a homemade breakfast, we were back to the airport and I was still wearing the same clothes (I sent my other stuff with Lori). No shower and looking good, we made it through security and home at last.

Needless to say, I spent the remainder of my day on the couch...drooling!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

6 Dave's, full flight and a hot night

Dave and I were flying from Burbank, CA to Phoenix, AZ yesterday. The plane was too heavy to take off so they asked for volunteers to stay overnight. We thought we could grab a hotel and "no big deal"...or so we thought.

All Burbank hotels were sold out. We could not reach any of my local friends and the floor in the airport began to look more appealing. Dave had contacted a girl from another camp that we had brought to Burbank earlier that day. She asked her sister and brother in law if we could stay with them on the floor. So, Dave (Nikki's brother-in-law) came to the airport to pick us up!

I will finish the story tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Help! With NO answers!

I found myself sitting in a coffee shop yesterday in Ojai, CA. It's a small town not far from the coast and it has a little of the Sedona, AZ feel to it! I liked the quaint downtown and the coffee was great.

The purpose of my visit was to meet a vendor that camp has worked with for years. We have created many shirts, bottles and other products over the years, but I have never met Russ in person. Yesterday would be that day!

We began talking about business, but things quickly moved to the recent death of his wife of 35 years. It was heartbreaking listening to a man talk about the loss in his life, but it's compounded with additional loss. A journey like his (dealing with a death) is unique and very difficult. Many have tried to be helpful, but at times it feels like their help brings more guilt. Their suggestions to be in church or to have "enough" faith strike further blows!

He is "mad as hell" at times, and I would be too! Perhaps the best thing any of us can do is, listen and try not to sound stupid or knowledgeable! I found myself understanding his pain, his lack of church attendance (too many memories), but encouraging his continued pursuit of God! Life is never easy and then things like this happen that really bring turmoil. How you deal with those in your life says a lot about your faith in Jesus. Be loving and don't try to have all the answers! Thats' my best encouragement for you!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Team, the Beach and 150 kids

Yesterday at camp was beach day. 150 students and adults from camp piled (crammed) into buses for the 11 mile journey down to the beach in Ventura. We arrived about 2pm and left about 8:30pm. We ate, played, surfed, roasted marshmallows, sang and heard Anthony speak right there at the beach.

There is something very powerful about people gathered in the name of Jesus singing songs to Him and watching the sun go down over the ocean. Very cool!

So the whole event was amazing, but it's most amazing because of the Forest Home Staff and Dave McMurray. Together this team of people have created an atmosphere where kids will have fun and be challenged by Jesus. It's been an amazing few days and we still have 1 to go!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just a little slower

It's about 7pm and I am sitting in Oak View, CA. It's a small town near Ojai, CA just 11 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Wow, it's amazing here.

The camp is called Forest Home Ojai Valley and it has this amazing feel of being relaxed. I have had many conversations with adult leaders about how the pace of camp is slow and allows room for conversation.

Pray with me that God will carve out enough room and time in kids so they can speak about important life issues.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Something New for UCYC

I am sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Anaheim. The kids are upstairs asleep and I am writing. Today we head up through Los Angeles and the Valley, out West toward Santa Barbara. Today begins 3 camps at the same time for UCYC. Junior Camp in Ponderosa, High School Camp in Log Cabin Village and MS/HS in Ojai Valley, CA.

This 3 camp beginning has never happened before in UCYC history. It's fun to play our small role in God's much BIGGER picture! What's your role today?

Making memories part 2


Simple acts like sitting on the fountain in a pool make great memories for kids and families. I was thinking this morning about all the different experiences that our family has enjoyed.

Just yesterday, we were in Southern California headed down to Newport Beach! Driving the Suburban onto the Balboa Island Ferry was fun. The kids sat outside for the quick boat ride across the bay and loved it! The older I get, the more I realize that it doesn't have to be expensive to be memorable. The secret seems to be looking for joy wherever you are!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another church that's doing it well

I spent lunch yesterday with a pastor of a church in Nashville, TN. We discussed many issues, primarily we talked about how church needs to be lived out more by the people of the Church! It was an amazing and encouraging conversation.

My friend has decided that their local body are not going to grow at all cost! The body needs to have it's participants in small groups before they would add another service. It's an artificial control but at the heart of it is participation for the body! I love it!

