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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Is It Well With Your Soul?

At the end of this year, I want to make sure everything is ok...with you and your soul. The video above is a more upbeat rendition of the song, but Denver & MHO do a great job at it.

My pastor says that how you leave one season will determine how you enter the next. Before we go into 2010, make sure your are healthy and whole. Make things right that need be. You should already be eating healthier. Your relationships with your family and friends should be healthier than ever. If you say that you will take care of that after the new year, then you are only deceiving yourself. Seldom do we keep New Year's Resolutions. Don't wait until the new year.

Enjoy the music and make the declaration that IT IS WELL WITH YOUR SOUL. God's peace is available to your through His Son Jesus Christ. Let Him take your life so you can have peace of mind, soul, and spirit.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to you! I Certainly haven't kept up with the blogging. Again it would help to have comments to keep it more consistent. But the last 2 weeks have been a bit busy to say the least with a newborn son coming into this world. But more on that later (I'm sure)...After a "Merry Christmas" or Happy Holidays (for the PC People?) the first thing usually people ask "is what did you get"...a week later or perhaps even a day later we could follow up with do you feel different or better ? I certainly don't have a problem with gift giving its just the extreme we have taken it to. At one time this meant a time for family and friends and a few gifts at best. Now its black Fridays, and sales on behalf of a baby in the manger. We actually have people trampling one another to get to the latest toy on sale. I believe all of us can learn from a child when he gets a present. This little one can find just as much if not more pleasure in the wrapping paper and the box. And we could learn from this in letting the simple things, the things we take for granted be what comforts us but not just doing the holidays but everyday. Christians have taken this season out of context if not more than non-Christians. God sent Jesus to get messy. And ever since this Jesus dives right into our mess to offer us grace, mercy, comfort, correction, love, life. Check out: "He Came To Get Messy" on YouTube or SkitGuys.com its worth 4 minutes of your time during this time of the year. By the way tell some one today, you love them, give them a hug, take time for family and friends and show thanks to God who has blessed you to bless others..,if nothing else say hi to your neighbor and wish them a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tis The Season to...

This Christmas Americans will spend 437 Million on "Christmas" (down 1% from last year) Avg American will spend 832.00 on Presents&decorations. And over 3 billion ppl make less than $2/day thats 730 a year.. See I think that alone is enough for a blog. I believe the majority of us would agree that we spend way too much. Yet that doesnt stop the majority of us from buying for others things they dont need and in return they get us things we dont need so we can say Merry Christmas. Could you imagine if we only spent on gifts the amount we drop in a Salvation Army bucket then perhaps use that "spare change" to buy the gifts. Im not sure how any family spend 800-1600.00 and then explain to the kids its not about the gifts. Im no scrooge in that theres nothing against celebrating this Holiday season and exchanging gifts but we could actually make a difference in helping out those in need of help and perhaps let that be our giving/gifts. This church in the Houston area led by Chris Seay held a Advent Conspiracy program where the people agree to actually give their money away to help provide clean water for those in need instead of buying clothes someone will return or the latest game your kid will be bored with in a day or three. In 2006 three churches combined to give 500,000, In 2007 more churches got together and gave over 3 million. Its estimated 10 billion dollars is need to Solve the clean water epidemic. Sounds like a lot until one hears the world spends about 450 million on Christmas. Okay its late in the year but each of us can do something for somebody (someone that cannot pay us back) without expecting or wanting something in return. Perhaps next year plan to do more, give more. After all that is the reason for the Season, right? Its not the PS3, Wii, Black Fridays, returning 1 million gifts, etc. If you are reading this you are so bless, and you simply are bless to bless others. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stones of Remembrance


While having a conversation with someone the other day, I began recalling the story of my grandmother’s conversion. She was a wonderful woman who didn’t come to know Christ until she was 80 years young. I remember how a neighbor came and sat down with her and shared the Good News of Jesus Christ. What a glorious day it was for her and our whole family.

Thinking about that caused me to remember some other great events in my life. I have been so blessed throughout my years to have some great times with family and friends. In the midst of turmoil, it is good to have joyful memories to recall. No matter what happens, I will always have these embedded in my mind.

While certainly not being one who totally understand all of the complexities of the human mind, I’ve come to learn that major events of joy and pain cause a chemical to be released in the brain that in essence burns the experience in. What is so miraculous is that even many years later, you can still remember the smells and sounds of the occurrence. It’s not just confined to the emotional tag either. Many times a sound or a smell can trigger the emotional tag.

In the Old Testament they had sites where they piled some rocks and named the place after the event. They were called stones of remembrance. Everyone around knew what took place there. Some where places of great joy or victory. There were a few places where the memory was not one of happiness but of defeat or mourning.

This got me to thinking….why would you want to remember the bad things? Wouldn’t it be much better to only focus on the happy moments? I for one don’t want to think about the bad things that have happened.

I don’t believe we should focus on or dwell in the times of pain or regret but I do believe it is healthy to visit those places. Just don’t stay there. There is, however, one place of suffering and shame that we could all probably do better by visiting more often….the Cross of Christ. In fact, during the Passover, He broke the bread and gave them drink symbolizing His body and blood. He even said “as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me.” What happens here is that a horrible act is remembered and because of that joy is birthed within. While I believe in being reverent during communion, there is also something to the joy that erupts within. His sacrifice bought my freedom. His death gave me liberty. His atonement brings me life eternal. For the joy that was before Him, He endured the cross.

I invite you to take some time to remember. Remember the good things. And old song I recall hearing in church asks God to remind me. It says to “roll back the curtains of memories now and then. Show me where You’ve brought me from and where I could’ve been.” Get into the discipline of taking communion at home once in a while. Remember the Cross. Remember the sacrifice. Remember Him.

This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.
Lamentations 3:21

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stryper,DC TALK, Carman, Petra, Newsboys..

