Monday, March 18, 2019

Family Fun

In a culture filled with things to lament there is a growing weariness ...but there's nothing that fills us with hope more than spending time with our family.

Our parents are in ministry
My brother and wife are in ministry 
We are in ministry 
...and our kids are amazing. 

Recently we went to the snow for a day of sledding and conversation 
shared lives, shared passions & great kids....a great combo! 

These are good days.


Taking friends to the mountains

We often take people with us to the mountains. It's an important habit in our lives.
The Three F's are to be held with high esteem

Family, Friendship, Fire

....Fire, you say? "Campfire". We mean campfires -- siting around a fire at night with your friends and family might just be a human requirement (like food, water, and shelter)

This trip to Kings Canyon National Park didn't include any fire...but it did have family and friends. 2 for 3 isn't bad!

The Sierra's are filled with snow right's been an incredible year! We took our friends Anika and Niki...2 former students of ours, now all grown up and learning into their passions. They both are walking with Jesus and have become great women.

We spent our time walking on trails and looking up at the giant Sequoia trees. 

Sequoias grow up to nearly 300 feet and live up to 3000 years. These amazing trees are the tallest, widest and longest-lived of all organisms on Earth.

Taking friends to the mountains is like touching a great sequoia. Sequoias are unique, precious, beautiful, and extremely valuable. That's how we see our friends.

These are good days.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Lessons on Hearst State Beach

Recently we took our friends to Hearst State Beach for a short hike in the early morning. It was a beautiful morning - overcast, cool, and quiet. 

The hike starts on the beach and heads onto a ridge that overlooks the bay and pier.

There is something important about seeing water in a constant state of motion interact with things which are set in place - rocks and beach.

In our life, we are often in a constant state of motion -- difficult work, raising 4 kids, cultivating a healthy marriage, investing in our friends, etc. What's important for us is that those things constantly interact with the rocks in our life -- listening daily to the voice of Jesus and loving our neighbors. The dance between the fluid and immovable is what makes our life fulfilling. The immovable gives things in motion purpose and direction.

The hike ends at a beautiful secluded beach overlooking the pacific ocean. Today's waters were choppy and wonderful!

Once we were back on the beach where we started, we spent time watching an Elephant Seal who was getting some warmth under a rising sun. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Finding Adventure Together

We asked our kids the other day, why do you like to be outside looking for adventure. They each had different things to say: it's fun, it's pretty, it's good exercise...

but it was Noah's comment which spoke the truth we all felt. 

He said, "Dad, I like spending time together."

There is no way around the fact that families are busy -- and the constant bombardment of obligations related to the stuff which fills our lives is unrelenting.

being together in the mountains forces us to stick together, slow down, and ensure our undivided attention attends to the most important people in our lives. 

Adventure environments make us laugh

...and adventure environments make us smile. 

These are good days.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Family Date Day

It has been an unbelievable snow year in the Sierras. 
Someone asked us the other day...."How do you get to the mountains so often....your lives are so do you fit it in?"

Here are 4 things which make this question easy to answer:
  1. We see going to the mountains like going to the's a non-negotiable. It's not a matter of's entirely a matter of when. It's an inevitable part of our lives. The mountains are a place we rest and bond as a family!
  2. We remove barriers to getting to the mountains.  We budget for the extra-gas, we put it in our calendars, we incentivize ourselves with new places to see and experience, etc.
  3. We make the drive there part of the experience.....not a necessary evil.
  4. We keep the car packed.'s true, it makes bringing 4 kids to the mountains possible. Our rig is filled with kid carriers, extra jackets, gloves, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. #StayPackedSoYouNeverHaveToPack

Kings Canyon National Park is COVERED with snow. Just look at the gate ^^ and the visitor center which is buried in the picture below. 

When we take the kids to the doesn't have to be complicated. This hike wasn't more than 2 miles off the trailhead. Granted....we were post polling the entire way so it felt difficult....but it wasn't far! 

Sometimes adventure is just one snow angel away 

Sometimes cultivating wonder is just a matter of looking up instead of down at your feel when you hike. 

In the evening after returning to Fresno, Heidi and I went on a date to see the movie Free Solo which just won an award. As rock climbers was inspiring! 

The best way to end a day in the mountains is to end it in the arms of the one you love.

These are good days.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Video: Hiking at Millerton Lake

We spend the afternoon hiking at Millerton Lake. Pincushion summit is beautiful at the moment - it's green, the lupine is blooming, and the hills feel alive! Enjoy the video.

These are good days

Sunday, February 24, 2019

VIDEO: Hiking with Friends in Kings Canyon National Park

We spent time with two of our housemates in beautiful Kings Canyon National Park! It's an incredible privilege to live an hour a way from this beautiful treasure! Enjoy the video! 

Family - Friends - Mountains

These are good days. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Married Life

13.5 years ago, we made a commitment to make serving Jesus the focus for our marriage. 
This commitment has brought out our selfishness and sin but has also given us an incredible platform to display the goodness of God. 

This commitment has taken us into the lives of thousands of people all over the world...all of which we've done side by side in ministry. 

Here's our blueprint for our marriage: 1. We make our personal relationship with Jesus our primary focus. 2. We identify, vocalize, and work on our marriage's weaknesses. 3. We do the things that help our marriage get stronger. 4. We make serving Jesus the main point of our marriage. 

Recently for my 36th birthday, Heidi took me out for a day of skiing! Adventure days together in the mountains are one of the things that help our marriage get stronger. 

These are good days.

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