Thursday, April 30, 2009

Board meetings have started

You have got to see this…

Becky has been working for quite awhile on a digital scrap book of the entire 2008 year.  Don’t get me wrong, but I was surprised at how good it turned out.  She did an amazing job.  For digital scrapbooking,  you should check out the Picaboo free software. You have got to see the album Becky did.

Click here.

2008 album

Big Day…

RMI_rgb (jpg logo) Today and tomorrow we (RMI) are holding our Semi-Annual Board Meetings.  This is always a little nerve wracking as major reports are given and major decisions are made.  This year is no exception. On my end, the major reports are Finance and Administration, a total redevelopment of Hope for Kids, and the Haiti field.   Please be praying for all of us.

Microsoft-Apple_0 Today I am picking up my MAC laptop from the doc.  I had to send it away to get fixed.  In the meantime, I have been using my old Toshiba PC laptop.  I upgraded the RAM (It had 1 in it, sadly 2 is the max)  last week to help speed things up, but it still is super slow, and therefore super frustrating.  Someday computer speed will catch up to my pace (wink wink).  There is a decent chance that my data was NOT lost as I thought last week.  Wow, that would be awesome.

Today is Amy Long’s first full day in Haiti.  She is our new Short-Term Missionary (2 years).  I am excited for her arrival.  I will be going to Haiti on Monday to visit with the whole team.

Be praying…


Saturday, April 25, 2009

All 3 in tub!

This doesn't happen much. Had to capture the moment! Memories...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Master Finance Workbook 9.0 beta complete, woot!


So the past several weeks of ministry have been crazy.  2 times a year my life gets crazy-consumed in Microsoft Excel.  This iterative process is both fulfilling and annoying.  The cool part, I think the all consuming part of this process has come to an end, I think. (idealism acknowledged).

Fulfilling?  I know that my work will produce kingdom dividends.  I really like when things come together in an organized, detailed, purposeful, and even attractive form.  Function beats form, but not by much in my world!

Annoying?  The consuming nature of finance really drains me.  I do the best I can, but I am not skilled in the world of finance.  I want to focus on people.  I want to focus on other ministry.

The RMI Board of Director’s meets twice a year (other than monthly prayer and other specially called conference calls).  At these semi-annual meetings, it is my job to develop and present the budget vs. actual historical finance reports as well as the future projections.  We are currently finishing up our Fiscal Year 08/09 and preparing for 09/10.  Therefore, I have sent the board these historical/future reports 2 weeks in advance of our upcoming Board meetings on April 30-May 1.  Whew…

So, after a very long and protracted multi-year process, this latest version of the Excel workbook (which I have affectionately dubbed Master Finance Workbook 9.0 beta) is complete.  I am not saying there aren’t more changes to come, hence the google inspired “beta”, but I am quite pleased with it’s overall layout and function.  This current document has been in the works since I came to RMI and has had many revisions.  I think we have finally landed on something that provides what we need. 

I will share more about automation and efficiency, as well as transparency and accountability in the days to come.

Yes, I did much of this work, but I am indebted to the constant input of others.  Without the other leadership (especially Dan and the Board of Directors), missionaries, bookkeeper, this file would clearly not be what it is today.

I think I will finally be able to turn my uber-focus on finance to a focus on some other ministry items.  Can’t wait.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Philadelphia baseball will never be the same...

Stark: Kalas was the voice of Philadelphia

Posted using ShareThis

This is well said... One of the biggest connections I had with my dad was baseball. We didn't root for the same team, but because of my dad the Phillies have a very special place in my heart. Harry Kalas' voice calling Phillies games is the first memory of baseball I have. I hear his voice and I picture my dad lying on the mustard yellow couch we had in the early 80's or on his special pillow on the living room floor cheering (or begrudging!) the team he loved so well. I'm a Cubs fan now. I was watching a broadcast the other day and said to Rob, "I'm pretty sure that player was on the Phillies. I can hear the Phillies announcer saying his name." When I think of my Dad rooting for his Phillies all I hear is Harry Kalas' voice. Philadelphia baseball will never be the same...


Saturday, April 11, 2009

From the mouth of Drew...

While cleaning the garage together... "Daddy, is that an ax? Can I
please please please play with that. I really promise I won't ax

I considered it, but we played baseball instead.


I will never learn. A day off with 3 kids is no day off.

Dyeing Easter Eggs (Video)

Last night, we dyed Easter eggs.  Below is a video.  Pictures are also available here.

