Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So perhaps you are reading this and still would like to help please do so as this will allow them to buy even more shoes. Again this is a yearly gift for these kids/teens. Its not about looking under a tree hoping they got their wish or wondering what to open next. Your gift of 10.00 provides a gift and necessity for them as well. Youth Center P O Box 513 Keyser WV 26726 Make checks/orders out to Youth Center or just leave name blank but not the amount :) )
So once again thanks for reading this and if you arer actually reading this consider giving also simply leave a comment, perhaps leave a reason for Thanks.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
WHAT HAPPENED TO THANKSGIVING????
I've been in retail and I know that many businesses depend on the Christmas season ( and yes I said Christmas and not "holiday"). While I'm kind of glad that retailers haven't marketed Thanksgiving like they have Christmas, I feel like I've already missed Thanksgiving and it hasn't even happened yet. Can you imagine retailers trying to make a profit off of selling one turkey to each family?
I guess that's why I haven't seen a single sign in the mall wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, I haven't even had one single person wish me a Happy Thanksgiving.
Is it culture or just being way to busy that keeps us from showing thanks?
Jesus knew this was true even in His own day. He heals 10 lepers and only 1 returns to thank Him. That sounds about right...10 percent. What is interesting is that all 10 were healed but Jesus told the 1 that he was whole. This word has intriqued me for a while. What does it mean to be "whole"?
Without going into a bible study or trying to "exegete" the phrase, let me just say one thing...there are a bunch ( and probably all) of us who need a healing somewhere in our lives. Maybe the wholeness comes when we start giving thanks.....hmmmm. Think about it.
And while I'm at it, let me say "thanks" to every one of you. Thanks for reading and thanks for your friendship.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Anyway, it just seems like we can't keep up. I'm getting older a whole lot faster than I'd like. I can see my mom's health failing faster than I'd care to. All of the presidential candidates are promising change.
Heck, change is good...ask any woman. However, I like a little consistancy. Just once I'd like to go into my eye doctor's office and be told that my eyes haven't gotten worse.
I'm reminded of God's Word that says "Forever O Lord Your Word is settled in Heaven." Now it's up to me to settle it in my heart. I need to know that He doesn't change. I need to know that His mercy endures to all generations.
No matter what is changing, I know that some things will remain...Now these 3 things remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Part of my job is to listen for new music and make additions for my program (Worship 180). While reviewing the new CD from Sonic Flood, I came across a song that I think puts clearly into words what this Beautiful Ache is all about. The song is "In Your Presence." Here are the words:
There is pain among the beauty and broken things behind this mask of gold
And my life, merely ashes...Dust that the Maker gently holds
His hands form a diamond and forgot that it was once a piece of coal
Yeah, You change me and You give me a new name
In Your presence there is strength for the weak
In Your power I fall to my knees
In Your touch you heal my disease
In Your presence hold me, hold me
If I have value in Your eyes, well sometimes it's so hard to comprehend
That I'm made in Your image when it seems I'm just another grain of sand
and why You treat me with such love I don't think I'll ever understand
Yeah, You love me and You give me a new name
I stand amazed at this great love
I can't explain...how You know my name
In You my soul is complete
Freedom from the darkness
Today, see yourself as loved by Him. Even through this Beautiful Ache, He has not forgotten you. There is value in your life because He says so.
1 John 3:1What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to.--The Message
Friday, September 19, 2008
With less than 50 left until election time, a friend of mine is doing something that I thought would be good for everyone to know and participate.
This has nothing to do with who you think is the best candidate. It's more about our nation than a person or a party. I encourage you to visit this site every day and learn something about it each state along with praying specifically for each state. You can visit her site at www.prayerbeacon.blogspot.com
This is yesterday's posting and you can go back to the ones that she has posted earlier.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Representative James R. Langevin (D)
Fishing ports are at Galilee and Newport. Rural areas of the state support small-scale farming, including grapes for local wineries, turf grass, and nursery stock. Tourism generates over a billion dollars a year in revenue.
Newport became famous as the summer capital of high society in the mid-19th century. Touro Synagogue (1763) is the oldest in the U.S.
Despite being called Rhode Island in common usage, most of the state lies on the North American mainland. Providence Plantations refers to the mainland, while Rhode Island is actually the official name for Aquidneck Island (now composed of the city of Newport, and the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth).
