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!