To watch in HD, click play below, then choose HD at the bottom. To watch it large in HD click here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Family Happenings


The kids have been such a joy lately!  Yes, they test our patience every day (as well as our authority!), but each of their personalities is coming out and it is so much fun.  Tessa has been saying for the last 3 to 4 weeks, “Mommy, my belly says hun-gee (hungry)”  It’s mostly cute, but she says it like 5 to 6 times a day, often right after she just ate and almost always in a whiney voice!  She is a huge drama queen. She must be going thru a growth spurt.  The other morning I went to get her out of bed and this is what her hair looked like! 


Braden is so much happier since he started crawling about 3 weeks ago.  Pretty much the first week he started really crawling, he started pulling himself up—first onto his knees then up to his feet.  It’s like all he ever wanted to do was explore and keep up with Drew and Tessa and now he’s happy as a clam because he can get anywhere he wants.  His 3rd tooth has finally cut through, too, making him a little more pleasant.  His favorite thing to pull up on is the bookshelf, filled with Rob’s Bible commentaries.

IMG_9412 IMG_9416

IMG_9420 This one makes it look like he’s recommending one of Rob’s commentaries :)  Or choosing the one he’s going to read next!




Drew knows we used to live in Miami and we talk about it every once in a while.  I still can’t convince him that it’s called “Miami”.  He insists that when he says “Your-ami” that he’s saying the same exact thing I am.  This week he’s been answering me with “Actually,…”  It’s kind of funny.  I was wondering where he got that from until I caught myself saying that three times today in conversation with him.

We went to Lakes Park today to do some bike riding and play on the playground.  We stopped on the path to view an alligator.  We ended up seeing three of them today.  Here’s a picture of Drew and Tessa waving at the gator!



Here’s Drew and his buddy Miles riding their bikes.


We gave Drew a fishing pole for his 4th birthday.  We went fishing one evening for a little bit.  It was incredibly windy and hard to do anything.  Rob and Drew worked on casting.  Tessa had to get in on the action too!  We didn’t really catch anything, but the kids had fun!

IMG_9380 IMG_9385










That’s it for my random update!


Manufactured Movement, or Observational Obedience?

experiencing god Yesterday, Becky and I started Experiencing God… the study, and maybe an enhanced state of being!  Becky and I have done this before, but it was like 15 years ago.  This study is timeless.  If you haven’t done it, you must!  I mean that.  I truly believe that this study should be done by every Christ Follower.  Buy it.

What was I struck by today?  Jesus said in John 5,

“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working…I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” 

I find myself constantly asking, “What is God’s will for my life?”  But, I believe Blackaby is right, the proper question is rather, “What is God’s will?”  I need to look around and see what God is doing, then join him in that.  I don’t need to manufacture some new, creative entrepreneurial idea (unless that is what God is already at work doing).  Just as the Father was doing and Jesus followed, so my obedience needs to be observational.  I want to be out front leading, but I will never do that until I am following. Today I need to be quiet, to be still, to listen, to watch.  This doesn’t come easy for me.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Cubs to win the World Series?

cubs Today, is Opening Day of baseball.  (The Phillies lost last night in what was called Opening Night.) 

Yes, Becky and I will be glued to the TV tonight after she gets home from work to watch the Cubbies spank the Houston Astros.  Hopefully we won’t see the score on Facebook or Twitter before we get to watch!

I just read this article that says that 3 ESPN analysts have picked the Cubs to Win the World Series in their (somewhat ridiculous) pre-season poll.  Way to early to tell, but I like this train of thought.

Lots of new players this year, so it will be interesting to watch.  I am a little nervous and anxious.

Can they do it?


I did not eat the Fruit-Rollup…

fruit-roll-ups-16894 I want to set the record straight.  I am guilty of many things, but eating the Fruit-Rollup is not one of them. 

Drew brought home a fruit-rollup this weekend from a birthday party, and it got me thinking about it.

We all know who did eat the fruit-rollup, but it was not me!


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Drew Learning to Swim (Video)

Drew has started taking off his “swimmies” or “floaties” and actually swimming.  Well, maybe it would more appropriately be called “desperate doggie paddling”, but swimming nonetheless! 

To watch in HD, click play below, then choose HD at the bottom. To watch it large in HD click here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Self-flagellation, self-aggrandizement and judicious retribution…

God is at work in me.

Conflict and broken relationships are only a heart beat away when we respond to insult with self-flagellation, self-aggrandizement, and/or vengeful retribution.  We need to remember that as Christ followers, we are loved and justified (present and past tense) in Christ, not by our own actions or words.  It is His glorification that we must must be committed, not our own.  It is ok to be insulted and disrespected (example: Christ’s silence before the Sanhedrin).  We must silence ourselves, turn from evil and respond with good because judicious retribution is in God’s hands.  Our lips, in response to criticism and insult, should be filled with blessing, not equal and opposite (and maybe apposite) insult.

We will ultimately be blessed and glorified on that future day, but for now, we should trust in Him, not ourselves.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.”  Proverbs 12:16