31 July 2006

10 things on my mind tonight

  1. i really love my wife and kids.

  2. i have an appreciation for the humor in the shrek movies that is disproportionate for my age.

  3. kung pao at pf changs tonight was good, but it didn't have near as much "pao" as did the conversation with the friends i was with - robert and vicki pooley and their daughter.

  4. the 9th ward is getting cleaned up but the devastation we saw yeasterday with the team from national community church is still very visible. like tim elzea said - it is just more than i can get my head around. a year later.

  5. i love blogging. i can't imagine anyone with access to the internet not wanting to keep a blog.

  6. cranberry juice isn't half-bad. so i water it down halfway and it isn't bad at all now.

  7. united is gonna be here tomorrow night. i'm not sure i've got a three-hour concert in me anymore, but i'm ready to give it a go - it's gonna be really cool - i know that much.

  8. my netvibes rss reader has way too many blogs with new posts in it for me to really read them all tonight.

  9. i'm glad tori's back from mexico - i'm glad she went, but i'm really glad she's home.

  10. tomorrow starts FORTY DAYS OF PRAYER FOR THE CHILDREN. i really can't wait to see what God does with it.

27 July 2006

3 days out

three days until we day #1 - i can't wait to see what God does through this.

i'm overwhelmed at the number of bloggers who have posted links to the site - helping spread the word and asking people to join Children's Cup in prayer for 40 days beginning this coming monday. check out this list. thanks y'all!

Matt Fry (NC)
Pete Kim (VA)
Mike Haman and Family (LA)
Late Nite @ HPC (LA)
Tass and Karen Abu Saada (Gaza Strip)
Brad and Nicole Duplechain (LA)
Ken Witcher (soon to be Paris)
Eddie Guerra (LA)
Ben Abu Saada (KS)
Kevin Wells (LA)
Emma Sciant (Nepal)
Joe and Cheri Leblanc and family (LA)
Carole Turner (LA)
Anthony Hilden (MN)
Jay Miller (LA)
Colleen Thorp (LA)
Kurt Hargis (LA)
Scott Aughtmon (CA)
Shane Comeaux (LA)
HPC Elevate Swaziland Team (LA)
Kevin Beck (CO)
Meghan Kinney (LA)
David Turner (IL)
Travis Johnson (FL)
Tori Ohlerking (LA)
JD Ohlerking (LA)
Joel and Angel Dyke (LA)
Jason Guidry (LA)
Stephanie Bain (LA)
Robert Pooley (FL)
Christy Merrill (NC)
Dino Rizzo (LA)
Dave and Jean Ohlerking (LA)
Dan Ohlerking (LA)
Ben and Susan Rodgers (Swaziland)
Patrick Conti (Swaziland)
Daran and Teresa Rehmeyer (Swaziland)
Charles and Kristen Young (Swaziland)

thanks everyone. if you've linked to the site and i've missed you here, please let me know. thanks for praying and for spreading the word!

25 July 2006

a friend named trust

rich kirkpatrick is a worship leader from california who has a blog (found him thru pete kim and ben abu saada - two of my favorite bloggers).

he's got some health issues threatening him (read about them in a series of posts on his blog called "uncertainty") and for some reason his situation just kinda connected with me. i commented on one of his posts with something that i really felt God wanted me to share, and i think it might encourage some of you as well, so i'm gonna share it with you. here goes:

i went thru some similar stuff with my wife a few years back - got very very concerned about a lump in her neck - i got word of it when i landed in africa for a two-week trip. i was very -ok, i'll say it, worried- about it. when she told me about it, i was literally in the airport in johannesburg on a layover on my way to harare, zimbabwe - checking on children's cup operations there in the aftermath of their nations worst cyclone (what they call a hurricane there). i was looking ahead at a little over a week of sporadic access to communications with my young wife who had just given birth to lincoln, our third child. the gaps between times i could talk to her seemed longer than ever - and more frustrating than ever.

to make a long story not quite so long, the second morning of the trip i left my wedding ring at the lodge we were staying at in the middle of zimbabwe. but i didn't notice until we were a few hours down the road. now if you've ever been to zimbabwe, you know that you just really don't wanna be driving through the middle of nowhere at night, so we had a schedule set up that would keep us where we'd always be where we were going to stay the night before night fell. turning around to go back and hope the ring hadn't "walked" was risking a lot - and on a thin thread of any hope of finding the ring.

but dave van rensburg (i really love this guy) was running the show and he turned us around and we went back. i prayed and prayed. somehow all of it tied together in my heart - the health scare with vicki and the loss of my wedding ring. i was just messed up.

well, when we finally rounded the corner of the dirt road heading into the lodge - literally way out in the back part of nowhere - we were met by a young man standing there smiling, and holding my ring in his palm stretched out to me. i was at this point obviously relieved (there's an understatement for you). but then i asked him his name.

