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Archive for June, 2011

Heaven is For Real

Today, Slugger and I spent the morning together. Keao had to work for a few hours, so it was just me and her at home. Most of the time, Slugger is pretty content to just kind of cruise around and play with her toys as long as she knows you’re nearby. Every now and then, she will come over and want to be carried or want to sit in your lap, but for the most part she knows how to entertain herself.

Last week, Debbie, another staff member at church, gave me a book called Heaven is For Real. It’s the story of a little boy who briefly went to Heaven and returned back. It’s a fairly short book and it’s an easy read, so this morning, while I was watching Slugger I read the book.

In the book, the little boy, named Colton, describes going to Heaven and meeting Jesus. He also mentions over and over again that Jesus really loves children. He really, really loves children. Colton also goes on to tell his parents that he met his sister in Heaven. The strange thing is that before Colton was born, his mom had a miscarriage and they never told Colton about that. He met his sister that he didn’t even know he had!

In case you didn’t know, today is a special day. Five years ago, July 28 was just another day on my calendar, no more special than any other day. Four years ago on this date I got married. July 28 now had a very special meaning because it was one of the happiest days of my life. One year ago on this date I became a father. I became a dad to three teeny, tiny girls: Astro, Gizmo and Slugger. July 28 now had even more significance.

But July 28 also carries sadness as well as elation and joy. Although we brought three girls into this world, we lost Astro too. What should have been our happiest moment also became one of unimaginable grief as well. As if anything else couldn’t go wrong, a little over two weeks later, we would go on to lose Gizmo too.

If Heaven is for real, and I believe it is, then that means that this story will end happily! One day, whenever that day is, I will be reunited with all of my girls and we will never be separated again. In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul writes that, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38). Along with that I believe that once we hit Heaven we’ll be together forever (along with all of our other loved ones that know Jesus). What a joyous homecoming that will be. I can’t wait for my girls to show me around and give me the grand tour. There I’ll be able to hug and kiss them as long as I want to.

But today we also celebrate too. While we remember our lost girls, we celebrate with the one that turned a year old! Today Slugger turned one and she isn’t showing any signs of being born three months early. In fact, if you didn’t know anything about her you would never believe what she went through. You would never believe she spent the first 81 days of her life in the hospital fighting for her life. You would never believe she was only 2 pounds, 4 ounces when she was born. You would never believe that she was hooked up to so many machines that helped her breathe, eat and survive. All these things you would never believe because today she looks so perfect. We rejoice at how our little Slugger has turned out and we look forward to seeing her grow for many more years.

Thank you Jesus for blessing us with three beautiful little girls. I can’t wait until we can all be together again! Daddy loves you guys!

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Happy Birthday Slugger!

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Big D, Part 1

It’s been a busy last couple of months for me filled with some time off the island. I went to a conference in Plano, Texas and then Keao and I took a short trip to the Big Island to introduce Slugger to her cousin and her aunties and uncles for the first time. But that’s for another post (I’m trying really hard to catch up), this one is about my time in Dallas.

A few of us were sent to the Fellowship One conference to learn about the system powering our church’s database. I know, it’s super exciting. But we arrived the day before the conference started so we decided to do a little sightseeing.

Our first stop was lunch. When I go to the mainland there are three fast-food restaurants I like to eat as that we can’t get in Hawaii: 1. Chick-Fil-A, 2. Sonic, 3. In and Out Burger. I know, some of you may think that In and Out should be higher, but truthfully, while I like their burgers, I would still rather eat at the other two places first. Plus, they just opened the first In and Out in Texas while we were there and the line reportedly stretched over a mile.

But Sonic. I love Sonic. Not only do they have a wonderfully large menu, but you get served by carhops wearing roller skates! Plus, with all the drink combinations you can order a different drink every time you go there.

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They even have instructions on how to eat this massive foot-long Coney Island beast

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I got mine covered in chili and cheese

Last year when I went to the Fellowship One conference with Cindy, we saw Cowboy Stadium from a distance but we didn’t have a chance to visit it so this year I really wanted to make sure i got to take a tour of the “House that Jerry Built”. In a word, Cowboy Stadium is massive. I’ve been to other ballparks before but this one was so huge and impressive I don’t think pictures will do it justice. It’s a sight you have to see for yourself, in person.

The first thing you notice about Cowboy Stadium is the insanely large HD video screen. It’s reportedly the largest in the world and it cost $40 million to build. To put it in perspective, Texas Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys played before, cost $35 million to build. The entire stadium cost $5 million less than the HD screen.

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How would you like that in your living room?

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A view from the owner’s box

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Pretending to be Jerry Jones for a few minutes

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How many ways can you say “win”?

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I wanted to spike a football, but I was afraid of the ramifications

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The locker of former University of Hawaii punter Mat McBriar

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Tony Romo’s locker (I hear you can rent the locker room to do weddings too)

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Do you really need to tell professional football players NOT to share razors?

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A statue of the great Tom Landry

After the tour we were a little tired so we headed to our hotel to take a short nap and then we headed back to Arlington to take in a Rangers game. Cindy and I attended a game last year too, but you never get tired of watching a major league game live. Plus, the Rangers did make it to the World Series last year so there is quite a buzz going on in Dallas.

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The Ballpark at Arlington

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Your better-than-average stadium fare, a BBQ brisket sandwich

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Home Run!

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The ground crew covering the field during the rain delay

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Apparently one guy fell down and got covered too!

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The stadium quickly emptied when the lightning started

Truthfully I’m not sure who won since we didn’t stick around through the rain delay. We had traveled all night and we were tired (plus we didn’t want to be too tired for the conference). I didn’t take too many pictures of the conference since I figured that it wouldn’t be that exciting for everyone to see but I did take more pictures of food so please join me next time where I’ll show you what else i ate in Texas.

Until then, happy trails!

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