Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year message

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Blessings

Going through my "church bag" yesterday (yes I have a church bag, which holds my bible, moleskine, notebook for class and sermon notes, etc)I found notes from last January from the old Home Improvement class on what I can celebrate from the year past and what to strive for in the new year.

That got me to thinking, I need to take some time to focus on my blessings this year before I start moving into 2009. Most of my thoughts (of 2008) have been consumed by the frustrations and struggles of the past year (struggles at work, the flood, finances, etc).

This is my chance now to share with each of you the things I have been blessed by this year (as I wrote in my personal notes):
- The birth of my daughter Alayna Faith
- My family's health (no major issues this year)
- Another year at my job (stability)
- Reconnecting with my father and sisters
- helping launch a new Life Group at Spring Creek (and forging new friendships)
- Continued increase in my spiritual life/walk
- Involvement with my kids in Upwards basketball and soccer
- the help of Spring Creek and others (financially, etc)
- God's continued favor in my strengths (broadcasting, sports, coaching)
- the multitude of opportunities that have been opened for my family (through work, church)

This is not my way of bragging or saying "hey I had a better year than you", I just want to publicly declare the things that God has blessed me with this year...and this is just a partial list.

We tend to dwell on the bad things that have happened, asking for help in areas of need...but we tend to forget to praise the things that have blessed and fulfilled our lives.

Friends...take time over the next few days to sit down and write out what you have been blessed with this year. You may have had an extremely difficult year, but put all that aside and think about the good things in your life. Yes there will be things...you may surprise yourself.

This is going to lead into my new video blog about the new year and the main word...CHANGE!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Thoughts


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thinking about this Christmas

Christmas has really become a time of year for me to reflect...to look back on the year that has been...and to give thanks for what I have (yeah I know alot of people do that over Thanksgiving)

For anyone that really knows me and my family, this has been a tough year for us. This has probably been the financially toughest year we have ever faced (like so many other families out there). We have had many a day wondering "how are we going to pay the mortgage", "how are we going to pay for this car repair" "are we going to be able to afford Christmas".

Bottom line...these are things that I should not be dwelling on, spending all my time and energy worrying about. Do not dwell on what you do not have, but offer up Thanks and Praise for what you do have.

I am thankful for the fact that, while so many other people have lost jobs, I have a job with an excellent company. I am grateful that I have a decent home to live in that keeps my wife and children safe, warm and protected...while there are others that have lost their homes because of the economy or some tragedy.
Thank God that my family and I are healthy (minus the typical child colds, coughs and sniffles)...I know of many people struggling this year with serious illness and have know a few that are no longer with us.
I am eternally grateful to my heavenly Father for the 4 beautiful children I have...knowing there are couples out there trying desperately to have just one child, while other have lost children due to illness, tragedy or other means.
Praise God that I have a church to worship in, with a church family that is supportive and caring, I know in my heart there are others who either choose not to go to church or feel unwelcome...and in other countries, worshiping our Almighty God would lead to ridicule, torture, even death...just for believing.

There is so much more I can write...but know that I am thankful for the small and the big things in my life and really do not take anything for granted...for it can all be gone in an instant. But above all...no matter what may happen tomorrow, next week or next year, I know my Father, my Amazing God, HE will provide for me!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend family pictures


Mia and her "twin" sister???

Noah-Future Today's TMJ4 Sports Anchor??

Bella meets Santa and Mrs Claus!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mia and Noah Kurozawa and the Christmas Wish drive for Milwaukee Rescure Mission

video

Here is video I posted on Facebook about Mia and Noah's Christmas Wish drive for the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

If you would like to help and donate a new, unwrapped toy or item, please email me at jon.kurozawa@gmail.com by December 17th

Here is a link to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission website for more info on the items they are asking for:
http://www.milmission.org/mx/hm.asp?id=christmaswish

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas is coming...new thoughts

Hard to believe that Christmas is only 2 weeks away....and I will admit I have gotten caught up in the "hoopla" of Christmas. I was one of the crazy masses out on Black Friday...I have been traveling around looking for the latest, greatest deal to buy.
I am most disappointed that once again I have left behind the TRUE meaning of Christmas....Jesus Christ.

