May 27, 2009


We've been adventuring all over lately!
Here's a trail we took near a park...

Cool wagon at an Italian Market...

Genesee Valley Country & Museum!

And the carnival that the kids ask
about all year. We got to go this year!
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May 24, 2009

Are You Crazy?

What can I say? I believe Jesus.

Don't think for a second that I enjoy the scorn and revulsion that often comes from preaching the Gospel. I don't, I really don't. But, in my estimation it is worth enduring, so that others can be saved. I believe that this is love.

Personally, I would like to pursue a quiet life in the country, a few acres, a nice house, a garden, maybe have a boat, and build a nice savings for a comfortable retirement. Shoot, I have a pretty nice job and it is very tempting to pursue these things.

But, because I believe Jesus, I also believe in the Judgment, and in the Resurrection. This changes everything.

Jesus the author of my faith; for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, not caring about the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Following Jesus is NOT something that makes your time on earth more comfortable. Don't misunderstand, following the Lord brings many wonderful blessings, but the path always leads to the cross. This means we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others, knowing that our reward is at the resurrection.

The hope of the resurrection and the promise of eternal rest in Jesus' kingdom give me the freedom to love others and my own expense.

Now is the time for work and sacrifice, later comes the rest and reward.This is why Jesus says to count the cost before following him. It requires faith to make the sacrifice.

So, am I crazy?

Well, if the Judgment and Resurrection are real, then making the sacrifice to love and preach the Gospel is the wisest thing a person could do.

But if the words of Jesus are false, and there is no resurrection, then I am a fool who has wasted his only chance for earthly comfort.

I know what I believe, you can decide for yourself.

Why So Blunt?

I often get asked why I am so blunt about the gospel, or why I don't present Jesus in a more attractive way. I think that is a fair question, which deserves a sincere answer.

There is a lot at stake concerning the message of Jesus. From Adam, to Noah, to Moses, to Jesus and everything in between and after, the theme has been about sin and redemption. Sin has serious consequences, earthly justice has the power to punish the guilty, and heavenly justice even more so. Every person is equal under the law of God. Everyone is guilty of sin, and all under the wrath of God's justice. The day of Judgment will be terrible for those who receive justice for the wrongs they have done against God and their fellow man.
Sin and punishment are a major theme of the scriptures. From first to last, Adam sinned and was punished, Jesus suffered the wrath of the Father so that sins could be forgiven, the last book of Revelation is about the final Judgment.

So although there is much to be said about the goodness, love, and mercy of God, it is all meaningless and unprofitable to a person who doesn't yet understand the wrath of God toward sin. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". God is holy and will punish all sin. It is in the light of his holiness and just nature that we are able to appreciate the grace and mercy that have been revealed in the later days through Jesus. But, First things First.

Preaching the Gospel to the world is a big task, and there is no time to waste. A sincere, direct, and "blunt" approach seems to be the best way to get the job done.
No matter how you dress up the truth, or try to make it more attractive, a person still needs to be confronted with their guilt under the law. This is quite offensive, and difficult to accept, but there is no way to soften the blow, so it seems best to get to the heart of the issue so people can decide what to do with it. (Best to lance a boil quickly so the healing can begin)

The purpose is not to make people believe, (That is the Holy Spirit's job) but to present the truth clearly, so it can be accepted or rejected for what it is. There are many other versions of Jesus that are easy to accept, but have no power to save. My job is to present the warning as an invitation to seek Jesus, and let it fall where it may. If your heart is hard you will reject it, if it is soft you will accept it.

The objective is not to argue, persuade, push, or coerce by any violent means, but simply to present the message as an opportunity to be saved. Do with it what you will, but hopefully you can at least understand why it would be fruitless to "beat around the bush". If there is destruction coming, it's best to sound a loud and clear alarm. I don't want to be found guilty of being a poor watchman and not warning my neighbors.

