Monday, March 30, 2009


in his inauguration speech in march of 1933, franklin d. roosevelt made bold statements to bring the country out of the depression.
"This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory". are we scared? do we fear the uncertainty of our time? what is the basis of fear? defines fear;
1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
when you feel fear, where do you turn or what do you do about it? face it head-on? how do you know if the fear is real or imagined? there is lots of fear right now but let us not shrink from it. now is the time to ask God for our guidance. now is the time to come together, face our fears, and place our trust in the only one who can deliver. are you afraid?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

my top five

several years ago i began to list the top five people that i would love to have coffee, lunch or dinner with. here is my top five right now:

first on my list is pastor rick warren. it was his book, "purpose driven life" that put in motion the change in my life. i was in a financial meltdown and saw an article in the local paper about pdl classes at a local church. i had not read a book in probably 30 years, but when i saw you read one chapter a day for forty days, i knew i could do it. it is the catalyst for my transformation. i also think he is the "billy graham" of our day. many of the churches of today got their start as a result of rick's pioneering. i hope to visit saddleback soon. thanks pastor rick!

my second pick is, in my opinion, the most creative genius in music today and thankfully his love for the lord makes his and the dc*b groups creations of even more important. his eccentricities have paved the way for others to be themselves and not what the religious system says they should be. dang, i would love to hang out in the barn with the group!! am i sounding like a stalker or groupie? thanks dc*b!

louie giglio - need i say more? my only regret - and not really a regret - is that i am not in my 20's instead of in my 50's. this guy, his wife shelley and the whole passion movement are off the chain and have affected lives of millions of youth around the world. and now they have started a church in atlanta - how hard must it be to get a ticket for that worship? they have chris tomlin, matt redman and so many others leading worship. they will take worship to a new level. thanks louie!

if you have read the incredible book, "three cups of tea" then you know who i am writing about. when you look up the criteria for the nobel peace prize, greg mortenson's picture should pop up. this guys story is totally amazing and continues today. if i could, i would drink yak butter tea with this dude! i am blown away at what he has done - build a bridge of peace to remote parts of the world. thanks greg!

i am reading the book "mountains beyond mountains - the quest of dr. paul farmer - a man who would cure the world. another person who should be up for a nobel peace prize. he should be prime minister or whatever the head of haiti is called. this guy has more love for the most unloved country in the western hemisphere. wow, what a passion. thanks dokte paul!

well there you have it my top five most influential people today. thanks for all of your incredible loves and passions and the affect you have had on my life.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

extraordinary people

in case you did not see it, abc news profiled greg mortenson as the "person of the week" last night. greg mortenson's story in the book "three cups of tea" is one of extraordinary courage, vision and love of people. he shows us how to build peace throughout the world. i have said before that he should have already been given a nobel peace prize for his life work in northern pakistan and afghanistan building schools especially for girls. we can learn a great deal from him. here is a link to the video from the abc news story on mortenson:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

thoughts on crazy love

i haven't a clue how many or if any people read this blog. i really write to kinda put down some of my random thoughts without much regard if anyone is out there. so many times i have said to myself "who cares?". it doesn't matter. as our journey team heads into the last two chapters of francis chan's book "crazy love", i just want to reverberate what the book is doing to us. this is a book that will really challenge you to look inside yourself. ask yourself serious questions and then to put your money where your mouth is. it is not something that you probably haven't heard before, it is just the way chan speaks to you. i don't know why but he seems to ask the things i would imagine that all pastors want to ask but are afraid to. the one thing that continues to resonate in my heart is what am i willing to sacrifice for Him? what am i willing to give away to help others? time, money, possessions, love? chan paints a picture of christian "lukewarmness" and i find myself there. and that place can be a bit frightening 'cause i thought i was more in love with Him than that. but the real good thing is that where i might be now is not where i want to stay. therein lies the question - where is that and how do i get there? in chapter 8 chan asks you to pray this prayer, "God bring me closer to You during this trip, whatever it takes". chan uses the word "trip" but i think you can substitute whatever you want to fit what is going on in your life. this prayer was especially meaningful to me as i prepare to travel to haiti next month to meet with the young girl and her family that my wife and i sponsor through compassion international. i want God to continue to draw me closer to Him, do you?

a job that needs to be done

this mornings reading in "our daily bread" caught my attention. a recent "dirty jobs" segment with mike rowe had mike inside one of the support towers of the mackinac bridge in northern michigan. mike says to one of the painters, "there's no glory in what you do". the painter replies, "no, but it's a job that must be done". the story is that while probably no one knows what the painter does, his work serves to protect the interior of the bridge support towers so they don't corrode thereby compromising the integrity of the bridge. so many things in our lives go on without our knowledge, without even being noticed, but they are vitally important. sometimes it might just be in a smile to the person handing you your breakfast at a local fast food joint or that you speak kindly to the checkout clerk at walmart. whatever it is, it is our opportunity to give to others what Christ gives to us - faith, hope and love. and that is a job that needs to be done.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

mixed emotions

it is scenes like this that bring such mixed emotions as i prepare to travel to haiti next month. most likely i will spend all of my time in the capital city of port-au-prince but the real poverty and devastation lie mainly north in the gonaives area.
last fall, four hurricanes battered the island and particularly this area with fierce winds, heavy rains, flooding and mudslides killing hundreds. the young girl that we support lives northwest of gonaives and i hardly have a clue what their living situation must be like. i hope to visit their home in my next trip. i have no presumptions as to what i can do but you don't know until you go.
what can i do and where do i start? what do you do when there appears to be no hope? i don't know the answers but you can't just do nothing. and maybe that is why my wife and i felt led to begin supporting this haitian child through compassion international in december 2007. so far, hope is hard to find in what i know about haiti and i am hoping that will change for me after this trip. my hope is that i can bring some hope to this family and together we can spread more hope in their community. my hope is to see what we can do to help their daily lives. possibly through this little girls education - she is six years old and just beginning to learn and have hope. maybe one day she will be able to go to college and come back to her community to bring more hope. that word hope is a big word and i am using it a bunch here. but hope and love are all we really have. and i think we must bring hope throughout the world one person at a time. i can not thank God enough - and don't - for the opportunity He presents me with. my hope is in Him.

