Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Year Without A Christmas Concert

It was late June and amid the thoughts of swimming and camping trips I was also listening to Christmas music and ordering songs for the choir. “I must be crazy,” I thought because I hated hearing songs of the season while trying to relax in the summer air. This is not what I was in the mood to be doing. Fishing with the kids, building a fire for roasting marshmallows and making smores, talking to friends on my cell phone while wearing my Indiana Jones hat, those are the reasons for the summer season!

Every choir director has to do this. Nearly every choir I know of starts singing Christmas music before summer is officially over. “…walkin’ in a winter wonderland…”, “Joy to the world…”, “…pa rum pum pum pum…”, “I’m dreaming of a…” can be heard bouncing off the walls of music rooms around the country. Every choir and every director is working towards the climax of a holiday performance to rival the one before and honestly gives no thought to the very next Christmas just 12 short months away.

This year was no different. Everything was moving along as usual. Extra rehearsals, cramming lyrics, pounding out tenor parts. Everything was in order for the concert. No, not just one concert. Many concerts. Many singers. Many accompanists. Many audience members. Many moments and memories. None of them happened this year. I know it sounds dramatic, but have you worked for months on something that at the very last minute is cancelled?

On Sunday at noon it was announced that our church choir concert had been cancelled. On Tuesday at 9 am the e-mail went out that informed everyone that the Voices of Hope Choir benefit concert was cancelled. On Tuesday night the ticker at the bottom of the TV screen notified us that school was cancelled which meant the 1st grade Holiday Concert would be cancelled as well. Wednesday night the same news told us the High School Concert was cancelled and Friday at 5:30 am a text message let us know the concert would not happen tonight either.

Though choirs have been singing Christmas songs since the end of summer they don’t really want to sing them after Christmas. Rescheduling a Christmas concert seems kind of silly. The church is going to try it. Voices of Hope Choir will not. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the schools will do. But right now we are just a bit sad that this was the year without a Christmas concert.

The widespread reason for the cancellations…the beautiful winter white snow fall and the below freezing temperatures. Not since 1979 has it been so cold for so long. Rarely does Portland see snowfall before the biggest holiday of the year. It’s not too often that a snowman can be made on the lawn of Tualatin home. But it happened the year without a Christmas concert.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hofer Christmas '08

Many of you have been hit hard by the recent downturn in the economy. Some of you that I have heard from have not only lost jobs but have also come to the stark realization that you have not known how to manage your finances well and this is an especially difficult time. I can share your feelings during this season and just feel grateful that I still have a job.

We have decided to totally change our approach to gift giving for the first time. In years past we have worked to get our “Christmas List” ready by Thanksgiving. It meant spending time with the catalog and a notepad. In fact, I’ve watched my kids take a red sharpie and circle most things in the toy section.

We have decided that our shopping will be limited to The Dollar Tree this Christmas. The kids have short lists and if they are blessed with some Christmas money they might use it for things on their lists. However, each of us will spend some time at the store and buy gifts for everyone on our list.

Today I took Grace and Jordan separately. It was amazing as they thought about each person on their list and took time to think about what they like. As we walked the isles it was fun to discover the treasures that they believe will be appreciated as a gift. Sure, I guided them a bit. But they were full of ideas as they saw things in a new light.

Not everyone in my family is convinced that this is a great idea. No names, but the 16 year old apparently hasn’t bought in yet. I think it will be different once we get there and get going.

So there will be not big debt from Christmas. There will be no worries in late January or early February about how we will pay the bill. And we won’t be filling orders this year. We are thinking about what each person might appreciate. Hopefully that is part of some lesson we need to learn this holiday time.

In the spirit of “Advent Conspiracy” (http://www.adventconspiracy.org/) we are assisting my colleague at work by giving to a family in need. This mother and her 4 kids had to flee an abusive situation and need lots of clothes and could use other things. Each of us has found things that may not be meeting our needs currently but will be a blessing to someone else. In addition to some nice clothes that aren’t being worn any longer, Grace gave a brand new doll. Jordan gave one of his bikes. Ashley had some clothes she never wore for whatever reason. There are books and toys and much more. It feels really good to all of us to give to this family.

We hope that as you celebrate the season in whatever way you choose this Christmas that you keep in mind the Child born to save our souls. God thought of us and gave the ultimate Gift we never expected. In fact, our list included lots of other priorities, yet he knew what was perfect for mankind. For that, we adore Him!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Lord of The Rings/This Is My Father's World

"Three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadow lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring the all in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadow lie."
(from The Lord of the Rings)

Around Thanksgiving I get the urge to watch The Lord of The Rings Trilogy. So we got out The Fellowship of The Ring last night. I love that movie and find so many deep thoughts and concepts to chew on.

Today I caught a few of the “extras” and found out that J.R.R. Tolkien disliked the use of allegory. "As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical... I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.” However the reader, or in this case the observer can interpret or apply meaning to what is seen. And I have had a haunting sense from what I’ve heard throughout the movie in it’s musical theme.

Maybe you have noticed it, the haunting melody with varying harmonies; “This is my Father’s World…” You can find some audio examples and some comments of similarities between this hymn and the Shire Theme at the following website: http://www.geocities.com/magpie930/SIMILARITIES/musical_similarities.htm
It is stated on the site, “This is My Father's World…is hymn 111 (Eleventy-one) in the United Methodist Hymnal. He writes, "If you think about it, he is quite clever really. Bilbo's is at the heart of the Shire. It is through Bilbo that we are first introduced to the Shire. And he is about to celebrate his 111th birthday." I don't know if this is deliberate on Shore's part, but it makes for great serendipity if not.”


Here are the lyrics to the hymn by Maltbie D. Babcock.


This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;His hand the wonders wrought.


This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world: He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!God reigns; let the earth be glad!

This is my Father's world, dreaming, I see His face.
I open my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, "The Lord is in this place."
This is my Father's world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son, Came - a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father's world, should my heart be ever sad?
The Lord is King - let the heavens ring. God reigns - let the earth be glad.
This is my Father's world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father's world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father's world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate'er my lot, it matters not,My heart is still at home.


The first 3 stanzas are what are typically sung and so many of the lines resonate with the story of Frodo and his band of characters as they travel and face the challenges of good and evil. I can’t help but allow the lyric “This is my Father’s world…” to resonate in my mind as I watch the film. I would challenge you to do the same and see what types of thoughts and feelings are arisen as a result.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Divine Appointment #1

First let me say thank you to you blog readers, especially to my special friends and family who leave comments. It's a lesson to me that I should comment more.

