Like I was saying....

Category: The Word

The Day Is [Nearly] Done:

Well after finally getting into the room and cranking the AC up, I caught up on some email, took a shower to wash the air travel off of me, and took a nap. I had a headache. My alarm went off and I got up read to go to the Journey Bible Class at Granger. The headache was still there. And all I’d had to eat for the day was a muffin at 4:30am and cheese & crackers with Reese’s Pbutter cups at the airport. But I found some popcorn in the lobby as I left.

Without any wheels yet, I walked to the church. It is only a half mile. I kept looking for a BIG church building I’d see from a distance. But I didn’t. Which was cool. But the parking lot was filling and people were all filing in towards the front door. As I got there, immediately on my right was Connection Cafe, a little coffee bar and then some seating on the right as well. A nice lady w/ a nametag was saying to everyone at once, “I know it doesn’t look normal, but adults are taking the kids to their rooms!” I don’t think I looked lost, but anyway.

There were lots of people w/o being crowded.

I went to Bob Laurent‘s class he was teaching. It was on The Radical Jesus [I’ll post the notes in the next entry]. At first I didn’t clue into who Bob Laurent is. But he spoke at a youth weekend I was a part of back in 1990. I liked him a lot back then, and 18 years later I still liked his teaching. He’s pretty passionate. And there were LOTS of people there. Bob said 900. And I think with a big shift in what Granger’s mid week events used to be, that’s a pretty significant number.

But first impressions of Granger Community Church was A+. Now I can’t wait for Innovate tomorrow. I’m back in the hotel after stopping by Target for some toiletries and by Moe’s for some supper! Now I’m full and typing while watching John and Kate plus 8.

Day 29 = Charity :: Water

The 40 Day Fast is a collaborative effort of 80 bloggers to equip and inspire other to take action on behalf of those in need. Today Stephen and I are the two bloggers for July 21st. Be sure to visit him as well.

Today for my entry into the 40 Day Fast I wanted to highlight Charity :: Water. I’d posted about them earlier around Christmas time.

I first heard of Charity when my wife was looking through a magazine and asked me if I’d heard of Charity: Water. I’d not. But she thought it would be a nice idea to give as a gift. She said we’d pay $20 for a bottle of water and have it sent to friends and family. At first I thought, “Twenty bucks? For a bottle of water?!?”

But as I began to read and research, I was hooked on them. Their site is very well done and tells the story of what they do and why they do it. And 100% of all money donated goes towards building a well. They have separate donors who buy the water. So that means if you pay $20 for a bottle of water, all $20 goes to well building. We bought a handful of bottles of water for Christmas, and plan to continue to do so in the future.

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Many people in the developing world, usually women and children, walk more than three hours every day to fetch water that is likely to make them sick. Those hours are crucial, preventing many from working or attending school. Additionally, collecting water puts them at greater risk of sexual harassment and assault. Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe water.  Of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old.

Scott Harrison began Charity: Water after working in the club promotion scene in New York. But he realized that there was more to life. That all the excess and “fun times” really didn’t bring fulfillment. So he remembered where the Bible tells us to server the poor. So he found out where the poorest people in the world were at the time and sought out a way to server them. He was going to give a year of his life.

So he ended up applying to be a photographer with Mercy Ships, a humanitarian organization which offered free medical care in the worlds poorest nations. Scott took photos to document the experiences as a photojournalist. He saw the lack of water and the effects it was having on the health and welfare of the people in Africa.

And from what Scott saw and experienced as a photojournalist with Mercy Ships changed him. When he returned to New York and went to the same parties, he realized that the money spent on a bottle of bubbly in NYC would provide life changing water to hundreds of people.

So he threw a fund raiser, invited all his friends and contacts, and Chairty: Water was born.

In 18 months Charity: Water has raised over $3 Million Dollars and funded over 600 water projects. View the wells by country. You can view the wells on Google Earth too.

In many places in this world, Jesus is waiting for His mom to come back from her long walk and wait at the well to bring back some dirty water. We can make a difference in helping make sure that clean water is available for all people on Earth. I know that there are many different organizations and ministries that are working towards that goal. And I firmly believe that Charity: Water is making a huge difference in hundreds of thousands of lives.

Are you willing to donate as well?

