Monday, December 08, 2008

Greg Maddux

I'm a big baseball fan, and I'm also very much a fan of people who humbly excel at their craft. That's why I've always liked Greg Maddux, even though he's never played on a team which I was following.

I think this article captures the essence of Maddux and even non-sports fans might appreciate this well-written piece about what he was all about. He will be missed, as he just announced his retirement.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Looking Ahead to Our Future Home

Many of you know that in June 2009, Christie and I are hoping to make the move to Jos, Nigeria, to continue our work in support of worldwide Bible translation. Unless you're paying close attention to the world news, you might have missed this news story out of Jos. (Although it has been creeping up the headlines in the last 12 hours or so.)

Please pray for all residents of Jos, Muslim and Christian alike, and for the violence to cease immediately. From the limited news I've heard, all of our colleagues are okay and we continue to pray for their safety amidst this crisis.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bob on the Radio

I had the privilege this morning to help arrange (it was a team effort) an interview for my boss and Wycliffe President, Bob Creson, with Christian Broadcasting Network. Click here to listen to the interview, which will air on various CBN outlets over the coming days.

Monday, November 10, 2008


For all of you Orlando people, we hope to see you at Wycliffe on Saturday, November 22!

Please let me know if you have questions. This invite is available via PDF by clicking here. More information can be found at the Last Languages Campaign website.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Finally, a Chance

I'm a baseball fan.

When I first moved to San Francisco in 2002, the Giants were on a roll and wound up in the World Series. Thinking this might be something of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity--to see a World Series game and being able to almost walk to the stadium--my friend Scott and I tried to get tickets. The morning tickets went on sale, one of us would work the phone while the other would try online. Then we'd switch.

After a couple hours, as my memory recalls, we gave up.

Now, however, the Tampa Bay Rays are just a few wins away from the making it to the World Series--and bringing the Series to a stadium just a short drive down I-4 from where we live. Just yesterday the realization set in that I might have the opportunity to see a game.

Chances are probably better this time around, being that Tropicana Field is a fairly large stadium with few fans. Looks like sometime soon I might be hitting "Redial" to Ticketmaster again and again and again...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To-Do Lists

As I was reflecting on all that needs to happen between now and when the baby comes--and now and when we potentially move overseas--I made a (not very profound) realization last night.

Unless we continually take steps forward, nearly every day, stuff won't happen and our To-Do lists won't get checked off--the end result being that we're not prepared. Yesterday was getting some finances in order and making some calls about insurance for the baby. Not sure what baby steps (no pun intended) will take place today, but I have realized that I need to keep looking for them. All that needs to get done won't get done if we don't take action, piece by piece. It's way too easy to be overwhelmed by the list and just shut it down.

And if anyone was wondering, 82 days until Baby Winkler is slated to arrive. :-)

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Latest Priceline Fans

Christie and I had a friend who was telling us that he likes using Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" feature, so we decided to try it out a few times for our recent California trip. We are now some of Priceline's biggest fans!

In San Francisco, we wound up paying $88/night for a nice hotel very close to the heart of downtown--almost half of what the room was going for elsewhere. We're still not sure why they gave it to us for that price, because surely they were losing money on us--but we certainly didn't ask why!

Then we used it for an airport hotel flying out of SFO. If I had booked the cheapest possible online, we would have paid $65 for a dump. Instead, we wound up in a three-star for $60.

Somewhere, somebody is regretting they ever let people like the Winklers use Priceline.

First Fay...then Gustav...now Hanna...soon Ike

A brief hurricane update for those of you not in Central Florida:

We made it out of Tropical Storm (or TS, as the locals like to say) Fay with minimal wind and rain damage. (The worst part of Fay for us was all of the ants that decided to take refuge in our kitchen.) I think Hurricane Gustav pretty much missed us completely, but I don't know for sure since we were in California when it came through. We're getting overcast skies and a little rain right now from TS Hanna, and I don't think that it will get any worse than that for us here in Central Florida.

Hurricane Ike is now looming on the horizon, and appears to have South Florida in its sights. This would probably mean Orlando might get hit hard, although I'm still a relative novice at this hurricane-prediction thing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

For the first time since living in Florida, it looks like I might actually experience a tropical storm--Fay. Most schools are closed tomorrow (and some for Wednesday already), Wycliffe's office is closed, store marquees are saying "Stay Away Fay," and all the talk is either about Fay or reminiscing about previous storms.

