Mini-Van Madness

The Gremlin Blues!

If you own a minivan that means you probably have children. Nobody decides they wanted a mini-van because they like the look.  Like many mini-van owners, I am embarrassed to remember back to my naive 20′s swearing boldly how I would never own a mini-van. I would say something brash like, “I would rather walk with my children on my back than to have them suffer the emotional and social damage of being seen in a mini-van.” I think this stems from the fact that my parents owned a GMC Gremlin when we were growing up.  No, I am not kidding. Well, not only do we own a mini-van, this is our 3rd one.

Petrified Peanut Butter

I must admit that I  love my Honda Odyssey and couldn’t imagine my life without it. However, my least favorite reality of owning a minivan is cleaning the sucker out. Now, I realize the Hill Circus-7 (Soon to be the Circus-8)  is little different than most families, because Rachel and I have 5 children, 8 years old and under. (Yes, I know what causes that.) So, recently I went to go clean out the Hill-Van and you can only imagine what I found in the back seats: Baby bottles, legos, crayons, happy meal toys, happy meal food, stuffed animals, candy canes, a homework folder that belonged to some kid named Mark and much more.  And, as you can imagine, with every lego and petrified peanut butter sandwich I found I grew more and more frustrated at the mess my children, and Mark, had created.

New Van-Rules

By the time I reached the front seats I was mildly upset.  I was thinking about the new “van-rules” I was going to put in place about bringing food, toys and anyone named Mark in the van.  I turned on the radio to relax a bit and reached under the passenger seat to finish up the van and I felt something.  It was… You guessed it, a coffee cup.  Not just one coffee cup either.  When it was all said and done I pulled out 6 empty crushed (paper) coffee cups, a computer cable, a book that I had been missing for weeks and a pair of sunglasses.  That’s when Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) came flooding into my head, “…You hypocrite, first take the coffee cup out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the lego from your son’s eye.” Ok, maybe that’s not exactly how the verse goes but you get my point.

I am trying a little harder these days to really know myself. My prayer, as I quickly approach 40, is that God and His Spirit would help me to be honest, with myself and Him, about my strengths, weaknesses, boundaries, limitations, selfish behavior and motivations. My hope is that if I really understand how selfish I can be it will flavor my all of my conversations with others with patience love and understanding, especially a kid with no homework folder named Mark.

What is your "Christmas Blend"?

Today I bought a pound of Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee beans to take to our church staff Christmas party, as a gift. I do love Starbucks Christmas Blend, it’s a seasonal blend of a few different types of coffee’s that give it a unique flavor! Read below to see the description that Starbucks gives the Christmas blend.

“…It’s the unique blend of beans that makes this coffee such a fitting accompaniment for your holiday taste traditions. Our Christmas Blend is sweet and spicy, with a flavor derived from bright, sparkling Latin American coffees and smooth, full-bodied Asia/Pacific beans. But it’s the Aged Sumatran beans, carefully held for 3 to 5 years before roasting, that give it that delicious signature spicy taste.”

Recently I have really been challenged about my own “Christmas Blend”. The blend of where and how I spend my time, treasure and talent during Advent season. Whether we realize it or not, all of us are on the front lines of a battle between culture, commercialism and the true meaning of Christmas. There are so many competing voices during the Christmas season between the shopping, children, Christmas cards, wish lists, parties, visiting relatives and travel (just to name a few) that we often forget why or HOW we should celebrate the season.

This Sunday we are going to be playing one of the videos from the Advent Conspiracy web page. ( This organization really challenges people to think about the meaning of Christmas and how much we allow commercialism to infiltrate this Holiday. Please, take a look at the video and, if you have time, take a look at the web page and recommend it to others. You can do that by sending them a link to this post or by directly sending them a link to the web site.

What are some of the traditions that you keep, during the advent season, to make sure you don’t loose sight of the birth of the Savior of the world? Jesus.

~Advent Conspiracy

What if Starbucks marketed like the church?

Hey Everyone,

Well I’m back from a small blogging break.  Incase you are wondering where I have been, my editor and I have been concentrating on polishing the first 5 chapters of Tales of The Ordained Barista and my book proposal.  On Tuesday I will be sending both out to a literary agent who wanted to see my work. It’s a long shot, to say the least, but it has been a ton of fun and I have learned a lot! Seriously!

I also wanted to mention that the type of blog I will be posting in the future will be a little different.  I will try to post more often (Thank you to everyone who keeps on asking me why I don’t post more often) and the blogs will be shorter.  My topics will, I hope, concentrate on being a follower of Jesus and Coffee/Coffeehouses. Which is actually cheating because there is no topic that you can’t talk about in a coffeehouse.  You should have heard the conversation that the two ladies in front of me were having about Tiger Woods yesterday in line.  Anyway, each post is meant to do two things in a short period of time. 1. encourage and 2. challenge. Thank you to everyone who comments and already gets an RSS feed of my blog.  I want to encourage you if don’t get my blog directly in your Google Reader, do it! And, I love hearing comments and feedback. So… away we go!

I saw this video a few months ago and it made me laugh coffee out of my nose! My favorite line during the video is “Java-lujah.” Classic. I would love to know what you think is the most accurate section of satire in this video is. Has anyone had a “new person” church experience like this? What’s the worst church experience you have ever had?

My new Hero!

I have a new hero! This guy is awesome, and by awesome I mean a little scary!

A few observations:

1. Love the Mullet!?!

2. Who is Dunkey Dunkey? Why is he keeping his coffee in the Trunk?

3. What is with the Jean shorts? Weren’t they banned in 1987? Are they Daisy Dukes? On a dude?

4. At the end, is he channeling Susanna Hoffs? (from The Bangles, Walk Like and Egyptian)

5. I guess this video is not a ringing endorsement for drinking coffee?

6. What do you think?