May 22, 2009

Butterfly Birthday Cake

I enjoy making cakes. (And eating them.)
Here's the cake we made for Maggie's Birthday party!

I found it in a Betty Crocker magazine (but you can find it HERE,) and have made it 
several times already. We had a good time going to the store
and picking out candies for it.

Tree Fort

So we had a great time over at
Papa's house watching him build the
tree fort with Uncle George.
Here are a few pictures.
It was nice a sunny out all day!
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May 21, 2009


Maggie turns Three this week. Could she already be? I just can't believe it.
I have really enjoyed this age with her. We've gone through the phase recently of
her talking, but no one can understand a word she says.

In the past few weeks, her speech has become clear, and some of her most common phrases
are: "For Real?", "I like you!" and "where's my baby?".

She really is such a helpful little girl.
I can't get over how she is always next to me ready to help with anything I am doing.

I think in my mind that I want her to stay this way forever. Don't grow up!
But...recently I realizedthat even though
I can't stop her from growing up,
I can enjoy every age just as much as the youngest years.

I just pray she will follow Jesus and keep that sweet spirit.
Maggie, I love you so very much! 
Congratulations! You are 3!
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May 20, 2009

Around the House

We always have a story to tell about Dub.
Yes, are caught.

This one is vacuum worthy...

Isn't she such a great little mommy?

Here's the boys on their fort. Uncle George came into
town yesturday to join in on the fun. He's helping
Papa keep building! More updates to come!
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May 12, 2009

A few candid pictures

It was a little too quiet in Dub's direction.
Oh, that's b/c he's already started his nap!
These two are a handful!
Such great helpers!
What? I'm innocent...and cute.
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May 11, 2009

Lilac Festival

We went to the Lilac Festival.

The boys had a great time!

Neat log!

The kids had fun with this one.
Fortunately, we missed the rain that day :)
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May 10, 2009

The Little kids

A little last minute play before bedtime.
These two play sooooo well together!
You know... first Lukie was the horse man,
and then Maggie became the horse girl,
and now...well, Dub is jumping in.
He got up there on his own!
He's not too down with sharing a ride. Can you tell?
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May 8, 2009

Mendon Ponds Hike

Aren't the boys just so cute? 
We took a spring hike on a trail in the woods.
Maggie and I enjoyed the sunshine too.
This is a face of an excited boy who just watched his daddy
make a boy and arrow...Really cool...
Like the wooden swords? They make for great chopping and whacking...
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May 7, 2009

Favorite Running field

Here's a field we like to take the kids to run at Mendon Ponds park.
I love to watch them get so far that they look very little!
Looking smaller!
There's a neat little valley that they disapear into for a second or two.
Dub was just getting the hang of walking on uneven surfaces.
He's became a pro that day.
He also collected a few things out there. You'll have
to ask Bill about that...
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May 5, 2009

Mexican food night!

I found a great recipe at the Family Fun website this week and had to try it!
It's called Stacked Burrito Pie, and it was such a hit with the kids! Here are a few direct quotes from the kids:   
"I wish it were raining this!" -David
"I wish it were raining in everyone's houses!" -Lukie
"More peas!" -Maggie
I have to say we will make this again.
Check out the recipe here!
By the way, I forgot to take a picture of it...and well, we gobbled it up quick. :)

May 2, 2009

About The Author:

I live with my wife and five children, in the city of Rochester’s 19th Ward, which is the area between Genesee St and the Airport.

We are followers of Jesus and therefore part of his Church. We meet with the Church in each others homes to read the scriptures, pray, and share the Lord’s Table with one another. Our assemblies have no government other than the Lord Jesus, and his Spirit. This leaves room for each person to bless the Church with the unique gifts that God has given them. The expectation is that each will strive to maintain good order and use their gifts to love and build others up.

