Monday, December 29, 2008

please hold in prayer



Steve's friend from high school, Officer Mason Samborski, was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday morning. Please keep his family, his wife and girlfriend from HS(Sarah Ziemba) and one year old daughter in your prayers. Steve is pretty shaken by it; he called this morning to tell us. This was his best friend besides Benny in HS he said. Steph remembers cutting his hair at our home when we were over and I remember the outrageous backyard wrestling performances and videos. Give Steve a call if you think about it too. Tragic. Life is so precious.

here's the story
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081229/METRO01/812290345

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best of 2008

Best picture of us taken on the beach in Grand Haven.

These are a few of my favorite things in 2008...

Music: The 4 albums I bought in 2008 (because they're really good)
1. Deerhunter Microcastle/Weird Era: My favorite new band of 2008 because I like loud guitars and creative songwriting, this is my favorite album of the year. (listen)
2. Bon Iver For Emma For Ever Ago: Sarah and I wore this album out, beautiful songs written in a cabin in north Wisconsin (listen)
3. Steven Malkmus Real Emotional Trash: I listened to this over and over this past spring as the weather got warmer, Cold Son is the best song (listen)
4. Welcome to the Welcome Wagon: Welcome Wagon are a husband and wife who planted a church in Brooklyn, this album was produced by Sufjan Stevens and is a bunch of songs based on the Bible. (listen)

Movies: These movies moved and entertained:

1. Transsiberian: A mystery, thriller on a train going through Siberia. Yikes.
2. The Fall: Visually stunning, and the cutest little girl you will ever see in a movie.
3. Encounters at the End of the World: Sarah and I watched this in the theater in Fort Wayne with one other person, its a documentary about Antarctica and the people who go there, again visually stunning, and Dad yes they tour Shakleton's shelter.
4. Taxi to the Dark Side: Another documentary about our treatment of detainees in Iraq/Afhanistan, its a Debbie Downer, but somehting that can't be ignored if we are truly people called to love our enemies.

Politics: Regradless of who you voted for, it was memorable, heated, and the first president our children remember will be a black man. Bishop Desmond Tutu offered some great post election thoughts (article)

Best Blog Post: The Patrol (formerly CCM patrol) nailed it when they described the sound of today's Christian music as "utterly and completely soulless". (read full post) You know the sound...you're surfing the radio and you hear that plastic sound and within 3 seconds know you're in CCMville.

Best attempt at heisting an auto dealership when gas was $4.00/gallon: Earlier this year when gas prices were peaking at $4.00 plus per gallon, approximately 99% of the driving public were considering downgrading their cars to get a more fuel efficient car, our boy Jeff strode into Brighton Honda with the following proposition:

Jeff: Hey, uh... I'd like to make you an offer. I'll trade you this Honda Accord (which you're having trouble selling) for a Honda Fit (30+ per gallon, flying off the lot), and here's the deal, you give me the Fit, I give you the Accord, and uh we do this for no money down, and you lower my monthly lease payment....alright??

Dealer: No.

Jeff: I've made you a reasonable offer and you're turning me down??

Dealer: Let me check with my manager (leaves and returns)... No.

Jeff: I can't beleive this, let me talk to the manager.

Manager: How can I help you?

Jeff: I've been a loyal customer to this dealership, and I've made you an offer which is reasonable now why aren't you willing to deal with me.

Manager: Here's a reasonable offer, you make the down payment and start paying for that Fit like everyone else!

Jeff: Well obviously you aren't willing to help your loyal customers, I've made three reasonable offers all of which you have denied and as far as I'm concerned its three strikes and you're out!! (turns and walks out...stone cold)

I had to throw that in there Jeff, I love that story, for another good story ask Steve-o to recount his run in with a deer.

Have a Happy New Year!! I look forward to 2009 and to sharing it with all of you!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For Unto Us a Child is Born

"The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned." Isaiah 9:2

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dancing with the Scribes







Some of you may have seen 'MAD HOT BALLROOM', a documentary about a Ballroom Dance program in NYC for 5th graders in low-income neighborhoods. They've started this now in Los Angeles, and my class participated this year, teaching 5 different dances to our students over 10 weeks and then selecting 5 couples to represent our school (Culture and Language Academy of Success) in the final competition against 14 other LA schools.

The competition was held this past Sunday in a fancy ballroom on the West-side of town. I watched and cheered on my students nervously as they danced the meringue, rhumba, foxtrot, tango and swing. I have to say, I've never been more tense or nervous as I was when they were announcing the winner. My students had worked so hard, and danced so well; i wanted them to win badly - they deserved it. The M.C. announced the 3rd place winner, the first place winner, and then the first place winner: friggin' CULTURE AND LANGUAGE ACADEMY OF SUCCESS. We won it! I lost it; went crazy hugging my students and hoisting our first place trophy up high. They allowed us, the winners, one last dance if front of the whole crowd. I've never been more happy, more proud.

I gotta give MAD props to Alaysia, Damani, Tah-je, Denzel, Kennedy, Renard, Jaida, Jerimiah, Crystal and Evan for being the best little dancers in all of Los Angeles.

And if you haven't yet been out to visit my school, you need to meet these kids. They are honestly some of the brightest, best and most inspiring little Obamas out there. Come anytime.

Monday, December 15, 2008

BCC Moments To Remember


I'm not sure how God works, but I know it's mysterious. You are looking at the reason Ben and I attended Sunday School taught by Papa Lampi from 6-8th grade. Inside that wrapper was not only a delicious treat of explosive flavors, but an opportunity for God to work. I get a sucker, I go to Sunday School and hear the word of God, even though i was a pain in the rear I'm sure. this is one of my fondest memories of BCC as Ben and I reminisced on Facebook earlier tonight. these delightful suckers drew every bit of saliva your pallet could create as the sugar and flavoring seaped into taste buds to illuminate your senses while hearing Dad lampi speak of this Jesus. Thank you dad for making me be there and for always brining these suckers along.

