Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

Well, it's one of my favorite times of the year.  I reflect on the year gone by and look forward to the possibilities of the new year to come.  I'm always amazed how short a year really is when it's all done. I usually take the day to reflect on the year and then the first day of the new year to set goals.  This year, I have 14 family members here and I won't have time.  But that's okay, I'm so grateful to have them here.  I'll make room for all of that next week.  

Besides, there are too many personal memories to list in one day.  And, since I don't have time, I'm going to make this short.  

At the core of 2008, I'm grateful for God's grace, for my marriage, for my children - including our girl to join us in 2009, and our many family and friends that support and encourage us along the way.  

Here's to an outstanding year to come! I'm so thankful to be living this life with you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Country Music Marathon

Here come the New Years Resolutions! 

I just signed up for the 1/2 Marathon on April 25, 2009.  13.1 miles.  Gulp!  I've never ever run that far.  5k - no problem.  10k, yeah, I could do it.  But, 13.1 miles - that's going to be a new milestone for me personally.  Mainly because I have an IT band that gets excruciatingly sore at about mile 6.  But, some of my friends have encouraged me that it's manageable with stretching and exercises.

With the help of my friends, I'm going to begin training, hope my knee holds up and accomplish this goal in 2009. 

Country Music Marathon - here I come!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Strange Sleepers

Even though we've separated them into their own beds, they still end up sleeping together.  Here is one of the more strange poses - taken at 11pm recently.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner

Starry Night Soup as prepared by Krissy!  Yumm!

Our family having a Christmas Eve dinner together and then we opened a present (or two) each that evening. 

Kaden prepared a special present for me...used Halloween Candy from the pantry: old wax lips, a pair of suckers and partially eaten pop rocks.  How thoughtful of you, Kaden!  Krissy and I laughed to ourselves when we had a moment alone.

Later on, I pretended that Santa and Nordhoff the Red Nosed Reindeer landed on our roof and delivered our presents.  The boys were scared and made us lay with them until they fell asleep.  So much for the Santa magic...

Christmas Morning

Nothing beats Christmas Morning.  Here are some pics of the boys.ChristmasMorningChristmasMorning2

Pink and Butterflies

We finished redecorating and painting Anthem's room this week.  

Our neighbors were so kind to give us a rocking chair.  We fixed it up a bit, painted it white and put new yellow cushion covers on it.  Krissy worked her buns off making those things.

Our other neighbors loaned us a crib and changing table which they used last for their daughter.  

So, there we are - Anthem's new room is ready for her.  We can't wait.  March 30th can't come soon enough for us.  Krissy6month
In the meantime, we are enjoying her kicks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New UltraSound Pictures of Anthem

Krissy went to the doctor on Monday for her regular ultrasounds.  Everything about our baby girl, Anthem, is healthy.  She is due March 30, 2009.  Here are some pictures.  


The first is a closeup of her head.  You see her eyes are well developed.  She weighs almost 1 pound 9 ounces now. She is already growing hair on her head.  Maybe she'll have her Daddy's hair - oh no!!

The second is a picture of her foot.  She's got all her toes!

The last one is a picture of her face and her arm behind her head.  She's resting easy in Mommy's belly.

Thank you for sharing in our blessing!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Greatest Test - Prosperity

Another great Os Hillman devotional reading...

Elevated From the Pasture
By Os Hillman
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Now then, tell my servant David, "This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over My people Israel." - 2 Samuel 7:8

Have you ever heard someone say, "He is a self-made millionaire"? They are stating that this person accomplished everything through his own efforts. His achievements were a result of his hard work and street smarts.

David was nearing the end of his life. The prophet Nathan was responding to David's idea to build a temple where the Ark of the Covenant would stay. God reminded David of his roots and where He had brought him. God took David from the fields of pasturing sheep to pastoring a nation. God reminded David that He cut off all of David's enemies. (David never lost a battle.)

Have you ever felt tempted to look at your accomplishments with pride as if you were the reason for your success? Have you ever thought your prosperity was due to your ingenuity? Has your material success been a testimony to others that God is the ruler of all aspects of your life, even the material side?

Joseph's greatest test was not his temptation to be bitter against his brothers. It wasn't the sexual temptation that came inside Potiphar's house. It wasn't even the discouragement of years of imprisonment for being wrongfully accused. It was the temptation of prosperity and ownership. Once he was elevated, he was given choices that he never had before. It was totally up to him as to which choice he would make. Stewardship reveals what we believe about God and ourselves.