Because no brother rules over another, and because we have no creed other than the scriptures, it is every person’s responsibility to maintain the Spirit of unity and the bond of peace. Although this is difficult at times, it produces strong and healthy believers because it requires patience, love, and knowledge of the Scriptures. We strive to be of one mind and one Spirit without fearing disagreement because there is only one Lord, and one Truth. Those who earnestly seek Him will find him. We can wait on the Lord to clarify areas of knowledge, and only divide over matters of law and sin

While the local gatherings are small and intimate, the larger Church is connected through the many relationships that weave them together. Through both personal knowledge and commendation, connections are made that allow for the sharing of gifts and resources where there is need. The Lord also gives elders to help oversee, guide, and build relationships between the various local assemblies.

The Lord gives various gifts to each member of the Church so that they can perform different roles and functions within the whole. The Lord has equipped and called me to the work of evangelism, which is the sharing and spreading of the good news of God’s kingdom, and the forgiveness of sins. As a result, I strive to sow the seed of the gospel with the hope that it will find good soil and save those with ears to hear.

As this message goes out, I expect it will have a number of effects. Many will hear and be hardened in their sin and unbelief. Many outsiders will hear the gospel and respond in faith, repenting and being baptized into the Church. Some of the religious “Pharisees” of our day will hear the simplicity of the gospel and forsake their religion for the true and simple way, while those who are already followers of Jesus will be able form new relationships, as they find each other throughout the community. The preaching of the Gospel is never in vain, and God’s word never comes back void.

I look forward to hearing from you as the Lord leads and as your heart responds.


The Gospel

More about The Gospel of Jesus

Over 10 years ago, I heard the story that changed my life forever. The story is about life & death, love & fear, good & evil, sacrifice & selfishness. I am compelled to share it with everyone who hasn't yet heard it, with the hope that they too will be transformed by the beauty and power of the greatest story ever recorded.

The story is BEAUTIFUL enough to capture all of your other DESIRES
…It is POWERFUL enough to set you free from the strongest chains of GUILT
…It is TERRIFYING enough to stop you in your tracks and make you flee from SIN
…It is COHERRENT enough to bring understand, and make sense out of REALITY
…It is AWESOME enough to humble the most SELF-RIGHTEOUS
…It is GENTLE enough to lift up and heal the most BROKEN HEARTED
…It is TRUTH and it will bring PEACE to your soul in the darkest hours.

The following pages are a brief summary of the story to help you know whether you want to hear more, or just ignore it and walk away.
If you see the beauty of this message and believe, then your life will never be the same.
If you don’t…well… then you don’t.

The Bible IS what it IS.

An Introduction

There are three simple truths about God which are as plain to everyone as the nose on their face. You can deny it, suppress it, or even forget it, but it is written on the heart of every person.

Creation shows that God exists. Everyone who looks at the vastness of the universe, and the detailed design of every living creature can see that it was no accident. The awesome forces in nature give testimony to the even greater power of the God who made them. While some people may honestly believe that God does not exist, they must first have denied and suppressed what is obvious to every child.

Our conscience testifies to our own guilt. The fact that you have done evil is plain to your conscience. When you do things which you know are wrong, or don’t do what you know is right, you have broken the law, and you have done evil. The law is written on your heart. Your conscience accuses you of your guilt, and although the voice can be minimized, medicated, diverted, or denied it finds a way to remind you of your evil deeds during your sober moments. Although no living person may know about your secret sins, you still know and God still knows. Your conscience calls for a cleansing, it wants forgiveness, and it seeks to find relief from the guilt you are carrying. Some may be successful at hardening themselves against their consciences so that they no longer hear its voice, but still it is impossible to undo the actual guilt of the crimes once they have been committed.

