Friday, March 31, 2006

Don't say I never gave you anything. I love this stupid site. My favorites are: Blueprint, any of the BMX games, and Eagle Eye. Good luck. - Play Online Games

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Flickr! update

that straw is not is crazy! so jacinda and i just heard this horror story about myspace and flickr. some good friends of ours had the flickr account and the whole myspace thing. his younger sister had a myspace. some dude that she apparently turned down in high school created this porn site with pictures of her from all of the above mentioned sites infused with real porn pictures that he must have found on the net. fact: she is not a porn star. fact: she didn't have any provocative pictures on the net. this guy infused her normal pics with porn to make it look as if all the pictures were her. pretty crazy hugh! so, needless to say, i will still put pictures on my posts, but as far as my flickr photo albums, they will be limited to private members (friends and family). if you need a password to my accounts, email me and i will send you an invite. thanks for understanding and i hope this protects us a little! also, i dumped myspace along time ago, and i know that it is fun, but there is a lot of crap out there on myspace and a lot of crap happening because of myspace.

What's in a name?

here's the poster for the concert we went to the other night. okay, "nuke infusion" was the name of the band we went to go see. the lead singer/guitar player is phil harvey, which happens to be jacinda's uncle. we always think it is kind of weird that he is our uncle, when he is only a couple years older than us. here is a great picture of mr. phil. please disregard jacinda's step-brother's hand in the background. i had never been to club fred before and let me tell, was quality. it reminded me of vegas and it was so dark, the walls could've been painted bright green and i couldn't tell. one more pic of phil rocking out. it was a fun show. phil was actually pretty rockin'. i really liked the songs that he sung on and kind of lead. i'd pay just to go see all of jacinda's family dancing again. i should post the picture of ty dancing, but, oh what the heck...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Brain Freeze!

last night i led worship for the men's dinner at our church. i do this every month. sometimes it's really good, others i feel kind of out of place. it's a bunch of great guys, but i bring the average age down pretty significantly when i'm there. anyway, i skipped out early to tend to my pregnant wife and her tcby needs. tcby stands for "the country's best yogurt". it's a little frozen yogurt shop near our home and when my wife is pregnant, she craves it like no other. so i picked up the standard order, white chocolate mousse with reese's peanut butter cups and took it home. kiara, my daughter, was tearing into it, we were all just chillin on the couch listening to some rich mullins, when kiara just starts crying. we thought she bit her lip or something. she starts eating again all happy, then boom! crying again. she was eating the yogurt too fast and was getting a brain freeze. it was one of those times when you feel bad that your kid is hurting, but jacinda and i were cracking up! by the way, major prayers needed today. i will be calling a guy who used to work here who for some reason feels wronged by me. because of this, my business deal is not going through. so, today i will call him, try to see how i offended him, and apologize. honestly, to get this deal to go through i would turn the other cheek twice!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cool Pic

here is something to brighten up your monday morning. my brother sent me this pic. it looks like it might be a t-shirt. i think i might have seen it before. crazy, but good weekend. tgi friday's (lots of flare) and cold-stone creamery with jacinda's sister and boyfriend pete. it was a lot of fun. we actually had planned on going bowling, you know, something that you can do to pass the time and still feel like you're hanging out with someone, but when we got there it was an hour wait. for bowling! so, we decided we were actually enjoying each other's company so we hit cold stone and ate our ice cream outside with live music playing at the mexican restaurant a couple doors down. saturday, no snowboarding. stayed home and glad i did. it dumped slush at a very speedy rate. heard it wasn't too good, so maybe next time. saturday night was emma's 26th birthday. we gave her a little birthday greeting from her native land, romania. yesht o persoana day notah zeh-chey. la mults ahn! don't ask, i don't remember. sunday, I was sick with stomach issues, kissed the porcelain throne a couple times, missed church, went to a baby shower, ate alfredo, big mistake, spent the rest of the day on the couch. oh, work update. nothing yet. all the important players are back in town, so hopefully we'll see something good happen this week. by the grace of god!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Great quote

