Back from NYC

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I had the opportunity to spend the past 3 days in New York City for a series of meetings with the leaders of the various Communitas sites (New York City, San Diego, & New Orleans). It was a lot of fun and I think that our time together was really good both in getting to know each other better and in wrestling together through some questions of our future as a movement within CRM.

I really dig sharing in the experiment of communitas with these guys. They each are committed to exploring new ways to engage those outside the reach of the church with the beauty and reality of the Kingdom of God. They are a lot of fun too. We had a chance to explore a bit of Brooklyn and Queens while we were there as well as the obligatory tours of the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Times Square, and Central Park and many a trip on the subway (which I am deeply jealous of New Yorkers for).

The sights, sounds, and smells of New York were overwhelming – so utterly distinct from those we experience in the desert. I want to take Kelli sometime soon and have the opportunity to explore the urban world of New York that we have little exposure to having lived in the West for all of our lives.

Above is a picture from the rooftop terrace of Phil Alessi – who we stayed with and who serves as the New York City Communitas site leader.

September 7th, 2008

Coronado Community Gardens

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Living in intention demands that we work hard to determine our convictions (that which shapes and defines who we are becoming) and then arrange the actions of our lives around the pursuit of these convictions.

As our family has done this, more than a few convictions have emerged that form a framework in which we hope defines our future. For more detail on the major convictions we live by, see our way of life. In a pursuit of an intentional life, we’ve been dreaming of starting a community garden on our street.  Community gardens are a great way to understand where our food comes from, to share in something with others in our neighborhood, and a way to beautify our neighborhoods in the process. All good stuff.

A few weeks ago, we got a call from a friend who works in the neighborhood that some neighbors were interested in starting a community garden. So I went to the initial meeting last Saturday and Kelli and I are planning on attending a site analysis and permaculture workshop at the garden this Saturday. Our role on the planning committee is to help with community outreach – specifically to get a wider demographic to participate in the garden than typically does in neighborhood functions.  We’re excited – especially since we no longer have to do the “creating” and can join others in our neighborhood.  I’ll keep you posted here on the progress.


August 19th, 2008

Love the DBacks

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One of the things we most enjoy about living downtown is going to AZ Diamondbacks games as a family. Typically we ride our bikes to the game, lock em up at the bike rack right in front of the gate (it’s great to never have to pay for parking), and get some cheap tickets. It doesn’t cost us much so we don’t sweat leaving early to get the kids to bed and we get a free fireworks show that can be seen from our front porch every Friday night the dbacks are in town.

August 8th, 2008

not a good week for my car

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Since we moved downtown, I’ve been driving my car less and depending on my bike as my primarly means of local transportation.  On top of that, I’ve been investigating the pro’s/con’s of exchanging the car for a scooter, eagerly anticipating using the new light rail coming to PHX in December, and seriously looking at using the new ZipCar recently parked downtown.  In short, my car’s future isn’t looking good.

Then this last week – a blown radiator assumably from the intense summer heat.  And then last night – a wicked monsoon rolled through with winds strong enogh to topple trees, toppling a tree on top of my car. Nothing too extreme, a cracked windshield, a couple of small dents, and some minor scratching, but still things that I must fix.  Might this be my car’s way of getting back at me for my wandering eye, or is this just the tipping point for me to rid our family of the car and move on to new (and more wallet/environmentally friendly) forms of motion?

I’ll let you know.

August 8th, 2008

What the Heck AZ?

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According to the Arizona Republic, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio still holds a 54% approval rating. Cmon – have 54% of you out there not been reading the news recently.  Are that many of us really seduced by the media whoredom of the Sheriff’s office.  Are we really sitting in the back of the room flashing Arpaio and his henchmen a “thumbs-up” while he continues to do what-ever-the-hell-he wants, to racial profile, to inappropriately spend taxpayer money on pulling over illegal immigrants for broken tailights instead of those who we really need to put behind bars?  This is insane.