So, most know that I am an Associate Insurance Agent for Nationwide
(is on your side). Through a series of events completely out of my control, my compensation package recently changed. I am no longer receiving the base along with my commission. However, my commission percentage has increased. I had an idea how it would impact my income but didn't now forsure. My first pay check ended up being my 2nd largest since I started at the agency nearly 3 years ago. Unfortunately my next pay check was about the 6th lowest since I started. I'm not sure what my next check will be. I do know that the last 3 weeks have been very bad for sales and I'm nervous.

Now our Agent/Owner has some plans to build the business. We are moving our office from retail space to office space. He gave us a book by a top producing Farmers agent about successfully growing an agency. As I began reading I found out that this agent is from Visalia, a town just miles from where I grew up. So with a desire to learn and grow in my business I looked at this author's website and e-mailed him to let him know I would be in town and to see if I could spend 15 minutes with him to gain some knowledge from him.

To my surprise I got a call from him on my cell. He would be in town and would have his secretary add me to his calendar. I hung up and turned to my boss and said "That was Troy Korsgaden..." His jaw dropped.

So I met with him at his 3rd story private family apartment in downtown Visalia. After giving me a short tour and showing me pictures of his family we sat down and he shared with me the key to being successful in this business and how to retool the way I work to accomplish my goals. He said "This crap sells itself." He told me I have to talk to 10 people every day and set 4 appointments every day. I don't have to sell them anything. In fact, many of my appointments will include me saying "I'm not here to sell you anything..."

After my 30 minute meeting and a short tour of the first and second floors of his building, a restaurant and nightclub he owns called Crawdaddy's, I left feeling energized and excited to get back to work. And now I'm working differently, trying to work smarter, developing a list of people to contact and beginning a new attitude of growth. Oh, I sold a fair amount this week, even though it was only 3 days long.

So if you would be willing to introduce me to your friends, I promise to build a relationship with them before I ask them to buy anything. But when they think insurance I want them to think Don Hofer.

And when I think Insurance, I'm thinking "Divine Appointment."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Divine Appointments


This past weekend I went to my home town of Dinuba, CA. My purpose was to visit my Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma was recently moved into a Convelesent Home. I wanted to make sure she was doing OK and being well taken care of. She is very happy and doing very well. It was wonderful to see them.

But come to find out that was NOT the reason that I was to go home. I had 3 "Divine Appointments" plus some much needed R & R. One of them is a bit to private to share. One is in regards to my career in insurance. One is in regards to my personal journey. So in the coming days I'll tell you more about these "Divine Appointments."
As to the R&R...I got to see the Gaither Concert in Fresno. My favorites, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound was on the program, as was The Gaither Vocal Band, Janet Pascal, Russ Taff and others. My Uncle and Aunt drove my mom and dad and the rest in one of their Limos. Nice way to travel to an evening on the town. I also got to drive my dad's 1986 Corvette. I have never driven such a car. Amazing. A nice way to travel when your need is to go from 0 to 100 in only a few seconds. I ate great Italian food at our favorite spot, DiCicco's. I visited Bass Lake, a wonderful resort spot between Fresno and Yosemite. I saw my brother and his wonderful wife. She was a great "date" to the concert since my brother was out of town. Pamela and Daniel were fun to see. It's great to see how they have grown. I got to visit my sister's new home in Visalia and had a great time with her and her husband. I was blessed to celebrate my niece's 3rd birthday. Haley is a beauty. Her brother Alan schooled me on Wii. I treated my mom to a birthday lunch. I watched some football. I took a nap and had a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner almost a week early.
Since so few read my blog I figure most don't care. But it's still fun to write about that stuff. I hope you will be blessed in the next few days as I share some neat events and let you see what God did over that weekend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

“Dad, I know 2 boys are in love with me.” “How
do you know?” I asked. “Josh and JD told me.” That was the beginning of the first of many conversations between my 7 year old princess and me this week. I wish I remembered all of the stories like this one relating to my oldest daughter from years gone by. They are all cute to remember and even cuter when they happened. We all have stories like those from our growing up years. I was “engaged” in Kindergarten. I bet you spent hours chasing your “crush” around the playground or the church lawn.

We have decided to be “counter culture” when it comes to dating and relationships. The culture says it’s OK to date anyone starting at 6 or 7th grade, maybe earlier. Many will give their hearts away over and over again before they actually solidify the relationship with marriage. The physical acts of love have been made a “rite of passage” for some and reduced to a “benefit” of friendship for others. I don’t need to repeat the statistics, because they are probably more shocking than what is reported.

We are training our daughters that Daddy is the only man in their life. When it is time to choose a man to give their heart to, Daddy and Daughter will choose him together. One-on-one, exclusive dating leads to the releasing of the heart before one is fully prepared for the consequences of that and is not healthy or necessary for H.S. teens, or 7 year olds for that matter. I did say “counter culture”. We also teach that the feelings of “crush” are normal and natural. Acting on them only leads to unnecessary heartache and as parents, we can protect our teens from that heartache by teaching them that there is a better way than one-on-one, exclusive dating in H.S. The conversation about these principles are as important as the application of them, in my opinion. I believe my teen is thinking more deeply about love and infatuation than most teens her age.

There is so much more I could write about this topic. We are navigating the waters of group activities involving “the crush”. We bought a Prom Dress and were prepared for that event should it happen. We field questions and hear stories almost daily and pray even more than that. And some day she will bring a boy home whom we will have impressions about, make judgments about, and surely deem unworthy of our daughter’s affections. Then one of those boys will persuade me to give my blessing, thus the process of choosing together.

Lest you think us sexist, the same standards apply to our son. That’s a whole other lesson in going “counter culture”.

And when they start knocking at our door, they will find an application in our foyer with questions like these:

In 50 words or less, what does 'LATE' mean to you?

In 50 words or less, what does 'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you?

What do you want to do IF you grow up?

Complete these statements:

A woman's place is in the… T

he one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is…

I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT, NATIVE AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, CRUCIFIXION, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER TORTURE, RED HOT POKERS, AND HILLARY CLINTON KISS TORTURE.

Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual.Please allow four to six years for processing.You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write (since you probably can't, and it would cause you injury). If your application is rejected, you will be notified by three gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases. (you might watch your back)

Thursday, November 13, 2008










in a Benefit for


Christmas Concert 2008
Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 7:00 pm
Portland First Nazarene Church
6100 SW Raab Rd., Portland, OR 97221 503-297-6100
featuring
Special Guest

Kari Virding
Miss Oregon 2007

Admission is FREE!
Donations to be received to benefit The House of Ruth & Voices of Hope Choir.

For more information, contact
http://www.voicesofhopechoir.org/ or http://www.thehouseofruth.org/
or phone 503.347.3576.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Small World Connections

Yes, it's been nearly a month since I posted. However I've noticed that a lot of the other bloggers have slowed their blogging as well. Maybe it's a passing fad.

Tonight I talked to someone I've known casually for several months. I heard his "small world" story about how he met his wife, whom he found out grew up less than a mile from a home he lived as a child. The world got smaller when that town was 20 min. from the town I grew up in.

So maybe there is a small world story between you and I. Lets see...I grew up in Dinuba, CA.
Went to school at Wilson School, Grand View Elementary and Washington Jr. Hi.

Spent about 1 week a summer for about 12 years at Hartland Christian Camp.

In addition to church camp, my family enjoyed camping at Shaver Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.














I was fortunate to attend Immanuel High School in Reedley where I had great friends, a quality education and discovered a love for choral music. So I pursued a Music Education and Music Theory degree at Azusa Pacific University
in Southern California. There I received an outstanding education in the field of Choral Conducting. I also met my wife, Jill Klassen, with whom I share another amazing "small world" story, which I'll wait and blog about another time. I remained a student at Azusa Pacific University from 1985 until Dec. 1994. In that time, in addition to my B.A., I received my Single Subject Credential in Music and my M.A. in Music with an emphasis in Conducting.
During my senior year of college I served at Montebello First Baptist Church as their music director. this was my first job outside of working on the farm that I grew up on.

The summer of 1989 I worked a second job, part time, at Wynn Oil to earn money for our upcoming marriage and honeymoon. I also began a 10 year career as Worship Pastor at Whittier Hills Baptist Church. We made our first home in Azusa, then moved to La Mirada, then Whittier and finally landing in La Habra before leaving Southern California in 2005.
In 1989 I did a semester of student teaching at Nogalas High in La Puente and then took a position at Western Christian High School in Covina as the Choral Music Director, where I taught for 5 years.

Upon leaving Church work in 1999 I worked at Rose Hills Memorial Park. This started a stint of several job changes. I worked for American Uniframe and then Superior Building Products where I sold Screen Doors.
It will be interesting to see if any of you find "small world" connections with anything I have shared in this post.
Until I'm inspired again...Goodnight.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grandpa and Me




Today is the 4 year anniversary of my Grandpa's death. He was 91 and really healthy. He was taking Grandma, whom he was caring for in their home, to the eye doctor when he missed his turn, pulled to the right to then make a U-turn and pulled out in front of a car. He hit the side windshield. When the ambulance arrived he told the paramedics that he didn't want to go to the hospital, but when he layed down on the stretcher he soon lost conciousness and never regained it. Apparently he had bleeding in his brain and was too old to operate to relieve the pressure.

I came to the hospital the next day and pinched his big toes, told him to wake up, told him I still had things to ask him. Realizing that it wasn't going to happen, I told him I was OK if he wanted to go Home. I know it's not all about me. But he was once my best friend and I wanted him to know I was OK.

Grandpa was born in a farm house which I believe was built by his father. He grew up to farm the same land that his father farmed and that now my father and brother farm. Grandpa lost his dad and had to help his family survive. He never failed to work hard. He also gave of himself for his church, for his God and for others around him.

He loved his 2 kids and his wife and gave them a wonderful life. I was Grandpa's first granchild. He loved to play and tease and love on me in ways I can't even remember. But I remember that he taught me to fish. I remember that he helped me learn to do some work on the farm and in the shop. I remember that he helped me process some of my understanding of theology. I remember that he fostered my love for Southern Gospel music.
I used to go to Grandpa's and perform magic shows. I used to invite him to every music program, hit him up for every fundraiser, show him all of my accomplishments. There were a few times when I chose to go to Grandpa and tell him my failures. I always remember him being proud of me. Even when I failed he saw the good in me, pointed out the best about me and reminded me that it is in God's power that I move forward and make changes where I need to.
I wish I could still ask him questions. I wish I could still share my dreams with him. I wish I could still tell him my hurts and failures. I wish I could still fish with him. Life was so much richer when I was with him. I am so much richer having been a part of his life.
I hope that when my grandkids write on the 4th anniversary of my death that they can say half of the things about me that I can say about him.
I wish you knew him too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Navigating New Waters

I thought the decade of being 30 was tough. It was. No doubt about it. What I was hoping was that the decade of being 40 would be easier. It's not. Darn it. Can you believe I have actually thought about the 50's and 60's and realized it's closer than ever?!

Now I'm not like some people I know who acted and talked like they were old when they were 37 or so. I'm doing things people who are young do. I even thought about water skiing today and how I want to do it again next summer. I want to keep shooting hoops with my son. I want to camp and not be miserable while I do it. I'll leave the marathons for others. No need for me to go overboard.

But really, I like slip-on shoes now. They're easier to get on. I don't want to eat differently or exercise. I know I should, but I just don't want to. Things hurt that shouldn't hurt. I'm wearing glasses while I type this.

That not even what I really meant to talk about when I titled this post "navigating new waters" in my 40's. It just seems like there are so many new issues and ideas to work through. I have a daughter contemplating college and it's less than 2 years away now. I have a 13 year old boy who no longer wants to live with mom and dad for the rest of his life. He is actually thinking about several career choices. I have a 6 year old who doesn't need me to read things to her anymore. She can learn and discover all on her own. She remembers important details. She uses logic better than some teens. How do I navigate all of that?

And then there are the changing relationships. How to navigate that...Are the rules changing? Did I miss something? Why does connecting seem harder? What's going on? Why do people seem to have less time? How come we're not invited to dinner?
Now our country is navigating new waters as well. Tonight I watched part of the 1992 Debates between George Bush Sr., Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton. One member of the audience asked when the candidates thought a minority or a woman would be on the ticket. My daughter jumped up and yelled at the TV "18 years...It will be in 18 years!" This is a historic time for our country and we can all have a part in that. Well, as long as you are 18 and a registered voter.
I am just so grateful that I don't have to walk alone. It doesn't mean that I don't attempt to walk alone more often than I care to reveal. I think we all struggle with that. But there were times in my 30's when I could have choosen to walk alone. Instead I grabbed hold of the Hand that was always reaching for me. As I reflect, there were those times in my 20's and in my teens too. So navigating the 40's...
Are you reaching for the Hand that is being offered to you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

What if...

