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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.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Everyday is a Journal Page



This doesn't need any words but I just wanted to share this with whoever may take time to check out my blogs. In looking at what people with CF(http://cfhusband.blogspot.com) go through and families facing loss of a child. Again there are no words but its a reminder that life is so fragile and brief. Nothing short of sin to take life for granted. Even as I write this I know I don't take it all in. The creation, a conversation, another birthday, another wish, the ability to breathe, think, move, hear and see. To enjoy a handshake, a hug, a kiss, a good book, family, friends, a good laugh, a good cry...Beautiful chaos. In closing here are some words from Chris Rice

Every day is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there's plenty of room for writing in
All we do is believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessing
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketching

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So nobody's rich, nobody's poor
We get 24 hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest, or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who's under


Has anybody ever lived who knew the value of a life
And don't you think giving is all
What proves the worth of yours and mine

Every day is a gift you've been given
Make the most of the time every minute you're living

Life Means So Much....selah

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 1 Wide Awake in the land of Nod

A few of my friends suggested I start posting some of my "ramblings" so lets start the Blogging with 16 days away from our trip to Kenya. But first I just want to "ramble" about life in general. Based on a book she recently read my wife suggested "Beautiful Ache" as the title for the blogs. I was going to use "Live Laugh Love" but I think "die, cry, hate" would have been more eye catching and just as true, as in its all part of life. Life is a Beautiful Ache, we indeed are living in the "Shadowlands." My friend "D" and I ramble via emails about life, from God, religion to music and the best places to eat. There's definitely a beautiful ache in all of us and its all around us but most of us are so caught up in self and the things of the world that we miss out on this thing we call life. I realize there's a slim chance no more than a few actually reading this, but in case this gets a following I know there will be Christians saying "whats wrong with him?' and non believers saying "Wow, now he wonders why Im not a believer?". So let my first blog clarify this one thing: I believe in God aka Jesus Christ. He is the Creator behind this beautiful creation. But His people including myself have the tendency to represent Him about as well as a bad used car salesman or one selling an Encyclopedia set door to door. So in saying that now I can continue to ramble on....I have been on several mission trips and all along volunteer at a local youth center. And in all these years there are those who wonder why we go overseas when there is such need here. And at the same time the need here remains a Need in a land of plenty. Again one doesnt have to go overseas to be a missionary. Matter of fact it seems much easier for local Christians to enter a third world country then to work inside a youth center with aircondition and heat. I still cant figure that one out. Maybe its because we can come back with some cool pics and impress others that "the natives are friendly and we changed the world" That is of course until we have a concert then the bandwagon is filled and people having their spiritual pennants and poms poms to cheer us on. They even say they are on the same team. But they never show up for "another game". And I've said off and on for years Im burned out but NO I now realize its not that its Im just TIRED of people, religion, Self (Yea perhaps even you) to quote my friend.. "I'm tired of church. I'm tired of church politics. I'm tired of religious people getting upset because a man preaching has a tattoo or a piercing. I'm convinced that if Jesus walked in to most churches, no one would recognize Him. The man that they say they strive to be like they would treat like the plague. I'm tired of humanism. We build up self esteem to let the soul die in it's sin. I'd shut myself in a cave if I wasn't afraid of spiders. God has to be God or He can be anything else. If God would open the earth and swallow people, the world would say that God is not a God of love. However, when we declares His love, the church say that God has to judge sin. What do they want? Everything?" I do wish You and I were "wide awake" to know what it means to love Christ and to live every moment cause most of us (including myself) are not fully convinced this could could be our last day and so much of what we give our time to has little eternal value. So 16 days till Kenya then hopefully I can blog daily on our stay there meanwhile any topic by suggestion or burden will be blogged. I will close with the words of C.S. Lewis. "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."