Don't get me wrong...I have NOT gone 100% Santa/Happy Holiday/Don't show me a Nativity. What I mean is I am once again caught up in the fervor of presents under the tree for the kids. Every year I want to do more for others...but it always comes a little too late. I keep reading stories of what others have been doing and I think "wow I should be doing something like that with my family" Not for the attention or accolades, but because we have been blessed again this year and we need to do something to give back.

This year I am helping the kids with something that we did last year with our oldest daughter Mia. Once again the kids are running a Christmas toy drive for the Milwaukee Rescue Mission...for two reasons. One (and most importantly) is to give to others that are in need, those that do not have what we have. Secondly, to teach the kids the to appreciate what they do have and to help "the least of these". It has been a challenge, but Mia and Noah are doing a great job with it.
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Have been watching video posts of Gary Vaynerchuk (thanks to J-Dizzle for leading me on to him)...and getting a lot of great ideas of things to do, not just with my work, but personally. Which leads me to wanting to start a video blog.
For those of you that know me well...you'll immediately say "Jon-you have tried stuff like his before with the radio show, podcasts, blogs etc" Yes my friends you are right...but I am feeling this is something that can explode.

Hopefully before Christmas I can roll out the first sets of videos (if I win the cheap Flip Video I am bidding on at EBay)...but the question is...What will the Video posts be about.

I had thought of doing an "Edge of Sports" video blog....or something with wrestling (yes another one of my secret passions). Honestly what I am thinking of doing is actually combining my work and some of my strengths. That's all I can say for now (don't want anyone stealing my idea) but lets just say...it will be a combination of the work I do on the Channel 10 auction, what I have done on the radio and my current work with the Online Radio Outlet.

Watch for more update about this on my Facebook page or at http://twitter.com/jonkurozawa

Monday, November 10, 2008

Difficult times all around

Seems like that is all we are hearing about nowadays...everyone is having difficult times. The nation's economy is in the tank, companies are recording multi-million and billion dollar losses, corporations are filing for bankruptcy, shutting down stores, factories, even entire divisions.
People are getting laid off or fired everywhere...personally I know of at least a dozen people who have been effected over the past month or so (Thank God it has not been me so far)
The mantra we have heard over the past few months has been "We need change"...but honestly the change needs to start at home first. Personal change needs to happen before we ask for everyone else to change.

I am going through that right now...as a still "baby Christian" (less than 3 years since I dropped to my knees)...trying to make positive changes to my life. It continues to be a struggle as I have let many things on the outside effect me.
Thankfully I have a strong and supportive wife, and excellent church family and some great people I can turn to, that have helped me in this journey.

Was watching part of Evan Almighty today (love Steve Carell) and early on in the movie, his mantra (as he was running for Congress) was "Change the World". Looking at it from my perspective, we all CAN change the world, but it has to start with changing ourselves first. Don't expect everyone else to change if you are not willing to do it yourself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Random Thoughts 10/22/2008

13 days...thats how much time is left until we elect a new President of the United States. More than anytime that I can remember, this election has more future implications than ever before.

The economy is in the tank, the war in Iraq has reached and passed it's apex, and lots of people are worried about not only the immediate future but years down the road.

To be perfectly honest, I don;t think either John McCain or Barrack Obama are the "Man" to lead us out of the trouble we are in. It has literally come down two the "lesser of two evils" election. Truly, the American govermental system needs an overhaul. The voice of the people has been silenced, our vote does not insure anything anymore.

I wish there was a candidate on some level that would finally come out and say "I would love to promise lower taxes, better health insurance, and new jobs for everyone...but honestly it is out of my control. I can only do what my fellow Congressmen/Senators will allow to go through. I will do the best that my God given abilities allow me to do"

Imagine how that would shake up the political establishment!!
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The World Series starts tonight and it will be a ratings juggernaut...NOT.
Philadelphia and Tampa Bay...no one at the beginning of the season would have picked this as the World Series. Personally I am happy (would only be happier if the Brewers were in it). You don't have the cash happy monsters of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers in it...but best of all two former Brewers are in the Fall Classic.

