Friday, August 31, 2007

What did you do this summer?

Oh I learned guitar...

Mountain biking...

I saw a young deer while I was mountain biking at the cabin. The deer came on to the trail about 8 feet from me and just stood there looking at me. It was cool. I found some great trails that led up into Boyscout land, not open for public, but the lure of the wild caused me to tresspass and steal some moments in some wild backcountry. I know, I was wrong, but I am not a big fan of people buying up all the land and then telling everyone they can't step foot on the good earth. Soon everyone will own everything and we will be forced to walk on all the paths they pave for us. I hate it. I am still trying to find the ellusive Moose and black bear that roam around here. I've been here 10 years and still have not seen one...

Foul fowl...

This is what Kona, my black lab, looks like after a couple of days at the lake cabin. I let her off the leash to train her to be a leashless dog. I went for a walk in the woods and for about 20 minutes she obeyed. She would run off a ways and look behind to see if I was there and if I protested. It was a good start.She wears her self out every time we go. She loves the water, in fact, this dog would swim until she drowns. She goes wild on the leash when the local ducks come strutting around her area. They seem like they taunt her. So I attached a long rope to her and let her loose to chase the foul fowl out of the dock area...she took off like a bat our of hell...and broke the rope! off she charged into the lake, over the dock and off into the deep water! the ducks went scambling for thier life. I thought she was going to swim right out into the middle of the lake. But thankfully she listened to me and came back. I thought I was going to have to get the canoe and go drag a drowned dog out of the lake. I only wished she would have caught one to teach them a lesson.

Double trouble...

Austin holding some massinve Crawdads that the boys caught at Diamond lake. We spent a couple days relaxing, fishing and catching critters. These guys were huge...

Massive cobweb leaves scientists baffled...

I'll tell you where it came from...Shelob!!!!
read here:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jim Carey & Burma...

Thanks for the link Donnie!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Messing with Sasquatch

What can I say...they make me laugh.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Too funny...

lazy day....

We took the afternoon and headed to stateline and enjoyed a little crawdad hunting in the refreshing Spokane River. Micah and Austin enjoyed a cool swim while Destiny and Christian hung out on the rocks. Of course Kona spent most of the time in the water too. Unfortunately when they got out they were covered with little leeches...oops, better check the water better next time. :)

Micah found a crawdad and was adamant that we take him home...but I convinced him to let him go, reluctantly.

We also took Kona to the stateline leash-free dog park, it's about 3 acres of fenced play area for dogs. She had a blast, running, chasing balls, playing in the sprinkler, craping on the sidewalk (which Austin enjoyed picking up) exploring and...sniffing doggie butts.

37 today....

Concerning Harry...

The only article I have read that perks my interest in reading these books:

Monday, August 27, 2007

God is love...

“To become neighbors is to bridge the gap between people. As long as there is distance between us and we cannot look in each other's eyes, all sorts of false ideas and images arise. We give them names, make jokes about them, cover them with our prejudices, and avoid direct contact. We think of them as enemies. We forget that they love as we love, care for their children as we care for ours, become sick and die as we do. We forget that they are our brothers and sisters and treat them as objects that can be destroyed at will. Only when we have the courage to cross the street and look in one another's eyes can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the same human family."- Henri Nouwen

If you want to know if a person is good, don't ask what they say, think or believe; rather ask what they love."
- St. Augustine of Hippo

"What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do."- Ruskin

Church can be a beautiful expereince when God is at work. When diverse people are learning to love one another, grow and follow Jesus. When people are coming alive to God and choosing to reach out to people they normally would have avoided is evidence that God is present. The apostle John said it best: "God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him." (1 John 4:16)

Friday, August 24, 2007

On the hunt...

