Wednesday, April 29, 2009

what did you check first?

here is a convicting thought i have been having for a few days. then i read this blog post by the student pastor at our church and was convinced i had to put these thoughts out there.

what is the first thing you check on when you wake up? for some of us it is the weather on the television, for some it's to see how much time we have left, for others it could be facebook or twitter. i must admit many days my first "check" of the day is the iphone to see what's going on in the world rather than going to the Word to find out what He's telling me today.

if you're busy and need some suggestions as to what to read today in the Bible, i would suggest YouVersion. it's a great version and has plenty of translations. it has an iphone app and gives you daily Bible reads. what are you waiting for? how many voyeuristic lives can you live through all the other stuff? why not live your LIFE today...

Friday, April 24, 2009

first full day in the dominican

today we spent our first day here in the dominican republic (DR). we are staying in sosoua by the sea. it's a beautiful place and as you can see from the picture, we are well taken care of here. here are my first (and most definitely random) thoughts about the differences between here and haiti.

1. when you get off the plane in haiti, you walk down the steps, across the tarmac, past the band, and into the airport.

2. when you get off the plane in the DR you walk down the jetway, through the dancing casino girls who want to have their picture taken with you, and into the air conditioned airport.

3. the ride to the mission complex in haiti is 25 miles and 1-1 1/2 hours.

4. the ride to the mission resort in the DR is 8 miles and 10 minutes.

5. haitians stare at white people...because we aren't common there.

6. dominicans don't stare...we are VERY common here.

7. haitians speak creole

8. dominicans speak spanish

9. haitians are proud of their country

10. dominicans are proud of their country...and hate haitians

11. haitians love it when we love their children

12. dominicans don't mind us being there and loving their children.

13. haitians want something but for the most part are orderly when we are working

14. dominicans tonite almost trampled me as i held a little boy with severe special needs because the lady next to me was giving away yarn bracelets.

15. haiti is my second home...

16. the DR is going to be number 3...

17. haiti is dusty and dirty

18. the DR is green and dusty...just not so dirty

19. tourists in haiti...non-existent

20. tourists in the DR...speedos and well tanned.

21. kids in haiti...BEAUTIFUL

22. kids in the DR...BEAUTIFUL

i'll post more random thoughts and musings as we go...yeah, i can do that since i brought my laptop and am using the WI-FI here in the resort...what a different world and we're just on the other side of the island. i have to admit i struggle just a little bit knowing that this world exists here. i struggle to think so many ministry opportunities exist here that haven't been tapped into yet, but i'm learning more and more every day that God is going to get things done. He doesn't need my help but He has chosen to offer me the chance to join Him and watch Him work. He's going to do something...even on this trip...that is going to blow my fragile mind!

Monday, April 20, 2009

the new face of hate: @aplusk

i don't know if you're on twitter or not, or if you even care, but sometimes amazing things happen.

ashton kutcher recently became the first person to have 1,000,000 followers on twitter. in case you live under a technological rock, that means one MILLION people CHOSE to follow him...pretty cool stuff. the fun thing about it was he was in a race with cnn to see who would reach one million first. one person with as much interest as an entire global network!

i jumped on the ashton bandwagon pretty quick and was blown away to find out his efforts to help rid the world of malaria by getting mosquito nets purchased for use around the globe. the malaria no more project and ashton worked together to bring awareness to the serious issue of malaria in africa. the plan is simple, when someone (even someone in a 3rd world country) has access to a mosquito net...their chances of contracting malaria go down, so let's work on getting them nets...simple enough right? you can see in the picture the mosquito nets we GLADLY SLEEP UNDER when we go to haiti. i would dare say you would like the same protection if you lived in an area where malaria was a real problem...not a sad spot on the evening news, but a real-LIFE problem that was killing your friends and family members.

