Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Our Thanksgiving was one to remember.  We slept in.  I got a work out in.  Apo played street tennis with Kaden.  It was a warm day - mid 60's for us.

We bought a pre-lit Christmas tree last night at Costco.  I'm not one for fake trees - I prefer the real ones.  But this one was so real-looking and it made such economic sense to buy it and have it for 10 years rather than spend $60 on a tree every year and clean up needles on January 1st.  We had the tree up and began decorating at 11:30 - at the start of the Titans - Lions game.  HPIM1289

It wasn't much of a contest.  The Titans dominated the Lions.  It was 47-10 when it was finally over.  The Titans are 11-1!  Hey Papa, how 'bout them Lions!?
At halftime, we took a family walk around the neighborhood to get really hungry for the turkey we would eat after the game.  

At 3pm we had our Turkey dinner.  Krissy had pre-bought the sliced turkey, trimmings and desserts.  And, it was delicious.  After two plates of food, I was stuffed!  The boys, Amo, Apo and Krissy too. 

We had each written what we are thankful for and placed it in a jar earlier that day.  It was now time to read what each of us had written. It was very special to read what each of us was thankful for.  I am thankful to God to have been with all of my closest family-members on Thanksgiving this year.  

We did have a very funny experience after dinner - one that I can't share publicly.  All I can say is "Amo, you're in trouble!".  

Afterwards, we started up a backyard football game with the boys and some neighborhood boys.  

In the evening, we began feeling the tryptophan kicking in from the turkey.  We did have enough energy left to have an early Christmas with my parents.  We won't be with them at Christmas, so we did some Christmas together.  Krissy played the piano and we sang out of tune along with her.  Afterwards, we exchanged gifts with Amo & Apo.  The boys received lots of chocolate!

At 7pm, we began watching The Incredibles on TV!  At 8pm, we finally laid the kids to bed - they were just about gone from the busy day anyway and fell asleep within 5 minutes after lights out.  We made it about an hour more and also hit the hay around 9pm.  Zzzzzzz.

It was a great day at the Nordhoff's!  Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve

Tonight was fun.  The boys, Krissy and I bought a Christmas tree, which we will decorate tomorrow.  

Then, after we came home, we had a little family time with Amo and Apo.  Then, they put the boys to bed.  We ended up talking for a little while, then we played some rounds of golf on the Wii - me, Amo, Apo and Krissy.  We had a blast laughing at how bad we each were - especially at putting.  Finally, we called it quits.  

It was a fun night - just hanging out, playing games together and laughing.  I'm looking forward to a Titans game, turkey dinner, decorating the tree and celebrating an early Christmas with my parents and family!  

Gobble Gobble!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Cause of Anger

Check Under the Hood

By Os Hillman
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But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. - Colossians 3:8

"The root issue you are dealing with is fear. The physical symptom is control, and when you cannot control, you get angry because of unmet expectations." These were the words I spoke during a conversation in a restaurant to my friend who was separated from his wife. He described his anger and how he never saw some of these characteristics in his life until he entered this marriage.

A friend once said to me, "Anger is like the lights on a dashboard. They tell you something is going on under the hood. You must find out the source of the problem." Whenever we have expectations of another person and those expectations do not materialize, our tendency is to get angry. The source of the anger is often the fear that the unmet expectation will negatively impact us. We fear that our finances, our well-being, our image, or any number of things may be impacted by the unmet expectation. My friend's wife had not met his expectations in many areas of his life, so then, many times it resulted in harsh words that damaged his wife's self-esteem. Now, it was leading to a marriage crisis.

Jesus often spoke of living as though we were dead. How can you live as though you are dead? "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11). It is a choice each of us must make. Once you become dead to that which stirs an emotion in you, God is free to change that situation. Until then, you can expect God to allow that situation to remain until you reckon yourself dead to the effects of the issue that causes you to struggle.

Is there something that causes anger within you? Ask God what the source of that anger is. You might be surprised at what you find. Then ask God to give you the grace to reckon yourself dead to that issue. You will find new freedom in your relationships and your own peace of mind.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

"Things I'm Thankful For" by Alex

Alex brought this single page paper home with him today. Here's how it reads...

Thanksgiving reminds me of all the things I'm thankful for.  I appreciate Family, friends and tools.  I'm especially thankful for family because I would always be sooo lonely.  It would be sad.  I would have NOTHING.  I probably wouldn't even survive without my family!

I also appreciate friends because - wait let me ask you a question; who would I play with?!  If I didn't have friends- I would not want to have to play with a fish!  

Finally, I'm grateful for tools because without tools, it would be a very boring place!  If you didn't have a car - I would not want to walk everywhere!  If we didn't have cell phones, it would be hard to communicated!  As I enjoy this holiday season, I realize that I have many reasons to be thankful.  Family, friends, and tools are very important to me.  

