Thursday, December 24, 2009
This is not Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative it's just my opinion. I would challenge our national leaders to draft bills that would address real health issues and keep each bill to 15 pages or less, to create no new bureaucracy and to "empower" not "enable" Americans to participate in the process and be easy to understand. Do something like that and not "politics as usual" and that would be CHANGE I COULD BELIEVE IN!
Okay...I am done!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The power of what God did at Christmas is found in that same word...WITH! He did not send His son to be near us or around us, but WITH us. Emmanuel literally means that God is invested with us. He is interested in us. I remind you of this fact since we feel left out alone at times...nothing could be further from the truth.
This Christmas, enjoy God WITH YOU! Merry Christmas.
Monday, December 14, 2009
A byproduct of this "slow down" has been the INFLUENCE that I have thrown off that has negatively affected others. I have influenced friends who were marginal and even my own family and it bothers me!
My point in writing this morning is not about the Church or even my issues. It's my desire to ask you to consider the INFLUENCE you are spreading and what is its impact. Perhaps you can look across your life and be proud of what your life is doing, perhaps not. Today is the day to change!
Whatever you would like your life to count for in the end, begin today making that become a reality.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Anyway, the boys were to be executed by being burned alive. They were bound and thrown into a furnace. Interesting as the Bible unfolds the story that the King observes 4 figures in the flames, when only 3 were thrown in...He says the fourth figure "looks like a son of the gods".
Here is what caught my attention. You may be rescued from trouble, BUT you may still go INTO THE FLAMES...FIRST! God could have saved them before they went in, but it's better that HE met them IN THE FLAMES.
When times are tough, God meets us...even in the worst places.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Brian Loritts spoke from Jesus' final sermon and challenged all of us to consider that "when we help the least of these, we are doing the same unto Jesus". This was not a holidays challenge, but rather a normal part of life and a reflection of my own faith.
As a family, we are beginning to discuss what God would have us do to help by using the "margins" in our budget, time and life. I will keep you posted about what we are doing.
Interesting side note: During the time of Jesus, land owners would harvest all but the margins of their fields and if anyone hungry needed the food, the could go out to the field and help themselves. The system worked by the generosity of people and the effort by the "hungry" to get the food.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
We were outside hiking and enjoying the outdoors everyday and did not see any trash on the ground! I mean, there was so little trash that it began to be noticeable! There is only one reason why...people took responsibility to keep it that way. Why can't we as American's do the same thing? It would make our country so much nicer if people would keep it clean!
I suppose it can begin with me, so I pledge to keep my areas clean! How about you? You could view this as a way to honor God by working His creation, you could see it as a way to save the environment or other motives could be found. I think it' important to care for things under your influence.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Day three, we arrived for a week in central Switzerland in the mountains surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. Glaciers and snow cover mountains towered across from our apartment. Day hikes and fun. Basic meals were beer, bread, cheese and Landjagers (like salami).
Final day was driving back to Germany to stay near the airport, then 24 hours of travel to be home. Amazing time and I will write more details about specific things in the days and weeks to come. This trip had a profound impact on me...I look foward to telling more stories!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This is toward the end of our "shaving cream" war. Lori promised the kids that we would have one, so everyone got a $1 can of Barbasol and away we went. Can I just say that at nearly 40, I am thrilled that my wife still acts like a kid. Okay, perhaps I act a little childish as well, but she keeps me young and fun.
The kids can't wait til back to school next year. Another war is coming and we add another tradition to our family.
As we are concluding the movie, Lori gets a call from a friend who's father just suffered a massive aneurysm. It was crazy to think that her father may not survive, may not ever be conscious so that his daughter can say goodbye.
Wow! How quickly things change, so say the important stuff now!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In a poor economic climate Americans should not be borrowing to purchase new cars. I would guess that in most cases that people driving a "junker" received $4,500 dollars off the purchase of a new car and are NOW MAKING PAYMENTS FOR YEARS! Yes they have a new car, but more debt is not a good solution either. Look at the following example...
If we traded our 1999 Suburban in for a GMC Acadia, given our 10,000 mile yearly driving it would take of 32 years to break even. Financially it makes more sense to drive the "junker" that I own vs. the new car that I have to make payments on!
We can predict or manipulate behavior with incentives. We can pour billions of tax dollars into programs that sell cars and help the finance industry with car loans, but American are now paying both the taxes and the car payments. Sometimes I wonder I about the foolishness of our leaders and decision makers!
I don't have trouble with incentives, but cash for clunkers benefits who????
Monday, August 3, 2009
Please take a moment and read this blog entry from a fellow staff member who is helping a mutual friend after a terrible fall. http://nehuskerfans.blogspot.com/2009/07/dan-barker.html
If you can sponsor Chris it would make a huge difference for Dan Barker! He is a walking miracle. Praise God!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
It looks more like 4 friends talking in a pizza place, but we are all working on building a great marriage by speaking, listening and understanding this person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. So, we sit there discussing the future wedding and marriage for Megan and Sam and I think about Mr & Mrs Bailey who are separated by death after 65 years of marriage.
