Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Blog

As you can see by scrolling down, my "new to blogging" zeal has worn off and I'm not all that motivated to type out my thoughts all that often.  I'm still going to keep this blog (mostly because I use the list of blogs to the right to keep up with other people) and hopefully the mood to type will occasionally hit me.  If you are interested in more frequent updates, I apologize.  However... you are in luck!  Christie decided to start a "family blog" to in order keep friends and family from out of town up to date on the pregnancy and our soon to be family of three.  Here is the link:

So there ya go; one more way that my wife's strengths make up for my slack and lack of "blogging discipline."  Here is a mini update:  We are right at halfway through the pregnancy and things are going great so far.  We have a new Pastor at the church starting this Sunday.  His name is Paul Johnson and he is coming to us from College Church at Olivet.  We are all pretty excited about the potential future that God has for this place.  Overall, things are looking good!  

There, that should meet my blog quota for the next 5-6 months...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

big news

Baby Kauffman: coming December 2009!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

yard work

I've done a lot of yard work in the last couple of weeks.  Christie and I are renting the house that my parents lived in when they were here in Columbia from them.  They are extremely gracious in charging is only what they have to pay towards the mortgage each month.  They could easily be making money off it by renting it to some one else.  We are paying the same per month that we did for the two bedroom apartment that we started out it in.  It has been a huge help to us.  One way that we are trying to show our gratitude is by working hard to fix up the house where it needs a little work.  This month we have worked hard on making the yard look really good.  

I used to really hate doing yard work.  Thankfully, I had two brothers growing up so I only had to mow the lawn every third week.  Listening to music always made it a little less difficult.  I started out with tapes, then eventually graduated to a disc-man, and now use an Ipod.  At some point, I can't remember when, I was going through a tough time in life.  I was listening to some gospel music (Fred Hammond, I think) and found myself really worshiping God during that mowing session.  From then on, I have tried to listen to uplifting music when doing yard work.  If I had to be mowing and weeding, I might as well multi-task and spend some time with God as well.

This month though, the yard work has started to mean something much more to me.  God has been teaching me a lot lately about the Biblical theme of re-creation and making something beautiful out the brokenness in the world.  As I've tried to do that with our front yard, it has become a great spiritual discipline for me.  I've found myself really looking forward to working on the yard.  There is something about combining being outside, being physically active, listening to music that encourages and challenges my mind (it's mostly been the new U2 CD this month), and turning one small corner of God's creation from something ugly to something beautiful.  

God is all around us in every aspect of life, include the mundane things like yard work.  If God can use me to help change a yard from something ugly to something beautiful, can he not use me in the same way to introduce my neighbors around that yard to the possibility of broken lives made beautiful?  I'm sure there are a million other ways that God can speak to us through the things we have to do day-to-day.  If anybody else has a story of finding God themes in the midst of everyday life, I'd love to hear it.  It's a great way to keep perspective and a focus on God throughout the day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"I hope you have a good day"

This morning I spoke at chapel at the christian elementary school down the street from our church.  After they did the pledges to the American and Christian flags and the Bible (I'd never heard the pledge to the Bible before) they had a little girl pray.  Here is how she started:  "Dear Jesus, I hope you have a good day."  I couldn't really tell the rest of what she said because she wasn't very loud, but her opening line stuck with me.  I've never heard that one before.  I think I like it.  Jesus, I hope you have a good day today; I will try to do my part to help that happen.

By the way, this was the first time that I've heard the pledges to the flags in a long time.  I forgot that I did that every day at school.  I certainly understand why it is done, but it sounds kinda creepy and cultish to hear all these little kids reciting these creeds.  It's probably just my own hang up but it freaked me out a little.  I'm not sure why.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

interesting article

Some one told me about this article from USA Today about religion in America.  It is very interesting.  I'm curious what people's thoughts are about these findings.  Here is the link:

What do you think?

Monday, March 9, 2009

end of a season

It's been a while since I've blogged, and a really long time since I've blogged about anything besides the Super Bowl. The last couple of months have been very tiring, but very rewarding. It's amazing how God starts to move in people's lives when we take time to build relationships with people who aren't living close to God, and invite them into our communities of Christian love. There have been some pretty awesome success stories resulting from our Upward Basketball and Cheerleading season, and we'll never know the extent of the difference made in the lives of each child. Here is a highlight video from the season:

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Super Bowl

So this is one of those years when I don't have any particular reason to cheer for (or against) either team.  I don't like that because the game is much more fun to watch when I deeply care whether one of the teams wins or deeply despise the other team and really want to see them lose.  Since I don't really love or despise either of these teams (I used to hate the Steelers since I am a Pats fan but they are just such a classy run organization that its hard to hate them), I'll have to just pick a team and root for them.  Here is my official declaration that I am cheering for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.  I've actually given this a lot of thought.  Here are my four reasons for cheering for the Cardinals:

1. The Underdog:  Like most people, I have always loved cheering for the underdog.  That is why March is by far my favorite month of the year.  Maybe its because I'm 5'6" and weigh under a buck-fifty and I fell in love with the game of basketball at a young age.  I'm a natural underdog.  Not only are the Cardinals predicted to lose, they have a long history of not being very good.  They have the second longest championship-less drought in all of sports (second only to the Cubs).  On top of that, the Steelers have a long history of winning lots of Super Bowls, even as recently as a couple years ago.  

2. The Pat Tillman story: If you haven't heard the Pat Tillman story, you can read about it here.  This article was written before all the cover-up about how he really died became publicly known.  The way in which his death was handled was an absolute disgrace, but that doesn't change the fact that he was a very heroic man.

 3. Kurt Warner: I saw a Sportscenter story a few weeks ago about the Kurt Warner Foundation.  I have heard before that Warner is a Christian but I was very impressed by how authentically he seemed to care about the kids that he was working with and getting to know.  He just seems like the kind of guy that you want to route for.  Throw in the fact that he was working at a grocery store before he made the NFL and you've got yourself a full fledged feel good story.

 4. Larry Fitzgerald:  Pro sports are filled with the best athletes in the world.  The worst pro athlete is far superior to the average joe's athletic ability.  Every once in a while there is one guy who just stands out above the rest.  This is why its impossible not to root for guys like Michael Jordan or Lebron James.  Among the best athletes in the world, they stand head and shoulders above the rest.  My eyes stay glued to see what amazing play may come next.  That is the kind of athlete that Larry Fitzgerald is.  Lets hope he puts on a show for us on Sunday.

So there it is.... lets go Cardinals!