Follow by Email

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HELP Section: "Comment Box"


Okay so We do happen to have one new "commenter" who just happens to be a "marketing guru" for the bailout. Ah Yes just what I was looking for. But this is just a little note perhaps from the HELP section for those out there that say I tried to comment but didn't know how to do it? In the words of Doug (king of queens) "Seriously!" You have made it this far 1. You turned the computer on (Or perhaps kept it on since you plugged it in and have ever since been praying for no power outage) 2. You found this specific website so you can right & left click 3. Perhaps you are even now googling aka searching. So ALL you need to do is click comment then submit and we have "liftoff" Yes I would like to see a a "group" of people commenting and exchanging ideas here, call it blogger envy, call it "online fellowship" call it whatever you want I just think its one of the better ways to use online. By the way do people still go to chat rooms? I remember chat rooms before Yahoo,MSN,AIM,IM,etc..Then theres myspace then came facebook (a millionaire from getting people to add their faces to the concept of myspace, seriously? Im sure the anatomy online book wont stop there) I believe our talk on the bowel problems had more comments than prayer concerns, Interesting? And for some I know who read this are thinking they have nothing to say? But Please, everyone always have something to say. If nothing else consider this a slow chat room and leave a comment as you leave the (cyber) door on your way out.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tis the Season to Bailout...

Time to Ramble but first another thanks to those that helped out towards the Christmas Party for the kids in Kenya. The actual total came close to 3800.00 as people continue to give towards this outreach. Kibera is in need of one of those bailouts as well. Now it seems companies are getting in line to ask for a bailout. Not so sure if its a good idea to fly in on a private jet to ask for some money? And the economy is so bad yet Black Friday sales were up over 7 %? I heard Fox news say this only took place due to good deals. Ah isnt that what Black Friday is about? Stampeding one another for that "limited supply" item to the tunes of Silent Night or We wish You a Merry Christmas? I believe we should bring back "pong" and Atari and we could easily convince kids (and parents) its a Must for the Holidays. For most of us no matter the present we are eventually like the 2 yr old who is just as amused with the wrapping paper and the box than the gift itself. Most of us cant recall what we got last year and forget about asking who got us which gift. And when it comes to giving We do tend to give to get back. Mostof us have to know who is getting them a present so they can exchange and hopefully it comes close as in a necktie for socks. Admit it, if you got somebody a plasma tv for Christmas and they got you a pair of gloves you would say wow they fit, thanks! But all along you are imagining using those gloves to beat that love one up. Of course its nice to hear at least a thank you, or if you give a lot of yourself or money you may want to see change in that persons life. Even a card/ thank you would be nice. But the reward is in the giving itself, nothing needed in return. At least thats definitely the example Jesus set for all of us. He gave and asked nothing in return, simply a Gift to all of us. If we are still waiting for that thank you, holding our breathe for our reward in return then I think we are pretty much still caught up in the box and wrapping paper. So this Holiday season give someone a "bailout" a friend, a neighbor, even a enemy or complete stranger...after all Tis the Season.... to Give..Now back to a game of Frogger...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Anyone Out There...

I know more were checking in on this as we were away but Heres a update for the Tabasamu ("Smile" ) Christmas Event we were able to raise 3,400.o0 thanks to 2 local churches and contribution from family & friends. The amount was a blessing to the ministry in Kenya and in their words..From the support that you have sent for the shoes we have been challenged to think big and and trust God to make provision for this years Tabasamu Christmas Event...
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.

Happy Thanksgiving..

"buck" (selah)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What Happened?????

OK folks, help me out with this one. I was in the mall the other day and while it didn't surprise me, it did disturb me.

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

Ten Buck Shoes (Kenya)

videoOkay well heres finally an update. The area we worked in Kibera will be having a Tabasamu Christmas Party coming up on December 17th. It's a Christmas party designed for kids of ages 6 to 14 in Kibera. We basically run a feeding programe on that day, as well as give them a few gifts. We're looking at having 400 kids for this event. Just like last year, we are hoping to give each one of them a pair of shoes. A good pair of shoe here would costs about $10. From past experience, it's so expensive to send shoes from the States and there's no guarantee that they will arrive as one MST did last year. It would be much easier to send money that would be used to purchase the shoes here as it cuts costs as well as saves time. If we can get the money a month before the 17th of December, it would be great as it would give us sufficient time to look for the specific shoe sizes. (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 Anyone and Everyone reading this if you care to help out you can send us a check or money order. Our goal is actually the 4,000 and well they can use the leftover money for other Needs. This is most likely their one gift. My wife has decided to tell family and friends to pass on getting us gifts but use the money towards this Party. Thanks and Blessings,

Friday, October 17, 2008

What God Doesnt Know wont hurt Him?