The damage shouldn't be too bad, but we might be holed up at our house for a while. Thankfully if we get bored playing games with each other, we can always go next door and hang out with the eight kids there.

Thanks to all those for praying for us--we'll try to keep you posted through this blog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Does a Degree Matter?

I was talking with a colleague today about college degrees. Do the degrees do anything for us? Most of the people I graduated with are working in something completely outside of their major(s). I'm sure much of the same is true for others as well. For the role in which I'm currently serving, I probably "should" have majored in business administration. Instead I was a social studies major--with an elementary teaching certificate to boot. Yet I would say that my college education prepared me extremely well for this role.

Of course, the value is not as much in the degree itself and even less so what your major was (with a few exceptions), but more so in the college experience as a whole (the degree is only a representation of that experience). When I got home tonight, I read an interesting article from Crown Ministries on this very topic. A couple pull-out quotes, if you don't have time to read the whole article:

On average, every dollar that is put toward education translates into $34.85 earned income over the individual's lifetime, an investment yield any broker would envy.

____________________________________________________________________________________

According to Michael Hampton at Western Oregon University, "Unless you are going to be an engineer, architect, teacher, or lawyer, the label on your degree does not matter. The degree is a check-mark (as opposed to the focus) in most job requirements. Many job ads will state: 'Business, Communications or other degree required.' Most folks have the 'other.' "

____________________________________________________________________________________
Earning your degree goes well past the finances. According to Katherine Hansen, with Quintessential Careers, your degree pays dividends in other areas, including:
* longer life-spans,
* greater economic stability and security,
* greater job satisfaction,
* less dependence on government assistance,
* greater participation in leisure and artistic activities,
* greater community service and leadership, and
* more self-confidence.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Baby Pictures



Here are the latest ultrasound pictures--taken this morning--of our soon-to-be-born child. Obviously much more defined than our last set of photos, and still very exciting. The miracle of life is pretty amazing...and so is the technology that enables us to see so much! We were able to see the femur, kidneys, and spine, amidst other random anatomical parts. In these pictures, you can even see the fingers and toes!

To answer many people's questions, we are due December 14 and are not going to find out the gender until, well, about December 14.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Which One Is Pregnant?



One of these two people is pregnant. The other has sympathy pregnancy. Both have gained a fair amount of weight in the last few months. Can you tell who is who? (Hint: One is Chris and the other is Christie.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Trauma Healing In Congo

This video speaks for itself. Thanks to all of you who are praying, giving and going in support of worldwide Bible translation.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Shirts to NOT Run Behind

I ran a 5K in Winter Park this morning.

I learned today that someone like me should not run behind people wearing the following shirt slogans:

"I am a Triathlete"
"500 Mile Club"
"70 Years Old, 7 Minute Miles"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

90 Degrees and Hail

video
One of the things I haven't been able to figure out is how it can be 90 degrees outside, yet grape-sized hail is falling from the sky.

This is the view from our porch today--the yard literally looked like a driving range.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Solomon Islands

We heard a report this week from some of what God is doing in the Pacific area, particularly in Bible translation. I was drawn to some remarkable breakthroughs the Lord has provided in the Solomon Islands. This is evidenced by the praises and prayer requests in the following prayer notice from Wycliffe International:

Praise God for the publication of the whole Bible in the Solomons Pijin language. The Pijin Bible will be dedicated on July 6 as part of the nation's 30th independence celebration. The Bibles are scheduled to arrive by ship just days before the celebration. Pray that the ship will arrive on time; that there will be no difficulty getting the Bibles cleared through customs and off the wharf; that God would be glorified during the dedication service and that many people will purchase Bibles and read them. Pray also for God's spiritual protection and covering over this event.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Diaper Debate

We're now taking comments, suggestions and recommendations (and alternative ideas) on the age-old debate: cloth vs. disposable diapers. (Okay, so maybe the debate isn't that old.)

Click here
for a controversial study done on this topic.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dogs as Food?

I heard a talk today by a man who owns three dogs. He has named them Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I wonder if the dogs understand the meaning of this...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some Things Just Don't Work

Check out this video from a Wycliffe subsidiary organization, The Seed Company. I think it's a pretty cool illustration (in a format and media that makes a lot of sense) of why we do what we do.

Friday, June 06, 2008

In the News

Some of you may have read the recent story about an "untouched" community of people that was photographed in Brazil, supposedly for the first time.

