Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Am Second

This one just came across from another friend's blog: http://www.iamsecond.com

Brilliantly done. You could easily spend an hour there.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Flights in Central California Right Now

Yes... I am a flying geek. This is a live ATC feed of flights going through Central California. The radar blips to the right of "KFAT" are the snow clouds over Hume.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Google Analytics

So I have Google Analytics track my blog to see who's reading this thing and where they're coming from. Ironically enough, more people are coming to my blog through my two sister-in-laws' blogs. How little I knew that their friends could be so interested in me. So Johnna and Sara, you get props today, and thank you both for the 28 people that visited me from your sites in the last month. (And I'm adding you both to my sidebar!)

Oh, and I should also give the runners up their credit due:

3rd place - The Ousdahls
4th place - Nathan Pearsey
5th place - Nole Lilley

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Little Revolution

First... for my faithful one person that subscribes to this blog... Thank you for your loyalty. I'm sorry I only post once every 2 months. Now on to the good stuff.

At the end of the movie The Hunt for Red October, as the Red October is being taken up a quiet, moonlit river on the eastern seaboard for permanent hiding, Jack Ryan looks to Captain Ramius and says, "You know there will be hell to pay for this?" Ramius returns with, "A little revolution every now and then is a healthy thing."

We are in the midst of a litle revolution of sorts up here at HLCC... perhaps the biggest shakeup we've seen since 1996. On Thursday our executive director rolled out a massive leadership change that moved 5 long-standing "directors" to the level of "manager," and moved many others to areas of new responsibility. Perhaps the boldest move I've ever see Jeff make in his 8 or 9 years as Executive Director. He confronted the "elephant in the room" that has frustrated most of our staff... that being that we were too top heavy. We actually had 12 Directors leading 7 Managers who led the rest of the staff. With those numbers now flipflopped, we head into a new era up here of working to be more efficient, being help more accountable, and setting clear expectations for those we lead.

For the last 3 years as a Manager, I have never had more than one person that's reported to me at any given time... with the last 2 years having no one. With the changes, I now am manager over the Program Operations, basically anything that is subservient to the general program (Activities, Sound, Budgets), while I still get to do Church Relations and Recruiting. Effective immediately there are 5 1/2 guys on my team (Dont' ask) that I'm looking forward to leading from here on out.

The cool part of the reorg is that no one is simply leading a group of people. Many are carrying certain primary responsibilities while now also having a staff to lead. I'm sure there's a lot more to come, but for now it's served to reinvigorate my confidence in the direction this ministry is heading. More to come...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Space Shuttle

Just thought this was cool. 2 Space Shuttles on the launch pads at the same time. I've loved to follow the space program since I was 13 and went to see the Columbia land out at Edwards AFB for STS 5, as well as the 1st landing of the Challenger. (Both ships are since gone.) Right now they have Atlantis and Endeavour ready for launch because the upcoming mission will be going to the Hubble Telescope for repairs. The Endeavor (in the background) will serve as a rescue ship in case something goes wrong. It's kind of sad to see the Shuttle program winding down over the next two years. I just hope that we stay bold with space exploration and keep moving forward as they did back in the '60s.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

April's Birthday & Some Flying

April turned 30 last week and we celebrated all week long. A surprise party at Hume, a party in Fresno for friends and family, and finally a weekend away for both of us. I rented a plane and flew her to Napa on Saturday. Upon our arrival at the airport a we taxied into the parking area, we noticed a car being driven right up to us. The driver got out, greeted us, and put our bags in what was our rental car for the weekend. We left the airport to take in all that Napa had to offer, from great restaurants to drives out among the vineyards, to simply some quality time together as a couple. We even went to see the Dark Knight, and oh was that ever dark. After hitting some more local spots on Sunday, we flew out and headed over the San Francisco Bay at 2,500' above the water. We headed out over Marin County, then flew east across the bay, past Alcatraz, over Oakland, and then on home. It was a perfect weekend... quality time with my babe, and over 4 hours of flying time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Heading Home Soon

So camp wraps up this week and we get to head home. We are seriously going to miss San Diego and the huge blessing this place has been in our lives over the last month. It's been so good to have Peter around our camp staff every day and watch him interact with everyone in such a positive way. We'll miss spontaneous trips out to dinner in the evenings and all the cool places to hang our around here.

Camp went really well and we saw so many kids' lives changed. My ministry really was more to the youth pastors and being sure their needs were taken care of, as well as just constantly dealing with all the logistics of keeping camp running. In addition to being camp co-director with Jay, I was constantly overseeing our finances, cash flows and just plain keeping things going smoothly. I love that I get to be hands on with camp for a month. It would drive me crazy if I had to do an entire summer, but this is the perfect balance of hands-on and doing behind-the-scenes things.
But my favorite part has been just spending time with my amazing wife and son. It's been so cool to watch Peter grow right before my eyes, and then to share all of this together with April is pretty much the coolest thing ever. We are just so blessed.