Any of you readers have these CDs, or should I say Cassettes? I was just reading a blog someone did on Stryper and I recalled when they were the one and only Christian rock/metal band until the crosses (White, Barren, & Neon) came along. I used to have all of their stuff but I actually don't own any of their music now. My wife says they are extremely talented but just cant sing (she says this about almost every Christian Rock band from the 90's). They say history repeats itself but I don't see the spandex and high hair thing coming back anytime soon. Although stryper is back at it with cds and tours. Nothing against them but I thought of this when the Rolling Stones came back out and started touring that perhaps there should be a "force retirement" age for all bands. I mean seeing Jagger with a walker or cane singing Jumping Jack Flash or a few years from now Van Halen and the boys singing Jump at a rest home just doesnt cut it. Then again it would make a interesting reality tv show. Then there is Petra they may be the dinosaur of CCM music and have made more changes to their lineup then Menudo (see wikipedia if you have no clue and just thought I named a Mexican food?) to keep going through the years. As for the Newsboys well they are very much still around but no that new lead singer is not from Australia. I met theses guys back in the 90's when they were touring over 300 days a year playing any place available (i do mean ANY, I think they would have played at your cookout or even a yard sale) as I use to listen to the heavier music I would joke with my friends and say I was a closest Newsboys fan. But Steve Taylor did turn them to in a real band with his added lyrics to the songs. I mean "when you come back again will you bring me something from the fridge" only Taylor could put those lyrics to a reference on the second coming. DC Talk ,well they brought SAFE Christian Rap to a all new level. Perhaps the Pat Boone version of "gangster rap" and much better then Carman. What can I say about Carman. He actually won best rap/hip in 1996 Dove Awards.. That says so much for those awards in a major small way. I would have open the envelope and said REALLY? Seriously? is this a typo? Can we go to a commercial? I actually got all warm and fuzzy inside when I heard the news and realize I was about to throw up. I'm sure he has talent but please save the rap and hip hop for somebody Else, anybody! I recently saw him on tv in concert (okay I was just flipping the channels) and he was singing(?) as animated veggies danced on the screen and with Carman was four young men dressed in some loud green,orange,silver,blue outfits perhaps a version of the Baptist Street Boys? Anyway to each their own. I Mean there are really bad Christian and Non Christian artists and "btw" I'm not sure why we even label music in such a way. But it gets me how really bad artist become famous and sell out concerts and some really really good musicians have a hard time making a living at the same thing. In any case now that you are finished reading this go to Itunes and listen to those great 90 bands or better yet break out those cassettes.

"Booty God Booty"

If nothing else I thought the Title would get your attention..Now if nothing else while you are online do checkout Stuff Christians Like Blog..this man is a good daily read and here is something that just took place in less than a day that is amazing and reminds once again I treat God much of the time that He is short arm, and I wonder about Him and even more so about a church(as a whole) are we asleep but this is a great reminder that He is moving and people (church) is listening... btw "the title is from a message by the writer of this blog"-
$30,000 in 18 hours.

Did that really happen yesterday?
Did we raise $30,000 in 18 hours to build a kindergarten in Vietnam?
Did a blog, that isn’t even based on an original idea, come together and do something much bigger than a blog?
Did a community of people who use the phrase, “
Booty, God, Booty,” and know how to instantly score how metrosexual their worship leader is, really give $5 and $10 and $5,000 donations until they hit $30,000?
Did that really happen yesterday?
It did and if there’s one thing I want you to remember, it’s this:
The miracle of yesterday is so small compared to how much God loves you.
The sum of $30,000 is so tiny compared to the outrageousness of God’s love for you. He’d crossed countries and oceans and space and time to pull you close, traveling to Vietnam is but a hop skip and a jump for a God who can’t keep Himself away from you.
That’s the truth of yesterday, but what does tomorrow hold?
Good question, I think there are four things we could do …
1. We could stop.
2. We could raise the remaining $60,000 to build the two other kindergartens in the area.
3. We could figure out if it’s possible to raise money to sustain and nurture the one kindergarten from yesterday.
4. We could find sponsors (like Compassion International, Catalyst, Samaritan’s Purse, Zondervan and Desiring God) to send me,
Abraham Piper, Tripp Crosby and a bunch of ya’ll to Vietnam next year to pour into that village in a 3D way and make a documentary film of the whole thing.
Clearly, that last one is far fetched, but after yesterday, I’ve decided to retire the phrase “far fetched” from my vocabulary.
I’m talking to Samaritan’s Purse today to figure out next steps, but in the meantime, if you missed the razor thin 18 hour window of craziness that was yesterday,
you can still donate. We’re going to continue raising the money and I don’t want anyone to miss the chance to be part of this just because they don’t read Stuff Christians Like on Mondays. Click here to donate.
Yesterday in my journal, I wrote to God, “I pray you raise $10,000 today. I pray you blow everyone’s expectations out of the water.” And $10,000 felt big and impossible but I forgot something I learned a few years ago – God loves dancing.
In 2006, after a really tough season, such a fantastic Christian word, I realized that I had made God into an emo God. I had made him a God of weeping and tears. When life got hard and painful, I would go see him, take him my problems and weep with him. When life got good, I would walk away and eventually pat myself on the back for all the good times I was experiencing. The outcome of that cycle was that I associated God strictly with seasons of hardship, pain and suffering, and never with joy.
So one morning driving to work, I confessed, “God I’ve made you into a God of weeping. I don’t know how to dance with you.”
And I felt like God said back, “Well, the best way to learn is for me to give you lots of reasons to dance.”
Today is a day of dancing.
Let’s put the glory and the honor and the whoa did that really happen where it belongs – God.
Let’s finish this sentence:
God is _______________
I’ll go first:
God is just getting started.
God is bigger than my big dreams.
God has a huge heart for children and that includes me.
Your turn:
God is _________________

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wanna Go Fishing?

It’s not often that I come across a news article that makes me smile but today I found one. In fact, tears of joy even welled up on my eyes. It wasn’t that I could even identify with the people in the story. I just saw the goodness of God in it. In fact, I could even see Jesus doing this.