"My name is Trust," the young man said.

God spoke to me clearly at that instant. as clear as anything i've ever heard. He reminded me that He could be trusted to take care of the things that matter to me. whether it is an impossible recovery of a gold ring in the zimbabwean lowveld, or the uncertainty of a mass in my wife's neck - He's more than able to handle it.

i hope that encourages you like it did me.

that's not the end of the story - vicki did have to have a surgery, but everything was clear and she's fine today (and i do mean, "FINE"). we've got five kids now and God continues to bless us and i need reminders a lot, but this lesson is one He often points me back to.

God can be TRUSTed.

24 July 2006

jay miller is blogging

jay miller, aaron broussard and me at frank's this morning

jay miller is the pastor of the family church in lafayette, louisiana. we were in bible college together so we go wayyyy back.

i had breakfast today with him and a really cool guy from his church, aaron broussard, talking about the future of missions and i'm excited. jay has a huge heart to touch the world in a way that counts - not just to get a cool plaque on the wall or to put another notch in his belt. they are also a key part of the new carepoint/church that children's cup is building in mozambique along with healing place church.

partnerships like the one between children's cup and hpc and the family church are crucial to making a lasting impact in missions work. it's just that much better when the partnership is with people who are cool like jay (the hat he's wearing in the picture tells all about his coolness). and note the FORTY DAYS OF PRAYER FOR THE CHILDREN prayer guide he's holding - product placement..... (thanks jay)

check out his blog when you get a chance and welcome him to the 'sphere.

21 July 2006

living enthusiasm

here's a blogger you oughtta track: colleen thorp

her blog is aptly named, "living enthusiasm" - she literally exudes that every day. if you don't think so, just go up to her and say, "africa" - see what she does.

she's on the elevate team going to swaziland from hpc in a couple days to work with AIDS orphans and OVC's there with children's cup. they'll be there during the forty days of prayer for the children, so she's gonna get to be a part of praying for them right there with them.

here's a picture of the elevate team after a meeting we held with them at the children's cup office a couple weeks ago (i'm in there in the back left). be sure to pray for them over the next couple weeks while they're out in africa.

and if you haven't put your name on the list of those committed to pray for the forty days, either leave a comment here or email me and lemme know you'll be praying. thanks!

14 July 2006

forty days of prayer for the children

i've got a favor to ask of all of you who read my blog. if you've read much at all here, you know that i'm involved in children's cup - working with AIDS orphans and OVC's in sfrica.

we've felt strongly over the past few weeks that we need to ask people for a united focus of prayer for these kids. if you read some of the stories on the children's cup website, you'll see what i mean. the kids we care for are in some of the hardest situations imaginable. one child was found as a baby after he was left by his mother to die - left in a toilet pit (like an outhouse). others are street kids. most are AIDS orphans. many have the disease themselves. all of them need hope.

so, i'm asking for as many of you as will do it to join us starting august 1for forty days of prayer for the children. we've got a website up where you can learn more and there's an online prayer guide where we'll post each day's focus in a blog format.

if you are willing to pray with us for these precious children, we'd like to include you in the list we've posted of people and churches who are praying. And we'd love it if you'd help us spread the word about it - we've created a special tag you can add to your blog or website.

here's the code to add if you want to link to it:

<a href="http://www.childrenscup.org/40days/40menu.htm"><img src="http://www.childrenscup.org/childrenscuptag.jpg"></a>

the link will look like this:

thanks for joining in - i am thoroughly convinced it will make a difference.

