30 January 2007

my heritage

my dad is about to turn 67. on valentine's day, he and mom will celebrate his 67th birthday and their 48th anniversary. if you've read much of my blog, or spent any time listening to me talk, you know that i'm proud of my dad - proud of what God has done with his life. he's the founder of children's cup, he's spent nearly four decades in missionary service, well over 100 countries he's been in, directing missions projects in more than half of those - and particularly in countries that are the hard places in the world.

he posted something on his blog recently that i think will give you a glimpse of what makes me so proud. he's a great writer, so don't let the length of the post scare you off - once you start, you won't want to stop. here's the link.

do me a favor and wish him happy birthday while you're there. and if you wanna, you can visit my mom's blog too and wish both of them a happy anniversary.

shameless plug for the parents' blogs? you bet. you would too if they were your parents.

love ya mom and dad!

29 January 2007

outreach magazine blogs

outreach magazine just started a few blogs you oughtta check out. my favorite so far is andrea's - she and the team out there in california are doing a slamming job with their new thrust toward expanding their web presence.

i'm excited to see what kind of stuff's going to come from these blogs.

check them out here: blogs.outreachmagazine.com

andrea's is at editorsmusings.outreachmagazine.com

vision night 2007 at hpc

vision night at healing place church last night

check out this cool passage dino rizzo shared about last night at the hpc vision night:

Leviticus 19:9 "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God."

that’s the kind of God He is – when you harvest, leave some corners of blessing for the poor – maybe they’ll come later on and pick up what you leve behind. don’t get into the “it’s all for me” mindset. leave some for the poor. don’t hoard your time, treasure, talent, touch – save some for the poor and hurting, for God to use how He wants. God leaves the corners for us. that’s His kind of way of doing things.

here's a link to all my notes from last night: hpc vision night 2007 notes
and here's a link to dino rizzo's post about vision night - some more very cool thoughts stats from 2006 and vision for 2007: vision night 2007 on dinorizzo.com

check out this excerpt from his post, listing some of what we're believing God wants for us in 2007:
  • The opening of a second campus in Donaldsonville already happened this year.

  • We already this year opened the new Baton Rouge Dream Center.

  • In October this year, we plan to host our first national conference. The ladies go first - this will be a Women's Conference - like no other.

  • We already have sense God calling us to a new emphasis on prayer in the house.

  • We plan to launch our Mozambique campus - Isaac and Carol Williams are now on the ground in Africa - getting ready to pastor at Nkobe, Mozambique.

  • We plan to going to be a part of "Thirty Days of Hope for Cambodia" – Cambodia has faced some of the worst horror a nation has ever faced – 3 million died under a brutal dictator several years ago - a generation was wiped out. We’ll be there this summer along with several other ARC churches, and Joyce Meyer Ministries and others, helping restor a nation's hope.

  • HPC TV is slated to begin reaching up to 600,000 homes in 2006.

  • We plan to host summer camps for students, and kids and have VBS's that will reach more kids than ever.

  • We plan to start hosting what we're calling "HPC Experience" – opening up our doors to pastors and staffs from other churches for three special weekends where they can come and learn and grow while HPC gives them a 5-star treatment. Think of how many people you’ll be helping by helping these pastors increase their vision and capacities.

  • We are asking God to continue to put His “super” on our “natural” - in our ministry to women, men, youth, kids, singles, outreaches, life groups and events.

you might get sick of hearing me say it, but i love this church!

28 January 2007

free calendar

if you didn't get one yet, we've still got a bunch left. the new 2007 children's cup calendar is loaded with some awesome pictures of the beautiful children that children's cup gets to help in southern africa. the phenomenal photography and all the design are all credit to ty vanrensburg.

if you want to get a free copy of the calendar just get me your mailing address. if i were you i wouldn't post the address here in a comment on my blog - instead, just email us (info@childrenscup.org) and ask for a 2007 calendar and give us the address you want to have a free calendar sent to.

also, if you are part of a church or business that could give more copies away to people, we're ready to do that as well - just let us know now many you need, and as long as we have supplies, we'll get you all you can share.

why not? they're free to you and i guarantee they'll bless you.

