Archive for November, 2008

Img from stock.xchng.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are having a wonderful day enjoying friends, family, and food!

I looked up the word “thanks” in the Webster dictionary and it used the word gratitude, or having grateful thoughts. Using the Webster thesaurus brings even stronger words: appreciation, appreciativeness, gratefulness, gratitude, thankfulness, thanksgiving; gratification, indebtedness, satisfaction; acknowledgment, recognition, and tribute.

I think most of us don’t use these words often enough. I know I don’t. I try to be thankful in every day life but it is hard sometimes. I want to take a few minutes and share with you a list of things I’m thankful for, but first I really like this verse from the Old Testament: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

In no particular order:

I am thankful for…

… my wonderful wife

… my parents

… my extended network of family

… great friends that span the world and the technology to stay connected to them

… the opportunity to serve my community

… being able to wake up each morning in a warm house with food on the shelves

… great neighbors

… the ability to run and the strength to do so

… my growing network of friends who care about me individually

… friends and people who challenge me to strive to become the best person possible

… a church that cares more about taking care of each other and our neighbors than a building

… amazing co-workers who truly care about our students and their education

… the freedom to worship

… the snow, the sun, and even the rain (but maybe not -34 windchills)

What are you thankful for this year?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

This has been a year for weddings.  A good friend made a comment about me being ready for this season of life to be over.  It will be nice to not have any more weddings to go to, but it will also mean not seeing & catching up with old friends.  What it actually means is that we’ll have to find time in our busy lives to stop and hang out with our far-flung friends for no other reason than just hanging out!

This wedding was special to us because it was our good friend Amy’s wedding.  She has been Christy’s best friend since high school and mine since college and she introduced Christy and I.  She is also part of the reason we moved to Minneapolis.  So we were very pleased to be a part of the wedding (Christy was a bride’s maid and I hung out and helped with the slideshow!)  I also took a ton of pictures.  I took about 300 and was able to widdle it down to just under 250.  There were lots of cameras including the “professional” so I’m sure it will be well documented, although due to my camera phone I had the first picture of the wedded couple up on Facebook!

Weddings are always a good time to think back and remember the reasons why we got married and in a sense recommit ourselves to each other.  Amy & Kristofer may God richly bless the many great years ahead for you!

My entire album is here.

A very nice sticker.  Wish I knew where to get some of these….

HT Moments of Clarity

HT Buckeye Battle Cry

If everything goes well this blog will have a new home on Monday morning!!!

For a lot of reasons I am shifting Crossinator over to a WordPress self-hosted site. WordPress gives me a lot more flexibility and options and will hopefully lead to some more great content and thoughts.

This should be a seamless process and shouldn’t miss any content or see anything except a new spiffy site!

The new site’s address will be

Thanks and let me know if you notice anything weird happening!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

This always makes me laugh when I see it on my Discover Card statement.

You see… The Hub Bike Co-op is a bike shop here in Minneapolis. I’m not sure why I would ever need flight insurance on my purchases there… but who knows!

Anyway, just wanted to share my laughs with you!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


That word conjures up a lot of different thoughts and feeling for different people.

Some say Jesus was a refugee, others think refugees are just another group of immigrants taking over our country. But to me, refugees are neighbors – both in a literal and figurative sense. We live in the most diverse neighborhood in Minneapolis. Minneapolis is home to the largest Somali population in the US and has a very large Hmong population as well.

Moving here has truly made the plight of refugees a part of my life. They are my co-workers, friends, neighbors, and if nothing else fellow humans on a journey seeking love and happiness.

Technical note: A refugee is a person who is fleeing their country due to a well-founded fear of persecution (for any reason) who is unable to seek protection from their own country.

I’d like to share a few stories about my refugee friends…

A Hmong student at my school recently came to the US to be with her family. She had not seen her dad in her 12 years of life. Like many other Hmong refugees her family was seeking safety after supporting the US during the Vietnam War. It had taken her father 12 years to secure the family visa’s to live in the US. This family helped our Army fight and we can’t let them be together?

A Somali co-worker has lived in the US for about 12 years. He is a well-respected man in his community and was fairly rich in Somalia before the civil war. He owned several banana farms and a large house. Now he serves as an Educational Assistant at my school helping with discipline and translation for our Somali student’s and their families. His wife and a couple of his children live with him in a suburb but are unable to gain citizenship, because they might be terrorists. He might send them to Canada so they can become citizens there and be safe to live here.

Some of the Somali women that we work with in our English tutoring were sexually abused before fleeing their homelands. Many saw their husbands and children killed. We can’t fully understand their story because of the language/culture barriers but also because the horror they experienced is too much to recount. We try to be their friends and help them navigate and understand more about the US so that they can feel more comfortable here.

I could share more stories but I think these give a glimpse into what it means to be a refugee. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have suffered through a horrible ordeal and relocating at great cost and pain, and then having to adjust to a new culture and the hurt and pain that can come with that.

Please take a second and pray for the individuals in the story I shared, a refugee you may know, or for refugees in general. If you want to do more there are many great organizations working with refugees around the world. World Vision, World Relief, Catholic Charities, Refugees International and the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children are just a few.

This post is a part of Bloggers Unite For Refugees.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]