Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Big Ark

Posted by JP

One of the great stories in Sunday School growing up was "Noah's Ark." As you may know, Noah was told by God to build a giant boat in the middle of the desert to protect his family from a future flood that was going to wipe out the earth. The vision wasn't to build a small ship, but instead it was the biggest ship ever created. Big enough to house Noah, his family and two of each creature on the earth. I mean imagine receiving a vision to build the biggest zoo in the entire world on a boat?  To say it was a little nuts is an understatement.  I am sure that Noah at first was really excited to hear this vision from God. He probably could envision how great and vast this ship was going to be. He also knew that he had to do this to survive, and that it was God's love and compassion for his family that gave him such a ridiculous idea. As the story goes, Noah built this ark, people made fun of him because it was such a crazy idea. It took him years and there was no way of testing to see if the boat would even float. As we know, eventually the flood came and Noah was saved, along with his family and all the animals.

As I was thinking about this story, I realized that the Bible doesn't mention Noah's relationship with his wife. I would like to read the biography of Noah's wife. Can you imagine what she was thinking? Noah's wife probably had thoughts like, "My husband believes he heard from God and he is using many of our resources to build this dream while the neighbor's whisper and laugh about our family." She probably thought, "As of right now I see no rain. We could be living a very comfortable life and instead we are struggling trying to build this enormous ship that can save us from this hypothetical disaster." She probably had doubts. "What if my husband is wrong? What if the neighbors are right and this flood that he speaks of never comes?" I have to wonder what the real family life of Noah was like leading up to the flood. I wonder about the day to day conversations, fights, and celebrations, surrounding the building of this boat.

If Noah was a good man, then his wife had to be a saint to support him on this crazy journey. I am not sure how long it took to build the boat, but one thing is for sure, this was not a weekend project. This was a project that took a lot of time, hard work and money to build. When the flood came, I'm sure it was a sad day to see many of their friends and family perish because they didn't heed God's warning. I am sure it was a relief that they were prepared and that they kept the faith they needed to persevere. Noah might have been the one who received the credit, but I know from experience that a big project takes many people to believe in what you are doing and nothing is as important as your wife supporting your dreams.

Now, this vineyard is a small undertaking compared to building an ark in a desert, however, I have learned that it is a crazy idea. It is crazy for me, someone who comes from a banking background to believe he can undertake such a project. A project that has taken a high learning curve, hard work, lots of prayer and as of right now, little financial reward. The satisfaction right now comes in just completing one small part of the project at a time.

Being the visionary I am and seeing the opportunities ahead, has always been a gifting of mine. I can see what nobody else sees. I can look into the dark flood of depressing news stories and life's setbacks and disasters of the day and see the glimpse of hope that will prosper my family one day so that we can be a great blessing to our friends, family and community. To take what little God has given us and turn it into a generational blessing that may one day change the world has always been a  big dream of mine.

I love my wife Beck so much because she lives in the here and now. She always tries her best to bring me back to reality. It doesn't always work, but she certainly tries. I have learned from her that if you don't think about the here and now, we will never get to our future goal. Similarly, I have taught her to not only think in the here and now, because if we do, then we will always remain in the mediocre circumstances we don't like. Sometimes a little sacrifice today can bring a great reward in the future. I believe that if we did not have each other and these different perspective on life we would not have been able to accomplish the things that we have. 

I believe my wife married a Noah and, although she may also think I am a little crazy, I know deep down she believes in me and that means more to me than anything. Our song when we were dating was "Everything I do, I do for you" by Brian Adams. (Cheeseball song by the way.) But the words of that song have always reflected the intentions of my heart. I love you Beck! -JP 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

As the Rooster Crows...

Posted by JP

As the rooster crows we know it's morning because this sound wakes up LJ, who then promptly wakes us up every morning around 6 am; usually earlier. We have four roosters and six hens. We still have yet to see an egg come from our hens, but we are well aware of when the darkness fades from the night sky and the sun begins its westward journey, because the roosters let us know with their different crows. One rooster started this crowing challenge a few weeks ago as a response to the other fellows in the neighborhood and it sounded very pathetic. He kept working at though, and day after day he's gotten better and better. Now he has inspired his homeboys and three out of the four are working on their singing crows. Here is a little peak at our growing flock.

As I feed the chickens every morning before work I have noticed that our roses are blooming. 

This is my new friend Timmy, the Ram. He's awesome.

Our first vine blooms. I love when they first come out because their green is so dramatic against the dormant vine.

Good night! I better get some sleep before the rooster starts crowing! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bunny Bliss

The Easter Bunny came to visit us a week early!

He just hopped through the vineyard, paused to enjoy our nice green grass and then scurried on his way.

Not sure what kind of Easter Bunny DOESN'T leave chocolate though. Hmphf!

I worked last Saturday morning and the afternoon was a bit rainy, so LJ and I decided to enjoy a nice indoor activity - dying Easter eggs.

He loved telling me all the colors and dipping the eggs all by himself.

He was also very fond of sorting the eggs in the carton once they were done.

We only had one major spill - the pink dye - but we overcame.

On Sunday, LJ and I had to drive to Pleasanton to pick up his Easter pictures at the Picture People. My mother-in-law got a Groupon and took him to have a spring photo shoot last week. Of course, the Groupon only came with one pose, and after seeing all of the adorableness in person we just had to pony up for the picture CD.

I'd say it was worth it. :)

Happy Easter!