So why am I writing this?... Well as you all know BCC is going though some rough times right now. Ben and I thought it would be cool for each of us to blog some favorite BCC moments that moved us, captured us, changed us and let's be honest, made us laugh over and over again. Blog it new if you'd like so we all can see. have a great week. Love ya'll.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Amazing Grace - He still is

Turn the sound up to this and listen to it in it's entirety.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtrnB4FZ-yc

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

spare the rod...


I like this post on parenting by Michael Spencer (read full post). Here are his observations:

1. You want to produce a happy, healthy, productive, well-balanced human being. If, in your urgency to produce a religious child, you produce a distorted child, you’ve not been a good parent. The end doesn’t justify the means in Christian parenting.

2. All sorts of things in parenting have no relationship whatsoever to any book you’ll read or seminar you’ll attend. Parenting isn’t some mystery that can be taught be experts. When you hear an ad for someone telling you they can make your kid into a near perfect child if you’ll only buy/attend their thing, you’re being taken for a ride on your insecurities. Relax.

You’re going to mess up, screw up and make mistakes. Your family isn’t going to be that !$#$! picture on your church web site. Look at families in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. Read what Jesus said about families. This is where sin shows up. It’s where we fail and get forgiven. It’s where we get to be human and hurtful, but still belong.

A family can’t survive everything. There are limits, but determine that mistakes won’t be covered up and real life will be the canvas on which this picture is painted.

3. Show up, be there, be present, don’t leave, be predictable, be stable, be a presence. That’s not all of parenting, but it’s a lot. All kinds of people turned out really well, not because they were raised by little parenting geniuses, but because they were raised by people who were THERE in their lives. They came home. They made breakfast. They put them in bed. They didn’t chase their own hobbies and dreams at the expense of their kids. They were just there.

4. Turn off the damned television (and attendant electronic devices.) Yes, that’s “damned” for those of you monitoring me for the local authorities. Spell it right. Turn the thing off and read to your kids. Get some animals. Ride bikes. Go hiking. Plant a garden. Buy a telescope. Get dolls. Get action figures. Go on weekend drives. Learn history. Go to ball games. Just decrease the television time.

5. The family dinner table. At all costs. As much as possible. No matter what the resistance. No matter how much coordination it takes. It is, always was and always will be, the key to good family life. Talking around that table is very important. More important than church, I promise.

6. Consider seriously the wisdom of putting your children into a large church program that separates them from you into children’s worship. I believe this is the worst thing evangelicals have done in the last 50 years. Other than a very modest extended session for very small children, you should be fearful of making your children the passive participants in programs that set them in front of big screens, DVDs, stages, etc. The demise of evangelicalism is the result of specialized programing. It has very limited usefulness.

7. Loving your children is not the same as you being happy. Loving your children will mean getting into places where you are unhappy, and then asking what does it mean to love that child.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Roxanne's Song

video
Hey all, have a listen if you have some time. It's the song Roxanne wrote. I'll probably add a couple more things. Hope you enjoy.

Steve

Friday, November 21, 2008

the "TWILIGHT" zone?


Ok, so, for the past couple of months, myself and fellow colleagues, have been facing a very interesting classroom management issue. No, it's not spitwads, horseing around or even the occasional F bomb.......no, this time we are up against EDWARD, the main SQUEEZE from the book and now movie out today, TWILIGHT.

Most of my female students are entranced by this fantasy novel and yet, I am reluctant to call it that, because it seems like a reality to these young learners. They read it during every hour, and give that somewhat "how dare you" stare when questioned about its relevance to our class....How can we teachers compete with a young, daunting, handsome, melodramatic Vampire?

It's incredible to see the shirts, books, and hear the craze for something like this. It Woodstockish? I know may be even some of you might be able to relate and share this zeal for this "SO LONG TO J.K. ROWLING" craze? hmmmm?????

It's hilarious to hear my guy students address the issue and call out the girls in the middle of class and have the girls say something like, "You're just jealous of Edward." "You guys need to pick up the book and read and learn how to treat a girl!"

The guys just chuckle, "Dude, he's a Vampire."

Anyway, I had to post this, because I can't remember for the life of me OUR GENERATIONS juvenile literature/pop culture addiction. HArdy Boys? Mario Brothers?

Anfd today it topped it off by some of my girls coming in showing me marks on their neck , saying they've been "bitten" by Edward, after seeing the movie last night at Midnight.

......................Help!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

prayer request


This the latest from California; I just was facebooked this a little while ago.

Diane sent you a message.

--------------------
Subject: prayers

Keep Bob and his family in your prayers. They had to evacuate their home due to a horrible fire, went to the Residence Inn, and now have had to evaculate that. Terra is at a shelter and Bob, Laure, J.P., and Bear are trying to get closer to the ocean.

They are still safe. Bob is at a friends. laure and Terra are at a Jonas Brothers concert (her friend who was going with her... house burnt down) J.P. is waiting for his friend who is driving from Santa Barbara because his house burnt down also.

Love,
Diane
I sent this prayer request to Steph's email also.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Travelog: if you're going to Asheville...


I've been in North Carolina for work, and spent today in Asheville, which is one of the raddest cities I've visited. Asheville is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, which John Denver famously called "almost heaven". Here's my travelog of things I like in Asheville for anyone who might go there (Norm, Debbie).
  1. Listen to 88.7 WNCW: great music and provides the perfect soundtrack for the city, including some local folk Americana artists

  2. Have breakfast at the Early Girl Eatery. The food is incredible and they use mostly local organic produce and meat. Its also cheap.

  3. Visit the Mast General Store on Biltmore Avenue, this store has tons of vintage toys, classic candy, and isn't overpriced.

  4. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the most scenic drives in America, gives you the best views of the mountains.

  5. Do the lunch buffet at Mela Indian Restaurant. Only $8.50, great beer list.

  6. Check out the local art at the Woolworth Walk.

If you get the chance Asheville is a great get away (check out the web album). Here were my three favorite bumper stickers I saw there (there are lots of them).