Having a history of staunch independence, Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen original American colonies to declare independence from British rule and the last to ratify the United States Constitution.
Rhode Island has long held the nickname of "Little Rhody", though the state has officially adopted the nickname of "the Ocean State", as nearly one tenth of Rhode Island's inland area is covered by salt water, and no part of the state is more than a 45-minute drive from the water's edge. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhode_Island)
Rhode Island is a large per capita consumer of coffee. According to a Providence Journal article, the state features the highest number of coffee/donut shops per capita in the country, with over 225 Dunkin' Donuts locations in the state alone. The Official State Drink of Rhode Island is coffee milk, a beverage created by mixing milk with coffee syrup. This unique syrup was invented in the state and is bottled and sold in most Rhode Island supermarkets. Although coffee milk contains some caffeine, it is sold in school cafeterias throughout the state. Strawberry milk is also popular. Iced coffee is popular in both summer and winter. Frozen lemonade, a mixture of ice-slush, lemons and sugar is popular in the summer, especially Del's Frozen Lemonade, a company based in Cranston.
Wein-O-Rama is a popular Cranston restaurant which serves hot weiners.
Several foods and dishes are unique to Rhode Island, and are hard to find outside of the state. "Hot Wieners", which are sometimes called "gaggers" or "weenies" are smaller than a standard hot dog but are covered in a meat sauce, chopped onions, mustard, and celery salt. Submarine sandwiches are referred to as "grinders" in Rhode Island, with a popular version being the Italian grinder, which is made with Italian cold cuts. Chouriço (a spicy Portuguese sausage) and peppers, eaten with hearty bread, is also popular among the state's large Portuguese community. Another popular item is pizza strips. Sold in most supermarkets, they are rectangular strips of pizza without the cheese, and are often served cold. Spinach pies, similar to a calzone but filled with seasoned spinach instead of meat, sauce and cheese, are sold in many Italian bakeries and local supermarkets. Variations can include black olives or pepperoni with the spinach, or broccoli instead of spinach.
The state is also known for its jonnycakes. As in colonial times, johnny cakes are made with corn meal and water, and pan fried much like pancakes. During fairs and carnivals, Rhode Islanders enjoy dough boys, plate-sized disks of deep fried dough sprinkled with sugar (sometimes powdered). While these are known as zeppolas in other states, such as New York, in Rhode Island zeppolas or zeppolis are completely different. Traditionally eaten on Saint Joseph's Day (widely celebrated across the state), St. Joseph's Day zeppolis are doughnut-like pastries with exposed centers of vanilla pudding or riccota cream, topped with a cherry.
The Ocean State's tradition has a strong tradition of seafood. Shellfish is extremely popular, with clams being used in multiple ways. Taken from the Narragansett "Poquauhock" (see A Key into the Language of America by Roger Williams 1643) "Quahaug" is a more correct spelling for this popular shellfish. The quahog (whose shell is Rhode Island's state shell) is a large clam which is mixed with stuffing and spicy minced sausage and then baked in the shell to form a "Stuffie". Steamed clams are also a very popular dish. Fried squid, or "calamari", is most popular in Italian restaurants, typically served Sicilian-style: tossed with spicy banana peppers and with marinara sauce on the side.
Rhode Island, like the rest of New England, has a long tradition of clam chowder. While the white "New England" variety is popular and the red "Manhattan" variety is not uncommon, Rhode Island makes a clear chowder, known as "Rhode Island Clam Chowder".
Perhaps the most unusual culinary tradition in Rhode Island is the "clam cake". The clam cake (also known as a fritter) is a deep fried ball of buttery dough with chopped bits of clam inside. They are sold by the half-dozen or dozen in most seafood restaurants around the state. The quintessential summer meal in Rhode Island is "clam cakes and chowder."
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
As a community, we are instructed to bear one another's burdens. I know some of you may be struggling with family issues. Some may be dealing with health issues. Some may be struggling with their faith.
How about everyone who reads this, post something that you would like this community to pray for? Maybe even offer a word of encouragement or scripture.
Let me start it out...for those who know me well, they know that I have dealt with kidney stones for the last 20 years. I believe that God can heal me, but nothing so far. He has given me great grace through it. There have been times when I should've been in the hospital but God turned it around. I could use some prayer in that area...even now.