The leadership has decided that helping everyone who is in the walls of their building to LIVE OUT their relationship following Jesus!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Who am I?

I just joined a group on facebook for graduates from my high school. The invitation said, give a little update, so I did. I found myself writing about what I DO, not necessarily who I AM. You know, I talked about where we live, the members of my family, and the type of work that I do. Then it happened.

I stated that I don't only want to be defined by what I DO. So I wrote a little more about WHO I AM. It was fun! If I am really going to journey through life and do that in such a way that would encourage others to be real, then I need to be real! It was fun talking about Jesus, Lori and the kids. These are the areas that most define WHO David Coyne has become!

Enjoy the ride! Take stock in who you are becoming, it's more important than what you do!

Friday, June 6, 2008

17 Years and looking better than ever


Sunday, Lori and I celebrate our 17th anniversary.

I often tell her that she is more beautiful today than the day I married her, but as you can clearly see, I am the luckiest man alive. Lori truly is more amazing today!

Before you begin to think that I am totally shallow (which I am), understand that her heart is the most amazing part. Her transformation directed by God has been the best part of being in her life.

Thanks Lori for 17 amazing years on this journey with you. I look forward to many, many more!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It Begins...Again

Much of life can be characterized by this title of this passage. "It Begins...Again", means that it's new, but it's also another time down the same track as before. Perhaps we get tired of things that happen over and over, perhaps we become complacent, but at camp...it's the best time of the year!

Today there are about 400 campers and adults at UCYC. The hope is that lives will be changed by God as they spend time here at this mountain retreat!

I don't get tired of this...I get energized by the same things over and over! Much like Lori and I, it gets better each year as we learn more about each other (BTW...17 years on Sunday).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A church closing

Last Sunday the church (I know WE are the church) we have been attending on Sunday mornings announced it's closing. Three weeks out and it's done! It's been an interesting journey and I have NO criticism. I wonder at times why we have made this journey, but I come back to the basic truth: Whatever in life we experience...it's okay if we continue to follow and trust God!

So, that's it! CCV Prescott will close on June 8th and the Coyne family will begin a search for another place to attend. We enjoy the connection with people at church so we will reconnect somewhere. In the meantime, we will continue to travel life with our neighborhood group and try to live like Jesus with our neighbors!

Keep following Him. Jesus really is the only way to make it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

God loves you

It's one of the most powerful thoughts in our world. God...The God of all chooses to love people. He sees fit to make an investment in us with no guarantee that we will respond correctly. We may take His investment and flush it down the toilet. However, He still loves us right where we are.

God's desire to and now my desire to tell that story of love to anyone. If people begin to understand God's motive is NOT guilt but love, it's much easier to follow! I pray that we will understand and follow God's plan for helping others and not our "man-made" church ideas. Let's be people of God!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hike them up!


It's great being a kid! When in life can you wear your pants so high and it be funny. Well, when your old and your pants must be that high to stay on...but you understand what I am saying.

Just a random shot of the kids being kids. Man I love these three and being their dad!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Family Reunion


As a kid I went to family reunions each year. They never made sense to me and once I was bitten by a dog in the stomach. It's a funny story....later!

Well, last weekend Lori's family came to Prescott for the LeGros family reunion. We hosted 26 people from all over the USA and it was great! Lori's dad and three siblings were the ring leaders and their children made up the group. Of course there were "outlaws" like me, Todd, Dean, Shelly and Sunshine!

Having not been to a reunion since I was young I did not expect much, but it was GREAT! We had a great time laughing, playing and telling stories. So much of our lives have been lived apart that's is nice to get together and catch up!

Enjoy your family and talk about the "important things" when you are together.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Making memories


Much of our life is made of memories. I really don't remember much about my family vacations as a child other than "getting lost". As a dad/husband I try to make memories like this one where we can all look back and enjoy the thoughts of swimming, laughing, playing, eating and being together as a family.

Priceless

Smiles are priceless. This glimpse of life was captured on our trip to Scottsdale! Lori and I are amazed at life as a family. We hope your times as a family are filled with Joy and with hardship! Both good and bad times are part of life. Enjoy them all!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Some time in the Sun

Lori and I took the kids to North Scottsdale for a 2 night timeshare visit just before the summer craziness. Here were a few random highlights:
1. Sunscreen washes off your kids (sorry Austin)
2. When your 3 year-old is in his floaty and flips, he will look like a duck (butt up and head down)
3. Jordan could be in the lazy river all day...literally ALL DAY!
4. I have an amazing wife and her beauty increases each day.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Snow Skiing in April.