Out of nowhere this morning the memory of a written excuse came to my mind. You see back in high school most likely my freshman year my mom wrote an excuse for me when I stayed home one day. And though teachers were to sign it and/or collect it they never did such to this one. So from that point out I had a written excuse from mom also known as a genuine day off whenever I felt like ah skipping. And in my randomness it came to me that’s what those are doing with this belief called Open Theism. Open Theists’ believe in a God that knows all that can be known? Ah that sounds a lot like me, or at least my wife she seems to know everything, just ask her (just kidding, love you ). Actually I never knew this was even an option. Never knew this was out there until a few years ago. Its big but even people who believe it seem to not like to talk about it. They explain away bad things in life, that’s why bad things happen because God wasn’t prepared (bad Cosmic boy scout), ready for it. Kind of blows away any prophecy as in OT or where this Godman Jesus told his followers you will do this and you do that. Lets skip a few thousand years and see the hurricane heading towards Texas. Is God at the mercy of the weather channel as well? (Well that would make a good Far Side comic if nothing else). See what I’m getting at, bad things do happen, tragic things but we come off cheap and we frantically try to explain it away or give answers to everything. And most of all God doesn’t need anyone writing an excuse on His behalf. Believers that do this ought to take a look at Job (Where were you When I….). I’ve been told God knows when you go for a drive or walk… but not the outcome.(Seriously??!!) When Jesus tells Peter and others this will happen to them the open theists say this is a good guess or piece of the future (interesting yet so stupid so there’s a known but not known?) So I guess our days actually being numbered will surprise Him as well…(“Hey “selah “ what are you doing here already?)” While we are at it why not just take in Universalism, lets except that with a spiritual “Ally Ally Oxen Free. “ Of course hide and seek would even be a challenge for God in the world of Open Theism. Maybe you believe in this “Open T” please do email me, blog, etc… It blows my mind I feel like Coach trying to discuss things with Luther, it just doesn’t make sense, I do get frustrated and just cant comprehend anyone thinking of writing an excuse on Gods behalf, but hey if you ever need one I still have my moms you can use.Everyone who believes in God at all believes that He knows what you and I are going to do tomorrow." --C. S. Lewis

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The times..they are a changing!

It's not very difficult to look around and see that things are changing. Where I live, the leaves have turned and are falling rapidly. Very soon, our thoughts will turn to Thanksgiving and yes, even Christmas. By the way, wasn't that just a month ago???

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

Hey Florida its About That Time again..


Okay I said awhile ago my next blog would be about politics, to be honest no deep thoughts on this more like some more ramblings. But first out for those reading this: VOTE! Second and most importantly everyone, Reps, Dems, Black, whites,etc,etc.. need to realize McCain nor Obama is the answer. I mean no president has ever been the savior to all needs. But on that, Obama is promising better life for 95% of people with tax cuts, man Mr Obama that is a lot of people. My thinking is if dad is giving allowance to his son and dad gets a paycut then son gets less. SO ah Mr Obama if you tax the big dogs then they will pay cut the dads/moms in this world. McCain good luck in shaking off the "ghost" of Bush it doesnt seem to be working no matter if you are quite different. Okay I know more like 10 will read this rather than 1,000 or 1,000,000 (now that would be nice) but how does Obama pick a VP that said Obama had no experience and President of the United States was no place for on the job training, ah you think?!! I guess working at a youth center wont help me make a good canidate for Pres. Hmmm Well I think I have been to more countries then Obama or Palin. Hows that? Man I honestly cant wait will this election is over. I mean when else can one hear Pamela Anderson tell of her hate for Palin on the news. Why is anyone asking her thoughts on Palin,politics? Politics...as the comedian said poli=many, and tics=blood suck creatures. Politics is up there with religion they both seem to destroy quite well on their own. Obama has a book based on his faith. Yet he never heard his Pastor said anything so negative in 20 years of going to his church. And when his pastor was condemning America, Obama said ah he was misquoted but wait when the same man condemns Obama well then he disowns him, be it 20 years later. McCain your pick of Palin was surprising to say the least and good or bad you could not have chosen a more interesting person. The right love her and the far left hates her. And Mr Obama you said your pay grade isnt high enough to answer the question when does life begin? WOW! How long have you held that one in your pocket? As Peggy Noonan said, anyone who has ever purchased a condom knows when life begins. Ah I guess its not based on pay grade after all. I actually watch a good bit of the debate and wondering the whole time now why wont McCain look at Obama? Strategy? And Mr Obama you looked as distressed as Gore was in his debates. Its a bit scary to think of you meeting leaders without a teleprompter. And finally for those still reading this did you hear Biden say Mrs Clinton would have probably been a better choice then him. And mention in a interview about Roosevelt on TV in the 1920's talking about depression? Roosevelt? TV? Now when Quayle couldnt spell one word it when on weeks into years but Biden is pulling off some zingers. If Palin did such she would be asked to step down. In any case, thanks for reading, do vote but at the same time realize its just not the answer. Meanwhile this Thursday night will probably be the biggest watch political event ever with Palin vs. Biden. I can see the wrestling like ads now proclaiming this main event.... Perhaps just play a game of Jeopardy between the two of them. Winner moves on to VP and well the loser gets some great parting gifts...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Your Presence