This is part of the beautiful ache. We are all living in a fallen state. Our bodies are crying out for redemption.
Just post how we can help each other. This is a great way for this community to touch each other's lives.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Yesterday I posted a video that I had picked up last week and believed it was something inspiring and touching. Unfortunately, I didn't know the full story.
The video was of a man who wrote a song called Healer. While I still believe in the truth of the song, I found out that the man's testimony was a lie. He said he had terminal cancer for 2 years and that God gave him this song. He even went so far as to say that the doctor told him he couldn't perform the song on stage without having oxygen tubes on. To make a long story short, the man didn't have cancer. It was all a big lie.
So, what have I learned from this?
1. Man is fallible. The writer of this song lied about something. Why? Maybe to gain a greater spotlight. This aches me. I have been crushed by this story. Believe it or not, when I heard, I stepped away, fell to my knees and asked God to help this man. You see, something deep inside him was aching too and it came out. I don't believe in throw-away people. This man needs help and hopefully his church and family will stand with him to get the help that he needs. And unfortunately, he is not the only one. We all have our problems. We all have an ache deep inside us. For some, it comes out in ways that hurts others. I do not excuse his sin, for his sin penalty has already been paid for by Christ.
That's the power of the cross. Look at Peter. He lied about Christ 3 times. And Jesus even told him that he would. Christ still offered the forgiveness that he needed. He even went on to tell him that when he was restored, strengthen the others.
2. The Truth is still the Truth! Even though he lied about his circumstances, the point remains that by the stripes of Jesus we are healed. I guess this man didn't ask for the right healing. He needed a healing in his heart. I have personally seen people healed. I know God can do it. I don't understand all of the reason for why He doesn't, but I know He still does.
3. My faith must be in Christ alone! Others will fail me. I've failed others. To quote the old hymn, "My faith is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' Name. This will undoubtedly happen again in the church. It's been happening. There is nothing we can do to stop it. However, when it does happen, we must look to Jesus.
So, I do apologize for posting it. Please pray for this man. And while you're at it, pray for and encourage each other. It bugs me that this happens. And while I'm at it, it's bugging me that certain places aren't even pulling it or at least giving an explanation.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Okay back to the beauty of randomness. Since we just returned from missions lets explore the mishaps on mission trips. Usually these are quite unpleasant and painful at the time but they make for some great "no way" stories when we get home and well some of us can laugh about it as well.
For me it was on a trip in Morocco when the group was on their 100th glass of hot spearmint tea. And I asked kindly, "ah being it has cool down to 126 outside (no lie, it was 140) could I please have ANYTHING besides Hot tea..so they gave me a glass of Pepsi. Ah yes I gulped it down in a few seconds then I took notice to the jingling of ice in my glass. I was like Ohhhhhh No!
So I called my team leader over and said ah I think Im in trouble I just consumed this drink which has ice in it. She replied dont worry it was frozen(okay so she's not a doctor or nurse). So that night about 3am it felt like somebody took a machete to my stomach. So I ran to the bathroom(okay it was 3 feet away but I ran anyway) and well okay eventually went back to bed only to return again in a few minutes thats when I realize man shall not live by bread alone, but Imodium! I took 2 or 3 right away. Return to bed and Again back to the "throne room" and decided to see if it was possible to OD on Imodium. Because I am now thinking about in a few hours our team will be on a six hour train ride in 120 degree heat so I consumed a total of 7 Imodiums. The next morning the nurse on our team said it wasnt possible to do such. I reassured her it was and well I didnt need the restroom on the train. I did still come down with a fever for 24 hours and the first thing I ate coming off this sickness was a delicious lunch by my host which was a bowl of Chili Con Carne. (I couldnt even make this one up). Read On...
A team member of ours in Canada was telling about her outreach in India. And while traveling through town sightseeing a young man on her team came down with diahrea (rather it came down) and it hit instantly and out of nowhere so now this mess is running down his leg and coming out on top of his shoes. So this guy is running towards the base and just when he thinks it cant get any worse, dogs start chasing after him nipping at his shoes. The team members do their best to fight off the dogs and they eventually arrived safe and not so sound at the base.
The lady who shared this story informed me that she got sick as well on the same trip and eventually her body shut down and after severe problems with diahrea she collapsed and was out of it. Team members had to carry her back to base and clean her off and put her to bed. The next morning the team had to tell her what took place in her "adventure"....and last but not least..
