You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

I can’t remember the last time I was so angry or frustrated. I received a call about a woman in our community who needed some help. We receive these calls often at the church–there’s a lot of need in our community and the fact of the matter is that we can’t help everyone we’d like…

There Won’t Be Enough Movie Nights

Aimee and I went on a daytime date on Sunday to see Avengers: Endgame. Again. I cried. Again. That’s not what this blog is about. We got home and my daughters wanted to know if we liked it, and why we wanted to see it a second time. I tried to explain it to them,…

Love Your Neighbor

“I’d like to ask you a few questions for a market research study.”…“How much longer will this take?” …“Oh it’s just a few more questions.”…Nobody would ever agree to do a 90 minute telephone survey….ever.

Totally Texas

Earlier this week, I learned something. In Norway, “Texas” has become a slang word that means insane, crazy, or chaotic—as in, “That’s totally Texas!” Supposedly, western movies were popular in Norway in the 1950’s and many of those movies that portrayed that wild and chaotic era featured Texas as the setting, thus giving birth to…

Slime? Why?

What is my kids’ fascination with slime? This year both of my daughters asked Santa for slime for Christmas. They asked for other things too, but slime was at the top of the list. When I think about slime, it’s hard to see past the obvious…it’s going to make a huge mess…it’s going to get…

Beyond Anything We Can Imagine

We don’t always know what God will do with the gifts that we’ve given, but we trust that it’s so far and away beyond anything that we could ever imagine…

Hot Dogs on the Brain

One of the dreams that floated to the top of the pile as the Missions Team and I spent time visioning was tailgating.  On the surface, it may be hard to see the value of tailgating, although with the food and fun involved, it’s not a hard sell. What is the value of tailgating? Relationships….

Seeing and Being Seen

Several weeks ago, I preached a sermon using some of the ideas from the book Stranger God by Richard Beck. Beck uses Matthew 25 to remind us that Jesus didn’t say we’d encounter him in our closest family and friends. He said we’d encounter him in strangers–when we feed the hungry, offer a drink to…

The Journey to Easter

“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”—Luke 9:51 I’m trying to imagine what Jesus might have been thinking as he “set his face” to go to Jerusalem. There’s never been a time in my life when I had to set my face to…

No Agenda

Sometimes I get an idea, and I can’t let it go, and it ends up with me doing things like requesting to be friends with everyone on Facebook who has the same name that I do. There are about 20 of us Matt/Matthew/Mateo Ybañeze’s on Facebook. It’s my own name and I still don’t know…

Books

There are two books on the bookshelves in my office that I’ve had longer than any others. One of them is the Life Application Study Bible that my mom bought for me to read and use at youth group. The other is The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. The corners and pages of this book are…

It’s Like Riding a Bike . . .

We’ve learned a new skill at my house. My daughters have learned to ride their bikes. First, it was my oldest who wanted to learn to ride a bike without training wheels, then once she learned, her younger sister wanted to do it too. What’s amusing to me is how each of my daughter’s personalities…