isaac and carol - now in africa

left to right: me, vicki (my awesome wife), carol and isaac williams at the hpc staff retreat

not only is this a rare opportunity (possibly a first on this blog) for me to post a picture of my wife, but it is also a picture of vicki and me with two of my favorite people on the planet - isaac and carol williams.

isaac and carol just left this week for africa - heading to mozambique to pastor the new healing place church campus in nkobe and to direct the new children's cup carepoint there as well. they finally got there to my sister's house in swaziland, and in the email i just got from my mom (who is also in swaziland) i learned they had a get-together with a bunch of missionaries to welcome them, but the power was off (as happens quite a bit there). so they had a cool "TIA" moment right off the bat.

(they even had a "TIA" moment in washington d.c. on the way out there - i'll save that story for them to tell on their blog. but i do wanna give a huge shout out to david russell from national community church for stepping up to the plate and helping them find their way around d.c. - russell, you rock, bro.)

very cool how God has had His hand in this whole thing with isaac and carol all the way.

proud of y'all, isaac and carol!!

27 January 2007

ian benardo

ok, i know there's a lot of odd people on american idol - especially in this part of the season. and i know part of what they all want is just to have people do what i'm about to do. but i can't resist. this dude was really really weird, huh?

23 January 2007

more from tobo

just got this email from my friends in papua new guinea working with the tobo tribe - way back in the boonies.

January 16th will forever be marked in history as the birth of the Tobo church! Tuesday, Jason taught on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. There were many people that came, more than what we were expecting. A large group of people left immediately after the teaching to go get dressed in their traditional clothes to show support for the cargo cult. Yet others stayed around just silently sitting and talking. 2 groups of men formed around Jason and Chad as they pelted each of them with questions. Some were having a hard time believing that Jesus washed ALL their sins away.. if they were to sin again how would they stay righteous before God? Others had worked all their lives to gain God's favor and didn't want to be told that all those years of "works" were for naught. And yet others still didn't want to let go of the Cargo Cult and were looking for some way they could follow both.

Jason and Chad took the rest of the afternoon going to different houses and asking questions and seeing where people are at. We don't know how many are saved, but we do know that there are brothers and sisters in Christ here now. We know of at least 4-5 families who have put their faith in Jesus alone, and we haven't been able to talk to everyone yet. Tragically, there are some who clearly have rejected, and that saddens our hearts. So we ask you to continue to pray as people are still struggling to choose. God is working in people's hearts!

We are VERY excited to tell you that not only did Alis and his family stay back from going to the Cargo Cult meetings; but they are now believers in Jesus Christ! After the teaching on Wednesday, Alis was just sitting there crying, so Jason went to him and just sat with him for a while, and Alis said, "Thank you Jesus." Jason asked, "What are you thankful for?" And Alis said, "I am no longer afraid that I will go to hell, Jesus' blood saved me." Alis is our land owner. To say he has been nothing but a frustration to our team would be an understatement. If we could have picked one person whom we didn't think would get saved it would have been him!:-) Thank God that our thoughts are not His!!!! Alis is very much like a Peter in that he speaks often without thinking first; but there is a definite change in his life these past few days. And we also know that as the Holy Spirit works in his life that others will see the change. In the last week or so, we have been noticing a change in his personality going from a very angry man to almost quiet and humble. Isn't God awesome?!!!!

how cool is that?

if you're not tracking www.claypots.org yet, you oughtta be.

16 January 2007

i wish benaiah had blogged

but since benaiah didn't blog, mark batterson has come pretty close i think. in his book, "in a pit with a lion on a snowy day," mark pulls some stuff out that i had never seen in this short passage in the bible. check out the book summary:

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will regret the risks not taken, the opportunities not seized, and the dreams not pursued. Stopping running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture (II Samuel 23:20-21):

Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it.

