We MAY leave Tuesday AM to help in disaster relief with Hurricane Gustav.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
We MAY leave Tuesday AM to help in disaster relief with Hurricane Gustav.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I choose restaurants based on the environment just as much as the taste of food.
I like a good experience.
I like creative atmosphere.
Would you eat here? It's a toilet-themed restaurant in Taiwan.
I think I'd give it a try.
click for larger pic
Friday, August 29, 2008
My son's "Dog House" class at church (age 4-K) is teaching about missions and raising money for some missionaries. The teachers encouraged the kids to go home and do jobs around the house for money, then bring it in and give it to the missionaries.
If they raise $50, they get a small party.
My son was EXCITED. I'm not sure if the excitement was for the missionaries or the pizza party. All I know is that now he now wants to do all kinds of small jobs around the house.
it. is. great.
However, the funny thing, he doesn't know the difference between two nickles and two quarters. And he would rather have a small pile of pennies than a dollar bill.
So...I have an ethical situation at hand.
Do I hand him a handful of small change to do work around the house, which he gets genuinely excited about. Or is their a fair-trade issue at hand for preschool chores?
What is the going rate for preschool chores and allowance?
Am I encouraging my son to work for missions, or am I just happy that he will help clear off the table and feed the dog for chump change?
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
(Please read through this and help me at the end...)
Sunday night my dog was barking like crazy.
Three feet from my back door was a "dead looking" possum.
I think my dog attacked it, but it was still breathing.
According to a wiki article: When threatened or harmed, they will "play possum", mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. The lips are drawn back, teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands.So I had no idea if it was really dead or not. And it was three feet from my door. And it was late. And I didn't need my boys seeing this dead animal on their way out the door the next morning.
So....I got a shove and hit it as hard as I could five times. It flopped around. It was alive. Then...it was dead. I think....
I bagged it up. Threw it in the trash. Today...it smells BAD and it rotting. Another great gift to the trash guy.
Then Today I decide to clean the garage.
I find a sick cat up on the top shelf. It won't hardly move.
It has a sick sounding meow.
What do I do?
A. Give it a nice scenic ride in the country and let it hike a little bit 5 miles away from my house.
B. Call the animal shelter.
C. Feed it and keep it as a sick dying pet.
D. Introduce it to my "possum" shovel.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Pastor Van announced Sunday that he will officially retire as lead pastor on Oct. 19 from First Assembly. That means Oct. 20 is my official day as lead pastor.
Joy and I are excited and humbled to take this position.
We believe God will continue to do great work in people's lives.
We believe God will continue to lead us in equipping and empowering families to raise Godly children.
We believe God will continue to use First Assembly to impact our community and the world we live in.
My prayer: keep me pure, humble, innovative, and surrounded by godly wisdom.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Barack Obama's 'lost' brother found in Kenya
Senator Barack Obama's long lost brother has been tracked down for the first time living in a shanty town in Kenya, reports claimed.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE
This is just an amazing personal story to me.
I have mixed emotions as I read this article.
I really can't provide much commentary because it's just totally foreign to me to identify with this situation.
I'm not sure if this is a bad thing. I normal thing. An "everyone-makes-their-own-decision" thing, bad press, good press....
It's definitely a story of humanity, two paths, two lives, two locations, two lifestyles, and one family. Very interesting...
Monday, August 18, 2008
I got a letter from myself today.
When we were at Discipleship Camp this summer we wrote letters to ourselves of what God was speaking into our lives.
I wrote a prayer in part of my letter:
Help me lead and be a shepherd to the people.
Help me to be compassionate and loving.
Help me declare truth.
Help me dive into your Word everyday!
I listed three top priorities of ministry in order of importance:
Just a little peek into my heart...
Saturday, August 16, 2008
- You gotta spend money to make money.
- Knowing your audience is very important.
- Having the most recent edition and recent info is important.
- Studying people will pay off in the end.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Dear Dads who have gone before me:
I know we are all in this club together. I know we understand each other. But I believe we have a communication problem.
- No fellow dad warned me what life would be like the first day of kindergarten.
- No fellow dad warned me that I was suppose to help with breakfast.
- No fellow dad warned me that my wife would set higher expectations on me this day.
- No fellow dad warned me that mom emotions would be running a little higher.
- No fellow dad warned me that this is a BIG DAY for mom who is sending her baby off to school for the first time.
- No fellow dad warned me that I need to try to understand all the inner emotions and feelings of mom who realizes her first child is old enough for school.
- No fellow dad warned me that the first day of kindergarten is considered a huge milestone that requires a dad to be at his best.
- No fellow dad warned me this is NOT the day to sleep in.
It's time to share these expectations, fellas.
May future first-day-of-kindergarten-dads read this and learn from my inexperience.
By the way, have a great day, son. I'm proud of you!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
High school students across Illinois joined for 2008 Discipleship Camp. They were asked to submit questions and a panel would try to answer them. We ran out of time, and I agreed to carry on the conversation through my blog. Thus, Camp Question post will show up from time to time.
Why does it seem like God has left us in the worst of times?
I agree today's world seems like the "worst of times." However, I wasn't alive during the major world wars, the crusades, or the Old Testament slaughterings.
I agree our moral decline continues to spiral downward.
I agree there are crazy natural disasters that seem pretty eerie of God trying to get our attention.
That said, I don't think "He has left us" anywhere. Yes, times are bad (like they have been throughout history), but God is still active in our lives.
I think of a recovering meth addict that experiences God's presence, I know of people struggling with depression that gives God credit for their ability to make it through the day, and I know of people who have been healed, have been given specific direction for their lives, and have been set free from being strongly offended by a dear friend.
God is not a clock-maker that creates a piece of work, then sits back and allows it to do its work. God is active. God cares. God is very involved.
Although it sometimes seems God has left the building, his Word promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and that He is ever-present, and that He is faithful.
Please feel free to join the discussion...
Monday, August 11, 2008
TIMESONLINE: As a Russian jet bombed fields around his village, Djimali Avago, a Georgian farmer, asked me: “Why won’t America and Nato help us? If they won’t help us now, why did we help them in Iraq?”
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
I wrote the cover story for K! Magazine this month.
It's a four-page cover story spread nestled between articles by Jim Wideman and Reggie Joiner.
Check out his great children/family ministry magazine.
It's the best on the market, in my opinion!
Check it out here
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Our family went out to eat the last night we were in Florida. The last restaurant of a vacation is very important to me. What will be my final vacation eating memory? Should I repeat a great place so I know I won't be disappointed. Should I go with a cheap place to save money? Should I pick a unique local place, but risk ending on a bad meal..... All these thoughts go through my head when choosing a restaurant on vacation...especially the last day.
We chose the Old Key Lime House. It was
great the best place we ate all week.
We had a great waitress. She immediately connected to our boys. We struck up conversation. We found out we use to live in the same city (Springfield, MO). She attended a church our friends' go to. Small world....
But now she is in South Florida. She moved in with a friend. She knows no one. She said she wasn't very happy. She's only lived there for two weeks.
I knew this was a God moment. You just know when someone brings someone across your path. So we continued to talk to her. We finally asked if she found a church. My hunch is that church was not on her list of priorities.
I recommended a church that was in the area. We have heard great things about it. (I've never attended, but I hope word-of-mouth-reputation was accurate.)
I truly pray Madison finds a church, gets more connected to God than she has ever been, and that she discovers God's will for her life.
I think she was a little lost in her journey. Maybe God used my family as a flashlight into a new direction.