23 December 2006

healing place church - #16

just caught this in the new issue of outreach mag. hpc is listed in their top 25 innovative churches in america (at #16). tony and lindy and jeannie put together a cool piece on innovative churches and it's quite an honor to be included in the list this year.

some of the other churches on the list are ones we've been able to connect with already and i think whatever innovation we do have here is at least in part due to the relationship with them. when it's all said and done, what counts is the one life that is changed because of an encounter with Jesus - if being innovative can help make that happen, then, let's get innovative.

here's the list:

  1. lifechurch.tv (edmond, ok) - craig groeschel

  2. granger community church (granger, in) - mark beeson

  3. northpoint community church (alpharetta, ga) - andy stanley

  4. fellowship church (grapevine, tx) - ed young, jr

  5. mosaic church (city of industry, ca) - erwin mcmanus

  6. seacoast church (mt. pleasant, sc) - greg surratt

  7. community christian church (naperville, il) - dave ferguson

  8. national community church (wasington, dc) - mark batterson

  9. mars hill church (seattle, wa) - mark driscoll

  10. new hope christian fellowship (oahu, hi) - wayne cordero

  11. mark hill bible church (grandville, mi) - rob bell

  12. the potter's house (dallas, tx) - t.d. jakes

  13. crossover church (tampa, fl) - tommy kyllonen

  14. church of the open door (maple grove, mn) - david johnson

  15. redeemer presbyterian church (new york, ny) - timothy keller

  16. healing place church (baton rouge, la) - dino rizzo

  17. the journey church (new york, ny) - nelson searcy

  18. saddleback church (lake forest, ca) - rick warren

  19. north coast church (vista, ca) - larry osborn

  20. willow creek community church (south barrington, il) - bill hybels

  21. imago dei community (portland, or) - rick mckinley

  22. christ the king community church (mt. vernon, wa) - dave browning

  23. radiant church (surprise, az) - lee mcfarland

  24. living word christian center (forest park, il) - william winston

  25. the sanctuary (santa clarita, ca) - marty walker

i've actually already heard of all of these churches. i've been to eight of them.
i have personally been blessed by the innovative approach of 18 of them and all the others i'm planning to check out online soon.

congrats to all of them - and congrats to the people of hpc who make innovation such a natural thing around here.

21 December 2006

in the spirit of the holidays...

back by popular demand...


like you've never heard it before.

20 December 2006

hpc foreheads

ever wonder if the kids in swaziland know about healing place church? check out this pic:

some of the kids at the 2006 children's cup christmas at the carepoints parties (check the foreheads)

I love those kids.

Thanks again to those of you who helped make these parties a reality.

cool story from hpc toy drive

"Making A List"
by Donna Frank

Last Saturday was the culmination of our Healing Place Church Toy Drive, the delivery of Christmas toys to over 200 families in Baton Rouge. That doesn’t include the toys sent out at Donaldsonville, St. Francisville or our Spanish campus, all of which totaled about 2000 toys.

The Toy Drive started a couple months ago when HPCers started buying toys for needy families. Over the next eight weeks the toys were collected, sorted and packed for various groups and families. By Saturday morning the Annex parking lot was covered with toys, maps and Christmas cards. Dozens of volunteers showed up to deliver gifts to families across the city.

The goal of the Toy Drive, like most of our outreaches, is twofold: to meet the physical needs of people who need help, and to demonstrate the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Our volunteers not only put gifts into their hands, they had the opportunity to talk with them, pray for them and remind them that they’re not forgotten.

One of our volunteers knocked on a door and found an eight year-old babysitting her infant sister. They were waiting for dad to come home, but nobody knew for sure when that would be. During their visit, the volunteers delivered the toys and then led the 8 year-old in a prayer of salvation. Praise God. An interesting side-note of this story is that the volunteer almost didn’t come that day to help out. Her sister is battling cancer, and the volunteer wasn’t in the Christmas spirit. She decided to show up only because HPC had been delivering meals to her sister; she thought that since HPC had stepped up, she would too. Because of that decision, there’s now one more name in the Book of Life. What a gift.

It’s easy to get tangled up in the materialism of Christmas, but what it all comes down to is salvation. Jesus’ entire purpose, from His birth to His death, was to make a way for sinners (you and me) to be reconciled to God. I can’t think of a better way to honor His birth than by bringing the gift of salvation to others.

Merry Christmas and all glory to God!

amen, donna. amen.

if you're a reader, here's a new blog to track...


when you get a chance you oughtta start tracking this one every now and then.

the folks over at leadership network are awesome and i've gotten to meet a bunch of them and i am thoroughly impressed with each of them. i'm looking forward to seeing how this blog develops.

19 December 2006

six months' worth of pics

i've got a new photo gallery on picasa with some pics from my last six months - check it out here.

i just unloaded my sd card from my phone and some from our family camera. lots of the pics were stuff i intended to blog about but just never got around to. so i've just put together a gallery of pics and captions instead of trying to go back and do full posts about each.

man, i love what blogging and photo-galleries do for me.

14 December 2006

hail hath fury

check out this crazy post from my momma's blog about a hailstorm they went thru yesterday in swaziland.

here's a couple excerpts:

"...for 20-30 minutes we were battered and beat with hail stones ranging in size from golfball to baseball. Crashing onto the roof and smashing into a zillion little ice chunks. Destroying everything in its path...."

"....I'm sure there are dazed cows everywhere--still wondering what happened."

and this is one of the small ones...

thanks, Lord, for protecting my family out there.

11 December 2006

rhett's a baller

here's a video of rhett (the youngest ohlerking by a few minutes) shooting some b-ball at the house.

dang he's cute.

09 December 2006

leadership network article on hpc

i admit it, i'm proud of my church. i think there's a right type of pride to be had. maybe it's more of a "wow, i love getting to be a part of something that's doing so much right" type of "pride" - regardless, i confess.

leadership network (a great bunch of folks based in dallas - including greg ligon, julia burke, and yes, even my boyee geoff surratt although he's not technically in dallas) has helped us with some of our strategic planning on being a multi-site church, and now on our medical outreach ministry. they've got a story about hpc on their website. check this out:

"From those looking for a warm welcome to those facing hard times emotionally, physically or financially, Healing Place Church offers a welcoming space to experience God’s love. This church is acting out that love at home and abroad in some inspiring ways." here's the full article:

leadership network article on healing place church

06 December 2006

Christmas at the CarePoints

Here's a report from Kristen Young after last Saturday's Christmas at the CarePoints in Swaziland.

This year I started out my Christmas a little differently. Usually, that start of Christmas for me includes the big shopping day - the day after Thanksgiving - (a great tradition by the way).

But this year was different. This year, I started out by being reminded what Christmas is really all about. It's not about the tree, the lights, the food or the presents. It's about birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It's about doing His will and loving the sick, the poor, the hungry. Thank you, Lord for reminding me of that this year.

On Saturday, December 2nd, that is what the whole day was about. (It was the day of Children's Cup's Christmas at the CarePoints.( We started bussing in children at around 7:00AM, until we had about 2500 kids there. A local high school facilitated the event.

The property was absolutely beautiful. A huge green field overlooking the mountains. The children played tug of war, had sack races, got their faces painted, sang Christmas songs and ate the best meal of their lives. These kids felt important. They felt loved. They understood, most likely for the first time, what Christmas is and who Christmas is about. I'm sure for that one day, they felt like a million dollars.

