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Sunday, December 25, 2011

You are so rich, Merry Christmas....








Recently I came across a article about a local homeless shelter in the Tri State in need. They are in need of food supplies, money towards a new grill. That of course was bad enough but it was also stated that 12 kids live at the shelter and in the midst of all those needs I wonder about those kids and how they are spending their holidays? What are they waking up to Christmas morning? Obviously I know this goes on by the thousands in bigger cities. But to me in a small community it just seems like this should be "taken care of" from a few dollars from individuals to the churches throughout the area this Rescue Mission should never be in need. I know of 4 churches in the area that have built "gyms" for outreach opportunities. If loans and checks can be written out for such surely this Need can be taken care of as well. This also goes on a personal level in how I spend my money and many times think nothing of it. Although I have read the stats, figures several times its still hard for me to realize I am a rich, very rich according to the majority of the world. According to the World Bank low income people in the world, percentage of people in the world that make $825.00 or less, 37 percent, a year. $825.00 a year or less, 37 percent. Next, lower middle income, up to $3,000.00 plus, 38 percent. So that’s about 5 billion people right there living on less than $3,000.00 a year. Now, you’re in the upper middle class of the world, up to about $10,000.00, that’s 9 percent, and then the highest incomes in the world, $10,000.00 or more, 16 percent. It’s interesting, if you just kind of get in your mind maybe your salary. If you keep taking the salary higher, you make $25,000.00 a year, you’re in the top 10 percent of the world’s wealthiest people. You make $50,000.00 a year, you’re in the top 1 percent of the world’s wealthiest people, $50,000.00 a year. Average annual American Christian household income, $42,409.00, $42,409.00. That is in the top 2 and a half percent of the richest people in the world.
Today, over a billion people live and die in desperate poverty and live on less than a dollar a day. Just to give you a little glimpse, that’s 700 million in slums, 500 million on the verge of starvation, 93 million beggars, 200 million children exploited for labor. We say poverty, desperate poverty, what is poverty? What does that represent? Lack of food and water. Over a billion people on the planet today who do not have access to safe drinking water. Illiteracy, huge illiteracy rates in places like India and Africa. Inadequate medical care, disease. You’ve got a disease like AIDS, there are 6,000 people who die every day in Africa of AIDS alone. And then you’ve got easily curable disease and sickness. There are millions of people this year who will die of diarrhea. They will die from it. Brain damage. It’s one of the most devastating pictures of poverty in the world, permanent brain damage. Most of your brain development, 80 percent of it happens in the first two years of your life, and if that is not provided for, enough protein and nutrients, then your brain is deformed for the rest of your life.
Over a billion people in desperate poverty, close to two billion others living on less than $2.00 a day. That’s close to half the world living on what you and I would pay for French fries for lunch. It gets worse. According to UNICEF, 26,000 children will die today due to either starvation or preventable disease, a disease like diarrhea or pneumonia or malaria, 26,000…And those numbers unfortunately just stay numbers for most of us. If you are reading this do indeed enjoy the holiday season and if you love to buy gifts for others, then by all means go for it but may season by season our excessiveness lead to blessing others and even or should I say especially those who have little or nothing and simply could not give back in return. And may your joy be found that its truly better to give then to receive, Merry Christmas
.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Boogie Man...





As a kid growing up I don’t recall ever believing in any form of the “boogie man”. The ironic thing is 40 plus years later I started considering there just might be one. And no influence whatsoever from my 2 year old son. First the boogie man enter my mind just a little, like one foot in the door then my mind was no longer for rent for the boogie man was alive and “not so well” in my mind. I was diagnosed with skin cancer and there were several spots on my body. And Immediately I went from thinking bad to worst. Ironic thing is when somebody shares a concern or prayer request with me most times I am thinking, I actually believe good will come from it, Miracle will take place. I recently heard Andy Stanley said when a friend is in need we simply say we will pray for them. But when its ourselves in need we usually pull out the “not fair” card to God. There is selfishness in that one, indeed.
So anyway the thoughts went to skin cancer to the “what ifs” and from there the battle was on Believing in Gods Healing touch and then giving in to Im not ready to go in that I want to be here for my son and wife. Again Im just blogging my thoughts I know thousands go through this every day the sun rises and sets. But with all my prayers there were so many people that had me in their thoughts and prayers.
During this time we had a local concert. And well everything seem to be going wrong with the concert but in my running back and forth I met a friend outside which led to “counsel” with a beautiful ache and after the concert I talked to a band member about what’s going on and he said he wanted the whole band to pray for me which led to the members sharing struggles for them as well and for me to Believe and trust that the next time they saw me it would be nothing but Good news of Gods healing/sustaining hand. So a year or so later I continue to get treatment off and on for the skin cancer. A few months later I went to get my first physical in years(i mean years) and the results came back good/perfect ( i was in awe to say the least) but I was stil having this pain and ultimately this boogie man led to gall bladder surgery. So the "worries" have let up a good bit and far less of a struggle. And as Rich Mullins penned I know I am not as strong as I think I am…But through it all even in the midst of a world of doubt I still believe for there is nowhere, no one else to turn to but the Creator and lover of my soul. Through it all He is much bigger than any boogie man and the only one who can get pass these walls of " self". Along this journey when I was wondering what was going on with my health I told a friend of mine I wanted to be here for Noah. His simple reply was "You are here now".. True very true, make the most of the day we are given, its a gift of time that can only be used once and may we use it wisely and be bless that we would be a blessing to those around us.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful

In just passing with the day of Thanksgiving. I thought I would stop and take time to be thankful. Fact of the matter is that most of us take only this day or perhaps the month of November to express thankfulness. But through it all most of us (well all of us) have something to be thankful for everyday of our lives.