you can imagine my surprise this morning when i woke up and found the following "tweet" from @aplusk:

you are right, I'm a feelingless drone sending you love RT @Deltaqte: No one gives a ____ about you anymore. You are not one of us, ______.
about 4 hours ago from TweetDeck
if you're not familiar with "tweet" language RT means "re-tweet" and the message is being passed on from one person to another, in this case ashton is "re-tweeting" a message he was noted in. i chose to edit the tweet since it had some colorful adjectives.

here's my question...why would someone choose to criticize another person for using their abilities to help others? seriously, why? why would someone be upset with another (even a celebrity) for helping others? how can ANYONE not care that others are dying daily because they don't have a place to escape to? my thought is @deltaqte lives in a house with walls, windows, and screens. i would say they have never seen malaria or those it affects. that's the ONLY way i think it can happen. if they are familiar with malaria then what in the world brings the hate out? did you not like ashton as the "face" or "money maker with the lebaron" in cheaper by the dozen? come on!!! meat pants RULE!

i don't think i have ever thought of that side of celebrity status. people criticize everything...not just what you wore on the red carpet, how you look on the beach in spain, but what you're doing. i never thought of ashton kutcher as one who would be changing the world...LITERALLY...and more than i can say for most!!!, but i whole-heartedly get behind him. in fact, we just bought some new nets for Haiti recently and i feel closer to him already. maybe we'll hang out next time he and the family get to nashvegas!

next time: THINK before you rant...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

why you can only drink water unless you know someone who wouldn't want you to do that...

ever wondered why some people want to die over a certain hill? i have to admit i have questions as to how some people get to their interpretations and justify their positions according to what they choose to hold as a conviction.

why did Jesus choose to turn water into wine as His first miracle? did He not know that wine, or any alcohol, would be a polarizing substance in today's culture? surely He did. did He know that Christians around the world and denominations would be split on that very topic? did He know that there would be those who live their lives knowing they are good because they have never drank alcohol? did He even care?

does He care now? why does the Bible refer to drinking alcohol and give warning to not be drunk, but never says either to drink or not do drink. why would Jesus choose something so divisive to turn water into? could it be because it wasn't a big deal and wanted to set an example? i don't know the answer to that...but i'll have a drink...of water...because if i do that, no one gets angry...except the people who work at coke, or pepsi, or the Christian who works at the bottled water plant.

I CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE!!! so maybe we won't settle some of these arguments...until God intervenes.

i have heard great men of God speak to the alcohol issue and do great jobs...on BOTH sides of it. johnny hunt comes to mind as a proponent of abstinence as does a great friend and mentor, jerry sutton. then others (mostly non-baptist) bring equally persuasive arguments to non-abstinence, but because the Bible is clear on drunkenness they all agree on that--i didn't choose to name them because quite honestly some of you would get a giant red magic marker and cross them off your Christmas card list because of their position! so i have to ask, isn't it a little humorous when we argue over where God chooses NOT to speak but can agree so easily on areas where God plainly speaks??

when was the last time you chose to shut up when it was your conviction (which you by all means SHOULD listen to) and not God's command...?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


i found this in a grocery story not too long ago and thought it warranted a picture. the only question i have when i look at it is WHY? why in the world would you put this on your product? surely SOMEONE had to think this was a bad idea...but i guess they lost out.

i can hear the conversation now:

boss: what do you think of this logo

employee 1: *snicker* it looks...well...great!

employee 2: *laughing a muffled laugh* oh DEFINITELY!

boss: good, we're going to print!

later that evening:

boss: honey look at our new product!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

i needed this today

this morning i was talking to God (not really listening a whole lot honestly) and just poured out my fears and insecurities to Him. it was more than a little scary knowing that i was coming "clean" with it all. i tend to take things and make them "mine" rather than leave them to Him.

so, as i was wrapping up my "talk" i asked Him to show me something today that would calm His word. then i read (youversion is AMAZING with daily readings...) and i came to Galatians 1.

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6--niv

need i say more? NO!