Another team in India (hmmm what is it about India?) had to use a squat toliet (just imagine a hole in the floor and ah sharing that hole with the movements of the world) So in the middle of the night this man on the team goes out to use the squat and since the squat was on the hill, one actually had to work at keeping his balance. So as he steps in to use the squat he has his flashlight in his mouth and as he squats he loses his balance and well the flashlight falls in the mess and without thinking he grabs the flashlight and puts it back in his mouth (Arrgh!! and so much more). The team then heard a scream into the night. And Im thinking of the unnamed diseases taking place and how could he ever share this story. And as for his wife ah I dont think toothpaste or any amount of Scope would take it away.
Oh well if you have any not funny at the time stories but now they could bring laughter, even tears to your eyes, post them. Thanks. Oh and Imodiuim, dont leave home without it!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Upon our arrival they had prayer for us and our family back home and gave thanks for our safe travel then they fed us and we were ready for sleep. Our first day started out downtown with Peter to get money exchange and then to the office of ICY and get more information on how ICY works and some details on what we would be doing while in Nairobi. Our team consisted of Patrick (Germany), Ricky (California), Liz (North Carolina), Aimee (Indiana), Virginia (Vancouver) and Victor (Kenya) That afternoon we were taken to Kibera. This is a huge slum area with at least 1 million people living in some horrendous conditions. Kibera is heavily polluted by soot, dust, and other wastes. Open sewage routes also contribute to contamination of the slum with human and animal feces. The combination of poor nutrition and lack of sanitation accounts for many illnesses. Not only are death by disease and conflict common inside this slum, but it is estimated that 1/5 of the 2.2 million Kenyans living with HIV live in Kibera. But in this mess the people we met were beautiful in their friendliness and the children’s constant greeting of “how are you?” still echo in our mind as we are on the other side of the world. Our teams’ ministry was focused on the “blue house”. This house is used for daily school teachings and Sunday services as well. The pastor and team actually have to pay a high rental cost just to use this building. When we arrived the classes were over so we ended up hanging with the kids, talking and playing games. We met with the head teacher who informed us that they care for at least 500 youth in this area. We were excited to meet the children but at the same time it’s hard to imagine why any human would have to live in such conditions.
Sunday we traveled 40 minutes by Matatu (van) to get to a church service. Service lasted several hours and included a message by a preacher from North Carolina. He had been coming to Kenya for over 10 years and he said were the first missionary team he had seen in a church service. After morning service we split up into teams and walked the streets asking the locals could we pray for them, talk to them about Jesus and what they believed. Several of those that we met knew the Gospel and some asked us to pray with them to rededicate their life to Jesus Christ. Afterwards we returned for an evening service.
The following week we would return to Kibera three times. We would help teach classes grade 6 through 8. I helped Liz teach 6th graders and Adriane and Patrick taught 8th graders. Classes were always threefold in teaching the Bible, Math and English. Also in Kibera is a kindergarten class called Sarah Jr. A few years ago a university student from the UK helped start this school in Kibera the funding comes from those living in England. This class serves at least 50 kids. They learn to read, write, and are taught the Bible as well as children songs. Also they are each given a daily lunch of beans and rice which for many of them may be their only meal of the day.
One Tuesday we helped a young mother of 3 take her Cerebral Palsy daughter to the hospital for therapy. We took a coloring book and crayons for her and actually after therapy she was so content in coloring that she told her mother she could stay longer but she was excited when she was told the book and crayons were hers to keep.
Our last Sunday in Kibera, our team helped do the church service. Roger was asked to give a teaching. He shared on Mephibosheth who was asked to eat at King David table. Although a cripple he was the same at the table of the King. And all of us in life are crippled by something but Jesus wants us at His table and desires for us to be his sons and daughters. We then met with Pastor Timothy and distributed pencils, pens, and other items and promised to send more upon our return home. They were so thankful for just what little we bought them.
After service we spent a few hours with Peter and we talked how people and churches tend to do nothing because the problem seems so big but if we would just focus on part of the problem and work towards that then much would be done especially for those we are helping at that very moment. Victor is an assistant of ICY. He is from Kibera. His mom died then his dad, then his grandparents. So he had nowhere to go and Peter and his wife took him in as part of their family. Victor was our leader and tour guide in almost everything we did in Nairobi. Dominique was another assistant for this ministry and he lives in Kibera with his family. It’s awesome to see these young men coming out of some of the worst conditions and making the best of it and serving God in this ministry.