Knowing that death will separate all of us eventually, do we not get married? Do we not invest in the lives of others because there will be separation? NO! We need people and they need us, so we create friendships and maintain them, we make vows for a lifetime to a spouse and we work to keep them up to death. Unknown is the end of the story exactly, but I wouldn't choose anything different than living my life with Lori!
I love you Lori Coyne!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I sit quietly on my back deck and hear about 4 or 5 different types of birds talking. I see butterflies, bees and flies moving through the air. On the ground there are many lizards and I have seen Javelina and deer in my yard last week.
Here's my point. Sometimes being alive means slowing down enough to see all that is alive around you! Life is not merely defined by what I experience! Life, as designed by God, is happening everywhere, sometimes it comes ALIVE to me when I sit and listen. Try it today!
Monday, July 27, 2009
I have never been to Europe, Lori made a trip in High School and our friends have been many times. We plan to hike a lot in Switzerland and travel the countryside. I am thrilled to be able to go on such a trip!
Our only concern at this point is leaving this kids for such a long time. They will be fine, so will we, it's just going to be hard to be apart. Guess that means we love each other!
Monday, July 6, 2009
"If you're going to go to the trouble of hiring someone, it's because you can't do the job yourself- so you'd better show them how you would do it."
This concept never occurred to me because I am always trying to help people lead the way they are wired, however, there is wisdom in passing on how you do something as people assume those roles. Leading this way helps with the passing down of tradition!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We were discussing the long nights in the hospital and the lack of sleep, but when asked if she would come home and rest she said, "Oh no, I would never leave him". It wasn't an arrogant statement, it wasn't a guilty statement. Being with Kenny like that was just like being at home. There was no better place than WITH HIM!
While there is much more to the story, I am stopping here because all I need to know is found in her simple words. I look forward to growing old with you Lori!
Monday, June 29, 2009
What do we do? How do we decide? We pray and seek God for direction. Now I am beginning to think that Wisdom is earned through the process like we are going through. So, we will pray, talk and make the best choice we can. Hopefully, it's a wise choice that helps us, helps others and honors God.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.
Verse 14 jumped off the pages to me yesterday. It says, "For he himself is our peace". Meaning that another part of Jesus' coming was to bring peace between those who are trying to follow God. Formerly it was the Israelites who were God's people and with Jesus' arrival that spread to "gentiles" as well and Jesus was bringing peace between both groups.
Is in any different today? There is different theology that helps people understand God better and sometimes those differences create a divide. Perhaps, we could hear these words and allow them to make a change in the divide of our relationships. Afterall, many people on both sides have the same goal to know and follow God.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Well, it's early Monday morning and Dan is struggling against his own body and injuries. He is a fighter and clearly wants to survive, but his injuries are very severe.
As I saw him in ICU yesterday, I was amazed! I continue to pray that this part of Dan's life would be the best part! I pray that he will not only survive, but thrive and use this part of his life to teach others about overcoming difficulty. Join me and say a prayer for Dan!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I get mad when I see all these class action lawsuits advertised on TV. Apparently the way to beat a recession is to file suit against a company for a product.
I get mad when I hear insurance companies refusing to pay for the stupid people they insure and filing suit against someone else's insurance company.
I get mad when the best way to settle the debt you owe (money you spent) is to file bankruptcy and make the problem go away (refer to my first entry).
Most I get mad at these because at times this has been me over the years. Selfish, blaming, lazy or a person who will take advantage of the system.
Monday, June 1, 2009
In the second service (more contemporary) there was the same feeling! The make up of each service was different from the outside. On a basic level, one service was "older" than the other, but he same spirit of love and generosity flowed through both!
Congrats Desert Christian Fellowship on being a body of believers who loves each other, cares about the needs of people and is willing to sacrifice to help. Keep up the good work. It inspires me to do more!
Friday, May 29, 2009
This week I was building with lots of kids around and I was asked over and over again, "What are you making?". I would explain and tell them when it would be ready. It was completed yesterday and the line of kids to play was huge.
Apparently, just watching the game come together before their eyes help build anticipation so much that they couldn't wait to play. Is it any different for us? Our eyes become full of something we desire and we cannot wait to have it!
Patience may be a virtue, but I can guarantee that patience is not easy!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
This picture was taken over Spring Break 2009! It tells the story of the Coyne family, my family! From the youngest to the oldest our lives become a rich tapestry of stories, laughs, crying, celebrations and heartaches! It's the stories of a normal family.
I hope that your life is filled with normal (goofed up) people like my life. They are also known as my family, and I could not love them more!
Monday, May 25, 2009
I am the one who thinks we don't have enough or need a new something, and at the same time, I have been to Haiti, Dominican Republic and Mexico and have seen people with far less than I have. Shoot, I can see that here in Prescott!
Life is not all about me! That sums it up. There is so many greater things to be concerned with other than a new TV or newer vehicle to drive. Maybe I just need to express myself some, whine a little then sack-up and move on? Maybe you can relate!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The season is busier right now with baseball and camp starting soon, VERY SOON. I will try to update this more often.