12 July 2006

great brian houston quote

"We will always have more vision than resource."

he said it in the context of church, but i think it should be true for families and ministries of all kinds. our vision should always be out in front of our resources, regardless. i want my family to always be dreaming things that stretch us to reach for more. i want hpc to certainly have more dream than we can do right now. and i know children's cup is dreaming bigger than the resources are there for right now. but that's good. and as resources increase, the dreams MUST increase as well.

the qoute is in a book that dino rizzo brought back for me from the hillsong conference - the book is called "selah" - really cool quick inspiration-type book with some great quotables and even a few stinger thoughts in it.

stuff that makes you do what the title says - stop and think about it. thanks, dino, for the book - yet again you hit the spot.

study @ frank's - "what men want"

my notes from dino rizzo's teaching this morning on how to avoid caving in to sexual temptation:

One of the keys to living a God-honoring life is knowing yourself. Knowing what you need to be careful with – know your edges – know what makes you come alive – know what tempts you. Know how to control yourself.

Coach McCartney – I was bragging to him about the men of our church – how they are willing to serve and sacrifice…. He asked me if I really know the men. If I really know my own heart. Always remember when you’re gathered in a group of men – they are not all clean. And there are a lot of times in your own heart that you aren’t clean. Below the surface every type of sin is going on. There are lives that are out of control in areas of passion. Men are struggling with stuff – and often we don’t see it but it can be there – and usually is when there’s a group of men gathered – chances are that there’s a bunch of sin represented there.

This is not a “the guy over there” message. This is for all of us.

Talking about sexual temptation. Every man deals with some level of sexual temptation – if not careful can lead to tampering with sexual sin – and that can lead to some type of sexual addiction.

I asked the question – “Why do men struggle with this?”

Is it finding worth?

Bondage. That’s the bottom line. The devil wants to put God’s men in bondage.

I Cor 6:12-20 nlt
12You may say, "I am allowed to do anything." But I reply, "Not everything is good for you." And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything. 13You say, "Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food." This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them. But our bodies were not made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14And God will raise our bodies from the dead by his marvelous power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead. 15Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which belongs to Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16And don't you know that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one." 17But the person who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Sexual immorality has a Velcro-effect to it. it sticks.

Proverbs 6:26-29
25Don't lust for her beauty. Don't let her coyness seduce you. 26For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, and sleeping with another man's wife may cost you your very life. 27Can a man scoop fire into his lap and not be burned? 28Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? 29So it is with the man who sleeps with another man's wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished. 30Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving. 31But if he is caught, he will be fined seven times as much as he stole, even if it means selling everything in his house to pay it back. 32But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. 33Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot. His shame will never be erased. 34For the woman's husband will be furious in his jealousy, and he will have no mercy in his day of vengeance. 35There is no compensation or bribe that will satisfy him.

You just can’t fool with it – you can’t “fool around” and it not have some sticky, lasting effect on you.

1. we’ve got to guard our hearts
2. we’ve got to watch our hearing
3. we’ve got to guard against the eye-droppers of lust (it blurs your vision)
4. Don’t let your spiritual life become stale. Be careful to keep the walk with Christ fresh and tender.
5. Be careful what you allow to be close to you in your world. What do you grant access to? Who to you give access to your life? Avoid the dangerous things.
6. Keep your steps holy.

Scripture is an asbestos suit against the XXX flames of the culture we live in?

A dude asked me the other day – what do YOU do about it – to avoid from sexual immorality?

Here’s what I thought about that I do:
1. I try to keep the fire at the house running hot. (requires the right type of fuel – she may not burn the same grade of fuel that I do – learn your wife’s fuel and keep a bunch of it on hand)
2. Keep filters in your life (lots of ways to be accountable) – on your computer, in your travel, at work – have friends watch you
3. Stay fully alive – have other outlets, other activities in your life besides work. Constant work, rough, tough, tired – can step into a wasteland in a hurry. An idle mind will be a place where the devil will drop a sexual temptation into.
4. Ten commandments of sexual purity – get them, know them, live them.
5. Have a lifestyle of spiritual pursuit – fasting and prayer and consumption of the Word – helps you see sexual temptation for what it is.
6. Start today – repent, pick up and start today.

05 July 2006

matt fry - new blogger on the block

a huge "welcome" to matt fry (pastor of c3 church in north carolina).

matt is one of those brainy-yet-down-to-earth guys i love to listen to. if he were a chef, he'd be a blend of alton brown (smarts) and justin wilson (just bein' himself - albeit not a cajun). add to that the telly savalas look he's got going on up top and the cool rims and the big guns hanging from his shoulders, and you've got one incredible dude.

the best thing about him is that he delivers when he speaks. and now we get to have a dose of him between podcasts from c3 church.

matt - thanks for joining the game. it's gonna be a blast.