On Tuesday, we received a call requesting an interview with my boss, Bob Creson, regarding Wycliffe's work around the world and how it relates to groups like this one. I thought the video turned out really well, focusing on the impact that Bible translation has and why we feel that language communities should have the opportunity to hear the good news of the Gospel in the language that speaks to their heart. If you haven't already seen it on CBN or TBN, click here to view it on the web.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Life is Awesome

I don't use the word awesome very much. I once heard the Hope College worship leader, Dwight Beal, say that the word in its original meaning and usage is to be reserved for the things that truly show the awe-inspiring nature of God (or something like that). Ever since that time, I use it sparingly.

But, as you can see from this photo, I am using the word to describe this incredible thing called life--new life. Christie and I are expecting December 14. She is 11 weeks along and is actually feeling pretty good. We appreciate your prayers at this time!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Allegiant Air

Christie and I were looking at flights today to head up to a friend's wedding in Cleveland in August. After checking the standard airlines, Travelocity, etc., I opted to check out Allegiant Air.

For those of you that have never heard of it, it's a sketchy airline that flies out of Sanford, a city about 30 minutes north of where we live in Orlando. I've heard bad stories of people that have flown it before...but they are definitely cheap. I went in to look at the price, and it's about $200 less total (for both of us) than the seats I have on hold with American Airlines (my airline of choice).

But, then the incidentals started to add up...
--The ability to reserve our seats in advance: $50
--The ability to check one bag: $20
--The ability to go to the bathroom: $5 per trip

Okay, so maybe I made that last one up...but it won't be long, will it?

(At least with American, because of my elite status from flying so much with them, I have first dibs at premium seats and don't have to pay the fee for the first checked bag.)

Maybe we'll just drive. :-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sermon Anecodotes?

I'm preaching the sermon this coming Sunday on the Eighth Commandment: "You must not steal." (Christie shared a dynamite message last week on the Seventh Commandment ("You must not commit adultery."). It will soon be available online for all to hear. Click here to check out this and previous messages.)

Does anyone have any good anecdotes on stealing and/or restitution after a theft? I've got a good Scripture base and now am seeking to fill it out with a few more real-life examples. It could be anything from shoplifting to horse thieves to the old "finders keepers, losers weepers" phrase.

Feel free to drop me an e-mail or post in the comments section on the blog.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pastors' Wives

I thought this video was pretty funny...especially if any of you reading this happen to be a pastor or a pastor's spouse.

Friday, May 16, 2008

'Possum...


I know that most people don't post about random animals on their blog as often as I do, but it must be the nature of where we live--rats and owls tend to live on the outside of the home, 'possums and 'coons tend to stay on the outside (or the roof, where we frequently hear them).

This little guy was saying hi to me from our garbage can as I went to take some trash out this afternoon. I think he might have been stuck, since he didn't really know how to get out until I dumped the can over on its side and he scurried out. I'm glad he was so photogenic (and unafraid of the camera); some people might think we make these stories up about rodents and whatnot.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lack of Hurricanes

Check out this article from the Orlando Sentinel. I've lived here over two years and I have yet to experience a hurricane.

This is not a bad thing, mind you, but I do have a bit of curiosity of this destructive thing of nature. Everyone has stories ("Oh, do you remember Charlie...or Andrew...or Rita...that's the one where..."). Thankfully, I have not gone through the ordeal of boarding up homes, evacuating, picking up the pieces, etc. But this article was a good reminder that even so, I need to be making preparations.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back on My Feet

I ran today, for the first time in a couple months. I sprained my ankle pretty badly back in March, and needed to stay off it for a while. (Thankfully, x-rays came back showing no fractures.)

Our exercising took the form of a spontaneous soccer game in our yard. With eight kids next door, another two on the other side, and three across the street (who spend more time in our yard than they do in theirs), there's always the potential for a game to break out.

We call our property the "compound." Three houses, 16 people, lots of community. Zoom in on the map below to the green arrow, and you'll find the compound. (And no, the lake next door is NOT okay to swim in!)


View Larger Map

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Texas Lunch


I had some free time in Dallas today, so I went out for what I would consider a classic Dallas meal:

**BBQ Smoked Turkey Sandwich
**Mac & Cheese
**Green Beans
**Sweet Tea

One of the things I love doing when on the road is eating some authentic local food. While I acknowledge that Colter's is a chain, I think it's awfully good and indicative of local culture.

Christie is in DC this weekend, and I regret that I forgot to tell her she needed to eat at Ben's Chili Bowl while in the city. I've only been there once or twice, but would love to get back on our next trip there.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Florida is for "Old Folks"

The Florida state senate just voted for "Old Folks at Home" to be the official state song of Florida.

