Thursday, December 24, 2009

I want to be on record

I do not like the Senate Health care bill just passed. I do not like the bill from the House either! While there are issues that should be addressed in our health care system I do not think this bill will actually help more than it will harm!

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

Going home

I love being at home in Miami! The drive here was good and uneventful...this time! Things don't change a lot as you come home. Many times you laugh at the same stories and spend time just catching up on anything new. Going home is not about the sights and sounds that are so familiar, it's about being WITH your family.

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


I have been on a prolonged journey regarding the Church. After two difficult issues at two local congregations in a row, I have taken some time to slow down and reflect.

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

Into the furnace

As I sat in church at Heights Church last night, we were studying Daniel 3. Specifically we were working through the passages about 3 young men being thrown into a furnace for civil disobedience. They would not bow down and worship an idol of Gold the King have built.

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

Moved by God

I was recently at a Conference for camp professionals. The final session had a speaker/pastor from Memphis, TN. He rocked my world and God reminded me to consider the poor, widows and orphans.

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

Clean everywhere

During our trip to Europe, we spent 11 days in country. Overall it was 3 days in Germany, 1 day in Austria and 7 days in Switzerland. While there were lots of new things to see, one of the biggest things we noticed was how clean and simple things were!

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

Quick Review of Europe Trip!

12 days total. We departed Monday morning and arrived Tuesday morning in Frankfurt, Germany. Drove a few hours to a guest house in a country town. Crashed hard!!!! Day two was driving and staying in Austria, another guest house in a small ski area.

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

My wife is a blast!

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.

How suddenly things change

Lori and I watched the movie, "Knowing" yesterday. It was times a little far fetched, but I get the point. One of the things that struck me was the devastation and loss of life they portrayed in the film.

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

Predictability and foolishness

If you "pay" or "give incentives" for behavior, you can get people to respond. Cash for Clunkers is a great example of payment for behavior.

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

Friends helping friends

So much in our life revolves around BUSYNESS. I know that you feel it just like I do! Sometimes when we slow down a little things happen that remind us about the good things in life worth celebrating.

Please take a moment and read this blog entry from a fellow staff member who is helping a mutual friend after a terrible fall.

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

Talking Marriage

Lori and I made a trip to to Anthem, AZ yesterday to meet with a young couple getting married in November. It is so much fun to sit together and talk about what it takes to have a successful marriage.

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


As humans we feel alive when there is a rush of adrenaline or a milestone like the birth of a child. Sometimes we narrowly define "alive" with these types of concepts, but it's not always in the epic moments where we are alive!

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

4 weeks and counting

Four weeks from today, Lori and I plus two great friends travel to Phoenix and board a flight to Frankfurt, Germany. We will be in country for 12 days traveling to Austria and Switzerland.

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

Very cool quote

Jim Sinegal, Co-founder & CEO of Costco Wholesale made the following statement in a recent magazine interview. I thought it was very cool!

"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

"Oh no, I would never leave him"

This statement came from Mrs. Bailey. She was describing the final days of her husbands life. They are dear friends and have been married for 65 years this July.

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

Decisions, decisions

Lori and I were hiking yesterday morning. (Before I go any further, let me just say that my wife is amazing. She loves being outside and loves to exercise, I am lucky to have a woman like her in my life. I love you Lori.) Okay, so we were discussing a decision regarding a vehicles. We are going to buy a newer car for our family. After we decided to buy a newer car, we need to discuss the future of our current vehicles. Do we keep them both, sell one, give one away and many other thoughts?

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

Ephesians 2:11-15 says...

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

Sacred Life

On Saturday afternoon, a friend of ours fell during a climbing accident. At the time, he was alone and was found by emergency services after 3+ hours. The first responders estimated his fall at 40 feet. Basically, he could have died on site!

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 get mad when people don't take responsibility for what they do. It seems that they are never at fault and what they do is always someone else's issue.

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

Love and generosity

I visited a great church yesterday in Phoenix. They had taken up a special offering for the camp and wanted to present it to someone! As I sat in the first service (more traditional) it was very clear that this group of people loved each other and reached out to me!

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


Over the past two weeks I have constructed a "carpetball" table for camp. It's a simple game of rolling a cue ball down a table trying to knock your opponents balls off the table before they knock all of yours off!

