Archives For friends

In the wake of so much tragedy, my best friend, Paul Haugen has released a song that he wrote a few months ago. It is meant to bring hope and inspire and I pray it does those things for you. Enjoy.

“I wrote this song a few months ago after the divisiveness on my Facebook feed had reached a high point. I had this sense in me that in spite of all of our differences and strongly held beliefs there was and is a connective tissue that holds us together; that there’s this thing inside of us that makes us so much better together than we could ever be apart. I believe that connective tissue is hope. I think we all want better. We all want change. We just are really bad at listening sometimes. I remembered a time in my life where I felt safe and I really want that for my kids. What really scared me was thinking about how long it had been since I felt that way and the thought that my kids might grow up in a world without that feeling of safety. I wanted to write this as my stake in the ground declaring that I believe we can be more; that we can be better. So this is me hoping that we find a way to love one another and maybe find a little bit of hope.” – Paul Haugen

In this episode of #FiatFriday, we’re getting ready for Brynn’s 5th birthday! She turned 5 on May 25th… I can’t believe it!

In this episode, we go to the Fresno Chafee Zoo with 3 other families and we are completely outnumbered. Have you ever tried to herd 14 kids through a zoo? It’s a little crazy. Josiah’s favorite part was Sting-Ray Bay. It’s awesome because you can pet the sting-rays and some sharks too! We’ll be back next week, since we bought a family pass, to shoot a video for a school project. Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more regular updates.

This year, Easter was a little crazier than usual. We put on our 3rd annual community-wide  FREE BBQ and Easter Egg Hunt at Dry Creek Park in Clovis, CA and people showed up in droves. The first year, it was basically for Two Cities Church. The second year we were able to invite a couple of hundred people to participate with us, but this year… this year was a different ball game. This year well over 800 people, maybe even 1000, came out to the hunt and it clarified for us that this event is for the community and not at all for our church. So next year, we’ll have that mindset as we enter into it.

Our kids walked away from that hunt with ZERO eggs, because it wasn’t about us. So we had a little hunt at a family gathering and then a third at our friend’s house. Here’s a short video highlighting all three from our Go.Do Youtube Vlog. Subscribe to the YouTube channel for more regular videos.

 

Yesterday I had the honor of baptizing my brother-in-law, Mitch Karraker, at his parent’s home in Clovis, CA. When I first met Mitch, he was a great kid. I’ve always felt that God would use him for big things. He comes from a long legacy of spiritual leaders and sometimes that can be a big burden for people, but not for Mitch. I love his honesty and how he tells his story. It’s a story you may recognize. It’s a story you may resonate with. Maybe it’s your story or the story of your kids, or maybe you’re hoping that’s how it ends, but you aren’t sure yet. Like Mitch said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Thanks for letting me be a part of your baptism, your life, your family and your story.

Discovering Periscope
Twitter recently acquired a small live-streaming app called Periscope. It basically allows anybody to live-stream anything from their phone at anytime, anywhere you can get wifi or cell service. It’s an infant, as far as apps go, but it’s pretty powerful. Instead of continuing to explain it… I’ll let Ellen show you:

I didn’t think it would be something I’d get into, but then I read a blog post from my friend Carey all about the possible ministry uses of Periscope and he named several recommendations for people to follow. So, being the early adopter I am, I downloaded the app and tried it out and immediately was struck by the real-time interactive element.

One of the first “scopes” I participated in was from a TV producer who was looking for pitches for shows to produce. I was only on for a couple of minutes, but I wrote in the comment box, “Celebrity Uber Drivers.” And he started talking about that. I was shocked by the feeling I felt when he mentioned my name live and starting interacting and thought, “This is pretty powerful.” I’ve been experimenting with it ever since and even egging on Paul Haugen in doing scopes with cover songs.

I also really enjoy that you can see a world map and jump on any scope you want, but I love that I can zoom in and see if anyone is doing that in my area. I want to make an impact in my area and that means connecting with people I wasn’t previously connected with and this makes it easy to have real-time interaction in a very unique way.