I am having a good time reading the few blogs I look at each day. Today I read one written by the Jr. Hi. Pastor at our church. He took the time to point out that amidst the economic "crisis" we are experiencing we still have running water, electricity, over 95% of us have jobs, food and freedom and choice, etc. You should check out http://godside.livejournal.com/.

It is absolutely true that we are rich beyond measure compared to much of the world we live in. But what if we lost access to our available cash tomorrow? Wait, let me phrase that better...What if YOU lost access to your available cash tomorrow? What if you could no longer purchase fuel for your vehicles? What if on Thursday your electricity, gas and water was shut off? What if men with guns began threatening your family regularly? What if your place of business shut it's doors tomorrow? What if grocery stores were looted and shelves were emptied? What if fire and rescue failed to perform their function in your city? What if the government began making decisions about things that you were accustom to deciding?

Maybe I'm alone, but I wonder about these things. Not because I think I deserve the vast richness that I enjoy as an American. I wonder because I am used to this life. I don't know what another type of existence is like. I only visited Mexico for a day. I only passed through a small portion of the Middle East. All is know is middle class West Coast America. I wonder what it would be like if all we are used were to go away.

I asked a friend what she thought about the House stopping the bailout today. Her immediate comment was "I don't worry about it. I've got God." Her response was quick and sure. She went on to say "I gave my finances over to him and said 'Good luck with this mess.'"

It is one thing to say I trust God with my finances. It's another thing to truly trust God with my finances and not worry about tomorrow. Now, I'll tell you I have made progress. I'm trusting more today than last year or 5 years ago, or 10 before that. However, I still have a long ways to go.

And just because we're Christians does't mean "What if..." couldn't happen to us. Right?

What do you think about when you wonder about the future of our country economically?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random Rambling

Things happen to me.
I think they're funny and weird and probably not interesting. But the beauty of blogging is that I can write them anyway. Things like nearly dropping my medium Diet Dr. Pepper from Carl's Jr. but making an amazing catch. If only it was on video. Or standing at a "Don't Walk" sign, talking on my cell phone, totally missing the "walk" cycle. Or filling the Power Steering resevoir with Stop Leak Break Fluid or something like that. Or holding up the cell phone to my ear for about 2 min. before I realize that we had been disconnected when she said "just a minute." Or taking my Diet Dr. Pepper from yesterday and pouring it into my cup of Diet Dr. Pepper with ice, only to realize that the can I poured from was only water. I had finished the soda and refilled it with water, but I forgot.

If funny things like that have happened to you recently, tell me about them.

News
McCain has suspend his campaign to focus on financial crisis. Looks like Obama will do the same. Or will he? He almost has to. Can Democrats and Republicans truly work together? Is the government action regarding the crisis and their potential bailout just rewarding banks for bad lending, and borrowers for not paying them back? One of my friends thinks so and says "Heckuva system we've got."

Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan likes girls, or does she? Clay Aiken likes men, that is confirmed. Does that surprise you? I'm not upset by that. I'm upset by the fact that he had to try to hide for so long. I don't condone homosexuality. I also do not condone people treating others badly because of certain sins. Plenty of hurtful gossipers are accepted in the Church all the time without repercussions from their actions.

Society
Did you know that at the K-2 Back to School Night the Principal had to ask parents to determine if their child really needed to bring a cell phone to school. Really? K-2? He said he saw a 2nd grader making a call as she got off the bus. Maybe she was calling her broker regarding her investments.

So, thats kinda random and I kinda rambled. If you read this, you should really make a short comment. It's nice to know. The other day I actually got a comment from someone I don't know from somewhere I've never been who actually liked something I said. If you don't like what I said you're welcome to comment too. This is America!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Make A Difference

I think everyone wants to make a difference. I think that desire begins sometime around 8th grade. That is the time one begins to see a bigger world than what is right in front of their nose. It’s when kids begin to think about careers, not because being a fireman looks cool, but because being a fireman will include me in saving others. It’s when kids realize they don’t want to live with mom and dad forever, not because it isn’t good there, but because they can someday have a family of their own to guide and mold and begin to set free.
By 11th grade, one’s focus shifts from the drama of fitting in to the drama of moving on. There are credits to gain. There are applications to complete. There are requirements to fulfill. There are decisions to ponder, savings accounts to build, paths to choose. At the core of these decisions is the desire to make a difference.

For some it is to make a difference in one’s own life. Maybe they want to be richer than their parents. Maybe they want more fame or prestige. But for many it is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Why else would someone choose to complete a teaching degree to teach in a private school rather than become a financial genius in a Fortune 500 company? Please don’t get me wrong. Financial guru’s can make an incredible difference but it’s often a very different process than a teacher in the trenches.

For many years I tried to make a difference in the lives of people. I taught school. I worked in church ministry. My profession involved trying to make a difference. However I missed making a difference in my own life. I neglected my own emotional well-being as well as the emotional well-being of the people closest to me. When I left those familiar professions I struggled with my own identity because it was so wrapped up in “what I did”. My emotional self and the emotions of those around me continued to suffer.

So now, in the 5th decade of my life, I have to make a difference in my own life. I am chin deep in looking at who I am and who I should be. I’m re-learning how to make a difference in the lives of those closest to me. I’m using music to make a difference in the lives of others in ways different from how I did before. Now, my music is being used to help charities impact others.

The hard part of this is that it’s the 5th decade of my life. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I wish I would have spent the right amount of energy when I was young making a difference in my own life. I wish I had built in the emotional and relational strength that truly went deep. I wish I had prepared the parts of me that really count rather than relying on my natural charisma and superficial strengths. So now I am re-thinking and re-learning, re-evaluating and re-focusing.

Why did I blog all of this? I guess just to put it out there that I’ve got a lot of growing to do. I’m giving it a shot. Maybe you have a lot of growing to do and needed to hear that you’re not alone. If you think you don’t have much growing to do, maybe you should look a little closer and check your own honesty.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Do you Google yourself?

I think it’s really strange to see what I have done in my life as I read Google.