  1. Native Americans are living people not mascots.

  2. God's original plan was to hang out in a garden with a couple of vegetarians.

  3. Keep Asheville Weird

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday To a Timeless Man!






Happy Birthday Ben! You are a timeless gift these and pictures show it. We love you and hope you feel celebrated today!!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Practice???

Per my mom's request in Wes' last blog about A.I. here's the video that makes lifelong coaches like Norm so, so proud. As I post it, the Pistons are down 21 points to Boston in Iverson's Palace debut (he has 8 points). Perhaps it's time to practice!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A.I. in Dtown


The world has shifted dramatically in the last few weeks, and amidst this the Detroit sports world has shifted dramatically also...Todd Jones retired, Matt Millen fired, and A.I. hired?? No more Chauncey or McDyess?? Has Joe Dumars pulled another Darko or is this going to make the Pistons better? Let's hear it Detroit! My thought is that it made them no better and no worse, they'll still get to the conference finals and lose to Boston. I hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Give him a hand!

Jackson just learned to clap. He is so proud! Check it out: video

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

HAPPY VOTING!!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Jacob's Pre-Election Musings

With the election only days away and political fervor reaching levels I've never before seen, I thought I'd drop one last article for perspective and critical reflection. This morning as Barack Obama addressed a crowd in Columbia, Missouri he told his supporters, "It's gonna get nasty" in these last few days. Too bad, I thought. I've heard and seen a lot of nastiness from impassioned people on both sides who are certain that the future of the free world hangs in the balance of this election. A lot of hope tied up in a system as the article below says, "built upon being right and proving your opponent wrong, and winning at any cost." A LOT of money spent. A lot of families and friends divided. And in my humble opinion, a lot invested in a system that is simply not the end-all answer to the plight of our country. Perhaps I'm trivializing things a bit and not appreciating the democratic process that we hold so dear. Or maybe, I'm just ready for this all to end, and I'm just calling the Church to reassert itself and refocus itself on the only real, lasting hope for humanity. I'm with Steve, this life I live, I live for so much more!!!

Give this article from Relevant a read before you go to the polls on Tues. Love to hear your thoughts.

And Happy Belated Blog Birthday to Andrew!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween


Here is a picture of our little Shark! video

Friday, October 24, 2008

Roxanne (A Reminder of Why I'm Alive)

Some of the greatest, most meaningful moments happen in life when your the farthest away from the world. This past Wednesday I walked into the room of a 29 year old girl named Roxanne. She sat in bed covered in mounds of blankets. For 23 years she has been battling two brain tumors while in pain because of the several that run up her spine. I was invited over because it had been a dream of hers in life to write a song. As I sat there asking her to tell me about her feelings of life and her experience and what Christ means to her, she began to unload. As my friend was writing these things down, she would forget quickly and repeat the same thing over and over again, "I don't know why I have to go through this" and "Jesus is everything to me." At that moment, nothing else mattered. It didn't matter I was late coming home, it didn't matter I was going to miss dinner, it didn't matter I was late for worship rehearsal and prayer. How could I remove myself from experiencing something Christ dedicated his life too. I sometimes wonder how much of life is lost to other things like TV, acting like we have it together, fighting for politicians, complaining about how much we don't have, when I'm staring at a girl who hasn't known normal health for the majority of her life. Roxanne continued on," He's all I need. He hears my prayers. Why can't I walk, why, why, why?" After about an hour and a half of writing and playing music, we had it. The song was done. I played it for her and she bobbed her head ever so lightly and smiled. At that moment I felt purpose. I don't know if you can feel purpose, but it was something I don't feel a lot. As my friend drove us home, I had a chance to sit and think. Thoughts went through my head about so much. Sometimes I hear people talk about things so passionately but rarely hear who Christ is to them. I think if Paul would come back and sit in on a conversation with a group of people any where in the U.S. he would probably say, "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things." I'm not sure I've seen this type of passion for Jesus in my entire life. Was it only Paul, I'm sure it's not. I think what I felt that day was something Paul felt on a consistent basis. He suffered for Christ, have we? I'm not sure, but I think the more you do, the more purpose you find in Him. For two hours i sat with my friend and a girl named Roxanne. What I learned from that moment was more than any message I have heard on Sunday morning all year. I was in it, not just hearing it. I will continue to ask myself ," What matters Steve, what truly matters?"


Roxanne's Song:

Sometimes You're so hard to find
As questions run through my mind
It seems the answers come slow
To questions You only know

I cannot understand how
You hear my prayers even now
I need you more everyday
Closer to you I will stay

With every thought I think of You
As every breathe begins to sing

You are everything, You are everything
even in my pain, You are all I need
You are everything, You are everything
What no one else can see, You are everything

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the moral dilemma?


Hey guys and gals,

I wanted to share a sermon our pastor preached a couple of weeks ago, ironically, yet not ironically, in the midst of the fiscal crisis in America. It brought so much perspective and was a reminder of Wes' blog on GREED (and I believe he preached on similar topic last night), and our conversations we've had over the last couple of months. Please take a few moments to listen to it if it's possible or you if you so desire. Nothing SO profound or what you haven't heard before maybe, but a reminder. Have a great Sabbath.


Love,

Jeff

http://files.urc-msu.org/mp3/2008/092808.mp3

If that link doesn't work, just go to "urc-msu.org" and to the left is the sermon in blue, "The gift that keeps on giving"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

here's to you evil knievel

Props again to Ben for putting his life on the line for his students. Here are the views over Temecula Valley High from 13,000 ft. (jump) and 5,000 ft. (parachute)!! Question for Ben: what does the free fall feel like (rollercoaster??) and were you singing Tom Petty the whole time down?

13,000 ft.