There is some good news though, this approval rating has dropped 10% since March of last year.  It seems the public is starting to recognize that Arpiao is beginning to hang himself, but will it be fast enough for change in the Sheriff’s office?  I hope so, but fear not.

The article also tells of Arpaio’s political challenger, Dan Saban, having a potential 38% vote come November.  For sure, to get Saban elected and Arpiao back to the trailer park he came from, Saban’s going to need more to get on his bandwagon.  So my little piece of help in helping that to happen, is encouraging the 2-3 people who read this blog to investigate Saban and seriously consider voting for Saban come Novermber.  So Take a few moments and learn about Dan Saban and what he’s about:

Dan Saban’s Offical Website

August 6th, 2008

Heading to Portland

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Kelli and I (sans kids) are headed to Portland tonight to spend some time with some close friends of ours – the Atkins and then we’re on to the CRM US Ministries conference hosted there. Should be a good week – full of rest, relationships, learning, and hopefully some new experiences. I hear great things about Portland and we are really excited about seeing it for ourselves.

July 31st, 2008

my wife and my 30th birthday

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 I realized today that I don't brag about my wife nearly enough on my blog.  She continues to impress, amaze, and awe me after 8yrs of marriage.  She's been especially good lately.  Here's a quick idea of what she did for my birthday:

On my birthday:

– A book I'd wanted called "Phoenix:Then and Now" – a book of old pictures of Phoenix, mainly the downtown area we now live in.

– A bottle of Chimay, my favorite beer made by Belgian monks. I don't get it very often.

– A bottle of 16yr Bushmills Irish Whiskey. We toured the Bushmills distillery while in Northern Ireland last year and I've kicked myself since for not buying a bottle while there

 

Then….as a surprise the following Friday:

– I find a note on my desk telling me to meet her in the hotel lobby bar of a really hip boutique hotel in Phoenix.

– She had sent the kids to Grandma's and gotten us a night at the hotel.

– We had dinner and drinks, and enjoyed the awesome hotel pool – then slept in, had breakfast, and took our time picking up the kids.

 

It all was very special, extremely romantic, and meant a ton to me!

July 23rd, 2008

My Online Life

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I am a fan of the creativity being employed across the internet in recent years.  Web 2.0 has taken over and a long list of free resources have popped on the scene – some useful to connect with friends online (aim, facebook, myspace, twitter linkedin) others useful for storing online media (flickr, youtube), and others simply to give those interested a glimpse into who you are (dopplr, shelfari, Last.fm, technorati, del.ic.ious).  Sure these tools can suck up your time and distract you from the work that the "man" needs from you, but if used well, can open up dimensions of relationships and connectivity with those in new circles.

In an attempt to keep links to these tools I subscribe to in one place, I've added a new "my life online" section to the blog. If you've got some free time – check them out.  If you have accounts on any of the sites, connect with me.  If you don't, but like what you see – set up an account for yourself and connect with me.

Here's a quick rundown of each icon and what service/site it links to:

AIM/iChat (AIM/iChat) instant messaging. I am online often – so look me up.
Twitter(Twitter) micro-blogging tool that allows you to send short updates of what you're doing
Facebook (Facebook) social-networking site that has quickly become the "it" way to connect online
MySpace (MySpace) social networking site that used to be the "it" way to connect online
Last.fm (Last.fm) tracks the music you listen to and creates an personal online radio station for you
YouTube (YouTube) allows you to store and share videos online
del.icio.us (Del.ic.ious) a place to store and share all your bookmarks
Flickr (Flickr) a place to store and share photos
LinkedIn (Linkedin) a social networking site focused on business connections
Skype (Skype) a free way to make phone calls to friends around the world
Technorati (Technorati) a search engine for blogs and blog posts
Doppler (Dopplr) a list of past and future trips I've taken
Shelfari (Shelfari) an online bookshelf that keeps track of what I've read, am reading, and plan on reading

 
See you online.

July 23rd, 2008

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