Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mallory Julia Watanabe

Welcome to the world, Mallory! We are excited that you're here and we can't wait to meet you! Because of you, we are now legitimate! We are real "uncle" and "auntie!" Please say "hi" to dad and mom for us! We are so excited that you are a part of this family! We hope to see you soon...

Uncle Andrew and Auntie Sandi

Friday, June 20, 2008

Na08...CCC contingency

ten of us made the journey from Reading, PA to Louisville, KY to attend New Attitude 08. some of us flew...most of us drove. all in all it was a trip to remember! God spoke to us, reminding us of the importance of His precious word...the Bible. we hope and pray that the things that we heard will not be forgotten, but spoken of often as we continue to spend time together. ...and over time, have a lasting and eternal effect on the way we live our lives today. we want this in order to glorify and esteem the one who loved us and saved us from our sin, from death and from hell...Jesus Christ. that's the essential core of our's what binds us together with an unbreakable bond. We thank God for His goodness in all that he has done.

Keri and the brothers Rus

the entire Na08 CREW

we're hoping and praying for more of us to go next year! interested? please let me know! and to all of our readers from HAWAII, that invitation is extended to you too! we would LOVE to have you join us at Na09 in Baltimore, Maryland!!=)

Na08...Dan and Noel

It was good to see Dan and Noel again, too. ...and introduce them to sandi. they attend covenant fellowship church...about 45 minutes away from us towards southern Philly. they are the most musically rocking couple that i know personally. however, like many other gifted musicians we happened upon @Na, you'd never know they were gifted musicians just by chatting with them. ...their humility is inspiring and provoking. and even though they did play a 45 minute show on a small acoustic stage one evening (see the bottom pic) with their band, "Reilly," the main reason they were there was to SERVE us Na attenders. the main reason they were there was because they wanted to be ninja's.

"courtesy ninja's" that is. Courtesy Ninjas are married couples who come to Na for the sole purpose of serving anyone attending Na (and often people who are not attending Na). they know everything and look for ways to help and direct the Louisville lost and confused. they also hand out hot cups of coffee and krispy creme doughnuts every morning, as well as fruits, snacks, stickers, sodas, shirts, and c.d.'s throughout the day. sound like fun? well, whatever it may sound like to you, they sure enjoy doing it! a big MAHALO to Dan and Noel and all the other ninja's!


Chocolate chip banana bread!!=)

within the past two weeks sandi and i have made three batches of banana bread! ...broke da mout'! thank you mom and dad for the recipe!! was ono!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Na08...pre-sesh (befrore the session)

p.s. you'll note that a few of the pictures are out of focus and blurred. if i were john, i could say that that's exactly how i envisioned them turning out before i snapped the shot. however...i'm not john...and i was trying SO HARD to get those shots in focus!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Na08...smoketown usa!

meal times at Na are somewhat of an adventure. all eateries within walking distance are swarming with 3,700+ hungry the exact same time. so the first couple of days we stood in long lines for quite awhile in order to get our food. things got really interesting on sunday when all restaurants were closed except for three! (...there's still 3,700+ hungry folks!) so...on sunday night we hatched a plan...which turned out to be a great idea.

nine of us jumped in jona's grandparent's van and drove about 7 minutes to a sweet little restaurant called "smoketown usa." john recommended it. there were a number of beautiful things about this place. was empty! we had an uncrowded quiet place to be together, eat and chat (which is something we hadn't had since we've arrived). it was a relaxed, breezy and unhurried time. second, the owner and the employee took some time to introduce themselves to us and chat for a bit (see pics below). ...and we had a great time talking story with them. and third, the food was ono!! ...and very reasonably priced. continue to pick the winners! mahalo!

here's a few pictures of our enjoyable evening at smoketown usa...