-I never knew that I cared about this issue…DON HOFER: “We live in a state today that is in dire need of new housing.”
-I didn’t know I started a company…Don Hofer Construction company profile in Huron, SD.
-I can’t remember starting an account with the Rock Hill Bicycle Club…Don Hofer. Member. Real Name: Donald Hofer; Email: n/a; Account Created: May 4th 2006.
-I don’t even know what this means…Don Hofer" wrote: “The other day our Event Viewer stopped working…”
-I haven’t been Vice President of anything that I recall…Vice President Don Hofer says the state needs such development.
-Apparently I’ve joined an artist colony with these folks…Elizabeth Gawronski, Johanna Hanks, Don Hofer. Marion Hylton, Ruth Ilg, Kate Lagaly, Tora Johnson.
-I’ve studied oil and watercolors with these people…Bill Haney, Bill Christ, Don Hofer, and Inez Gornall.
-I’ve guess I’ve been making people smile…"...Last month brought us the work of Don Hofer from Ludlow, VT, whose pen and ink prints of a variety of domestic and wild animals made us smile."
-I guess I produce wine…DON HOFER – KILER CANYON VINEYARD
-And I don’t recall being a Superintendent…the board asked Beach Superintendent Don Hofer about the use of Old Silver Beach for the wedding.
-I’m just not that good with technology…Donald Hofer IBM Research Division

It is fun to see the real me out there in cyberspace.

Just one voice
About Me. Don Hofer: husband, father, conductor, slowly on The Path, newly converted blogger, not sure why anyone will care. View my complete profile ...voiceofdon.blogspot.com/ - 62k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Don Hofer Facebook
This is Don Hofer's public search listing on Facebook. Don's friends can view photos, videos and more. Everyone can join Facebook.www.facebook.com/people/Don_Hofer/785015483 - 19k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Voices of Hope Choir About Us
Don and Jill Hofer have a story to tell. It is not a story they chose on their own, however it is now theirs to tell: It is a story of how Grace and Hope is ...www.voicesofhopechoir.org/About%20Us.htm - 56k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

California’s Crimson River Quartet Celebrates 10th Anniversary ...
That group, Mission Viejo, CA based Crimson River Quartet, will celebrate ... Joining them will be current member Don Hofer, plus past members Tom Moore, ...sogospelnews.com/index/features/comments/1224/ - 23k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Monday, September 15, 2008

Peace In The Midst of The Storm?!

I think the economy is in a very bad way. Today we saw Lehman Brothers file Chapter 11 and Merrill Lynch sold to Bank of America. AIG is in trouble. This is territory that I have never had to even think about before. The Economist I am listening to is saying “…America is broke…”

Today someone I know went to his bank and took out most of his money, which is a small drop in a very large bucket, but he did so none the less. The reason was rumors of the bank closing as soon as tomorrow. Rumors were substantiated by the board member of a large credit union. Several others who were consulted suggested the way of safety.

My friend isn’t rich. But everything he has was in this one institution. He had no liquid cash savings available for immediate use. It was all in the bank. He didn’t close his accounts, but took most of what he had, out.

My other friend isn’t rich either. But she had College Savings funds in that bank as well as her regular checking and savings. She actually closed her accounts and liquefied everything. She was very freaked out about the rumors of closure.

What I am wondering in all this is the FDIC Insurance on deposits up to $100,000. But how quickly can the Feds get us cash if our financial institution were to close its doors tomorrow. You and I have bills that are due Thursday or Friday or Monday. If your bank is locked, how will those bills get paid? I believe the government assistance would take weeks at the least and months is probably more realistic.

Insiders at the branch told my friends that she has her money there and isn’t moving it. She said she would be worried about losing her job. Yet she also said that she would have nearly as late a notice as any of the clients. One bank employee told my friend he hadn’t even heard the rumors.

Well, in another town in Oregon, over 50 people were lined up pulling their money. The bank had to issue cashier’s check because they ran out of cash. My friend said there was no line at her branch.

This should be an interesting week. I wonder if I can trust God more in the midst of the storm?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oops!

My friend just shared a moving tribute as she remembered the 1 year anniversary of her Grandfather's passing. It prompted me to remember my own Grandpa. He passed away in 2004, and I still think about him often. I had the priviledge of conducting his funeral service. It was amazing to prepare and share stories about his life. He was one of my closest friends. But that is a topic for another blog, probably in October. Today's story takes place months after his funeral, from my first visit to his grave since his burial.
Grandpa Hofer, my dad and I grew up in Central California, about 30 miles south of Fresno. Grandpa was born in his father's farmhouse and lived his entire life within miles of the homestead. It was his Grandfather, I believe, that started the little country church. It was the cemetary that was first installed out of necessity before the sanctuary was even built. My Grandpa laid his parents to rest here as well as he and Grandma's first child. I remember as a young boy peering at this cemetary after church and sometimes even walking in to find the tombstone of the aunt I never knew.

So in this small, rural cemetary, the graves are dug by hand. The sandy soil is too soft to get heavy equipment in. It is carefully dug and a mound of sand is left near the gravesite to be replaced after the mourners have gone. Someone comes in later and fills the sand back in. Due to the sandy soil there are few weeds. The flat ground is marked only by markers placed by family members and occasional flowers left by visitors. When I left the cemetary that October day of Grandpa's funeral, his was still an open grave. I don't recall if his casket had even yet been lowered into the grave. However, I knew that there were others in charge taking care of the finality of his resting place.