I’ve done several different kind of scopes:
  • Talking about what I’m reading and asking for recommendations — in this one I gave away a book
  • Talking about favorite music and asking for recommendations
  • Streaming some baby birds being fed by their mama in my dad’s backyard
  • Interviewing my son, Josiah (big hit)
  • Brainstorming for message preparation (since I am a Pastor)
  • Showing rehearsal on Sunday morning with our band (@2Cities_Church)

I’m still trying to figure it all out, but I think it’s a platform that will only grow. I know they’re working on an app for desktop and landscape view, which are in high demand.

One guy, Scott Williams, scopes several times a day and he says the key to Periscope is this… You R.O.C.K. it.

Real: Be Real
Often: Be Often
Calculated: Be calculated in what you scope about, where you scope, etc.
Kind: Be Kind

Here’s the infographic that really intrigued me.

PeriscopeTips_Carey_unSeminary

You can download the app here and follow @micahfoster, @haugenpaul and @2cities_church to see how we begin to use it.

What do you think about this new platform?

jamie_no_button1

When we started Two Cities Church, we literally thought to ourselves, “What would a church that (insert name here) would go to look like?” Jamie Medeiros was one of those names. Erica and I have known her for many years now and we’ve never stopped praying her and her family. At one point she told me, “I hate that $%#&*#$* bible.” And now she proclaims Jesus. I am blown away at how God has worked in her life. Now because of the faith she has in Jesus and because her and her son Jack come every week, her son is now telling others that Jesus loves them.

In her story, you’ll notice the many different people played a role in Jamie’s story. One of my favorite quotes is from one of those people and reads, “You are his princess and I love you.”

Imagine how differently our lives might be, if we honestly knew and lived as if this was true.

If you’re looking for a place…
  • that you can be yourself
  • that you are not judged for not knowing about the bible
  • that you can ask the questions you think
  • that you can explore faith without pressure
  • that you can remain anonymous as long as you want
  • that you can belong before you believe
  • that you can believe before you behave
  • and that you can get a sense of family and acceptance

Come and See what we’re all about.

You may also like these stories:
Rudy, JoAnne, Donny, Annette, Cady, Mauro

Unclaimed Property

June 12, 2015 — 5 Comments

Unclaimed-property

I got a letter in the mail that said that I had unclaimed property held by the CA state controller. It was some kind of refund from Apple Inc. It was for $299. I thought to myself, “This could either be legit or a scam… I’ll google it.”

Google has a way of revealing the true nature of these kinds of things. I google phone numbers that call me all the time to see if they are telemarketers and if they are, I block ’em. But I googled. And what I found was pretty amazing.

The CA state controller holds onto unclaimed property (rebates, refunds, interest owed, gift cards unused, etc.) on the behalf of the owner for 7 years. After that, they take the money and use it at the state government level.

So, how do you know if you have money that never made it into your hands?

  1. Go to your state’s website, here’s a mass list for all 50 states. Here’s the CA site.
  2. Type in your last name (or business name) and press search.
  3. Check every city you’ve lived in!
  4. Each unclaimed property will show up and you can claim it!

I just did that and found 3 different claims, totaling over $400.

I had two claims from APPLE INC. and one from MICROSOFT. I searched some friends and family and found that many of them also have unclaimed property, some in the thousands.

I texted a good friend and told him I saw something for him and he did a little digging, he found a couple of hundred dollars as well.

I searched my Dad’s old business and there was a rebate from COMCAST for him too.

It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s your money… so go get it.

I Was Blown Away.

June 9, 2015 — 1 Comment

Rudy Gonzalez has an amazing story of redemption. From a stubborn heart to an unbelievable man of God that I am proud to say is my friend. Rudy’s story should be a testimony to us all about grace. I love it when he says, “I was blown away.” I remember that day very clearly and it’s because of these kinds of stories that I continue to seek God’s will in this church-planting adventure at Two Cities Church.

Annette is a powerful story of God meeting us in our darkest moments and raising us from death to life again. I love it when she talks about getting out from under her addiction and asking God to take away her obsession to use. She says, “He did and my life was changed.” Annette is part of our Guest Services team at Two Cities Church, part of my community group and a friend. Watch her story.