So some time ago my wife and I took a moment and listed things that we were thankful for, I'm sure even with this list we have missed out on something. But in all the complaining and grumbling we do in life there is even more reason(s) to be thankful.





Life
Provision
Noah
Gods Word
Knowing My Grandparents
Mom
Family
Shelter
Great Cloud of Witness
Laughter
Wife/Husband
Freedom
Books
Music
Clean Water
Love (and all that involves)
Getaways (past & future)
Music Ability
Canaan
Mission Trips
Jesus Christ
Noahs Health
Health
Electricity
Randy,George & Sam
Heat
Chinese Food (wontons)
Pizza & Fries (Castiglias plate size)
Christians family growing up..

Money
Friends




Obviously they are in no certain order but as I copy that list I thought of other things such as technology,,four seasons, stars, campfires, even hamburgers ketchup & peanut butter..


the list goes on and on. And Thanks for taking time to read this blog. So what are You thankful for?

Friday, September 16, 2011

All roads lead to God





I recently heard Greg Laurie speaking and he said that he agrees with the saying "All Roads Lead to God"..following Laurie for years I knew he wasnt going "off the mark" with this statement But I did wonder what he meant since most people do seem to believe all roads lead to God and/or the same "ending" So after listening to the message I found his writing on this subject as well. What follows is a writing by Greg Laurie on "All Roads Lead to God"...

I just had a physical with my doctor. Thankfully, everything is looking good.
After we were done, I asked him a question: "Have you ever had to tell someone that they were going to die soon?" He told me that he had; he said it was the hardest thing he did as a physician. But in most cases, he would detect a problem and give them a course of action that, if followed, would save their life.
As a pastor, I am in a similar situation, but with even more radical implications. Because I believe the Bible is true, I know both the problem and the cure to what happens beyond the grave.
It is said by some, "All roads lead to God." You may be surprised to know that I happen to agree with that. I did not say all roads lead to heaven, but that all roads lead to God. Regardless of what you may or may not believe, I do think you will stand before God one day. But there is only one way to get to heaven. And that is the one issue that more people choke on than any other.
It is said, "Are you saying Jesus Christ is the only way, and that if someone doesn't believe in Him they're actually going to hell? That's so narrow! So insensitive! So intolerant!" By insisting that Jesus is the only way to approach God, I may sound to certain people like I'm implying I'm somehow better than they are, or that I look down on them in some way. But I want you to know that I have a very good reason for believing that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. I believe it because He said so. It isn't my theory; it isn't my idea; it is His! It was Jesus who clearly stated, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6 NKJV). How plain is that?
The bottom line is that we're either going to believe everything Jesus said or nothing that He said. As for me, I choose to put my faith and trust in Him – for my years here on earth and for my eternity.
In Acts 4:12, the apostle Peter declared, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (NKJV). Paul told Timothy, "For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5 NLT). If I claim to be His follower and believe His words, then I would be less than honest if I said anything but this. As a Christian, I am in no way better or superior to anyone else. I'm just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
Maybe you've had someone say to you, "Well, all religions basically say and teach the same thing. They're all true. And besides, if a person is really sincere in what they believe, they'll get to heaven." This type of fuzzy, illogical, politically correct thinking is typical of so many today – making the most important decisions of life on the basis of feelings and opinions.
Let's take this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion. If a person truly is sincere in what he believes and tries to live a good life, then he will get to heaven. So Adolf Hitler is in heaven, right? He sincerely believed what he was doing was right. He had a sincere view of racial supremacy and thought it was right to exterminate the Jewish people.
It also appears that Osama bin Laden is sincere in thinking Allah wanted him to kill 3,000 people. He was honest and genuine about his belief that every American man, woman and child are infidels deserving death. So, why wouldn't he end up in some kind of paradise?
"No!" you protest. "He is not good!" Really? According to whose definition? Yours? Mine? The person next door? Is it determined by consensus? Why is it wrong to lie, steal and murder? As much as we hate to admit it, it's because God said it is wrong in the Ten Commandments, among other places. This is why sincerity is never enough. We have to have a set of absolutes to live by. We can't simply make up the rules as we go along. You may want to believe that "all roads lead to God." You may really and sincerely hope that every religion is basically true and that they somehow all blend beautifully together.
The great world religions do not all teach the same thing. And I say that with respect for all people to believe what they choose to believe. We don't need to vilify, threaten or attack one another. We need a civil discourse, and we need to agree to disagree. But on the other hand, let's not foolishly say every religion is teaching the same thing, because they are not. For instance, take these three truths into consideration:
1.Concerning the existence of a personal God. Buddhists deny it altogether. Hindus believe that God is formless and abstract, taking the form of a trinity as well as millions of lesser gods. In direct contrast, the Bible teaches that God is a personal deity, who created man in His own image, loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.
2.Concerning salvation. Buddhists believe salvation comes by self-effort alone – with no personal God to help or guide you. Hindus believe you achieve salvation by devotion, works and self-control. Muslims insist that man earns his own salvation, pays for his own sins, and that you can never be certain if you have achieved salvation or not. In stark contrast, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and if we will turn from our own way and follow Him, we can be forgiven and have the hope of heaven.
3.Concerning Jesus Christ. Buddhists believe Jesus was a good teacher, but less important than Buddha. Hindus believe Jesus was just one of many incarnations, or sons of God. They teach that Christ was not the one-and-only Son of God. He was no more divine than any other man, and He did not die for man's sins. Muslims will tell you that Jesus Christ was only a man, a prophet equal to Adam, Noah or Abraham, all of whom are below Muhammad in importance.
Do you see my point? It doesn't work to believe in all of the above. The tenets of these religions directly contradict one another. They cannot all be true. These belief systems are diverse and contradictory. In reality, they have little to nothing in common.
Jesus claimed to be the only way to the Father. It is not enough to admire Him or think of Him as a "great moral teacher." We must examine His unique claims and make a decision concerning Him.
C. S. Lewis, the great Christian thinker and author of "The Chronicles of Narnia," said, "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. ... You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to" ("Mere Christianity," 52).
Make your decision about what you believe, based on the facts, not on your feelings.