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

Rich heritage

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

Simplicity, it's tougher than you think!

I was challenged a few days ago by the concept of living a more simple life. The entire Coyne family does not live extravagant (at least in my mind). The line drawn for "simple" vs. "a life of more" is ONLY IN MY MIND.

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

Sorry, it's been a while

I have been unmotivated to write lately. It's normal and sort of a "dry" time in writing and creating something worth sitting down to express.

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

Plans? what plans?

Lately I have this sense that we are moving forward at camp in exciting new ways. There are basic plans for expansion, but the reality is finances, and making sure our plans fit into the City of Prescott plans! Not always easy to navigate either one!

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


The sun begins rising in the mountain of Arizona just before 5 am right now! That means, you begin to hear birds and chipmunks outside my window. Normally, I am up and watching the news, catching up bills and email and spending time reading my Bible while it's still quiet.

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 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

Just caught this part of Genesis 3

Here is the passage.

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 see it, you own it

As we prepare camp for the summer, each day seems to pick up speed. We have staff all over the place getting recreation items ready. We are replacing and/or upgrading things everywhere. It's also the time we are trying to catch other unrelated items to the performance of summer camp.

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

Honest discussions

I listened to Michael Savage on Monday afternoon. Don't often catch him, but that day I did and it was very interesting. He was interviewing Lord Christopher Monckton, former science adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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

Plain wrapper life

Have you ever thought about how much of your life is the same? It's been said, "the problem with life is that it's so daily". In a society that thrives on extraordinary events, we live very normal and simple lives. Each day we endure, laundry and dishes, early mornings and getting ready for work, commuting or rushed dinners!

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

About or Encounter

I was reading a biography about a Christian singer/songwriter (Rich Mullins). He stated something that I read early today and it really helped me. Sometimes when I read the Bible (okay, most of the time), I read it to learn ABOUT God. For Rich Mullins, he reads to have an ENCOUNTER with God. That's what I want to do! I want to know God, not just the facts about Him!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I get up early nearly every day! In order to make this a better experience for my wife, I lay out whatever workout clothes or morning clothes the night before. Last night it was some PJ bottoms and slippers plus mtn. bike shorts and two layers of shirts. It's 42 outside and I am going riding at 5:30!

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

A proud moment for a dad

Maddie is running track this Spring. She is a beautiful 13 year old girl, built just like her mom. She has strong legs and a great stride.

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

Who's to blame for this finanical mess?

I recently saw a pole that asked who was most at fault for the financial problems the USA is in today. They had "Wall Street, Lenders, Buyers, Obama or Bush Admin they even went back to Clinton and the Democratic Congress. As I considered how I would answer I thought that I could put blame on each and every group. This revelation brought me to a larger principle that helped me answer the pole for myself.

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

Hurry up and wait

This morning I took Maddie to a Middle School track meet. We arrived at 8:30am and it was a perfect crisp Prescott morning. There were about 100 students there competing and it was a great picture of our lives.

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

Small and Slow

Mark O. said it the other day during a teleconference. I have heard it one other time in the past year, perhaps it was him again, but I read the phrase, "small and slow". In both cases, the point was simple. During the time of Jesus, He was very clear to work small and slow.

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

helping others who hurt

I have said this before, but I like "The Message//Remix: Solo" Bible. Listen to the concepts that Eugene Peterson writes about.

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

a big drive for a short meeting

Yesterday I was up at 4:20am and left by 4:45. I drove to Henderson, NV (Las Vegas) for a 9am meeting with a pastor and friend! We wrapped by 11am and I dropped him off to head back home. That's right, I drove 8 hours for a 2 hour meeting.

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

Character in question

I was reading from the Old Testament today. It was a brief look at the story of Job. The study guide asked me to consider what I thought of the interaction between God and Satan. It also asked the hard question of the day! "Could I respond like Job if I lost everything?"

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

6 pounds and counting

OK! I made a trip back to visit my family and we ate like pigs! Cost: 6 pounds of proud heritage!!!! Being a Coyne means you have to put on some weight when you are home...6 big ones!

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

A day at the pond!

Here we are fishing! Jordan, at 4 years old caught his first fish and then proceeded to catch a total of 6 fish. Of course, he caught more than I did.