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 3:1

What 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

Prayer for the States

Hey folks

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

Day 5: Election Prayer Focus Rhode Island


Rhode Island - The Ocean State


State Motto - Hope


Capital/Largest City - Providence


Leaders

Governor Don Carcieri, (R)

Senator Jack Reed, (D)

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, (D)

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy (D)
Representative James R. Langevin (D)


Politics

Rhode Island is a strong Democratic state where Obama leads McCain 59% to 36%.


Prayer Points

* Declare that revival comes to Rhode Island.

* Declare that the people of Rhode Island will vote according to the Word of God.

* Declare that Catholic majority will vote for candidates that are pro-life regardless of party affiliation.

* Declare the airwaves over Rhode Island are open to Christian media.

* Declare the people of Rhode Island are safe from terrorist attack.

* Declare the National Guard and military personnel from Rhode Island are protected.

* Declare the leaders of Rhode Island walk in wisdom and do what is right according to the Word of God, not just what is popular.


Rhode Island, smallest of the 50 states, is densely populated and highly industrialized. It is a major center for jewelry manufacturing. Electronics, metal, plastic products, and boat and ship construction are other important industries. Non-manufacturing employment includes research in health, medicine, and the ocean environment. Providence is a wholesale distribution center for New England.
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.



Officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area.
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)


Religion

Rhode Island has the highest percentage of Roman Catholics in the nation. Rhode Island and Utah are the only two states in which a majority of the population are members of a single religious body.


Rhode Island Food
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. Chouri├žo (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."

http://prayerbeacon.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What If Hokey Pokey is what its All About


With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, It is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed recently. Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey," died peacefully at age 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in, and then the trouble started.

Well hey Im back! to those that read this, at least all of you have a front seat. Its been awhile so lets ramble on. Finished watching Rob Bells Everything is Spiritual for the 3rd or was it 100th time. That would truly alter our life if we grasped it. Its not about being Holy well at least I believe as most of us see holy in attempting to be perfect, not making "mistakes", impressing God. We cant do these things but we can reach out to others and find our rest in Him, Just like with holiness, I think most of us define rest as well sleep,a nap or nothing to do...perhaps a vacation but again most of us never find rest before a vacation so theres little or no rest during that vacation/holiday. To take a line from his video "The Gods Are not Angry"..We dont have to live this way, we dont have to live this way. So I came here to ramble, I was going to write about the politics and the wonder of spin and such but just cant do it. So anyway lets show one another everything in its own way is spiritual. Represent Him in any given opportunity this week, this month. Give something away, buy someones grocercies, be Creative, use your imagination, Your Dad majors in that work. Pay it Forward, Pass it on...and if you do so, why not share it here which just may encourage someone to go and do likewise....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Update on Keyser, Kenya


Well we recently sent out our "thank you" letters for supporting our mission trip to Kenya (and blogged it here as well as a Thank You) So in case 1 or 11 would check out this site since it was listed on the letter I thought we would update a little as well. We were talking to a friend yesterday about our trip and I realized we didnt share about our visit to a "boys home" Over 100 young men sent here due to being labeled a "trouble youth" and/or just nowhere else to be placed. We taught classes to these boys, shared in song and Bible teaching then played games. And as we were playing games Adriane pointed out to me how several of the young men were actually freezing( yes below 70 there is winter to them) so she talked to a team leader and asked could we purchase shoes for them. She was told anything can be purchased for the kids here but it must be for all of them or none. So after discussing it with others a few us decided and were determined to pay the estimated $150 to get sandals. By the following week we had purchased 110 pairs of sandals for less than $50. And more importantly this will help towards fighting off young men getting jiggers. Jiggers, or sand fleas, make a home in your skin. The impregnated female jigger burrows under your finger or toe nails creating pus infected sores and feeds, laying her eggs before dying in your skin and creating further infection. So for less than 50.00 we were able to take care of over 100 youth. The director at this school was speechless and told our group this was a great need for them and wasnt sure how they would be able to get shoes for all of the youth.