We went to Lake Tahoe to celebrate a 40th birthday with a friend. Matt, Erica, Dan, Suzanne, Lori and I drove over to Alpine Meadows for only 3 hours of skiing.

It was a hot day with lots of loose snow. After a few practice runs, we went to the top and began our day. Let me just say that my wife is a STUD! She is a natural athlete and you would have thought she has been skiing all the time. I am very lucky.

Then, day 2 came and none of us could walk. Oh well, we had fun even if we are getting old.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A hurried trip

Wednesday night we (the Coyne 5) drove to Phoenix to spend the night in a hotel. We had to catch a 6:20am flight. Things went fine, we ate dinner and played as a family. We swam in the hotel pool until 8:30pm. Just before bed we were looking for some medication for Austin and realized it was in the diaper bag for Jordan, back at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen), so I run get it.

We crashed about 9:30pm for one of the worst nights sleeping in years. All 5 slept poorly. Jordan wakes Lori at 2am to poop (let me just take a moment to say that potty-training is going well). We were getting up at 4:30am to leave at 4:45 for the shuttle. At 4:30 we got a call and the shuttle was going to leave. We quickly got ready and ran downstairs in 5 minutes...the shuttle left!

Well, we made it to the airport and our flight on time, but that was crazy! By the way, people are not very engaged at 5am at the airport (apparently that fact escaped our Jordan). He was talking so loud and being wild that it was hard to not be noticed. The whole flight was great and the kids are doing amazing. We look forward to another adventure on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Letting Go

Over the past few weeks we have been discussing new things and upgrades to camp. UCYC is an amazing place, but we always needing to retrofit and improve.

I love the process of meetings and discussions. To think creatively about how to get something done, who can/should be involved in the direction is fun as well. I consider myself a decision maker at times and want to see the projects brought to completion...I am normal!

We have been working on one such project and it occured to us (Greg, David and Jim) that we need not hold so tightly to this project. We decided (rather unlike us) to let things happen as they will. We decided to not influence this project buy allow God to decide. It's fun to "let go" and see what happens. The project will be complete someday (I think), but it's freeing to allow things to happen without having to control it all!

Enjoy the journey...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We met a "non-Christian"!

During a recent conference we were discussing how to talk with people and our relationship with Jesus Christ! The question posed was, "Do you know anyone who is not a Christian?". Great question to a group of camp directors. I do know some, but not very many...so I was bothered.

Fast forward to that night, we drive down to Ruby Tuesdays and sit in the bar for about 30 minutes with a guy named Gil. You know what???? We found people who don't know Jesus, we found people at a bar who don't follow Christ. What a revelation! During that 30 minutes, we (David, Greg and Jim) were reminded that it's easy to find, engage and journey with anyone (Christ follower or not). The question is: Are you looking for someone and then doing something about it.

We must stop GOING to church and start BEING the Church everywhere.

Lightning Rod & Idiot Boy

We just returned from Tinning Symposium (fancy name for camp directors of large camps in a meeting together). During the time Greg and I made a presentation that was a "little" controversial. You know, when you threaten a concept of the Church, people will react!

Two days later, Greg made another suggestion that seemed to create some additional "fire" about our National Conference for camps. So, Greg and I have been renamed Greg= Lightning Rod and David= Idiot Boy. Look for our next adventure on Comic Book stands everywhere!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Walking with others

Here are a few people that I got journey with this week.

Katie (on the plane). She is a Bar Tender going on a month long vacation in Europe. Looks like fun traveling with friends from London all these historic places. I did not say anything about Jesus, I just talked and listened to her story.

Jay (with some coffee). We met and talked about what God is doing in our lives. He is working through some tough issues at church and doing great. I am going to continue to follow up and ask him how things ae moving.

I am learning to pay more attention to every person I meet with the opportunity to be used by God to listen or meet a need.

Monday, April 14, 2008

At the "Glen"

Yesterday (Sunday) was a travel day from Prescott to Colorado Springs. We arrived at Glen Eyrie or the "Glen" and it's beautiful. It's kind of a combination of Sedona's red rock in a small canyone with a slot canyon that leads to a waterfall.

