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!