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 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.


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!