5,000 ft.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Fall from the Lampi's




Here's to the best time of the year in the Midwest. Miss ya'll.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy Birthday to Grace!

video
Wish we were there to eat cake with you!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

From 13,000 feet

One of our esteemed bloggers parachuted with the famed Army Golden Knights this past Tuesday. He went from 13,000 feet to 5,000 before the parachute deployed. I was nervous at the time I knew he was jumping. It is on video so I hope that it can be put on the blog some day. Oh yea who was it, # 76 on the Brighton Football team (left tackle). Benjamin Lee Gaines is his name.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tin Caps!

The team formerly known as the Fort Wayne Wizards has a new name. Next year we'll be watching Tin Caps baseball at our new downtown stadium! For those of you confused by this, might I remind you of one who "lived for others", he was known for giving all he had to the poor even the clothes off his back, leaving him with no cap but for his tin pan, and so what better way to commemorate this legend than naming our team after him. By the way Lugnuts and Loons, Johnny may have lived for others but not our sluggers. You better get a tetnus shot before you come to our tin shack, we gonna done put a cap in yo a##! A tin cap that is. Ha! I'm getting a hat. Anyone else want one?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

From 10,000 feet

As I watched Grey parachute jump into the recliner, I am minded of something and I will turn it into a contest. Here is the question: Someone who is a regular contributor to the Gaines-Lampi blog will be parachuting this Tuesday from 10,000 feet. Who is it?

Contest rules: 1) If this person has told you, you cannot play. 2) You have to answer right now, no calling people to see who it is.
3) Once this secret person is identified, then we will all pray for him or her that day.
4) Joel E. if you are out there, let us know by voting.

Contest ends this Monday evening.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Grey's moving on up!

video
Some recent footage of my boy. He's getting so big and so much more time consuming to keep an eye on. I wouldn't trade him for the world. Hope yours are well.

Steve

Jesus and Politics: Is He Right or Left?

Alas, I've stayed out of the political banter for the mainstay of this political season. Mostly disillusioned with the whole system and suspect of any so-called political "savior" or "maverick". Intrigued but admittedly jaded and yet committed to the ideals and beauties of American freedom, including our privilege to vote. Conflicted when I read about what a partial birth abortion entails while holding Grace. Wondering if I could vote for a candidate who opposed a ban on this disgusting practice, yet also wondering if I could vote for a candidate whose party some would argue has traditionally ignored the fundamental reasons and systematic injustices that drive some women to abortion in desperation. Wondering if there are bigger issues or a bigger picture I should be seeing and if so, where should I look? Wondering what a disciple of Christ should do? Having dedicated my life to serving an entirely different kingdom. Alas, I like many others am conflicted.

So, in response to Jeff's last post I ran across the following chapter in a book by Peter Kreeft, a Catholic theologian and apologist from Boston College in his book The Philosophy of Jesus. I couldn't find a link so I just pasted in the whole chapter below. Sorry for the length. Give it a read and see if it makes any sense. I don't know if I'm board with all he says, but perhaps it's worth some extended thought and will at least stir the pot a bit...

"All political issues today are seen through the prism of Right vs. Left, the
political 'us vs. them.' The categories are all-encompassing thought-savers,
knee-jerks that allow us to avoid thinking about each issue on its own
merits. But the categories, and the polarization they create, is even more
indefensible when applied to Christ because it means judging Christ by the
fallen world rather than vice versa.

The polarization is also harmful to morality because it lets us be
selectively moral, selectively idealistic-which means selectively immoral
and pragmatic. If we take the high road on abortion, euthanasia, and
sexuality, we can take the low road on war, poverty, and pollution; or vice
versa. Even when we focus on a specific question like whether all human
lives are intrinsically valuable, these categories allow us the moral
schizophrenia to say yes when we address abortion and no to that same
question when we address war and capital punishment-or vice versa. It's not
just that we give wrong answers (I'm not sure what the right answers are in
particular about a particular war or capital punishment in a particular
case), it's that we have self-contradictory principles.

Only from the viewpoint of the straight can we judge the skewered. Christ is
the straight, the plumb line-both when He is explicitly known, by divine
revelation, and when He is implicitly known, by conscience and the natural
law. He brings to all issues God's natural order to judge man's unnatural
disorders. Therefore, He does that to politics too.

He also unites the proper concerns of Right and Left, for He is the straight
path ('I am the Way') from which both Right and Left turns depart. He gives
a stronger reason for the rightful concerns of both Right and Left than
either Right or Left can do.

For instance, why feed the poor? Because the poor are Christ in disguise.
Not just because of political correctness or individual sentiment.

Why love sinners, as the Left does, and why ate sins, as the Right does? Why
love addicts to drugs, violence, money, or sex? And why hate their
addictions? For the same reason. Because Christ does. That's why we should
be more compassionate to sinners than liberals are and more uncompassionate
to sins than conservatives are. For the same reason: Christ.

Why preach and practice the 'social gospel'? Not to be politically correct,
or to refute the Fundamentalists, but because Christ did.

Why be universalistic and inclusive and ecumenical? Not to sneer at
xenophobia, isolationism, and provincialism, but because Christ was and is
universalistic. Christ is not a local tribal deity.

Why insist on 'the scandal of particularity,' and on the concrete, visible,
particular, and exclusive claims of Christ to be the one and only Savior?
Not to stick it to the liberals, but because Christ is particular and
concrete and visible and exclusive and literal.

Why be progressive and radical and creative and in love with the new? Why be
open to the winds like a sail? Because Christ is. Why be faithful and
stick-in-the-mud traditionalist, like an anchor? Because Christ is 'the same
yesterday, today, and forever.'

Why be a 'bleeding heart liberal'? Because Christ is. Why be a 'hard-headed
conservative'? Because Christ is.

Many have substituted Liberalism or Conservatism or some other ism for
Christ, and co-opted Christ for their cause. Christ cannot be co-opted for
any cause; all causes must be co-opted for Him. All isms are abstractions.
Even the perfect ism, if there is one, cannot save us and cannot love us.

The special danger of the religious Right is to worship Christ's doctrines
instead of Christ, confusing the sign with the thing signified. The Right is
absolutely right to insist on being right and to insist on absolutes. But a
finger is for pointing at the moon; woe to the fool who mistakes the finger
for the moon.

