Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Review: Through Painted Deserts

I just finished reading "Through Painted Deserts" by Donald Miller, I really enjoyed this book.
Donald Miller is a storyteller, he does an excellent job of getting me interested in his story and what he has to tell me. As I was reading this book, I felt like I was right there with him on his journey as he traveled across the country. The book follows Miller and his friend Paul on a three month road trip as they travel from Houston, Texas north to Oregon in a VW camping van.

I really enjoyed how Donald Miller shares both the highs and the lows of the trip. From the van breaking down numerous times to hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to watching the sunrise over the desert, all the while, we get a glimpse of what Miller is thinking and how he is contemplating his relationship to God. We get to tag along with these two guys as they are on a pilgrimage through life. In many aspects I can see how their journey relates to a pilgrimage that, what I think, we are all taking.

All in all, this was a great book, a quick read and it made me want to move to the Pacific Northwest!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicken Club Pizza

Heather subscribes to Kraft Foods magazine and we are always looking for new recipes to try. We also meal plan two weeks at a time and we have been looking forward to trying out this recipe all week! Click here is you want the Chicken Club Pizza recipe.
Heather is gluten sensitive so we also tried a pizza dough recipe with this meal. The Pines made this almond crust pizza that they found here, and said it was pretty good, so we thought we would try it too. We didn't have the almond flour, we used a plain gluten free flour but next time I think I would use the almond flour.
The dough is made and in the oven...
After 15 mins, we added mayo/ranch sauce, cheese, chicken and bacon and back in the over for another 7 - 10 mins.
Once it was done cooking, we added the lettuce and tomatoes on top and the a little ranch and BBQ sauce drizzled on top!
And the finished product
It was a pretty tasty time I would roll the crust a little thinner, the crust to pizza ratio was too much in favor of the crust.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday Grandpa!

Last week my Grandpa celebrated his 80th birthday. Sadly he has battled Alzheimer's for several years and he is unaware of his birthday and that his family came to celebrate him. Regardless it was still special to think back about all the fond memories we have with Grandpa and to celebrate him, it was fun to see him smiling. Grandma topped off the party with her famous angel food cake..yum yum!

Seth and I with the birthday boy.
The whole gang gathered for the celebration...
.....all the grand kids with Grandpa and Grandma.

Good Bye "Toby"

After almost four years of working at America's Family Coaches, my season there has come to a close. Two weeks ago the staff threw me a great going away party. Seth and my parents were invited to join in the festivities. We laughed, we cried, and some of us might even have tinkled in our pants :)
The staff usually put together some sort of skit - I was honored with a rendition of "Good -Bye Heather" which was taken from the famous show The Office when Micheal sings Toby the HR guy a good bye song as he leaves. I must say they did a pretty good job...but would advise them not to quiet their day jobs...haha
My "sweet" and "thoughtful" co-workers thought it would be a great idea to gather some photos from my mom to highlight my "early" years.
Everyone gathered around while Mama Doreen told stories about all the pictures...trip down memory lane.
After song and dance the staff went around and shared memories or encouraging words and of course this brought on the tears....
I am so thankful for my season at AFC, the friendships I made during these past 4 years are ones that will last a lifetime! What an amazing group of people and ministry to be part of -
not too many employers will throw such awesome going away parties and then cover you in prayer. Seth and I feel so blessed and are grateful! Good - Bye Heather!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Review: Mere Churchianity

I just finished reading Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer and I really did not like this book. Reading the back of the book, Michael Spencer asks the question "Have you left the church in search of Jesus?" and right from the beginning, in the acknowledgments he states "Everything in this book has been written with a specific group of people in mind: friends and fellow Christians who have abandoned the church for various reasons." Maybe that is why I didn't enjoy this book, I haven't left the church...
I feel like the first half of the book mainly criticized the church and pointed out all the flaws with Christianity in America today. For sure, the church in America is far from perfect, I also really liked Spencer's question he posed, if Jesus were to walk into your church this Sunday, would he recognize it as the movement he started? I think that is a great question that we need to continually ask ourselves.
The second half of the book showed promise as he started to unpack who Jesus is and why we choose to follow him, but he quickly got back to all the mistakes that the church is making in the ways the church follows Jesus.
One part that particularly rubbed me the wrong way was when Spencer criticized the church for their use of adjectives. He complains about such terms as the "victorious" Christian life, a "good" Christian witness, "dynamic" worship, "extreme" youth ministry. Yet then he goes on to coin the phrase, which he uses throughout his book, Jesus-shaped spirituality...didn't he just do the thing that criticizes the church of doing?
I do agree with him as he finished his book, he addresses those who have left the church and encourages them to find community, find a spiritual mentor, stay saturated in the scriptures, and grow in relationships.
All in all, I did agree with him about his ending points, but I thought there was way too much of pointing out the problems with the church and not enough of giving solutions.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Million Miles in a Thousand Years

What story are you telling? from Rhetorik Creative on Vimeo.

Check out this video...and Donald Miller is releasing his book Million Miles on paperback today!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Skis + Snowboard + family + snow + sun = fun time in Keystone, CO!
Heather and I spent 4 days out in Keystone, CO with her family and we had a blast! Chad, Shay, Nathan, Heather and I headed out Saturday morning...bright and early, we were on the road by 6am! We made a pit stop in Omaha to pick up Rob and we were back on the road. Brent and Doreen were already out in Colorado, so they met us in Keystone (technically we stayed in Dillion). Sunday we hit the slopes, it was awesome! Great snow and plenty of sun!
Heather and I are all smiles as we take the lift to the top...
What a beauty! Colorado is really pretty too...
Heather and Rob having a great time on the mountain.
The crew at the top of the mountain.
Chad and Heather riding the lift!
Heather and Shay are all smiles as they plan their way back down the mountain!
Nathan ripped it up in ski school. By the end of the third day, he had concurred the learning hill and the instructor said he was ready for the big ski lifts!
Here he is tearing up the bunny hill!
...and here comes the snow cats, off to groom the mountain!
Heather and I enjoying the mountain view!
Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of Brent and Doreen in their ski gear, but I am an eye witness that they both were on skis! Brent tore up the blue runs and Doreen concurred the bunny hill...very much a success for both of them!
We had a great time in Colorado, we had a lot of fun hanging out with the Pella VL's, Rob and the Stroud's. It was great to watch Nathan learn to ski. After the third day, as we were watching him come down the hill, he said to me "Did you see that Uncle Seth, even better than snowboarding!"
We can't wait to go back!