John Piper & the Prosperity Gospel

I first heard John Piper at Passion back in the late 90’s. He was a guy you took lots of notes, read back through them. Bought the tape (yes, tape. Not yet cd or mp3) and re-listened to his talk. Then you figured out what he was really saying and meaning. He was usually pretty deep and profound.

I came across this video a couple of weeks ago. It is pretty profound too. Yet very simple. And real. Tell me what you think about it.


They’re Australian, so I’ll forgive them

I really, really, really like Hillsong United (myspace). They are one of those worship bands I’d heard about before, but never invested any time into checking them out until a few years ago. I was blown away. They have some really moving songs, but not just moving because of good music (which is top notch), but I think the lyrics are deep too.

They have a new project coming out, and part of the project is a new DVD. And the name of this new DVD is called All In This Together (click the pic for more info). I think my mind is poisoned now because of High School Musical. I even hear Pat use the phrase “we’re all in this together” last week in his sermon, and I immediately thought of HSM. In Pat’s defense, I don’t think he’s ever seen the movie.

But I think that I’m going to get the new double cd AND the DVD that Hillsong United is releasing. I’ve never been disappointed with their stuff.

We have a baby boy now!

So I’m still in the delivery room with my wife and new baby boy! Really soon I hope we’re moved to a regular room so I can go to sleep. But all is well. We came to Amory for a regular doctor visit but could tell we needed to stick around town because the baby was coming soon.

I have some pics and video of the baby on the camera, but the cord to get it from the camera to the computer is out in the car. I’ll get it when I go to get our overnight stuff.

But just wanted to say thanks for the prayers and calls and texts today. No, the baby doesn’t yet have a name. But once we get a name I’ll be sure to announce it to the world. But both baby and mama are doing well. I think they are both tired. Hopefully that means we all get good sleep tonight.

Pics to come tomorrow!

What should you do?

 I came across this quote from Peter Marshall yesterday. I’d heard it back in September on our trip to Washington DC. Peter Marshall is the former Chaplain of the Senate in the 1940’s and pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian.

I wonder what would happen if we all agreed to read one of the Gospels until we came to a place that told us to do something, then went out to do it, and only after we had done it, began reading again?

There are aspects of the Gospel that are puzzling and difficult to understand. But our problems are not centered around the things we don’t understand, but rather in the things we do understand, the things we could not possibly misunderstand. Our problem is not so much that we don’t know what we should do. We know perfectly well, but we don’t want to do it.

To read this seems to place some heaviness of responsibility on us, doesn’t it?  How does that quote strike you?

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

So Addison and I were reading through the story of Joseph over the last few nights. It’s a really good story with examples of trusting God and how He is at work in our circumstances even when we don’t always see it.

One night we got to the point where Joseph was working in Potiphar’s house and was basically in control of mostly everything…mostly.

But then Potiphar’s wife starts coming onto Lil Joe. Now Addison’s Bible isn’t remedial, but it isn’t all bubbly pictures. And we got to the point where the woman kept telling Joseph, “Make love to me!” As soon as I read that part aloud, I started reading faster and thinking, “Don’t ask. Don’t ask. Don’t ask.”

Of course Addison stops me and asks, “What was she trying to get him to do?”

So now I’m stuck. She is not a girl who is easily brushed aside. So I had to be creative and truthful on the fly. I ended up explaining that Potiphar was not at home and that Potiphar’s wife wanted Joseph to sleep in her bed with her and act like her husband, when Joseph was not her husband.

I paused…waiting to see if that was good enough. I could see the wheels turning. And then she said, “Oh, okay.” And we kept reading.

How would you have answered that?

As the Bible Journey begins.

As I’m reading through my new Bible reading plan, a few things have jumped out at me through the first few chapters of Genesis.

  • Apparently snakes used to have legs or something before the serpent tempted Adam and Eve. (Gen 3:14)
  • God was about to wipe out the entire population of humans. He was really ticked at everyone, but then Noah found favor w/ him. (Gen 6:7)
  • Noah got drunk and his son mistakenly stumbled in on him, but was cursed to serve his brothers from there out. Silly mistake. Bad timing it seems. (Gen 9:20-25)
  • What was so wrong about Cain’s offering? (Gen 4:5)
  • Still pretty unsure what “the son’s of God” refers to and them having “relations’ with the beautiful human women. Strange. (Gen 6:4)
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