I Choose to Remember a Boy Called Kiki

I choose to remember him as a boy called Kiki

A boy who

  • had fun
  • watched cartoons
  • wore capes
  • loved to play ball
  • liked to eat
  • wanted his father’s love

A man who

  • did not get that love
  • became angry
  • left home
  • did not work
  • got into trouble
  • died unexpectedly

I hate to tell you this but I choose to remember him as a boy called Kiki

Posted in Family

National Dance Competition Schedule for 2012

Secret PhotoFor all of those who would like to see some great Bachand dancing please see the schedule below. This is a live feed for each stage, so if you miss the time, you miss the dance. Also, if you were thinking that I was referring to myself, you are thinking incorrectly. Sophie is the dancer, I am the financier, and am not allowed to dance without supervision.

 

 

 

Monday, July 2, 2012

  • Womanizer (Duet) – 9:10am eastern -> Section A

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

  • Secret (group) – 9:19am eastern -> Section C

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Gravity (solo) – 2:22pm eastern -> Ballroom
  • Drop Dead Beautiful (solo) – 3:52pm eastern -> Ballroom

Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • Homeless (group) – 10:01am eastern -> Section C
  • My Strongest Suit (group) – 11:30am eastern -> Section C
  • Edge of Glory (group) – 12:16pm eastern -> Section C
Posted in Family

Lessons from a Troubled Canine

Some of you you may have known our black terrier mix that we had named Tera(byte). She contracted Parvo when she was a pup and barely made it through her first few months of life. Because of this virus she was what I would call an “unbalanced” dog. She would be a normal loving dog one second and then turn suddenly to bite any thing or person near her the next. This created many problems, as you might think, and we had to euthanize her not too long ago. This was mostly out of fear she would hurt herself or someone else as her bipolar behavior had gradually gotten worse over recent months. We believe that she was bipolar due to the Parvo which is also a concern  for human children that are around this virus. Anyway, I would like to list a set of lessons we should learn from the four years Tera was a part of our family.

Lessons we should learn from Tera:

We all need boundaries

Tera had issues with being tied to a post with a lead when she was young. She would get off it several times a week by shear will and determination. Once we nearly lost her and went to an invisible fence configuration. This solution worked as it was a barrier that she knew she could not cross and was ok with that. She loved the space and unrestrained feeling a backyard gave her.

As humans we tend to tie ourselves up to a post instead of just putting up barriers to places we know we can’t go because of the negative effects they bring. This keeps us from enjoying the freedom we do have to play in the backyard of life.

Its easy to be distracted in life

Tera was always easily distracted by her obsession with chasing lights and shadows. She loved to chase: reflections of sunlight off of doors and devices, shadows that are created off of us at night by a light post, and laser light at anytime (favorite). She would easily get distracted even when it was not good for her.

We tend to do the same. We have our obsessions or things that keep us from doing what we are here to do. What is it that you are called to do? What things distract you from doing them?

A man has to know his limitations

Tera had limits which were physical, environmental, and emotional and they limited how she could interact. If you went beyond them you got bit or nipped which I know all too well (bit three times). You did not interact with her if she was tired, sleepy, surprised, upset, or agitated about something.

Do we know our limitations and the limits of others? Can we interact within the limits we know we have or do we consistently go beyond these limits and then wonder why we fail?

Love does not cure all of what ails this world

Tera was showered with love and affection as we nursed her through the Parvo in puppyhood. She survived it and we continued to love and comfort her as much she allowed, but she showed no improvement and her behavior actually got worse as time went by.

Our world tells us that love can conquer all but is that really the case? We continue to love but there is a possibility that the person, dog, behavior, or thing will never change.

Sometimes not matter what you do, it is not good enough

Tera got the full treatment of “dog whisperer” training. We walked, worked with a lead, did the “ssshhtt” thing, and even tried to think like a dog. I don’t think she got it, do we?

We keep trying some new or different thing and expecting change. Is it possible that this messed up world will never really change?

Some things are not fair no matter how you shake it

Ultimately after all is said and done it was not her fault. She did what dogs like Tera do, nothing more. She made mistakes and then understood and tried to make up for them. We learned that compassion, reconciliation, and grace are important in life. No matter what happened I know Tera reconciled with us and gave us grace.