You see, I enjoy all the things that go with Christmas, but I never want to lose the focus. After seeing these sick, dirty, starving little children laugh and play and actually feel completely safe where they were, I hope that this year, I will keep the focus where it belongs, on Jesus Christ.

Thank you to everyone who helped to sponsor the event.

You gave these kids the best day of their lives.

i'll ditto what she said - THANKS to all of you who gave and prayed for the day to make it what it was. Please if you think of it this saturday, pray again for the mozambique version of the party. won't be as big, but the kids at our one carepoint there are gonna have the time of their lives and learn about Jesus and the real reason for Christmas.

05 December 2006

you just THOUGHT you'd seen juggling

this is some crazy talent. i'm way impressed.

master juggler

thanks chris, for the link.

03 December 2006

a question about suffering

saw this tonight in a post over at brian orme's blog:

The common question is, “Where is God in the midst of pain and suffering of the world?” The better question is, “Where are you, Dan, in the midst of the world’s suffering?”

think about it.

james and lu bowen - cupbearers extraordinaire

james bowen is in the nebraska sweatshirt (go huskers!) and lu is on the right in the #21 sweatshirt. the rest of them are part of the children's cup family in swaziland.

my little sister susan (a hero of mine, too) got this note from lu bowen, a lady who spent some time with my sister in africa while lu was there this year with her husband james. james and lu are incredible people with a huge energy to help children's cup. we need a thousand more like them.

check out this excerpt from lu's email to susan (my sister) about talking to a group of ladies back in nevada about her trip to help children's cup in africa:


Hey! Well, I did my talk in front of many women. It was the coolest thing. I saw women there that I had not see in years and they were in tears that I had remarried AND gone to Africa.

As I got up to tell my story about wanting to come to Africa since I was 12 and then my former husband Don's disease having purpose for Africa, they cried. I don't know if I told you the part where Don looked like an AIDS victim and I had to go in there and take care of him with the stench of diarrhea and the stench of death. It was very difficult. I sat in the car one day arguing with God telling Him how I didn't want to go in there and "Isn't there someone else to do this job?" The Holy Spirit said to me "Lu, how do you expect to serve Africa if you cannot serve your own husband."

I knew that this phase in my life was not in vain. Don wondered why he had to suffer so badly and why didn't God just take him home and I recalled what the Holy Spirit said and I said "Don, maybe this isn't about me and you, maybe it's about Africa. Maybe you are helping me to help Africa." He smiled and said at least it will help someone.

I promised him I would not let him die in vain and I would take him with me.

So, back to the stage at WOW (women of the well). The video ran and they cracked up at the first few scenes. Then it got serious and some of the parts in the video were real life fun stuff and one is where a toddler in Maputo was taking something in his hand rubbing it across another kid's head. It is really cute. Everyone laughed at the reality that these are real kids. They loved the video and when the slide presentation started, they would ahh and ohh and sigh.

I touched on the extremes of sexual abuse to awesome joy and worship. It made the women cry. The ending photo is the one of all of us out to dinner and I told them how you all sacrifice and live your lives as His hands and feet and how proud I was to know you and miss you all very much. I talked about how you all miss the restaurants at home and chocolate.

At the very end of my talk, I said "I am not going to ask you to do anything I haven't done. Even in my poorest days, I emptied my purse out even if it was a dollar and some change. I gave. Now I am asking you to give the most you can, not the least you can. Whether it be a dollar or a thousand dollars. Give! These kids have nothing and the missionaries need your support. They all took the wish list on the tables and the small groups are starting to take collections. It was awesome.

I also got feedback from how powerful it was to actually see the quilt block one of the kids made. I had his photo on the video holding up his drawing and I held it up as his photo was up and the women cried. I asked for people who could sew to help me make a quilt. I have two volunteers.

When I got home, I had three envelopes to open. The first one was a dollar. The second one was $100.00 and the third one was $1,000.00. I laughed at God's detailed humor. It literally was One to One Thousand. I love that God's detailing is for our pleasure so we know that HE was listening.

God bless lu and james and give children's cup a bunch more like them!

excuse #15

the final excuse people give for not going to the mission field (according to the excuses list from keith green essay, "why you should go to the mission field.")

"I'm just not ready to make that kind of a sacrifice and commitment."

keith's response:

Ah! That's just the point. That's probably the underlying reason for almost every one of the above objections. In fact, you might just as well have said, "I'm not willing." You need to decide whether or not you are a disciple of Jesus - that is the question. If you are His disciple, then "you are not your own...you have been bought with a price." (I Cor. 6:19-20) And if you truly love Him, then you will not feel bondage, you will feel incredible excitement at being chosen to represent Him in the world! To be a servant of Jesus Christ, an ambassador, a missionary, is the highest calling a man or woman can attain to!

Now what are you waiting for??

i love the last line there - Now what are you waiting for?

Jesus is in Mozambique. Anything can happen.

isaac williams gave me this the other day. (isaac and his wife carol are heading to africa in a few weeks to pastor the new healing place church campus in portuguese-speaking mozambique and to run the children's cup carepoint in the same location.)

Jesus está aqui e qualquer coisa pode acontecer.

that's portuguese for "Jesus is here and anything can happen."

church giving roses to strippers

i got this from alliece cole the other day (a few weeks ago, honestly) but in my absence from posting, i haven't gotten to putting this up until just now. it makes me proud to be a part of healing place church - not because it's such a great thing our people are doing, but because it's such a simple and direct outreach to some people who "the church" typically ignores. check this out:

We had a blast Friday night from hooters to the Alamo to the strip clubs. The manager of Kittens told me that we could come back anytime----that if we were willing to give out roses he would let us in… the Escapade bouncer was stunned we were the church and we wanted to give to the girls…

A couple at the Alamo asked for 2 purple drinks each—that they hadn’t eaten in 2 days---we brought them a box of food on Saturday.

I met a guy - Shedrick (his street name is "Toy"). he's a cross dresser—wanted a rose. I told him no. He said, "oh they are for the real girls?" I said yes—then asked him did he like his life—he hung his head and said no..yet another reminder of the need in the streets for the outcasts…

One of the girls at escapades stopped one of our team and asked her did we have a Sunday school for her children—that she has been wanting them in church…

I have a vision down the road to be giving the men at the strip clubs --cards about the men's breakfast at Frank's which is across the street from Escapade and Kittens. Like we are on one side of the road passing out the men’s bible study info to get them to cross the street! Another idea in the works is having a breakfast at Frank's after the ladies get off work.

It was so cool to be able to reach people in the inner city and point them to the new Baton Rouge Dream Center and then go down South Airline and point them to the HPC Highland campus. 2 addresses—covering both sides of the city.

Keep Praying for Pepe

just got this update from teresa rehmeyer (children's cup's medical director in swaziland):

Pepe was discharged from the hospital today, after 2 and ½ weeks. I think that she was just happy to be out of that place, and I don’t blame her. Finally, she is free of fever, and eating well, without vomiting. She is still taking TB medications and going for daily injections. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

for those of you who have been praying for pepe - thanks! praise God for this good report!

some of you may not have heard about pepe, so here's a little bit of the story for you:

Pepe is a six-year-old little girl. Her mother died about a year ago leaving her with a very sick father who can no longer do anything for himself because he is very close to death. He is dying from AIDS. She has nobody!!!