You know the power of God through creation, and you know your guilt through the breaking of laws. This naturally leads you to fear death and judgment. Laws demand justice and require punishment. It doesn’t matter how much time passes between committing the crime and having to answer for your crime. The righteousness of God requires your punishment because you have rejected what is good and chosen what is evil. You are never forced to do wrong, but you choose to do it anyway because of your selfish desires and fears. Anyone can appear to be good when they are satisfied and comfortable, but in moments of fear and want, we discover that our hearts are selfish and capable of doing any evil thing to meet our desires. Take an honest lookat yourself and you’ll see that it’s true. Deceit, theft, perversion, hatred, jealousy, anger, lust, arrogance, and selfishness are inside everyone. Would you want your every secret thought exposed and your every secret deed revealed? Take an honest look at how messed up our world is and you’ll see that is the true of all mankind. It is a big obvious fact, and people are too afraid to admit it, because each one of us is a part of the problem and we have no solution.
These terrifying truths are the birthright of all mankind. You know and feel these facts because they are written inside of you. They are felt by every man, woman, and child on earth, who is willing to face the obvious. This is enough to bring you to your knees seeking relief from your guilt, and mercy for the wrath that is to come. To deny these plain truths is foolish, and to argue with those who deny them is foolish as well. They have already been made plain to every person, they don’t need to be proved or defended. The first responsibility of every person is to seek an answer. The good new is that God has provided an answer for those with ears to hear.

The Solution – Jesus

God is one, and yet the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God. My intent is not to explain this mystery, but rather to explain why this truth makes our salvation possible.

In the heavenly court the Father is the supreme law giver and judge. He is perfectly good and loves justice; he blesses all righteousness and punishes every evil. It is right to worship him as Lord over his creation, and to fear him because of his burninghatred toward sin and evil. This is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. However, because he is also merciful and compassionate he loves the people that he created, even in their guilty and condemned condition. The Father loves justice and must punish every sin, but at the same time he desires to show mercy to the creation which he also loves.

How can God uphold justice by punishing sin, and at the same time mercifully provide a way to escape the punishment that justice demands? The answer to this question is found only in Jesus! The Father loved mankind by sending his Son into the world to pay the enormous price for ALL the sins that EVERY person has ever committed. Each sinner owes a debt of eternal death and suffering, but the holy, sinless, priceless blood of the infinite and all-powerful Son was worth far more than the debts of all mankind. By His horrible suffering and sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus offered to the Father something infinitely more valuable than the debts of every person. Because Jesus paid the debt that Justice required, he will freely offer mercy to any sinner whom He chooses. Those who love him, trust him, and follow him are the ones who will receive this gift. Anyone who rejects his love will instead receive thejustice that they have earned.

The good news is simply this…that Jesus loved us by giving his life to provide salvation for every person who will believe and follow him. Because Jesus was more powerful than death itself, he overcame the grave by rising from the dead, and returned to heaven where he sits as king on the throne. He will come again when it is time to set up his kingdom and restore the earth. Then, he will judge the lives of every person, and give them justice or mercy.

His judgment will no longer be based on keeping the law, which condemns you, but he will judge whether you truly love and believe him. If you hear the message of Jesus, agree that it is good, and follow him by faith, he will pay your debt and set you free. Following what is good (even though you are not good yourself) at any cost, reveals that you love him, and your reward is that he will transform you to become like him. He calls us to follow him by laying down our lives for others in the same way he laid down his life for us. This is good. We are free to love people like this because he promises to raise us from the dead, in the same way that he raised from the dead. If we believe, we no longer need to protect our lives, but are free to lay them down knowing that we will get them back in the resurrection. If we try to protect our lives, and hold on to them in selfishness, we will lose them forever on the Day of Judgment. What good is it if we get everything the world has to offer but lose our own soul?

How to Follow Jesus

Jesus alone has the power to pardon sins and ransom you from the demands of Justice, so you must follow him if you want to be saved. When Jesus returned to heaven he sent the Holy Spirit to live within his followers, and to lead them. The Spirit of God has the ability to guide you in truth and to convict you of sin. Those who hear his voice and obey it are His children. If you do not continue to follow because of fear, temptation, or laziness you will be lost. There is no other way to be saved than to follow Him to the end.

