Shutting Down

Over the past several months I’ve tried to figure out how to organize the various web sites we have up and running. I thought I came up with a good idea a few months ago…but it didn’t work. Having 3 sites with 3 focuses, was a bad idea. has been my blog for over 5 years now, and I’ve enjoyed writing here. However, after thinking about it for the past few months, it has become clear that something had to go …and the obvious answer was this site.

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Carrots and Sticks

Over on our family blog (, I’ve started a series of posts explaining how we got from Ithaca to Ireland. In one of last week’s posts I talked a bit about a very difficult time our family went through from 2007 to 2009.

In recounting that period, it got me thinking about how God has worked in my life repeatedly.

I think it is how he works in the lives of most people.

And for lack of a better phrase I’ll call it the “carrot & stick method.”

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Tourist Season

When our family visited Ireland for the first time 3 years ago, Hannah, Erin & I were stopped on a street in North Dublin by a rather rough looking guy (we tried to ignore him the first time he called us, but he started yelling louder, ‘Hey, come here.‘). He came up to us and […]

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Making Small Talk

Even typing the word “small talk” gives me stress.

Last summer I was back in the States for a week to pick up Hannah & Erin and bring them to Ireland. While there, I also attended a conference with Hannah for few days.

While we were there, another pastor that I’ve known fairly well for a number of years came up to chat about our move to Ireland. It was an awkward conversation. After it was over Hannah started laughing at me (once the other person had left of course). It was worthy of being laughed at.

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Losing a Mentor

There are certain events that happen in life that if they had happened at a different time, would have had a very different impact. In so many ways, timing is everything. In 1988 I was going through an internship to learn more about campus ministry. There was a bunch of various tasks I had to […]

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A Trip Through the Wilderness

May is a bit of a strange anniversary for me. It was a year ago this time that I was working on the final two Sunday messages that I would share as lead pastor of the Ithaca Vineyard (the church I planted in Upstate NY in 1999). I was also preparing to step down at the end of the month to begin making final preparations for our family’s upcoming move to Ireland.

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Saving for a Rainy Day

There are a number of things here in Ireland that from the outside seem quite similar to their American (or at least Upstate NY) counterparts. However, once you’ve dealt with them for a while, you realize that they are quite different.
Not better or worse necessarily, just different.

That said, I think for most of us, we generally interpret different at “not as good.” We romanticize the “good old days,” and get frustrated when things don’t work the way we are used to them working.

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Listening to the Right Channel

I was thinking about high school recently. I was imagining being in my chemistry class, and asking the teacher about diagraming sentences. (I did find diagraming sentences far more interesting than chemistry…although there was the one time when that one girl smelled some chemical without “wafting”..that was pretty cool…she was the same girl who pushed […]

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Order out of Chaos (I hope)

As I mentioned in our monthly e-newsletter (you can subscribe here), I’ve been trying to figure out how to set up all of our web stuff in such a way that it makes sense.
Although this blog started out as my personal blog, it has over the past year or two become more and more focused on sharing a lot of family/Dublin type stuff. We’d even switched the name of it last fall to

The site was where we were putting stuff about, as you might have guessed, our upcoming church plant in Dublin.

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Heading West

Liz, Méabh and I dropped off Erin and Brenna on Saturday and drove to the west coast of Ireland. It was the first time since we arrived here last summer that we’ve taken any time to get away…it was long over due. We were originally planning to stay for two nights, but the hostel we stayed at in Doolin offered a free 3rd night. And free is hard to turn down.

We didn’t do a lot. We mostly relaxed. Well, as much as having an almost 2 year old around allows you to relax.

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