I would love to tell you her favorite color, her hobbies, what her favorite subject in school is but the fact is that this little girl’s life has been so harsh that she hasn’t been able to even consider these things.

Pepe has suffered from such horrible malnutrition and neglect that she is only the size of a three year old. She spends most of the day drinking out of little dirty streams of water and asking for people’s garbage to rummage for something to eat.

When we first found Pepe she was extremely ill. She was continuously crying from the infections in her throat and mouth. (Mostly from bad water).

It is a miracle that she is still alive. You can tell by the look on her face that the horrible experiences she has gone through have left their scars.

She is so in need of love. When you hug little Pepe she just holds on and on as to say please don’t you leave me too…

The really sad part of this is if we don’t pay for the help she needs someone else will. But these people want to take advantage of little Pepe’s innocence.

Please help us help Pepe and the hundreds of little ones like her that need someone to provide for their little basic needs and love them.

Our “Care Points” are reaching almost a thousand children everyday like Pepe with food, education, medical help, and most importantly the love and hope of Jesus Christ.

We are trying to help. Pepe desperately needs warm clothing, medical attention, and vitamins to nurse her back to health.

and here's the post on teresa's blog where she let us know pepe was going into the hospital:

On the 19th of October, we had to admit PePe to the hospital, she had a high fever, bad cough, sores in her mouth and throat, and she was dehydrated. When I went to her homestead to see her on the Wednesday evening before, her heart was racing and she was extremely hot with fever. Her father said that she had only drunk about ¼ of a coffee mug of water all day. She had eaten one egg and one banana. I instructed him to start offering her a cup of water every hour. He was just letting her sleep and not waking her to offer her food or water. I told him that if we didn’t get some fluids down her, she would have to go to the hospital. When I returned the following morning, she was no better, maybe even worse. I told her father that she needed to go to see the doctor immediately. When the doctor looked at her chest x-ray and examined her, he decided that she needed to start on TB treatment, IV fluids, and IV antibiotics.

When we walked into the children’s ward, PePe looked afraid. When we put her in a bed, she began to cry, and say that she wanted to go home. The nurse had us move her to another bed in a more private room, when she realized that she would be on TB treatment. So I carried her to the room crying that she wanted to go home. By the time I made it to the room and sat her down, I had to go outside before I started crying myself. That hospital is not a nice place. It is very dreary, dirty and run down. The only bright spot about the children’s ward is the new curtains that were made by Barbara Conti (Patrick’s mom). They are such bright cheerful colors and they really help to brighten the place up a bit.

Susan (one of the cooks from the care point) has been helping to take care of PePe on and off for a while. She stayed with PePe the first night. She then had to go out of town due to a death in her family. So, she found someone else from the community to stay with PePe while she was gone. The care giver must take care of the patient and give her the drugs for AIDS twice daily when they are due. All that the nurses do unfortunately, is pass out other medications.

PePe’s father came to visit, the first or second day that she was there. Susan told me later that he made the statement that he was tired of taking care of this child. Susan told him that she would take care of her, if he would let her. He doesn’t want to take responsibility for taking care of her, yet he doesn’t want her to go with someone else.

It has been almost a week and a half since she was admitted to the hospital. During the first four days she received IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and one unit of blood, because she was very anemic. Now, she is able to hold food, fluids, and her medications down without vomiting. She is no longer receiving IV fluids. She gets an injection each day for TB and she is also taking pills as well. The doctors said that she would need this treatment for 60 days, but that she could go home after a couple of weeks hopefully and just come back daily for the injections. The problem is that we are not sure that her father is giving the medications for AIDS consistently and now we add TB meds that need to be given consistently.

I try to go by and visit her every day or every other day. When she sees me, she starts crying to go home. I saw her on Saturday, she is still fairly weak, but at least she is sitting up now. I took her for a short walk outside of the children's ward and she started crying again that she wants to go home. On Friday, Nthombie and I went to see her and talked with her for a little while. We asked her if she knows what happens to us when we die. Her answer was very sad. She said that we are put in a box and then put in a hole in the ground. I then told Nthombie to explain to her that only our body is placed in the ground, but that our spirit goes to be with Jesus. Nthombie explained, using a stuffed animal angel that we had given to her when she went into the hospital. Nthombie is one of our teachers, she has a special gift from God to talk to children. PePe seemed to understand and be satisfied with that. She is still coughing a lot and I can still hear her lungs cracking and popping when I hold her in my lap. I don't know if she will ever be 100% again, but if we can get her to a point that she can have a good quality of life, and not be in pain, I will be happy.

Please keep PePe in your prayers that God’s will be done in her little life, and that we can show her the love of Jesus in everything that we say and do for her.

01 December 2006

Children's Cup in the news

got this link from jay miller and aaron broussard (from the family church in lafayette louisiana). they've been in on the new mozambique church/carepoint project that healing place church, joyce meyer ministries, mission of mercy and children's cup have been working on for several months now.

check out the whole article here.

here's an excerpt:

"The government and industry there are literally forcing thousands of inhabitants to become refugees to make way for business," Miller said. "These people are the government's rejects, the throw-aways. We're there to plant seeds of hope, give them love and help provide education."

Still, assistance from The Family Church doesn't end with the CarePoint construction.

The nondenominational church also plans to return in 2007 with construction workers, counselors, medical personnel and other volunteers to help build homes, offer spiritual counseling and treatment for various ailments.

way to go, tfc! y'all are awesome!

san diego - outreach convention

ok, there's a lot more to say about the trip i went on with johnny green and jp brumfield to san diego a few weeks ago, but then again, i still haven't posted all i wanted to about the trip to africa back in september. so, i'm just posting what i can while i have a second to post it.

san diego was a pretty cool place - largely due to the weather and the people from outreach magazine. but a huge factor was the apple store in the outdoor mall we went thru.

bonus: instead of having to see my cheesy self-portrait picture for this like i usually post, jp brumfield has provided us with a picture he took of me creating my standard self-portrait. just to mix it up a bit. thanks, jp. i'll never forget san diego - and the walk thru the city with you. :-)

30 November 2006

excuse #14

i figure i probably oughtta finish up the 15 reasons people give for NOT going to the mission field that i was going thru from keith green's essay, "Why YOU Should Go To The Mission Field." i got thru #13 i believe. here's #14:

ok, really - this one's pretty preposterous. i've actually met people who might never have said it in so many words, but it is exactly how they feel. here it is:

"But God wants me to stay in this country and prosper. The reason the rest of the world is so poor and unconverted is because their heathen religions and idolatry have caused them to live in ignorance and poverty, without God's blessing."

this has to be the most selfish reasoning I've ever heard for not going - and i've actually heard it! of course some people overseas live in ignorance and poverty, that's exactly the reason you should go - to bring the enlightenment that comes from knowing the truth about Jesus, and to bring them the true riches of knowing Christ. if you don't believe that the reason God has blessed you with abundance in this country is so you can be a blessing to others - then you have never understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ! "Freely you received, freely give." (Matt. 10:8)

God help us if we ever think we earned this blessing or that He gave it to us to hoard or to just chill out with. we are blessed to be a blessing. that's the whole point of living.

ok - just one more excuse still to come.

15 November 2006

carepoint kids go on a missions trip

how cool is this? something dad wrote for the children's cup newsletter a couple weeks ago. ben just sent me some pics to go with it.

