Adoption Trip Update #6

On Friday, Katie and I left Ethiopia. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to our son knowing that we won’t see him for 5-10 weeks. He was a mess when we left, also knowing that we wouldn’t be back tomorrow. Knowing the issues of abandonment he has already dealt with, that he is 4 years old and has a hard time understanding what is happening, I told Katie later that moment of saying goodbye was the closest I’ve ever come to crying.

She was glad to know I had feelings.

Landing in Rome on Sunday was just what we needed. Even though we’re in Rome, Katie and I aren’t the type who plan out a whole day of activities and run til we drop. We’ve walked around and have seen a ton of really cool things and have eaten some amazing food, but we also took a 3 hour nap yesterday.

Here are some pictures of our morning walk through the streets of Rome:



After taking a much needed nap, we embarked on a night walk through Rome and a search to find dinner. Eating gluten free has not been as difficult in Rome as one might expect. In fact, in Italy, if you have celiac disease, you get a stipend from the government to buy gluten free food because it is more expensive. Just another way the States are behind other countries.

Here’s a shot as the sun was going down:


Dinner was incredible. They had gluten free pasta that tasted like regular pasta. We had a wine that had one the best wine in Italy for 3 years in a row. The whole thing did not disappoint.


Here are some night shots of our way back to our room:


Time to get going for another day. Today were heading to the forum and colosseum and probably a nap. It felt weird last night that as we were walking to dinner Revolution was happening and I was preaching via video. I can’t wait to get back and preach live this coming Sunday for,the first time in 8 weeks! So pumped for that.

Top Posts of February

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. My Journey of Losing Weight
  2. Accountability
  3. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  4. Tuesday Morning Book Review || The Power of Habit
  5. Losing Weight Part 2: The Idol of Food
  6. My Book
  7. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And Why it Matters)
  8. When You Shouldn’t Pray
  9. 30 Days of Being Gluten Free
  10. Being “The Guy”

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

  • Yesterday was a weird day for me.
  • Last week, I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in California learning about preaching from Larry Osborne and Chris Brown.
  • Unreal. Still processing all that I learned.
  • The problem is that it totally threw off my routine for sermon prep.
  • I am a creature of habit, I like my routine.
  • Still, God was working yesterday, in spite of my feeling all over the place.
  • I loved hearing the conversations after the service about what people are giving up for Lent.
  • I talked to a guy (not a Christian) who is giving up porn and using that time to read his Bible to explore Jesus.
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen here.
  • Had a great meeting yesterday about a summer missions trip we are taking to the Czech Republic.
  • Love the passion Chris Gillett has in leading this trip and the response from our church so far.
  • We also had a baptism yesterday.
  • Love that we continue to need to schedule baptisms.
  • Started a really fascinating book last night called The Power of Habit
  • The implications for leaders and pastors are huge.
  • Understanding why people do what they do can really change how you preach and help people apply Scripture.
  • I have 2 really important meetings with publishers this week about my books, so I’d appreciate your prayers.
  • I really believe these books will help a lot of people find freedom from things and find the life Jesus intends for them.
  • Made plans this week to take a short trip in the coming weeks up to Pinetop with Katie and the kids.
  • We’ve never been there, so I’m excited about it.
  • I mentioned last week that I’ve been gluten free for the last 30 days.
  • While it is challenging when you go out to eat, the lack of pain in my stomach has been awesome.
  • I don’t know about any other football fans, but yesterday was a sad day without football.
  • Kind of didn’t’ know what to do with my afternoon.

[Image Credit]

30 Days of Being Gluten Free


Some of you know that for the past 30 days Katie and I have been eating gluten free.


It isn’t because I wanted to torture myself by taking grain out of my diet and make eating more difficult. I haven’t been tested, but most of my family has a gluten intolerance and for the longest time, I would have a ton of stomach pain after eating certain foods, mostly, bread.

Over the holidays we got 2 cookbooks: Practical Paleo and True Food. We decided we’d take 30 days, go gluten free and see if it made a difference in my stomach.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. There’s no way I’m going back. I was skeptical about eating gluten free because of how much I like bread and how it would change my diet. After eating gluten free for a month, there’s no way I’m going back. The stomach pain I used to have is gone and my energy level is higher than ever. 
  2. If you do your homework, you can cook some amazing food. Admittedly, there are some great food items that I can no longer eat. Pasta is different when it is gluten free or you steam zucchini. It tastes similar, but it is different. If you do your homework, you can eat some amazing food. Every meal we’ve had so far has been incredible. 
  3. If you cut out grain, you have to eat a ton. Carbs take up a ton of space in your stomach. Consequently, they take a lot of time to digest, which is what leads to so much weight gain. When you eat protein and vegetables, you eat what seems like a lot more food because those foods take up less room in your stomach. This is more of a psychological/mental switch you need to make when you go gluten free.
  4. If you like beer, going gluten free will be miserable. I’m from the Northeast, which means I’ve always been a fan of Sam Adams. One of beer’s main ingredients is wheat. While there are a number of gluten free beers out there, if you are a fan of beer and go gluten free, you are in for a sad day. Thankfully, wine is gluten free. 
  5. You have to plan ahead. I have a lot of meetings at Starbucks, at lunches and I still want to take Katie out for date nights. Many places have gluten free menu’s or food items. They aren’t bad either. P.F. Chang’s, Pei Wei, Pasco Kitchen all have gluten free items. Tucson Tamale is gluten free, if you don’t eat the tortilla’s at Chipotle  it’s gluten free. If you go without the bun at In N Out, and now Sauce has gluten free sauce. At Zinburger, you can ask them to cook the fries in a separate fryer so they are gluten free and get the burger without a bun and you are good to go. 

If you’ve gone gluten free for health or diet reasons, what has made the switch work for you? Why would you tell others to do it?

[Image Credit]

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

  • Feels weird getting back into the swing of things
  • While I got a lot of prep done last week for our new series Meaning
  • This is the first time in 2 weeks I’m sitting down to write a sermon
  • I missed it
  • Dave did a great job yesterday wrapping up Image is Everything
  • Going through Ephesians was a real blessing to me
  • I can’t tell you how excited I am to kick off Ecclesiastes
  • The more I’ve been prepping for this series, the more relevant the book of Ecclesiastes has become to me
  • I think it is going to be a life changing series for our church
  • One historian said that if there was a book written with someone who doesn’t believe in God in mind, that book would be Ecclesiastes
  • So, make sure you bring someone with you
  • Heard we had a ton of kids yesterday in Planet Rev
  • Love seeing how many kids God has entrusted to Revolution Church
  • Speaking of Next Gen Ministries, if you have a student at Revolution, here is an event you don’t want them to miss
  • It’s going to be awesome
  • If finances are an issue, let Jared know as we don’t want that to keep a student from participating
  • Over the holidays, Katie and I made the leap to gluten free diet for health reasons as we’re pretty sure I have a gluten intolerance
  • So far, it’s made a huge difference and I haven’t noticed too much of a difference in food
  • I think eating out is going to be the challenge
  • My agent sent my book proposals to publishers this past week
  • One of my goals in 2012 was to finish a book proposal, get an agent and send it to publishers
  • Goal for 2013: publish a book
  • Been pretty amazed at the doors God has opened in 2012 in that arena
  • Time to head back to it
  • Got several coaching sessions with some of our MC leaders today and talking to a Revolutionary about getting baptized this month
  • Watch for details as we’re starting new MC’s this month
  • More details to come
  • See you Sunday for the first week of Meaning

[Image Credit]