We also got to help at an orphanage a few times while were there. This was actually just 2 blocks from our home. This was a pleasant surprise to us as the building was very nice, and the kids were getting great care at this facility. The ages consist of infants to 2 year olds. Some of these babies have been abandoned from hospitals to dumps. A couple from England came to Nairobi several years ago and saw a need for orphans and they started a make shift orphanage at the bottom of their flat apartment taking in 7 kids. They now have 7 full time ministries running in Kenya to take in the orphans. We got to feed the infants and play with many kids. For those of you that have read our blog you know that Jimmy became our favorite kid there. On our last visit he came to me as soon as I entered through the gate and didn’t want me to put him down so we spent hours talking about birds and big birds.
We were fortunate in getting to go on a 2 night safari in Maasai Mara. It was very beautiful and believe it or not the nights got very cold. Adriane was unfortunately able to pick up a cold as well. We got to see a variety of animals including Zebras, Buffaloes, Hyenas, Hippos, Crocodiles and Lions to name a few. We were also privileged to see the migration of the wildebeest which is actually a rare thing for visitors to see. On our last Sunday we were guest at Judah’s church and then did some last minute shopping. Monday, the night before our departure we treated our host family to a dinner at the Carnivore. This restaurant is the most famous one in Nairobi and they offer a buffet of meats which are brought to your table one at a time and the menu includes Crocodile and Ostrich. There is so much more that could be written but we hope this letter gives a glimpse of our adventure in Kenya. We could have never imagined the people and places we experienced and we told Peter and our host family we do plan to come back as soon as possible. Again for those reading this thank you so much for being part of this trip with us, it would have never been possible without your support. For those who have been praying for us please continue to do so that we may know what our next step with Kenya (Africa) is suppose to be.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Technology is so wonderful. As I'm sitting here typing on my 'smart' phone, I'm thinking about how quickly things change in our lives. When I got my first cell phone, I loved what it could do for me. However, I would've never expected it to access the internet. Yet that's what I'm doing. These things will even play videos! It makes me wonder what the future will hold.
There is an Amish community near where I live and work. I see them riding their horse and buggies every day. This got me thinking about a few things. The Amish do this by choice but what about those in places like where Buck and Adie are now. We take for granted that we have decent drinking water or health care. Some people don't have that.
I have noticed a switching of roles recently. It used to be that the church was futuristic. We sang songs of getting to heaven and rejoicing. Now we're more concerned with what we can get now. The world was concerned about the present but now they're looking to the future.
I believe that there needs to be a balance in our lives. We need to look forward to what is going to happen. We need to go in with eyes wide open. I don't believe it is a coincidence that in the last few verses of the Bible, Jesus says that He is coming quickly and John responds by saying "Come Lord Jesus!" I'm ready for that. I'll say "Amen!!!!"
We also need to be fully aware of the present. We need to be concerned with things that affect daily living. That is what missions work does. It brings the daily living of others to our attention while offering the hope and future that God has planned for each of us. What kind of God would He be if we had to wait until we got to Heaven to experience His benefits? Can I hear the church say 'Amen'?
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
First of all, just a note to keep praying for Buck and Adie. Got and email from them and they are safe and sound...well, as sound as Buck's ever been...in the nation of Kenya. Adie says that we can stop worrying. Yeah, right! Anyhow, Adie says that they were heading for the slums, the people are amazing, and the weather was perfect.
I wanted to share something that happened to me. Today, I had the opportunity to visit with some friends...some of whom I haven't seen in several years. We used to be pretty close and tried to take every opportunity to encourage and build each other up. Because of certain circumstances, that tie was broken. Some have kept in touch a little better than others and I have been in contact with a few, but I know that we are not as close (literally and spiritually) as we used to be.
What was so cool to me was that we picked up like we just saw each other yesterday. Of course there were questions about how everyone and their family was doing, but we just jumped in and started acting like the family that we once were. This got me thinking about many things, but I'll only share a couple of them with you here.