Friday, September 2, 2011

WWID




He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over (Matthew 26:16)



This verse caught my attention years ago. And even after "getting my attention" I found I soon had no problem handing Him over. I dont get it, I will never understand it and I would now (finally) never say I wont do it again..and I know for sure its not only me..go way back to the 1700s a 22 year old penned these words.. "Bind my wandering heart to Thee.Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here's my heart, O take and seal it,Seal it for Thy courts above."

Its amazing to me here right in a middle of a worship song we are telling God I love you with all that I am yet with All that I am I find it easy to leave you. Sometimes I struggle but just as many times I simply choose something or somebody else with little or no hesitation.
Its not like I havent tasted Your love, Grace & Mercy. Your blessings have been countless for me and my family. Personally I could have never imagine having such a beautiful wife and son. And opportunity to travel throughout the world. And even in the midst of these "mission trips" I was more prodigal than those I was talking to about needing Jesus. "Prone:" having a tendency or inclination : being likely- Yes thats me (you?). Prone, so easy for me thats why I dont get much of "Christian TV" for "ITS ALL GOOD" until a scandal hits the airwaves. I believe it would help a lot more for Believers to admit their faults and as I posted in a earlier blog not just hey I havent read my Bible in awhile or I eat too much chocolate. No, find a friend (a good one) and share the demons and darkness in your life. Because hey if you are human (or close to it) you have such in your life.
The Blessings, the Bible Reading, devotionals, Christian Music, Christian friends, Church, Prayers..etc etc..You think this would amount to a wall of protection and a engrave reminder not to go our own way. It just seems to come down to the most basic God in all of our lives which is Self, I, ME...if I had a WWJD (and NO I dont, havent had one and dont plan on it) I believe I could wear it while "proning" with no problem. See I would just look down at it and my very desire to please self would blur it and I would see WWID (what would I DO) and when its left up to me, self alone then I know I would be "fulfilling" Matthew 26:16 handing Jesus over as this seems like the "right moment" to do it.
Thank God for His grace and mercy, it is relentless. He loves like no other and I am forever thankful for He is the Only that truly is who He says He is...Jesus, Lover of my Soul. We may know love from another but we will only find Unconditional Love in Him.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Lucky?"







"Good Luck", "Best of Luck" "I was lucky" these are words that bother me. Unless of course you are about to adventure in a recreational game or some intense video gaming. Perhaps you found a coin, yes it was on heads so now you are Really lucky. But when I hear how somebody survive a near fatal crash, or sickness/disease is gone and they use the word luck. To me it cheapens everything about life. To use the same word "luck" when we find a coin or made a good shot,won a game and then mix it in with a life changing experience doesnt seem to add up to say the least. I mean I know people mean well for the most part and sometimes just dont know what to say. But when Im facing surgery or a crisis I dont want luck. I dont want the "power/outcome" of finding some loose change. I want to believe and know there is more than luck to it. Matter of fact when it comes to surgery I dont want the doctor to be lucky. Thats right I would actually like him to be good than lucky. When life is filled with blessings its not luck its "simply" you are being blessed. Enjoy it but dont cheapen it. Perhaps we could even if this out by celebrating when we find a coin. Thats right at that very moment stop and give a huge acceptance speech thanking God, family, friends, teachers,etc that if it wasnt for them you never would have found that penny. It wasnt luck no it was fate, unforgettable. A reason to journal, to live..or maybe it was just luck? ...A Penny for your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All I Needed to Learn...