I did see "The Cross" movie last night at my local theater! Amazing story and amazing physical feat! You should check into it!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Throw on top of that the possibility of additional land (more than one option) and you get the sense that there is a lot of moving parts. Try to plan in this environment and you will understand what we are up against. Is it okay, for a leader of a God following organization to not have the plan? Is it okay to wait for God to show what's next?
Well, I am not that leader (Greg is), but I wonder about the conflict of a leader who is "supposed" to know what is next for an organization, and trying to find what God wants for the organization when it doesn't happen in the time frame that many would expect.
Honestly, can a God lead leader wait? More specifically, will those working with that leader allow the wait on God's vision to unfold? I am in....I get it!!!! It's going to be amazing and perfect! Can't wait to see what the next 10 years holds!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
While this is a morning norm for me, I have become increasingly aware of the beauty of the world we live in. Whether you would attribute what we see on planet Earth to a creator or not doesn't change the incredible place we call home.
Sunrise, the ocean, trees, grass, cactus, mountains, sky and stars...you name it. It's all amazing!!!! When was the last time you slowed down enough to take in some of what is all around you? When was the last time you considered where it all came from? For me, it screams that God is alive!!!!
Monday, May 11, 2009
22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
According to this, mankind was banished from the Garden because "Adam" then or ME TODAY might "take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever". I have thought for many years that Adam & Eve (plus the rest of us) were not allowed in the presence of God because they were "unholy" and God could not be in their presence.
Perhaps I have more to learn. I will keep you posted about additional thoughts! It just reminds me of how little I know about the nature of God!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
You know the little things like an exposed pipe on the ground that just needs to be reburied or a pile of trash or logs sitting somewhere (okay, maybe your home or camp is much cleaner).
Here is my thought, we try to practice the concept that, "if you SEE it, you OWN IT". That means if you see the pipe then go bury it. If you see the pile of trash then go pick it up and dispose of it! This type of work matches my A.D.D. thinking, so I take out my phone and write down what I saw and make sure I take care of it.
This applies to physical property here, but it can easily apply to people. If you hear it from them, then you must follow that conversation through. You hear it, you own it!!!!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Republican party had brought him in as a "star witness" to refute the claims of Al Gore and global warming before Congress. He was met by Representative Henry Waxman and denied access to speak in front of Congress. Why????
Are we not open to honest discussion and debate? I thought we were a free society where different views are acceptable? Perhaps the science of either side of the debate is tainted by politics! It's very sad!
In this case I am not taking a side! However, I am taking the side of people having an honest discussion and getting fair coverage in it's reporting! Whether you hail from the "left", the "right" or in the "center" we all deserve to be heard and listen to the ideas of others! Don't settle for anything less!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Now, we could fight this simple life or we could change our value system to support the "plain wrapper life" that we will spend most of our existence accomplishing! Before you get depressed over my thoughts, let's consider what makes this "average life" worth living.
Short answer??? People! It's always about people. I want to affirm living plain, but living to enjoy the people in your life, while you do average things! I am not ashamed of being normal, because I have Lori, Maddie, Austin, Jordan and countless family and friends to enjoy in my life. I am richly blessed and I love you all!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Routines like this can be helpful! The are predictable behaviors that help us manage life, but sometimes they can be restrictive. For example, In the last month (March into April) it has been cold on a few mornings. I prepared for 35 degrees the night before and it is 25. I don't know if you have ever been running in 25 degree weather, but it is COLD.
I suppose, like everything else we face in life, flexibility is key. I can prepare (have a routine) but I must take into account other things that I did not plan and BE FLEXIBLE.
Monday, April 20, 2009
On Saturday, we went to a track meet and watched her run a mile. Her personal best was 6:53. We discussed the strategy for the race for her and she went out to run it. Wow! She looked amazing and tears came to my eyes as I watched her run as we discussed and she was so strong! Her time???? 6:39. An amazing improvement. She finished 2nd in 7th grade girls and 5th overall in the race!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The principle I worked from is this, "people will most often do what helps themselves most". I know it's not very scientific, but it will help give some insight into this issue we face as a nation today and how other decisions (both public and private) can be made better in the future.
Think about it like this, if the tax code changes, business owners and individuals alike will seek to keep the maximum amount of their money. Some might say, it's a tax-dodge, but it's basic human nature. If I am a leader in America and I know this basic human tendency then I can anticipate how people will respond to a change in the tax code.
It's the same thing in the current financial crisis. While I can place blame in lots of areas, I go back to the beginning ideal of housing for all and those who proposed it (and I thinks it's a great thought). It seems to be the first domino to fall.
Does it matter that I would place more blame on those who originate something like affordable housing...NO! I don't even care, but we must learn to operate with the understanding of human nature. If we can think about how a proposal could be taken advantage of then perhaps some decisions could be avoided that would benefit us all! Leaders must understand that people can and will take advantage of programs and that might start us on the road to disaster.
If you read this and are mad at me about my thoughts, please hear my heart! I am firmly convinced that blame does not benefit any of us at this point. What I want to stress is making good decisions based on how people will respond to that decision. That's the sum of it! Make it better to create jobs in America and people will create jobs. If gas gets expensive, people will drive less! It's not hard to predict outcomes based on decisions!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
You see, 90% of track is practice and warm ups. This is especially evident during a meet. Students stretch, walk around laughing, playing games, but mostly THEY WAIT!
