Thursday, August 31, 2006


why is it easier to tell others about times when i've prayed and been frustrated with God's response than about times where God has touched my life?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Chechen Brutality

Can you say middle ages?

This account is humiliating. A story that makes you wonder how humanity can get to this level and makes you hope for redemption and grace.

In reading Romans, I think I finally get chapter 5. Evil can never increase to the amount that grace will not be able to surmount it. Grace always goes beyond evil. From the beginning, love created the world and remakes the world, while evil can only destroy. As Rob Bell says, "love wins."

Let's pray for that in this story...

Again, you may need a NYTimes free account to view the article and video.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ah the joy of a camera and grandpa glasses

some pics from the KC

it's the academic building!
it's the frontside of the academic building!

it's my bed!

well, i've enjoyed the experience already. of course i love staying with the hulls. their hospitality blows me away. and i've already met some people who are of like mind and heart here. and i've met a dude who can give me a ride all the way back to Olathe.

it's odd, b/c i remember being here with my dad...20 years ago...

Monday, August 28, 2006

seminary begins...

and so it begins...

today marks the first day of seminary learning and shaping for me.

the first class: Evangelism Through the Local Church with Lyle Pointer

the texts:

Reaching Generation Next by Lewis Drummond
Building a Contagious Church by Mark Mittelberg
Evangelism in Everyday Life by Lyle Pointer and Jim Dorsey
Better than Imagined by Lyle Pointer

stated objectives:

1. to possess a working knowledge of a Gospel presentation
2. to grasp the NT principles of evangelism
3. to articulate the relationship of the church to the world
4. to grasp the sociological aspects of church growth
5. to attempt to lead someone to Jesus Christ and to nurture that convert
6. to think critically and prayerfully about one's personal philosophy and practice of evangelism

i'm very interested to see what's going to happen through this course and to see how i will be shaped, especially in light of our conversations on Christianity Rediscovered...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Child Labor Story: Alone

This is a well-done portrait of the awful child labor saga happening in Africa.

Listen to the commentary on the pictures. You might need a free membership to view them, but it's worth it.

It's a story about a 9 year old boy named Alone who lives with his grandma and crushes stones to make sure he and his grandma can live. It takes him about 3 weeks to make $3.00 from crushing stones into powder.

He has one toy: an aluminum cover of an auto air filter.

Only the Royals...

How could this happen?

Monday, August 14, 2006

I tried to convert an axe murderer last night...

So it started with a group of us going to a horror movie. Oddly enough, the movie was playing in a trailer. One of those trailers that litter the grounds of overpacked high schools. While we were watching the movie we felt the trailer start to rise from the ground. We looked out the window and we were looking through teeth into the throat of a ginormous T-rex.

It was at this moment that I realized I needed to get these people out of the trailer and to safety. So I proceeded to tell everybody to "Get OOOUUUT!!!" And we all stumble and fall out of the trailer, which the T-rex finishes off with loud crunches.

As we run, we see men coming at us with all sorts of yard maintenance tools. We thought they were coming for us, but then they went past us to the T-rex. Thank God for men with lawn maintenance experience.

But before we got away we realized that some of the men had begun to chase us. I quickly told all the people to run and went another direction, pulling apart the group of lawn maintenance murderers.

After outrunning most of the men, I turned and saw that there was still one fast on my heels. And he was weilding an axe. Angrily. Angrily holding and waving the axe. At me.

Then I remembered something my wife had told me. "Whenever you are being attacked by an uknown person, ask them their name. That way you will throw them off and make it personal."

So I did that. As I ran.

"What's your name?"

Footsteps. No words.

"What's your name?" I ask again.

"Luke," I hear through the heavy breathing.

"Oh Luke. I love that name. Have you ever heard of Luke Skywalker or the Luke guy in the Bible?"

I hear the axe swinging at me and turn and dodge it. He's too close to turn and run again.

I look him in the eye as he swings the axe again. I grab the axe. Looking into his eyes I say, "Both of those men, the other Luke's, had experiences where they had to choose good over bad. Both of those men chose to become better men. What are you choosing, Luke? You can be so much more than this."

I wrestle a little more and yank the axe from him.

I wake up. I wish I had finished my dream...but I didn't.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Off to camp this week

I'm off at camp this week, so I'll leave you a picture of my dearest roadside companion, who I see every day on my way to work. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pick me!

So, we took the youth group to the river the past two days. Tuesday we took the high school hooligans and yesterday we took the junior high jacks. Whew, what fun it is to be on the river, tubing and swimming in the hottest days of the summer. most of the kids came back looking like tomatoes...

but there was a cool story in the middle of all this.

it started on Monday. I was sitting at the table after dinner with Aubrey when I got a call from one of the parents of a middle school boy. From the conversation I learned that his son was scared to come to youth group activities because of another boy who had "bullied" him. it had gotten so bad that his son didn't even want to come to the River Day. I did the usual "well, I'm sorry about this. I'll have a conversation with him" type thing and that was that.

Then yesterday, the boy came in and saw the "bully" and immediately clung to his mother and said, "I knew he would be here. I can't do this." His mom told him to hang in there and to give it a chance. End of story as far as I know.

Later that day while we were all swimming, he comes up to me. He says, "remember what my dad said to you on the phone the other day?"

I said, "Yeah. Is everything okay?"

He said, "yeah, it's over now. I'm OK."

I got curious at this point. "Why's it over?"

"because he picked me to be in his group."

And that was that. All that had to happen was for that kid to feel like he belonged. I know the other kid, the supposed bully, only picked him to be in his group because he needed 6 other people in his group in order to go swimming first. I know that the scared kid was the last to be picked. but he was picked!

Oh the power of including others...