Yesterday, Greg and I hiked/ran up to the waterfall and beyond to some pools. The rock was slick and that created some tense moments. No one fell in, luckily! Again I am amazed at God's beauty and creativity.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

On the road

It's 5am and I have to make a flight this morning to Denver, then on to Colorado Springs. These are always tough, because I love to travel, but I don't like leaving Lori and the kids behind. So if you read this, say a prayer for my family.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Look me in the eye!

Have you noticed that when people are hurting and asking for something, they typically don't make eye contact? Are they embarrased or humiliated? YES!

Can you place yourself into a situation where you had to ask for everything? It's difficult to imagine.

I bring this up because an interesting story happened in Acts 3 (from the Bible).

Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

If you are going to try and help people, it simply requires you LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE! I am going to try and make it my goal to act this way. Would you join me?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Taxes, Economy and America Part 2

So I explained yesterday some of my favorite things about FairTax. Here is the final portions...

1. FairTax creates a "pre-bate" based on family size. The prebate will cover "essentials" like: food and medicine. Each family legally in the USA will qualify based upon the poverty level in America. A family like mine with 5 members might receive $500/month (the amount is unknown) to reimburse for taxes spent on purchasing these essentials.

That means, if you are in the country illegally, then you DO NOT qualify for the pre-bate. It's one of the few incentives that I have heard about that would encourage people to come to America legally. If they choose to stay here illegally, then they contribute at a higher rate to Social Security and Medicare. In other words, they are penalized for sneaking into the USA.

2. Business development. Recently it came to light that Former President Clinton had money in an "off-shore" account for tax benefits. If the US adopted FairTax, much of that money would return to the USA to be used in this economy. I don't have a problem with people making decisions based on preservation of capital or avoidance of tax burden, but FairTax would eliminate money leaving the USA for tax purposes.

In fact, the research for FairTax (over $22 million so far) established that 400 of the top 500 business in the world would build their next plant in the USA and the remaining 100 would relocate the entire operation here! That means lots of jobs and the US economy getting an incredible shot in the arm!

I may be a Republican, and somewhat conservative, but this plan makes sense to consider! I like FairTax and hope it will pass Congress.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Taxes, Economy and America Part 1

I am typically not very political, but I have to tell this story about FairTax because I believe it has the ability to become one of the greatest pieces of legistlation in our countries history.
FairTax is a tax on new purchases and services. 23% tax will be buried in the price of items you purchase, not 23% after you pay. All other taxes are gone!

Here are a few things I like about FairTax.
1. There is no IRS, no April 15 deadline, no tax filing!

2. There is no withholding from your paycheck. What you make is what you take home!

3. Money earned illegially in the US will be taxed (ex. If a drug dealer buys a new car, they will pay tax, this is a new revenue stream since their money has never been taxed before)

4. 50 million visitors to the USA annually will pay FairTax. That's right, they will help support Social Security and Medicare.

5. FairTax gets ride of Corporate Taxes. Companies will desire to move back to the US since they can do business from here more competitively.

6. Employers save money because they are not having to match 7.5%/employee in FICA taxes.

7. As a consumer you can pay as little or as much tax as you want. If you purchase everything used, you will avoid much of the tax! You are more in control.

Part of the reason I write this out is because I believe FairTax has great potential and will help solve many of America's financial problems. At the same time, FairTax will remove the power of many government officials who use taxes as a way to get elected or help "special interest". FairTax will remove their power. Perhaps, this last item is why FairTax has a slim chance of passing congress. If you like the idea of FairTax, then do something.

To learn more about FairTax, click here.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Following Jesus

In today's American world, it's difficult to follow Jesus. "Church" in our culture is not often seen as positive or relevant to young people. On top of that the "Church" can be seen as a place of guilt and rules. For some people the answer is blending what they think will help them be "spiritual".

Consider carefully WHO you follow. While I believe Oprah does some things well in our world, she is not the SAVIOR. Watch this video to understand the power of following anyone other than Jesus.

(I am not endorsing the book, because I have not read it)

For me, I am trying to follow Jesus. He, and He alone, is worth forming my life around. Other humans in life may play influential roles, but always, ALWAYS FOLLOW JESUS.