Isn't it ironic that we spend lots of time practicing and preparing for the "evident", when it takes so little of our time. Perhaps we should work more in the practice and make the most of those times instead of just the event.
Friday, April 3, 2009
While Jesus showed incredible ability to deal with large groups of people and he could even focus down to one man (Zacchaeus) out of a huge crowd, neither of these were the normal plan for the Son of God. His plan was to work "small and slow".
Jesus chose 12 men (small group) and he took over 3 years (slow) to teach, train and invest in them for the mission or purpose. While there is nothing wrong with big groups or even one-on-one time with people, if we are going to be involved in God's plan to reunite people with God, then it will work best in this "small and slow" approach.
Monday, March 30, 2009
He describes the classic story of Job. A man who looses everything. He looses his family, wealth and his health as well! A "well meaning" friend came and prayed this prayer in Job's presence.
"So, what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you!
Mind you, don't despise the discipline of Almighty God!
True, he wounds, but he also dresses the wound;
the same hand that hurts you, heals you.
From one disaster after another he delivers you;
no matter what the calamity, the evil can't touch you"
Peterson then asks me to consider how Job would have felt upon hearing these words. I would have been ticked off!!!
So, how do you respond to people in difficult situations? Is it different for those outside your family? Instead of trying to have the answers, today try praying "Peace" over them!
Friday, March 27, 2009
The most common question that I heard was, "Why drive that far for a short meeting?" Well, the short answer is, "it's better in person". I have two perspectives on the value of meeting in person. 1) We lean too much on electronic communication and sometimes devalue the relationship in the process. 2) Some discussions (like this one) need face to face time to deal with.
The topic of our conversation was about partnering the camp I work with and the church he works with over the next 5 years. If it works, then it will have a huge impact on both groups, therefore, we meet together. In fact, we will meet together again in a month to continue the discussion. It's that big and it deserves this much attention to get it right!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hummmm? Great question and one that is not easily answered. Of course, I want to say "YES", but that is spoken from this place of health, family, no financial stress, etc! I am like Job!
So, what could I do? How should I respond? Well, I can look around at the things in my life and be grateful, but HOLD ON LOOSELY to all of it! None of this stuff will last...not even me! However, my relationship with God can last forever so I will work to follow Him and respond to Him!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
On Sunday of the trip we ate batter fried strips of steak, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, rubarb pie, blackberry cobbler and a custard pie. That's just one meal, of which there were many like it!
The worst part is I ran 4 days during my visit to keep off more weight! Funny, I love being home...don't you???
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The fish in this pond were amazing. They would strike at your bait nearly every time it was cast! Mostly perch or sunfish!
Thank you Grigsby's for allowing us to fish that pond. It was amazing! Here is a brief description of how the day unfolded.
In all, 13 Coyne's and 1 Grisby made it out to fish on a windy day near Welch, Oklahoma.
Chuck and Eli went first in Chuck's truck. An hour later a convoy of 4 additional vehicles left following my dad (driving at 50mph top speed) left. In all there were 17 seats occupied by 11 people.
We went to the Grigsby's to pick up Katy and the John Deere Gator. This required another truck and trailer to haul it. I doubt US Military operations have a more difficult coordination exercises! It was hilarious.
The above picture shows Jordan's big fish... Here is my first catch! No, it's not bait!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
1. It's hotter than a pig under a gate
2. I'm busier than a 1-armed paper hanger
3. It's a thundergust of peckerwoods
4. He's strong as 40 acres of garlic
5. That rain is a "toad strangler"
6. She's worthless as tits on a boar
(Not all of these are used by mom, but have been heard around the Coyne household for as long as I can remember). I hope you take some time today to recall some of the funny things said in your household! Enjoy your life, it's the only one you have!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Although I have not lived at this house since 1986, there is part of this place that makes it my HOME. For some of you the thought of home is not a good one, but I think the good and the bad that sometimes comes along with the place you grow up is blown away with the amount of memories that help make you into the person you are today.
I was out running this morning and seeing familiar sites reminded me of the friends, school and other memories that are part of the fabric of my life. It was great to think about those people who helped make me into the man I am today. In a word...THANKS. Too my peers, thanks for caring for a goofy afro headed kid. Too the adults in my life, thanks for seeing past acne and hormones into something that you would want to invest in.
While my life is not perfect and certainly my past is riddled with mistakes, I hope to repay all of your kindness by continuing to invest in those younger than me now in my life. Perhaps "home" for someone else can be as rich as mine is!
Monday, March 16, 2009
While I don't know any woman who would put their hands in the front of their pants, they are not exempt! Men and women alike find it soothing to scratch their "backside"! In fact, just putting your hands back their on the bare skin is comforting. Perhaps we are checking to see if our bottom has fallen off? I don't know, but these types of VERY HUMAN behavior's make me laugh!
I don't think we should hide from them any longer, but laugh with me today about all the funny things that we do, even though we may not be aware and certainly would never do it public!!!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
As we were captivated by the Donkey in this yellow van (did I mention it was bright?), we noticed the lettering all over the side! "Donkey and Bull Show". Why, this good ole' boy even had a donkey and bull mounted to the hood of the van (miniatures, looked like plastic).