It’s been a long time since I’ve packed up my fishing gear and headed for a favorite fishing hole. I have a friend who loves to do it. Maybe it’s the challenge of luring the fish in or maybe it just the lure of the fish that calls him to quiet, peaceful times. Whatever the reason, I get it. I used to go fishing with my grandmother. Actually, we made it a family event with my dad and mom, grandma, and my one brother. Those were the days. Speaking of which…Hey Fish! When are we going?

So I’m reading this article about a special fishing camp for veterans who have been injured. The one story that really touched me was one about a man who had a roadside bomb in Iraq explode near him. He ended up with a piece of shrapnel in his head. He lost motor skills, has headaches, and PTSD on top of the many emotional problems that I’m sure he is dealing with.

During his week there, he was able to be with other veterans who have had similar experiences. What was so cool is that his wife was even allowed to accompany him for the week, all expenses paid. He was able to learn how to fly fish, but in reality, he was learning how to work through his problems and know that he is not alone in dealing with them.

This is not a Christian organization that does these week-long workshops but I believe this is something that falls right into our back yard…or maybe pond. After all, who is better to teach fishing skills than someone who has been commissioned to be a fisher of men? Regardless of who is doing it, I’m glad it’s being done. Personally, I don’t think we can do enough to honor these men and women.

Honestly tho, there are many wounded warriors walking around. Many times you can’t see the wounds but trust me, they are there. Maybe you don’t fish. That’s ok. What do you like to do? Maybe you’re a hunter. I just heard an interview today during the AM CafĂ© with Melissa about an evangelistic program for hunters. Jason Crabb shared how he was at one of these events and many dads and sons came to know Christ. All from simply going hunting and showing and sharing the love of Christ. Maybe you’re a lady and you like to go shopping or bake. Why not invite someone to be a part of it with you? It’s not hard. Find what you like to do and invite someone to share it with you.

Here is the website for that group
www.svasp.org

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for HE faced all of the same temptations as we do, yet He did not sin.
Hebrews 4:15

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breathe Today

Is this the 3rd or 100th time I mentioned that I plan to keep up with this blog. I'm not even going to ask Is anyone out there? It would be like playing Simon Says alone. This is more than symbolic for me in being a leader. To be a good leader you have to know how to follow. And I do struggle with both more than I know. In running a youth center and promoting concerts there is leadership taking place there (or the lack of) having a Bible Study, preparing for events to parks, concerts, festivals,etc.. but just as important is how well I follow others that I suppose to be following. We find it a lot easier to follow people and things of this world that has God saying "are you sure about that?" (no not an exact quote). Here are some words from Flyleaf's Breathe Today
You can only move as fast as,Who's in front of you,And if you assume,Just like them,What good will it do,So find out for yourself So your ignorance,Will stop bleeding through.
If we are our own (or those around us) ultimate leader we are fooling and hurting ourselves and those around us. Its up to the individual to decide if the time,talents,pleasures (things we take for granted) are really ours or a gift from God. I tend to put that aside and it becomes "easier" to not concern myself about leading or even following but "better" yet just grumble my way through the day. Many of us are "competing" at wasting time(we are bleeding) When we are gone from here will it be how much time we spent with the computer, TV shows, books read,collected most "toys", games won, even facebook contacts? How about with God, family, friends and did we make a difference. I do find myself going through the motions (any old schoolers here just started humming M W Smiths song) reading just t0 finish up a book. Writing just to write, taking part in a conversation but not really listening (waiting for my chance to speak), in all of this and so much more not taking in the day but more like "taking advantage" of it. A lot of the time we are merely existing not truly living, taking in every moment; to see, hear, talk,laugh,cry,listen, being still and breathe.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Alle, alle auch sind frei!"

"Followers" I believe this is the term used for those following such blogs. Webster describes followers as 1 a : one in the service of another : retainer b : one that follows the opinions or teachings of another c : one that imitates another2 archaic : one that chases. But here following is possible without notice/interaction. But in life, everyday living following will lead to interaction and indeed give notice to those around us. So who are we following? I'm asking this to the reader and at the same time questioning myself. Who and/or what are we chasing after? As a Believer the obvious answer(Sunday school answer) is Jesus Christ but I know many times I find myself simply following self and all the wants.moods,desires that seems fit for self. I will watch what I say, write, blog at times because I'm "concern" what this person/people might think (and I'm not talking about being considerate) making for that moment that person my "leader". This pass weekend I saw a "special" on a preacher (of course he now gets a one hour special since his teachings are against the main steam church they (News) wouldn't think of interviewing a pastor such as Greg Laurie, Francis Chan, Charles Swindoll, Andy Stanley for an hour well that is unless they "fall") who after preaching the gospel for years decided that there was no way his grandparents could have went to hell and for that matter not even Hitler so he said God led him to proclaim "Olly olly oxen free " (okay thats my version) or as he put it God told him to preach this new message that Hell is a place in life, and that after death. Everybody is redeemed. Everybody.. And immediately Im thinking some deep thoughts like "REALLY?!" and "SERIOUSLY!!" To quote the great musician & philosopher Steve Taylor "I'm no theology nut, but the reverend may be a little confused" So he and his assistants were surprise that they were dismissed by mentors and many churches didn't want him preaching at their church (I think Im a bit surprise that this surprised him but I guess the preaching another gospel thing changed in his mind as well) Anyway towards the end of this program this man who is now preaching heresy (not exactly the Truth ) said he believed the majority of the church is following a cult version of Christ. And I was like wow I cant disagree with that one at all. As its been said," God created man in His image and man returned the favor" When the true Gospel and preach and we are challenge to live according to books like ACTS we start looking for that new leader. Francis Chan told how members of his church question if he was heading towards being cult because he talked so much about giving money and things away aka blessed that we may bless others. I have no great closing for this but I do know most of us if not all of us keep running of the trails set before us to find another leader or even worst a make believe Gospel one that fits us for short term or long term. The thing is we need to be sure who we are following because there are many (family,friends,children,neighbors,strangers) following our lead.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What About Me?

I had the extreme pleasure of helping out some friends tonight. They help out with a ministry called Shoes For Orphaned Souls which collects new shoes from all over the U.S. and distributes them to orphanages all over the world. I won’t embarrass them by telling you how many shoes they collect to send in, but suffice it to say that they help many children around the world.

