Monday, December 21, 2009


What a year it has been. In this year alone, I have...

1. Gotten married to a wonderful woman who has been so supportive of me.
2. Been to Jamaica.
3. Gotten laid off from my job
4. Realized how in control God is, even when I dont know it
5. Been to Disneyland, twice
6. Been to the coast
7. Went up to San Fransisco to visit Burger
8. Been blessed by friends and family.
9. Decided to start our own business
10. started studying for the Contractors State license exam.
11. Live in a beautiful house
12. Have 2 wonderful dogs... the bigger one being the bigger panzy.
13. and so many more

It is amazing to look at where I have been in the past year. I look back at New Years, and I look at where I am now, and I cant believe it. God has given me my best friend, and so many blessings that I cant even begin to express how thankful I am.

If this year has taught me anything, it is that to say you trust God is one thing, but to see it in every day life is something on a totally different level. I am so blessed to have a God that cares about the stupid things with me.

The other night I was talking to Stephanie in bed, and I asked her if she ever thinks that God didn't have an idea what he was doing when he gave his son for us... I sometimes wonder. I know I dont deserve to have forever with Him, but I sure am thankful.

So here is to another year in Fresno, learning to rely on God, and learning how to enjoy a life that God has given us to enjoy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The potter and his clay

Isaiah 64:8 Yet, Lord you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter; We are the product of your labor.

I went to coffee with a gentleman by the name of Brian Gudgel yesterday after church (please forgive me if I spelled his name wrong). Over the past six months or so, I have talked to steph, and prayed with her, that God would put a man in my life in the construction industry (or someone that knows the stresses associated with it) for me to learn from. That prayer has been answered.

What was I expecting was to get pointers on how to deal with stress. You know, something like, " take a walk when you get frustrated", or, "Make sure you are always the last person to leave, it makes it look like you are working harder." (please forgive the bad punctuation, I have never been good at quoting quotes.) But what he told me was so much more useful. He told me to make sure that I am starting my day out in the word. Make sure that I am asking for strength to get through the day. Ask for wisdom from God.

We both believe that God is not a vengeful God. We do not believe that he "punishes" us just to punish us. He may let things happen to us to get us back on track, but I dont believe that he just lets things happen because he is bored. Everything happens for a reason.

But back to the title.

It sucks to be the clay. Have you ever watched a potter work with his clay? If not, youtube it. The clay starts out as a blob. Sitting there, undisciplined in shape and weak. It can be molded by unskilled hands or skilled hands. Then, the wheel starts to turn. the Potter takes his hands and starts to manipulate and shape the clay into the shape of his desire. It may be a pot, it may be a water jug, or it may be a vase. He shapes it with his hands, he carves away at it. The Potter takes his time, and turns the clay into what it needs to be. Finally, the wheel stops, and you have this vessel. The clay must think he is done... But he isn't. Now, its time to be fired, and cured. Once fired and cured, the only way you are going to change the shape of that clay is to break it. It is what it is going to be. No matter what other skilled or unskilled person comes and tries to manipulate that clay, it will not change. It has stood the test of fire, and it will not move.

Whether it is personal, physical, or spiritual, it sucks to be the clay. It sucks to be a blob of nothingness. I think it sucks more when God starts shaping you, because change hurts. It isn't easy. You have to learn to deal with that anguish. When a body builder lifts, he wears himself down, he drains himself of all his energy in the name of long term gain. When we are growing, it seems like we are beating ourselves up against a wall.

And thats ok. EVERYTHING works out for the glory of God. He loves us, more than the birds of the air or the flowers of the field. And while growing pains may be necessary, it will pass, and we will be better for it.

One final thought:

once you think you are done growing, you aren't. You have been shaped by God, and you are now a reflection of what God wants, but you have not stood the test of time, and you have not been hardened by fire. After you have been fired (or endured hardship) you are now complete. But I dont think anyone will ever be fully complete. Sometimes we need to be broken, in order to be rebuilt for the glory of God.

Monday, December 1, 2008


This past weekend was thanksgiving. Steph and I had our work cut out for us on thanksgiving morning. We started our day in Visalia having breakfast with my dad, my two sisters, one brother, and their respective families. The food was really good. We had breakfast enchiladas (AMAZING), and all kinds of other breakfast foods. There were a total of 8 kids there (there were no rentals, no friends... This was strictly family). It was a good time of interaction.

I have just a few thoughts on this...