Do we give grace when someone does us wrong? Do we remember how we have messed up and hurt others or is that our problem?

Doing what is right is hard

I hate to tell you this, and it may seem silly to you, but this pup will always have a special place in our hearts and minds. Saying goodbye to the troubled canine was very hard to do!

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Posted in Family, Tera

Are you really “In love”?

Most people test if they are ‘in love’ by the way they feel. I am supposing here that you can test if you are loving or being loved by a test and that test is found in the Bible. The following Scripture shows us how to evaluate love:

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is defined this list of “is’” and “is not’s”. Another way of looking at the list could be measuring whether your love is mature or is immature. Be honest with yourself.

  • Is patient
  • Is kind
  • Is not envious
  • Is not boastful
  • Is not arrogant
  • Is not rude
  • Is not selfish
  • Is not irritable
  • Is not resentful
  • Is not joyful in doing wrong
  • Is joyful in truth
  • Bears all
  • Believes all
  • Hopes all
  • Endures all
  • Never ends

So, I hate to tell you this, but if the love you feel for another or another feels for you does not fit this definition, it is not love.

What do you think?

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Posted in Scripture

Kicking Butt?

Many people envision Jesus as a metro-sexual looking guy with product in his hair that looks so weak that you think you could beat him up. I do not see my Lord and savior in this image but in the following:

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:11-16

Yes, there he is! On a white horse, robe dipped in blood, leading an army, and a tattoo written on his thigh. That is the God I worship!

A masculine picture of Jesus is not politically correct or culturally accepted. It frustrates me when men (which Jesus is one) are portrayed needing to be in touch with their feminine side. My feminine side is my wife, she let’s me know when I am exhibiting too much testosterone. Besides women seem to respect men who are not like them but like men.

So I hate to tell you this but Jesus is not anything like he is portrayed by many, he is kicking butt and taking names (which I did not comment on).

How do you envision Jesus?

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Posted in Scripture

Samson is an unlikely character

Most people think of Samson as a failure or someone who had been given much from God and squandered it all.

I hate to tell you this but Samson is a beacon of hope for all of us.

He was chosen and gifted by God to do great things. Like all of us.

He screwed up his life because of pride, lust, and sin. Like many of us.

When it was all said and done, and Samson was at his lowest he finally humbled himself and prayed. Like many of us.

Then God out of his mercy granted Samson’s prayer and he did a righteous act as a last demonstration that God was with him. Like some do.

The key to the story is we all have a bit of Samson in us. We try and do many things in our lives without acknowledging God. Even though anything good or positive we do is God’s work not ours.

I am not a humble man and this story shows me how Samson-like I am. I pray that I will humble myself and submit all that I have and do to God. Samson is an unlikely character of hope. Samson shows me is that God is just waiting for us and he is always there to grant us our prayers no matter how long it takes.

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12 Years Ago Today

This morning I miss my father more than usual. He died of cancer 12 years ago today. I would personally like to thank him for some things:

  • The gift of life
  • Working hard to keep us from going without as a family
  • The time he spent teaching me guy things
  • Teaching me how to work hard for long periods of time
  • Teaching me how to love a woman and be faithful to her
  • Telling me he was proud of me when I accomplished something
  • Teaching me that saying the words “I love you” can never be too late in coming
  • Showing me that God is merciful to us and accepts us not matter what we have, or have not done, or where we are in life
  • Showing me that the face of courage can have a tear in it
  • Giving me the confidence that I will see him again

I hate to tell any of you this but he was a good man and is worthy of praise!

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Posted in Family

A Typical Church Communication Plan

CommoMindMap

I use mind maps to help me remember and relate different ideas. This one is used to relate the communication plan or strategy our church needed to adopt in order to communicate within the congregation after we were forced into a mobile church scenario. I would like to describe how anyone can create this strategy with very little cost and time.

The key to this communication plan is the WordPress website because of its ability to add plug-ins and adhere to internet standards and interfaces. We would register users and create and maintain newsletters. This newsletters would be actual posts to the website and their content would be distributed through email facilitated by these subscriptions.