We were not quick enough to get a picture. Dang!!! We hoped he would get off at the same exit and head to Love's like us and get some gas. Sure enough he pulled off the interstate at our exit, but he did not come to Love's. However, as he turned we were able to see the passenger side of the van. Guess what? there was a bull sticking out that side!!!!
You know, it's moments like this (which happen a lot at the Quartzite Love's) that make me proud to be an American. We have such a rich culture and different ways to exist in it! I am proud that a man can make a living driving around the Southwest with 1,000 pounds of live animals in the back of his minivan. It's a great day here in America!!!
Friday, March 13, 2009
It could be turmoil in the lives of people you care about, it could be having a teenage daughter (Maddie is amazing), but a teenage daughter is still a teenage daughter and their lives are tough at times. It could be work concerns, debt or other financial matters that cause feelings like these!
Here is what I know. Life may be tough at times, and just because you follow Jesus Christ does not exempt you. However, the ANCHOR HOLDS in Jesus if you allow it too! So, transitions come and go, but as for me, my anchor is placed is Jesus and it might be a wild ride, but I will trust Him to see me through it!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The big fear came during thunderstorms (good thing Oklahoma has so few). If the power went off during the night, my grandfather was frightened because he would loose his oxygen. Enter Chuck! He proved his character over and over by BEING THERE...ALWAYS BEING THERE!
So I write this blog entry to honor him and to remind myself and all around me that sometimes the best thing we can do is JUST BE THERE! Don't ever underestimate the power of your presence even if you don't have answers. Sitting is silence is sometimes the best thing you could ever do!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
It's times like this that I feel like a BIG BOY. You know, and adult! That's right, I said the "A" word. It's good to be normal, I just hate this feeling of dragging along.
It does provide great teaching material for my kids because much of life can be like this feeling. You don't want to go to work but you have responsibilities, etc. Well, today is a BIG KID DAY for me, and while I am not a huge fan, it's part of being human. I pray that your human experience today is kinder than mine!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
For example, Austin (4th grade) has homework everyday except Friday. Math, Science and English are normal, plus a 20 minute reading log every day. Because of this emphasis, he is reading at 8th grade levels and it's normal.
Likewise, Maddie's school is divided into two different types of teaching. One is a normal approach and she is involved in the "expeditionary learning" approach. Projects, teamwork and presentations are normal parts of this type of learning.
Either way, Lori and I are highly involved in the process. We protect their time to do homework, help answer questions and they are responding very well. Just like life, we are all in this together.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
From a parenting perspective, my friends DON'T raise their children to be dependant upon the family, to never try or teach them to settle for less. NO! Parents inspire their children to do something with their life that makes a difference. They are brought up to be successful in our world. Children are taught to move out, make a difference, contribute to others.
This mentality seems opposite of what is being promoted at a core level in our political leaders. We like Obama, so we elect him, but his worldview is the opposite of what we teach. How can this be?
From a family finance perspective, my friends don't practice what government is promoting. It is insane for a family to say, "well, we don't make enough money to survive, so let's borrow more than we could ever repay and spend like crazy".
Whether you agree with me or not, you understand that we all have a responsibility to help protect the country we love and those in our direct care. I just want to point out the crazy dichotomy of supporting those whose agenda really is the opposite of what we practice, and we alone have to make choices to promote what we as Americans believe!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Recently I have had some self-revelation regarding being a man. At camp we have some great men who manage the facilities on this property. Over the years these "tough guys" work with their hands, and in my opinion, THEY ARE MEN! Hey, wait a minute, what about a guy like me?
Can I still be a man if my work is with my mind or handling people? What if I have never been trained to work with my hands? What if I am not "mechanical" in any way?
One of the cool things about working here and being comfortable in my own skin is learning how to be a man. Conclusion: I am a man who will seldom have calloused hands from labor. I love working on my car, landscape and plumbing or electrical issues around my house. Shoot, I even drove a Bobcat yesterday to clean up some of the camp roads!
What I do, does not make me a man. WHO I AM contributes most to me becoming a man. Someday, perhaps I will be a man who is similar to Jesus!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In a world with increasing speed this may be one of the best practices to keep us human! I look forward to speaking with you...IN PERSON!
Monday, February 23, 2009
In the simplest terms I can use, a covenant is an agreement between two parties. Similar to a contract there are parties, terms and promises, BUT, and this is a big BUT! Covenant agreements imply fulfilling your side of the agreement AND helping the other party fulfill theirs!
Of course the same covenant asks the other party to fulfill theirs and help you fulfill yours...it does go both ways, but since I am addressing you, then let's work on keeping the covenant and not just cashing in because they failed. This could be financial, but it applies to marriage, work and relationships with family and friends.
Hmmm? Would "covenant keeping" help us during tough times? Would that help us in terms of making a difference for real people? Of course it would. My hope is to help others during times like this. Join me!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
My sister lost her house and has to move home and there is nothing I can about it. NOT FUN! I have to fix the dent or pay to have it repaired over a stupid mistake. Ironically, I actually pay careful attention while driving BUT...oh well! I talk with friends and have heartbreak or anger over the conversation. There is sickness, both minor and major, for those in my life.