The special danger of the religious Left is to worship Christ's values
instead of Christ. That is just as abstract as the Right's substituting
Christ's doctrines for Christ. They are also only pointing fingers.

The Right argues that the Left is vague, but even the true and precise
doctrines of the Right are vague compared with Christ. Everything is. The
Left argues that the Right is hard, but even the soft, compassionate heart
of a liberal is hard compared with Christ. Everything is.

Right and Left cannot convince and convert each other for the same reason
that the Pharisees and the Sadducees could not convince and convert each
other. For what a Pharisee needs is not a little softening of the head, a
little dose of worldliness, pop psychology, relativism, and subjectivism.
What he needs is Christ. And what a Sadducee needs is not a little hardening
of the heart, a little arrogance, a little bit of Scrooge or Machiavelli
or Darwinian 'survival of the fittest' What he needs is Christ.

And our society needs nothing less, split as it is between Left and Right
today just as Jesus' society was split between Sadducees and Pharisees in
His time.

Earthly societies are not eternal, as souls are. Yet Christ is the Savior of
societies as well as souls. Our society is dying because it has turned the
holy name of its Savior into a curse word. Christophobia is the poison that
is killing our society. Our secularists are making us forget Christ faster
than we are making them remember Him: that is why our society is dying. Its
blood supply is drying up. The Precious Blood is evaporating. We are losing
more blood each day.

The answer is scandalously simple, unless Christ and Christianity and the
Bible and the Church and Christ's apostles and all the saints are liars. The
answer is that there is only one hope, for societies as well as souls: 'What
must I do to be saved?' 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be
saved.' (Acts 11:14)

Is that too simple and childish for you? Are you too 'advanced' and 'adult'
for that? Remember what 'advanced' tooth decay looks like. Remember what our
society means by 'adult.' Remember what 'adult' movies mean. And then put
that against The Passion of the Christ And then 'choose ye this day whom ye
will serve.' (Joshua 24:15)"

—Peter Kreeft, The Philosophy of Jesus (St. Augustine Press, South Bend Indiana, 2007)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WOOOOOAAAHHHHHH! PASTOR GONE WILD!

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/09/29/pulpit/?refid=0

jefe

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crowder Covers Sonseed

Last week I posted the now infamous Sonseed performance of "Jesus is My Friend." It seems the influence of Sonseed has even found it's way to the likes of DC*B. Check out this video from last Sunday's service at University Baptist Church where Crowder serves as worship pastor. Next stop...our chapel band is going to attempt it in a few weeks!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Cash got up to this Summer.

video
Now that summer is officially over, we thought you might like to see a few of Cash's summer highlights. (I apologize in advance for the sketchy craftmanship. I'm not so great at the videos).

Palin on SNL

If you haven't seen this, it is pretty funny..

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

$G$R$E$E$D$


Greed seems to be the subject on the nation’s mind the past few weeks. Just today I was putting gas in one of our work trucks and the car next to me had a bumper sticker that said “Gas – Absolute Greed”. The message was a little confusing but it seemed ironic as the guy was putting gas in his car. Anyways, we’ve seen our economy come to the brink of collapse and people on both sides of the political spectrum rightly place the blame on unsupervised corporate greed. This past Sunday I got to preach at our service, and the passage for the week was Matthew 20, the parable of the landowner and workers. The point of the story in short is that the first will be last and the last will be first (when have we heard that before Gaines boys!) and that God lavishes grace upon all who come to him regardless of what they’ve done or deserve. While preparing I also started studying the surrounding passages where Jesus addresses wealth and greed; telling the rich man to sell all he has and give it to the poor; and that enigmatic statement that its harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than a camel to go through the eye of a needle. I think its amazing how many times the Bible addresses the issues of wealth, greed, and how we should treat the poor (over 2000 verses!). I thought about this as I read my Wall Street Journal throughout the week (Yeah I’m a nerd!!); but all over the news you see these executives in despair over what is going on and it seemed all too timely that this was happening while the churches all over the world read this parable declaring the first shall be last! Some fast facts: 30 years ago the average CEO of a major corporation made approximately 30 times more than the average worker; today the average CEO makes over 300 times more than the average worker. The CEO for Lehman Brothers (which went bankrupt last week) made $17,000 dollars an hour last year! All this to say its become clearer now more than ever that as Christians we cannot serve both God and money and we cannot support economic systems that reward the rich at the expense of the poor. I heard Jim Wallis interviewed on a radio program today and I thought he had a brilliant idea, he said he wrote a letter to Henry Paulsen asking that if the proposed $700 billion bailout of financial institutions gets passed this week that the government tithes 10% of that ($70 billion) to help poor families stay in their homes. Incredible. Wallis also has a couple great articles on his blog concerning the moral issues at stake in the coming economic overhaul. Enjoy, and remember that God is generous; we have nothing to be worried about!! Article 1 Article 2

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is Funny!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

M go Blues

If you are feeling the Michigan Blues, take a look at this clip from 1991. It still gives me chills!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sonseed

Okay, as promised in my response to "The Renewed Mind" here is a gem of a performance from Sonseed. If you've not seen it, it's an instant classic and a rising YouTube sensation. WARNING: Watching the following video will cause your brain to become locked into an endless cycle of repeated bass lines and a graphic image or a lead singer with awkwardly pursed lips. Also incredibly addicting!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Renewed Mind

In case you forgot..."the renewed mind is the key to the Christ in me!!!" This is a gem, have a good monday (when he breaks it down @ 1:50 is the best part)

Friday, September 12, 2008

A picture worth a thousand words (and more)


I'm not sure where to begin, but I will be brief. To the average shopper, this is a can of seasoning. To me, it is so much more. As I walk down the isle of many supermarkets and open the cupboards in my own house, I see it quite often. Every time I see this can of Cavendar's Greek Seasoning, I smile. For some reason it makes me feel good, like I've experienced something not a lot of people get to experience and I have. I know what it is too. Dr. G, I miss you and love you so much.


(I was blessed to have known you.)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Before Facebook

Before Facebook, ibook, textbooks and yearbooks, there was SUPERBOOK! Where we got our foundation. Take a walk down memory lane...


Monday, August 25, 2008

Restore the Roar



Did anybody else share this dream? If it's not too late, I would like to jump on the bandwagon. And could the Lions also please sign Dave Pearson, Anthony Quinn, Jake Falls, Jason Jakabowki, James Oaks, Steve "Special Operations Unit" Lampi and Ben Gaines for the "Unfinished Business" tour.

Mckenna and Crowder share a moment.



As some of you know, my 4 year old niece McKenna has been a huge Crowder fan for, well, about 3 years now, That is all she wanted to listen to from about the age of one. a few weeks ago, she decided to write him a letter to thank him for the music he makes and that she really likes it. Not really expecting any reply, she received a note from Waco, Texas this past week. As you can guess, it was a hand written note to Mckenna with his patented drawing of himself. Kind of a cool deal that he'd take time to write her back. She now refers to him as "Dave".

Steve

Saturday, August 23, 2008

ARE U READY?

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I'M PRETTY STOKED FOR A WEEK FROM NOW AND THE BEGINNING COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Yesterday, on ESPN, an NCAA analyst picked MSU 3rd in the Big Ten and much improved, and heralded Javon Ringer as the fastest running back in the nation ! I hate hearing that, because it just makes it that much harder if he's wrong... stay tuned

WE ARE SPARTANS!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jackson Goes to Costco


This past weekend Jackson made his cart debut at Costco. He is such a big boy, as he is now riding in the cart without a carseat!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Directions to Reunion

Hi "covenant family"

Here are the directions to the lake (from Brighton). If you are coming from another place (Steve and Shea - already taken care of), let me know. Call Steph's cell 517 214-6998.

So here they are:

Take US 23 NORTH towards FLINT

Take I-69 EAST exit towards PORT HURON

about 60 miles later...

get off at exit 196 WADHAMS Rd.

Turn LEFT off exit and about go about a mile...(through light, down a big hill)

Turn right at bottom of hill on NORTH RIVER

go about 8.5 miles or so...look for NORMAN rd (ha!)...that's the last road you'll go past until you...

see a white church in front of you to the left---abandoned...home? I'm not sure (you'll also see a white church to your right on this road, but earlier on..)

Turn RIGHT there! on BURTCH Rd and drive about 1 1/2 miles until...

you run into a red light...turn left on M-25 NORTH...you're almost here...

drive about 10 miles on M-25 until you see a putt-putt golf course and driving range, and right there on your RIGHT in front of it is the SANDPIPER! Turn right.

Drive slowly (10 miles/hr.) through park, pass baseball field on left, around the turn, you'll see the lake below, turn right and go down the hill,

take a left and look for the 2 trailers with the Jewish stars on the front..they are the 3rd and 4th trailers down on.. park in front and...

GET READY FOR SOME FUN!

Love,

Jeff

Call if lost

Monday, August 04, 2008

Last Minute Instructions



Hello... I thought it was about time that I post some last minute reminders about the gaines-lampi retreat. Review: Thank you for the $20 from each couple I have bought snacks, and will be buying breakfast and lunch food for everyone so that when you get there you can get settled and enjoy. I am asking if each couple will bring the following to split up the fruit: Bill/Lena-Watermelon, Norm/Debbie-Watermelon, Jake/Ab-Bananas, Wes/Sarah-Grapes, Steve/Shea-Strawberries, Jeff/Steph-Apples. This will be a huge help to me, thanks!! Also, I want to remind you that Jake/Ab and Wes/Sarah you do NOT need to bring a pack-n-play we have two up there for you ready to go. I have kids shampoo and toothpaste well stocked for the kiddos. We have blankets and pillows for everyone! Shea and I will have 2 monitors one for each place.
Oh yeah, Jeff and I thought that it would be a great idea if we read a book and have a bible study each day. We really wanted to be intentional about setting-up time with the Lord as a group. We picked the book Your Home a Place of Grace, by Susan Hunt. This book is great and pertains to all of us and the stages of life we are in so I am really excited about sharpening each other and digging into the word as a group. Wes and Steve- guitars for worship, Please if possible. Books will be arriving on Wed. to Norm and Debs so they said we can make arrangements to deliver them to the Gaines family. Sorry this is so late. This is intended to grow us as friends, families, parents, grandparents, husbands, and wives. So read it together if you can as couples. If possible could you read Part One: Ch 1-6 by Monday. Then we will split up part two and discuss that part during the week together.
Here is a quick overview I will have breakfast and lunch food for everyone. Bagels, PB/Jelly (organic), Milk for cash (Organic whole), Pancakes, Cream Cheese, Egg Casseroles, Muffins, Granola/Yogurt. Lunch- Sub sandwiches, Veggie Burgers, Wraps, pasta salads, Chips/Guac/Salsa and more. Dinner- I will have dinner for everyone on Sunday and Monday and then we can decide if we want to go out, or get pizza a day whatever the group decides. If you can let us know when you plan on arriving. Jeff and I will be there on Sat morning so whenever you come we will be ready. This is so exciting and awesome to be apart of such a close knit family. I can remember when I first was introduced to the Gaines family (ferret in pocket-crazy). I can't help but see God's divine hand in all of our lives, amazing parents, marriage, children and wise God fearing/loving grandparents. I feel extremely blessed to be part of this extended family. I cannot wait to see everybody! Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Love, Stephanie

Thursday, July 31, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CUZ!!!


Roger says "Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonite!"

HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY WESSER!!!


FELIZ CUMPLEANOS to MY BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD! Wes, we've been through a lot together, seen a lot (oh yeah), and well, quite frankly, you've been there all the way! As hallmark as that sounds, here comes this...I love you for not who you are, but what I am when I am with you. YEEEEAAAHHHH!

Have a great day and welcome to the "new 20s!"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mexico 2008!


Hey all if you want to see what happened this summer in Mexico, check out the Rose blogspot. Here's the link. Copy and paste. (Is Benny tickling John in this photo?)

bajajohn.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 27, 2008

and the moment we've all been waiting for...


Well, after long deliberation (much longer than NCAA pairing), myself, this year's GL golf commissioner, is revealing the pairings for our much anticipated scramble on Wednesday morning, August 13th. I have chosen this day, due to the fact Steve, Grey and Shea, I believe aren't arriving until Tuesday evening. With that said, those early birds are welcomed to venture out for a practice round beforehand or go across the street from our places to the driving range ... although I think it's everyone's wish to spend as much time together as whole families, rather than some golfing and some staying with the ninos.

So after some trash talk, name calling and manipulation, here are the rankings:

1. Jacob "Ace" Gaines -- he became #1 when he pulled the Tiger "knee injury"
disclaimer on a previous blog
2. Bill "Big Papi who's your Daddy, Wes" Gaines
3. Wesley "Birthday Boy" Gaines
4. Steve "practice?....what do ya mean practice?" Lampi
5. Norm "no pressure all fun....maltby dances number ONE---in Bill's grill" Lampi
6. Lena "Shut up, Bill" Gaines
7. Debbie "Shut up, Norm" Lampi
8. Jeff "MVC ---most valuable caddy" Lampi

(Note: If Andrew shows up, which last time I talked to people, I'm getting the idea that he may not.....which stinks!!!...Caleb still talks about you!....then he is #8....and I am....you know)

So the best ball scramble pairings are:

Lena & Debbie (they said they want a piece of the men)
Jacob & Jeff
Bill and Norm
Wes & Steve

BTW- Wes seriously told me he hated when I caddied for him in the desert and warned me not to. BFF.

We'll be playing the North Course(so diverse and prestine!) and decide on 9 or 18 later. And there will be a prize for longest drive and closest to pin.

May the best 2 win the coveted GL Annual Scramble!!! See you in about two weeks!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Say "Cheese!"

Good Day everyone!

So, for Steph's 30th, I got her a new digital SLR camera because she is crazy about photography and taking pics of babies, children and families. And well, she has "run" with the possibilities, now starting her own photography business. She even has her own business cards built a website (with some help of one of my former student):

www.mumsntumsphotography.com

Check it out. She has already done a shoot and has some lined up along with senior pictures and a gig working alongside one of her friends doing baby announcements. She loves it!

She'd can't wait for the lake to take some pics of the GL babies and if you ever want some pics and prints, obviously she'll do it for free and... "I think you'll enjoy them." - famous saying from her Dad

Toodles,

Jeff xo

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's Great to be home!!!






As Benny winds down his trip in mexico i am home with my boy for the past 24 hours alone with him and we've had some great time. He got older in only a week. I can't wait to see ya'll. We will be there on Wednesday morning. Grey si excited to see the little ones as our we. See you then.

Steve

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A MUCH BELATED UPDATE: GL REUNION 08!


Hi everyone,

Well it's now less than a month away from the 2nd ANNUAL GAINES-LAMPI FAMILY REUNION! I hope all your summers have been as rewarding as ours. A highlight was seeing Jackson on Friday! What a cute dude! and so HAPPY!

Steph and I have been wanting to post a quick reminder and update on the plans for our Lake Huron reunion trip many have been asking so here it is:

1. We have the week, Monday (or Sunday night) - Friday morning, August 10-15, and all 3 trailers (each have 2 bedrooms, bath, kitchen, living room and deck on 2 of the trailers) facing the lake. Your welcome to stay as long as you desire.

2. Bring your suits, we have beach towels and if you need any LAUNDRY done, we got that covered too.

3. If you're feeling sporty bring your Reebok pumps and gear --there's a beach basketball court, baseball field, park for the kids with play sets, swings, etc....and obviously, guys and gals bring your clubs...or feel free to borrow someone’s. Or if you just want to take a drive (and trust me Eden will want to), jump on the golf cart and roll through the park.

4. We have the beach amenities too like umbrellas, chairs, rafts, baby pool, and toys.

5. If we feel like spending a little money, I found a place down the road that rents jet skis hourly...but we don't have to. There is a family that will let us borrow their kayaks too.

6. You may want to have sandals or crocs or some type of H20 shoe b/c it can get rocky when swimming.

7. Beach Fire pit, marshmallows, s'mores and scary stories (Chuck Booher tapes---what was he thinkin'???)...check!

8. Stephanie is taking care of the kid friendly soaps, shampoos, toothpastes etc. so you don't have to worry about that as well as lil baskets for the ninos to enjoy.

9. We're thinking Me, Steph + Caleb, Eden + Steve, Shea and Grey in the her mom's trailer, JAcob, Abs + Gracie, Wes, Sarah + Cashflow in nextdoor trailer, and Papas and Grandmas in neighbor's trailer (Macomb County Prosecutor's.....behave!)...and ANDREW!!!!! whatever trailer, couch or hide-a-bed he wants! We'll dearly miss B, B and JAcks....but whatever...Hawaii!

10. Now the most important, FOOD. Steph has already run this by a few of you and thus far every family (sans Andrew...we got this one man..just get there) is cool with putting in about $20 so that Steph can make a COSTCO run and fill the fridges in all trailers with basics like bagels, cream cheese, cheese, milk, juices, fruits, PB, lunch meats, breads, healthy snacks, yogurts, etc. Now this is where we specify we have also have a FOODS for LIVING store next door to us and Costco is very naturally conscious too, so we'll go for the ORGANIC. Only the best for my fav 2 fams!

11. We have baby monitors, covered so we can sit out on decks and leave trailers without worry as well as the pack-n-plays covered too.

12. Bring a lil extra spending cash if you'd like; there are some cool stores downtown if you take the mile drive. And I'm not talking about Bill's golf game!

13. It's HOT there in August, but in the evenings you never know, bring somethings warm.


So your job here is to comment (at least someone from each fam) on anything listed, talk golf smack and most IMPORTANTLYgive Steph any suggestions for FOODS/DRINKS (ex. special organic juice) and she'll put it on her grocery list. The point here is to make it easy for all the travelers to not have to worry about going out an getting things right away but having at least some basics there. We'll decide about dinners when we get there. There are stores etc too. Still, obviously, feel free to bring whatever you want.

TBA: Golf scramble pairings and directions (2 hrs from Btown)


Love- Jeff, Steph, spy kid (did anyone get that?) and "the garden of"


And I can’t wait to say it soon, “Let the games begin!”

Monday, July 14, 2008

my final d:show?


This past weekend delirious? passed through the fort for a show at our outdoor amphitheater. I took it in (it had been a while) and have to say that no one comes close to bringing the power-packed-pop-worship as delirious does (sorry crowds & toms). They have a way of being incredible performers yet still remaining genuine. I had to take in the show b/c they are retiring at the end of this tour, marking the end of an era, so here is my delirious timeline...

  1. 1996 - I go away to college and start trekking up to fort wayne to go to the Vineyard where Dave Chumchal plays some early delirious at twice the recorded speed
  2. Summer 1997 Gary Gentry pulls up in a minivan at Kensington listening to Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble, I recognize the song (played much slower) and take Gary's Cutting Edge tape
  3. 1997-98 I devour the Cutting Edge tapes, blown away by songs like Obsession, Lord You Have my Heart, I've Searched For Gold
  4. Fall 1998 I grab a copy of King of Fools and head to Israel for the semester. Countless times I escape away to the Western Wall area or nearby parks and listen to Friend Forever over and over.
  5. Fall 1999 - I meet Jeff Searles who is friends with the band, we go up to Ann Arbor for my first D:show. Incredible packed show at the Michigan theater. The band obviously made a stop at Urban Outfitters before the show.
  6. Spring 1999 - Praise Rally - East Lansing - Wes and "the band" come up to East Lansing rockin mostly d:songs in a small classroom where we aspire to end racism, break dividing walls, bring revival and Coach McCartney all in one night (I loved those nights - so raw and passionate, Bradley doing the unthinkable and soloing for two hours straight, Rueben's classic quote "we'll go back eat a few slices of pizza, let everyone hangout with the band then hit the road..")
  7. Spring 2000 - Adam Witmer and I completely rip off the "There is a Light that Shines in the Darkness" song from Live and in the Can during a chapel service at Taylor (mostly to blank stares in the audience), a guy from my floor comments later, "hey Gaines nice Delirious show this morning"
  8. Summer 2000 - Andy Booth and I completely rip off "There is a Light that Shines in the Darkness" at Soultrip (Andy inspired by the moment holds up a candle in front of the stage but the candle keeps blowing out...we scrap the idea)
  9. Summer 2000 - (Summer of Love??) Steve, Rueben and I go to Cornerstone for one night to see Delirious in what turned out to be the most random night ever. We arrive on the scene where Jeff and Steph were enjoying their wedding "gift" from Eddie (camping in mud for a week) We hook up in Illinois, Jeff see's Stu-G (guitarist) walking towards him and with nothing else to say blurts out "What up Stu-G" and offers him a high-five (Stu G is struck with a spontaneous moment of culture shock and cautiously proceeds with the high five). the show is hot, sweaty, and wonderful we dance in the mud then try to head home. First we get pulled over for speeding, then Reuben decides he doesn't need socks, shoes, or a shirt (its very hot), somewhere around 2AM Wes notices the car has been running on fumes, so we pull off the highway and coast into this dinky town near the Illinois-Indiana border where the only gas station in town doesn't open till 8AM. Rueben keeps his socks, shoes, and shirt off and crashes in the back, Wes and Steve experience the longest 6 hours of their lives.
  10. Fall 2001 - I'm flying everywhere whenever I want, so I go to London for the weekend and see them play at Shepherd's Bush
  11. Spring 2001 - Go to see them in Grand Rapids meet Jeff and Steve there - the best part of the show is when the guitar starts playing "King of Fools" but no Stu G in sight...oh wait he's in the back of the auditorium wearing a jesters hat and singing the song. Classic. (a Delirious show is made 100 times better when Jeff is going nuts up and down the aisles)
  12. Summer 2001 - Delirious comes to Fort Wayne, Martin brings the Faux-hawk to the midwest..."Yeah his hair was really weird looking..." Months later everyone in church is sporting faux-hawks (Youth Pastors are just catching on to that one)
  13. Summer 2008 - Final show - i still love this band and enjoyed the show next to my friend Andy Booth. They end the show with a great new song "My Soul Sings" (download free here- all the robots from previous albums come out at the end of this one)
Thank you, Delirious. Wes

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Missing Voice

video

Cash has been a bit under the weather these last few days, and we thought you might enjoy this little video of his raspy voice. Yesterday it was almost completely gone for a few hours, but he didn't seem to mind. He's been enjoying trying to scream at the top of his lungs, but all that comes out is a little dry-throated yell. Cute!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Quiz

Multiple Choice Question:
1. Which of these things were said by Gramie while watching So You Think You Can Dance:
A.) "Now thats not dancin'-thats just aerobics"
B.) "Did you see what she was wearing? Now that costume was just awful."
C.) "I've danced at a lot of FOXY places...and that was not dancin'..."
D. All of the above

Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jackson Loves His Rice Cereal

This week Jackson has begun to eat rice cereal.
video

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Beach Bandit

Today we woke up and the weather looked to push triple digits in the SGV (San Gabriel Valley). So after breakfast we loaded up the Vibe and headed to the beach where the temps were mid 70s, the breeze was fresh, and the Jamba Juice was flowing. Grace enjoyed her day at the beach, but kept eying the rubber duck resting a few feet to our right under the umbrella of our beach neighbors. When they left their spot for a cool dip in the Pacifc, Grace made her move and her mom captured it all on film. Take a look at the beach bandit...




Also, check out Grace's blog for more weekend pics!