this is brennan manning's new book. manning has written several other great books including, "the ragamuffin gospel", "abba's child", and a devotional that i am currently using, "reflections for ragamuffins". i haven't read this book, but i'm putting it on my list. also, if you haven't noticed, i'm trying the whole, lower case lettering thing. it's so much easier and faster. plus, i think it looks cool. i found this quote from the book on church marketing sucks : Heightened by what someone has called "the agnosticism of inattention"--the lack of personal discipline to overcome media bombardment, sterile conversation, and utilitarian relationships--our self-awareness grows dim, the presence of a loving God fades into the distance and the possibility of trust and intimacy seems less plausible. ...But so many of the things we do in our solitary moments have nothing to do with the Spirit or with the living will of God. Bothered by this dichotomy, we plunge into spiritual activities and get involved in church-related organizations and events in an effort to fill the empty space we know needs filling. Disciplined to renounce managerial control of our lives and unwilling to run the risk of living in union with Yahweh, we seek personal security and reassurance in rituals, devotions, liturgies, and prayer meetings. These structures provide a modicum of peace and promise that the comfortable piety and material possessions that constitute the sense of self will not be disturbed. But something is missing. end of quote. it is so true. blake talked on thurday night about how jesus is not in the building. the church building is not christ, his people, us, we are the church. so why do so many people pride themselves on going to three different churches, bible studies, prayer nights, worship bonfires, christian hoe-downs, full-moon festivals...i think you get the reference. the body of christ, our local body, needs to be poured into, to be nourished, to be made whole. this might not be a problem in your town, but for fresno, the college and young adult population at large is church hopping to see which one feeds them the best, which one has cooler people, which one has better worship, it really ticks me off. sometimes i just want to yell at them: just commit to something! stop being tossed from here to there and plant your roots by one stream, and build up the church body that is there.

Testing God

I will be testing the Lord's hedge of protection tomorrow. I'm hittin the slopes with a group of friends. One of the guys is renting those little trickster skis and the rest of us should be boarding. Is there an age or maturity level at which you shouldn't snowboard anymore? I think it's going to come down to a physical thing I think. Have you ever just bit it flying down the mountain on a board? Guys, it hurts. Not just because you're losing skin from the sharp snow, but because your feet are locked in to this board that is flying out of control. It's really brutal on the knees and ankles. But, I barely ever really wipe out these days. This is due in large part to the avoidance of risk. Just cruisin down the slopes is what I love best. Worship went awesome last night. Jacinda and I sang a new song by Charlie Hall called, "You". If you don't have this album already, go check it out. I got a link on the right. It's called, "flying into daybreak".

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Heaven from the oven

Today we are celebrating one of the sales assistants that I work with's birthday. I went and got some bread from our local Great Harvest Bread Company. It was fresh out of the oven at 6:45 and it is a cinnamon raisin swirl. But this isn't just some store bought bread, this stuff is gooey and mmm, good. I highly recommend it. See if there is one of these stores by you. Click HERE.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Finding My Rest

Well, no answers yet, but I am able to function now. When I heard that my business deal was halting, my heart sank. With the comments from my wife, brother, and other believers here at work, I am feeling the love. I was telling Jacinda last night how I was telling God, "just give me that joy". You know, that joy that even though things aren't the way you want them, you still can say, "praise God". So, I just talked to the Lord. We had a little pow-wow which was basically me just learning to stop moving and just shut up. God is amazing like that. I don't know what I would do with all of life's problems if I didn't have a counselor that resides in me. You could talk to friends or family, but still "He is closer than a brother". Thanks for all the emails and comments, keep praying for the situation, but just know, I'm taken care of.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Peace, Be Still

Proverbs 19:23 - The Fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied. This is kind of a different post for me. The bomb got dropped on me yesterday. The big business deal I've been working on for the last month has hit a road block. It could still go through, and I am praying my heart out that it will, but this is a big hurdle we just hit. I am just trying to rest in the Lord right now, knowing that He will meet our needs no matter what. Jacinda called me this morning with some exhortation from Scripture. She told me God wants to be glorified in all this. I love my wife! My mind jumps through all the different scenarios, it wanders, it tries to figure it out. I believe that God is just trying to tell me to just rest in Him. The Lord has always taken care of my family, why not now? I know, I are God, not me. I'll rest. I pray that God gives me the strength to weather the storm, that He gives me the grace to overcome it, and the peace to rest in Him. "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him." - John Piper

Monday, March 20, 2006

Great Weekend

This was a pretty great weekend. Nice and low-key, well after friday night at least. We had our St. Patrick's day party with a bunch of people over. It was one of those nights where me and bunch of my guys were standing outside near the BBQ and I looked inside the house to see all our wives, an average of 1.5 kids per couple, and mayhem.

Kids everywhere, chocolate coins being sqeezed into melted chocolate, green food dye on the floor, chewed up sausage in the carpet (thanks dave). My brother thought it was play-doh until he couldn't get it to squish back together! It was a great time and Jacinda and I even cleaned up completely that night before hitting the hay.

So, we have dish network, like the lowest level of it. Every once in a great while, they try to entice you by giving you some movie channels for free. This was one of those weekends. Because we have the Tivo, I just record as many as possible: Starsky and Hutch, Phantom of the Opera, Romeo & Juliet, Envy, Ray, Shrek 2, Hide and Seek, and more. It's like going to Blockbuster and renting a bunch of movies for free! That usually lasts us until they have another one of their "free trial" weekends.

We also led worship at JR's new church for the last time. It was good to be there, to help out JR and to see his family, but I am really excited to get back to our home church, Peoples Church in Fresno. It is an amazing thing, when you know that you are where you are supposed to be.

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patty's Day

I don't really know why, but I have been amped about St. Patrick's Day this year. We are having a party tonight with bangers and mash, shamrock shakes, and all things green. I don't even know that much about irish culture, but I get excited about it.

Our last name is Hale which is Welsh in origin just like Glyn Hale who was the musical director for the BeeGees. I looked up to see what other famous people either came from Wales or were of Welsh decent. Here is a pretty good list:Russel Crowe, Tom Cruise, Dean Cain, Minnie Driver, Christian Bale, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, Clive Owen, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Spacey, Noah Wyle, and Robin Williams.

I guess since Wales is near Ireland, I feel some kind of affinity with anything Celtic. My family is probably only 5% Welsh, because we are all basically muts, made up of so many different worlds. I guess it is just my way of trying to know where I come from. So much of America is new, no real history, no tradition, and no respect for those that do have it. But, I always say that I am half mexican, a quarter chinese, and a quarter american; because of my enormous love for mexican food. So, what culture do you identify the most with?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Clustr Maps

Here is a tool that I just started using on my blog. It is called ClustrMaps as you can see from the photo. It is down on the bottom of my side column. If you click on the map or HERE you can see my personalized map. I just started it last week, so there aren't too many hits on there yet. I have had 113 hits since March 10th. If you can see, I have a small hit on the top of South America. How cool is that! I also use Site Meter. These are both free tools. They have versions that you can pay for that do a lot more for you, but I'm using Blogger for a reason right? Does anyone know of any other tools that are similar and free?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Look Alike?

Alright, my brother sent me the pic and it doesn't do the "look-alike" justice. From the side profile, our waitress totally looked like Jamie Lee-Prestley with dark hair. That is Joy on "My Name is Earl". She's one of those TV personalities that you're not too sure if you should say someone looks like. You never know if they would take it as a compliment or a dog. But, what I do know, is that my wife looks hot and my little girl look cute.

Crazy Weekend

Alright, well Friday night started with a bang. Pretty much my whole family on my mom's side is born in March, so we always have one huge birthday party. This year we hit George's Armenian Restaurant. It was really good and we had at least 30 people there. Plus, our waitress looked like the armenian version of Jamie Lee-Prestley. My brother took a picture, it's crazy! Saturday involved us going to 2 little kid parties. Number 1 was at Macker's (australian for McDonald's) and I sat on a 10" stool, got sweaty taking Kiara through the tubes, and ate soft-serve ice cream with mini m&m's. Number 2 was a family deal where my 2nd cousin turned 1 and got to go at it with a cake by himself. Always a good time. Later that day, we headed over to another local church to hear John Bevere speak. If you check out my column down on the right titled, "books that will change your life", his is, "The Fear of the Lord." He is also a great speaker and we have many of his videos. But, almost as amazing as his message was the transformation of him and his wife. I tried to find a really old picture from when he had the mustache, but this is close enough. Old, corporate John: This John always wore suits, the fade was high and tight, and this picture was post-mustache. New and Improved John: What a difference! He was all modern with jeans and un-tucked shirt! I couldn't believe my eyes. After that was over (by the way, we dropped kiara off at grandma's earlier in the evening) which was by this time 9:30, we headed over to Club Fred. Talk about extremes. We went from church to bar! Jacinda's uncle who is more like our cousin because he is only a couple years older than us, who is from San Francisco, was playing at the club. His band was called, "new confusion" and it was pretty cool. I really dug the stuff that Phil sung on. A bunch of family was there. It was pretty funny because Jacinda and I dropped her dad and annette off at their friends house around midnight. It just seemed backwards somehow. Got to go now, I'll finish the rest of the weekend later.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Random thoughts

These are my friends Chad and Emma Wilkinson. I have known Chad since Kindergarten, but we didn't truly become friends until second grade. So, we've only been friends for a little while! Chad is one of those friends who you can not see for months or even a year, then when you hang out, it's like nothing changed and you are right there just chillin' again. There is a link to them on the right.

Chad has been working hard on his blog, so go check it out. They are missionaries in Romania but are in the states for a couple months to raise money to buy a vehicle for their ministry. Chad is from Clovis, and his bride is a native of the country they minister in. Pretty cool story of how God can bring two people together. Anyways, make sure you check out some of the videos that he has to see what church is like on the other side of the world. Oh, and speaking of checking things out...if you have some extra money, send them a check. The really big ones like they give to race car drivers and sweepstakes winners are preferred, they are more fun to take to the bank and cash!

By the way, I am getting freaking killed right now. God is putting all kinds of people/authors/blogs in my life that are being used to prick my heart and mind. Service was great last night. Blake spoke on "freedom"...kind of. It actually turned into more of an "examine yourself" night which is always a good time. Let's see who I really am Lord. Let's see what my motives really are.

I just praise God for all that He is doing right now. My life is being tremendously blessed while my heart is being ripped a good way. Still nothing solid about the work situation to tell yet. It should all go down next month.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Controversy is Stirring!

Okay, so Granger Community Church in Granger, IN put this billboard up to advertise for a new series on sex that they are doing at their church. I found out about this ad thru This is one of my favorite sites becasue it so often makes fun of really lame church ads. So, they asked for comments on the ad. You can check out the entire discussion here. The first response says this (among several other points):

"Another question is, do the billboards use deception? This church knows that signs saying "sex talks next week at Granger" won't work, so have they resorted to a form of trickery to get people to visit their website? Is God happy with this kind of "sneaky evangelism"?"

No big deal, that's his opinion, right? So, I responded with my opinion:

"man, come on. Did Jesus use billboards? Did Jesus even go to church? It's all your opinion what you think God would do. Here's the truth...Jesus "advertised" by word of mouth. He would do a miracle, preach a sermon, etc. and people would talk. Here's the deal now. Everyone has heard of who Jesus is. Now we have to spread the message by marketing. Even if a huge miracle happened in your church there are still people who wouldn't come because they would be skeptical, or just wouldn't care about us crazy, weird Christians. I love the ad and would be proud if my church put out something like that."

So, you can disagree with me if you want. But, here's what someone wrote in response to me:

"Pretty ironic that some of you have no problem with Granger's billboards, and then we see pictures like this on your own blogs. What should that tell us about your morality standards and your credibility on this issue, Brian?"

The picture referenced was of Los' head with the boob statue from my Vegas post. I found this hilarious that someone would pull that out of context and try to tear me down with it. My response to this guy (Not sure if it really is a guy or girl, because they didn't sign in when making their comment):

"I think it's pretty ironic that "Ironic" would attack my character but not even list his name/website. At least I'm willing to put myself and my beliefs out there for people to see. If you can't stand behind your own words, then the weight of those words isn't much. Also, in terms of my morality... wow, that is a big statement to make. I'm not sure if you can judge that. James 4:11 says, 11Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. Also, when speaking of "credibility" on the isssue, I'm not sure what to say to that except that everyone here has about the same credibility level since we are all viewers of the ad. All these people have their own opinions and that is what we are giving. So, I don't see how that becomes a credibility issue unless you are more saved than I am. And since I am the worldly one, and therefore the target audience that needs to be more moral, my opinion would probably hold more weight."

So, what do you think of that? How do you feel about the billboard? Oh, and please sign in so we know who you are.

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's official

Yep, I finally went to the Dr.'s office today. I have bronchitis. What a drag. I am still working today, but afraid to call anyone just to have them hear me hacking on the other side of phone while trying to talk. My voice is very weak, so I'm on 3 different medications. 1 for my sinus infection, 1 for my bronchitis, and 1 for my cough at night. I hate it when you get the pill bottle from your local pharmacist and it says, "warning: may cause dizziness". It forces you to make that decision, "do i want to stop coughing or fall over while walking?" They can do so much with modern why all the side effects. AND, they are always random. It's like you're taking some aspirin and the warning says, "may cause your left foot to itch." so, i'm on the meds and hopefully will be back to normal in a couple days. I did lose a couple pounds because of my lack of appetite. Now if I could just get the flu... Oh, and thanks for all the comments on the Michael Vick thing. No, I don't know who he is. I saw the guy up close and I still haven't googled him to see who he is. I'll take ya'lls word for it. and Heather, I do know who Michael Jordan is...he used to play basebal for the white sox!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

JR's dream comes true!

Well, today Jacinda and I led worship for JR's first service. He is calling his new church, the Word of Faith Community Church. There were a little over 250 people there which was a lot more than I thought there would be. He's still looking for a full-time worship leader, but we are going to fill in for another 2 weeks. In was cool to be there for his first service and to be a part of that moment with him. He's been sitting on this vision for years and to see it finally come to fruition was amazing. We saw some old faces and several families that we've known from our church. I uploaded some pics to Flickr! So go check to see what our family has been up to.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I am going to try to update some pictures tomorrow, especially from the trip. Crossing my fingers...

I'm getting too old for this

alright, we are back from Vegas. The flight was so much better this time. It was a little rough on the way out, but a perfect landing. My parents picked us up, dropped us and the luggage back at home, and then we went and picked up our little girl who was purposely made to stay awake to see us. Kiara freaked out when we came to get her and she couldn't stop hugging our necks or telling us that she loved mommy and loved daddy. That is seriously one of the best feelings ever. You should have kids just to hear that. So, staying out past 2 am three nights in a row is awesome right? Not when your internal clock is used to waking up at five and going to bed at 9. I know I am getting old, because three nights of hanging out late has summed up to me being pretty sick. I slept for eleven hours last night and woke up with my eyes practically sealed shut. So, after clearing my sinuses into a kleenex, I began to feel a little better, but my voice is gone. AND, we are leading worship for our friend JR's church opening! We had to pick songs that Jacinda is strong at and can carry by herself just in case. So, pray that my voice gets better. That's enough for now. If you want something a little more interesting to read go check this guy's site out:

Friday, March 03, 2006

Jaw Dropping

Last night we went and saw the "O" show by Cirque du Soleil. It was at the Bellagio. The show was so amazing that I honestly didn't know how to react. I was just going, "no way, no way" the entire show. I cannot thouroughly do it justice. We weren't too sure about the whole show thing, but it was well worth the $150 a ticket. All four of us were just freaking out. The stage was ginormous (that's one of my wife's famous words: you can use it if you want). It was the only thing that I have ever seen that beats out Disney in detail, style, and performance. We all declare ourselves the new spokespeople for anything "O". I wonder if anyone else has seen the Cirque du Soleil shows and which they liked best. I think the next one we'll try would be Mystere. But I honestly don't know how it could be better than people flying through the air, divers, and 2 hilarious clowns. I'm posting from the airport awaiting our flight back to Fresno. I'm just praying the flight goes smoother than the one on the way here. Jacinda and I almost lost our breakfast. The plane was so squirrely, rotating side to side, barrel rolls, flips, and sharp decents to shoot at enemy targets. It's true, I swear.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's just money!?

We went out to lunch to Maggiano's little Italy. Moises and Lori-Lynn Navarro were also in Vegas for a couple days, so we met up with them. Moi, the name of the band and his nickname, is an awesome musician and worship leader. They are doing the Hume Lake gig right now, but they are about to start their northern california tour. We ate family style which let us pick two different kinds of salad, pasta, entree, and dessert. I actually am not a big fan of the Italian food. If you know me at all, then you probably know there are two things that I absolutely hate: red sauce italian food and alcohol. What combines both of those nasty things? Tiramasu. I'm not even sure if that is how you spell it, but it is so discusting that it doesn't even deserve the spell check. Now red sauce I can force down, but that cough medicine that people pay to drink just makes me hack. Jacinda and I enjoyed being in the presence of soon to be rockstars! Seriously, these guys are about to blow-up on the music/worship scene. Be looking for them. Oh, but the Creme Brulee was amazing. I could've just eaten that all day. Then, for dinner we thought we'd clean up and go to DelMonico. It is one of Emerill's restaurants and BAM! it was awesome. The reason that Carlos and I are smiling is because we hadn't yet seen the bill. Let's just say that I could've gone to city college for a semester for the price of that bill. The food was incredible. Jacinda had the Filet Mignon, and the rest of us had the bone-in rib eye. Medium rare. Perfect. Asparagus, garlic "smashed" potatoes, french onion soup. Lose $40 on craps at the venetian, win $38 at craps at the low-rent hotel next door, $320 on dinner, Relaxing in bed with my wife with nothing to do...priceless.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Experiences

So, we're here in Vegas and so far only lost money on good food! Jacinda and I flew in yesterday from FAT. Our flight was delayed for 45 minutes which meant we were there for quite some time. You see, last time I tried to fly out of Fresno to Dallas for work, I waited in line for an hour to find out that I missed the "check-in" time by 5 minutes. I wanted to yell at the guy, "no wonder people try to bomb your stupid airport!" but, didn't think that would be such a great idea. So, I listened to some stand-up by Mitch Hedberg. He isn't a dirty comic, but he has some spicy language. Thanks Dave! I was laughing so hard in the airport lobby that Jacinda was getting embarrassed. So here we are in "old-town" Vegas. All the classic sites that you are use to seeing in the pictures, except that, you can't smell pictures. It's like sitting in a bathroom while guys blow smoke at you. I know the Rat Pack used to kick it here, but that place was pretty lame. So, we headed to the south end of the strip to take in some of the finer art-driven hotels and exhibits. That is where we found this: Don't judge us, our wives were right there with us. After we experienced some art, Los introduced me to the some crap...I mean craps. We played the $3 table to get my wings. It was awesome. I was up, I was down, I rolled a seven, I was up, and I ended even. Not bad for a couple hours of entertainment. I think I might even get up enough courage to gamble at our hotel (Venetian has $10 minimums). We'll see. Oh, and we saw Michael Vick in our restaurant. Los and I chased after him like an elementary kid meeting a jr. high football star.