So we head home on Sunday after catching a last-minute Padres game on Saturday night. We are definitely looking forward to being home and just catching our breath; but at the same time will seriously miss this place. I guess we'll just have to come back again next year.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

San Diego Life

So here we are a week and a half in to San Diego living, and it's been way cool. We can stand on our porch most evenings and watch the sun set over the ocean. We go for walks around campus and get to see God working in the lives of young people. If we need something from the store, we just drive there and get it. Very strange for people used to living in the mountains an hour and a half from reality. I've actually averaged trips to Costco every other day.

It's been great though and it's hard to believe it's almost half over. What an amazing opportunity for the three of us to be a part of this ministry and to live in this amazing place. God is so good.

House in the future???

So lately we've been watching the housing market quite a bit, and have been wondering if it's maybe the time to get in. This house in particular we've watched drop about $25,000 so far in price. It's a disaster on the inside and needs a bunch of work, but it very well could be the right price and size we're looking for. And with my mad remodeling skills... well let's just say that it could end up being quite the project. But it's in a great neighborhood and is close to the family. We'll just have to see...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Me and My Boy

Just had to put this one up. Peter and I at Easter this year.

Living like the rest of you

Four weeks from today is our first day of camp in San Diego. It's almost surreal to be moving the whole family down there and live with an ocean view for an entire month. It's even more surreal to know that we'll be away from Hume for an entire month. The crazy part coming from Hume is that we'll actually experience city life. Our cell phones will work. Starbucks is close by. If we need to buy something, the store is 5 minutes away. We don't have to pack the ice chest in the car when we head to the grocery store or Costco. But the coolest part is that we get to be around friends we normally wouldn't get to spend time with on a regular basis.

And yeah, to cap it all off, we get to be part of an amazing ministry where God's moving in kids' lives on a daily basis. So for my friends down in SD, I'll see ya in a month.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Youth Pastors Conference & Summer Band

So last week was Youth Pastors Conference at Hume, and it was amazing on several fronts. I got to hang with 50 quality people in youth ministry, a lot of whom I call personal friends. Probably the highlight for me had to be taking about 25 of them up to the top of Sunshine Mountain to one of my favorite prayer spots. I loved sharing this place of rich history with them. Not only is this I place where the Lord has met me so many times, but also the spot where Herman Pettit used to pray over Hume on a regular basis; prayers that I believe are still being answered today. I was seriously reminded of my need to head back to this spot often and expect the Lord to move. But the conviction really isn't about the spot as much as a deep, person need to remain dependent on God and not me.

Another highlight of the YP Conference was the privilege of having the Ponderosa Band Exodus up for the conference. I picked the guys up at the airport on Monday and drove them up the hill, stopping at all the regular tourist spots along the way. (In-n-Out Burger, General Grant Tree, Lookout Rock, etc.) They were truly overwhelmed at the wonder of God's Creation. (I see it every day and take it for granted.) I can only say that these are amazing guys with amazing hearts. They are a perfect match for Hume and I know they'll have a great ministry this summer.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sabbath Day

Once a year Hume gives each employee a paid day to be alone with the Lord... a time to reflect, pray and just spend time with Him. The rule is that we can't be around other people and can pretty much only bring along the scriptures... and then just see what God does. So two weeks ago April, Peter and I headed out to Colorado for an extended weekend. While April and Peter hung out with my parents, I headed to the mountains for a day away from it all and waited to see what God would teach me.

Leading up to this time I have been seriously desiring that I become a man of God that is led by the Spirit day in and day out. Arriving at our place in Westcliffe, the temp was probably around 25 and the sky was as clear as could be. I headed out for a hike through the snow-covered forest and found a beautiful spot where I could sit down and just start to read and reflect. As I opened my journal, I found an original entry that talked about my desire to be Spirit-led in life. It referenced Galatians 5:16. So off to Galatians 5 I went and there the Lord met me on that Friday.

What I learned over the next several hours in the stillness of the Colorado mountains was that the whole point of what Christ did was freedom. It is for freedom that Christ set us free. And with that I'm on a whole new quest to truly understand the freedom that God gives us in Christ. He set us free from a life of regulation. He set us free from our sin. And he set us free from the punishment that goes along with that sin. I was overwhelmed with those three things, because I'm definitely one that tends to atone for his own sin whenever possible.

So as I live this life of freedom in Christ, I gain a new understanding that being Spirit-led happens because of the freedom that Christ gives us. It's totally an oxymoron, yet one of the most beautiful things that God has done for us.

Now I've decided to study the entire book of Galatians and I seriously can't wait to see what He has in store for me next. Hopefully more to come later.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Ministry for Cliff

Today is the official first day of my new position at HLCC. After working full-time (and by myself) on the Hume East project for the last year and a half, I was pretty much done. After meetings, proposals and no rebuttals, I am moving back into Church Relations. I get to be a part of the team, spend time ministering to youth pastors, and will get to once again help Hume connect better with the local church. I am super excited for a lot of the connections I get to make and can't wait to see how God will use this. More to follow.