Anyway as I have mentioned in the past we talked to I C Y Director Peter about how we could be more of help in sending needed items to them. And with that my wife suggested last week that this Christmas we would send gifts,money to the ministry for Kibera. Truthfully it sounded really good to me but Im one of those that love to buy gifts, cant wait to surprise others with gifts (and sure open a few as well) But to say the least there is a need, much greater need all around us. Not just in Kibera, but places like Darfur and Rwanda to name a few. And according Jesus these people are our neighbors as well. Now I know there are people who are next door to us and in need, so help them as well. But Im not sure helping them excuses us from helping those in dire need of basics such as food, water, and shelter. I see quite a few spend so much in gifts for Christmas and all along saying "lets not forget the true meaning of Christmas" But I believe most of us (including me) have expressed in our ways we have forgotten. We are told to simply that we are bless to bless others and to bless those who cannot bless us back (ah no gift for me, but the gift is in the giving, right?) And may whoever and whatever we choose to give to become a lifestyle for us. Im still in the baby steps of learning that only the things we do with eternal value is worthwhile. By the way we thought of naming a program something like "Keyser to Kibera" but we want others who live away from here to feel part of this as well. If any of you would like to be involved let us know. Meanwhile we will be following up contact to see what Kibera school/children need the most. In closing thanks for reading, and as someone said ministry is seeing a need and meeting it, that is ministry. No matter who we are, where we go a need is right before us.


Friday, August 22, 2008

In The Same Boat

An interesting point was brought up in one of the posts the other day. Fish said his wife was dealing with some health issues. Let's make this real for everyone.

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

The Biggest Beautiful Ache

OK, folks. First of all, for those who read yesterday's version of this post, let me apologize and explain.

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.

Donny

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Just in..The Worlds A Mess

...And we are the ones making the mess. At least for the most part it seems. Front page of USA TODAY has an article "Ticking Time Bomb" about the Hunger in Ethiopia. You can read about a 4 yr old weighing 20 lbs. Most seem not to be able to afford the national staple food Injera casue the price has doubled. Food price inflation is more than 75% (Zimbabwe's is worst!) and at least 14 Million are in need of food aid. So after this full page story of how 75,000 kids are severly malnourished you can glanced to the next page and see a photo of Joey Chestnut and friends chowing down over 6 pounds of ribs for yet another record. Thats America, Thats the world, thats us. Side by side we have a world that is starving and then a world that not only competes on chowing down but you can even catch it on ESPN (thank God for DVR's dont wanna miss the chowing down or better yet the coming up?) I recall reading C.S. Lewis comment about the obsession of sex. He asked could you imagine people who would slowly raise the lid off a food plate and the crowd would oooohh and ahhh as the food was revealed to them. He said this is how we have acted towards sex and if we did so towards food you would say we are "crazy." Prophecy at hand and he didnt know it. We are obsess in this western world with things that matter least and for the most part apathatic to things that matter most. Africa has 80 million Orphans. Thats just Africa. And yet it will usually cost 20-25,000 to adopt a child. Well unless they are handicapped then theres a discount (not sure how to take that except its sad!). Of course black market and such is a concern but seems to me that is more prevalanet when one has to pay 20 grand to take in a child and provide for them, seems that 20,000 could come in handy during the child's lifetime. And while the act of caring and loving a child is 25,000 one can abort a child for 500 or less. Kind of like the newspaper article with the extremes of food on each side of the paper. In a hospital you could have a child being brought into the world and in another room a child being taken out of the world, granted he/she would be coming into a mess to say the least and some worst than others. But when we visited Kibera we met quite a few families and children living day to day in bad conditions but I am sure of one thing from the smiles on their faces and conversations with them they would choose to live, choose life. In closing for those of us who are Pro Life we must also be providing for others in need. Way beyond prayers and protesting but help meet the needs that we see before us. Im just saying all of this to remind us that this world is a mess, a beautiful ache.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mission Mishaps aka Insomnarrhea


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

Kenya, Nairobi & Kibera "The Natives Are Friendly"


Jambo. (Hello in Swahili) First of all we want to thank you for your support in your giving and in your thoughts and prayers for us while we were away in Kenya. We left on July 11th and returned on August 5th. We were picked up at the airport by the leader of ICY (International Christian Youthworks) Peter Abungu. We were taken to the house of Judah and Salma, our host for our stay in Kenya. This couple made our stay enjoyable more than we could have imagined and hoped for while in Nairobi. Their cousin Wendy had just arrived before us so they were actually hosting 3 guests at the same time, which was a great time to say the least in getting to know one another.
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.