Micah, Christian, Kona and I went for a hike to get out of the house and get some fresh air. We were able to catch a good meals worth of grasshoppers for Micah's snake that he caught on our Deep Creek Hike. He is now after a frog for his man-hole collection. While were looking for frogs, we noticed we were being watched by something in the water. A couple turtles were raising their heads up out of the water like little periscopes, checking out the commotion. They came up pretty close, close enough to lure the boys out into the murky water to try to catch them. Of course Kona helped foil the plan by invading the water too. Well at least the snake is happy...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Micah in costume for film

Christian is filming his last part of his film tonight and the kids are all decked out for the final fight scene.
Should be good by the looks of it so far...

Austin in costume for film

3 amigos

Something summer brings....

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

He has made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered all things and secured; for all my salvation and all my desire, will He not make it grow? -King David (Psalms 23:5)

It seemed all most selfish to read this portion of the Psalm this morning. Dare I hold it as a promise for me as well? In light of all that is wrong in the world...catching a glimpse of all that is right, is desperately needed. Spending moments that suspend time, stop the clock...a proverbial "snooze button" in the rush of our lives. Oh, I am feeling it bad. But as I look at this portion of God's word to me...I find the promise rejuvenating.

All my desire....growing.
Expanding my experience of His salvation.
Enlarging my ability to taste and see.
Deepening my longing for all that He is and all that He has given.
Being free to shed the weight of the world that so often ties my shoulders up into a mess of emotional knots.

To just slowly glide backwards down the slide with my feet dirty from a shoeless walk; momentarily oblivious to anything else but now.

“Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.” ~Ada Louise Huxtable

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lives that are changing...

"We sense that something magnificent is afoot. We are intrigued by the chaos. We are willing to risk significant change in order to create local expressions of the kingdom of God that are burning with missional passion and practice. We want to explore the meaning of the chaos, the vision of a preferred future, the challenge of being "church." John Frye

We had the honor or baptizing a dad, a mom and a teen daughter this weekend at our church campout.
It was an awesome moment in a beautiful place...a truly holy moment. Yet again, I find myself so grateful to the Lord for allowing us to pastor a church, share lives, make memories together, see Him at work in so many different ways and be able to do this day after day. I am humbled by His mercy and grace. Nothing better than serving the God you love with the friends and people you love in a city you love.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elijah was a man...

I know prayer it is a touchy subject for many...because most don't pray. The reason: for many the subject of prayer is mute because the reality is...they don't feel righteous enough to pray. There is far too little understanding of being "in Christ" and resting from "our works" and resting in His work. We approach God on the basis of how good we have been or how good we feel today. But biblically speaking we are not going to be "good enough"...ever. That becomes the truth that will set you free. The path towards right standing with God isn't through works of righteousness. The works of righteousness come but the true sweet fruit of holiness grows out of a understanding the we are accepted, forgiven and righteous through the death and life of Christ.

The beauty of James 5:16, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" is the rest of the truth (verse) that goes with it.
But it is too often left out of the conversations, the rest of the verse says:

"Elijah was a man...with a nature like ours and he prayed...vs17.

Elijah was a man...

Elijah had a nature like ours...

He prayed...

If you know men and you know the "nature" that James is talking about...that should lighten your load today.
Even us men who struggle with a nature that is wild as a beast can pray...and God hears those prayers.
They prevail because Christ prevailed and removed the curtain that keeps us out and keeps God distant.
He poured his blood on the altar of God to wash away the stains that prevented us from offering holy prayers.
He cleansed us, redeemed us, reconciled us, set us apart, consecrated us, accepted us, took our punishment, gave us a freedom to approach a Throne of grace in times of need.

Is your "nature" preventing you from prayer today?

Elijah was a man just like you and he prayed...and seasons changed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

more worthy to pray?