Everything I Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten, Preeschool, School, Universities, Life, a cave...you name it and Im sure a person will claim to learned his/her "everything" there. Learning indeed is a process to say the least. But perhaps more than anything or rather any place its the womb where we have everything we Need. And this is most important to have before we can even begin to learn. You see the Creator chose to create us in our mothers womb to first of all have a relationship with Him and live a life that would define that we are in relationship with a living God. Countless reminders in His word tells us of this creation: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. "Psalm 139
Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name..And now the LORD says—he who formed me in the womb to be his servant" Isaiah 49:1,5
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
While we were in Canada we became friends with some young ladies from South Korea and they informed us that they have 2 ages, one is what is the norm to most of us in that at birth its day one for the child. But in South Korea many parents see their newborn child as 9 months old and will celebrate the babys first birthday in just 3 months. I do believe there is something beautiful in that as it recognizes the life that has all along been taking place. When you hear the heartbeat of a child in the womb and see a heart the size of a grain beating on the video its a moment of silence that puts you in awe. Of course we are missing out on this in that its common place for many in the world to have an abortion. And there are those who treat a child like they are a burden or confuse to which is to be loved on more the child or the pet.
But back to the womb the place where God touched us, already breathed life into us and through all the good, bad, the questions and answers in life He instilled in us a reason and will to live. And yet I know that life has twisted many hearts and blurred even snuffed out the reason for some to go on. But its there in His word, and I will take God at it.Life is not fair (at times far from it) but God is good! He promises everything we need is in Him. Not in material things, not in getting 3 wishes or even prayers answered but that we will see no matter how much we learn (or failed to learn) or how far we go we can always come back home and He will always be our only need.







"You're all I need when the world is closin' in my strength is runnin' thin when i'm lost in the storm You're all i need there's no need to look anywhere there's nothing that can compare to the love that You give You're all i need You're all that i want nothing in this world could give me more" "you're all I need" -Kry

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Who Let The Dogs Out (& other love songs)







Maybe I didn't treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn't love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind







For years I thought this was a love song that is based on a relationship between a man and a woman. But once again TV has proved me wrong. For within the last year the only time I hear this song is during a ASPCA commercial. Never knew pets were Willie Nelson fans but thats for another time. Look I have nothing against pets matter of facts I really like dogs for a pet. I mean what could be better for a pet than a dog, well besides the talking hamster from Bolt. BUT come on can we cut down on comparing dogs to humans. Im sure mr Nelson wasnt thinking of a pet and for those who are when you sing or hear that song Well you are long overdue for some help. This commercial even tells me if I agree to give monthly support they will send me a photograph of the dog I am supporting. WHAT? You mean the dog cant do it on his own. Hearing the love song, seeing the pain they are in and now I get One photo of "my own personal dog". You would think the least he/she could do would be to write me personally. My own "petpal", maybe with a certain money amount they could offer pawprints from his days as a puppy.



This past summer my wife and I are in Kenya and on the tv is an old show of Oprah which was a tribute to dogs. And as they told stories of abuse (yes abuse to any pet is wrong, agree!) Oprah said yes you know its been said "we will be judge as people by the way we treat the least of these"-No Oprah that hasnt been said concerning a animal that barks or meows and drinks out of a toliet bowl. Obviously lets not do any harm at all to pets (we wont refer to football players at this time, too easy) but lets realize their is a difference in a needy pet and a needy child. So can we please just stop with the love songs for rover and mittens, and "confusing" pets with children. Thats right take the dog out of the stroller. And if you are one of the thousands giving monthly support for those "homeless pets" make sure the photo isnt stockphoto. And let me know when you get that letter signed with a paw print.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lady Diana & Mother Teresa



Awhile ago I came across the following in a book called culture making. The author related how Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died the same week. And how much of the world would give anything to be famous like Diana but so few will even come close yet almost all of us could easily be giving of ourselves...



....The moralistic turn to take at this point to urge us all to become more like Mother-to take up the vocation of service and among the poor, foregoing the accumulation of possessions and privilege. And there is no doubt that when Jesus met at least one young man of privilege, he invited him to do exactly that. There’s a difference, as the black preacher said between having a title and a testimony. Diana had the title, I can hear him say, “But Mother had the testimony.”
Furthermore, there is an unsettling asymmetry between the Princess and the Mother. I dare say that precisely no readers of this book ever could, in any possible scenario, take Princess Dianas place-either her royal station, her worldwide celebrity or her magnetic grip on every nearby camera. Leaving aside the fact that most of us are not subjects of the British Crown, you and I are simply not cut out for the job. Princess Diana’s singular life was just that, singular. There will be, in our lifetime, an absolutely tiny number of women (or men) who will charm the cameras and manipulate the celebrity press so effectively that they reach her level of fame. For the rest of us to chase that kind of popularity and visibility would be both foolish and futile. Of course, the sad conclusion of Dianas short life is that even for them to chase that kind of popularity and visibility would be both foolish and futile.
And yet there is nothing-absolutely nothing-stopping us from taking Mother Teresa’s place. None of the intrinsic barriers to taking up the life of a celebrity princess apply to those who might want to take up the life of a servant to the poor. As I write there are hundreds of people volunteering at the Missionaries of Charitys home for the dying in Calcutta. Some have been there for a day or two; others have stayed for years or decades. Hey obviously will not necessarily achieve Mother’s worldwide recognition but they are living, in every material respect the life she lived. At the end Mother Teresa was a wizened old woman whose face bore a crease for very year of her life, with all the plastic surgery money could buy, you or I will never look like Princess Diana in her prime-but for absolutely no cost except a life of love, we could look like Mother Teresa. For nearly all of us, becoming a celebrity is completely, categorically impossible. For all of us, becoming a saint is completely, categorically possible. So why are so many trying to become a celebrity and so few trying to become a saint?