"First go at the risk of being thought fanatical you must obey what God tells you”-Oswald Chambers.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well we made it back home. So hopefully by Monday I can post a somewhat detail blog about our trip. We enjoyed it which I know was greatly helped by our host Judah & Salma. I told my wife you do realize we are receiving comfort on a trip that we thought would be much harder. Everyone we worked with was smiling and very friendly. The Ministry ICY has been at work for 5 years in Nairobi and we were actually the first married couple they have had on their missions team. Anyway for those reading thanks for doing such and continue to do so. It seems though we have gained a few we have lost a few "bloggers" as well. By the way I am adding a picture of Jimmy in reference to an earlier blog, please check it out. I believe you will all agree he is quite a handsome young man. And the title is easy, no matter where you go its nice to be home, the bed and showers , everything just seems nicer. As my wife said even on vacation theres no place like home to which I added unless you're in Canaan (right, Donnie? :) ) Okay, well in 2 days of traveling (and the first flight Kenya to London was quite shaky to say the least) on the plane I had less than 3 hours of sleep so I think a nap sounds good right now. Thanks keep posting. Blessings.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Still in Kenya....

This is most likely our last blog from Kenya,..and this one will be short due to time and the process of high speed sundial computers. Anyway we have enjoyed it overall and surprised by the people, weather and even bugs (lack of)....thanks for those that have been reading esp. replying back. We are planning to eat at a restaurant on monday that is famous here for you Bebo Norman fans he played here now that is messed up and cool at the same time. We were in Kibera today and will return Monday then hopefully back to see Jimmy and his friends on Tuesday. Blogging has been interesting in that its a bit like an open journal. So if you have any questions about Kenya and/or our trip send me an email. Donny thanks for blogging as well. Randy, WOW thanks for overcoming and replying as well :) and rufus, oh well,,,as you would say yadda yadda,,,,and just so you know its far from hot here which has been a blessing well except for my better half she managed to catch a cold in Kenya, perhaps she is Kenyan. :) ..okay I will blog more later when I have more time about our trip and Safari experience as well. Blessings...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Present Vs. Future


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

Jimmy


Met a real interesting person the other day. We walked a few blocks from the place we are staying and the guards let me in through the gates. And as soon as I entered this guy came walking towards to me and immediately stuck his hand out and then begin talking about birds. After talking about birds and more birds. I advised Jimmy I had to go into the office for a minute and he started to cry. I thought man what a strange reaction since we just met for the first time. And when I came back outside there he was waiting for me. And the lady pointed out to him I just came outside, Jimmy ran towards me laughing in excitement and once again we picked up where we left off with talk about birds and well bigger birds. He also talked about trucks and cars but the conversation always came back to birds. I could see from a scar on his neck he has had surgery but that never became a topic of discussion. We then went under a gazebo like thing to continue our conversation. We got our pictures together then he wanted to go inside and eat. And as we were going in the building he started to sing "oh when the saints go marching in" that really surprised me. And after spending a few hour with Jimmy I know I will never forget him. Jimmy is 2 years old and one of many kids at this Orphanage (by the way this place is great, more on that later) Maybe a surprise to some but we are really interested in adopting a kid and wanted to do so from Kenya. At the moment we are told Kenya demands that the adoptive parents must come live here for 6 months. which is makes no sense but its just the not so beautiful parts of politics here. Anyway hope you enjoy the blogs, Please keep replying so we know who is reading. thanks Blessings...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Life and Hope

Today we visited New Life Hope Orphange. No doubt a highlight for us in this trip. The lady gave us a tour telling us a couple came here to visit and saw there was a need for babies/children and they have open several in Kenya. The buildings are top notch. We first met the 2 year olds then the infants when they finally woke up. A very interesting thing is that here they have an injection that when give to a baby under one it will eventually rid them of HIV (this drug is known of in the usa but not legal yet, so yea Im thinking just no price tag yet?) These babies/children are adorable, we wish we could at least adopt like half of them. There are 2 nearby orphanges that people all across the wolrd come to work at including this one and theres a Mennonite one as well. At this one over 650 have been adopted. I believe the majority (like 90%) of the babies here are HIV. I got to play with David, Amnity,Moses among others. It is too bad (to put it nicely) that its so costly to adopt I like to think that is the ONLY reason there are Millions awaiting a loving home. By the way if you are a Believer you have definitely been adopted by Abba, the ulitmate Father (and I know that image can be blurred and painful when you come from any form of a broken home) and if not well just know despite your doubt, anger, hates, He is desiring to adopt you and call you son/daughter. Thanks for reading this, Blessings.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