As myself and a brother that I work with were helping to carry boxes of shoes from an attic, I could hear the unmistakened voices of many who would say “What about me?” or “Why not help children in our own community?” It seems that, even while people may not say it, many think it. Many are looking for how it will benefit them.

While I do not believe in Socialism or the Social Gospel for that matter, I do believe in helping others. Socialism is a forced way of sharing the wealth, which is contrary to scripture…if a man does not work, he does not eat; and by the sweat of his brow will a man work (let every saying be qualified by two or more scriptures). The Social Gospel is humanism in disguise and seeks to promote the flesh whithout regenerating the spirit by the Spirit…if you sow to the flesh you will of the flesh reap corruption; unless a person be born again (of the Spirit), he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I do believe in showing the compassion of Christ and helping out those in need. It is logical and falls within the boundaries of the church to show care and concern for the material needs of those around them, especially those in the Body of Christ.

So what does this have to do with me…or YOU??? I want to encourage you to get and and help someone else out. Random acts of kindness are great, but why not do some intentional and planned acts of kindness? Make it a habit to get involved in something in your community, even if it’s only for a couple hours a month. I know some really good ministries that would love to have someone help out for just a couple hours one day a month. Find someone nearby and visit with them or help them get their groceries. The opportunities are endless.

When you help someone else out, I believe it fills a void in your life and puts you on the path to wholeness. You’re not doing this in order to repay God or to do some kind of service for God that will make God love you more. What you are doing is responding to the love of God in your own life and acting accordingly. When you do things out of obligation to God, it becomes works and salvation comes by grace through faith, not works. If it was by works, you would have pride in yourself. When you do things because of what God has done in your own life, it becomes an act of love.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37, 39

Monday, July 27, 2009

Broke The Main Rule so Quote Me...

Due to some not so nice computer crashing I have been "working" with a laptop that gives me 10-20 mins here and there. And on that I have read the number One rule of blogging is that you must be consistent. And to say the least I havent been such and well its easy to lose a crowd when you dont have that big of a crowd (of followers) so Just to let any noted follower/reader..I plan to continue this blogging and this one will be Quotes...so If you stop by and/or get this by mail leave a quote....



For those who believe in God no explanation is necessary and for those who do not, no explanation is possible...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Hole in ALL of Us


While here in Kenya I have been reading the book A HOLE IN THE OUR GOSPEL (What Does God except of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change The World) by Richard Stearns, President, World Visions U.S.
Fortunately I received this book in the mail a day before departing in Kenya. And I was thinking it would be eye opening in reading and experiencing the “hole” in our lifestyles. The book is very,very good. I would recommend you check it out and read it for yourself immediately. I’m sure I will blog more on the thoughts and stats from the book. And some time ago I heard a message from Francis Chan “Lukewarm and Lovin’ It” which he started by throwing out 2 dollar bills and commented how that meant nothing to those in the congregation yet that is a daily wage for the majority of the world. Look for those reading this isn’t a guilt trip, I’m just sitting here half tired/half relax and decided to blog about whatever. I know at home we get tired of the “help me” commercial and most are so numb to it that we can finish a slice of pizza or two as we see the starving children on tv, or change the channel but honestly changing the channels didn’t change anything except you and me becoming more numb to the fact that we are so blessed and spoiled at the same time.
Now there’s NOTHING wrong in being blessed, BUT that blessing is to BLESS OTHERS! Most people reading this cant imagine 2 dollars a day for wages. Come on if we get short change checking out at the store we complain, grumble, bitch and moan about that or perhaps our need for higher wages. I recall a Pro Basketball player saying he was holding out despite the 15 or so millions per year contract he had due to the fact that he had a family to feed. And my friends and I were talking about what a idiot he was to talk in such a way. But we do the exact same of talk and walk in the rest of the worlds eyes. Do you know if you make 25,000 per year or more you are richer than 90% of the world (the world!!) So go almost anywhere else in the world and you are a Bill Gates in eyes of the world. We don’t realize it because we usually compare ourselves to others and yea its usually to those who have more. (I don’t think I have heard anyone wishing they had less?) Im not going to overflow this one with stats (save that for later) but if you are in the 90% bracket there is so much we can do help others. There is need all around us. If you want to try to live on $2 a day for awhile, or try not using clean water for a day or two-great but please don’t stop there. Those achievements will leave you uncomfortable and yet comfort no one. Giving to others will always cost you something. But it will ALWAYS be worth the cost!
I recently heard pastor Chris Seay tell a story in which his friend told him to imagine of his 4 children one became rich but the other three were in need and the rich one kept his riches to himself and didn’t bother helping out the rest of the family. How would that make you feel as a father? He said I would be Piss! His friend said and that’s exactly how I believe our Father in Heaven is feeling towards a nation that has so much and gives so little.” Right, this isn’t about being a Believer or Atheist, Christian, Muslim,etc. Its simply blessing others because we are so very very blessed. Oh for those that may have gasp to read the words bitch and pissed. Did that upset you more than the fact there are Millions dying due to lack of clean water and Millions more “Surviving” on $60.00 a month, $720 annually. Just wondering? Get involved! To quote a man that Stearns refers to as a modern day prophet.. “We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or does--but will we be that generation?”….

Saturday, June 6, 2009

TIA........