"Some say, "I would feel better about God hearing my prayer if I were
more worthy and lived a better life." I simply answer: If you don't
want to pray before you feel that you are worthy or qualified, then
you will never pray again. Prayer must not be based on or depend on
your personal worthiness or the quality of the prayer itself but on
the unchanging truth of God's promise . . . We pray because we are
unworthy to pray. Our prayers are heard precisely because we believe
that we are unworthy. We become worthy to pray when we risk
everything on God's faithfulness alone . . . For your worthiness
doesn't help you and neither does your unworthiness hinder you. A
lack of faith is what condemns you, but confidence in God is what
makes you worthy. "
- Martin Luther

Beyond Rangoon (1995)

Laura (Patricia Arquette) is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after the murder of her husband and son, and goes on vacation with her sister to Burma. After losing her passport at a political rally, she is left on her own for a few days, during which time she falls in with students fighting for democracy. She and their leader, U Aung Ko, travel through Burma, whilst witnessing many bloody acts of repression by the dictatorship, in an attempt to escape to Thailand. Based on a true story.

LeeEll and I watched this last night for the first, what a movie. Really helpful to see and feel the Karen/Burma situation better. I talked to a lady the other day who was at the riots in Rangoon; it was moving to hear her talk about it but to see it in film, added a lot more perspective.

I will show this film at our church movie nights for sure.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where did the man path go?

Here is my new blog project:

It's based off the work I am doing on developing ideas about men's ministry, boys and the path towards manhood.
It will be unashamedly manly, not politically correct, safe or sanitized or spirutally saccharine or too churchy.

It will be multi-generational: meaning content is meant to engage men and boys.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I want it...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

The 7 Most Sugar Filled Drinks


top 10 most rewatched movies...

Top 10 most watched by men:

1. Star Wars trilogy
2. Aliens
3. The Terminator
4. Bladerunner
5. The Godfather
6. Alien
7. Jaws
8. Die Hard
9. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
10. The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Top 10 most watched by women:

1. Dirty Dancing
2. Star Wars trilogy
3. Grease
4. The Sound of Music
5. Pretty Woman
6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
7. It's A Wonderful Life
8. The Terminator
9. The Matrix
10. Jaws

Don't understand ladies?


For every 100 females ages 15 to 19 that commit suicide 549 males in the same range kill themselves.

For every 100 females ages 20 to 24 that commit suicide 624 males of the same age kill themselves.

For every 100 girls ages 15 to 17 in correctional facilities there are 837 boys behind bars.

For every 100 women ages 18 to 21 in correctional facilities there are 1430 men behind bars.

For every 100 women ages 22 to 24 in correctional facilities there are 1448 men in correctional facilities.

20 dates under $20


What is your real age....

This will surprise you...

40 amazing sand sculptures

20 questions to ask before you say I do....

Do you think these are important, would you add or subtract any?


How is your kids school?

Find out how your kids school is doing compared to other schools in
your district.
Very interesting information.


Now, I don't want to disrespect the president but this made me laugh.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Move in day...

move in
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Pastor JC and family moved into their new home today. Thanks to everyone who has helped make this a reality. House repair people, cleaning people, moving people, those who gave financially and to all who have been giving household goods...thank you. This makes 40 Karen people living in our neighborhood.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Men's ministry....???

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

I am currently spending time working out some of my thoughts about men's ministry. Most of what I have experienced with men's ministry has been hit and miss. It seems often to be irrelevant, formulaic, tired, forced, overly religious and disconnected generationally.

I have often felt that all the supposed role modeling that is pushed becomes yet another burden on my overworked, under-empowered man mind. Some men;s ministries and material try to harness men's love of working with their hands and building and turn the ministry into another part time job of do good projects. Is service to community worthwhile? For sure but not as a crowbar being used to force men into some vision of manly ministry.

Then there is the sin issues. Somehow a quest for genuine relationships get turned into some form of strange potty policing...called accountability partners and groups. This becomes suffocating, intrusive and strangely emasculating. Instead of teaching men how to live with the drive of stallions we are browbeat into religious forms of castration. Geldings we become in the hands of some men's ministries.