To sum it up, it's just part of being human! As a Christ follower, I am not insulated in any way from normal life issues that come up. However, I can take heart that someone bigger than me is willing to walk along during my journey. Could you be that person for someone else today? Would you be willing to act like Jesus for someone else? Perhaps you don't even care about Jesus, but would you give yourself to aid others in the life?
Imagine the difference it would make if we all cared more about the people in our life!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
What you do as someone who is dedicated to serve others and help them make the most of their life...Thanks!
Because the pay you typically receive is not that high and the expectations you are under are a burden at times...Thanks!
Knowing that the issues of conducting ministry sometimes puts your needs and your families as well as a very low priority...Thanks!
Why would you do this? Well, I am a better man today because of people just like you! Keep doing what you are doing, it makes a huge difference!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It reminded me that during a youth trip that anything good or bad that happens is always a "good" memory for the group. For example, the church van breaks down and you spend hours at a "Loves Travel Center"! This is always a good memory for the group because YOU ARE TOGETHER! It may be inconvenient, it may be bad timing, but in this life all good and bad things like that become good for the community.
The trick is beginning to see the benefit of circumstances not dictating your experience, but learning to see the value in the people you are with! On a personal level, my greatest failures have had the largest benefit on me and my community! I hope you see it the same way! God's view of what is good and bad is very different than ours! So, travel together in life, see whatever comes your way as a good thing and you will find your path to be better than ever.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
For example, we teach RESPONSIBILITY to our children. That means if they make a mistake, they own it and work to correct it.
We teach HARD WORK really makes a difference. We want our children to do everything in their power to provide for themselves through hard work.
We teach INDEPENDENCE! I expect our children to leave this household and go out on their own to make their way in this world.
Along the way, Lori and I will love them and encourage them. We will help assist them when they have needs, but ultimately they will have to stand on their own.
If you read this, my guess is that you agree for the most part about these simple ideas in parenting. What if we apply those same concepts to the people of America? Somehow there is a confused message. Americans may promote these concepts personally, but they want to opposite from Government?
I have been opposed to the recent Stimulus Plan because a good portion of it goes against these ideals listed above. My frustration with Congressional leaders is the arrogance they possess when they act in opposition to the will of the American People.
As a Christ-follower I know that these things are temporary and that the Coyne family will be okay whether or not America is rich or poor. Many times I get fired up over issues like this and that keeps me from being helpful to others and my family. So today, I choose to depend on someone (Jesus) other than my elected officials in Washington! Where is your dependence?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
From the Wall Street Journal "The package would broaden the reach of the child tax credit, lowering the minimum income required for workers to qualify for the credit to $3,000. Under current law, the minimum income was $8,500 for 2008 and is set to rise to about $12,000 for 2009, congressional aides said."
What this means is, in order to recieve the $1,000/child tax credit the earnings went from $12,000 down to $3,000! Sounds like even more dependance on the government!
However, government officials act the opposite! They act like the only way to fix this is to spend MORE than we can likely repay! My family will likely receive $800 from this plan! I don't want it, but it will come! I don't need it, especially at the expense of my future and my children's future!
Perhaps I will donate the money to help elect better politicians? In the mean time, I am waiting to see what will happen next!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Take time to speak and write the "important things in life". I make it a regular habit to write cards and notes to Lori, Maddie and Austin. In a few years I will add Jordan to that list. I write about things I am proud of! I express my love and support. I try to encourage character in my children and affirm my wife!
What about you? Do you take time to write and speak the things that are truly important to those you love? Husbands- make sure you figure out how to express yourself to you wife. Dads- get it in writing so your kids can read how you feel! Big or small, it all makes a difference so begin with a post-it!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The article went on to complain that the effect of Americans saving more money was having a negative impact on the economy! What??? Americans might actually be doing right. We are intelligent enough to take care of ourselves without Government assistance! So average people are paying off debt, lowering their expenses, saving some money and they will weather this financial time!
Don't you wish our State and Federal Governments could do the same? I, for one, am paying attention to my elected officials in and from Arizona and how they are approaching the economy. Mostly, I read/hear story after story about Americans not wanting Stimulus as proposed or going further into debt, but elected officials doing what they think is best. Our representative government is not really representative. Apparently our "opinion" doesn't really matter. Well, next election will prove our "opinion" DOES MATTER!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
He does really well in school and practices "first time obedience" with others...not always with us! I would rather have him act better with others! At pre-school (3 mornings a week) he is a leader. The other little boys want to do what Jordan is doing.
All three of our children are amazing. I thank God that I share life with them. Lori and I take seriously our role to help lay a foundation, teach them good work habits, teach them how to handle money, how to listen and communicate and how to be successful in this life.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
He is energized by being home or with family and close friends. Austin does not like being the center of attention., His mind is always racing in some creative venture. He loves to create things, he loves music (plays keyboard and drums), he has a good voice and, like most boys, he is full of GAS!