TIA….We arrived in Nairobi Kenya around 11pm..it was cool and raining out. A few familiar faces met us at the airport and indeed it felt good to back in Kenya once again. This time our Pastor Randy came along with us, and now the three of us were looking forward to getting to our home away from home. To say the least it was good to see Judah,Salma & Mwende again. They were excited to see us but I’m not sure if it was me or the books Judah wanted to see more (perhaps more on that later). This family has opened their house to us the last two years and it certainly has been a blessing to have it as a place of rest. Last year there baby girl Mwende was in love with my wife Adriane but now that she’s one year older and wiser she seems more fond of me :). On weds Morning we went to the office downtown to meet with Dominique and he gave us a orientation of SYN( Swahiba Youth Networks ) and things that were in need for the ministries that they are part of throughout Kenya (more on that in future blogs). Thursday we went to “Hidden Treasures” It’s a kindergarten class about 40 minutes out of town. This was our first time there. This place is actually not considered a slum but the conditions at the kindergarten class would certainly make you think and see otherwise. With our initial visit we played with the children. Randy became a human lift machine for the kids and they gladly took the challenge to wear him out. On Friday we took a walk throughout Kibera, not only the Blue House area but more widespread this time. It had rained the last few days which made the walk a bit more interesting. Then we returned to Hidden Treasures once again and tried to lead them in songs which actually led to the children teaching us songs. Then Randy told them the story of Father Abraham. As with Sarah Juniors class last year (In Kibera) we helped give them their lunch of rice and beans. For more than a few in this class it’s a race to finish your food first to be one of the few fortunate ones to get a double portion. Saturday we returned to Blue House to teach on Personality and Communication. Classes were divided as Randy and Dominique took one class and Adriane, I and Sally took another class. Once you get the students started there is a good bit of interaction. And finally Saturday afternoon we returned to NEW LIFE CHILDRENS HOME, this is where I met Jimmy last year. This is a beautiful place that holds orphans from the ages of 3 months to age 4. Anne the receptionist gave us a tour of the place and when we asked about Jimmy she immediately knew who were we talking about and informed us that he had been adopted and in fact to their amazement adoption had really picked up and the kids were being adopted at a faster pace more than ever before. So for the rest of the afternoon we helped feed the little ones, and then took them outside. Its amazing how over 20 one to three year olds can be laid back and be well behaved (only in Africa?) Sunday we returned to the Blue House (school/church) where Randy gave the message this time. As with last year they really are glad and encouraged to see Christians from another nation. Sunday evening we had off and Randy did a leadership class for SYN. Monday was national holiday for Kenya so it’s a time to relax and celebrate. We visited Salma’s parents home out in the country. It is beautiful, fresh air, farming, and gardens. This definitely led us to think about out home in West Virginia (and the house made us think of homes in Canaan, very nice). That evening we returned to dine at the Carnivore. We went to this last year and this place deserves its own blog, we wanted Randy to take part in this Brazilian style buffet that ranges from sausage to crocodile and ostrich meatballs (personally one of my all time favorites, I think I had at least 8) for dessert was pineapple pie (yes just like apple just do the pineapple, again very good) and ice cream. So yes as you can tell Monday was a very hard day for us :). Tuesday we returned to the Bluehouse to teach about Father Abraham and His Faith and then we stopped in to see the kids at Sarah Juniors, the teachers were glad to see us and the kids welcomed us with a number of songs. Then we returned to New Life, there is a child name Enoch and for some reason he only likes Munzugus (whites) he is attached to Adriane and he cries when she puts him down and of course when we leave. One of the nurses said she hopes that a white couple adopts him. Weds back to Huruma Hidden treasures where this time the kids were even more excited to see us chasing after us and running from us. Taking turns letting me lift them in the air. Hey by the way have you EVER seen a 4 or 5 year old get excited over a sticker? ( I said it before many of children we meet if they are given anything from a piece of candy, a pencil or sticker its like you just bought them a Wii system). Then we went to Moi Avenue Primary school to teach on effective communication? Well scratch that, that’s what was on the schedule instead we taught on sex, yea a bit more interesting. As Randy told the class we came all the way from America to talk to you about sex, which broke the ice. Thursday Randy visited a few homes in Kibera with some of the team members then all of use went to Juvenile home this is the place that we visited last year and gave money to help purchase shoes for 120 teens to help prevent jiggers (see post in archives for info). They patiently waited for us as we were late getting there. Then we shared with them about what to do now that they had obviously made bad choices (this is a reception station and within 3 months they will be sent to detention from 6 months to 10 years). One thing that really got me was when a SYN staff member was sharing about when one commits a crime their parents don’t want to claim them. She then asked who would claim a child that was a thief or even done worst? And only 2 or 3 raised their hands. So she called on one of the boys and asked him, so you would still claim your child, why would you claim him? He replied because you can’t forsake your own child” (Speechless, nothing more needs to be said) I then shared on the way we see ourselves is actually through the eyes who means the most to us. Which can usually lead to bad choices through trying to impress friends and others but the good news is God wants us to see through His eyes how much we mean to Him and that was shown through Christ and what He did for us and as the young man mentioned once your Gods child He will not forsake you. Adriane shared with them its okay to be angry with God, some here have been through a lot in life and have reason to let their anger out and God can handle it. And as a team we shared that all of us at times have been angry at God. Randy closed in prayer. Then we set off for the longest short ride ever and ah finally made it home. Friday we woke up 5:45 am to leave at 7am to travel apx. 40 mins to teach for 30 mins at St Bridgets school. This is a public Catholic school (non catholics, catholic as well as muslims attend here) afterwards we headed back to our place for lunch and then went to New Life where they had a birthday party for the child turning one (felt like we crashed party showing up without a present?). By the way Moses is the only child we recognize from last year. Again this is awesome as mentioned earlier adoption here is on the rise. And just the other night, NEW LIFE got national tv coverage in Kenya. Doug, Joe (yes have to love the Kenya names) and Enoch are the ones that have stuck out to us this time. Doug told me no several times, scratched me then we became good friends. Saturday we were back to Blue House and taught a class of 75 kids, and Saturday seems more like an optional thing for them so its good to see that many show up. For the most part the teens are very responsive in the class. Afterwards we introduce Randy to YAYA, a mall just about 5 blocks from Kibera. YAYA is the place where I tell out host Judah that we see many of our tribe members. They have a very good restaurant here called the Java house which offers a full menu but I cant turn down a good hamburger , fries and Heinz ketchup (God bless Heinz Ketchup). The director of this ministry Peter met with us today for a few hours to share his testimony and the vision of SYN. We also had several good laughs. Peter has a great heart for God, youth and life.
So did you make it this far? (no bookmark needed) thanks. If you are checking this out for the first time then look at the archives to see last years blog on our trip and they are indeed much shorter and well better. Tomorrow we go our host Pastor Judah’s church then we are hanging with Victor, he was our all around tour guide from SYN last year. But this year he is doing his own ministry. We miss hanging with him this year. Okay thanks for reading this, hopefully will add a few more before arriving back HOME.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