Saturday, June 07, 2008


here are some of the folks i got to see/meet at nao8...

i got to see Stephen Altrogge again. we roomed together at Nao4. because of the fast-paced nature of the conference, we hardly got to hang out or talk back then (though he did sign my guitar=). it was good to see him again and chat with him for a bit. Stephen is a VERY gifted and humble man (which is why you'll never hear from him how gifted he is). he is an excellent song-writer, worship leader, and author. a most inspiring thing about him is that he uses all of these God-given strengths to serve his local church. though he could easily "take to the road" as many gifted Christian artists/musicians do, Stephen has chosen to see his primary service and ministry to one local church as the most important thing he can do to obey and glorify God. that takes A LOT of humility and honesty. thanks Stephen for your example and friendship!

sandi and i got to meet Jared Mellinger. he was our community group leader. about three weeks ago, CB (our pastor) encouraged me and my good friend Damien to listen to a message explaining that Jared was going to be replacing Dave Harvey as the Senior Pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church, in Glen Mills, PA. you can listen to Jared speak about how he came to place his faith and trust in Jesus here.

i also got to introduce sandi to Matt and Julie. i met matt and julie in 2001 when i attended Crossway Community Church in Langley, BC (Canada). we just "bumped" into one another in the midst of 3,700 people! it was an instant reunion. it was great to catch up with them and see where God taken them...both spiritually and geographically. Matt and Julie are now in Greenville, SC...serving the people pastorally at a sovereign grace church there. Great to see you, Matt and Julie!!

Na08...the journey begins

[o5.24.o8] it was 3:00 AM on saturday morning when we started driving. there were eight of us--Keri, Jona, Carol, Daphne, Dumitru, Paul, Sandi and myself--driving from Reading, PA to Louisville, KY. the trip would take us 12 hours to complete...but we were up to the challenge. some of us were prepared to drive...some of us were prepared to sleep...all in all, it would be a great journey together.

here are a few pictures of us along the way...

Dumitru and Paul took excellent care of checking and maintaining vehicle fluids. Mahalo to all the drivers who spent many hours, in daylight and darkness, behind the wheel.

my advice to frequent fliers...

(below: blue corn chicken enchilada's with beans, rice and green chili! amazing...)

if you will find yourself flying on an airplane anytime soon, i have some advice for you...especially if you live in the land of the plate lunch! on your way to the airport, plan to stop at a favorite eatery of yours and pick up a meal to go. then, while fellow-fliers are munching on crackers and peanuts you can bust out your meal.

please do not use this opportunity to look down upon your unknowing fellow-fliers or become haughty towards them (believe me, it will be hard to resist). instead, enjoy your meal and use the opportunity to educate any unknowing fellow-fliers. if you'd like, you may even offer some of your meal to others close by. in my experience having a meal you enjoy...or food at all, for that matter...will lend itself to a better overall flight experience! enjoy!

an unexpected surprise...

on our way back from the Wilderness Medicine Conference we had a 3 hour lay-over in Denver, CO. i thought it would be a good opportunity to give my cousins a call. (we don't get to see each other very often) it was almost 9:00 on a sunday night when i gave mike a call. just so happened that he was at jake and marsha's!

after talking to mike and marsh for a few minutes they decided to jump in the car and drive 45 minutes to see us at the airport.

we sat at the second floor Burger King and talked for about an hour. jake and marsha got to meet sandi for the first time! it was a sweet time together! thanks mike, jake and marsha for breaking your sunday evening plans and driving out to see us! we sure enjoyed our time with you!

until next time...God keep you in His grace...

p.s. if you're going to be in the Denver area on June 20th, check out Elida Young's show! visit her site for details.=)

Thursday, June 05, 2008


recently sandi and i were able to travel to Louisville, KY for the New Attitude Conference and Santa Fe, NM for the Wilderness Medicine Conference. i'll have more pics for you later.

you can see what my good friend's john and jona had to say about their Na experience.

i'll have more details and pics from sandi and me real soon!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

2 years...

today makes 2 years that i have been married to my beautiful bride, sandi! they have been wonderful years! ...not perfect, but immensely wonderful! the reason for two amazing years of marriage is that God has been so kind and gracious to us. if not for God's faithful work in our lives, i'm confident that our experience would have been much different. we thank God for two wondrous years together!!

i love you sandi! and, by God's grace, i look forward to many more wonderful years with you!