Maybe you remember our newsletter article titled “None.” It was about a slum by a garbage dump where children from age two to sixteen were forced into prostitution so they could have food to eat. Mothers would have the babies and without even naming them, hand them off to the neighborhood to be raised as sex slaves.

A compassionate believer named Gugu Dlamini saw the children trying to find food in the dump. They would taste it to see if it was poison. Gugu started using her own meager resources to feed and educate 62 of the neediest orphans.

We learned about her work and decided this is the kind of person we want to help. ‘Cup started by providing her food for the orphans. Then medical visits and school classes up to grade three were started. As we saw her great compassion and communication skills we asked her to serve as evangelism director and Bible Club coordinator for all our CarePoints.

“I would love to but I cannot leave my children here without help.” ‘Cup’s answer was to build and staff a fully operating CarePoint for her children. It immediately grew to over 200 kids coming daily for food, medical care, education and Gospel.

Gugu has captured the hearts and imagination of all 3,200 of our CarePoint kids, teaching them the Bible and introducing them to a personal relationship with Jesus. They know whole chapters of the Bible. They write and perform Bible dramas. When the children first came to us their whole thought for the future was, “Where can I get my next meal?” Now the kids dream of productive lives.

And recently—this is awesome—last month we told you about a group of CarePoint kids going on a missions trip. This was Gugu’s kids - she took a busload of her former garbage dump kids on a ministry trip to a town in southern Swaziland. Her children—once they were all brutally exploited sex slaves—went into the schools of Nhlangano and witnessed to the classes about what Jesus had done for them.

How right and wonderful is that?

Here's a few more pics from their missions trip:

new blog you need to track

isaac and carol williams sitting in my office this morning talking thru plans for their move to mozambique

isaac and carol williams are heading out to mozambique to pastor the new campus of healing place church in maputo and to run the children's cup carepoint there. they're heading out in january, and they've just started their new blog a couple weeks ago. (isaac was formerly on my sidebar as isaacinbrazil.blogspot.com)

they're sharp - you'll be hearing plenty more from me about them over the coming months. pray for them as they work to raise their support base over the next few weeks here in the usa. if you want to help send them, you can email them at isaac356@hotmail.com.

they're about to embark on an amazing journey. be sure to keep in touch with them at their blog at isaacandcarol.blogspot.com.

14 November 2006

children's cup staff day in africa

here's a few pics from the children's cup staff day we held in swaziland during my recent trip there. (don't even start with me on why it's taken so long to give any kind of blog post on the trip.)

the day was sponsored by healing place church and river valley church (thanks dino and rob) and was everything we had hoped it would be - plus some. we started off with some time just having some r&r with the 'cup missionaries at this little park-hotel place up in the hills just outside mbabane. after introductions of all the staff and teachers and office workers and everyone, we ate lunch and then had a small gathering where God really moved. kristen and roger led some worship, ben led a time of prayer and then ben and dad and i each shared some vision. the wrap-up was just a time of prayer for each other - ben had the missionaries pray one-on-one for the african staff and then all of us prayed for dad and mom.

the pics (thanks ty) as good as they are - only show a part of what we exerienced together that day. the bond of unity and the passionate determination to surrender our lives to God's plan and to serve His call - it hit us like a ton of bricks - no, more like a strong bear hug from God.

thanks for praying for 'cup and the kids at the carepoints.

07 November 2006

dino rizzo on the cover of church executive magazine

ron keener interviewed dino rizzo (my pastor here at healing place church) for the cover story of the november 2006 issue of church executive magazine.

ron did a great job with the story, and they've got it up on their website at www.churchexecutive.com.

[hint: if you read far enough into the story, i actually get named in it - something to do with dino putting up with me for a long time... :-) haha]

04 November 2006

invasion '06

ok - y'all need to see this. rob gros (designer for healing place church) designed this poster for the children's cup youth event charles young and patrick conti are putting together for the young people in swaziland.

nice job on the poster, are owe bee

the event is november 18 - do me a favor and mark your calendar to pray for this event - that God will use it to reach deep inside a lot of kids over there and make a huge difference in their worlds. pray for charles and patrick even now - that they'll have wisdom, energy, resources and plenty of Kingdom-minded volunteers to do this event the way God wants it done.

03 November 2006

that's my girrl

oh yeah... my daughter tori is on the cover of the healing place church website in the holiday outreaches ad (on the right side of it).

thank God she looks like her momma.

how to preach on the mission field

i got this from a missionary friend of mine i've quoted before in here - brian burnham (in papua new guinea). they shared this in their e-newsletter the other day:

We wish each one of you could be here to experience everything that we are during the teaching. We were thinking if you could just create the same environment that we have here for the teaching it might help you experience it with us.
Here is a step by step process on creating your very own mock teaching setting!

  1. First thing you need to do is go find a large dirt area. Flood it with water, make sure there are lots of holes so you have puddles everywhere.

  2. For seating, just go find some pieces of firewood. Make sure they aren't round, sanded, or smooth in any way and have lots of splinters.

  3. Get 3 pigs. Set them in the middle right where Jason is standing.

  4. Get 3 dogs. Set them in the middle right where Jason is standing.

  5. Get 3 chickens. Set them in the middle right where Jason is standing

  6. Get 3 toddlers. Set them in the middle right where Jason is standing.

  7. Get 25 sheets of newspaper and 25 leaves of tobacco. Roll up cigarettes and hand them to all the men in the crowd.

  8. Get buai (the local chewing tobacco, it is bright red in color) Hand that out to any other guy that doesn't have a cigarette.

  9. Make sure the pigs, chickens, dogs, and children use the dirt floor as a bathroom right by Jason.

  10. Get one crazy lady, make sure she dances and swears in the back.

  11. Make sure everyone has a lice partner to pick out the lice as they listen.

  12. Now, go get 200 lost people and be prepared for what God is about to do!!!!

Because God created laughter..and if I didn't laugh about this I think it just might get to me after awhile!:-)
Jason, Kellie, Micah, Sophia, and Malachi Knapp

another good lesson for you on being a missionary... sometimes you just gotta have a sense of humor.

01 November 2006

cool pics from fall fest sunday night

check out the gallery on the healing place church website from sunday night.


it was cool being there with my family and my little brother and his family. and about 4000 other people. i've got some of my own pics i may upload, but the gallery of pics they put on the church's site are really slammin'.

31 October 2006

hpc outreach update

check out this post over at donna frank's blog about the outreaches this past weekend.

man, i love being a part of a church that's doing stuff like that.

27 October 2006

the big time

cory miller just did a post with some q&a he did with me - check it out here. i guess i'm in the big time.

for real, it's a pretty cool site - good info, interesting stuff about pastor/church blogging, etc. he's got a good knack for blogging stuff the way i like to read blogs. short, interesting, relevant, light, etc... check it out here: www.churchcommunicationspro.com

thanks for the post, cory!

cool verse i read this morning

i was reading/praying this morning - with the upcoming celebration weekend at hpc on my mind (the chapter 2 miracle offering/fall fest weekend) and i read this verse. it hit me as one of those "this is for you today" things. check it out:

joshua 3:5 - "...Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."

i'm so ready. do what only You can do, Lord.

trains, rain, toy story and sports ill - me and my four boys

rhodes and rhett in the foreground, lincoln in the background

had a cool time last night at books-a-million with the twins and lincoln (jd and i took them there in the rain cuz we had to clear out of the house for tori's "closer" life group they do at our house every thursday night.

thursdays have become a cool downtime i get to have with the three youngest boys (lincoln, rhodes and rhett). jd usually has his own life group to go to. but last night his was cancelled, so he came to help me out. he was great help (thanks jd) - especially with tracking in and out of the store through the rain.

i took them to the book store thinking we'd read some books or something (ya think?) but they saw the train and it was all over. except for lincoln.... he found the tv with a video of toy story in it, so he was right at home. what an outing. leave home to do what you do at home anyway - hmmm. but they had a blast, and i loved watching it happen.

jd and i found this really cool 50-year anniversary book from sports illustrated - full of pics and stuff like cassius clay as a kid, a shot of pistol pete, willie mays - all the old stuff. and there was some crazy shots like one of a baseball catcher totally upside down but fully extended and the base runner touching home plate looking at him like, "dude, what are you doing?" wild shot.

anyway - it was fun. i love my boys. i love being a dad.