My next visit home wasn't until the next summer. If you've never been to Central California in the Summer, it can get hot. Temperatures often reach 100 +. I believe that was the case on this day. One of the things I needed to do that day was visit my Grandpa's grave. I didn't know I would feel the need to do that as strongly as I felt. I knew that is marker had been placed, although not all that long before my visit. I was a little bothered by that, but there were reasons. It wasn't a big deal. It was there now and I wanted to see it. And I wanted to honor his memory and spend some time remembering him.I went alone. This was something for my own personal journey.
I arrived to find a nice fence around the cemetary. A nice improvement over the chain link of the past. As I walked through the gate I looked across the sand and tombstones and could not believe my eyes. There was still a mound where the hole had been. His gravesite was not flat like those around it. I imagined the men had lowered the casket into the grave, used the pile of sand to fill the hole, placed all of the remaining sand on top of the grave and nobody ever returned to flatten out his final resting place to make it look like the rest of the cemetary. I was devistated and angry. Are you kidding me? My Grandpa's gravesite has not been cared for? I was furrious. It felt like he had been dishonored.
I raced back to the farm. One can drive very fast on the country roads. I think the 2 miles to the farm took me about 30 seconds. I pulled up to the barn, grabbed a shovel and rake, threw them into my car and raced back to the cemetary. And on that 100+ degree day I began to shovel sand and throw it to the edge of the cemetary near the fence. And it was a lot of sand. The center of the pile was probably 8 - 10 inches tall the entire length of the gravesite, tapering off to the sides.
I worked hard that day. My Grandpa deserved his final resting place to look finished and well cared for, just like the field he and my dad had worked for so many years before. What did other visitors think of how it looked until now? I worked until that pile of sand was gone, scattered around the perimeter of the cemetary and the site was raked flat. I worked off my displeasure. I did it to honor his memory. I did it so nobody else would have to. And I told no one.
No one until we got to Jill's dad's a few days later. I told him all about arriving and being horrified by the unkept grave. I told him how I sped home, returned with a shovel, broke my back flattening out the mound. And then I noticed the look on his face. It wasn't the look of pleasure that I had done a noble thing. As if his look wasn't enough I then heard the words "Oh, Don..." The horror I felt arriving at the cemetary was now overshadowed by the horror I began to feel as Jill's dad proceeded to tell me how little country cemetary graves work. Apparently, once the grave is filled in, time and weather take it's toll. When sand absorbs rain it becomes heavier. The weight of the wet sand compresses the sand below it, sometimes even collapsing the casket below. So, to compensate for the compression that will take place over the first year or two, A MOUND IS LEFT ON THE GRAVESITE and as the ground settles it flattens out.
Horror. What had I done? Now, instead of a nice, flat, respectable looking gravesite, Grandpa's will have a cave in and will look horrible. Someone will have to find sand and fill in the holes, continue to come back time and time again to fill holes as the ground compresses. Someone's going to be upset.
Well, I don't know what you would do from 300 miles away. I called my brother, asked him to call the cemetary caretaker, ask some question, check from time to time and see how it looks and take care of it. And yes, about a year ago I told my dad what I did to Grandpa's grave. Oops!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Flying High and Flying Free

I have experienced what relatively few parents experience in their lifetime. A the age of 41 I was able to ride in an airplane that was being flown by my 13 year old son. Before you get to be too impressed you need to know that he has had no lessons and I'm not sure what all the pilot was doing to help, but I know Jordan's hands were the only hands on the wheel for a good, long time.
That experience brings to the forefront of my mind the fact that as a parent one of my greatest desires is to see my kids soar - to see them fly high and fly free. There is nothing like watching my daughter, now an upperclassman relate to other students, instructors, adults, everyone around her. There is nothing like listening to her ideas, hopes and dreams and wanting her to soar. There is nothing like taking a teachable moment and reminding her that "you have what it takes."
I'm seeing the same things in my so, in his last year of middle school. His mind and heart is conflicted as to whether he is a kid or a teen and his actions are conflicted as to whether to act as a kid or a teen. (Yes, there is a difference.) He's been a WEB Leader (Welcome EveryBody) at his school, showing 6th graders the ropes. He's also expressed his desire to get all A's this year. And I've got to take the teachable moments to fill his mind with the fact that "he has what it takes."
Grace already knows she has what it takes. At least it appears she does. She rode her bike about 6 miles today with Jill and Jordan, doing as well or better than Jill, so I'm told. Yes, I was home on the couch. lol. When do the experiences come that eat away at the passion in a child's heart and mind that steals the notion that "she has what it takes." May it never be lost!
So, on I go. Plodding through life, trying to make my way. Still I wonder "do I have what it takes?" I know I still have a lot of changing to do. I know I still have a lot of wisdom to gain. I know I still have a lot of challenges to face. Yet, at this moment in my life, what I really desire is to watch my kids fly high and fly free. Each of them are at different stages of flight, but each of them are on their way.
Oh, by the way, as Jill and Grace and I sat in the back of the plane Jordan gave up the co-pilot seat to Ashley. In the dark of night, Ashley lined up the plane for the runway and had her hands on the wheel as the plane landed. Grace begged to fly it herself. My guess is she would have demanded to control the throttle as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Proof Reading and other bits of stuff

I never proof read. It always embarasses me. Never did rough drafts in school. Didn't want to waste the time. "Don't let homework interferre with your social life." That was my college mantra. So laugh at me all you want. Wonder how I got a Master's Degree. Believe me, so do I...every day.
This campaign better become about issues soon. McCain is the candidate. It's just about time to move on. I wonder what Abe Lincoln thinks about the Convention. Did you see him there?
If you haven't sung in the Sunset Choir, you really should think about it. The music selections are great. The director is hot.
Am I supposed to be numbering these?
Don't you hate when ideas and concepts you are questioning are later confirmed by someone else who had no idea you were already considering those ideas and concepts.
Do you always use "?'s" and ".'s" in the right place?.
This is not at all interesting like Tyler's lists in his blog. (But maybe you are laughing.)
It is always enjoyable to have someone around you who is excited about the same things as you are. Tom Davis is my new friend. I'm learning to know him more because he decided to join Voices of Hope Choir. He's got to be as excited about the group as I am. It is likely for different reasons, but it is inspiring. You know, leaders need to be inspired too. Yes, one of their roles is to inspire, but we need to remember that leaders need to be lifted up, encourged, valued and that valued expressed to them. Are you giving enough "at a boy's?"
I hope you comment on the blogs you read. I hear the writers like that. Even if it's a few words.
By the way, I didn't proof this blog.
Sorry.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What I Do, Not Who I Am