Geoff Jenkins who toiled on miserable teams in Milwaukee for a decade is now on the Phillies. Gabe Gross who was ostracized for having Mercy Me as his "entrance" music is on the Rays. Couldn't happen to two nicer guys. I only met Geoff Jenkins twice, but have a great memory. It was 2000, and my oldest daughter Mia was about 18 months old. Geoff was doing an appearance at Sentry. I have a great picture of him holding Mia in his lap. He was kind, cordial and a great example of a friendly athlete.

As a Christian, I immediately gravitated to Gabe Gross as a ball player. He wore his faith on his sleeve and was proud to admit he is a follower of Jesus Christ...but of course the jaded media in this town (namely certain sports talk guys who work for a company that just fired a friend of fine) would ridicule him and make fun of him everytime Mercy Me's "I Can Only Imagine" blared over the Miller Park sound system.

Though only one will walk away with a World Series ring, I wish both Geoff Jenkins and Gabe Gross the best in the fall classic
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Fall is quickly taking a swing towards winter as the dreaded for letter word of Wisconsin hit weather reports for Sunday...SNOW. Having lived here for 99% of my life, it should not come as a shock, but every late October/early November it does hit me like a frozen snowball between the eyes.
Seems just like yesterday we were basking on the 70's, sun, shorts and lawn chairs. Now as I am waiting for the leaves to finally fall of the maple tree in my backyard I have to think about getting the snow blower tuned up before the first "Big One" on the season comes.

On that note...Halloween is right around the corner (Trick or Treat in Milwaukee is this Sunday). Don't bother coming to my house, because we will not be handing out candy. Couple of thoughts for Trick or Treat:
1. If you are over the age of 10, you better have an actual costume on if you are going trick or treating. I am not talking about the $3 mask and a pillow case.
2. Parents...don't just drop you van load of kids in a neighborhood you don;t know to Trick or Treat. I Hate That (disclaimer...yes I do take my kids elsewhere, but it is neighborhoods where we have family) I can guarantee the 4 or 5 car loads of kids I have seen don't know anyone in our neighborhood.
3. STOP HANDING OUT THE BLACK AND ORANGE PEANUT BUTTER CANDIES. We didn't like them 30 years ago, why would kids now like them???

Friday, April 4, 2008

Has spring finally arrived?

April 4th...temperatures are up, the roar of the crowd from Miller park and tulips are blooming at home...it must be spring now.

This has been a tough winter. I am not one of those people that typically complains about winter in Wisconsin. I have lived her for 36 of my 38 years, and I really do love the four seasons. This year though...it took a toll on me.

Seemed like every time we turned around, Mother Nature was punching us in the gut with another round of snow. Thankfully I was not in town for the last big blow on Good Friday.

I am happy to see spring here...it is a season of renewal...all things start new again. The birds chirping in my yard, the little animals scurrying for food, the brown grass will turn to green, the buds on the trees will become leaves and everything else will be in bloom.

I got a taste of it over the Easter week with a trip to the south. It is amazing after months of snow, and tons of drab colors on the landscape, the vibrant green of the grass and trees really hits you.

Yeah spring will mean having to cleaning the garage, reseed the lawn, cut the grass, pull weeds and all the fun things a homeowner gets to do...but it will be well worth it. Just remember folks, winter is only 7 months away!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

End of an era, Part 3

Time to close yet another chapter in this first part of 2008.

Over the past 10 weeks I have had the privilege of coaching two great teams for Upwards basketball at my church, Spring Creek. The Lady Hawks and the Boilermakers were made up of some great young boys and girls that have created some great memories for me.

Juggling WLC basketball and two Upwards teams was a challenge for me, mainly from a scheduling aspect, but the time and effort were more than worth it. While these kids and their parents thought they gained the most out of it, I believe that I did as a person and as a Christian.

