Happy birthday, Lio!

Early this morning, our second grandchild, Lionel Ilan (LEE-o-nel EE-lahn) Valenzuela-Lozano was born. Here's a few pictures of this beautiful little guy's birthday: … [Read more...]

Shock absorbers

One of our former pastors (that's a depressing phrase, but I digress...) had a catchy little way of summarizing spiritual growth. He would tell the congregation that as they followed the Lord, the bumps in the road wouldn't get smaller, but their shock absorbers would get bigger. It was a folksy metaphor to explain how our growing faith and maturity are increasingly able to absorb big honking trials/challenges and stabilize quickly. While his axiom wildly oversimplifies the complexities of … [Read more...]

Courage? Or Cowardice?

Is this courage or cowardice?Issue A arises inside an organization. The issue is more than a purely academic one; the way A is resolved will set the organization's direction in the future. There are sound opinions on both sides of the issue, and is was possible at the beginning of the debate to work toward a thoughtful synthesis of those opinions. But a few key individuals drew immovable battle lines early in the discussion instead of going out for coffee to talk through their differences. There … [Read more...]

If only I could sing like Julie Andrews

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... Just the kind of images you can count on if you purchase greeting cards at Big Lots, and they certainly made their way into the lyrics of the classic Sound of Music songbook. I wouldn't put wet flowers or mewling cats into my own Fave Things list. It'll be very obvious as you read my list below that I'm no songwriter. But I am grateful for (almost all of) the gifts below:- Chopped chicken liver from the deli at Sunset Foods. - A Sunday afternoon nap … [Read more...]


"66% of you have the spiritual gift of 'helps'." I once heard a church consultant confidently state this statistic. The consultant said it with the kind of certainty that convinced quite a few people in the room that he was telling us something that any four-year old would know. Well, any four-year old who worked for the dude's church growth firm, that is. To this day, the smugness of that comment still echoes in my head. It sounded like he was telling us that most of the people in every church … [Read more...]

Worth some reflection….

This post is well worth some of your pondering time. … [Read more...]

It’s 1500 all over again, this time with ipods

I'm currently reading a book penned by Washington Times religion Julia Duin called Quitting Church: Why The Faithful Are Fleeing and What To Do About It. It's a very well-written book with a surprisingly personal spin, given Duin's journalist credentials. It doesn't break any new ground, but pulls together stats, trends, and bits of her own story in a winsome, readable manner. Though I haven't finished it, here's what I discovered in what I've perused so far: I've read almost every single book, … [Read more...]