1) this was mine and stephs first holiday together... (I count four main holidays, thanksgiving, christmas, new years, and easter). I love having someone that is mine there. Before she gets ticked, ill explain. all of my previous holidays, I went stag. All of my brothers and sisters had someone that was there for them, and it has been that way for the past four or five years. It was much different. And it was wonderful

2) Kids transport all kinds of junk... a couple of my nieces and nephews were sick in the days leading up to thanksgiving... And to make a long story short, steph is currently, and has been sick since saturday morning.

3)Holidays can only be stressful when you let them. Steph and i had a plan. When we were done at one place, we moved on. It could be a combination of different things. Maybe we were tired, maybe we wanted to leave, maybe we had another lunch to eat (we only had two), or maybe we just wanted some "US" time. We were on our own schedule, and everyone knew that.

The next stop was to my moms house. Steph and I visited there for a couple of hours. There were many different stories that came up during conversation, and my mom took the time to explain to steph who everyone was. I didnt realize how much that meant to steph until on the way home when she said it made her feel like she was part of the family.

The third stop was to her parents house back in fresno. I have a couple thoughts on that too

1) I love her family. There arent nearly as many kids in her family as there are mine, and it is a nice change. Dont get me wrong. I love every one of my nephews, but sometimes, its nice to have some time with the adults... Side note one starts now (When I was little, there was always a little kids table, and an adults table for all holidays. I always sat at the little kids table. As people got older, there was movement from one table to the other. I always wanted to be at the adult table. It was my goal in life. So, naturally, as the people moved from one table to the other, the adults table filled up. So... What was the kids table, became the kids, and adults table. I am not an exclusive person by any means, but It would have been nice to sit at the adults table just once before the exclusivity wore off... )

Back to reality..

Off of previous thought, it was so nice to hang out with her family. It was also nice to get my traditional afternoon nap in. God Bless thanksgiving (and all non-work

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Verdict is in!

Well, after a long night of counting all the votes (from two different people, eight votes total)... I determined that the results were too close to call. So, I had to recount... And what I found is that my original counting skills are sufficient enough. I should go work for florida or minnesota or something... That wasn't so hard was it...

So, Faux Hawks at logans won... It had double the votes that everything else had... So here goes nothing...

Alright, when I first moved to fresno, I didn't get out much... After circumstances changed, I started going to hang out with my friends, and we would occasionally go to logans for an adult beverage. The people there were funny. Basically, the people I saw at the gym were the same ones at the bar... Meat Heads (see below)

A term that is used to describe a male who is overenthusiastic about lifting weights and whose thoughts consist of athletics, blondes, and sports cars. Meat heads are unaware of the majority of the English language and often communicate with others by using phrases such as “bro”, “dude”, and “sweet”. The dead giveaway of a meathead is if their attire includes a sleeveless muscle shirt, athletic shorts, and a lanyard for their car keys. If you ever find yourself in a setting with multiple meat heads, be prepared for frequent high fives, chest bumps, and hand pounds.

So, this crowd of meat heads is what I came to expect...

So, the other night, Stephanie, Berger, Luke Mundy, Sarah Mundy, and myself went out to logans for a refreshing beverage... We walk in, and the place has an hour wait, according to luke. He and his wife are sitting outside, and its cold. I walk in and see six empty tables... They didn't have an hour wait, they were just trying to phase out a server (phase out is no longer sitting that section so that person could go home). So, I kindly asked the hostess if we could sit at one of the empty tables in that section. WE didnt want to be served anyways... Of course we couldn't.

So, the five of us are crammed around a high top table, and I see this guy... Now bear in mind that the people that frequent logans are the meat heads (as previously described) but this guy was totally different. This was the polar opposite. He was a bigger guy (probably tipping the scale at 250), wearing an extra small shirt (it was probably an XL, but it was about six sizes too small), with this.. Faux Hawk... it was like a girly man or something... Stephanie could have beat him up...

Apparently, he got his appletini or something from the bar, and went back to his table... I couldn't believe it... It was a swarm of them! It was like tower district moved to north fresno or something!

I just couldn't believe it. I thought that logans was always going to be the little bit of clovis in fresno... Little did I know that it was a little bit of san fransisco in fresno...

Next thing you know, Logans is going to go from serving road house teas to an oxygen bar...

The world will cease to exist as we know it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2008 election

alright, for those of you who think I dont blog enough, here is your chance to vote. You know how there are millions of people who vote for president, and your voice feels like it gets drowned out? well, you will not have that problem here. I have so few readers that, in my case, every vote does count! For all I know, I may not have any votes.

So, Let me know what you think I should blog about next.