25 October 2006

sunday's message highlight thoughts

here's some cool thoughts dino rizzo included in his message this past sunday. i thought it was not only one of his funniest messages (which is admittedly quite a long list) but also one of the most timely and clear "this is what we needed to hear right now" messages as well.

he was talking about the story found in 1 samuel 14:1-18 where saul's son jonathan and his helper were choosing to take on 8,000 enemy philistines in a battle. 2 against 8,000. jonathan says "maybe God will help us...."

here's some lines i wrote down that stood out to me:

  • they decided their problems will not be resolved sitting under a tree.

  • going after the enemy with a "maybe" is better than sitting under a tree worrying.

  • one of them had a sword, the other just had kung fu, and they both had a big climb ahead of them with 8,000 enemiies on the other side of the climb.

  • it was two men, one sword and a big God - and confusion set in at the enemy’s camp and they started killing each other.

  • after the enemy was thrown into panic, then the israelites came out from hiding in the caves and helped fight.

the big takeaway for me from this message:

I don’t wanna be in the last little bit of a miracle. Isn’t there something in you that wants to be in on the start of a miracle?

there sure is. i wanna be in on the start of a miracle. i want to be sure i'm ready to be used by God and i wanna be sure to be in the right place when a miracle is needed.

24 October 2006

still got lots more to come

more posts to come - i'm just getting pretty dang sleepy right now so i'm shutting down and going to bed. got early morning prayer/men's life group study at frank's in the morning, too. i actually have two places i'm supposed to be at SIX a.m.! yeah, life's a little nutso right now on the schedule side of things. but at the same time, life is awesome. i've got great kids and a fantastic wife and the best job in the world.

anyway - i'm going to bed. more later......

hpc_mozambique visit

check out my picture gallery from my visit to the new healing place church campus in mozambique:

tobo man

I got this story from a missionary friend of mine named brian burnham - working in papua new guinea - doing aviation work for some way-deep-inside frontline type of missions work. brian's older brother was martin burnham who many of you will remember the story a few years ago of him and his wife being kidnapped by terrorists and martin being killed before his wife gracia was rescued. brian is the real deal.

this story is a huge success story from some of the work that brian and his family have been involved in making happen. i'm celebrating a win for the Kingdom with this.


Praise God! Tingon Willy has just become our first Tobo brother in Christ! Yesterday he trusted in Christ. Here is what he said:

"Ever since you taught me that the law was like a mirror (that it was there so that I could see how sinful I really am) I have been thinking about my sin. After my family falls asleep at night, I think about it. On the trail as I am walking back and forth, I think about it. In fact, I even forgot where I was going and ended up in the wrong spot because I was thinking so much about my sin. I kept coming to your house to help you translate the Bible lessons, but I felt that I was just helping everyone else in Tobo to find eternal life, but I wasn't going to be able to find it. My sins were too many and too big for God to be able to wash them away. And I would just go to the fires of hell. I was scared. I used to think Jesus could wash away my past sins, but that my future sins would heap up and then in the end God would just throw me into the fires of hell. But now I see and believe that Jesus took my place as the lamb took Isaac's place and he died just once so I could live. And his blood washed ALL my sins away, and he delivered me from my sin, death, Satan's power, and the fires of hell. I feel like the arrow of my sin that has been in my heart and in my head and giving me pain for all this time has been removed. And I am not afraid. Thank you, this is the first time I have ever heard this talk." - Tingon Willy, 29, August 2006

Please pray that we would have fertile soil as we begin to teach God's Word to the Tobo people of the village of Dengenu in October. Pray that God would have a bountiful harvest.

please join me in praying for this village that i doubt any of us have heard of but that God knows everything about every resident of - and gave His Son to die for.

excuse #13

here is the next excuse in the ongoing series i've pulled from keith green's "why you should go to the mission field" - excuses people give for not going.

"I'd go to the mission field, but...."

"But I could not afford to get the training, and raise the necessary finances to place myself (or my family) on the field."

keith's response....

Don't worry, God'll help raise the money you need. Wherever God guides, He supplies - even if it means helping you get a job! Problems and worries about finances are usually only a surface excuse when it comes to obeying God to go. In your heart you know He'll make a way for you!

my thought:
do you really think God's up in heaven regretting calling you to go because He just can't find the resources to get you there? He owns the cattle on a thousand hills - shoot - HE OWNS THE HILLS!

b-squared honored

got this note a little while back - just wanted to congratulate my boy brandon. well done, dude.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Brandon Bourgeois for achieving the extraordinary award of becoming Elevate of the Month for October. This award will be awarded to one of our eleven full-time Elevate interns each month. The award is based on a variety of criteria, which included: attitude, team involvement, grades, reliability, work ethic, willingness to serve, and their ability to submit to authority. Brandon has a great attitude and is always willing to go above and beyond what is expected of him. He is never one to complain or murmur, but encourages and uplifts everyone around him. He has a passion for missions and is currently working with Kim Braud in the missions department for his Elevate internship. Brandon has an amazing heart for hurting people and we can’t wait to see all that God uses him for! If you see or talk with Brandon make sure you congratulate him on this awesome achievement. Congratulations Brandon!

now... back to work, dude.

my twins rock

well, they're learning to. thanks to jordan gautreau's help.

check out this video.

20 October 2006

posts coming...

ok... i'm not sure why i haven't posted in so long, but i'll just tell you to brace yourself. i've been saving up and i'm about to unload a flurry of posts filling in the gap of the past few weeks.

should be interesting.

18 September 2006

excuse #12

It's actually pretty hard for me to think that someone would actually think of this as a valid excuse for not going to the mission field at all. but given that keith green wrote this "why you should go to the mission field" article in the 70's, i guess it helps a bit. check out excuse #12:

"I'd go to the mission field, but..."

"But how could I commit myself for years and years to go to the field without having a chance to see what it would be like?"

here's what keith had to say about it (remember, this is a 1970-something perspective):

It is true that in past generations a foreign missionary had to make almost a lifetime commitment before he could go to the field. Then in most cases, he had to go to college for at least four years, and then seminary for two to four years before he could even begin his missions training and service. But today there are missionary organizations that have short-term programs for people who want to receive training and find out what serving God in other countries is like. These programs last from a few weeks to a few years in length. So now there is an opportunity to "take a look" before making a much longer commitment.

my thoughts:

i keep going back to the thought that it's not about what i want or how i want it to work that matters. sure, it's true that in today's world, it's fairly easy to get a try-before-you-buy missionary assignment. but that's really not how it works i don't think. i think if you're checking out what you know God has already told you to do, then it's not really an option. you just need to do it. but i have seen some tremendous benefit gained by some who have gone on a preliminary trip to see how they should prepare, what to learn, etc. before going for the full-on assignment. that's just plain smart.

going to the mission field isn't a question of whether to do it, but "when" and "where" and "for how long" - when God says "jump" we should say "how high?" - not question about whether to jump or not. we all ought to go. it might be for a week to bermuda, or for a lifetime to sri lanka. or it could even be for a weekend to donaldsonville or chalmette (new orleans). but it is a definite thing that we all need to do -- GO.

