Monday, April 22, 2013


"I don't have a single American friend," Tamerlan Tsarnaev said in a photo essay about his love of boxing. "I don't understand them."
Like the rest of America and much of the world, our family was shocked and saddened with the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon. I even recently posted about Team Hoyt, the father and son team that would be running in the Marathon for the 31st time. It was a horrific event that struck at an iconic part of our culture, I am am glad that the perpetrators were quickly located.

But, we were struck by the sentiment expressed above by one of the Tsarnaev brothers. It seems amazing that these two were in the United States for ten or more years and still felt like they did not understand Americans, didn't have any American friends and had nothing but bitterness and anger towards our people and culture.

I am not getting all soft and saying that we shouldn't have hunted them down as ruthlessly as necessary, and I, like many others, would have gladly participated in that search, but I can't help but wonder if it may have been different if his family had a group of people who had taken interest in his family when they first arrived in the country.

We recently had the opportunity to be involved in a group that does just that. The Tucson Refugee Ministry (TRM) helps build bridges between followers of Jesus and newly arrived refugees. Many of whom are followers of Islam. Our involvement consisted of befriending a family that had just arrived here from the Congo, via Burundi. I don't believe our friends would have bombed a marathon on anything, but I like to think that becoming friends with them has helped them understand us and led them to count us as their friends.

 According to TRM:
 Less than 10% of refugees who come to the US will be befriended by an American, let alone a follower of Jesus.

I think it would be a wonderful thing if we could change that number somehow. It might even do something to change the future. 

We just met with the Director, Cherie, today, so this is fresh on my mind. 

Thanks Cherie (and Terri)  for the work you do to change the number of refugees that will be befriended by Americans. And thanks for opening a gateway for our family and a few other families to get to know our new friends. We have been enriched.
Check out the Tucson Refugee Ministry to learn a little more.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


At my job, we think about and train our mindset fairly regularly. A proper mindset will help you survive and win violent encounters. But we often overlook how we can have a proper mindset to survive and win when the fists and bullets are not flying.

So, I have been giving some thought and study to that particular issue, because I have seen more crash and burn from the latter than the former.

Maybe I will share some of what I have learned with you.

Ok, here is one thing:

Ever seen anyone make knee jerk emotional decisions as they react to the things that others do? Ever do it yourself?

Too often, we react rather than respond. To react is to make thoughtless decisions based on how we feel. To respond is to make thoughtful decisions to do what is best in spite of what others do and the emotions they are trying to heap upon us.

An emotional reaction will often cause more problems for you both now and later. A thoughtful and reasonable response shows foresight and takes a little bit of wisdom, but pays off in spades down the road.

There. That will help you greatly down the path to applying your warrior mindset to non violent encounters.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Try one of these

Here are a few more interesting books we have been cracking open around here. Who says reading is not an extreme sport?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Yes you can!

Tomorrow will be the 31st Boston Marathon for Team Hoyt. If you are not familiar with Team Hoyt, they are the father son team that competes in Marathons and Triathalons.

Rick Hoyt, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, convinced his Father to run their first race in 1977. He wanted to show a local athlete that had recently been injured that life still goes on in spite of paralysis. After the race, he said to Dick, his father,  "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."

Dick and Rick have been running ever since, in spite of Dick's heart attack a decade ago and Rick's recent spinal surgeries.

A life sized statue of Team Hoyt (pictured here) was recently unveiled  Center School in Hopkinton, MA. as a tribute to the inspiration they have brought to us all.

For more details about their story, Check out the Team Hoyt site.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why do they do it?

Ever notice that people you would consider smart, such as yourself, can tend to make some decisions that most any rational person, including yourself, would consider very dumb?

here are a couple of articles that scientifically explain some of our dumb choices, in case you are all that interested. I sort of skimmed them, and they do make some compelling points.

Why do smart people make dumb choices?

Smart people can make dumb decisions, says Grawemeyer Award winner

 But, from what I have seen, we often make dumb choices because we decide with our emotions instead of our mind. We "follow our heart" instead of using our brain. We do what "just feels right" instead of really evaluating whether or not it is.

"The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable--who can understand it?"
Jeremiah 17:19 (HCSB).
And we can be pretty dumb.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Mayans and Mine

Disturbingly, I recently discovered that, not only does the Mayan Calendar predict the end of the world, so does mine!

For Christmas, I was given the wall calendar pictured here by my brother and sister in law. In addition to having gorgeous pictures, it has some alarming information that I recently deciphered.

The calendar they gave me covers all of this year and one month of next, but it comes to an abrupt end on January 31st of 2014.

This demonstrates that the good people at International Greetings that make the Paper Craft calendars have discovered that the world will end on January 31st 2014. I am not sure how it will happen, but God promised us never to again destroy the world with a flood. Perhaps it will be fire? Nuclear war? A Cosmic Solar Flare?

Maybe the people at International Greetings know more. I, for one, am quite curious as to how they came upon this information to begin with and I want to know if there is anything we can do to avoid this impending doom. Perhaps someone can contact them for more information.

And, it turns out that the Mayans were pretty close!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Well, Which is it?

The Cream Always Rises to the top!

You have probably heard that saying. It is a figurative saying that means that the best will always stand out and get ahead. Just like the best part of the milk ends up on top.

On the other hand, one of the ancient ways of purifying metals is to heat it up to it's molten form, and all the impurities and scum, known as dross, will rise to the top.

So, who is going to end up on top? Will it be the best of the best? The worst stuff that you want to get rid of? Or maybe a little bit of both.