Unleash the lion chaser within!

i was already a pretty big fan of mark's communication style, so my expectations were pretty high, but this book over-delivers. maybe it's because in a lot of ways, mark has lived the benaiah-life himself.

it's worth the few bucks to order a copy for yourself.

a video you've gotta see

the video team here at healing place church put this together for last week's taping of our service to be aired on tbn. i think it does a great job of communicating what hpc's heart is all about.

the only way i can get you to it is to send you to this post on dino rizzo's blog about it - then scroll to the bottom of the post and click on the video.

the tobos

if you wanna track something i find terribly cool, check out clay pots - a blog by some missionaries who are working with a tribe of people way back in the interior of png (papua new guinea) over by indonesia.

exciting stuff to read about and be a part of thru prayer.

one day he's really gonna wish i hadn't posted this

but until then....

here's rhodes (rhett's in the background trying to get out of the incriminating shot) after they stripped to their pamapers. rhodes donned his cowboy hat at just the perfect tilt and proudly modelled his way through room.

10 January 2007

men at frank's - it's on

men's breakfast at frank's - 6 a.m. today

we're back on - wednesday mornings at frank's - this time looking at spiritual fitness.

cool thought that dino rizzo started with: you cannot achieve your wildest dreams by remaining who you are.

it starts with a true appraisal of who we are and how we're doing. pride comes before a fall. am i not listening in some area of my life? are my pursuits empty? proverbs talks about the rich man fading away because of empty pursuits.

God is drawing us all to another place in our lives. drawing us closer to Him. a year from now i don't wanna be fighting these same giants anymore. 1 kings 18:21: “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. the choice was set before the people. we are continually being brought to crossroads.

what are some areas we are facing choices?

for me it is priorities - particularly in key relationships. giving priority to key relationships in my life. our time and our lives say more about what our priorities really are. my energy investment tells what my priorities really are. wife, children, inner circle of friends, accountabilities. by the way - accountability is something you have to go out and find and make happen. find someone you can be accountable to in your life.

another area of choices is in deciding what i'm going to decide. not going to move without God's direction. prayer. prayer. prayer. fasting. always good to start the year off with fasting. helps you hear from God about stuff. never regretted fasting something. but i have regretted not fasting.

another area is in our actions. choose to take actions that will strengthen you not weaken you. 1 timothy 4:7 - reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. another version calls it "keeping spiritually fit." i believe it's time to get stronger in the Lord. 2007. what happened in 2007? i got stronger in the Lord. i got more consistent, more toned, firmer about my convictions, built up in the Holy Spirit. that's what i wanna be able to say. by diving into His word, by prayer, fasting, by making right choices... i can do that.

strengthen your heart - every time you read a scripture, write a note down, pray a prayer, fellowship with brothers in the faith - you strengthen your heart. if we don't guard it, we'll have heart problems. not one of us hasn't thought about how much we don't want heart problems. do a spiritual workout. get leaner, more fit spiritually. recapture days in your life by investing in your spiritual healthiness. it'll enable you to stand firm in an area of your life. you can run with the vision and the dream. you can be strong enough to carry it.

10-week challenge:
  • be at frank's every wednesday.

  • commit to read 1 john.

  • pray on tuesdays and thursdays at 6 a.m. at the highland campus.

  • fast. get with johnny green to learn more about it if you don't know what to do.

  • get involved in a life group.

i believe this is gonna be an awesome 10 weeks. "but it's tough. what if i don't make it thru?" well, what if you do?

in these days we need men who are going to say to God, "here i am, send me."

09 January 2007

a new blog to check out

i know there's already a lot to watch, but when you get the likes of craig groeschel and bobby gruenewald comboed in one blog it's worth tracking.

check it out here: swerve.lifechurch.tv

08 January 2007

don't mess with the SEC in football

lsu 41, notre dame 14

florida 41, ohio state 14

don't even think there's a comparable conference out there. SEC is in another tier in football.

congrats, gators.
here's what lincoln (my 6-year-old) thought about the sugar bowl, by the way. second half was indeed pretty boring...

03 January 2007

fightin' tonight

marc cleary and i dressed appropriately for the day

so, tonight it's the fighting tigers versus the fighting irish.

geaux tigers.

a quick look at the mascots should give you a hint what i expect to see tonight. consider - a little green dude with his peanut-sized dukes up, putting his hopes in a clover, or a bengal tiger, teeth sharp and ready for the next kill.


good luck, marc.

i do actually hope it's a good game. blowouts are boring.