Culture Making- Andy Crouch

JUST Read this...

Throughout the past few months I have discussed with family and friends the use of the words JUST. I looked it up a few different places and a friend of mine emails me the definition “Definition of "just": fair; right. It’s such a small word that is over used in conversations but especially in prayer. And I think it’s safe to say it’s in prayer so much we don’t even realize it. And usually after a “just” we follow up with a healing, blessing, a saving of a life. Ex: “We JUST ask that you give complete healing.”. We just ask that you bless us financially (and perhaps overlook the ways we blew money and bought things we didn’t need-okay with that we JUST ask for mercy as well). Just seems a difference to me in asking a doctor to JUST give his opinion and just give me a triple bypass or a lobotomy. Nothing to it. I don’t hear people saying just lend me a dollar after a just it’s usually followed up with triple to four digits money amount. Such a loaded word from “Just do it” to “Just sign on the line and its yours”-be it the TV, car, house, surgery, etc… How about “can we just be friends?” Or “oh I forgot there’s just one last thing” I know this is next to meaningless but I also know this word to me is always follow by a major request or suggestion. Anyway thanks for reading this now if you choose to reply please Just follow up your reply with a blank check..

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Got Milk? (Long Version of Short(en) Kenya Trip..



To say I’m writing this in a tired state of mind would be a huge understatement. As within the last 2 days I may have accomplished to shut my eyes for 6 hrs. or so as we prepared and made our way back from Kenya. At least 23 hours of traveling is one thing but with a 18th month old it adds a bit more. We had planned for a 3 week mission trip which had a few “bumps” then interrupted due to milk. It more than seems our son cannot handle the milk sold in Kenya. Anyway to make a long story longer our flight went surprisingly well being Noah’s first flight ever. Two 7 hour plus flights and a four hour layover didn’t bother Noah as he would sleep a few hours and wake up smiling and clapping. But he did consume the milk (more than usual) and during the flight he fell and was favoring his right leg. And so the crying began and Adriane picked him up and carried him around on the plane. Meanwhile putting back Noah’s “all in one tv/phone” plane remote I accidently click the call button and my first thought was well I can’t blame Noah on this one. And as the stewardess showed up I went to explain what happen but she informed me that I was needed by my wife as my son had thrown up all over her. I suppose this wasn’t a desperate attempt by wife to get a new shirt at out layover in Amsterdam (which by the way she did get a new shirt).
So one flight down and one to go…as with the first one there was no turbulence from the airplane and none from Noah as well. We landed, got our luggage and were off to our first destination. After being there just one day Noah’s leg seem to be bothering him so his mom wanted to get it check and so there we are at a clinic waiting to get my sons leg checked meanwhile Im outside chasing after him. I told my wife it seems a bit odd to me that Noah Is here to get his leg checked and yet he is out here walking around taking off from me with no problem (Yes he was fine). Without going into details the first place of stay it just didn’t work out so within 3 days we moved in with our former host from past years Judah & Salma. In the past years they lived close to downtown but now to get to their house it’s a 45min to one hour drive. This is where I mention nothing compares to the traffic in Nairobi. We were told no fellow Kenyan would give how far they are from you in distance but only in time because one could be just a few blocks away but it could take 15-20 minutes to get there. So anyway we are now relaxing out in the country but that night Noah starts throwing up again So from Saturday afternoon through Monday morning we stay in and let Noah rest. So finally our second chance to restart our focus on ministry and we return to New Life orphanage (the place where we met Jimmy among others) and the main reason I wanted Noah there to get a opportunity to interact with the children. But upon our arrival Adriane notice a sign warning of a chickenpox outbreak. And after inquiring about it we were told to wait at least 2 weeks which cancel six meetings at New Life.
The next day we went to a park to have a team meeting and some prayer time then lunch at Pizza Inn which means it’s a Tuesday because its buy one get one at Pizza Inn. Their pizza is actually a favorite for Kenyans and Americans (my wife prefers it over American pizza). After lunch we go to Cheryl’s which is a home/school for abandon children. Class we went to was about 25 kids and Noah made be the first little munzugu they had ever seen. The kids said they wanted to meet him first. He clapped when the kids clapped which led to laughter from Noah and the kids. The teacher had to ask the class to focus on him and less on Noah
We were to return there at least 3 times as well. The next day was perhaps the reason we returned to Kenya. We met for several hours with Peter(Director of SYN) and put together a 2 week program for next year. This will be for a team of no more than 8-10 members and we will concentrate on one place. Peter says the conditions of this school are “deplorable” So we will plan to do work on the building and interact with the 75 or so kids that live there. More on that in future blogs. Meanwhile that morning Noah ate oatmeal that was boiled in milk so on our return to “home” Noah threw up a couple of times. During the evening and through the night he was given water and even went to sleep on water instead of his formula milk. We had a doctors appointment for 11am. But soon after waking up Noah started to get sick and begin throwing up water and shaking. So the doctor was contacted and we would meet her as soon as we got in town which was apx 8:30am. The doctor checked Noah and said he was dehydrated and needed to be put in the hospital. At the hospital they attempted to put IVs in him 4 times but could not find a vein. We requested a plan B which was to take medicine orally (our version of
Pedialyte )
But Noah would have nothing to do with the medicine. Meanwhile he took some water and eventually fell asleep. Judah took me back to the house to get clothing and such for the night. While I was away Adie said Noah had eaten a lot of baby food and had lots of water and was back to sleep. I told Judah I would know everything was okay when I saw Noah smile again (Salma had commented earlier she knew Noah wasn’t well because he wasn’t smiling.
Later that night he was very active and was back to normal. By morning he continued his eating binge. By 11am the doctor returned and said he was dehydrated and had a strain of rotavirus. So within 24 hours Noah was okay and ready for release in recovering from the entire ordeal. And his medicine was prayer, water, rest and more prayer! We are so thankful for the Lord in His healing hand and more than seeing us through all of this even unto our safe return home. Thanks to a friend of mine taking a call 2:30 in the morning to simply listen to me. It was good to hear a voice from back home. So we left the hospital and prepared to stay in a local hotel to avoid the daily 2 hours of travel and prepare to return home. We had to change our flight plans so that along with the cost of staying at the hotels (place didn’t accept credit cards) we found ourselves physically, mentally, financially and spiritually drained. But again through it all God is always near and saw us through as he continues to do so. Upon our arrival I told Peter that I wasn’t sure why we came this year besides keeping in contact and preparing for something next year that could be Big. On our way to the airport Peter told us he believed this trip was indeed to build for next year and he believes something beautiful will come out of next years’ work. He left us with this word
James 1:2-5
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