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

some funny phrases

My mom has always used some great phrases. Last night over dinner we were trying to record as many as we could think of from our childhood and other times in life. Here are a few of the highlights:
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

going home

We flew into Springfield, MO last night and drove 90 minutes to my hometown! Miami, OK and crashed at my parents house. What am I saying? It's not just my parents house, it's my "home".

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

a reminder of humanity

If this is offensive I am sorry, but there is something funny about a little boy putting his hand in the front of his pants. In our house, both boys and me too can be seen with a hand part way into the front of our pants. It doesn't mean we are handling the "goods" but somehow this behavior is comforting!

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

Donkey and Bull Show

Last Wednesday I was driving on Interstate 10, Eastbound from Blythe, CA into Quartzite, AZ. As we passed were coming up on a Bright (and it was bright!!!) Yellow Chevy Astro Van, I noticed something very VERY hairy hanging out the driver rear window. As we pulled closer, we noticed it was a DONKEY! Some great American redneck has a donkey in the back of his van...Well it get's better!

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


Yesterday morning in a discussion with some friends, I stated that I felt like I was in a time of "transition". It's more of a feeling than actual movement, but there are so many moving parts in our lives that it can often feel like NOTHING is solid.

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

Always there...

I was thinking about my brother Chuck this morning. Back when I was in College my grandparents sold their home and moved to my hometown toward the end of their life. Grandpa was on 24 hour oxygen, and seemed to be making it work.

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

big KID day

Every have one of those day where you can't seem to get going? Of course you have, you are normal. Well, today is one of those days for me. Long day yesterday and up early, sort!

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

My kids education

So far our kids have been excelling in school. It has not been easy because both Washington Elementary and Mile High Middle School have high standards for homework, parental involvement and academics.

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

Parenting and Politics

I have been struggling trying to combine different world views that I see in America today. Some of my friends who support President Obama, act the opposite of His policies in their personal life. Let me explain what I observe.

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

What makes a man?

I work at a camp. My job is an office job. In fact, I have always worked more in an office than out of one! Whether working for a church or now at camp, I have spent many hours on the phone, computer and in meetings. I don't often get to work with my hands except around the house.

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 Person...

It becomes more clear everyday to me that the best way to build a relationship with another person is IN PERSON! Before you laugh, consider how many ways to try to get to know others, accomplish our jobs, communicate without ever seeing another person. While necessary, nothing will ever replace the ability to listen, feel and respond to someone directly in front of you.

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

A great response in times like these

The entire Bible is full of examples of "contracts" and "covenants". While we are well aware of a contract, like buying a car or house. We, as a culture, are less informed about a COVENANT!

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 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

Just another step in the journey

You know there seems to be a common thread in my experiences over the past few days. From conversations with friends and family to putting a dent into a friends car. All seem to be "part of the NORMAL life".

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

A word to those who work in churches

In short: THANKS!

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

Good or Bad, it's always good!

I was talking with an old friend yesterday about working with students. We were discussing the power of friendships and community in the context of following Jesus.

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

What's next for all of us?

I often vote Republican because I tend to think in more conservative concepts. I am not a die-hard conservative, but there are some definite areas in my life that trend that direction.

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

One detail from stimulus!

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!

This is crazy! Stimulus!

Ok, I don't get it! There is not a single person I am aware of that would deal with tight economic times by spending like our government is proposing. Once again, reasonable people like you and I, not politicians will fall back to conservative ways to keep our jobs, lower our expenses, pay off debt. These actions make sense to provide for our families.

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

Speaking the important things!

A friend of mine recently commented on how I speak to my wife. Mostly it was how I write about her in public places like this blog or facebook. Well, here is my keen insight! Ready?

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

Money, Economy, Stimulus and more

I read a report the other day that Americans have tripled their savings. 1% was normal and now "we" are saving 2.9%. Of course we are saving more! Perhaps we are returning to some basic ideals like saving cash for purchases or having a "rainy day fund"!

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

My kids, part 3

Jordan Alan Coyne joined our family in the Fall of 2004. Although, we did not plan to have another child, we cannot imagine life without him. He is "all things loud"!!!! He began speaking clearly at about 2 years old and has not stopped since. Tons of personality, articulate, comedian all shoved into a little body.

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

My kids, part 2

Austin David Coyne was born February 1999! He looks more like my wife's side of the family than mine! He is one of the easiest going young men you will ever be around.

