Friday, September 30, 2005

Lots of thoughts

Lots of thoughts and not much time to blog.
Last Friday, I was leaving Memphis on my weekly pilgrimage back to O’Fallon when there was a four car pile-up right behind me. I pulled off as fast as I could and ran back to the first crashed car – actually a van. There were 5 people in the van and 4 of them were hurt. One at a time, I helped the injured people out of the van and onto the ground where they could lay down and wait until the professionals arrived – it took the first ambulance almost 45 minutes to arrive. There were hurting people in every one of the other 3 wrecked cars. I have never had to be the first on the scene for anything like that and I hope that it was a one time thing. I’ll never forget the little boy that was afraid that he was gong to lose all of his stuff……or the lady that was traveling alone and at first thought she was okay but collapsed in pain… I prayed with her and we both cried. I was amazed at the raw emotion of the moment.
All of this made me even more aware of the ongoing pain and anguish of the people that continue to suffer on the coast. I read this week that there are probably 160,000 houses in New Orleans that will need to be plowed under – another 68,000 in Mississippi and about the same numbers that need major repairs. I don’t know how the relief volunteers can keep going day after day – they must be emotionally exhausted! Pray for the workers and for the people that they are there to serve.
I was in Philadelphia this week and – because of a horse show, hotels were a premium. I had to pay almost $200 for a room at a Marriott Courtyard. What a rip-off!
I was in the lobby and overheard some of the “horse people” talking about their show horses – that has gotta be one of the most expensive hobbies around – I read that the average spend for a show horse is over $2000 per month! That’s $24,000 a year for a pet.
We could send a whole mission team from Baxter to Mexico for that! We could plant 5 new churches in Honduras and support the preachers for less than that!
Build 24 houses – take care of 40 kids in a children’s home – build 2 church buildings – all for the cost of a “toy”. If my priorities ever get so out of wack that I am throwing money away instead of spending it wisely – please somebody, slap me!
I could blog on but, work is calling!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I Wonder?

I wonder why we expect brand new Christians to come out of the water all grown-up?
I wonder why we are afraid to tell our friends that aren’t Christians about the good things that our God has done for us?
I wonder why we have such a hard time sharing our problems and our weaknesses with other Christians?
I can’t figure out why it is so hard to confess our sins to each other and to ask our friends to pray for the help we need.
Why do we pretend to be strong when we know that we are really weaklings?
Why is it easier to be a cut down artist instead of the one that lifts people up?
Why is it so hard to trust each other?
Where did you see Jesus today? Did you look for him? Did you start the day expecting to see him?
Why is it harder to tell people that are not blood relatives how much you love them?
I wonder when Christians stopped greeting each other with a holy kiss?
Why does it make some people uncomfortable when others lift holy hands to God?
How is it that it is so easy to ignore the poor in our own communities?
I wonder what it would be like to give the first homeless person that I see enough money to live on for the next month? Or – my best clothes or my favorite CD or my last $100?
I wonder if others would think I was crazy?
What would it be like to be called “crazy for Jesus”?
I wonder what it would be like to tell your family that you were giving it all up to serve the Lord 100% of the time – a long ways from home?
I wonder?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

misc stuff......

It is amazing to me how much focus the politicos want to put on blaming someone for everything about Hurricane Katrina – even going as far as blaming the president on the hurricane itself because he doesn’t pay enough attention to global warming. It’s like a bunch of kids. Why would anyone ever want to go into a life of politics?
On the other side of the focus issue, our churches have been phenomenal in putting their focus on resolving the issues of helping people pull their lives back together. My prayer is that working together for this cause will help people to see that the real purpose God gave us is to work together for him and not to just warm a pew 3 times a week. I pray that we will stop worrying about things that don’t matter and focus on things that do matter.
Right now, here are things that matter to me –
The hurricane relief work – especially in the communities where I have friends – Gulfport and Mandeville.
My friend Terry Reeves and his battle with melanoma – he is having surgery today and he needs our prayer that he will be healed.
Casa de Esperanza – the children’s home project in Santa Ana, Honduras is real and with God’s will, it will open on December 10th. We still need to raise $30,000 for this project.
Selling my house in Illinois so Terri & I can get this move over with.
Getting ready for TORCH 2006.
If you read this, please pray for these things and leave me a comment on what I can be praying for on your account.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