By, Alex Nordhoff

That just about sums it up for me too, son.  I love you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WE ARE TEXANS: Destined To Dominate

The inspiring story of one flag football team (coached by yours truly and a great team of assistant coaches/parents) in Franklin, TN that never gave up and never lost a game!  Undefeated 8-0 Texans.  Watch this short form video.  Make sure you watch it in high quality.

I created a 29 minute version which is much better (but I can't upload it to YouTube).  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ever Have One Of Those Awkward Silent Moments??

CrickettoyHave you ever had an awkward pause in a conversation where you could have sworn you heard crickets chirping? Now you can ACTUALLY hear crickets chirping. Check this out. TheCRICKETtoy™ is for any awkward pause.

Right now, some awkward situation is probably running through your mind. And if your family is anything like mine, the upcoming holidays should provide countless opportunities for this little green guy to interject a chirp or two. (great stocking stuffer!)

theCRICKETtoy™ was created by Jeff Anderson, a songwriter/producer in Nashville with a goofy sense of humor. He has several awkward videos posted here  and you can buy your own cricket on his website.  Matter of fact, it would make the ideal stocking stuffer for the teen in your life. Everyone knows they are full of awkward moments…

Like I said, check it out:

Jeffanderson(yes, a PT Cruiser wrapped like a HUGE Green Cricket!)

Watch His 'Not the Greatest Singer' Video

P.S. I told him I would help him get the word out, so please copy and paste this entry in your blog and ask your readers to buy a toy and put this entry in their blog. I want to see just how many blogs we can get this fun, toy (Great Stocking Stuffer-only $5) on! I think we've got the next “pet rock” and it's fun to be a part of creating a cultural phenomenon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Man of Faith & Miracles

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. - Philippians 3:7

George Mueller was a man known for building orphanages by faith in the mid-1800s. He raised literally millions of dollars for his orphanages, yet died with little in his own bank account. When asked about his conversion experience he commented,

“I was converted in November of 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later, in July 1829. The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, and the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone. God, God alone became my portion. I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else. And by the grace of God this has remained, and has made me a happy man, an exceedingly happy man, and it led me to care only about the things of God. I ask affectionately, my beloved brethren, have you fully surrendered the heart to God, or is there this thing or that thing with which you have taken up irrespective of God? I read a little of the scriptures before, but preferred other books; but since that time the revelation He has made of Himself has become unspeakably blessed to me, and I can say from my heart, God is an infinitely lovely Being. Oh, be not satisfied until in your own inmost soul you can say, God is an infinitely lovely Being!” [Basil Miller, Man of Faith and Miracles (Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bethany House Publishers, n.d.)]

Many will never get to the place where George Mueller was in his spiritual life, because we are unwilling to release control of these areas of which he speaks. If we do release control, it usually is due to a process that God brings us through. Paul got knocked to the ground and was spoken to personally before he was willing to listen and follow completely. Peter had to live with Jesus three years and he still denied Him. It was only later, after he denied Jesus and realized how weak he was in his own faith, that he became fully committed to the Savior.

What will it take for you to fully surrender? You will know that you have given full surrender when power, money, and position no longer have meaning in your life. Paul said he came to a place where his life was the life of Christ only. It is a sacrificial life, but it is also a life of freedom, purpose, and meaning. Let God take full control and see His life lived fully through you.

Sold Out

by Os

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Face Transformer

EricdrunkHave you ever wondered what you will look like when you're old? What about if you were a girl? Well, I discovered a funny site, thanks to my friend, Lucas Parry that does exactly that. EricoldIt's simple - just upload a photo of yourself and you can create all kinds of ugly pictures of yourself.

AlexyoungadultI did some today of me and Alex. Really weird. Check them out.

Here is the link to the website you can do the same thing...

AlexoldHave fun!

Serving Customers or Making Cars?

48daystotheworkyoulovedanmillerthumA great article from Dan Miller's 48 Days Newsletter....

There seems to be a subtle shift that takes place in the history of most businesses. Let's say Barney was a cave man who made great wagons. But there are only 20 people who live in his known world so as soon as he makes 20 wagons he's out of business. If he can't imagine using his skills for anything but wagon-making we might then see him sneaking around at night burning the wagons to rekindle demand. Or the town witch doctor knows he would not be needed if everyone were healthy. So he creates illnesses to keep his patients coming back rather than attempting to help them find ultimate health.

Now fast forward to 2008 in America same deal. We have auto manufacturers who can't risk making a car that really lasts they need 5-year obsolescence. Parts that wear out and systems that malfunction are a necessary component of keeping the machine of making cars in place. It would be self-defeating to make a car that semi-permanently met the customer's needs. You have to hope the customer doesn't stay happy with their purchase for too long.