Not every man can carry a full cup. Sudden elevation frequently leads to pride and a fall. The most exacting test of all to survive is prosperity. -Oswald Chambers

Do you have a proper understanding of who you are? Do you understand that it is God who has given you the ability to work and achieve? He is the source of all good things. Ask God today if your life models this belief.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Spirit of Competition

Another great devotional from Os Hillman...

I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. - John 17:23

A story is told about F.B. Meyer, the great Bible teacher and pastor who lived a century ago. He was pastoring a church and began to notice that attendance was suffering. This continued until he finally asked some members of his congregation one Sunday morning why they thought attendance was down.

A member volunteered, "It is because of this new church down the road. The young preacher has everyone talking and many are going to hear him speak."

His name was Charles Spurgeon. Meyer, rather than seeking to discourage this, exhorted the entire congregation to join him and go participate in seeing this "move of God" as he described it to his congregation. 

"If this be happening, then God must be at work."

Meyer, even though he was an accomplished preacher and teacher, recognized where God was at work and joined Him in it. [The author heard this on a radio show from Key Life Ministries with Steve Brown, based in Orlando, Florida.]

Can you imagine this story taking place in our competitive world today? Competition has penetrated the Church so much that many churches and Christian organizations approach ministry like a sports event. They view their mission as a business that seeks to gain market share among Christians - donors, members, influence - all under the name of God. I am sure God looks down at us and asks, "Whatever happened to John 17:23?" Sometimes we must remind our fellow servants that we are all on the same team! We should be seeking to impact the Kingdom of God, not increase our own market share.

When Jesus made this statement about unity in John 17:23, it represented the key to bringing salvation to many. He was saying that when His Body is unified, the non-Christian would be able to see who Jesus really is - the Son of God. Are you contributing to unity in the Body of Christ? Or are you contributing to a spirit of competition? Ask God where you can be an instrument of unity in His Body.

The Spirit of Competition
December 3, 2003

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nordhoff, the Red Nosed Reindeer

Our friends, Katie and Hector called
Krissy today laughing. 

Their son, Malachi, is insisting that instead of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," it's supposed to be "Nordhoff the Red Nosed Reindeer."  Katie told him that the reindeer's name is Rudolph, and our last name is Nordhoff, and he said, "Well, then, what's a Nordhoff?"  

Even after all this, he came home yesterday from school saying they made 'Nordhoff's' in class, and today they heard him happily singing from his room, "Nordhoff, the Red Nosed Reindeer!"

I never knew we were so famous:)

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Payoff Is Worth The Hard Work

We conquered a major project this weekend.  We've converted our bonus room into the boys room this weekend.  All of the pictures and decor are not up yet, but at least you can see it at 80% completion.  

We prepped the room for painting: spackled loads of cracks in the ceiling, taped the room and cleared the floor.  Then, we finally painted a new ceiling, walls and trim.  We also added a new ceiling light and installed new hardware on all of the doors (not pictured).

The theme is football - complete with Titans sheets and football light switch plate.  Pictures of the boys' flag football adventures (see other posts) will be on the wall and there will still be plenty of room to fit the lego table next to the window!

I'm sore today after 20 hours of work, but it feels good!

Next weekend is Anthem's room (our new baby girl coming in March).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Our Thanksgiving was one to remember.  We slept in.  I got a work out in.  Apo played street tennis with Kaden.  It was a warm day - mid 60's for us.

We bought a pre-lit Christmas tree last night at Costco.  I'm not one for fake trees - I prefer the real ones.  But this one was so real-looking and it made such economic sense to buy it and have it for 10 years rather than spend $60 on a tree every year and clean up needles on January 1st.  We had the tree up and began decorating at 11:30 - at the start of the Titans - Lions game.  HPIM1289

It wasn't much of a contest.  The Titans dominated the Lions.  It was 47-10 when it was finally over.  The Titans are 11-1!  Hey Papa, how 'bout them Lions!?
At halftime, we took a family walk around the neighborhood to get really hungry for the turkey we would eat after the game.  

At 3pm we had our Turkey dinner.  Krissy had pre-bought the sliced turkey, trimmings and desserts.  And, it was delicious.  After two plates of food, I was stuffed!  The boys, Amo, Apo and Krissy too. 

We had each written what we are thankful for and placed it in a jar earlier that day.  It was now time to read what each of us had written. It was very special to read what each of us was thankful for.  I am thankful to God to have been with all of my closest family-members on Thanksgiving this year.  

We did have a very funny experience after dinner - one that I can't share publicly.  All I can say is "Amo, you're in trouble!".  

Afterwards, we started up a backyard football game with the boys and some neighborhood boys.  