1. Think about all of the people that Buck and Adie (along with all of the other missionaries and Gospel carriers around the world) are ministering to in Kenya. Buck and Adie may only meet a few of them and build a relationship with even less. However, when the day comes when we're all reunited in Heaven, they will be able to pick up and carry on with the joys that they are sharing now.
I began to think of some wonderful people that have gone on to Heaven...my dad is first in my mind right now. When I get there, I'll be able to just pick up like I talked to him yesterday. After all, what is time when you're in heaven? If you figure that a thousand years is like a day to God, then we'll only be separated for minutes. I'm ready to sit down to a big meal with dad. He and I used to sit down and split a half gallon of ice cream...I'm ready for that now.
2. I'm also reminded of God's call to community. Michael Card says in a song "The call is to community. The impoverished power that sets the soul free. In humility we take the bow, when day after day we take up the basin and the towel."
I think it was a Barna research poll that said that when a person visits a church, they must make at least 3 connections or they won't come back. I believe that God draws people to certain churches or fellowships for a reason. I also know that there are some people in churches that belong in another church. Do people stay in our church because we make them feel welcome? Do people leave because we don't?
I know people from a whole hosts of churches and denominations. I have been blessed by having people put into my path. I may not talk to them every day or even every month, but the connection is still there. Why?
I believe it is because God has made us people that need to feel connected. Every person needs to feel that they are need, loved, and accepted...by someone. It's bred into our very being by our Creator. That's why, after He created Adam, He said, "It is not good for man to be alone." While some interpret this as a man needing a wife, I look at it from a much broader perspective. Adam needed a helpmate, but more importantly, he needed a friend. The word for helpmate is similar (not exact) to the word that Christ says when He was ready to leave this world. Jesus says that He wouldn't leave us helpless, but He would send another...a helper. The Greek word is paracletos which means "one called alongside who is similar to the first."
If you look back to a previous blog a mine about "Servants and Friends", Jesus said that He now called them friends. When He left, He didn't want to leave them without a friend, so He sent Holy Spirit.
My challenge to you is two-fold. First, are you a friend to the friendless? It's nothing to be friendly to those you like, but how about those you don't like? Second, do you need a friend? Even if you feel friendless, allow Holy Spirit to come to your side. Let Him be your friend and allow Him to lead you to others that you can connect with on a personal basis. Believe me, it's essential to your sanity to have friends.
In closing, make a point to go for a picnic this week. Take time to have lunch with a friend. Treat your best friend to an ice cream cone. Just make the connection. And leave a post when you do. I want to hear everyone who reads this to post something this week about how they connected with someone.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
I was reading the blog of a friend of mine the other day. She was sharing on the Great Awakenings. One person that she mentioned was Keith Green. For those of you who are familiar with Keith, you know his passion for Christ and the lost.
During prayer this evening, I was shocked out of my normal religious praying when one of the ladies in the group began to say, "What about them? What about those?"
Keith Green wrote a song entitled "Jesus Commands Us To Go!" This song came back to my memory. I have a CD that has Keith sharing with an audience about doing mission work. I remember him saying that unless you have a direct order from God not to go, then the original mandate stands. Jesus said, "Go into all the world..."
As we are only days away from Buck and Adie leaving for Kenya, this is one of the things that is at the forefront of my prayers. I'm sure it's top priority for them also. This is not an easy task. It's hot there...that's a biggie for me. Also, there are flights, food, people, a resistance to the Gospel, and an international discontent with America. Still, Buck and Adie have chosen to do this. Why??????????????
I was pondering this question tonight. I'm sure Buck and Adie would feel more comfortable if we were together at a restaurant eating some good food. Buck would probably be happier playing B-Ball with some friends. Adie would probably rather spend time with her family. So my question again is Why???
I could answer that with a very religious answer about how people in other countries need to hear the Gospel. Well, people in this country do too, so that's not the reason. Maybe they want to feel good because they're doing something for God. Well, you can do something for God right where you are, so throw that reason out. I've come to the conclusion that the only reason they are going is because God said "GO!" I remember having a conversation with them a couple years ago and they knew God was sending them to Kenya. There is no reason for me to doubt that God has not given them a direct order with a heavenly commission.
