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'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).