WONDERING IN MY DOUBTING

Hey, well due to mix up in scheduling we actually got some free time this afternoon so i wanted to blog again just in case i dont get too in awhile. thanks for your comments guys. today my wife and i assisted a mother of 3 in taking her 7 yr old daughter with cerebral palsy to the hospital for therapy. her mom walked into the base office with child on her back. I agree to carry her to the bus stop. I was thinking this is just messed up (in a good and bad way) by the way Randy you showed me that video the morning we left i do believe it was God previewing this moment for me (i will post that video as soon as possible) at this hospital i saw and heard things i have never seen. One of my friend would say see you're niave and "where is your God in all of this"...well to the first i know there are extremely bad conditions out there but when you live in the usa with the so called " house with white picket fence" you can avoid those condition for the most part or at least change the channels. As my wife and i looked at Melody getting her therapy i told her i was blogging away in mind and here are some thoughts....doubt vs. wonder...i dont doubt theres a God, I don't. Honestly just dont see how when i take a glimpse at creation. But I do wonder where HE is now for the most part its us the body of Christ not doing our apart across the world, there should be little needs the size of slums we have in the world. It seems Bono (U2) has brought more movement towards aids and need in africa then most of the church. But anyway i was thinking about how so many need a real healing and there are these tv healers that do it at will. my question is why dont they visit the hospices, the slums, the hospitals. After all even signs and such are for the non believer...YES I know God heals. but I honestly do wonder about the little i've seen and heard. I would give anything possible to see a healing evangelist touch that girl i was with today and well her mom would give her life and then some to see such. Im rambling but let me say to the reader dont tell me its based on faith because many people healed in the bible were clueless to who Jesus really was and I mean it took the disciples 3 years of miracles to still asked "ah who are you really?" Again can these healers heal? No, its all God, he heals as he wills its not based on names be it Hinn or Miller. Just was wondering today and thought I would pass this on to get some thoughts. by they way its okay to wonder even doubt...C S Lewis says perhaps we are at our closest to God when we are doubting. Okay Im tired and this computer doesnt like me so I am closing...hey pass this site on to family, friends and church. Would love to get more viewing this and greatly appreciate all prayers... tomorrow to the orphanages, a school then the following day back to Kibera....Blessings....

Monday, July 21, 2008

and how are you?

Hey there folks writing live from Kenya (lets get the word out i would like to see A LOT MORE POSTING HERE, AMEN) anyway here in a cyber cafe and i think i found where the states original computers went to, its very slow here. The internet is runned by the government. As I write this a christian radio station is playing. the people here are very friendly. While there is much to write cant do it now, one this is too slow to do such and more importantly not sure how to put such in words. A doctor (morgantown WV) told us to check out a movie called "Constant Gardner" it was filmed in kibera slums area so if you want that will give you a taste of what we are seeing. The conditions are terrible and truthfully i have very mixed feelings, emotions hearing 5 year olds singing Jesus loves me and knowing more about the bible then some teens back in the states. We are land of plenty and blessed we just tend to forget and neglect we are blessed to bless others. Anyway theres 1 million in just the kibera area (oh and theres a bigger one in South Africa) somewhere we are truly missing out. yesterday after a 6 hour or so church service (okay im being truthful here MAN it was long) we did out reach on the streets and there was at least 7 people that asked Christ into their life. Also I want to add that the pastor that is hosting us told us that its said Kenyan is the most evangelize country in the world. it seems so as we witness yesterday it was like all knew the story of Christ. Meanwhile I have amazed a few Kenyans when I tell them that T D Jakes is from WV. And one even said so hes a black American, as if he was in shock. Im assuming when they see white they think missionary, and yes the kids in the slum want me to take them back home because they all know how well off we all are and rich, and of course have our act together and they want to know if we have slums and are shock to hear that we could have poor as well (okay so I will close with that sarcastic truth). by the way my title comes from the kids in kibera as soon as they see us they run to us and they say the one sentence they have down...."and how are you"..blessings, if you read this please please post, keep us in your prayers...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Picnic Anyone?


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

At Heathrow, Anyone Home?...