Is potty policing the pinnacle of what the church has to offer men?
With these thoughts running through my mind, I realize that ministry that further takes men away from family & home has to really be thought through.
I am putting together a ministry plan that explores 6 archetypes of manhood:


Each of these archetypes speak to the different parts of a man's life. Each symbol represents an area to grow in, explore and understand.
In the context of a multi-generational pursuit through various adventures that are both external and internal.
All in relationship with older men, brothers and rising sons.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer." - F. B. Meyer 

End of the canyon...

This is a shot of the end of Deep creek canyon...just as you leave the basalt rocks and come out, you can see the bridge and you know you are almost to the river and ready for a swim or catching some fish.

Grab a serpent by the tail...

Here is Christian and Saw trying to wrestle an angry, pissing snake into a container for the ride home. If you have never smelled a snake after he has released urine to try to persuade you to leave him dont know what you are missing. Micah has been asking to go somewhere to catch a snake or a lizard. So his big brother helped him catch a nice size snake that was swimming in one of the pools of water found in the canyon riverbed. Of course Micah had his plastic container to bring him home. He was ready because I have created a boy zone in my man-hole in the garage, complete with building/creating table, various tools, and two fish tanks turned into potential creature terrariums. Part of my "Wild-Man" strategy to engage my sons in more outdoors activities to channel the energy, creativity and extra testosterone that seems to pump in the blauer boys veins.

The swimming hole....

Nothing like a good swim in the river after a long, tough hike through deep creek canyon. Every boy needs this to be a part of his life: boys and men, together...hiking, laughing, swimming and enjoying nature together. Good memories.

Deep Creek Canyon hike

I took the boys, one of their buddies Christian Hurley and Saw, one of our Karen friends on a hike in Deep Creek Canyon this week. It's one of my favorite semi-local hikes around here.

For Spokane people: HOW TO GET THERE: Take Francis heading west which then becomes Nine Mile Road (Hwy. 291) north from Spokane, at Seven Mile Road turn left. Just after you cross the Seven Mile Bridge, turn right onto Riverside Park Drive and continue until you come to the parking area overlooking the Spokane River.

To get into Deep Creek, you will need to hike down a trail that will be on your left after walking down dirt road for a little bit, it is a marked trail. It will lead down to the dry riverbed, hike along riverbed. It is a rough hike but the views are amazing inside the canyon. It will end up at the bridge and the Little Spokane River. Hike back by going east on the paved trail. Take a right up the road on your right, at the top of the hill and head back along the ridge to the parking area. It turns into the main road you entered on. So it ends up being a loop, you dont have to back track. First half is a real hike and the last half is a walk...a good combo for older kids.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The myth about boys...

the myth about boys
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Here is the Time magazine article I refrenced below:,9171,1647452,00.html
Read it if you have sons and/or care about the life of boys today.

The photo essay (The boys are all right) is great:,29307,1647411,00.html

boys...and the tradition of fighting.

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

A child's instinct is almost perfect in the matter of fighting; a child always stands for the good militarism as against the bad. The child's hero is always the man or boy who defends himself suddenly and splendidly against aggression. The child's hero is never the man or boy who attempts by his mere personal force to extend his mere personal influence. In all boys' books, in all boys' conversation, the hero is one person and the bully the other. That combination of the hero and bully in one, which people now call the Strong Man or the Superman, would be simply unintelligible to any schoolboy....

But really to talk of this small human creature, who never picks up an umbrella without trying to use it as a sword, who will hardly read a book in which there is no fighting, who out of the Bible itself generally remembers the "bluggy" [bloody] parts, who never walks down the garden without imagining himself to be stuck all over with swords and daggers--to take this human creature and talk about the wickedness of teaching him to be military, seems rather a wild piece of humour. He has already not only the tradition of fighting, but a far manlier and more genial tradition of fighting than our own. No; I am not in favour of the child being taught militarism. I am in favour of the child teaching it. -G. K. Chesterton, 1906 magazine article.

