Archive for August, 2011

Redeeming Hurricane Irene

Posted by    |    August 29th, 2011 at 6:15 am

Emergencies management officials remove trees from a road after Hurricane Irene hit the municipality of Loiza, August 22, 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Ana Martinez)The worst hurricane to strike the East Coast in a century has claimed more than 20 lives across eight states.  As of this morning, the U.S. government estimates that the cost from wind damage alone will exceed $1 billion.  Downed power lines have left more than four million people without electricity.

Such innocent suffering is the toughest theological issue Christians face.  Our King is all-knowing–he saw the storm before it began to form in the Atlantic.  He is all-powerful–the One who “rebuked the wind and waves, and it was completely calm” (Matthew 8:26) could have stilled Irene.  He is all-loving–he grieves every loss caused by this tragedy.  And yet he permitted the devastation he now mourns.

“Silent Transitions”

Posted by    |    August 28th, 2011 at 8:00 am

Silent Transitions is a personal project by Salomon Ligthelm and was inspired by two verses from Scripture – 2 Samuel 22vs20 and Psalm 46vs10.  Taking an excerpt from his blog, Ligthelm commented, “Silent Transitions was a concept revolving around the idea that believers are called to ‘be still and know that I [He] am God’ and it is this concept that initially got me thinking about how I can communicate the idea …”  We are going to follow Salomon Ligthelm’s work over the balance of the year.  The short film may be viewed in the main carousel in our new short film network  .

Influencing a New Gang Member

Posted by    |    August 27th, 2011 at 5:40 am

Taz is a young man who blew into our community about a year ago. His past is a rough one and he openly confesses … “I’ve probably done more harm to people than good.”

Thankfully, some kind folks I do church with, saw value in Taz and reached out to him not long after he got to town. They were willing to simply be his friend. We have helped him find furniture for his house, a couple of part time jobs, groceries when his refrigerator would get empty and gave him a ride to church when he wanted.

Recently, my buddy Randy, picked Taz up and invited him to go help work on our Augment House (a house we’re restoring in Childress to give away to a needy family). After about an hour of working on the Augment House and processing everything, Taz looks over and says in his slang the following four sentences …  

“I’ve done good for nobody in my life. I grew up in gangs and all we did was do bad on folks. I want to be in y’alls gang. Y’all do good for folk and I likes that.”

How cool is that!  It was a simple reminder that you and I can still be a positive influence in the lives of others.

Maybe this would be a good time to ask … “Who are you being a positive influence on in your life?”

Come to Honduras With Me This December

Posted by    |    August 26th, 2011 at 5:40 am

Sawyer and his new friend … from last year’s trip.

Want to step out in your faith and do something that will challenge you in every way?  Want to go experience an amazing opportunity to serve? Want to go love on some beautiful people?

I will be going back to Honduras this December, and I’d like to invite you to come with me. Here’s the information…

DATES: December 6th – 12th

COST: $1500 (covers everything but a few lunches)

PEOPLE: I have room for 25 to go on this trip.

ITINERARY:

  • Tuesday – Travel Day
  • Wednesday – Jesus Banquet at the Dump
  • Thursday – Service project at the Casa de Esperanza
  • Friday – Market to purchase food and deliver it to Buen Samaritano community (like this).
  • Saturday – House Building
  • Sunday – House Building
  • Monday – Travel Home (more…)

3 Things I Learned This Past Week

Posted by    |    August 24th, 2011 at 5:40 am

“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding…”~Proverbs 3:13

Life is about learning. Learning from mistakes, victories and others makes me a wiser and stronger person.  I’m always trying to learn things from everyday events. Little lessons hidden among daily events and activities. Some of the things I learn are beneficial and others are not. But as I see it … as long as I’m learning, I’m growing. So here are the things I’ve learned this week …