Hey to all who may be checking this out now and then. We are here in London awaiting our flight to Kenya. Its 3:30 back home, 8:30 here and Kenya, well yea you get the picture. Jet lag is part of this wonderful experience. Anyway I asked for a window seat and they ended up giving us 2 windows and the emergency exit door which put me and my better half in charge of opening the exit door in case of emergency. And she added if you do open this door make sure to wrap your arm in this strap because people will be charging this door to get out so we dont want them to push you out. In total agreement. Our pay for doing this was lots of leg room which is a huge bonus and 2 feet from the restroom which is good and bad. So Im honestly still wondering what we are doing on this trip. We are sure God has said GO. But you know theres always something in us to want to know more. Now we board for Kenya in less than an hour. As we were landing here the flight attendent asked us where we were heading and when we told her she said hmm better you then me, ouch so comforting. OKAY GUYS/GIRLS IF YOU ARE READING ANY OF THESE BLOGS PLEASE SAY HEY OR COMMENT/BLOG AWAY... BY THE CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS BLOGS AS WELL. WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO IS ACTUALLY READING THIS. MEANWHILE WE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR PRAYERS AND IF YOU HAVE REQUESTS LET US KNOW....BLESSINGS

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There is GOOD News...


I was realizing in the few blogs I have done readers may think Im just negative and come off as condemning or such..so I wanted to attempt to say there is in this Chaos, mess there is something Beautiful and there is a lot of Good going on (fortunately more than I know and see). But I wanted to acknowledge some of those "good things" theres this young lady in her 60's in Richmond serving the families in the inner city. She’s from South Africa and we were blessed to spend a few months with her. And from teaching the kids soccer to feeding them and teaching them the Bible she is simply a saint in the truest form. Her worship is seen in her life of servant hood. There are individuals and couples giving up their life to live in the inner city of Philly to share the love of Christ by becoming all things that they can truly minister His love. I met two ladies in Morocco that were in their 60's and they had given their life to serve as midwives to be there for Muslim families and pray over each child as he/she enter the world that Christ may be the God of their family. Of course there are countless others from small town pastors that are consume with one family problem to the next problem. Single parents bringing their children up to trust in God. Missionaries by the thousands that go unnoticed on this side of heaven. The Billy Graham, Luis Palau, Greg Laurie, Campolo, among the many that have been faithful in serving God. Take a moment and think on those things that are Good, the Good in us is you and me allowing God to be seen and heard in our words and ways. In His Grace and Mercy we move, we live..now that is some Good news. In closing words here is some good news from Erwin McManus "The good news is that we dont have to become gods to become something worth loving, worth respecting, worth valuing. Dont let your shortcomings and flaws convince you that you need to become something other than human. Our brokenness is not proof that God could not or would not love us but proof that what we need is the God who created us and loves us. What our souls long to become is not something other than human, but to become beautifully human."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

To Breathe Again or See again..


Revival is coming! Well it may be or maybe not..but it does get the churches attention, it fills up the signs in front of the church nicely. And its hard to find a televangelist that isnt promoting it. But as Donny mentioned in an earlier blog most churches wouldnt recognize Jesus if He personally came to our churches today. Even worst He would be rejected because He wouldnt be "cool looking". Most likely he wouldnt be dressed in the latest fashion and He simply probably would get on our nerves ("man who does he think he is anyway?). If we would be rejecting Jesus then how close is revival (giving life to dead men/women walking, bring back to life). My friend Randy and I were talking about revival and I wonder aloud when Jesus healed the blind man do you think right before that moment of seeing for the first time did he want to see or did he want revival? My point is I think we want revival but Im not sure we know what it is and if it would come the changes would amaze us, true but they also go against our grain, the way we think it should be. I think as Christians most of us decide who and when to pour out grace and mercy towards others but Jesus never did such unless it was towards the "church". We turn our backs towards the "down and outters", the deform, the unwanted, heck even those that come from broken homes(hint: we are ALL broken). I see us as a broken body not seeing how broken we really are and if we saw such then it would come (super)naturally to serve the broken. Its comical and sad at the same time that I see us as distributing tracts to the blind, but hey the tract is in braille and the story is about Jesus healing the blind man. We're just not getting it and that it is revival. Lord God open my eyes that I may see with your eyes, Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to serve and a heart that will follow, follow You. Then I wont have to talk about revival I can just simply live it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Going...Going...Gone!


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

Grace In The Midst of Justice

I keep hearing a term running throughout "Christian" circles. Sadly to say, the world has been doing it for us and they try to claim it as their own. That "word" is social justice. For some, it is to take the commandments of Christ and put them into practice in a real way, every single day. For others, it runs up to and knocks on the doors of socialism and communism. Some are so good at it, we assume they are Christians. That's an argument for another blog, but let me just say this...to do the works of Jesus without claiming His Lordship over your life is simply a fallen person doing good works. Since we are saved by grace, none of the best works of man will ever gain us access to the Kingdom of God. Let's not get the cart before the horse.

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

Kenya in 7 days....