That was the word the Lord gave me for you on this trip. That even though it looked as though all has gone wrong, God was still at work behind the curtains to produce us as a perfect work.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Whos Your Daddy?







Here in the home of Judah and Salma,,,a thunder storm is taking place, and im listening to disciple, a kid in a candy shop wouldn’t be any happier. Meanwhile looking at a blog from our last visit in Kenya and this part got me once again.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)
As Randy shared about a Fathers love the Sunday before we left for here. And as he mentioned imagined a dog attacking your child or grandchild you would be on that dog until its death to save your love one and that’s how God is with us and sin. He desires to destroy ALL of sin that is in us because we are His hearts desire, He cherishes us. Afterwards I mention to Randy I was flipping channels and came across a b&w “cheesy” Christian movie and the son had done something very wrong and he said to his dad do you hate me? Father answered no son , how could I ever hate you , to hate you would also be hating myself” (not so cheesy) and that blew me away thinking that’s God speaking to me. So much there to grasp. The Fathers heart of God is definitely indescribable. Combine All the dads in the world that were “perfect” to their families and in comparison that would be like dropping an ounce of water in the ocean. Growing up in a single parent home (dysfunctional perhaps but I have yet to meet a family that is not..) I don’t have a clear picture of a father/daddy to say the very least. So there is a struggle for most if not all when relating God as your loving Father. I came across this book where the author was wondering of all things why did Jesus say refer to God as your Abba Father aka Daddy when He knew there would be so much abuse of this name/title. Yet at the same there is no comparison in His love which is the only love that is yet goes beyond unconditional. Till this day I struggle, I stumble, doubt and believe and at the same time but Always find His love is greater and there is no place I should want to be than close to a God I can call Abba Father, my Daddy
.

Friday, June 10, 2011

m i c k e Y i dont like him



Imagine you have a friend who has it all and at first being invited over to his place may seem awesome since you know he’s loaded and has all the “toys.” But you noticed upon arrival that almost everything is made in the image of his face, from his house, play area to the money (yes even the money) and lets say you have a tree house or even a man’s cave type of a place to hangout. Well this guy has a house that’s comes out of the ground with a push of the button and yes its Mouse shape as well. And if this doesn’t get on your nerves perhaps singing M I C K E Y M O U S E everyday would do you in. Come on imagine hanging with your friend and the songs were always about him. Yea the mouse really never bugged me before but when your child starts to get mesmerize by him then Im stuck watching the world of mickey as well. The other day I even heard Donald say “its always about Mickey”..Come on any honest reader will admit they are annoyed by similar “icons” like Barney,the wiggles, or perhaps a Bozo or Captain Kangaroo (old school)…

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I've Made a Mess...






