Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I love being the hero that can make "IT" all better...
I love brushing off scrapes and boo boos.
I love walking hand and hand...

I love hearing "how was your day at work dad?"
I love tucking in at night.
I love praying for bad dreams to go away
I love giving "Piggy back rides"
I love tickle wars!!!!
I love tea parties!!!!

I love answering WHY, WHAT, WHO questions.
I love telling once upon time stories.
I love saying... "YOU LOOK SO PRETTY!!!"

I love being the KING
I love hearing "DADDY!!!"
I love a being dad.

Thanks for reading

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain, Rain....

If April Showers bring May flowers, what do end of March showers do?

Sometimes I have to admit that I enjoy rainy days (unless I am driving somewhere).
Today here in Baltimore MD it has been like a day at Niagara Falls: VERY MISTY...
I find myself enjoying the small things are rainy/misty days.
Like the way rain cleans the air, ground, running water.

I have a friend that once had this thought:
"God allows for the rain at the beginning of Spring because He wants to wash away all the dirt, and filth that has been around for the entire winter."
He had this 'vision' from God of a running river and God was causing the rain to push the garbage and junk down stream...

I think I agree with that... Sometimes I feel like God is 'pouring' His grace into my life in order to push the garbage and junk out.
"Father please continue to pour out Your grace
Wash away all the doesn't please you."

Please enjoy the pictures and the little things in life:

thanks for reading
~ Justin

Friday, March 26, 2010


Tomorrow I have a major paper due for my school.

To most people a 12 page isn't a big deal and normally I would agree but this paper was a subject very dear to my heart: "Mentoring" and therefore it was difficult to get the knowledge out of my head onto the paper. It didn't help that I have been suffering major writer's block.
Anyway, I wanted to share with my blog buddies my accomplishment.

The paper is suppose to be about some experience that I have been through and how it applies to a new endeavor that I am currently in. So I wrote about mentoring and how is the useful too of youth ministry.

For those of you who don't know I was youth pastor (currently I am still a youth pastor technically speaking) for past 8 years or so. I was also a residential counselor for a troubled boys home in Bath, NY. So I drew upon those experiences and wrote about being a mentor. I wrote about taking the "things" that happened in my and allowing God to use them for the good of both myself and those around me.

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When I am open, honest and practice what I preach, I am able to show that God is really our Father and He is the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). It is estimated that 85% of teenagers who are in prison never had a father while growing up. This leads me to believe that it is my job to seek and find these young men who are without a father figure in their lives and provide them with a stable and safe environment for them to learn in.

I read an article on about orphan elephants that grew up without their mother because of poaching for ivory. These elephants were causing major damage to other wildlife and human beings around them. The orphanage realized that the orphan elephants needed a mature elephant to show “ the rights and wrongs of an elephant”

The article states:

"Without an adult role model, there is no example of love, of setting limits and discipline. And that’s one of the reasons that things go wrong."

I have found it the same with the youth today that I am working with. Many of them do not have a stable family or a family at all in order to show them right from wrong. The real issue that I am finding is that many of these teens are having families of their own. How are they going to raise a young one without the knowledge of right or wrong being passed down to them? This is the role that I am currently fulfilling. This leads me to feel like I am “a substitute parent”. If I am not there to show them how to “live” who will? If I do not allow God to use the experiences of my life to share His goodness and faithfulness then these young man will never be able to reach their full potential.

In the processes of writing this paper someone very special in my churches congregation passed away. Well, I have realized that a young man that lost his "Mature Elephant".

In the fall of 2006 I lost my father very suddenly to colon cancer. In the year to follow I found myself asking God, ‘why did You take my dad away’. Well, within the last two months God has been opening opportunities for to share His faithfulness and mercy with those who have also lost a father or someone in that role of their life. Now I know that is not the entire reason why my dad died and I am pretty sure that I will never know the entire reason why my father is gone. I know that God is using that experience in my life to shine into others a little hope and love.

In his book "To Own A Dragon" Donald Miller (pg 91.) explains how he learned that pilots who are flying across the country are constantly in communication with one another about the weather and the air that the next pilot can expect. One pilot who is about a hour ahead we explain what they went through and then they will contact someone ahead of them in order to find out what to expect. This to me is what mentoring is all about:
We all need someone who has "been there and done that" and is willing to share with us what to expect. We also need to be the person who has "been there and done that" and share it with someone who needs to know what to expect.

Well, I wanted to write here is that we may never fully understand why God does/or allows things to happen to us. What we need to understand is that God's grace and faithfulness is more than enough for whatever situation we find ourselves in. Then once we are on the other side of the troubled water we can share with ours who are suffering the same loss and hurt that we went through. Please if you are struggling or hurting do not keep to yourself. Find someone who can listen, relate, and offer a helping hand.

Below are some photos that I found: One of my nephew Jonah and his dad (my brother) the rest of my dad, my daughter and I:

Well thanks for reading

PS. Pick the book to "Own a Dragon or Father Fiction" by Donald Miller!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here in Maryland the weather has been amazing this week. Yesterday I left work a little earlier in order to get home and enjoy it with my family. While my daughters, the dogs, and I were running around and playing in the backyard; my wife made a wonderful meal. Lamb chops, Mash-potatoes, and carrots... MAN I LOVE SPRING. (I know that technically spring starts on Saturday)
Now that the weather is getting nicer I am finding it more and more difficult not be home with my family. Please take some time and love on the ones you love!!!
Please enjoy some of the photos that I took yesterday!

This Abby and Coco playing fetch!

Abby and Madi play fetch!
Watson and Coco playing fetch!
Someone is turning out to be not very good at sharing
When Abby was this age we have a photo that she looks like this in.
She reminds me of Huck Fin here!
Take it easy and enjoy the day!!!!

Thanks for reading