Ugly People Put Your Hands Down!

This weekend we took our crew to the Portable Sounds Tour’s final show here in New York. Family Force 5 was great — although their set was too short. TFK was good, as always — although they’re lookin a little old. And Toby Mac was, for me, the surprise hit of the show! They were just awesome.
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Here we are throwing up our rock fists, shortly after getting kicked out of Toys R Us!
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Ben’s working on standing up — he really likes doing it, and is very determined to use his legs for almost everything. You should see him kick when he’s excited! Here he’s trying to stand up in the hamper — he didn’t last long!
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My family — a couple weeks ago before we all went our separate ways around the world!
More pictures are loading into my Flickr account right now. Should be up soon…

Significant Parts of My Body are Held Together by Tape

This weekend we’re going to a concert — Toby Mac, Thousand Foot Krutch and Family Force 5. If P.O.D. were there (and didn’t play any of their Jamaican music) this would be the greatest Christian rock event in history. Even without them, it’s gonna be pretty amazing.
I’m a little nervous though — last time I went to a concert, I blew out my elbow and shredded my arm. Here’s hoping I don’t get injured again this weekend…

Adventure

Adventure Talk I’d like it if the video spoke for itself, but sometimes I’m not sure if I’m getting out what I really want to say. Like my mind has ideas, and it chooses words to associate with those ideas, but then when I say them, I’m not sure if they convey it properly, or if their just words, and the idea is still locked in my brain. I think I said what I wanted to say. Something like… I’ve got to go places where people do amazing things, and this is why I can’t sit still, and this is why I believe God’s plan for us includes the verb “GO!”
Anyway, it’s a good 20 minutes long, and I did the best I could on the editing, but one of our cameras didn’t look real good, so I had to kinda work around it. Also, there’s two times during my talk where I had to tell some sk8r boiz to shut up — don’t worry, I’m not yelling at you ;o)
Click here to see the video…
Speaking of GOing. My parents left for Malaysia on Monday. Have a great trip guys, can’t wait to go over there and visit!

Another Pool Picture

pool-1.jpg Benjamin loves swimming in the pool! But is this another shot of him doing the baby-breast stroke? Or is it someone else altogether? Look closely, then click the image to find out…

Here Comes Summer

Today feels like the first day of summer camp. Right after your parents drop you off, and you survey your territory, and feel the summer breeze, and you know that this… this is your playground, and today… you are free

Downtime

Sorry about all the server outages. We’ve been having significant, recurring Internet outages at home. I’ll be taking in our modem for a replacement, but I’ve moved the server to do double-duty as a print server at the CP Campus, where there’s a (hopefully) more reliable Internet connection. Sorry to everyone who’s been trying to get to our box!

Stuff and Such

This morning I did something I haven’t done in over a month… I washed my left arm! Why? Because today was the first day that I was allowed to get it wet — and it was scary. I kept wincing every time a drop of water his my arm — not because it hurt, but because I was scared it would hurt!
Yesterday the plastic surgeon removed this giant yellow padding he had sewed into the healthy parts of my arm, and we took our first look at the skin graft. It’s a healthy pink, which means the new skin is growing into place. He was confident enough in it to let me take my bandage off once a day to shower. They also took the stitches out of my hip, where the donor skin came from, so that itches a whole lot less. It was a painful visit, but totally worth it, and I can carefully do some things with my left arm now. This morning I held my coffee in my left hand, while I opened the door with my right hand! That may sound lame to you, but it was exciting for me!
I also discovered, to my disappointment, that I’m no longer able to completely straighten my left arm. After my elbow incident in November had mostly healed up, I was supposed to start physical therapy to regain my range of motion. But then Elevate hit before I’d scheduled it, and I shredded the same arm. It’ll be a couple months before I’m allowed to do the kind of exercise necessary for PT, so until then, I’m going to be stuck with a somewhat permanently bent arm…
In Benjamin news, he’s started this new thing he does that’s so hilarious! I guess his vision, and comprehension is getting good enough now, that he can sort of tell where he is. Where this gets funny is when he falls asleep in between locations — and since he falls asleep every time we start the car, that’s pretty much all the time. When he wakes up, suddenly in a different place than he was before, he gets this look on his face like: what… the…? How… how did I get here?
metalksmall.jpgHis eyes dart around the room, and he pulls his head back, like he can’t for the life of him, figure out how he could be in the church one minute, and at home the next minute. We just sit there and laugh at him…
My talk at church went well last night — I think. I haven’t worked up the courage to watch the DVD yet. I spoke twice, each version had pros and cons, but over-all I think I managed to spit out what I wanted to say. I’m hoping to edit the DVD together with my slides and post it on Google Video eventually…
Update: Watched the DVD… the best part is at the end when the music starts playing, and I’m singing along to myself — with the mic still on!! Loser!

Big Day for Jon

In a few minutes I’m going back to the plastic surgeon to have my new skin examined. If all goes well, I may be able to at least reduce the size of my massive bandage. If things haven’t gone well, the bandage will remain — or worse, they’d have to try the skin graft again.
I’m about ready to just have the thing amputated…
Also, I’m speaking tonite! My topic is Adventure, and it’s chock full of embarrassing photographs, and distant memories. I’m nervous, but looking forward to it. Thanks to my team who helped me practice last night…

Faced with a Choice?

Have you ever been faced with a choice? Not the easy kind where you’re choosing between right and wrong, but the tough kind — when you’re choosing between multiple, and equally good options…
For example, when I applied to college, I had abysmal grades, and on top of that, I was graduating a year ahead of every one else. In short, I was not expecting to get in to many colleges. So to hedge my bets, I applied to 5, hoping that maybe one would accept me, and that would be a clear sign from God that I should go that school.
Then the letters started coming back. For some reason, all 5 schools wanted me. I was so confused — and I told God as much. How on earth was I supposed to know what He wanted for my life, when He wouldn’t narrow it down at all for me?! All 5 schools were good — one was even a Bible School.
I have learned since, that very often, God’s plan for our lives isn’t really affected by “big” decisions like these. What He really wants for us is to get off our butts and do something. The question came up in a conversation today, and I was so excited that I could answer it from what God’s taught me, that I had to post my (somewhat lengthy) reply here…
We have a tendancy to think “OK God, as soon as you spell out every detail of your plan for my life, I’ll get started working on it.”
The reality is God never does that — if He did, we wouldn’t have to trust Him!
Our job is to take a step toward Him in Faith, and to keep taking those steps one at a time.

We have no expectation of knowing what He’s going to do. But we trust Him with each step… and then we look back at where we’ve come — at the path we’ve travelled — and find that He DID have a plan for us, and it was brilliant. And He HAS guided us every step of the way… one step at a time.
Just take a step — God will guide your path, but you need to do the walking.
Over and over in my life, God’s made it abundantly clear that He doesn’t care where I go — all He wanted was for me to go…

when He DOES have a specific place in mind, He’ll keep pointing you back there. With each step you take forward you’ll find your angle adjusted slightly so that you’re pointing in that direction. And He doesn’t punish you for not knowing. He blesses you for moving forward, and gently guides you where He wants you.
God is infinitely patient, and what He asks for from us is not understanding of the universe, or the ability to see the future. He simply asks for obedience and trust. Step forward — in any direction — and watch how He guides you.
Like I said, you probably won’t be able to see it until you look back on the path you’ve been down. But when you do see that, you’ll be glad you started moving forward, and you’ll be in awe of the wonder of His love for you…