No Comments..please leave a message


     Okay so this is like a personal journal. But I must admit I really thought the last entry would get a few comments. I mean every (Every) person I have met definitely has a opinion about everything(Well almost everything). Anyway we leave Tuesday for Kenya and I will once again attempt to blog about whats going on with Life in Kenya. Meanwhile I may take a roll call to see who is present. Hope to hear from some (or all) of you readers soon. Like my answering machine says my wife is away right now and we have caller ID so Im not answering but leave a message if you want to..
See you in Kenya....blessings...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Comments on Being Real? Part II

A p.s. to the previous post ..just to add a final thought by Gall towards those who think he is trying to "glorify sin". The Truth is we have a tendency to let people know the real us because of not being acceptance but thankfully God already knows Everything about you and me. And as Gall explains the Bible is quite open about the dirty laundy in peoples lives. We do need to find that somebody in our live to share our deepest struggles, hurts, hopes, desires and dreams. Or as one of my friend puts it there is a need to "vomit" our "stuff" on one another...Now (finally) the final thoughts...
Im not interested in being slave to or defined by my sins Im not looking to be a hero for them. I don’t even want to hold onto them. But certainly there must be some way for me to make sense of my sins, to learn what is true in the face of pain and confusion and lack of control I’ve known. Isn’t there? And I can think of dozens of really nasty stories in the Bible, about a woman driving a tent spike through a man’s head into the ground, or about a king-a man “after God’s own heart,” no less-who sees a woman bathing and later sends her husband to certain death so the king can cover up the fact that he’s already knocked her up, or about Jesus taking and eating wheat from another man’s field on the Sabbath when all of the good religious people were scandalized by such forbidden behavior. Beyond those are a whole assortment of stories about rape, incest, adultery, idolatry, murder-everything. If there is a point to the experiences in the Bible, if those stories mean something when held up to the light of God, why wouldn’t it make sense for me, or anyone else, to do the same?
I think Pamela’s comment during the Bible study was perfect. In fact, if there was a problem, it was treading so naively on ground made sacred by the battle between good and evil for the prize of our souls and sanctification. My battles and my temptations are hard places, bloody and filthy places, sacred places, where the image of God I bear is under significant attack. It is a holy place, and it is not a trivial pursuit. If you’re going to wander where the cows graze, you’d better be ready to get your shoes dirty.

The Cost of (not) Being "Real?"

The following is a excerpt from Pete Galls "My Beautiful Idol" on the sense that we think we are being so real and open but seem to be desperately missing something, a long read but worthwhile.

At a Bible Study that Pete was attending the host/leader suggested that since they were going to talk about temptation that they would go around the room and each share what is the biggest temptations in their life. So Gall goes on to say..”If I’ve ever experienced a perfect example of the absolute loss of contact with the real world that exists in much of the Church today its in Twan’s question. Our biggest temptations? As an icebreaker? In a quick trip around a circle on futons over safeway grape soda and Chips Ahoy? I sigh I know how this is going to go. Joanie is first, because Twan gestures for her to start. I guess its probably procrastinating? Ooooh Good one, beck says. “That was mine” Kathy echoes. “I’m so bad about that.” “What about you, Kirk?” Twan continues. I think TV takes a lot of my life, he replies. There are nods. Crissy, the bublly, granola, Meg-Ryan-esque nurse who wears blue hospital scrubs at all times in next, “Chocolate. Absolutely. That is Holly’s too, though she doesn’t say so to the group. She turns to Joanie the Procrastinator and their body language makes clear the jealousy and bitterness the two heavier girls have toward Crissy and the attention she gets from the men in the group. The men, to Holly’s point, respond to Crissy with things like: (Antonio) “If that’s you sin it sure doesn’t show.”(Twan) “Better be careful-someone could use that against you” wink. (Robert) “You know, Chocolates and aphrodisiac” And as soon as he says it..he shrinks back a little. He’s obviously not the sort to say such things. Jon and I may are the only people in the room to catch what he said. We looked at each other and smiled. A new friendship is born. The next person in the circle is Pamela, a dark haired Swiss woman who looks and dresses lie a slender single mother in love with a rock star. In fact she is a single mother, to a 3 year old, and her ex-husband is in jail for something to do with cocaine. Twan scrapes his eyes off Crisyy to turn the question about temptation to Pamela. “What about you?” he asks. “I think you’re all full of it” she says. “I like chocolate, and I would watch too much television if I could, but the truth is that what we really want is to be having sex.” There are guffaws and squeals and gasps and furrowed brows everywhere. But she continues. “I want chocolate, but I want it melted and licked off me. Several times. And so do all of you. Maybe in front of the television. And Joanie, even you wouldn’t put that off till tomorrow.” Twan is desperate to regain control of the moment. “Well I’d say the ice is sufficiently broken!” And he steers the discussion to the notes he’s printed out. As we file out at the end of the evening he pulls Pamela aside and tells here that he understands it was her first time to the study, but that her answer had been inappropriate, especially in mixed company. That’s Christian culture in a nutshell. We have this Bible that tells horrible stories about sin and depravity and temptations and addictions that overwhelm people, even to death. And we pray to this God who loves us and mourns over our suffering and yearns to clean us up, set us free and draw us to Him-and not necessarily in that order. And we have Jesus who sought out and spent His time hanging with people who laughed too loudly, who surely were not tea party material, and who were very often absolutely buried in inappropriate behaviors and lifestyles. Jesus preferred them because they were not religious “whitewashed tombs,” painted and clean on the outside but dead and reeking on the inside.
Christianity has this entire worldview that treats the filth of life as impermanent, redeemable, escapable, and unable to make the bride too filthy to be loved. But we have this thing in our culture where we don’t believe a bit of it. We work so overly hard to make God look good that what we say has no credibility at all; we lie about him all the time. We’re such cow-brained dullards. In our insecurities and arrogance, and out lack of honesty we demand to see God turn lives around, to do something cool for us. To be our dancing poodle. We want to be able to tell a great story about how well our lives have been transformed by this God who, to our exquisite torture, simply does not do enough flashy stuff for us to feel comfortable letting his work stand on its own. We are so desperate to share the good news that we almost always fake it. We forget the miraculous and we promise more than we really experience ourselves. And we are so conflicted about hot to be “good Christians”-people whose lives have been turned around and made squeaky clean-even though that’s not what we experience exactly, that we have developed a twisted hand wringing culture where we are far less mater-of-fact about sin and temptation and doubt and the profane than are our scriptures, our God, or even the rest of the world around us where there is no promise of rescue or redemption. We’re obnoxious fools, and our dishonestly makes us incredibly vulnerable and weak-and far from trustworthy to people who could actually benefit from knowing the Truth according to God.