Email would be one channel that we would communication through. The subscribers would could get a newsletter with content or a link to that newsletter post in their email. These emails would be generated any time a post was published at the website.

The second communication channel would be FaceBook. We had to create a FaceBook fan page to get this going which forced members of the congregation that used FaceBook to “Like” the page in order to see and updates. An update is generated to a fan page for each website post that is published and the FaceBook users would see a link to that posting at the website.

Twitter is a third communication channel that was created for the Twitter users in our midst. Like the FaceBook channel they would receive updates from each website posting. All these users would need to do would be to “follow” a predefined user within Twitter.

The remaining three items that are in the mind map deal primarily with integration with the website.

  • Ministry leaders can communicate within the website in order to tell the congregation or members of that ministry anything new, updates, or events. Since these communications would be website posts the posts would generate information that would be sent out via the three channels we already talked about.
  • External blogs can be maintained separately by church leaders and members. These external blogs would be integrated into the website using RSS into specific pages or posts that would be created or used to facilitate this integration. If these external blogs are WordPress blogs they can automatically generate posting to Twitter and FaceBook similar to the website.
  • RSS can be used to flow the information needed to an RSS aggregator. These aggregators take the information that is on a website and displays it in one place, kind of like a news reader. So if a member of the congregation used an aggregator they could monitor and read any information posted on the website or external blog.

So I hate to tell you this but “anyone can create a communication plan for their church”. All you need is a bit of knowledge on how all of the different internet technologies and products work, can be integrated, and then generate content.

Do you think you could do this for your church?

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Posted in Technology

I Doubt Thomas Was An Optimist

I just listened to a local pastor reading  through the Bible book of John chapter 11 and teaching that Thomas was acting in a spiritual manner in his response to Jesus. That his thoughts were optimistic and showed great faith because he was willing to die for Jesus. But was that the case?

The disciples did not want to go and visit Lazarus because of the danger that could meet them there.

The disciples said to him, Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again? John 11:8 ESV

Jesus addressed the reason why they should go and Thomas responds to that reasoning.

14 Then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him. 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. John 11:14-16 ESV

If we look at this and other statements in Scripture that Thomas makes after  this one we can better evaluate Thomas and then see that he is not an optimist but a pessimist and even a bit sarcastic.

Thomas did not figure out what Jesus was talking about and expressed the obvious unspiritual tone of the disciples.

2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going. 5 Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way? John 14:2-5 ESV

His doubts about Jesus and what the disciples witnessed after the resurrection of Jesus.

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe. 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you. 27 Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe. 28 Thomas answered him, My Lord and my God! 29 Jesus said to him, Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:24-29 ESV

Thomas finally determined that the disciples were not lying to him 8 days later which goes against the whole optimistic spiritual Thomas deal. Because of Thomas’ statements after his first statement in chapter 11 of John, I hate to tell you this but Thomas is a pessimist and not as spiritually renowned as I had heard prior.  Well at least until he sees the resurrected Jesus anyway!

Unfortunately as I reflect on these passages of Scripture I see how I am much more like doubting Thomas, who is pessimistic and sarcastic, than Jesus who does not express doubt due to what his father tells him and is optimistic to the very end.

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Designing a Blog and Website Integration for a Pastor

My pastor recently decided to start blogging. The question then came up about how best to integrate this into the existing website and design. We could have added his blog to our existing WordPress based church web site but that would have added too much complexity to the site and more difficult to manage.

Here is the blog integration design we came up with:

We decided that an external blog would be appropriate in this scenario. The pastor could do whatever he wanted to the blog and it would not affect the church web site. Here is a breakdown of the design:

  • Use WordPress blog – Signed him up for the a free WordPress blog but this could be any blogging software.
  • FeedBurner used to consume the RSS feed from WordPress – I like to use FeedBurner to enforce a standard link name and format.
  • The standardized RSS feed would be consumed by the church web site – We can insert his RSS feed into any page or widget on the site.
  • WordPress blog would be setup to send alerts to FaceBook and Twitter – This will allow everyone to know when he has posted to the blog.
  • Church domain would have blog address added – I added a sub-domain in order for the blog and web site domains to be similar.

I hate to tell you this but anyone can set this up, it is very easy!

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Posted in Technology