17 September 2006

freakin' out - wow, this is funny

i guess if it was me, i wouldn't think it's so funny, but since it's not me, i'm laughing tonight.

check out this video clip i saw on pete's blog and on bryon mondok's blog as well.

thanks for the laugh, pete and bryon. that's an awesome clip.

16 September 2006

excuse #11

continuing the excuse list from keith green's "why you should go to the mission field" article - #12 says, "I'd go to the mission field, but...."

"But I don't have any special talents or abilities that would qualify me to be a missionary."

here's keith's reaction to that:

"Then you're just the person God is looking for! Sure God can use nurses, teachers, accountants, and mechanics on the field, but it always blesses God to greatly use the one who seemingly has nothing to offer. It is this person who has the opportunity of purely representing Jesus in the endless "common" tasks that are part of the daily life of a missionary. "When I am weak, then I am strong." (II Cor. 12:10; also see I Cor. 1:26-31)"

my thoughts: yet again, it still all gets down to obedience. it's not your place to tell God "you don't know what you're doing telling someone like me to go to the mission field." qualified or not - that's not the question. the question to me is more in the order of, "ok, i'll go, Lord. when and where do you want me to go and what do you want me to do while i'm there?" there's almost a swing the other way for some of us, too. like we're so ready to go on a missions trip we can't stand it and we aren't really listening to hear what God is saying about the "when" part of the question. doing the right thing at the wrong time is often just as bad as not doing the right thing at all - sometimes worse.

it's all completely, totally, 100% a matter of obedience. obey His command to go. obey Him about when and where. don't worry about the rest. just obey. you might find that He holds you back for 20 years and then opens the door for you to go and do something great for Him in downtown london. or you might hear him say to go and give the rest of your life to serve some obscure village in the himalayas. leave that to Him to decide and you just obey.

that's our job. OBEY.

15 September 2006

aaron broussard's got him a blog going

this is a guy who is spending a few weeks in swaziland with the children's cup team there. he's from jay miller's church (the family church) in lafayette louisiana - great church, great pastor, and aaron's doing great, too.

anyway - he's got a blog now - check him out at aaronbrousbroussard.blogspot.com and add him to your prayer list.

open letter to supporters of children's cup

my dad just wrote this letter to supporters of children's cup. i think it's worth sharing here, too.


To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together.

My friend, Pastor Dino Rizzo of Healing Place Church (HPC), and I had breakfast together this morning. I can’t even remember tasting the food.

We talked about relationships—individuals and organizations—focusing together and combining resources to fulfill the Great Commission to “Go everywhere, tell everybody.” I’ve never known anybody more gifted at bringing people and groups together to impact the world with the Gospel. We have talked often about these “strategic alliances.” Pastor Dino has unselfishly brought his wide network of relationships to the table to help Children’s Cup.


Pastor Dino has led HPC to generously support Children’s Cup with finances, short-term missionary work teams, and even helped support HPC members to move to Swaziland to work with us.


Dino connected me with Chad Daniel, a missionary friend who worked for Joyce Meyer Ministries. Dino encouraged Chad to introduce us to David Meyer, who directs the World Missions Outreach for David and Joyce Meyer. David started supporting Children’s Cup and then he and his wife Shelly, daughter Stephanie and son David spent a week with Jean and me in Zimbabwe. Our hearts knit and another layer of strategic alliance formed. JMM started helping us in Swaziland. I remember David saying, “Let’s think big and impact this country for Jesus.” Under David’s direction, JMM has put hundreds of thousands of dollars into creating OVC CarePoints in Swaziland—eleven are now up and running, caring for 3000 OVC (the UN acronym for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children) on a daily basis.

For every dollar ‘Cup has raised for Swaziland, JMM has matched that dollar and often doubled it. This is not a formal matching agreement—that’s just how generous their support has been.


Pastor Dino introduced me to Kevin Donaldson, then director of Mission of Mercy, a child-sponsorship program. Dino, Kevin and Ron Barefield (my long-time friend that worked with Kevin) decided to do Mercy Cup Golf Tournament fundraisers to fund the building of more CarePoints (theirs are called Mercy Centers) in Swaziland and Mozambique.

Kevin’s successor director of Mission of Mercy, Dr. Wayde Goodall, has carried forward this great alliance with Children’s Cup, JMM and HPC. Mission of Mercy’s medical director, Dr. David Beyda, has visited Swaziland and has raised funding to build and operate a new clinic to help care for our 3000 kids. Dr. Beyda, the top pediatric doctor for a major institution in Phoenix, gives weeks of his life to come to Swaziland and train local doctors and nurses to deal with the challenges of AIDS and other diseases killing our children.


Add another layer, ARC.

HPC is a member of this high-impact organization that has launched more than 30 new churches across the USA. Young ministers with the same pastoral DNA as Dino—some were his Bible College classmates—have started churches that grew from zero to several thousand members in just a few years. Dino has brought these pastors into shared planning for missions, including Children’s Cup. Some of the churches have already sent work teams to Africa to help us out.


We call you CupBearers and partners. You are individuals and churches—even some businesses. You are the financial foundation that provides the funds for us to keep up our end of the strategic alliances and implement the projects.

As your support widens Children’s Cup’s base, we are able to enter into more alliances with like-minded individuals and groups. These strategic alliances effectively multiply every dollar you send.

Surely Jesus, who prayed that we “might be one,” is delighted to see all this happen!

dinorizzo.com gets ranked #9

check out the post at the church communications pro website by cory miller about dino rizzo's blog. here's an excerpt:

"Seriously ... Pastor Dino Rizzo's Web site REALLY rocks. You need to click on that link and see some great potential for a pastor's blog. Or even what a church Web site could look like or do.

This site may get the top award of the year for Rockin' It!"

read the whole post here.

i think i feel a song coming on...

update from lebanon pastor

just got this update from my friend who is a pastor of a church in lebanon. amazing stuff going on there. please keep praying for them.

Greetings, well first thank you for all your love, support and prayers, we are all at Abundant Life Church grateful for friends like you. well until now i haven't recieve any letter from pastor dino or anyone from HPC, yet i did recieve some support form them , please do thank them for it, it is really great to have HPC as a friend, it is such a beautiful church that i am proud to be a friend too. also i would love really to come to the united states some time and spend some time of rest around your beautiful home, i pray and hope i will be able to do so some time soon.

Yesterday Sunday the 10th of September more then 65 people were baptized in our church and the meeting was a great celebration of God's goodness and love and protection to us all. Among those who were baptized 6 Muslims took a bold step to be baptized publicly and confess Jesus before the whole church where more then 350 people were present, Glory to God , may the lord God protect these bold and courageous new born brothers and sisters, some of them were seriously threatened to death if they took this step yet they didn't really care , they just trusted God and they are ready even to die for the lord, one of them Mohamed he told me pastor it was easy for me to die for a wrong religion and faith, how much more now for the real God who already died for me and gave me eternal life, Glory to God. Some others I will be baptize secretly some time this week as they are in a very dangerous places and it is very risky for them, so please pray also for those.