I'm surprised when people I've known for awhile ask me what I do for work. It used to be that I didn't really know anyone who didn't know what I did. I was a High School Choir Director for 5 years and a Music Pastor for 10 years. Having come from a Christian University and a Christian High School before that I was pretty well in a bubble. I feel into the trap of "what I did is who I was."
There were great times during those 10 years. There were also many personal challenges that I failed to meet successfully. In 1999 I left church ministry and searched for work in the "real" world. After painting our rental house I knew I wasn't pursing painting or construction or any career with ladders, buckets, brushes or hammers.
So I spent 2 weeks of paid training at Rose Hills Memorial Park, the largest cemetery in S. Cal. I spent weeks making phone calls to unsuspecting people asking if they would like to purchase cemetery property. I even spent weeks stuffing envelopes.
That part of the funeral business was killing me so I transitioned to a company that sold and distributed window screen material and screen doors to installers. I loaded a truck each morning, drove all over 4 counties in S. Cal. selling all the parts and pieces that are keeping the bugs out of your house when your windows are open. When my employer closed his business he hooked me up with one of the largest S. Cal. manufacturers to do sales for them. I was able to get out of the truck and into a car doing sales. For 4 more years I sold things I really didn't care about and didn't know how to install. I would get pages on my pager (remember those) that said 9-1-1. An emergency over a screen door just didn't compute for me.
So how does a Choir Director's resume translate to a "real" world job when you don't want to teach school? Not a whole lot of opportunity.
I have found a career that I really do like. I moved to Oregon in 2005 and became licensed to sell Home and Auto Insurance. In the Insurance field I found I could use many of my ministry skills in listening to people, understanding their needs and helping them with things that they truly need. While I am still selling what seems like a commodity in theses times, it is something that people truly need, that helps them, that they need to be advised on and need someone they can trust and rely on to serve them.
While I am excited to see an increase in business each year I continue, it has been a slower start than I anticipated. I do enjoy the work and enjoy meeting people for every walk of life. I also like the fact that Insurance is only what I do, it's not who I am.
That said, I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about me. If I can serve you by reviewing your current insurance coverage and seeing if I can be sure your assets are adequately covered and possibly save you money, I would love to talk to you. Call me at 503.692.4595 x16.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cop In The Rear View Mirror

If your driving record is like mine you spend a lot of time looking in your rear view mirror for law enforcement. My driving record makes it quite ironic that I work in the Auto Insurance industry. But more on that in another blog.
Recently I was stopped at an intersection ready to make a legal right turn. I was getting ready to proceed, took a quick glance in my rear view mirror to see one of Tualatin's finest behind me. I looked up to see a pedestrian entering the crosswalk on the other side of the the street I'm turning onto. Thinking that if he's in the crosswalk at all I need to wait until he finishes he Sunday Stroll, I did NOT proceed, but stayed there anticipating the turn I would eventually be making. In the very next moment I feel a stiff and unexpected jolt from behind. You guessed it, the officer rear-ended me.
I made the turn, pulled into the next parking lot, which happened to be in front of my insurance office. You may think the details of this encounter are already pretty funny, but I assure you, they get better. The officer and his partner are embarrassed. They asked if I was OK and checked to see if there was any damage on my car, which there was not. The protocol required an outside agency to come and make a report and so we had to wait quite a while until the State Trooper could come and confirm the details of the embarrassment to the officer.
It was during that wait that I asked the officer that was behind the wheel how long he had been with the Tualatin Police force. He proceeded to hold up his index finger. This was his FIRST day in the field. The "partner" was his training officer who was already giving him a hard time. Imagine what would be taking place when he returned to the station later that afternoon. In fact, you can bet this event will be talked about at his retirement party someday in the future.
It finally feels so good to have THEM owe me one for once.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How will he pay for it?

I was shocked today. I insure people from many different walks of life. Some of them have come to this wonderful country to have a better life. Many of them are hard workers and contribe to the community and thus help America to be what it is.
However, in the process of discovering who lives with my insured, I found out that he and the six other people that live in his Portland apartment pay NO rent. The $875 a month is paid by a government agency. The ENTIRE monthly rent.
How do I get my housing paid for? How many other people get their entire housing paid for each month? Who is paying for that?...Oh...
I liked the sound bites I heard of Obama's speach. I like the things he wants to do. I think he's a wise enough man to surround himself with a wise cabinet and so I'm not worried about his inexperience.
What worries me is the question: "How will he pay for it?" Bigger government is not something I am in favor of. Paying higher taxes is not something that I can afford. (see previous blog)
So one might think the "rich" can afford higher taxes. Obama said the if you make $250,000 a year you are "rich." I spoke to someone this morning who's income was $250,000 on his 2007 tax return. However, he is a business owner with under 6 years of time in business. He's newly married with a blended family and currently has 3 homes, 2 of which he is trying to sell in this struggling market. If his taxes are raised 10% he will definitely have to make changes in his business, meaning implimenting layoffs, which will add to unemployment. Other ramifications to higher taxes will be higher prices to compensate for higher expenses. That makes things difficult for consumers and hurts the economy.
I'm not very deep into politics, nor do I claim to understand economics. I do know that in order to accomplish what Obama promises to accomplish things will need to be paid for.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama McCain

Mike Dukakis said of President Bush "This is the worst President in my lifetime." Many of you know exactly how you would respond to that statement. I think time tends to actually define the legacy of a President. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know. Here is what I do know:
- I am I a bad way economically.
- My home has lost value since I purchased it just like the homes of many Americans.
- Health Insurance eats up over 1/6 th of my monthly paycheck.
- Health Insurance went up $70 a month for me and my family in the last 6 months.
- Gasoline in a current necessity and it's price contributes to the bad way I am in financially.
- More and more people I speak with are out of work and having a hard time finding work.
- Budget constraints are making a greater impact on my children's education than ever before.
- Men and women are losing their lives in battles for things we don't fully understand.
- Others are coming back from foreign lands and not treated for difficulties they are experiencing.
- I was so hot last weekend I wanted to die. We gotta do something about this global warming.

Can one man, Republican or Democrat, Black or White, young or old, experienced or not, can one man fix all those things for me? I hope so, cause a lot of money has been spent to convince Americans that such is the case. I wonder what that money would have done for education in America or for health care or to care for returning soldiers.
My head spins from the "spin." My ears ring from the bashing back and forth. I'm not sure America doesn't need a makeover of parts of the election process.

What will I do on the first Tuesday of November?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Proof!