Still Wide awake in my sleepwalking...(repeat)

Yes this is a repeat. Almost a year ago I started this blog and once again in 10 days we will be returning to Kenya. So I thought I would "re-blog" this for some new readers. Yes Im like the band that has one cd out and then follows up with a "greatest hits" In any case thanks for reading and for any followers, bloggers, leave some thoughts, blogs, feedbacks,,,even prayers and/or prayer request.

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?" (A year later, much the same?)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 10 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."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

P.S. Lost without Facebook?

Okay havent exactly kept up with the blogging but I have noticed the evolution in "technology"..in that first it was hand written letters then Finally it was emails(yes save a tree or 2) but suddenly Myspace came along and that was the way to keep in contact. I mean hey who has time to email. Then it was Facebook. Now theres no time for emails when you can send "one liners" to stay in touch and let the world know you mowed the yard or had a deep thought. Also like when people say I would email or blog but Im seldom on the computer this is usually the person that has a couple computers at home and/or IPod to keep up with every move by the world. Kind of like the person who says I seldom watch tv, theres nothing good on then they give you a list of movies they never missed which usually includes 3 or 4 reality shows, yes just cant get enough of them. And others can tell you word for word of several movies and sitcoms. Okay so just a little note but I do plan to get in some more blogging. We are less than a month away from leaving for Kenya. May need to go revive my Myspace from the dead and actually start a Facebook (or start "other body parts" book) to draw in some bloggers...if you accidently read this by chance pretend this is "Handbook" (for you Donny) and blog a line. I want to know if you mowed your yard or perhaps had a deep thought.....thanks

Thursday, April 9, 2009

As an Atheist I truly believe Africa Needs God..


As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God. Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset
Matthew Parris
Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it's Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.
It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I've been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I've been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.
Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.
But this doesn't fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.
First, then, the observation. We had friends who were missionaries, and as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world - a directness in their dealings with others - that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.
At 24, travelling by land across the continent reinforced this impression. From Algiers to Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, then right through the Congo to Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, four student friends and I drove our old Land Rover to Nairobi.
We slept under the stars, so it was important as we reached the more populated and lawless parts of the sub-Sahara that every day we find somewhere safe by nightfall. Often near a mission.
Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more open.
This time in Malawi it was the same. I met no missionaries. You do not encounter missionaries in the lobbies of expensive hotels discussing development strategy documents, as you do with the big NGOs. But instead I noticed that a handful of the most impressive African members of the Pump Aid team (largely from Zimbabwe) were, privately, strong Christians. “Privately” because the charity is entirely secular and I never heard any of its team so much as mention religion while working in the villages. But I picked up the Christian references in our conversations. One, I saw, was studying a devotional textbook in the car. One, on Sunday, went off to church at dawn for a two-hour service.
It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man's place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.
There's long been a fashion among Western academic sociologists for placing tribal value systems within a ring fence, beyond critiques founded in our own culture: “theirs” and therefore best for “them”; authentic and of intrinsically equal worth to ours.
I don't follow this. I observe that tribal belief is no more peaceable than ours; and that it suppresses individuality. People think collectively; first in terms of the community, extended family and tribe. This rural-traditional mindset feeds into the “big man” and gangster politics of the African city: the exaggerated respect for a swaggering leader, and the (literal) inability to understand the whole idea of loyal opposition.
Anxiety - fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things - strikes deep into the whole structure of rural African thought. Every man has his place and, call it fear or respect, a great weight grinds down the individual spirit, stunting curiosity. People won't take the initiative, won't take things into their own hands or on their own shoulders.
How can I, as someone with a foot in both camps, explain? When the philosophical tourist moves from one world view to another he finds - at the very moment of passing into the new - that he loses the language to describe the landscape to the old. But let me try an example: the answer given by Sir Edmund Hillary to the question: Why climb the mountain? “Because it's there,” he said.
To the rural African mind, this is an explanation of why one would not climb the mountain. It's... well, there. Just there. Why interfere? Nothing to be done about it, or with it. Hillary's further explanation - that nobody else had climbed it - would stand as a second reason for passivity.
Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosphical/spiritual framework I've just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it liberates.
Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.
And I'm afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete
.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Back to Kenya