David

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I love to ride!

Although it was 26 degrees when we left. Although my face was frozen at the bottom of "big ugly" (an ominous hill near camp). Although I was breathing very heavy because we climb for about 5 miles at the beginning of the ride.

When the downhill begins the smile spreads across my face and it's all worth it. I love to ride!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Learning to talk...AGAIN!

So, I have served in churches and camp for 19 years! In that time, my job has primarily centered around speaking. You would think that I could communicate well. Not the case at all!

While my mouth is capable of making sounds and words, it's my stupid ears! Learning to hear and DO SOMETHING with that information is my breakdown!

Oh well, here I go again. Heaven help me!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bringing it home! Mountain biking at UCYC!

The group has been riding for about 4 years now, maybe more! I am riding my 4th bike, all purchased from Ebay! The purpose: to get my fat butt in shape, drop a few pounds (like 25) and perhaps add a few years to my life.

The first bike ride was an amazing adventure, but that story is better on another day! Suffice it say that I fell in love with riding, speed, crashing and the friends that would attempt the same stupid stuff!

After we began to ride, someone asked, "Hey, why can't we ride with the campers who attend UCYC?". Amazing! What a thought! So, we added mountain biking for the last 3 summers. Now, it's coming full circle and we are building a trail at camp. We began construction last week and have cleared about a 1/4 mile so far. Having ridden thousands of miles on dirt, it's fun to see it created and help set the direction.

Our trail is no "Dark Hallow" but it will be fun for students and adults, plus it should allow us to use it early in the morning before we head to work. When it's complete, I will let you know how it worked out!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Creativity defined

Austin, my 9 year old son, is currently sitting on the floor surrounded by a "race car" that he constructed out of a boxes last night. He is currently working on a launch ramp made form Kinex. Jordan, at 3 years, is working with TinkerToys. Basically, I am surrounded by swords, cars, ramps, bulldozers, airplanes and more. The "more" are the things that I don't understand what they are.

Thank God for little boys who see things that don't exist and posess the ability to make it come alive!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grace in a funny place

So, hypothetically, if you are in a bathroom in the airport and you do your work. You reach for the paper to complete the mission and can seem to find any. Surely your just not finding the end of the role so you frantically scratch at the cardboard tube, hoping a flake will appear...Nothing.

Now it's decision time. Do you ask your stall mate (one seat to the left)? Do you "pull-up" and go next door to the empty stall? What to do????? Long pause as your mind races.

Then suddenly, as if a light shined from Heaven behind you, you remember the seat covers. Those blessed little helpers of seat separation! Well, grace was shown to me on the throne that day! So being the good natured person that I am, I shoved a few extras into the T.P. dispenser for the next poor soul!

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A little busy

The past two days have been busy. Wednesday I left early (6:30a, drove to PHX and flew to Burbank, CA. I was visiting a camp near Santa Barbara, only 12 miles to the Beach! Home at 10:30p. Long day...

Yesterday, Herry and I left early and drove to coffee with a youth pastor in Glendale, Lunch with another in Mesa, and a drop by visit with a Pastor in North Scottsdale. Are you seeing a trend here?

It sounds like whining, doesn't it. Well, I love it. I love meeting with people, and who doesn't love to travel. Flying, renting cars, sitting in LA traffic (ok, that's not cool), seeing other camps, going to the beach to "check it out". This job is AMAZING.

Mostly it's the people I work with that make this great! So, thank God for what I get to do, and thanks to Greg, Jim, Michelle, Jeni, Scooter, Herry, Hoolee, Medlin, Jones, Matt, the Flowers, Barker, Beth, Jon, Todd, Trey, the ladies of Hospitality and more!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Just Getting Started

My life is like mountain biking. This morning we began our early morning rides. Leaving the house before the sun is up (5:45am) and trying to get home by 7am (Give or take a few minutes because of frozen cables or a broken chain).

Let me just take this moment to say, "it's a little cold at that time in the morning". I saw the weather and it was "48", but I don't think we got above 38degrees. My toes were frozen when I got home.

Sounds like life, huh! Well, the process of beginning new things or returning to things you love doing is what I am talking about! So, now I am trying this venture in blogging. It's a simple way for me to communicate. Perhaps we can journey and discuss together. Feel free to write anytime.