1) Faux Hawks at Logans
2) Engaged life and how that coincides with buying a house
3) work
4) enduring through our pains, and realizing that it happend for a reason, and then seeing that reason...
5) Stephanie
6) Family Holidays.

Now is the time to have your voice heard. If you dont speak up, you cant complain that I dont blog enough.

2008 In Review

I know I know... this is a little premature. But, I like to look at it this way. I am just a little ahead of my time.

So, I totally realize that I haven't blogged in a long time, and I am cool with that. Life has been hectic, But that is no excuse. I have very devoted (snicker snicker) readers. In fact, I have had two (I dont know if I have more than two) mention in the past week that its time for me to blog. (more to follow)

Now to the point of the blog. The following are things that I have learned, growth that I have experienced, and things I have done.

1) I have been to Hawaii... Twice. I honestly never thought I would go to Hawaii. I thought it was too expensive, too far away, and too hot. What I found out is that I dont know if I could live in Hawaii, but I would sure like to try. The weather was beautiful, although a little humid. The beaches were gorgeous, and the water was warm. What made it feasible is that My brother lives there. Thanks drew!

2) I went dancing, in public for the first time ever. I went to school dances, but never out in public. It was interesting, and a great time. I can definetly see how fun it is with the right person.

3) I have gone to Washington DC. Another thing I never thought I would do. I have, more recently, become somewhat of a history buff. I knew there was a lot of history in DC, but I never knew how much. the best thing about it is that most of it was free. All the smithsonians were free, the capital was free. The only thing that costed was parking. You cant park anywhere for free. that sucked... I think I got one, or two, tickets... I dont remember. But what I do remember is that if you dont pay your tickets, the car rental company will charge you for them months later.

4) I went to disneyland. The best part of that was the lack of crowd. for a saturday in the middle of summer, there was almost no one there. It was awesome.

Now, for the more important ones.

1) I have started dating and got engaged to an amazing girl. for those of you who dont know, her name is steph. I fully acknowledge that everyone who reads my blog should know, because I stated it in a previous post. Steph is an amazing girl who has a wonderful heart for God. She challenges me in so many ways. Some of our best times together are praying or doing devotionals. I cant wait to experience life with her.

2) Steph and I are buying a house together. I have had a realtor for the past couple years (Judy Nazaroff, if you are looking for one). I just never had a house that worked out. I put a couple of offers in, but nothing ever came of them. Steph and I ended up getting into a brand new house (still in construction). the original owner fell through, and steph and i came through with a great offer, and they accepted. We got accepted for the loan, and just finished picking out all the interior stuff. Ill tell you what, picking out things for the inside of your house is frustrating. Two people, two styles.... All I wanted was everything grey... Everything goes with grey =)

3) Most importantly, I have decided that my relationship with God comes first. The year started out hard. I remember having a conversation with God, and telling him that if He wanted me to do something, he needed to tell me, because I was tired of doing things on my own. I have prayed that before, but i think it was different because I completely meant it. I was just tired of life. Life with God is not a marathon, as it has previously been described to me, it is an all out sprint. In hebrews, it talks of how the author strips off everything that holds him back, to run the race he needs to run. Its not just a statement, there are so many actions that need to follow it up.

All in all, this has been a pretty good year. I have an inckling that next year will be even better...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Date Nights Are Great Nights!

So, Steph and I were supposed to make dinner at my house last night. But, I forgot to pull the salmon out of the freezer to thaw. This means that dinner would have been late, and freezer burned. So I sent her an e mail asking if I could just take her out instead. She seemed excited about it. I decided that I would surprise her.

So, I hopped on the internet expressway to try and find restaurants in Bass Lake or Oakhurst area. I worked up at a camp up there years ago, and ate at a really nice restaurant that had a wine bar in it. It was a really cool atmosphere.

So, I showed up to her house late, but I had flowers. Those flowers were going to help me later, which, at the time, didn't know.

So, we started driving up to bass lake. We got up there, just to find out that my nice restaurant was now a Diciccos... Crap!

So, then we started driving, and driving, and driving. We ended up at a place called the pine lakes resort, or something like that. There is a restaurant there called Duceys. So, we went to put our name in, at eight. We then found out that the wait time would be an hour... Double Crap!

We ended up walking across the street to get something to drink. She was not happy, but holding her frustration inside well. Good play champ!!

We sat out on the porch enjoying a blue moon, and just talked.

After that, we went to dinner, and just had an amazing time.

Overall, our date started out rocky, but we both ended up being blessed by it. I got a chance to connect with Steph on a deeper level than normal, and it was fantastic.

Date nights are truly great nights.