More Katrina Needs

James said that being faithful is backing your words with action. The example that in James 2 –
14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
What a powerful text –
I also like the words of Solomon when he wrote “if you hear the cries of the hungry and ignore them, one day your cries will also be ignored”
In our country, it has been easy to never really see big needs or to hear the cries of the hungry – No More!
The sheer size of Katrina, the scope of the damage, and the numbers of those hurting are impossible to ignore. As a believer, I cannot see how anyone can sit this one out – this is the time for real sacrifice and sacrificial giving.
I plan to fast one day each week and make sure that the money that I would have spent on food will go to someone in the hurricane zone for food. I know that Terri & I will be talking over the next few weeks about how we can help friends and people that we don’t know that have been affected by Katrina.
There are so many ways to help –
Here is an email that another TORCH / IRC leader sent this morning –
IRC/Torch Missions is putting together a team to serve the people in Louisiana and Mississippi. I have spoken to Janet Hines in Baton Rouge and there are many needs. Here is list of items that can be used NOW. Please let me know where and how much you are able to collect and we will work on getting the much needed supplies to the distribution centers. So they can be handed out other people.

Need List:
RVs -- to house workers -- we need to house 30-50 people
Clothes Pre sorted by male-female-child - size (only good condition please)
Shoes all types flip-flops are OK
Sheets - towels -
Mosquito repellent
Hand Sanitizer
Under ware all types and sizes
Adult diapers
Baby Formula -- power or pre mixed
Personal hygiene items
Chain Saws

Man Power Needs:
People to load & deliver
Tree cutters

Needs; --- pasted from an email sent from Baton Rouge
1. We need Prayer first, foremost and often....If the Air Condition> can be turned on by prayer, anything can happen.
2. We need to finish our Kitchen, upgraded that will allow us to> serve 1,000's of meal-we will work with baton Rouge to get this done THIS> WEEK. Cost of $25.000.00.
3. Need to arrange to get a mobile shower and a mobile> toilets...Urgently...Tell us where to go...
4. Industrial Size Washers and Dryers.....Urgently...
5. Industrial Ice maker....Urgently> > We can make available our building to stay, but we need to be able> to accommodate and need it quickly. HELP !!!!!!
6. We need clothes, underwear, shorts, T Shirts and flip flops, and> entire outfit, they have nothing....
7. Toiletries, shampoo, toothpaste, even some makeup.....
8. Canned meats, fruits, diapers, formula, energy drinks, fruit> snacks.
9. 10 Pick up trucks with trailers and drivers for 2 weeks
10. Winnebagoes and pop up containers, self contained
11. Electricans to set up external power hookups
12. Tarps of all sizes, Visqueen
13. 50 chain saws, stihl brand as they ar more durable, 100 chains,> commercial chain sharperner
14. 1 inch ropes
15. 200 cots
16. 100 matteresses
17. 15 people, willing to work in in Airconditioned church to> prepare boxes to goout
18. 3,000 empty cardboard boxes, 18 x 24 x 12
19. 20 cases of packing tape
20. 5 empties semi-trucks containers to be used for 2 months
21. 5 pressure washers
22. 2 250 gallon gas containers, one for gas and one for diesel
23. 100 gallon gas tank to take to station for refilling
24. 50 generators
25. 20 people for roof crews
26. 40 people for chain saw crews>
Please Call me or Email at (423) 341-1000
As you can see – the list offers plenty of opportunity for all of us to stand up and share our faith with our action.