Maybe you read August Time magazine with the cover story about: "The myth about boys, experts say boys are in trouble, here's why they got it all wrong"

I found great solace and wisdom in the article. I have a son that fits the article just perfectly. I really, really, really needed to read it. I got a lot of ideas, support and help from the Lord on how to parent my son better and how to maybe help others with similar boys.

...the kingdom of heaven is forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it. -Jesus (matt. 11:12)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Man Moment: Kick Butt Stuff Ahead...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

This studio produces stuff that blows me away.
Go here: and watch the three trailers for:
-Warhammer Fantasy
-Empire Earth
-Hellsgate: London
They are located under the title: work/animation
Simply stunning visuals, storylines and the computer animation is well, freaking cool...I wish they were full length movies.


Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

"Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night:
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke; the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off: my heart was free:
I rose, went forth, and followed thee."

15 kids singing together

singing together
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

It really is a blessing to hear the praises of God from childrens lips.
These kids have something to sing about.
Praise is felt when the Karen kids belt it out.
I was moved to tears listening to them all sing.
Special story for sure...

Sing a new song

Sing a new song
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Micah and I were walking to Moon Lights house today and heard singing while we were approaching the house. Pastor JC and his wife Eh Roll were leading all the older children in singing songs for a special presentation on Sunday.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Boobs & Bibles...

mommy brigade
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Breastfed is BestFed...I saw this on a bumper-sticker yesterday and it reminds me of a particular predicament I face fairly regularly.

One of the strange things about having a laptop and pastoring with a mobile office is you often find yourself in odd situations. One of the places I spend a fair amount of time is at a local coffee spot called "The Shop". But during the day it is overrun with the "mommy brigade". They come in mass with their strollers, their children scurrying around, their cell phones and chatty friends all a buzz.

But I've noticed a couple of other things...these ladies are a free bunch of bra-less, breastfeeding earth mothers these days. Or maybe since I spent most of my 20's in a church office, safely locked away from any bohemian boobies, I never noticed?

Today, I was attempting to work at my little table and I was surrounded by nipples, dimples and stretched scruples. How does a pastor work in such a environment. Now I'm not against breasts...I am fond of them as the next guy and I hear they are the best source of food for the little gobblers...It's just odd trying to maintain a spiritual state of mind... in the midst of such activity.

It really has made me wonder about our idea of opening a coffee shop...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mr. Theist

youth churchin

a youth church service
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

A lot of faces in this pic that bring back a lot of memories...God busted through so many doors in this old room...shook the walls, soaked the carpet, opened the eys of hearts and birthed destiny. Praise God many of these kids are still following Jesus.

Student leaders swimming

Student leaders swimming
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Looking back on the youth pastoring days...there is a whole lot I miss. Like being able to call up a bunch of teens in the summer and go to the lake. A lot of ministry and memories happened on days like this. Just chilling, laughing and talking as we enjoyed God's beauty and helped kids grow up. How anyone wouldn't want to serve God this way escapes me.

The scrambler...

P. Eric given Derek the groin shot
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

As a previous youth pastor, I had to be skilled in various pool martial arts. This is the move called "the scambler" involves an elbow and...well, I will let you fill in the rest. It amazes me that I was paid to rough kids up for a living...


P.E. and Mel
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

One of my favorite pics from back in the youth pastoring days...this is Mellisa and I hanging out somewhere. Oh the pains of youth pastoring...suffering for Jesus by the pool or lake. Good times.


Eric Floating
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

My titanic life....

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

tree house

tree house
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Micah wants a tree house..I thought this one looked way cool.

Dog or cat...

A dog looks at you and thinks, "You fed me, you pet me, you give me shelter, and you love me.  You must be God."  

A cat looks at you and thinks, "You feed me, you pet me, you give me shelter, and you love me.  I must be God."