This is to let you know that this summer we will be returning to Kenya to serve in summer missions through ICY (International Christian Youthworks). As most of you know we went last year to Kenya and while expecting the unexpected we never imagined that our hearts would be drawn to the people there with such a burden to at least attempt to meet some of the demanding needs there. While there we were able to provide shoes for over 100 boys in a juvenile home and since returning home through the giving of friends, family and local churches we were able to send contribution for their Christmas program which gave shoes to over 400 youth and fed over 1,000 of them as well. We said last year that we had no idea why we were being led to go to Kenya but just believed that God had placed on our hearts to go to Kenya.
So now this will be our first time ever returning to a missions destination (trips including Northern Ireland, Germany, Amsterdam, London, Morocco, & Canada). We will be leaving on May 26 and returning June 12th. While on this trip we have been informed that ICY’s leader, Colin Piper (Global Youthwork Strategist from the UK) will be in Kenya as well. (ICY is a worldwide ministry with locations including Europe, Middle East, Asia, New Zealand and the U.S.) ICY has been in Kenya for years working in schools, children’s homes, orphanages, churches, missions and camps in evangelism and discipleship. They also specialize in training Bible Teachers. The ministries are very diverse which allows them to develop a program to suit our skills. As they have advised us “Tell us your heart and we will do all we can to fit in.”
So here we go once again, looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. And our prayer is to be more open in reaching out and being more of a blessing to those we meet. Our thoughts are that places like the slums of Kibera are not something one gets use to and we believe our return will feel like our first time there as well. Our work will continue to be in the slums, orphanages and schools. There’s no doubt there is a great need in Kenya. Larry Jones (Feed the Children) was once asked, “Where do you determine where the need is?” to which he replied, “Take a map, turn out the lights and throw a dart. Where it lands that’s where the need is”.
Leaders from ICY advised us last year that “You will find nothing is predictable in Africa. It is both the charm and frustration of the place. Things will happen which will leave you feeling confused, baffled, and out of the loop! You will be challenged to your very core, but will emerge with a new perspective and a world view which will change the rest of your life for the better. Living in Africa can be tough. You can get sick easily. You’ll miss things you take for granted, and certainly miss loved ones back home. You’ll struggle with culture, relationships and the poverty about you. Without a very real call from God to go, you won’t last the place.” We found this to be true. Our hope is to build a connection that we use our sources here to be of encouragement to the believers there and at the same time be able to contribute in that our help with resources is not just taking place while we are there but throughout the year.
As with last time we believe God will show Himself and lead us as we are to go. To you the ones that pray for us and/or give towards this mission trip you are part of our team, part of this mission trip and outreach and helping the hurting. Thanks to some gifts already We will need apx 3,500.00, and ask that you would greatly consider supporting us financially but also in prayer for protection, guidance and that we would be blessed that we may bless others. Please make checks out to Roger and/or Adriane Miller. Thank You

Friday, March 20, 2009

Balance Beam (Life)




Short message to the point. Its amazing to me all the tragedy Chan has been through and with that I would say he has every "right" to hug the balance beam of life. Whoever sees this please tell others to check out this video. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green Day Ramblings

Made it through yet another St Patricks Day without wearing Green. I think us Americans just make up things and days to either sell something or drink a few. (I mean lets go for groundhog day, if he sees his shadow you dont go to work or one determines to just drink a few or get smashed if theres a shadow...) I mean its not like in Ireland everyone is wearing green to avoid the "pinch" and well as for the drinking a few that pretty much goes without saying that is taking place just not so sure its the "special" green beer sold in our bars/restaurant's. Perhaps some green potatoes. Anyway years ago I was fortunate to visit Northern Ireland(dont just call it Ireland!) and everything is indeed green. And beside the beauty of the place the coolest thing is that theres NO snakes! Unlike Australia where just the thought of the spiders and snakes can keep me away.Checking out Hillsong still doesnt outweigh the thought of finding one of those things in my room. The people in Ireland are upfront as in they do indeed say whats on their mind. Upon our arrival in a small town in Northern Ireland a group of street kids left us a greeting on the playground that read F *** Off Bible Bashers. In working with youth here in the states I usually get at least a few hellos and can I have a drink before they flip me off. But there in N.I. within a weeks time those same teens were hanging out with our group and asked us to judge their skateboard contest. Which is equivalent to asking Richard Simmons to judge a Tough Man contest. One older couple had the team leaders (The were from N. Ireland) over for lunch and advised them that the group was wasting their time working with the street kids. (Did I mention they will say whatever is on their mind). And I was among a group of 3 visiting a couple where the woman of the house did her best to "mess" with me. I wont go into details but it involved a gold fish and a "hidden camera". But anyway in saying all of that the people and the place is beautiful. Actually for the most part everyone including complete strangers were very friendly. And I cant say enough how beautiful it is there. Yes Im just rambling,in honor of this "green day" Im reminiscing about Ireland. By the way if wearing Green isnt your thing heres a few to do for next year, dye your food green, listen to Celtic Woman, U2, Read something by Rich Mullins (the man was in love with Ireland), drive people at work insane with your horrible fake Irish accent,where red and tell others you thought it was valentines day (hey that might get you a 2 week notice) or just eat a few pounds of potatoes and call it a day. Anything else to do on this green day? If you actually read this one go treat yourself to some green eggs and ham...you deserve it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Success is to Admit...


Success in Life is not measured by what we achieve But by what we come to admit, It is not measured by how far we journey, how many zombies, goblins, or droids we slay or by our return as champions, It is not measured by how much good I do for any of the people I get paid to care about. Success in life is measured by what we come to admit. We need a ride from an eagle. We succeed when we admit that we are sinners in the hands of a God who has every right to obliterate us but has instead invited us to journey-to tour this playground of a planet and this universe of spirit and beauty and joy. We success when we admit-as a child admits. When she closes her eyes and soaks in her mothers song-that there is nothing for us to do to earn Gods love but to receive it. The point is not the triumph, the point is the deliverance-the point is not the hero-the point is the deliverer. I want the hero in me to die. I ADMIT I need My Lord. Now what?-
"My Beautiful Idol" Pete Gall

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolutions...

Okay now that we are a few days into the new year time to set some resolutions,,,okay so heres my starter list, to take myself more serious, be more sarcastic, put on some weight (narrowing down the food groups to 2 peanut butter and french fries), look in the mirror and remind myself its all about me. Invent new cuss words. And dont give unless given to first, and read less and watch more tv,,,Well now that I got the list going hopefully these resolutions will last as long as all the previous ones as in somewhere between a half hour to a half day. Perhaps resolution became a thing not just because of a new year but many of us eat and drink so much we "justify" it by saying from this moment on we will "do better" Im not sure about you but I have never been good keeping any sort of resolution in my own strength or will. Matter of fact resolutions or no resolutions I need God more than I could ever imagine. Thats the only thing Im sure of in 2009. Happy New Years..