  • I learned that the second best job in the world would have to be that of an “official ice cream taster. ” I was asked this past week to be the judge of a homemade ice cream contest. Yip, you read that right. I still get chills just thinking about it. And get this, when I finished … they thanked me for helping them. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I should have had to pay them to get this job. Oh, I know you noticed that I said, “second best job in the world” because the VERY best job would have to be “official bacon taster.” (more…)

31 Stupid Ways to Kill your Marriage

Posted by    |    August 20th, 2011 at 5:40 am

There are probably hundreds of dumb things to do in your marriage, but here are 31 that will destroy your marriage…

  1. Believe that your marriage will be great without having to invest time or effort into it.
  2. NEVER compliment or praise your spouse.
  3. Stop pursuing your spouse like you did before marriage.
  4. Be critical all the time.
  5. Demand that your spouse meets your needs.
  6. Pout when you don’t get your way.
  7. Consider sex a chore and only do it because you feel obligated.
  8. Use the silent treatment when you are mad.
  9. Get angry … often.
  10. Flirt with people other than your spouse. (more…)

I’m Finding it Hard to Squeeze God into My Daily Schedule

Posted by    |    August 16th, 2011 at 5:40 am

I’m finding it hard to squeeze some quiet time with God into my daily schedule.”  Grrr, if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say the previous statement, I’d put all that money in a bag and whack them over the head with it.

Let me just simply say that if you can’t find even a little bit of quiet time for God each day, then it’s time to give your ‘to-do’ list a major overhaul. Hitting the ground running each day is not spiritually healthy. You have got to take some time to just be still.

Busyness is the arch-enemy of spiritual growth … AND if Satan can’t get you to give in to sin, he’ll be content with keeping you really busy.

So if you’ve acquired the unfortunate habit of trying to “squeeze” God into the corners of your life, today is a good day to reshuffle the items on your priority list.

Simply slow down (Mark 6:31-32).

Lea Is Still the Girl for Me

Posted by    |    August 14th, 2011 at 5:40 am

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The music went from loud to soft, the lights were dimmed and the disco ball in the middle of the room made little colored lights dance on the skating-rink floor. It was then that the DJ said, “Alright it’s couple skate time, and girls, it’s your choice.” That meant this time the girls were the ones who asked the guys to skate with them. Girl’s choice for couples skating was the one time of the night that every young teenage boy waited for … including me.

I always knew that brown-eyed girl named Lea was cute, but I didn’t know she was smart too … until she skated over to me, took my hand and said, “Wanna skate?” I immediately got BIG butterflies in my stomach.  My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest as we skated together to some random Bee Gee’s love song.  I remember thinking as we held hands, “She has GOT to be the girl for me … because our hands are sweating so much.” In my head I begged for the song not to end, but it did. That was one of the places that love began for a couple of young kids. (more…)

It’s Funny How Men & Women Are So Different

Posted by    |    August 12th, 2011 at 5:40 am

My Mom sent the following that I found very funny … but also very realistic when it comes to the way men and women think. Here you go:

A husband & wife’s journal from the same day …

HER JOURNAL: Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong; He said, ‘Nothing.’ I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behavior. I don’t know why he didn’t say, ‘I love you, too.’ When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep – I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

HIS JOURNAL: Boat won’t start, can’t figure out why.

Be a Christian … But Don’t Be a Jerk

Posted by    |    August 9th, 2011 at 5:40 am

 

 

Christians SHOULD be setting the bar high as the most loving, gracious and generous people on this earth.

The problem is … we don’t always do a good job looking like the Jesus we claim to follow. Often times we have treated others unkind in the name of religion. We talk out of both sides of our mouths, saying one thing and then doing another. We’re harsh, critical and condemning. We often draw lines in the sand, where God never intended there to be lines.  On Sunday mornings, we are praising God for His grace in our lives, and an hour later we’re being very ungracious to our waitress for not keeping our glass filled up.

We’ve been hypocritical … and this should NEVER be! (more…)