Do you really think we aren't smart enough to make a lightbulb that would last essentially forever? But what would that do to the sales of lightbulbs?

What if a counselor or chiropractor really helped every client they saw? Got them to a point of healthy functioning on their own? How would he/she pay the mortgage the next month? Keeping people dependent on their services may become more important than seeing them get better.

If you realize your work is more dependent on keeping a system in place than on meeting the real needs of your customers, you are indeed vulnerable. Real estate developers, publishing houses, record labels, auto manufacturing and investment firms are all suffering in their attempts to keep systems in place rather than responding to the changes in demand of the marketplace.

What we need are new ways to engage our creative skills; not government support to allow us to keep doing what no longer works.

I happen to be a car enthusiast, but I think it's a joke that someone decided we needed new models every calendar year? My primary car is a 1991 Mercedes 500SL it's 18 years old! It looks great, has great styling and is fun to drive. I'd love to see a 5-year car where nothing changed for at least 5 years, or even 10. Can you imagine the streamlining of parts and service, and the reduced waste from excessive manufacturing?

Now what are you doing in your work or business to make sure you are serving your customer's needs, even if those needs change?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Knick Knacks

Knickknackshelf_smallMy wife said to me last night as we were going to sleep, "Our bedroom is decorated in nothing but knick knacks." I thought, "She's right." after I looked around our room. We began to laugh about all the little trinkets and stuff clogging our bedroom. It's getting crowded.

This morning, I laughed to myself again about the word 'knick knack'. It's really a funny word when you say it out loud: knick knack. Say it 3 times fast: knick knack, knick knack, knick knack. It makes me smile and even giggle.

By the way, if you've ever bought us a knick knack (and who hasn't bought anyone a knick knack) we love you and we treasure you, but we're in a phase of our lives where we just want to clean out some of the less meaningful knick knacks and focus on less stuff. It's more pleasing to the eye anyway.

A friend of mine wrote a blog called the 100 Thing Challenge. The premise of it was, If you could only keep 100 things, what would they be. Thousands of people have visited his site and shared their list of 100 things they would keep. I'm in favor of that.

Anyway, that's really all I wanted to write about in this blog post. Less knick knacks.

I hope this post has been a blessing to your life. :)

More about knick knacks:


Funny Movie called "Knick Knack"

Nursery Rhyme

The Retail King of Knick Knacks

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Story of Anthem

Krissy has taken the time to write out the story of our baby girl to come. Here it is, in her own words...


Feb 07 I had a dream which I believed may be a vision. It woke me up out of a dead sleep. In the dream, I had just given birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl. Her name was Anthem.

The next day, Eric said that New Day had told him that all the sales reps’ favorite song on the One compilation worship CD, was the song that I sang. It was called “He’s Always Been Faithful.” I began to sing the song, and I was in shock as I got to verse number 3 (very symbolic.) It says, “This is my anthem, this is my song. The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long. God has been faithful, He will be again. His lovingkindness, it knows no end.”

May 07 I went out to visit my sister Maribeth in Phoenix. Her mailing address is Phoenix, but when I arrived there, she actually lived closer to a little city called Anthem. I felt amazed again in wonder, as we drove by all the Anthem signs.

December 07 I remember being at our church’s Christmas Eve service on the 24th. I couldn’t believe the number of times the word “anthem” popped up in the Christmas carols. I was tearing up and had goose bumps! Lord, was this You?

March 08 I went to a beautiful prayer service with my friends from church. I felt God touching me in a very deep way that night, healing some emotional scars that I did not know were there. The next morning, I opened my Bible up to this verse: Psalm 27:6 (The Message) “God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof (the title of one of my songs as well)! Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.”

April 08 Jim Harrison, from church, told me twice within a short amount of time that the Lord was about to give me a new song. Did this mean literally a song, or an anthem?

July 27, 08 Eric was insisting that I was pregnant, and I was only one day late. We were getting ready to go to the airport, and I told him that he would have to go get a test for me if he wanted me to take it. He did, and it was positive!!!! Anthem, is it you?

As I flew up to Michigan for concerts that weekend, these are all verses that I randomly opened up to over the weekend.

Isaiah 54:2-4 …You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! “Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family…

Isaiah 66:9 Do I open the womb and not deliver the baby? Do I, the One who deliver babies, shut the womb?

Matthew 1:20-23 While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’--- because he will save his people from their sins.

Psalm 92:1-3 What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the High God! To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night, Accompanied by dulcimer and harp, the full-bodied music of strings.

July 30, 08 At a concert I was singing in Michigan, the pastor introduced me as having 3 children even though he didn’t know I was pregnant.

August, 08 I was experiencing lots of cramping. I was very scared. I called the doctor, and he told me, “If you’re going to have a miscarriage, you’re going to have a miscarriage.” I held on to the picture of the healthy baby in my dream, and changed doctors.