On Saturday the 9th of September, the meeting with our workers and staff went great as we spent the whole day together more then 140 brothers and sisters came and our time went great in strategizing, thinking, preparing and praying and moreover have a good time of eating and fellowshipping together. We are all excited for the days to come and we are so proud of each worker for the way the lord used all of us in unity to fulfill his purposes recently and we are all ready for the new seasons the lord is preparing for us especially that we can be sure that the Middle East is about to see the greatest move of God, especially if the churches wake up toward the spiritual warfare and take a stand for God, amen.

Yes many churches will be plant In addition to all those that we already started or helped to start in the name of Jesus, Hallelujah. Even thought recognizing the difference of this part of the world and also the great challenges ahead, yet we are all keen not to surrender or retreat, however to move forward trusting the Holy Spirit for directions and for more doors to be opened in all over the Arab world. Please do pray for all these men and women especially those working in very dangerous situations and they have there life on there hands daily, and also please pray for more doors to be opened.

My self I will be visiting some of our workers outside Lebanon and I will be sharing in a conference for all the missionaries working in the Arab world in Bahrain from the 30th of October till the 4th of November please pray for that time as I know this is a great opportunity to share about the strategy the lord gave us to become an influential church. Also we are planning with some other ministries in Lebanon as well as some others international partners for 2 weeks of outreach were we will be reaching out with food and medicines from the 24th of November till the 4th of December we are expecting thousands to come and have a life changing experience and get introduced to our Lord and Savior and experiencing the new birth amen, please pray for that.

I haven't get any vacation yet, I don't know when I will have the time for it, yet I would love to have sometime somewhere with my Bible or any were I can have peace of mind and some physical rest, as for me I want also to be ready for the new seasons the lord is preparing for us. And I know myself I don't like to go away especially when I am so excited for the days to come as I can see wonderful future is waiting for us regardless of all the bad media and bad news going on all over the Middle East. Yet I think I need some time of refreshing and rest, as everybody around me is telling I need to do so. Well the Lord reigns over our zone amen and amen.

Be blessed and stay in touch do continue to visit our website for all
the news: www.abundantlifelebanon.com

Until all have heard

Pastor Chady El Aouad

13 September 2006

children's cup in outreach magazine

lindy lowry and her team at outreach has done it again - they've put out an issue of their magazine that strikes a lot of chords in me. "It's a Smaller World After All" is about AIDS and the response of the church to the AIDS crisis. check out this quote from the article:

"Compassion and justice are the platforms that our churches will stand on to share the love of Christ in our local communities. No issue in the history of the world has given the Church a greater opportunity to exhibit that justice and compassion than AIDS."

in this article, they also spotlight a whole lot of great things churches and ministries are doing to combat the crisis, including a few paragraphs about children's cup and the new carepoint we're putting together with the family church (pastor jay miller), healing place church (pastor dino rizzo), mission of mercy and a lot of support from joyce meyer ministries.

it's something that i wish every pastor would read and ask God what He'd have them do about it. it's a huge issue we cannot afford to ignore. but like lynne marian and mary elizabeth hopkins wrote in the article, it is also possibly the greatest opportunity the church has ever had to exhibit justice and compassion. what a wide-open door to give Hope to hurting people.

thanks, outreach magazine, for doing this story and for including children's cup in it.

what i love about sunday

here it is - fresh from hpc's vision night - lance leblanc's new "hit" video, "what i love about sunday" - click HERE to watch it on his blog.

what i love about lance.

caught on tape - vocal blowout

timmy straight - my boy at vision night last sunday night.... give it a listen.

click here to hear timmy's vocal blowout

(thanks brian edwards for yet another hilarious clip.)

PhD - Personal Holiness Development

here's my notes i took in the men's breakfast bible study this morning. dino rizzo spoke part 1 on "personal holiness development."

    Personal holiness development – not three words we use every day in conversation. “what did you do this morning?” “oh, some personal holiness development…” “ooh, did it hurt?”

    We don’t always think of this topic as something “for me.” it’s good for someone else, but we don’t normally match it our own lives. we gave up on it a long time ago. It was there for a season in the past one time, but it’s just too out there.

    That’s because we look at it as so much an external matter. But it is an internal matter that while it will affect the external, it is a matter of focus on the internal.

    So over the next 10 weeks…. “I’m gonna force myself to be holy…. I’ll look in the mirror every morning and tell myself BE HOLY.” it CAN'T work that way.

    I’m telling you it is the same grace that saved you and called you that will develop you in holiness.

    I Peter 1
    13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

    So we see that it is not just an old school bible word – “holiness” is relevant today. It is internal. And it is real. Jesus didn’t have to walk into a room and announce that he was holy. It was his words and his actions, but those came from him being full of grace and truth. It was on the inside.

    It all boils down to seeing Jesus and imitating him. that’s the dino “simple” definition of holiness.

    Holiness is a matter of obeying God – not a list of rules or traditions, but obeying God.

    Story of group in Canada – like Amish, but they do electricity and all. they are known for being “holy,” but someone told us that when they do get to go into town, they are known for getting slap drunk, etc. I thought “what is it for then?” why bother living like that – and then not have it be a total life picture? Seeing Jesus and imitating Jesus in your total life. It’s ALL the time that counts. It’s not like, okay now I’m doing a Christian thing – these are my Christian friends, oh, wait- my wife is watching.

    HOLINESS: Totally devoted and dedicated to God, set aside, set apart for a special use. The “use” is where God chooses to put you. It’s not about working at the church. holiness in your home, at the office, at the plant, on the field… it is using you for special use wherever God has you.

    Also means walking free from the world’s pull. You can’t become holy on your own. And you can’t become holy to elevate yourself.

    Those who compare their “holy status” with others – be careful. That’s not what it is about. It’s not a badge. Those who pursue holiness often get this aura around them that made them look down on others who weren’t like them.

    Holiness is devotion and dedication to do all God has intended for you… and the more you have of that, the more humility and the more honest appraisal of yourself you’ll do. you’ll realize that you are a desperate sinner and God’s grace is the ONLY way you’ve gotten where you are.

    Holiness means to be led by the Spirit.

    PHD and me – it can happen.

    We want to understand the “beauty of holiness” – there’s a term from the bible we need to discover the meaning of.

    It’s not about me getting more of Him… it’s about Him waiting on me to yield more of my life to Him. in the way I live, speak, do what I do everyday – I must yield more of my life to Him.

    I can’t and won’t try to give you a list of 5 steps to holiness and then your wife will start calling you “your holiness.” But I can help us see that we must surrender more.

    “Lord, help us to learn to be yielded, surrendered and dedicated to You.”

this is gonna be a great series....

12 September 2006

excuse #10

here is the next excuse in the ongoing series i've pulled from keith green's "why you should go to the mission field" - excuses people give for not going.

"I'd go to the mission field, but...."

"Although in the past most countries freely allowed foreign missionaries to come, most people in other lands now resent them. Why should I go where I'm not welcomed?"

keith's response....