In the evening, we began feeling the tryptophan kicking in from the turkey.  We did have enough energy left to have an early Christmas with my parents.  We won't be with them at Christmas, so we did some Christmas together.  Krissy played the piano and we sang out of tune along with her.  Afterwards, we exchanged gifts with Amo & Apo.  The boys received lots of chocolate!

At 7pm, we began watching The Incredibles on TV!  At 8pm, we finally laid the kids to bed - they were just about gone from the busy day anyway and fell asleep within 5 minutes after lights out.  We made it about an hour more and also hit the hay around 9pm.  Zzzzzzz.

It was a great day at the Nordhoff's!  Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve

Tonight was fun.  The boys, Krissy and I bought a Christmas tree, which we will decorate tomorrow.  

Then, after we came home, we had a little family time with Amo and Apo.  Then, they put the boys to bed.  We ended up talking for a little while, then we played some rounds of golf on the Wii - me, Amo, Apo and Krissy.  We had a blast laughing at how bad we each were - especially at putting.  Finally, we called it quits.  

It was a fun night - just hanging out, playing games together and laughing.  I'm looking forward to a Titans game, turkey dinner, decorating the tree and celebrating an early Christmas with my parents and family!  

Gobble Gobble!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Cause of Anger

Check Under the Hood

By Os Hillman
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But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. - Colossians 3:8

"The root issue you are dealing with is fear. The physical symptom is control, and when you cannot control, you get angry because of unmet expectations." These were the words I spoke during a conversation in a restaurant to my friend who was separated from his wife. He described his anger and how he never saw some of these characteristics in his life until he entered this marriage.

A friend once said to me, "Anger is like the lights on a dashboard. They tell you something is going on under the hood. You must find out the source of the problem." Whenever we have expectations of another person and those expectations do not materialize, our tendency is to get angry. The source of the anger is often the fear that the unmet expectation will negatively impact us. We fear that our finances, our well-being, our image, or any number of things may be impacted by the unmet expectation. My friend's wife had not met his expectations in many areas of his life, so then, many times it resulted in harsh words that damaged his wife's self-esteem. Now, it was leading to a marriage crisis.

Jesus often spoke of living as though we were dead. How can you live as though you are dead? "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11). It is a choice each of us must make. Once you become dead to that which stirs an emotion in you, God is free to change that situation. Until then, you can expect God to allow that situation to remain until you reckon yourself dead to the effects of the issue that causes you to struggle.

Is there something that causes anger within you? Ask God what the source of that anger is. You might be surprised at what you find. Then ask God to give you the grace to reckon yourself dead to that issue. You will find new freedom in your relationships and your own peace of mind.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

"Things I'm Thankful For" by Alex

Alex brought this single page paper home with him today. Here's how it reads...

Thanksgiving reminds me of all the things I'm thankful for.  I appreciate Family, friends and tools.  I'm especially thankful for family because I would always be sooo lonely.  It would be sad.  I would have NOTHING.  I probably wouldn't even survive without my family!

I also appreciate friends because - wait let me ask you a question; who would I play with?!  If I didn't have friends- I would not want to have to play with a fish!  

Finally, I'm grateful for tools because without tools, it would be a very boring place!  If you didn't have a car - I would not want to walk everywhere!  If we didn't have cell phones, it would be hard to communicated!  As I enjoy this holiday season, I realize that I have many reasons to be thankful.  Family, friends, and tools are very important to me.  

By, Alex Nordhoff

That just about sums it up for me too, son.  I love you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WE ARE TEXANS: Destined To Dominate

The inspiring story of one flag football team (coached by yours truly and a great team of assistant coaches/parents) in Franklin, TN that never gave up and never lost a game!  Undefeated 8-0 Texans.  Watch this short form video.  Make sure you watch it in high quality.

I created a 29 minute version which is much better (but I can't upload it to YouTube).  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ever Have One Of Those Awkward Silent Moments??

CrickettoyHave you ever had an awkward pause in a conversation where you could have sworn you heard crickets chirping? Now you can ACTUALLY hear crickets chirping. Check this out. TheCRICKETtoy™ is for any awkward pause.

Right now, some awkward situation is probably running through your mind. And if your family is anything like mine, the upcoming holidays should provide countless opportunities for this little green guy to interject a chirp or two. (great stocking stuffer!)

theCRICKETtoy™ was created by Jeff Anderson, a songwriter/producer in Nashville with a goofy sense of humor. He has several awkward videos posted here  and you can buy your own cricket on his website.  Matter of fact, it would make the ideal stocking stuffer for the teen in your life. Everyone knows they are full of awkward moments…

Like I said, check it out:

Jeffanderson(yes, a PT Cruiser wrapped like a HUGE Green Cricket!)

Watch His 'Not the Greatest Singer' Video

P.S. I told him I would help him get the word out, so please copy and paste this entry in your blog and ask your readers to buy a toy and put this entry in their blog. I want to see just how many blogs we can get this fun, toy (Great Stocking Stuffer-only $5) on! I think we've got the next “pet rock” and it's fun to be a part of creating a cultural phenomenon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Man of Faith & Miracles

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. - Philippians 3:7

George Mueller was a man known for building orphanages by faith in the mid-1800s. He raised literally millions of dollars for his orphanages, yet died with little in his own bank account. When asked about his conversion experience he commented,

“I was converted in November of 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later, in July 1829. The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, and the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone. God, God alone became my portion. I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else. And by the grace of God this has remained, and has made me a happy man, an exceedingly happy man, and it led me to care only about the things of God. I ask affectionately, my beloved brethren, have you fully surrendered the heart to God, or is there this thing or that thing with which you have taken up irrespective of God? I read a little of the scriptures before, but preferred other books; but since that time the revelation He has made of Himself has become unspeakably blessed to me, and I can say from my heart, God is an infinitely lovely Being. Oh, be not satisfied until in your own inmost soul you can say, God is an infinitely lovely Being!” [Basil Miller, Man of Faith and Miracles (Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bethany House Publishers, n.d.)]

Many will never get to the place where George Mueller was in his spiritual life, because we are unwilling to release control of these areas of which he speaks. If we do release control, it usually is due to a process that God brings us through. Paul got knocked to the ground and was spoken to personally before he was willing to listen and follow completely. Peter had to live with Jesus three years and he still denied Him. It was only later, after he denied Jesus and realized how weak he was in his own faith, that he became fully committed to the Savior.

What will it take for you to fully surrender? You will know that you have given full surrender when power, money, and position no longer have meaning in your life. Paul said he came to a place where his life was the life of Christ only. It is a sacrificial life, but it is also a life of freedom, purpose, and meaning. Let God take full control and see His life lived fully through you.

Sold Out

by Os

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Face Transformer

EricdrunkHave you ever wondered what you will look like when you're old? What about if you were a girl? Well, I discovered a funny site, thanks to my friend, Lucas Parry that does exactly that. EricoldIt's simple - just upload a photo of yourself and you can create all kinds of ugly pictures of yourself.

AlexyoungadultI did some today of me and Alex. Really weird. Check them out.

Here is the link to the website you can do the same thing...

AlexoldHave fun!

Serving Customers or Making Cars?

48daystotheworkyoulovedanmillerthumA great article from Dan Miller's 48 Days Newsletter....

There seems to be a subtle shift that takes place in the history of most businesses. Let's say Barney was a cave man who made great wagons. But there are only 20 people who live in his known world so as soon as he makes 20 wagons he's out of business. If he can't imagine using his skills for anything but wagon-making we might then see him sneaking around at night burning the wagons to rekindle demand. Or the town witch doctor knows he would not be needed if everyone were healthy. So he creates illnesses to keep his patients coming back rather than attempting to help them find ultimate health.

Now fast forward to 2008 in America same deal. We have auto manufacturers who can't risk making a car that really lasts they need 5-year obsolescence. Parts that wear out and systems that malfunction are a necessary component of keeping the machine of making cars in place. It would be self-defeating to make a car that semi-permanently met the customer's needs. You have to hope the customer doesn't stay happy with their purchase for too long.

Do you really think we aren't smart enough to make a lightbulb that would last essentially forever? But what would that do to the sales of lightbulbs?

What if a counselor or chiropractor really helped every client they saw? Got them to a point of healthy functioning on their own? How would he/she pay the mortgage the next month? Keeping people dependent on their services may become more important than seeing them get better.

If you realize your work is more dependent on keeping a system in place than on meeting the real needs of your customers, you are indeed vulnerable. Real estate developers, publishing houses, record labels, auto manufacturing and investment firms are all suffering in their attempts to keep systems in place rather than responding to the changes in demand of the marketplace.

What we need are new ways to engage our creative skills; not government support to allow us to keep doing what no longer works.

I happen to be a car enthusiast, but I think it's a joke that someone decided we needed new models every calendar year? My primary car is a 1991 Mercedes 500SL it's 18 years old! It looks great, has great styling and is fun to drive. I'd love to see a 5-year car where nothing changed for at least 5 years, or even 10. Can you imagine the streamlining of parts and service, and the reduced waste from excessive manufacturing?

Now what are you doing in your work or business to make sure you are serving your customer's needs, even if those needs change?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Knick Knacks

Knickknackshelf_smallMy wife said to me last night as we were going to sleep, "Our bedroom is decorated in nothing but knick knacks." I thought, "She's right." after I looked around our room. We began to laugh about all the little trinkets and stuff clogging our bedroom. It's getting crowded.

This morning, I laughed to myself again about the word 'knick knack'. It's really a funny word when you say it out loud: knick knack. Say it 3 times fast: knick knack, knick knack, knick knack. It makes me smile and even giggle.

By the way, if you've ever bought us a knick knack (and who hasn't bought anyone a knick knack) we love you and we treasure you, but we're in a phase of our lives where we just want to clean out some of the less meaningful knick knacks and focus on less stuff. It's more pleasing to the eye anyway.

A friend of mine wrote a blog called the 100 Thing Challenge. The premise of it was, If you could only keep 100 things, what would they be. Thousands of people have visited his site and shared their list of 100 things they would keep. I'm in favor of that.

Anyway, that's really all I wanted to write about in this blog post. Less knick knacks.

I hope this post has been a blessing to your life. :)

More about knick knacks:


Funny Movie called "Knick Knack"

Nursery Rhyme

The Retail King of Knick Knacks

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Story of Anthem

Krissy has taken the time to write out the story of our baby girl to come. Here it is, in her own words...


Feb 07 I had a dream which I believed may be a vision. It woke me up out of a dead sleep. In the dream, I had just given birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl. Her name was Anthem.

The next day, Eric said that New Day had told him that all the sales reps’ favorite song on the One compilation worship CD, was the song that I sang. It was called “He’s Always Been Faithful.” I began to sing the song, and I was in shock as I got to verse number 3 (very symbolic.) It says, “This is my anthem, this is my song. The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long. God has been faithful, He will be again. His lovingkindness, it knows no end.”

May 07 I went out to visit my sister Maribeth in Phoenix. Her mailing address is Phoenix, but when I arrived there, she actually lived closer to a little city called Anthem. I felt amazed again in wonder, as we drove by all the Anthem signs.

December 07 I remember being at our church’s Christmas Eve service on the 24th. I couldn’t believe the number of times the word “anthem” popped up in the Christmas carols. I was tearing up and had goose bumps! Lord, was this You?

March 08 I went to a beautiful prayer service with my friends from church. I felt God touching me in a very deep way that night, healing some emotional scars that I did not know were there. The next morning, I opened my Bible up to this verse: Psalm 27:6 (The Message) “God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof (the title of one of my songs as well)! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.”

April 08 Jim Harrison, from church, told me twice within a short amount of time that the Lord was about to give me a new song. Did this mean literally a song, or an anthem?

July 27, 08 Eric was insisting that I was pregnant, and I was only one day late. We were getting ready to go to the airport, and I told him that he would have to go get a test for me if he wanted me to take it. He did, and it was positive!!!! Anthem, is it you?

As I flew up to Michigan for concerts that weekend, these are all verses that I randomly opened up to over the weekend.

Isaiah 54:2-4 …You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! “Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family…

Isaiah 66:9 Do I open the womb and not deliver the baby? Do I, the One who deliver babies, shut the womb?

Matthew 1:20-23 While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’--- because he will save his people from their sins.

Psalm 92:1-3 What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the High God! To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night, Accompanied by dulcimer and harp, the full-bodied music of strings.

July 30, 08 At a concert I was singing in Michigan, the pastor introduced me as having 3 children even though he didn’t know I was pregnant.

August, 08 I was experiencing lots of cramping. I was very scared. I called the doctor, and he told me, “If you’re going to have a miscarriage, you’re going to have a miscarriage.” I held on to the picture of the healthy baby in my dream, and changed doctors.

More verses I opened up to:

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you….”

Psalm 89:5 God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways, the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!

Our good friends Amy and Brett Stewart were praying for us and the baby. As we were praying, Amy found Isaiah 44:1-5 “But for now, dear servant Jacob, listen--- yes, you, Israel my personal choice. God who made you has something to say to you; the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you. Don’t be afraid, dear servant Jacob, Jeshurun, the one I chose. For I will pour water on the thirsty ground and send streams coursing through the parched earth. I will pour my Spirit into your descendants and my blessing on your children. They shall sprout like grass on the prarie, like willows alongside creeks. This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’ and another will go by the name Jacob; That one will write on his hand ‘God’s property’—and be proud to be called Israel.”

The next day as I was reading this passage again, I read on. This is Isaiah 44:6-8. God, King of Israel, your Redeemer, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: “I’m first, I’m last, and everything in between. I’m the only God there is. Who compares with me? Speak up. See if you measure up. From the beginning, who else has always announced what’s coming? So what is coming next? Anybody want to venture a try? Don’t be afraid, and don’t worry: Haven’t I always kept you informed, told you what was going on? You’re my eyewitnesses: Have you ever come across a God, a real God, other than me? There’s no Rock like me that I know of.”

The same day, Amy called. She said she got up at 4:30 in the morning because she was so excited about our news. She decided to read her daily Bible reading. For the Old Testament, her reading for the day was in 2 Chronicles 35:25. It says, “Jeremiah composed an anthem of lament for Josiah. The anthem is still sung by the choirs of Israel to this day. The anthem is written in the Laments.

I had lots of problems with blood pressure and finding the right medication and dosage. I called my new doctor one night, and he told me that I may not want to continue the pregnancy. This followed with continued nausea, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Still, I tried to fend off fear by holding on to my dream.

September 08 Our church worship department began writing songs for an upcoming CD. I sent a partial song to our worship leader, Michael Neale. He sent me back a finished song, writing in the email that ‘the chorus ended up sounding like an anthem. God is using this song!’

October 08 I was getting very nervous for the ultrasound coming the next week. I asked God to speak to me. He showed me Psalm 135:3. It says….Shout “Hallelujah!” because God’s so good, sing anthems to his beautiful name.

November 1, 08 The next day, Eric’s Quietime Christmas DVD was delivered. The last verse on the DVD was Luke 2:38 …(Anna) never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

November 2, 08 This was the day before the ultrasound, and I was VERY nervous. I wanted to know that all these things were truly from God, and that the baby was safe. God showed me Isaiah 45:9-11 “I, God, generate all this. But doom to you who fight your Maker—you’re a pot at odds with the potter! Does clay talk back to the potter: ‘What are you doing? What clumsy fingers!’ Would a sperm say to a father, ‘Who gave you permission to use me to make a baby?’ Or a fetus to a mother, ‘Why have you cooped me up in this belly?’” Thus God, the Holy of Israel, Israel’s Maker says: “Do you question who or what I’m making? Are you telling me what I can or cannot do? I made earth, and I created man and woman to live on it…” Okay, God, I know I can trust you.

November 3, 08 The day of our ultrasound, and I was still very nervous. The boys came with us and watched it all happen. The nurse spent 20 minutes looking at every possible body part of the baby. The baby looked healthy, and finally it was time to check the gender!! She asked me if I could tell what it was and I responded “Is it a boy?!” – mainly out of fear and family history. And she said right after, “No, it’s not a boy.” And I thought, ‘she said it’s not a boy, does that mean it’s a girl? She didn’t say it was a girl. What if it’s both?!’ Then, I looked at Eric. And he said with tears in his eyes, “It’s a girl.” Right then, the boys smiled the biggest smiles they’ve ever made. I am so glad we were able to share that moment as a family. It is ANTHEM!!!

God, you have been amazingly faithful! We love You.

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's a Girl!!

Anthem19wks1We've been waiting for this day for about 19 weeks. It's finally here. At 8am this morning, Krissy, the boys and I drove to Vanderbilt Hospital for our first major ultrasound. The news is great. We have a healthy baby...and, it's a girl!!! The news couldn't be better.

Anthem19wks4girlWe are so grateful to God for speaking to us 18 months ago that we would have a girl and her name would be Anthem. WOW!!! God is good. It's been a faith-walk ever since then trusting God for this child. In July, we learned that we were having a baby and we've been waiting for this day ever since.

Anthem19wks5feetFrom now until Anthem's birth, pink will be our new favorite color and frilly things will invade our lives for at least the next 18 years! I think the boys and I can handle it.

So, we wait expectantly for the birth of this beautiful baby girl. And we sing "an anthem of praise to God" (Luke 2:38) in the meantime. Anthem19wks2

Friday, October 31, 2008


Halloween1We just came in from another Halloween of trick or treating with the boys. We visited with all of our friends and neighbors. We walked around the entire neighborhood. It was a nice time.

Halloween2Now, the trick or treaters have stopped and the doorbell is silent again. The boys have plenty of candy to last them until Thanksgiving. Daddy has already had enough until Thanksgiving too. This day marks the start of the sugar frenzy until Christmas day. Here it comes. Watch out!

For now, enjoy some of these pics of the boys and our neighbors.

This year we gave out Kit Kats, Reese's, Hershey Bars and Twizzlers at the door!

Halloween3Happy Halloween!!

Time To Make A Decision

Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity. -- Robert Schuller

The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want. -- Ben Stein

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion. -- Chinese proverb

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. -- Benjamin Disraeli

Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor. -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision. -- The Principles of Psychology 1890

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

His Vision, His Way, In His Timing

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do almost anything to get it? Have you ever gotten so close to fulfilling a dream only to have it disappear right before your eyes? Such was the case for Abraham.

God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. He would have a son. However, Abraham panicked when Sarah aged beyond child bearing years and tried to help God by birthing Ishmael through Sarah's servant, who was not the promised son. Eventually, Isaac was born, who was the promised son.

However, God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only son on an altar to demonstrate his obedience to God. Truly, this is one of the hardest instructions given to one of God's people in all of scripture. It compares only to the Heavenly Father sacrificing His own Son. God intervenes and allows a lamb to take his place, symbolizing the Lamb of God as a prophetic sign of what is to take place in the future.

God often births a vision in our lives only to allow it to die first before the purest version of the vision is manifested. This has happened several times in my own journey. Oswald Chambers observes, "God's method always seems to be vision first, and then reality, but in between the vision and the reality there is often a deep valley of humiliation. How often has a faithful soul been plunged into a like darkness when after the vision comes the test. When God gives a vision and darkness follows, waiting on God will bring you into accordance with the vision He has given if you await His timing. Otherwise, you try to do away with the supernatural in God's undertakings. Never try to help God fulfill His word."*

When God's vision is finally birthed, nothing will stop it. Our job is to allow God to birth His vision through us His way and in His timing.

His Vision, His Way, In His Timing

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman


"Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about'" (Gen 22:2).

Oswald chambers, Not Knowing Where, Discovery House, Grand Rapids, MI.

Friday, October 24, 2008

2 Corinthians 5:17

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where do I want to be at age 35?

Whereage35_212 years ago (1996), for New Year's (I think), I wrote a list of where I'd like to be at age 35. Well, at age 37, my wife found this list and it's amazing how much of it actually happened. I guess it is true that when you write our your goals, you improve your chance of accomplishing them. Here is the list and my comment for each one...

The Year 2006:

My Parents will be in their 60's

Omi will be 87. (thankfully all are still alive and healthy - Omi turns 90 in April!)

- I'd like God to be smiling down on me. (pretty generic, but I still have an active prayer life - now more than ever.)

- I want to have a wife that will be my partner. (check)

- someone that loves to laugh...(oh yeah).

- I'd like to grow together (what does this mean? I guess so...)

- I want to be passionately in love (I won't go there in this blog :)

- I'd like to have 2 children (check)

- I want to be a loving, caring father (check)

- I want to be thinking positively (see title of my blog for the answer)

- I want to be improving (again, see title of my blog for the answer)

- I want to be educated about personal finances (Krissy and I just finished Financial Peace University this year and I'm always learning in this area. Thank you Dave Ramsey)

- I want to own my own marketing/consulting business (check - see,

- I want to be setting my own business and personal schedule (check - although sometime Krissy sets it for me).

- I want to be financially independent (not quite there yet)

- I want to have a healthy, manageable lifestyle (well, I'm healthy, but I could be more balanced)

- I want to have washboard abs (nope. Not even close. I'll make a commitment to have those when I'm 40 - nothing like a little procrastination...)

- I want to still be on a disciplined workout schedule (I try).

- I want to take lots of weekend trips to the beach (define 'lots'? 2-3 times per year, but they are longer than a weekend).

- I want to go snorkeling in the ocean. (done)

- I want to go hiking in the mountains. (did a lot of that this summer).

- I want to have close friends (check).

- I want to be playing lots of golf and tennis (again, define 'lots'? Tennis 7 or 8x per month, Golf 1x per month if I'm lucky).

- I want to be challenged mentally and physically (a little too general - c'mon Eric! What did I know, I was only 25).

- I want to go on a missions trip (nope. Disappointed I haven't been on one yet).

- I want to make smart, well thought-out decisions - not impulsive one. (half a check for effort on this one).

- I want to make my parents proud. (Maybe they will comment on this one, but I think they would say they are).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Living for God's Glory

Romans 11:36 says "Everything comes from God alone.  Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory."

I'm reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren with my wife most evenings.  We were both profoundly affected by Chapter 7 last night titled 'The Reason For Everything'.  In the second paragraph, Warren explains it clearly: "The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God." 

He goes onto say later how we were made to glorify God and how we glory Him. 

As I read, I was reminded of what happened earlier that day in Carpenter's Kids (our 1st - 3rd grade children's ministry at The People's Church).  During one of the songs where I was leading worship, I sensed God's Spirit begin to flood the room.  I opened my eyes and I saw so many children sincerely worshipping their Creator with all of their heart.  It was a sweet moment - one I hope I will never forget.  I sensed the kids' hearts were sincerely loving God.  I could sense it in the room. 