We call him "buddy" most of the time and that's what he is! Everyone loves him! He played baseball last year and loved it (he's a lefty) and now he is in Basketball. Like his sister, he is great student and works hard with homework! In many ways, he was an answer to prayer for Lori and I! He brought so much peace to us!
Monday, February 2, 2009
She, from the beginning has been determined and loves people. Today, she has become an excellent student. By this I mean, she works hard to understand her lessons! The Middle School she attends strives for excellence in Character (I love this). During her first year at Mile Hi Middle School, she received the only character award for the entire 6th grade class!
Lori and I were blown away by this honor knowing that our parenting laid part of the foundation, but ultimately, Maddie had to choose what type of person she would become! Our parenting with her has moved more to "coaching". Some of my favorite things about my daughter is her love for others! She, like her mother, knows the value of people in her life. She gets heartbroken over relationships that are torn!
Maddie, I am so proud of you. You are joy to parent and I am proud to be your dad!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This picture was taken about 4 hours after finishing a marathon. We had driven about 90 minutes home so needless to say, Greg and I were both very stiff, but we still had to get out of the car.
Do you ever feel that way? Of course you do! There are moments, days and even years that you just have to "get up" and keep moving! Not sure if there is anything spiritual, but as for me, I often pray, take a deep breathe and get going again.
My encouragement for you is simple: Just keep moving forward! I look forward to seeing you keep going, and if you pass me on the road, just remind me of the same!!!!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I know one of the biggest hurdles is having something to talk about that is appropriate for your entire family. Let me suggest a few simple ideas.
1. What was the best/worst (choose a topic) or your high/low from today?
2. Where did you see God today?
3. What or who inspires you?
4. Tell your kids something you read or heard recently and ask their opinion.
5. Ask about their thoughts on recycling or issues regarding the environment.
6. Talk about things your family can do to help a neighbor (rack the yard, etc)
7. Go do #6!
Monday, January 26, 2009
I, probably like you, want to be someone who brings "refreshment" to those I come in contact with. For me it begins by having a home that is welcoming. It's not always clean, but our home and family works at trying to make this place friendly and inviting.
There needs to be more! In a world with so much electronic communication, we need more personal touch and time to be different. If we are going to refresh someone then it need to be in person if at all possible. Anyone can write a quick email or text, but few people take the time to sit in front of another person to bring life, joy and refreshment.
Do you want to?
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Prescott, AZ is now home to a brand new McDonald's! The design is cool and I have enjoyed the food over the years without any problems.
The food does not have the same effect on all members of my family! This picture is to "note" the time it takes for the food to upset the stomach and exit two members of the Coyne family.
Normally it only takes an hour, but this time was different. The food did not bother anybody and we loved it. The sweet tea was huge hit for Lori! While this sounds like an endorsement of McDonalds, it's really intended to highlight how sad we are as a family. We are actually timing the bowel movements motivated by McDonald's food. Just writing this sounds stupid, but I am chuckling as I write it.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Is Jesus effecient? Is the Church in America called to be effecient? Are we promoting "Fast" as a good thing? Hummm???
In parenting, I know that "fast" is not always good. It takes lots of time to help mold a child and prepare for life in American Culture. Part of our parenting plan is to teach how to do laundry, dishes, shopping, cooking, living in community (keeping your space clean), budgeting, hard work for money, sacrifice and giving. Not one of these lessons are QUICK!
If it takes a long time to teach these types of values to children, then what makes me think that I can follow Jesus in 1-minute/day? I can, but it will be a feeble attempt and the relationship will be as strong as 1-minute can yield.
For David Coyne, I am committed to trying to remove the "effiecient" Jesus from my life and have a relationship with Him and others that is not so Fast. That means I am committing my time and energy to the process of following Jesus. That means I choose to invest time in other people that may or may not choose to live like me, but that's not the point. The point is to BE WITH other people in this life.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Later, I was speaking with my mom and she said, "David, I only know 3 people who have done a marathon, and I know lots of people". Perhaps completing a marathon is a significant event!
It makes me wonder what YOU are capable of accomplishing? You may not ever choose to run 26.2 miles, but you CAN CHOOSE something else that's a huge goal and accomplish it. During my race, I was passed by people older and younger, some were very skinny and others you wonder how they made it with their size. All I know is that you can accomplish far more than you might think. Go for it!!!!
Marathon completed: 4 hours 12 minutes 27 seconds!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I have learned about having the right shoes. I have learned about nutrition and eating while running instead of running on a empty stomach! I have learned "hot spots" on your feet and other parts that rub (ouch)! I have mostly learned about "finishing" and the power of moving forward!
If you ever undertake something like a marathon, I pray that you will finish strong and gain from the experience. I believe that going through training like this makes you a better person, so take it all in!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Take this blog for example. One day I write about taxes or politics, then the next day it's about my kids or something that I have been thinking about my relationship with God! I suppose I am somewhat "normal" in how we respond to various issues we face in a day!
I am so much more than just a person who pays attention to politics or taxes. Most of my thoughts lately have centered around the ability to actually LEAD in America today.