No more Olympic games. Now it's back to educational TV, or Lifetime, which I will admit I watch. Didn't it used to be called "Lifetime FOR WOMEN"? I'm glad that's changed. I don't need another complex.
Anyway...I'm watching some guy trying to find proof of the NOAH FLOOD Story. He's trying to see if there is proof that the earth was underwater. Here is what I find humerous about what I am watching. He's is looking in an 8,000 year old village that, get this, IS NOW UNDER WATER. And after diving, he decides he has NOT found proof.
After you are done laughing, I will say he was hoping to prove a giant Suname caused the flood.
One of our customers commented as she left how funny it is that we continue to question if God is really with us or not. Maybe we're looking for proof in a village that is, indeed, flooded. Maybe God is actually with me every moment and as I think I'm looking for Him, I'm actually seeing Him but I'm too blind to see Him.
Oh, my counselor would say "Maybe? Not "Maybe". Definitely!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Healer

Today I heard a message on GRACE. The speaker mentioned that Christians have lost 70% credibility in the last 10 years among people 30 and younger. I've thought about the attitudes of Christians alot in the recent days as I'v thought about the upcoming election. I think it's funny how Conservatives hate that Liberals are always bashing them. Yet they are quick to bash Liberals. Both sides of the spectrum are quick to shed bad light on the other, not on the issues alone but on people and their actions and character. What I can't get a grip on is our ability to truely "know" any politicians. Most of the average Americans don't know these politicians or people who know the politicians. So we can listen to CNN on one side or FOX on the other We can read publications and blogs. What I do not see too much is in relation to these people (yes, politicians are people) is GRACE. Instead we draw conclusions about Presidents and candidates based on what we think we know. And bashing and judgemental attitudes continue to erode our credibility to a world around us.
That leads me to the title of the blog, "Healer". By now you probably know that what the composer of this moving worship song told us as back story for the song was a fabrication, given to keep from exposing his true pain and disease. So we can decide to judge his actions and character though we probably don't know him or anyone who knows him. Or we can extend GRACE.
One of my former pastors once said "Judgement is getting what I deserve. Mercy is not getting what I deserve. GRACE is NOT getting what I deserve. I dare you to extend to him the measure of grace you would wish to receive were you in his shoes. Truth be told, maybe you should be in his shoes. It may not be similar circumstances, but pain is pain, disease is disease, sin is sin. And regardless of how we as humans might want to fix every problem, lessen every pain and cure every disease, God is the healer. "For by GRACE we have been saved...and that not of ourselves. It is a gift of God..." Eph. 2.
So here are the lyrics to "Healer." Regardless of the back story, my guess is that they come from his heart, that they are his prayer, that they will ring true and that they are true for you and me.
You're my Healer
You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You I trust in You
I believe You're my Healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You're my Portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus You're all I need
My Healer, You're my Healer
Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands

Music and lyrics by Mike Guglielmucci © 2006 Planetshakers Publishing

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Portland Cityfest

Against my better judgement, I took my kids to Portland Cityfest today. Jill's mom used to live by the philosophy that goes something like this: If it's a holiday or if there is some big event happening at the park, etc. one should stay home because the whole world will probably be there.
Now I have thought that one probably misses out on a great deal if they live by this philosophy, yet I have subscribed from time to time. When in London on New Year's Eve I stayed in my hotel room because "everyone would be at Trafalgar Square."
Well, EVERYONE was at Waterfront Park in Portand today for Cityfest. We arrived to find the only seats available to see the skateboard/BMX exhibition were in the blazing sun. Oh yes, Portland had blazing sun today. Not overcast skys like we have 300 + days a year.
I can't tell you how many times Grace was nearly trampled by big men with "I Love Jesus" T-shirts, or mamma's pushing their 2 week old in a stroller. Oh, I probably saw you there from a far, but there was NO way to get to you to say hi.
We pushed our way up through the crowd, after spending $25 on hotdogs, and we got about 30 feet from the stage. Good place to stand for the concert. Unless you are 6 years old and short. I finally decided that she would not have a good time looking at Ashley's back. So I let Ashley and Jordan stay there to enjoy Hawk Nelson.
That was fine until Ashley called my phone and said she was sick and Jordan walked ahead of her and was now lost. That lasted only a few minutes, the lost part. But Ashley was nearly escorted into an ambulance. I found her backstage with a paramedic with ice on her neck and several bottles of water.
Oh yea, Cityfest...too hot, too many people, terrible crowd control. We did see several hundred people make a commitment to Christ during the BMX show. "All things to all men..."
Next year, my spot at Cityfest will be left open for an unsaved person to hear the gospel.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Knew It..!

Nobody cares...I wrote 2 blogs and got NO comments. Never mind that I only informed 1 person that I was blogging. I'm just kidding. So am I supposed to inform everybody I know that I blog. Or does one turn into two, turns into four, turns into eight, turns into 16, turns into 32, and so on?
I suppose I could blog about why I reorganized my garage tonight, cause there are reasons.
I suppose I could blog about meeting a friend at Red Robin and seeing most of the music staff there.
I suppose I could blog about The Shack or Obama vs. McCain, or strange customers who predict tat I'm going to die in 2 years...But I'm still not sure anyone cares, so I'll just start here.
Brian Clay, graduate of Azusa Pacific Univ., the same small Christian university that Jill and I graduated from, just won the Gold in the Decathalon. He is now "The World's Greatest Athlete". I love the "6 Degrees of Seperation" theory and now I am even less than 6 degrees from another Olympic Gold Medalist.
...if anyone cares.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Conductor? Me?

I recently came across some photos that were doctored to be something unbelievable. Some are gulible enough to believe anything they see on the Internet. Many of them also believe Al Gore started the whole thing. I digress...
If you look closely at the photo on my blog page, you might believe that I conduct an infant choir. Look carefully past the music stand and you will see a baby in a stroller. This photo has NOT been Photoshopped. However, I do not conduct an infant choir.
I am the conductor of Voices of Hope Choir, a community choir I started in Tualatin. Voices of Hope Choir is a non-profit group who's purpose is to perform benefit concerts to raise money for charities. We are non-denominational and in fact do not require members to prescribe to a specific faith. However we sing Christian music in addition to a variety of other styles from Classical to Patriotic, Broadway to Spirituals. Our member range from 16 to 70.
You can find us at www.voicesofhopechoir.org or e-mail questions to info@voicesofhopechoir.org.

Why I'm Blogging Now

10. Nothing else to do while watching Olympic Men's Beach Volleyball.

9. My mind feels overloaded. Maybe I can free up some space by downloading to a blog.

8. Those I don't get to talk to might find interest in the fact that I do have thoughts worth sharing.

7. I can be funny. Funny can be entertaining. Entertainment might attract readers. Thus, I blog.

6. I can be deep. Deep can be interesting. Interesting might attract readers. Thus, I blog.

5. I just saw a beautiful woman cleaning a Salmon...all on a blog. That was cool. Someone might learn something about me from this blog. That would be cool.

4. Until now I have said "who really cares?" I'd like to prove or disprove my theory.

3. Did I say there wasn't anything else to do while watching the Olympics?

2. My talented, intensely passionate wife is blogging.

1. Because I can.