Psalm63_14worshiporbThere was a photo taken by Reba Johnson during that song.  I was not surprised to see little orbs of light surrounding the kids.  I'm sure someone people could explain how those orbs were created through the way the light refracted off the lens or something like that.  However, I believe those orbs are the angels and/or God's Spirit flooding the room with His glory. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nothing Fishy About Sea World San Antonio

Dolphins2I will try not to make this post appear as though I'm shamelessly plugging Sea World, but I'm going to do it anyway.

Sea World San Antonio was a great experience for our family. Within 10 minutes of entering the park, we had already accomplished our son, Kaden's, goal of touching a dolphin. That was worth every dime of the $45 entry fee per person.

Seaworld15_2Not only were we able to touch and feed dolphins, but we also saw a huge tank of sharks, laughed at the Sea Lion show and were astounded at the quality of the Viva show with Beluga whales and black striped dolphins mixed with fantastic human acrobatics and slapstick comedy. That was just the morning routine. After a reasonably priced lunch ($35.00 for the 4 of us), we headed back out and enjoyed some fantastic water rides especially the "Journey To Atlantis". We rode that ride 5 or 6 times before the day was through. What a rush!!

Did I mention October is a great time to go because there were hardly any lines? We didn't have to wait longer than 5 minutes to get on a ride.

Seaworld9shamu2The closer for us was the Believe show with Shamu and two other killer whales. Simply inspiring! Also, don't sit as close as we did. We got sprayed big time! We were all soaked in less than 50 degree water. Brrrrr.

I would highly recommend Sea World San Antonio! There's nothing fishy about this place!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Flag Football Frenzy

Hpim1021I've been blessed this year to coach a flag football team of exceptionally talented young boys.

It's truly one of the highlights of my week to coach our team of 7-8 year olds. Alex and Kaden play together. It's really fun to coach them both - they're both incredible players all the way around.

I also get to coach with one of my favorite people - Jeff Boesinger. Jeff and his wife, Lisa, their son Jake and daughter Kaylee are such great people and have truly become our best "flag football" friends. Jeff is a defensive specialist - he's only had one TD scored against him in 5 games.

Hpim1039On top of that, I get to coach 6 other great kids: Ryan, Eli, Ben, Joseph, Thomas and Spencer.

This truly is a special team and a special season. Not only are we 5-0 and have dominated about every game, but these boys also show great respect to their teammates and opposing team, they play great together and they are very talented.

Hpim1048This past weekend we played our rival team - the Falcons. The team is coached by one of my favorite people out on the fields - Brian Sullivan. He always prepares his team. I was very nervous going into the match-up. On top of that, Graham is also on his team. He and his parents are some of my favorite people also. I coached with Steve, Graham's dad, last season (Giants) and we had lots of fun. The game was tight after the first half. In the end, our team beat them 18-0, but it was a tough fight. Afterward, we all gathered together and Brian led a prayer for us all. That's one of the reasons why Brian is such a special coach. Even in defeat, he led us all in giving credit where credit is due.

Here's our team cheer:

Have FUN







Coach Eric

Friday, October 17, 2008

Texas Two-step

KidsspaceplaceKrissy, the boys and I have spent the last few days in Texas visiting with my parents.  First, we spent two days in Houston.  While there, we visited Space Center Houston.  It was Spacecenter2fun, but they haven't changed much since we last were there in 2002.  We took a tram tour, landed the Space Shuttle on the simulator and watched a few movies about space and the future of NASA (Operation Constellation). 

Kaden and Alex rode a golf cart for the first time on the golf course and my dad paid for the boys to have golf lessons at Bay Oaks. 

Thealamo Yesterday, we drove to San Antonio.  We spent a few hours visiting The Alamo.  Afterwards, the boys and I watched a IMAX movie about The Alamo called The Price of Freedom, while Krissy and my parents went shopping at The RiverCenter Mall.  I learned a lot about the history of Texas and the importance of the fall at The Alamo.  SanantonioriverwalkMy favorite line in the movie was where Davy Crockett says "You may go to hell, I'm going to Texas".

Later, that evening we walked the RiverWalk downtown and Dinnerriverwalkhad Italian dinner at Michellano's (I think that's what it was called).  We would have had Mexican, but we were all a little sick from the Taco Bell we ate earlier that day for lunch. 

Today, the grand finale - Sea World.  Kaden and Alex have been looking forward to going for weeks.  Kaden wants to touch the Dolphins. 

Maybe I'll write a post about it later!