I am more than a guy training for a marathon or trying to be a good husband or father. I am a Christ-follower trying to live as Jesus did, but doing that in 2009! So, that's my life! I hope you have a clear understanding of who you are and where your headed. Along the way, I will enjoy the time we spend together!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I read this book early in 2008! It represents proposed legislation that would address many of the difficult issues we face as Americans.
In short, FairTax is a 23% embedded tax. That means it DOES NOT increase taxes on goods as some would argue!
FairTax gets rid of the IRS. That means- your "take home" is your entire paycheck. You have NO WITHHOLDING unless you direct to retirement, etc.
Companies gain things like FICA matching helping them to be more competitive, plus they benefit from no taxes (NO IRS).
The government would increase it's tax base by collecting from 75 million foreign visitors annually who would be paying 23% on items/services purchased in the USA. Illegally gained money would now be taxable on goods and services purchased. (ie, drug dealer buys a new car and pay taxes).
There are some additional penalties to people in the country illegally that would encourage their proper immigration!
Don't take my word for it, read the book! I believe this has the power to be the best legislation passed in our lifetime!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Fast-forward 20+ years and I am now married to "that" girl who was considered beautiful by the guys she went to school with. In fact, Lori becomes more beautiful each year (not just because I am biased)! After 17 years of marriage, Lori Coyne is the most beautiful woman I have ever known and she continues to get better.
Thank you Lori for loving me!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Here were some of things I experienced. No electricity, nightly dog fight. We slept in the dirt. Adults ate something every 1 1/2 days, children ate once daily. To live into your 40's was really good! No TV, no extra clothes...and in the midst of it all- Haitian's were the happiest people I have ever been around.
A child had a piece of trash and was making car sounds and driving it through the dirt. The child was happy with trash!!!! At age 17, I was confronted with a message opposite of what I knew in America. Happiness does not come from things!
Haiti has become a reminder of not becoming so involved with consumerism. Reminders help keep our journey moving correctly. Take a moment and think about your reminders. The mark your path and keep you headed in the right direction.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The streets were filled with people because they had heard that Jesus was coming. It was likely hundreds or thousands of people packing the sides of the roadway. Something like the Macy's Day Parade!
It was so crowded that Zacchaeus could not see and climbed a tree to catch a glimpse. It was in this environment (thousands of people) that Jesus chose one man out to meet with! Sometimes I see Jesus as working with crowds best and here was a perfect opportunity, but He chose 1 man. In fact, He chose the local "tax collector", a man hated by this own race of people.
For me, I am challenged to not be drawn by the crowd only, but by the needs of people! It may be hundreds but likely it's just 1 person that I should meet, encourage or listen to their story! I think I can meet 1, how about you?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tonight is the night! Florida vs. Oklahoma in the College football championship! Since I grew up in Oklahoma, I have always been a fan! Tonight I am going on record as supporting Oklahoma and seeing what happens! If we loose, I will be bummed out! I will celebrate with a victory.
Funny thing about being a fan is: if I watch, cheer, get happy/sad and don't even tune in to see the game AT ALL, it has NO IMPACT on the outcome! Reason: I AM NOT PLAYING THE GAME! I will get harassed if we loose and congratulated if we win, but I am just a spectator.
Personally, I like cheering more for things that I have something to do with the outcome. How about you? Are you a spectator or a player? Are you associated with "winners" but are not really winning anything. Even better, are you associated with "losers" but really have nothing to do with the loss?
Let's concentrate on the areas where our participation really makes a difference, like investing in the people around us!!!!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
That process began and they decided to give 15% to the rest of their church (Big Church). Later they decided to give 25% to a foreign mission. At the end of the year they were operating with more money than the previous year even though they were giving 40% away! Great example of giving. His goal was to raise a generation of students who understand "how to give" and "how to live" because they use this money to benefit people.
I hope this challenges you to use your resources to help people and make a significant difference in the lives of people you know!
Monday, January 5, 2009
I was reading my Bible this morning and challenged in the area of contentment. Specifically I am reading "Solo" which is a great Bible to use for personal time. It's basically a Bible with small portions for each day and then the opposite page has questions or background to help get the most from what you are reading.
So, this morning it was telling the story about the Isrealite people were complaining about being hungry while living in the desert! God heard the people's complaints and provided Quail and bread. For me, it was a quite cold morning to sit in my warm house and begin to see what I complain about NOT HAVING, when I need to see all that I DO HAVE!
I love my home, our vehicles are paid for and work well. We don't have debt and actually have some money saved. I love the place I work and my families health is great! These are the big things, but when I took time to get down to smaller items, I could really see how my "contentment" is based on wanting more and getting it!
Today I will try again to love what I have and not what I don't! Join me.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I vote! I vote for legislation that makes sense. I desire to follow Jesus and live with others who may not share my ideals! In some ways this has blurred the lines for me, but I find myself not making judgments as much about where others might be! I find myself allowing people who follow Jesus and those who don't to just be where they are!
It looks passive or lazy, but for me I must suspend judgment in order to understand where someone begins. Said another way, I may want to help a friend through a tough time, but since they have to go through it, I will WAIT to be asked to help! I have made my offers, but I cannot force them into decisions they are not willing to uphold.
I will continue to vote for measures that make sense to me as a follower of Christ, but more important to Jesus are the people and His church!