Through working with these great kids, I realized the importance of letting kids be kids, something that has really gotten away from me as a father over the past few months.

I loved watching some of my younger players step from being uncertain in their abilities at the beginning of the season to being confident and string in what they were doing at the end of the season.

While Upwards is geared towards not worrying about wins and losses, it was always great seeing the reactions of the players when the final horn would sound and we would be on the winning end. For my boys, the Boilermakers, that came a lot in the beginning, but not so much at the end (expect for the 2nd to last game with a big 39-18 win)

My girls, the Lady Hawks rolled off five straight wins at the end of the season, including a huge season finale against a team that was stacked with talent.

While it was tough walking away from the WLC basketball season, seeing the end of Upwards basketball season really pulls at my heart. This will be the final time I will see many of these boys and girls, even if they return next season. I have grown to love each of these kids, for all their different talents and abilities.

It truly is a humbling experience as a coach watching your players go out on the floor and succeed in the things you have taught then through out the short season! Even the simplest little things would bring a smile to my face.

Too all my kids (and the parents) THANK YOU for a wonderful season. I am truly sad that it is over. It has been a pleasure to be a part of your children’s lives over the past 10 weeks!

Now it’s time for the beginning of a new era….no more ends!

Monday, March 3, 2008

End of an era Pt 2

Friday and Saturday came and went...with the best possible outcome.

The Wisconsin Lutheran College Warrior women over came injury and adversity through out the season and gelled together to win the NAC Conference tournament championship on Saturday night in front of the home crowd.

It was a great night for me, as the broadcaster, having watched this team all season long. Though I am not on the court with them, I became overwhelmed with emotion as the final seconds ticked off the clock and I was able to announce "the Warriors are the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament champions"

Don't get me wrong...this is nothing about ME...it's about these talented young women that work for months, while still being students, to play a game they love. I was proud to see women that I have grown to respect walk away with a well earned accolade.

More so for our two graduating seniors, Breanne Duebner and Emily Laete...who get to do what most athletes don't. go out as winners. No matter the outcome of Saturday's game, Bre and Emily would have walked off winners regardless. There tireless work ethic, leadership and love for what they do not only propelled the Warriors to the championship, but has left a legacy for the players that will be here next season.

To Emily and Bre, I love you both, have enjoyed watching you play and will miss you immensely next season.
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More random thoughts....
*Is it spring yet??? It is not March and I still fee there is no end in sight. I love the 4 seasons (five if you include construction season), but this winter has taken a toll on me.

*I am irritated with Milwaukee sports media...the areas most successful sports team, The Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer team, gets absolutely no respect in Milwaukee. During one news cast on Sunday night (station withheld to protect the not-so-innocent) they talked about the Bucks (twice), Brewers for 3 minutes (which I am OK with), NASCAR, more NBA and of course Brett favre's Tractor Watch...but no mention of the Wave's 17-4 win at home.
Coming off a couple of days where the legend of Milwaukee soccer, Michael King's retirement announcement made headlines, the Wave has fallen into the abyss once again.
WHY I ASK???

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

End of an era

Tough night last night as my Wisconsin Lutheran College Warriors men's basketball team lost in the first round of the NAC Tournament to the Lakeland Muskies.

It brought to a close a great season, filled with excitement, heart ache and action. But most of all it brought to a close the great college careers of two great individuals.

Marcus Zondag and Nate Sorum will not go down in the annals of college basketball lore as two of the best players ever to hit the hardwood, but you will never meet two young men with more heart and desire to play the game.

Each and everytime they hit the court they would live it all out there, win or loss. They were the epitome of leaders on and off the court.

I've had the pleasure of watching both Marcus and Nate play since they were sophomores and it's been a blast watching them develop as players.

After last nights game I had a chance to interview both of them...and it was one of the tougher interviews I have done inn 15 years of radio. Both guys knew it was the end of the road, they were obviously upset, but they were gracious enough to spend 5 or minutes with me talking about the season, their careers and their future.