The only thing worst than making a mess is not realizing just how big of a mess you have made. And that thought comes to me quite often. Its the struggle with this thing called shame even in the beauty of His grace and mercy. My shadows quite often seem to be pride and pity, subtle bullies from hell. First theres a struggle which leads to a strangle. In my 40 plus years I cant believe the Mess ups I have accomplished, I say accomplish because God knows I went out of my way to do the very thing that hurts the One who loves me the most.Okay we say in getting older we are all the more wiser(see here comes that pride..) but in my proneness to wander I have lost something perhaps best describe as Innocence. From a song "Innocence lost" the lyrics speak of this;
"Milton lost his paradise, Dorothy lost her way
Vincent lost his sanity, Thomas lost his faith
Hoover lost the second time, Sigmund lost his friend
Me, I lost my innocence and I want it back again. "
From the smallest of wrongdoing to the biggest (and not sure how we measure this thing called sin out as if God really does have a top 10 sin list and the rest are "not as bad") I wonder whats wrong with me? Why did I say that, why did I do that? The thought would be bad enough but to carry out sin mixed with stupidity with no regard to who I will answer to in the end(and Now) and how whenever we make this Mess it doesnt just affect us, No it wipes so many others out. Like the ripple effect of a rock hitting the water. And yet this Mess is in all of us ever since Adam. Just look at the words from 1758 (a few yrs ago)
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
(Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
Prone to wander and leave the God I LOVE. And Thank God He does come after us. He did before, during and (even still) after the Cross. Takes us and seals us. There is no other remedy for this Mess but to be covered by His love and my life in His hands not the other way around. I'll close with the words from Switchfoot "Mess of Me" which sums it all up perfectly...

I am my own affliction
I am my own disease
There ain´t no cure they could sell
Ah, there ain´t no drug to make me well
There ain´t no drug
The sickness is myself

I made a mess of me I wanna get back the rest of me
I made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my life alive
I made a mess of me I wanna reverse this tragedy
I made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my life alive
The rest of my life alive!

We lock our souls in cages
We hide inside our shells
It´s hard to free the ones you love
Oh when you can´t forgive yourself
Yeah forgive yourself!

I made a mess of me I wanna spend the rest of my life alive
The rest of my life alive!

What about you? What is Your Mess(I will give you a hint look in the mirror)? We all have them but we are NOT one. Despite the circumstances and consquences you are not what you do. You were simply and wonderfully created to become a child of the Creator and have eternal daily relationship with Him. Pause for a moment and lets start over again by giving Him this thing we call a mess and truly live the rest of your life alive.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

TIME...




Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

This quote got my attention earlier this year as I was thinking if one is really sick or getting late in the years does that person spend his time different. When I heard the word cancer Im thinking okay time to kick it in and make the most of my time. But guess what its that TIME no matter who you are or where you are in the life. Call it Carpe Deim, Live Every Moment, call it what you will but time is precious and I still find myself most of the time playing marbles with diamonds. Just not getting how precious and fragile life is and the relationships that make up our life. John Fischer points out how he feels like he accomplished something in doing so little.." i will often busy myself with something trivial so I dont have to encounter the complex or the uncomfortable. I am lethargic when it comes to the most important" Im right there with him if I get the house straighten up (by the way have you ever went to clean the house, office and as you pick up a book to put it in its right place you started reading the book and well cleaning doesnt get check off the list) or the lawn done then its as if something can be checked off the bucket list. How much trivial things take up our time as in to be the best at a game, hobby, or as the saying goes to "die with the most toys and still die"
In our world we are consume with computer,cell phone,TV,cds,Blu Ray Dvds,PS3..and perhaps consume doesnt cover it when you see people texting one another as they sit in the same room. Lives are being based on how many friends you have on facebook and dropping your status to the world every 5 minutes. Its fun to have these things but a blessing becomes a curse when it takes up more time then it should in your life. Facebook posts,high scores,fantasy teams,biggest collection,etc.etc.
We are losing days,weeks,years of life as we squander the most important things around us and by not spending this time with those who matter the most. I just got back from vacation by the beach with family. And though I did take in the sunrise a couple of times and enjoyed the time with the family I know I missed out. I know I am still learning to take it each and every moment. Starting with the air that I breathe, I need to..taste the food,dance to the music, hear the words,listen, love and live for others. Thanking the Lord daily and realizing this thing called Time is a gift from Him. The More I realize such the more I will be consume by those things that matter the most
.

Friday, May 13, 2011

12 in 90 welcome back post

Even though I know I tend to procrastinate with the best of them. I could not believe that I haven't posted since January. So the new goal is 12 (count 'em 12) post in the next 90 days (a thank you tip from John Acuff) In the beginning of the year I was dealing with skin cancer and though several spots found there way on me. Through treatment and a little surgery all is good. Then about a month ago I started to feel really bad and confess to my wife that hey after the "cancer scare" I'm a wimp..so with that I gave in and had a full physical done (for those who know me that may be equivalent of skydiving with a backpack) and over 40 things was checked and all came back good/clear. Here's where I pause again to thank the Lord because I had more than doubts that there would be a few things not so good.
So although the good news the pain continue and actually through chatting with a person while playing online scrabble it was brought to my attention what was wrong with me-gallbladder..Yea never thought of getting a free diagnosis while trying to spell a 7 letter word. And so in the months of writing nothing I have struggle at times only to realize physically nothing is wrong with me but I dwell on the "little" and at times it consumed me. wavering and wandering...I easily wavered from drawing close to the One who loves me most. sickness,hardship,tragedies do not change us on their own. It remains us as the individual who must make the change and self will never do such on its own. And with these health issues/concerns I still am learning(and lacking) to make the most of my time. I mean its one thing to enjoy things but its completely another to get consume by them..meanwhile the dye test confirms my gallbladder needs to go.. so within the next month so I will be laid up for a few days, perhaps just maybe that will help with the 12 in 90 days...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Say Cheese!!