Work hard to know Jesus, because this clearly reveals that you love Him and are willing to sacrifice all other things to have him. Read the Bible and measure all things by its patterns so that you can follow Him without being led astray. Look for others who are doing the same and work together to understand what the Bible says. By doing this you will grow in your knowledge of the Lord.

Sin is when you break the law, and do not conform to what is right. When you realize that you have sinned, or been led astray, Jesus expects you to repent and obey him. This goes beyond saying “I’m sorry, please forgive me” but rather paying the price necessary to fix what you have done, and to stop yourself from doing it again. It doesn’t do any good to say “sorry” and then go do it again. Your works and your deeds will reveal what you truly want. True repentance requires a deep change where your innermost desires become like God’s. When you find yourself disobeying, be afraid. The problem is that you want what you want; even if you know that you should want something else. Humbly turn to God and ask Him to change your heart, because this is something only He can do. Confess your sins to other children of God and put them out in the open so that you will be freed from their hold. You must deal with reality and refuse to conceal what is true. Expose it to the light, no matter how ugly it appears, and you will find freedom.

God expects you to maintain a clear conscience at all times, and to do what you know is right. Do not be afraid that you are committing sins which you are not aware of, trust God to reveal them in his time. You will find mercy where you are ignorant, but you are responsible to obey everything that He does reveal to you. The one who is faithful with what they have will be given more, and the one who is not…even what he has been given will be lost.

This path will always lead you away from sin and toward the cross. You will follow Him by laying down your life for the needs of others, knowing that you will also follow Him to the resurrection where you will enter His kingdom with an eternal inheritance and reward. The way is difficult, and has great cost, but it is right that we should offer back to God the very life which he gave us. He clearly says that if you try to keep your life, you will lose it, but if you lay it down for His sake you will keep it eternally. What good is it if you gain the whole world, but lose your soul?

There is much more to know about Jesus and his promises, but this letter contains enough to help you decide whether you want to keep asking more questions. You are being offered an opportunity to follow God himself, and you will either believe him or reject him. If you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.


The Leopard and The Poodle

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

Oneday the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that she's lost. Wandering about, she notices a young leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch. 

The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep trouble now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat. 

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?" 

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!", says the leopard, "That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!" 

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. 

So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. 

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. 

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!" 

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!" 

Moral of this story.. 

Don't mess with old farts...experience and wisdom will always overcome youth and skill!

Street MMA

Since there are no universally accepted categories defining JKD Concepts (STREET MMA), and the MMA you see on TV today in events such as the UFC, I will try to make a distinction.

If your goal is to win matches in a game, then you train to that end. You train to fight in a ring (or cage) where you will square off against a single equally matched opponent. There is a referee to ensure all players hold to agreed upon standards and rules of conduct. These rules prohibit the use of concealed weapons, and attacks that are aimed a permanent injury, disfiguration, and death. In short, the sport of MMA eliminates a number of variables that can be present in a real world confrontation, and therefore will change your training methodology.

A responsible practice of STREET MMA must ask different questions and develop different scenarios. 
You Must Address:
  • Handling multiple attackers
  • Staying on your feet, rather than going to the ground
  • Environmental dangers or advantages (falling on stairs, finding exits)
  • Handling an armed assailant
  • Making use of an available weapon
  • Dirty Attacks - biting, eye gouging, finger locks, strangulations
  • Moral and emotional elements
I'm not trying to make "which is better" comparisons, but make a distinction in training methodologies so you can choose the one that is right for you.  Many MMA athletes could ruin my day in the ring with superior conditioning, youthful vigor, and more tools designed to submit an opponent. My only hope against an opponent like that is to have a different bag of tricks, and that requires a different training methodology.

As the old proverb goes: Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill

Click Here For a Great Story: Leopard and the Poodle