Did you welcome the Gospel before you were saved? The Word says that we should save some, "snatching them out of the fire," (Jude 23) Some people just don't want to be saved! That's exactly why we need to go to them. The more unwelcome, the better. If they resent Americans, then you have an opportunity to show them that Christian Americans can be humble with the love of Jesus in their hearts. For the Word says, "He who is wise wins souls." (Proverbs 11:30)

my thought:

nobody ever said it was gonna be easy. matthew 28:18 doesn't say to "go into the easy places where you're welcomed and make disciples...." when it says "all the world" it means what it says - ALL the world. that's why i'm glad children's cup and healing place church are so drawn to the places that aren't so easy.

it still all gets down to obedience. we've gotta obey the call whether it's to go to an easy place or a hard place. God's job is to decide where to send us. our job is just to obey and go and make disciples. easy or hard is irrelevant.

this is why....

here's another reminder why we do what we do.

this was emailed to the church this weekend:

    I've been working on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Baton Rouge w/the Coast Guard since mid-August. I found HPC on the internet during my search for a temporary church home. I have been incredibly impressed with your church & its ministries. I went to visit my mother who is battling lymphoma in Arkansas last weekend and told her how wonderful HPC is, and she went to your website, watched a couple sermons, and sent in a prayer request. She received a very personal and inspirational response from a member of your prayer team.

    I hope she was watching the webcast of today's service, as I couldn't help but think about how her life's plans that have been put on hold during her battle w/cancer paralleled Joseph's time in prison. Her faith is strong, but I know that she faces doubts at times and is scared about what the future holds. I wanted to thank you for the support you have provided her from a distance. I can only imagine how many other people have benefited from the loving caring support that you provide, both in Baton Rouge and around the world. I only have a few more weeks in Louisiana before I go back to my home in Virginia, but will look forward to every Sunday and Wednesday while I'm here.

    God bless you and your church.

it's SO worth it to put messages online, so worth it to have a good website, so worth it to pray with people online, and so worth it to just do things to make it easy for people to connect. i'm just thankful God lets me be a part of this team we call healing place church. and thanks lance, kari, robert, brad, david, mollie, sarah, chris, adam, jared, ty, toby, todd, emily, rob, josh and whoever else is over there in the hpc creative brains dept. y'all are the best.

11 September 2006

brad duplechain... a tribute

as my friend and co-worker brad duplechain turns 30, i wanted to share this little tribute:

in the same year we joined this staff
and many times you've made me laugh.

one thing to know about this, brad
having you here - it makes me glad.

and now you're passing thirty years
i know you're not shedding any tears.

cause you're too cool to worry about aging
and now the 'canes are finally raging.

a great husband and as good a dad
i'm proud to say that i know brad.

memories of miami by the orange bowl
haunt me now from that eyeful.

thank you brad for excellence in what you do
and a happy thirtieth birthday to you.

(i've got a gift for you, brad, but it's a little hard to fit it in this post so i'll have to give it to you later.)

09 September 2006

excuse #9

ok, brace yourself for this one.... it's hitting closer to home now.

excuse #9 from keith green's "why you should go to the mission field" article.

"i'd go to the mission field, but..."

"But the mission field is dangerous. God would not have me put myself or my family in danger of disease or native hostilities, would he?"

"Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" (Numbers 14:3)

here's what keith had to say about it:

    It is all a matter of our priorities - do we look at the temporary or the eternal in making our choices? It's true that you will probably be in more physical danger on the mission field than you would be in the suburbs of America, but that is part of the cost that we need to count when it comes to serving God.

    The question should not be, "Will I be kept safe wherever I go?" but rather, "What is on the Lord's heart for me to do?"

    If Jesus decided to go the way of least pain, He would have never gone to the cross.

    There is no place of greater blessing for you than in the center of God's will.

    You must stop to count the cost, but remember one thing - the privilege of serving God always outweighs the price! "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel's shall save it." (Mark 8:34-35)

my thoughts:

this life is not about me. it's about what He wants. i'll "get mine" when i get to heaven. until then, this is all about Him. and even then, i suppose heaven will be such a liberation from self-centeredness that i won't even want "mine" anymore except to cast a crown at His feet.

it is so much easier to say it than to do it. i believe it - for sure. but to believe it so totally that it becomes automatic, that's still a few steps away for me. i still make God have to nudge me or push me - sometimes shove me - the direction he wants me to go. help me, Lord, to just obey - plain old "andrew murray" type of absolute surrender.

08 September 2006

bashing joel

i get so sick of hearing people trashing preachers - whether in blogs or on tv or wherever. i've been there and done that. i've seen probably some of the worst, and the best of preachers in my lifetime. and you know what? i've figured out that it gets really old really quick to hear someone shredding a preacher.

case and point: i recently heard a new wave of people whining about joel osteen - you know, the pastor of the biggest church in the USA. the people who talk tend to be either punks who sit at their computers and base their entire opinion off of what they read on other punks' blogs or threads, or other church people who sadly aren't willing to see the good that is being done from the old compaq center. everyone's got their opinion and i guess i'm just sick of hearing people whine about what they don't like.

so this brings me to my thought here. seems like a lot of us are quoting stuff from perry noble's blog lately - and that's a cool thing - perry's awesome.

he's got a post up about his meeting with joel osteen, bill hybels, john maxwell and a few other pastors. it was VERY refreshing to read his take on joel osteen. i've been to lakewood myself, met a bunch of the tv staff and i agree - joel's the real deal.

so thanks, perry, for unbashing a man who is doing more than anyone else i know to make it hard for people to go to hell.

07 September 2006

excuse #8

continuing with the keith green "why you should go to the mission field" article - here's excuse #8 he lists:

"I'd go to the mission field, but...."

"But I have a family to support. God doesn't want me to neglect them, does He?"

Keith's answer...

The Word of God says, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." (Matt.6:33) If you can trust God for your needs, you can certainly trust Him for your family's needs. You would never be foolishly "neglecting" your family's needs by obeying God's call to go. God will show you the way. I know of so many families - some with many children - who are on the field right now, trusting God for their needs while they minister in His name. I have never heard of ONE occurrence where God didn't meet the needs of one of His servants and their families. As King David said...

"I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his descendants begging bread. All day long he is gracious and lends; and his descendants are a blessing." (Psalm 37:25-26)

my thoughts:

i can testify from first-hand experience growing up in a missionary's home that i never once was short-changed by God by being raised like i was. i've talked about it before, but the perspecitve my parents gave me had a lot to do with it, but they made sure i never saw it as a "poor me, poor us - we suffer so much and miss out on so much because we're sacrificing to serve overseas..."

quite the contrary. i felt very special growing up. i got to live where napoleon lost the battle at waterloo. i saw where macarthur told the filipino people "i shall return" and i got to go to 20 countries before i was 20 years old. sure, i didn't have a neighborhood i grew up in for 18 years then went to college with the same kids i went to elementary school, junior high and high school with and all.... and i had to wait to drive until i was 18 because of the laws of the country we lived in, but you know what? i'd trade it all away 100 times over to be able to grow up how i did.

thanks dad and mom for not buying into excuse #8, and for never letting us kids feel cheated for being missionary kids. we aren't kids without a home - we are kids who grew up feeling at home anywhere we went in the world.

frankly, i think i got the better end of the stick by being an MK. those of you who aren't MK's - i'm sorry.

way cool pics from mozambique

ty van rensburg is THE man. he's over in africa right now with his family and the children's cup team shooting pics like crazy and i just found a bunch he's uploaded on his parazz album... check 'em out here: