Tag Archives: Homestead

Qualifying Thoughts

  • Good morning Homestead (at 2:30 AM).  I had to get up to be at work by 4 AM today for day one of Training and Qualification (T&Q).
  • When I woke up, the temperature on my front porch weather station reported 43.2 degrees F.  I am not sure if that was correct because I heard that it would be in the 30’s today.  Either way, it was cooooooooold!
  • Of all the days to have to be outside shooting my AR 15 and 9mm Beretta, it had to be one of the coldest days in several years.  I actually shot my night fire course with the rifle wearing gloves.  It definitely got in the way and slowed me down, but I still got a perfect score.
  • I wasn’t so good with the pistol.  I took my gloves off for the pistol so I could more easily manipulate it.  My frozen fingers only allowed me to score a 38 out of 40 which was still a qualifying score (32 or higher).
  • Around 7 AM, we had to perform our physical agility test.  I admit I was sweating it a bit since I had not prepared for it at all.  It’s a 40 foot climb and back down from the tower, then a 200 yard run while carrying about 30 pounds of gear.  The whole course must be completed in 2 minutes.
  • One of the guys running in front of me paced me and told me to keep on his bumper.  I turned in my personal best time out of the 3 times I have had to run in over the past 2 years.  I qualified easily.
  • By 8 AM, it had warmed up a little and the sun was coming up.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.
  • First we shot the rifle.  Today was the first time I shot in the tactical vest.  While it made the run easier because of weight distribution, it made the shooting a little more difficult due to the pressure on the shoulders.
  • I qualified with the rifle, but since I rushed several of my shots, I was not able to match my perfect score from the last time.  This time, I scored 295 out of 300.  Not bad, not great.
  • With the pistol, I didn’t have a great day by many people’s standard.  I am not great with the handgun but I am ok.  I scored 225 out of 240 (my previous high was 227 out of 240).
  • So the short of it all is that as for the shooting and physical qualifications, I am good to go for another year.  Tomorrow I return to the classroom for the Training portion of the T&Q.  This is the area that I don’t have much issue with.
  • More good news: my vacation for the week of Spring Break was approved!  I wasn’t really expecting it since I requested it late.  Most people request vacations at the end of December.  It’s seniority at that point.  After then, it becomes first come first serve unless there is a vacation blackout.
  • Even more good news: due to the fact we all completed shooting qualifications, I don’t have to be in until 6 AM tomorrow.  That means I get to attend worship practice tonight.
  • I will see all of you Sunday at Flagship Cinemas for a great Sunday morning at Life Pointe Church!

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Filed under Homestead, life pointe, Miami, thoughts, time, vacation, work

Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup

  • The service which many attenders experience Sunday morning starts earlier in the week for many, and in some cases weeks in advance. That is to say that bringing an experience on Sunday morning requires preparation, study, and practice. Rehearsal for Sunday’s worship set on Thursday was productive until a lightning storm shut us down.
  • This morning at 7:32 AM I was greeted by fellow blogmaster Chris Day and my mom who were already in full swing at the theater. Robert and Zech were in Pier 2 rockin out! Set up in the theater was smooth thanks to the late night maniacs who get everything going while I am busy catching Z’s.
  • Jesse was out of town this week, so I was honored to fill in for him on stage. I told him when he asked me to cover for him that I was going to bring back some rock’n’roll and he told me to go for it. I was sweating bullets this morning from nervous energy, but thanks to Alex who bailed me out a couple times everything went fine.
  • On the drums and vocals was Mike B, thumpin the bass was Billy Barue, Alex covered the rhythm on the acoustic, Rob (AKA Hyper-active) rocked the electric, I was on keys and vocals today, Nirian and Julie were also on vocals.
  • To open, Mike rocked the jungle beat and the LPC peeps jammed. The first tune was one of my favorite praise songs, Jon Egan’s “I Am Free”… ROCK AND ROLL! Then we sang “Famous One”, followed by “Shout to the Lord” led beautifully by Julie. It was so great to feel God’s presents as everyone sang that ‘Nothing compares to the promise I have in You!’. For communion we sang “Take My Life”.
  • I was so pleasantly surprised to see Ela Ortega at church this morning.  It really caught me off guard.  Ela’s hard work and determination is humbling.  In spite of her condition, she is determined to be a blessing.  She blesses me and Life Pointe more than she can possibly know.
  • The message today brought by Pastor Trav was “Loaded” and was on the subject of money. I loved the balanced approach sharing the biblical principles of cheerful giving and stewardship. Many times, either money issues are ignored altogether by the church, or it is overstated to the point that people are duped into believing that their gifts to ministries will grant them instant wealth. Yet, money was one of the most common themes of Jesus’ teachings.
  • I particularly found part of the message very useful, “where there is slack, there is lack”. If you are ignoring discipline in an area of your life, be it finances, health, relationship, or family, you can usually be sure that you will lack in those areas as a result.

For another perspective on this morning at Life Pointe, be sure to check out Ritz and his Sunday Goosfaba.

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Filed under church, Homestead, life pointe, music, worship

Life Pointe Goes Fishing

One of my favorite hobbies/activities is fishing. Fishing can be tiring, thrilling, fast-paced, and super productive, or it can be slow, boring, frustrating, and unproductive. But one of the things I have learned about fishing is that the better bait I use the better the results I have.

Life Pointe Church goes fishing nearly every day. In the community we have billboards, mailers, phone calls, and massive community outreach events. In church, we have dramatic presentations, exciting music, flashy lights, creative videos, and life-oriented relevant messages. Online we have emails, blogs, twitter accounts, flckr, myspace pages, youtube, and other social networking forums that get out the message.

I have heard it from some people who don’t understand LPC’s purpose or method. Many people asked why we left the “sanctuary” we owned that seated hundreds of people to rent a theater that seats fewer people. Some people say that all the flash, music, videos, etc. are gadgets. One sincere person suggested that if you use gadgets to bring them in, you have to use gadgets to keep them there.

Jesus saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew who were fishermen, casting their nets in the lake. Then he says to them in Matthew 4:19 “Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Many Christians through the years have taken Matthew 4:19 to be Jesus’ call to all of us. I agree.

I have never caught a fish with bait. Bait does not hold fish on the line. If I want to keep fish in the water at the back of the boat, I can throw chum and bait in the water all day. It will draw tons of fish. But in order to get them in the boat, I need a hook or a net. I have caught the occasional fish on a bare hook, but it’s not very often that it can be done.

“Gadgets”, marketing, creativity, charismatic speakers, and great music can definitely draw people to “the boat”, but they have to get hooked. But if people are being discipled, are in fellowship/community with fellow believers, are being saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit, it’s Jesus that keeps them.

Life Pointe has done a wonderful job under Pastor Travis’ leadership of casting a wide net over concentrated schools of people and bringing them in the boat. The expectation from Trav is that the bait is the freshest and most effective bait possible. The bait is not there to keep people, but to bring more people in. The fish that we can’t handle due to distance or other factors have been given to other boats that are more suitable. Regardless, we are in the same fleet.

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Filed under church, life pointe, worship

Friday’s Greatest Hits

Friday’s Greatest Hits is an entry which focuses on some of the week’s best reading in my list. Swing on by and check out what these guys and girls have to say.

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Filed under children, church, family, Homestead, life pointe, photography, TV, worship

Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup 2.0

  • Arriving at the theater (Church) this morning, I found Jesse, David C., and my mom (Anne J) already kicking things off. David was working hard putting out the signs and flags. Props to the set up guys for their dedication.
  • I had to fix my own coffee and bagel today, since my wife who volunteer in the coffee department is out of town. She will be in Idaho and Wyoming for a while visiting with her parents.
  • I had to do a little searching for power and direct box since I was on the keyboard this morning. I also brought the miniKorg in order to midi some retro sounds. That set me back about 20 or more minutes just to find the pieces.
  • Jesse took a Sunday to step back, observe, and push others into leadership. Alex, Reina, Julie, and yours truly led songs this morning.
  • Alex was on acoustic guitar, Bill was kickin it on the bass, I played the keyboard, Mike was rockin the drums.
  • The 9:00 attendance was strong, but the music seemed to miss the flow at times.
  • The 10:30 service was packed. The vibe was intense, and the music was on target.
  • We started out with Reina singing Trading My Sorrows, then Alex led a new song “Devotion” that was just very heartfelt and dynamic, the Julie led “You Are My King (Amazing Love)” for communion, and I led “Life Song” to end. After we were finished, we sang a little piece from Coldplay’s Viva la Vida while people shook hands. I loved the music this morning.
  • The videos were outstanding!
  1. First video was of last week’s baptism. The comments from those attending and being baptized were beautiful. As people were brought up from the water, the screen went from black and white to color.
  2. Second video was a pitch from the youth (they actually created the video) to help raise funds for Youth Camp. It was in the form of a news show.
  3. Third video was the intro video for “Got Funk: The Funk of Humility”. Chris Day starred as a not so humble guy on his first date with Venus. WOW he was totally arrogant, but it was funny. Venus couldn’t get a word in edgewise. There were also some characters from previous videos like Alex’s mustache man (wah wah wah), Gio on the phone, and Nathan reading about super sized kids. At the end, it seemed obvious that there would be no second date. The blooper/outtakes were pretty funny too.
  • At 2pm we met in the church office for the Web 2.0 seminar. We discussed the potential of social networking to bring people together and introduce them to LPC.
  • We discussed Twitter, Blogging, Facebook, Flckr, MySpace, and other social networking tools.
  • There was a brief tutorial on setting up a blog, “link-love”, web searches, categories, and what things you would want to avoid putting on the internet.

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Filed under church, communications, Homestead, life pointe, technology, worship

Robert is where?

If you need: fruit from the ordinary stuff like strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas, and watermelon to exotic fruits like mango, mamey, jackfruit, star fruit, papaya, sour sop, and guava; fresh produce; home made milkshake with exotic flavors like Mamey or Black Sapote; to feed giant tortoises, emus, goats, turkeys, parrots, and iguanas; experiential knowledge and information about all types of exotic fruits; or just some good conversation about old Homestead… Robert is Here is where you need to go.
This fruit stand opened just before 1960 when Robert was a little boy selling his dad’s produce.  Now it is as famous as anything in the Homestead area.  Sometimes they even have live musicians pumping out great rock and roll hits with a country flare.  If you need information on exotic fruits, Robert will give you a taste of just about anything he has and explain its growing habits.  Much of the fruit and produce is local and some of it is grown on site.

In the back of the produce area, you can get an up close and personal look at giant land tortoises, emus, goats, chickens, turkeys, parrots, iguanas, and water turtles.  The fruit stand will bring out buckets of the old produce to feed the animals.  The emus scare most people, but I haven’t seen anyone get bit… yet.

It is almost a requirement that you grab a milkshake while you are there.  They can make a milkshake out of just about anything.  They advertise their keylime milkshake, but I tried it and didn’t dig it at all.  I do like the strawberry, banana, blackberry, mamey, sapote, and pineapple milkshakes.

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Filed under food, Homestead

Sunny Side Up Thoughts

  • It’s raining, it’s pouring!  I love it when it rains at work.  It cools down the power block considerably.
  • The 08 Miami Hurricanes Baseball squad has to go down in our history as a big disappointment.  I am a big fan, but I have to admit with this much talent we should have gone further.  The two teams who beat us were not supposed to go as far as they did.  The Canes had the most talent, the most high draft choices, most wins, and fewest losses in the country.
  • I had a great time fishing in Boynton Beach on Monday.  Read about my first kingfish.
  • I wouldn’t mind heading back up there, but we need 5 people on the boat to make it really cheap.
  • I found myself rooting for a team in the finals that I don’t like (the Celtics) because they were playing a team that I like even less (I hate the Lakers).
  • Why are there so many Super Hero movies out these days?  Spiderman, Batman, Superman, X Men, The Hulk, Ironman, and the list goes on and on!  Is it because people need something to believe in but they are avoiding God?
  • The doldrums of the sports world are officially here.  The NBA finals are the last ray of sunshine before the reality of the bleak sports winter sets in.  Sometimes we have the CWS to look to, but the Canes screwed that one up.  There will be nothing exciting going on until the college football season kicks off.
  • I will be working this weekend, so I won’t be at church.  That is one of the bummers of working where I do.  Working night shift allows me to be at church every week, but working days lets me spend the whole Sunday that I am at church fully awake.
  • Blog traffic has been up bigtime over the past week.  I am going to post my State of the Blog Address shortly.
  • I believe it is going to level off and die back again now that the NBA finals are finished.  You won’t believe how many hits my post about Red Auerbach vs Phil Jackson brought in.
  • It’s cool to see how many people from LPC are joining the Blogosphere.  Especially Billy-barue.
  • I’m going to try and attend the Life Pointe 2.0 Seminar.  Great idea Trav!
  • Last night was my first night at Paul’s life group.  We had a great time talking about loving God and loving each other.  Joey facilitated and did a great job, although we didn’t quite have enough time to finish.  The meatballs were good too.
  • Marcela said she will be presenting the Talk Soup this weekend.  I am looking forward to that.

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Filed under Baseball, basketball, church, CWS, fishing, football, Homestead, life pointe, Miami Hurricanes, movies, NBA, schedule, sports, work

Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup

30 speaking on faith and destiny.

  • I arrived at the theater at 7:50 AM to find Bill and Alex already set up in the main sanctuary.
  • Quite a few people made the jump from the 10:30 to the 9.
  • The 9 actually had as much energy as the 10:30, if not more. It was really kickin!
  • Jesse led worship with Alex on the drums for the 9 and Mike on the drums for the 10:30.
  • We started with an original loop that Jesse wrote, while he invited everyone to get ready. It was pretty slick, kind of reminded me of The Dave Matthews Band.
  • First song we sang was “Always Greater“, then we sang a very energetic “Open the Eyes of My Heart“, followed by “When I Think About the Lord“. For communion we sang “Enough“. To close the service we totally jammed to “Better Days”.
  • The announcement video was so funny. Jesse did an awesome job of telling everyone what is going on at Life Pointe while keeping us entertained.
  • Reina‘s intro video got some solid laughs. Great video!
  • Trav spoke about fate and destiny. Woven into the story was the tale of Hillary Clinton picking the only female horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, it broke its legs and had to be put to sleep on the spot while coming in second to a horse named “Big Brown”. TRUE STORY!
  • The main point of the message was that even though God is omniscient (all knowing) and knows how your future will turn out, your path is determined by your next actionable decision.
  • Your future is changeable.
  • We should not be asking why God would send someone to hell, but rather why would people reject the “life preserver” that Jesus provides us while we are drowning.

Overall impression: This was one of the best Sunday morning messages in a long time. Exciting, funny, full of scripture, engaging, heart warming (especially in reference to Tom’s conversion and baptism experience), and exciting. I can’t wait until next time I get a chance to be with you all at Life Pointe in the theater!  For another perspective on Sunday morning, visit Chris Day’s Life Pointe Church Sunday Morning Tossed Salad.

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Filed under church, life pointe, movies, Uncategorized, worship

Peppered Thoughts – 4/16/08

  • In the month and a half of this blog, today’s traffic was the highest.
  • The traffic was high for three reasons that I know of: 1 Traffic from Pastor Trav’s page due to the interest of his meeting with county park officials over the baptism Sunday; 2 Ela’s post generated tons of traffic and comments because she is so loved; 3 my Top 5 Saturday Local Homestead Restaurants was linked from Menus Page (not spam) as a good starting point if you’re looking for a good place to eat in Homestead.
  • It’s hard to post links from a Blackberry unless you know the addresses really well and you know HTML code. I don’t know either very well.
  • This situation makes me sick! These women appear to have been brainwashed and the children have been abused.
  • Trav’s new look on his blog is cool, but the old look was easier for my simple brain to follow.
  • Twitter will not be a fad that dies. At least it will not be anymore of a fad than texting, blogging, or myspace.
  • I want to make money, but I don’t want to work overtime at night. I would rather be at home with Marcela.
  • This is coming up on the worst time of the year as a sports fan. Basketball in college is done, the NBA post season will be over, no football, and we will have a summer of useless baseball regular season games.
  • I plan on vacationing for a week in DC this summer.
  • I also plan on fishing and diving as much as I can afford this summer.
  • Shaquille O’Neal is a pretty slick guy. Shephard Smith asked him on FOX News today who he was voting for and he said “The winner!”
  • We’ll see how long he can go without endorsing a candidate. Too bad other athletes and stars don’t just shut up and play/sing.

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Filed under basketball, church, sports, time, work

Top 5 Saturday – Local Restaurants 4/12/08

In the wake of yesterday’s feast, today’s top 5 will be about Homestead’s best non chain restaurants. As always, this is based on my opinion (which is almost always right).

5. Nasbar Pizza – Located in the strip beside Sonny’s BBQ on US1 by Walmart, this is some of the best pizza anywhere. The cheese is plentiful and the toppings include real sausage and kalamata olives. It’s not cheap, but it’s well worth the extra dough to get their pizza dough!

4. Capri – This Italian joint on Krome Ave south of Downtown is a little more on the fine dining side than the other Homestead selections. It’s also the only selection on this blog that’s in Florida City. The prices are reasonable, the food is very good, and the atmosphere is top quality. You can also regularly see many of Homestead’s elite, top-notch politicians, former mayors, and city councilpersons here. You can also see them at Publix.

3. The White Lion – Discussed on this blog yesterday, this restaurant is tucked away in old Homestead by Homestead Middle just off Campbell Drive. The menu is creatively worded, the service is extremely friendly, and the food is home cooking meets gourmet. They also don’t underfeed you here, so bring your appetite.

2. Mario’s – Cuban food! The location is US1 and NE 11th St. It’s on the old site of Howard Johnson’s Restaurant and the location of many a failed endeavors. Mario found the right formula: good Cuban food, good service, good prices, and a clean atmosphere. It’s also open 24 hours.

1. El Nachito – Tell Frenchie that I sent you when you go. This is some seriously good food, and friendly service, all for the lowest price.
Location is 12795 SW 280th St, Homestead, FL. It’s just down the road from the BX Mart at the Homestead AFB in a shopping strip. They serve the best seafood enchiladas, and the burrito a la verde is my wife’s favorite! Have all the chips and fresh salsa while you wait, it’s on the house. When you are finished, you gotta try the banana burrito or the fried cheesecake.

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Filed under FL, food, Homestead, top 5