God bless Marcus Zondag and Nate Sorum for what they have done for WLC and the legacy they have left behind!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

End of a crazy run

Well I have to tell you I am happy to send the end of February coming up...not because of the snow, the weather or spring right around the corner.

March means the end of the craziest two months I have had in a long time. Juggling my main job, Play by Play for Wisconsin Lutheran College basketball, coaching two Upwards basketball teams, plus a multitude of other things has meant way too much time on the road, scrambling from one event to another and hoping that my kids haven't forgotten who I am.

Don't get me wrong...I am far from complaining because I love all that I do, but being a person that has a hard time saying NO to people (it's tough when your pastor calls you out on it)..sometimes I overload myself.

I am truly blessed to have the opportunities to do what I do and to be able to use the skills and abilities that God has given me. It is going to be nice to have a little bit of downtime before the next hectic schedule comes up.

Out of all of this...it has become apparent that I need to take sometime to prioritize what I need to do from what I want to do. My Men's Fraternity group, plus HI2 at Spring Creek Church have helped me realize this.

Next time any of you see me...I will not be running so much (unless I am chasing down Bella) and I may be a little more calm!!
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Random thoughts...
- Wasn't the lunar eclipse last week AMAZING. I took a few minutes to watch with my kids and you have to be in awe of another of God's awesome creations in action.

- I am so tired already of the political ads on TV and radio. For once I would love to have a candidate on either side come out and say "I don't have total control. I am not going to make empty promises. I will work with the House and Senate who have ultimate control over taxes, laws, etc"

- An article on JSOnline states that 78.4% of Americans are Christians..but of that 78% how many are really Christians. What is their definition of being a "Christian"? That they believe in God? how many of that 78% actually go to church each week, read their bibles and live a God-fearing/honoring life? I am far from the perfect Christian, but I am doing my best on a daily basis.
That's what is wrong with our society...too many C&E Christians that talk the talk but don't walk the walk. That's why our TV's are strewn with trash that would have been limited to pay cable channels 10 years ago, why every news stand has a dozen magazines with scantily clad women adorning the covers and why true positive role models are over shadowed by the problems of Brittany Spears and such.
As my pastor says, all too many of us are living a life of "cruise control Christianity" and not walking in a closer walk with Jesus Christ. We need a Spiritual Revolution, and it starts with each person, then their families and so on. Imagine the impact we can make is we all start walking with Jesus on a daily basis...setting the example for others and letting them see God's light shining through us!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Re-evaluating

February 14th...Valentine's Day
A day filled with hearts, cards, candy and love.

No I am not going to ruminate about love...just find it ironic that I will post my first blog (at least on this site) on Valentine's Day.

Couple of random thoughts:
- Today is the final day of broadcasting for 105.3 The Fish here in Milwaukee. A great Contemporary Christian music station that has graced Milwaukee for the past 6 years, recently sold from Salem Communications to EMF, which is changing it to the satellite fed K-Love. Same style of music, no local personalities. This is sad as I see people I have worked with lose their jobs. For any one that has know me for at least a couple of years, you know my relationship with Salem and some of the people was not always the greatest (much caused by me), but I never wish this on anyone.

- As a husband and father, sometimes life gets the best of me. I am seeing that happening right now, as my chaotic schedule of work and basketball broadcasts for Wisconsin Lutheran College seems to be starting to take a toll on my family. I guess that happens when on any given weekday your kids are luck to see you for more than 20 minutes.

- Why is it that the sporting world (mainly fans and media) are always so tuned in to and interested in the negative stories (i.e. Michael Vick, Roger Clemens/steroids, OJ) So many great positive sports stories and all we care about is who shot what into whose body and what laws are being broken. And people wonder why the youth of America is so messed up?

- I have lived in Wisconsin for 36 of my 38 years...and this is the first time I can honestly say...I AM SICK OF SNOW!!! Seems like every other day we are hearing reports of another 3-5 inches of snow, with the occasional 10-12 inch blast. When will we see the green grass again?

More to come later