More verses I opened up to:

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you….”

Psalm 89:5 God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways, the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!

Our good friends Amy and Brett Stewart were praying for us and the baby. As we were praying, Amy found Isaiah 44:1-5 “But for now, dear servant Jacob, listen--- yes, you, Israel my personal choice. God who made you has something to say to you; the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you. Don’t be afraid, dear servant Jacob, Jeshurun, the one I chose. For I will pour water on the thirsty ground and send streams coursing through the parched earth. I will pour my Spirit into your descendants and my blessing on your children. They shall sprout like grass on the prarie, like willows alongside creeks. This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’ and another will go by the name Jacob; That one will write on his hand ‘God’s property’—and be proud to be called Israel.”

The next day as I was reading this passage again, I read on. This is Isaiah 44:6-8. God, King of Israel, your Redeemer, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: “I’m first, I’m last, and everything in between. I’m the only God there is. Who compares with me? Speak up. See if you measure up. From the beginning, who else has always announced what’s coming? So what is coming next? Anybody want to venture a try? Don’t be afraid, and don’t worry: Haven’t I always kept you informed, told you what was going on? You’re my eyewitnesses: Have you ever come across a God, a real God, other than me? There’s no Rock like me that I know of.”

The same day, Amy called. She said she got up at 4:30 in the morning because she was so excited about our news. She decided to read her daily Bible reading. For the Old Testament, her reading for the day was in 2 Chronicles 35:25. It says, “Jeremiah composed an anthem of lament for Josiah. The anthem is still sung by the choirs of Israel to this day. The anthem is written in the Laments.

I had lots of problems with blood pressure and finding the right medication and dosage. I called my new doctor one night, and he told me that I may not want to continue the pregnancy. This followed with continued nausea, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Still, I tried to fend off fear by holding on to my dream.

September 08 Our church worship department began writing songs for an upcoming CD. I sent a partial song to our worship leader, Michael Neale. He sent me back a finished song, writing in the email that ‘the chorus ended up sounding like an anthem. God is using this song!’

October 08 I was getting very nervous for the ultrasound coming the next week. I asked God to speak to me. He showed me Psalm 135:3. It says….Shout “Hallelujah!” because God’s so good, sing anthems to his beautiful name.

November 1, 08 The next day, Eric’s Quietime Christmas DVD was delivered. The last verse on the DVD was Luke 2:38 …(Anna) never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

November 2, 08 This was the day before the ultrasound, and I was VERY nervous. I wanted to know that all these things were truly from God, and that the baby was safe. God showed me Isaiah 45:9-11 “I, God, generate all this. But doom to you who fight your Maker—you’re a pot at odds with the potter! Does clay talk back to the potter: ‘What are you doing? What clumsy fingers!’ Would a sperm say to a father, ‘Who gave you permission to use me to make a baby?’ Or a fetus to a mother, ‘Why have you cooped me up in this belly?’” Thus God, the Holy of Israel, Israel’s Maker says: “Do you question who or what I’m making? Are you telling me what I can or cannot do? I made earth, and I created man and woman to live on it…” Okay, God, I know I can trust you.

November 3, 08 The day of our ultrasound, and I was still very nervous. The boys came with us and watched it all happen. The nurse spent 20 minutes looking at every possible body part of the baby. The baby looked healthy, and finally it was time to check the gender!! She asked me if I could tell what it was and I responded “Is it a boy?!” – mainly out of fear and family history. And she said right after, “No, it’s not a boy.” And I thought, ‘she said it’s not a boy, does that mean it’s a girl? She didn’t say it was a girl. What if it’s both?!’ Then, I looked at Eric. And he said with tears in his eyes, “It’s a girl.” Right then, the boys smiled the biggest smiles they’ve ever made. I am so glad we were able to share that moment as a family. It is ANTHEM!!!

God, you have been amazingly faithful! We love You.

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's a Girl!!

Anthem19wks1We've been waiting for this day for about 19 weeks. It's finally here. At 8am this morning, Krissy, the boys and I drove to Vanderbilt Hospital for our first major ultrasound. The news is great. We have a healthy baby...and, it's a girl!!! The news couldn't be better.

Anthem19wks4girlWe are so grateful to God for speaking to us 18 months ago that we would have a girl and her name would be Anthem. WOW!!! God is good. It's been a faith-walk ever since then trusting God for this child. In July, we learned that we were having a baby and we've been waiting for this day ever since.

Anthem19wks5feetFrom now until Anthem's birth, pink will be our new favorite color and frilly things will invade our lives for at least the next 18 years! I think the boys and I can handle it.

So, we wait expectantly for the birth of this beautiful baby girl. And we sing "an anthem of praise to God" (Luke 2:38) in the meantime. Anthem19wks2