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

My kids, part 1

Maddie (Madeline Renee Coyne) arrived on December 10th, 1995 in Newport Beach, CA!!!

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

My how times change!

This picture is an approxmiation of the size of hair that I had while in High School! Now, after you finish laughing at how much of an idiot I was, I am trying to make a point (okay, I have to laugh hard myself...just a minute)
Isn't it odd that I was once known for having LARGE HAIR and now I barely have any? I suppose it means that we are all changing slowly into newer, hopefully better people.
What were you known for? Is that still true today?
During the same time in High School I was voted "Best Personality" (ironically, so was my wife)! To this day I still remain a person who is easy to speak with and generally likes people. I hope that this part of me is not LESSER, but perhaps GREATER then ever!
How are you getting better? As always, it boils down to character issues that are timeless and the most beneficial! Build those traits and you will enjoy your life much more. Plus, you honor Your Creator by building on characteristics that He build inside you!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You just keep moving

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

Talking at dinner

Parents, I would like to challenge you to 1 meal/week as a family! In our busy lives, it's a rare thing to sit down together and have a conversation, but if we don't practice this art it will be lost to our children.

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

Refresh someone

Yesterday I was challenged by this thought. What does it mean to "refresh" someone? You know people in life who bring value to your day and uplift your spirit. In fact, you can define this by looking at people who do the opposite of refreshing. Some people in our world "suck life" right out of you when they enter the room.

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

Amazing Memories

While it's difficult to see from this picture, it's taken from the edge of the North Rim of Grand Canyon. We were on our annual Mountain Bike Trip and this was taken as we ate dinner on the rim. The biking was spectacular and the views were even better. We rode along the rim of the Grand Canyon...YES, WE RODE ON THE RIM. It was one of the most incredible memories I have!
We can do one of two things with memories. 1) We can keep them for ourself or 2) We can share them and take others to see and experience what saw!
That's my commitment! I want to SHARE this life that I have with those around me. What makes this Bike trip even better is Dan, Kerry, Katrina, Brady, Scott, Micki and others!!!! Thanks for living life with me!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Ticking Timebomb

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 "Fast" really good?

I am reading "Death By Church" by Mike Erre. In an early chapter he speaks about the McDonalization process found in churches in America. The first characteristic in this process is EFFECIENCY (finding the best means to achieve a particular end so that other consumers can be served). Think about it for moment.

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

Unique Fraternity

Yesterday, I completed my first marathon. P.F. Chang's Rock n Roll Marathon in Phoenix hosted 35,000 runners and over 6,000 of those completed the marathon. So, I was one of 6,000 people to accomplish this task yesterday! Doesn't sound very impressive and honestly, it is a race against yourself more than any other I know!

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

It's finally here!

After 3 months of specific training and many other days riding and running, I am 1 day away from my first marathon! It has been a great process getting to this event. The mental training has the greatest long term benefits, but learning about what it takes to complete something like this is a real test of determination...perhaps I have enough!

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

Scatter brained

I joke often that I suffer from ADD or something. While it has never been diagnosed it would explain how my brain works.

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

My favorite solution to the issues we face as a country!

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

A lucky man

Facebook has been fun to reconnect with friends. People from High School, College and places I have worked are now returning to my life. It's great. On facebook I run into girls from back in the day who were the most beautiful at the time.

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

Haiti, some trash and a change in perspective

It was December 1984 and I went Haiti to help build a church building. It was my first flight (a whole other story) and first trip out of the U.S. There were 19 total members to our party and our goal was simple; help construct a church building in a mountain area of Haiti!

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

I have been fascinated with this story

I sat a few weeks ago on a discussion with a group of people I work with. An author and teacher was reminding us of a story from the Bible (Luke 19) about Zacchaeus. Here is the scene.

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

National Championship

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

Student Ministry Giving

I had lunch with some church staff members yesterday. As we were talking about what they value in their different areas of church work, the Youth Pastor spoke about "Zero Budget". He went on to explain the the youth department took ZERO dollars from the general church budget in 2008. They decided to teach the students to give so all money to operate would come from the students only!

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

Legislating Jesus

I have some friends having a great discussion on Facebook regarding Abortion, Gay rights and more. In short, I don't think that we can legislate "Jesus"! What I mean is, we cannot vote for measures that will force or help people to follow Jesus Christ.

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!