My question to you is, why aren't you going? Before I get a bunch of emails with every excuse under the sun ranging from "I hate to fly" to "I don't eat bugs" and so forth, let me ask you this question...IF that is your excuse, why don't you do it here? We are quick to talk about the weather, food, jobs, church, new cars, ...whatever. When was the last time you shared Jesus with the person at the grocery store? at work? at school?...you get my drift? Why don't you find a good ministry in your own town and do something there? Hey, I know a good place...if you live in the Keyser, WV area, check out the Fire Escape. They've been doing this for years and they're right in the back yard of many Christians and churches. You don't have to raise money to send a mission team to some far away country...you can do it here.
I invite, encourage, and desire for you to pray for Buck and Adie and the entire team that will be with them. I also encourage you to pray that your hunger and passion for the lost is restored. Also, check out my friend's blog. It's www.cafenotes.blogspot.com Melissa has been sharing about the Great Awakenings along with many other great happenings today.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
We could do a study on this and take hours to figure out what is clearly evident, and that is that Jesus was neither a socialist, communist, or capitalist. He simply loved people with the same love that He saw in His Father.
One of the most powerful stories that I have ever read on social justice, or any justice for that matter, is a story that Brennan Manning wrote in his book "A Ragamuffin Gospel." Indulge me for a few lines as I share this story.
Mayor La Guardia, mayor of NYC during the time of the depression was a very flamboyant man who was known to wear a big sombrero and a carnation. He would often take kids in an orphanage out to ball games.
One night, he walked into the courthouse of one of the poorest districts in NYC and relieved the judge of his duties and took his place. One of his first cases was a woman who was caught stealing bread from a local shop. When the Mayor asked the woman why she stole the bread, she simply explained that her daughter's husband had left and their children were hungry. Mayor La Guardia then asked the shopkeeper if he would drop the charges, to which the shopkeeper replied that he would not because the woman broke the law and if he let her go, others would feel that they had the right to do it. The Mayor turned to the woman and told her that he could not change the law and that her fine would be $10 or ten days in prison. As he said this, he took $10 out of his pocket to pay the fine. He then proceeded to hand his sombrero to the bailiff and told all those who were in the courtroom that he was fining each of them 50 cents for allowing a woman in New York to go hungry. The Mayor received a standing ovation and then he then handed the money to the woman.
The Law demands that we are all punished. Justice demands retribution. The shopkeeper was afraid that grace would run rampant. Now there's something for the church to ponder...grace running wild. God's justice ran wild when Jesus died on the cross. The full penalty was paid and He received the full justice for all of our sins. We can't demand justice any longer because justice is not ours to demand. We can only demand the full grace that God offers to us. Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. The Law is fulfilled through Grace.
So, instead of social justice, let's proclaim grace to those around us. Do I get ticked off at people and things...more than you know. However, when I allow God's grace to become clear, I realize that I need to do what the King of Love has instructed me to do...love those who hate you, love those who use you, love those who step on my justice and offer them the grace that was so freely given to me.
When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift.---Romans 5:12,15 NLT
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Donny and I am a fellow rambler with Buck. Buck and I ramble on the phone, by email, and in person about just about everything. The only real threads that run through all of our ramblings is that we both love Jesus and we want to see change. Neither of us are perfect. However, I might be a little closer than he is...just kidding.
I emailed Buck yesterday and he asked me if I could contribute to the "beautiful ache." So, lets hear what you think, not necessarily about my thoughts...even though that is good and both Buck and I encourage that, but more importantly about your journey. Where do you see the "beauty in the ache?"
I was talking to someone yesterday and they asked me a question that I've been
Oh, and before I forget, Buck and Adie are heading off to Kenya in just a few short days (we're into single digits now). Let's keep them and the nation of Kenya in our prayers. God will use what they sow while they are there to reap an eternal harvest.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Southwest Airlines’ tag line is, “You are now free to move about the country.” Did you catch that it’s not a freedom from something, but a freedom to do something? Jesus also offers a freedom to—a freedom to live each moment in the present reality of God’s Kingdom. In other words:
You are now free to be peace even when your life circumstances unravel.
You are now free to be love even when others reject or hurt you.
You are now free to be contentment even when you’re barely making it financially.
You are now free to be the beloved of God even when people put you down.
You are now free to be compassion even when others rationalize their apathy.
You are now free to be joy even when people or circumstances disappoint you. You are now free to be grace even when others judge you.
You are now free to move about God’s Kingdom.