At this time next week we will be flying towards London then after a beautiful four hour layover off to Kenya. Apx 23 hours in all. A few of you reading this know we have struggled with this trip. I have been on a few mission( Germany, London/Morocco, N. Ireland, Amsterdam, Alberta, Canada & Richmond VA) trips but it seems it came to a sudden stop when the Lord laid Kenya on our hearts (no not even sure how that works) but we were next to clueless 4 years ago when we thought the Lord was putting this on our hearts. And everywhere we looked we saw Kenya (Everywhere). So its like we went into remissions and did no missions overseas and then 6-8 weeks ago everything started falling into place and we needed to raise a good bit of money, gets lots of shots and those closest to us were in agreement that if this was pulled off it was definitely God reassuring us with a "Go!"... So here we go. Now the other day I saw that a airplane had landed safely but the nose of the plane was crushed. They first explained it was a bird but then they confess theres not a lot of birds 18,000 feet high. And the same day two planes were 500 feet a part on their landing but they didnt realize until after the landing. The planes were so close that on the radar it came up as one plane (Yikes). Seems one notices this on the news right before flying. On a much more serious notes the first missionaries would be traveling by boat and take along their coffin with them because they were certain of their ending but even more so in "go into all the world" and "what good will it be for one to gain the whole world and yes lose your soul"...Matt 16:26. In closing, what little I know about Kenya is that its a beautiful country and at the same time theres much neglect (like with Sudan). One slum area called Kibera has over 800,000 living there. We are a blessed country there should be so little pride in such but more thankfulness and in our thanks may we realize that we are simply blessed to bless others. Selah.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Servants and Friends



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
asking myself for quite a while now...when did serving become such a burden?
It seems like when you want to serve, people heap everything on you. The key
question to ask about this is "who are you serving? God or people?"


I know there is honor in serving the man or woman of God. Look at Elijah and
Elijah. If Elisha wouldn't have served Elijah, then he wouldn't have received
the double portion (the first born blessing).
I'm coming back to the words of my Lord. He said, "I no longer call you
servants, but friends." Servants serve because they have to, thus the burden
that it entails. Friends serve because they want to. In this is the joy! No
matter how much I "want" to serve, I know people will use that desire. Maybe
not maliciously, but still using someone else's desire to serve. Maybe if the
whole body would do it's part, then one hand or one foot wouldn't be so tired
and disgusted.

Now there's a totally different issue...disgusted! Let's make sure that through it
all, we do not get bitter. God's Word is clear in this..."Do not let a root of
bitterness have control." His Word is also clear when He declares to His
friends "He who endures to the end will be saved."

Anyhow, just some personal ramblings.

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

Independence from Freedom

A few years ago I went on a mission’s trip to London, England and Morocco. And we arrived on the 3rd of July and it just so happen that the 4th was on a Sunday. At the service we attended the pastor gave a special welcome to those from the USA and said he hoped we understood that they were not too fond on celebrating this day as much as Americans would which brought a lot of laughter. But then he added what irony for a nation that fought for Independence has now seemed to turn to almost total dependence on self. And American seems to seek the same independence but now its away from God. And in tears he prayed for forgiveness for any wrong feelings towards this nation and he thank God for its spiritual leaders in Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, Josh McDowell. Bill Bright (just to name a few). That memory always comes back to every 4th. And its easy for me to recall at the same time I know I have a need for God in my life and yet at the same time I fight for this independence (from God) and this fight is with my apathy,anger,complaining,unthankfulness, and pride, etc.. Just a short “ramble” for the 4th. In closing here are thoughts on freedom and living from Relevant magazine.The truth is that most people seek eternal qualities or attributes through temporal avenues, something or someone outside ourselves. We think, “If only I … had more money … had a better job … had more success … had someone who loves me like I desire to be loved … could lose 25 pounds … could get away from all the stress … had better friends … could eat large quantities of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream without putting on weight … had a bigger house … could get a new car … was in a different church … could follow my heart’s desire … had a different family …” This is pinning our hopes for love, peace, well-being, and contentment on people and circumstances outside ourselves. Conversely, people assume its life’s circumstances preventing them from being happy.At the center of the spiritual reality Jesus called “the Kingdom of God” is freedom. Not freedom from external restraints, but freedom from internal restraints. The truth is that the only thing preventing you from experiencing the “abundant life” Jesus offered—God’s Kingdom of love, peace, well-being and contentment—is, well, YOU! You have imposed restraints upon yourself, imagining that these are keeping you from the good life. Jesus’ message is, “There is nothing preventing you. You are free to be at peace, and live a life of love in every moment."
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.