What does that say about us? As certain sectors of Florida are trying to look younger and appeal to a younger audience, the state senate...well, they go and do this...

(I'm not really upset about this, just thought it was kind of humorous.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Loves...

Christie surprised me with date night last night...

First with the pizza I love (Giordano's Chicago style)...

Then with the game I love (baseball, Tigers vs. Braves spring training)...

And all with the woman I love...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cameroon Dedication

(Sorry all, I'm reposting this with a new video link--it's better quality and now has the appropriate copyright info. I deleted the earlier version.)

In 2004, I visited West Africa to spend time with some friends who had joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and moved to the country of Cameroon. During my trip, I met a translator couple who were working with a language community, and were coming close to the time when they would be able to celebrate the completion of the New Testament. It was because of this trip that I decide to join and am now serving with Wycliffe in Orlando.

This video is of the dedication event, held last month, for this New Testament. What a tremendous experience, for a community to receive God's Word in their language for the first time! Though I would have loved to have been there, this is the next best thing.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wal-Mart

First I post pictures of me petting a cat, now I'm posting pictures of Wal-Mart? Actually, I'm stranded in NW Arkansas right now (have you seen the weather in this part of the country tonight?) and didn't have anything to do.

So, since Bentonville (home of Wal-Mart) is right here, I thought I should drop in on the Wal-Mart visitor center, which is in the building of the Waltons' very first store in Bentonville. Wow...who would have thought a museum devoted to a store?

And of course, there was a gift shop. Wal-Mart hats, Sam Walton pencils, postcards of his truck, etc. I couldn't leave without a little souvenir for Christie, either. She loves Wal-Mart, almost as much as I don't like it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Small Town College Basketball

Check out this article from the Detroit Free Press. It details one of the things that I enjoyed most during my four years at Hope College.

Top Cities to Live

I heard something on the radio this morning (although I unfortunately was not able to verify it online) about the recently-released Top 10 Cities in America in which to live. Three of the top four were: San Francisco, Chicago and Orlando.

Sound familiar? It happens to be every major city I've lived in for the last seven years. (One year in Chicago, three in San Francisco, now two in Orlando)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hired Gun


Parmesan here is our hired gun. We've had a rodent problem in our house the last few days, so we brought our neighbor's cat, Parmesan, in to help with the problem. We'll see how it works.

(For those of you shocked to see me being nice to a cat, I thought that I should at least be cordial with him if we expected him to perform. It's the first time I've pet a dog or cat in a couple of years!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Training

A few weeks ago, two of our friends from church completed the Disney Marathon (congrats Alissa and Lydia!).

Their completion of this monumental task inspired me--at the encouragement of Christie--to start training for my own. I decided to start off smaller, setting a goal of running a half-marathon in 2008, and then maybe a marathon in 2009.

I started training this week and ran 10 miles. This was the most since high school, when I was at the peak of my fitness (working out and/or running almost every day). Hopefully this keeps up, and I'll be sure to update you all through the blog. And for those of you in San Francisco, I'm considering running in the SF Marathon (first half) this summer, so stay tuned for a possible visit out West.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

MLK Jr. Day Prayers

Every day, many Wycliffe staff receive a prayer request, pertinent to something happening at the time. The most recent one considers Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and I wanted to share it with you all.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies!...” (Matthew 5:43-44)

On Monday, January 21, we will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday honoring the life of the slain civil rights leader, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend." His words continue to offer guidance for us today as we experience and confront acts of injustice within our borders and beyond.

As we think about people who are marginalized within the larger society, those still waiting for Scripture in many parts of the world, ask God for favor and that they may soon have the Scriptures.

Pray for the peoples of Kenya (and others in similar situations, particularly those in the Church who need reconciliation). Ask God for healing of deep cultural divisions, for wisdom and understanding as well as strengthen their faith, allowing them to persevere in love, despite great trials.

Pray for those in this country who are suffering due to unjust circumstances and lack of reconciliation. Ask God to intervene and reign with truth and righteousness.

Praise God for Jacqueline Huggins, the first African-American female who, working as part of team in the Philippines, completed a New Testament translation. Ask God to use her example to inspire others to become involved in Bible translation.

Pray for the diversity efforts of Wycliffe USA. Ask God for wisdom and resources to enable us to honor God with our priorities and actions in these efforts.