This has been on my mind for years because well there has been so many cheesy "christian" shirts over the years sometimes its so painful I have to laugh it off. But then came the church signs..so for the Love of God and for the sake of it all could we just STOP!
I assume those that make up the signs get a nice laugh out of it but when I see them I cringed then I wonder what most of the world thinks when they see it and cringed even more. My wife wants to stop and see if anyone is at the church so she can talk to them about the gift of being corny. I hate to even give samples as such will being giving time to Cheesiness(no by the way such is not a gift)....

“God checks His Knee-mail
“CH–CH. What’s missing? UR.”
Seven days without prayer makes one weak
Stop, drop, and roll doesn’t work in hell!”
The Best Vitamin for a Christian is B1
Dont get burned use Son block
WalMart is the not the only saving place.
If you think its hot here imagine hell.

Okay thats enough, those few were painful enough. But the last two-Seriously?!! When did the church get so caught up in the heat and hotness of Hell. Its like we are screaming thats the number one reason not to go to hell. its Hot? I mean hey if you could perhaps find a window or two or maybe after serving some time get a A/C then you will be bad off but not as Miserable there. How about for etenity not being with Jesus, God Your Creator. I mean if Hell was NOT hot at All Im still 110% Sure I still want no part of a place that was created for Satan. If Hell was actually a cold place would we "scare" them with signs about being freezer burned?
And over the years we have found a wonderful (Sarcasm) way to market Crest, Mountain Dew, Dell, Ford, etc into Christian logos..could we just stop. Stop being the tail and not the head. Its on the church signs, on the t-shirts, even toys (wont mention the playsets-aargh), and for years in the music in either trying to be cute or copying the world and it will ALWAYS backfire. Like when a Carman gets Hip Hop artist of the year. The only thing that could make me cringe more than that and church signs combined are parody songs. So musicians listen to songs they wouldnt want teens to listen to and change the lyrics to reach others,your kidding me, right? I could be wrong on this but man I just dont get it. When you play that song Im still singing the original one or Im wondering what are you doing even listening to that song...in closing I googled "cheesy church signs" and it came right up, well right before cheesy church soup..lets stick with the soup for the SouperBowl...:( Now theres a winner.
If you read this post your not so favorite sign...Im sure you have see one or hundred...



"Don't be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don't reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you're only being cute and inviting sacrilege." Matthew 7:6

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Either Way (God is God, Cancer is a beast)

Okay so in the last 3 weeks I've mixed delay with procrastination. I guess I could blame the computer crash for lack of writing but not sure if that would matter. If you like to write then theres always something to write about (much like if you like to read, theres always something worth reading) Well anyway as I previously mentioned I was diagnosed with skin cancer in at least 4 locations. And honestly when I heard the word cancer my first thought wasn't "All right" or "I will get through this with Gods Help." But more like I only wanted to know if it was life threatening. As a friend of my shared in a email with me "you are in my prayers, cancer is a beast." So the beast and my mind messed with me quite well. For the next 2 weeks I had a few meltdowns (and two of them being in a very public place) my thoughts were not being here to see my son grow up and also simply dying and meeting my Creator. Its ironic how most of us seem know we will die but we "know" it just wont be today. What I'm trying to say is we take so much for granted. I know in waiting to hearing from the doctor I was praying, hoping, crying and making promises to God. But with those promises I did state the obvious that no matter what (if He does answer this prayer or doesn't..) He is God. And man I have been so blessed with the family,friends, things I have and experiences in mission work God has allowed me be part of throughout the years.
And with that now onto my skin cancer. Yes I can now confirm even not so good looking guys are quite concern with their looks. I thought a pinhole area on my nose was bad but after having surgery and a area the size of a nickel scraped and removed hey the pinhole wasn't so bad. I have been told at least a month until the healing is back to somewhat normal. And at the moment still a spot or two to be burned off. I guess its a good time to mention that the doctor told me I was one centimeter off(concerning spot on the nose) from worst case scenario in recovery. I'll admit before the surgery it seem surreal to me I was thinking nah I don't have cancer, not me. It made me think about our return trip from Kenya the plane just suddenly dropped and that when a few seconds does indeed seem like a lifetime. A older married coupled reach across the aisle and held each others hands. A young lady in the back of the plane started screaming we are going down, going down. we are going to die! My wife and I just looked at each other and I thought No it cant be like this(as in I read the script and it doesn't end like this) But it could be..I hope and pray my wife and I live a long good life and that we are blessed so we can bless others. But either way God is still God...

I can try to beg You off or bring it on
Let it rain, let it shine
Either way, it don't matter to me
'Cause I know that You're still God and I'm still not
Call it six, half a dozen
Either way, it don't matter to me

There's some who say to me
Life is pleasing to the touch
But I think that it could be
That they don't get out so much
They could try to come with us or not
Either way


"Either Way" - Satellite Soul