Friday, March 20, 2009

dr. paul farmer

i wrote in my last post about the book, "mountains beyond mountains" by tracy kidder that i am reading. the book is about dr. paul farmer and 60 minutes did a segment on him last spring. this is it and i hope you will watch it.

moving mountains

i recently picked up the book, "mountains beyond mountains" at the urging of my new friend jill smith. this is the story of dr. paul farmer, a harvard school of medicine graduate and staff member who has dedicated his life to bring medical help to haiti and other areas of the world that are impoverished and often overlooked. this is one of the those books that tell the story of ordinary people doing extrodinary things much like greg mortenson and his work in northern pakistan and afghanistan and his book, "three cups of tea". these are people that inspire, teach and bring hope to the world. these are people that are just like you and me. the difference is they do where most don't. i am hoping that this trip to haiti in a few weeks will be my stepping off from the don'ts to the do's.
i booked my flights last night and i am getting ready. i am a little scared but that seems to subside moment by moment. if i trust in God, He will see me through.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


haiti is difficult to comprehend and i haven't even been there yet. all that will change the week after easter when i make my first overseas, short-term missions trip. if you have read rick warren's "purpose driven life", he encourages you to take on a missions experience and i am finally going for it. for over a year now, my wife and i have sponsored a young girl in haiti through compassion international and i have the desire to go visit her and her family. yesterday i received an email from compassion that the meeting date and time had been confirmed. i am going to haiti in just four weeks! if you don't know anything about haiti, it is no surprise. this little portion of an island shared with the dominican republic is pretty obscure. seems like not much attention is paid to it. you only hear about it when the government is in turmoil. but it is right here in our own backyard and i have not seen a place more in need this close to the united states. poverty and hopelessness seem to encompass it. i have been thinking, talking and praying about this and God has spoken. i think He is saying, "time to step up, chuck"! i am hoping to bring some words and photos to this blog that might open people to this little big need. people need hope and while i don't presume to be any savior, it is my hope that this is what God is calling me to. to maybe bring a glimmer of hope, first to this little girl, then her family and from there only God knows. i don't ask this very often, but pray for me, for our compassion child edwide and that the love and hope of our Lord Jesus Christ will shine through me.

Friday, March 13, 2009


as i am writing this morning i can not quit thinking about the term, "economic stimulus". do you find it a bit scary that in this time of huge deficit, the way out is to spend more money. more of yours and mine. so they want to spend more in bailouts (from where?) but give me a tax credit so that i can spend more - how does that work? you have people who need to pay off debt but they want you to do more shopping. i understand the ripple effect of business layoffs, shutdowns, followed by home foreclosures and dwindling city tax bases thereby causing less services and more layoffs and.... i get the picture. but why do i/we have to bail out companies that made bad loans or decisions? i don't want anyone to lose their home, but we need a reality check here before going forward and one of those might include smacking the crap out of some of these fat cats who have made these bad decisions and get to keep their jobs and bonuses and pensions while others lose everything. john boy and billy, have a nice day.

simple statements

in second corinthians chapter one verse 10b, paul makes this statement, "on Him we have set our hope". a simple statement but it stopped me in my morning readings today. in whom do i/you/we put our hope? i would say many are putting their hope in our new president. and while i hope that president obama is doing the right things, my hope is in God. my hope is that we will all, as the p.o.d. song says, "sing a new song". in this part of the first chapter of second corinthians, paul is telling those who will listen that God is our comforter. i know personally through my financial mismanagement - tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt - a few years ago that the first thing that God gave me was a peace about things so that i could see the big picture. he comforted me, even though i did not deserve it, and said that this can be fixed. before i allowed God control over the situation, i could not get past the anxieties of the mess i had made to even know what to do. but He washed a peace over me and while i did not hear Him audibly, i sensed that He was telling me to set my hope in Him for the trouble i was in was earthly and He has much greater things for me to focus on. i have told people that the peace He gave me put in to action my new life. the debt did not disappear, but i received a new perspective that allowed me to follow Him and i still do today. over a period of time, i erased the debt and do not carry a credit card to this day. i can not describe the overwhelming joy and weight lifted off me when i became credit card debt free. i could not have done it without Him leading the way. whatever you are faced with today in these uncertain economic times, set your hope in Him. it is free to all that seek Him and He will set you free. simple - set your hope on Him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

scared kinda i don't know if anyone reads this

tonight is the second week our journey team has been in the "crazy love" study from the book by the same name by francis chan - that's him in the photo in case you were wondering who is that? i have really gotten in to the book, but tonight we hit chapter 4 titled "lukewarm" and it kinda scares me or maybe better put as making me uncomfortable. francis gets a bit in your face with some probing thoughts and questions. main question for me is a look inside myself and what is my temperature for God? it kinda scares me.... am i lukewarm? doesn't this incredible God deserve more than i am willing to give? i gotta look in the mirror and say truthfully, where am i in my relationship with God? is it just the stuff he gives me that measures my love for Him? what does it look like to be sold-out to Him?
i don't know if anyone reads this blog, but if you are reading this i encourage you to read this book. it will evoke inward thoughts and discussions about ourselves that we need to be asking. at the end of chapter 3 chan writes, "our love for Him always comes out of His love for us". so the real deal is do i really know and love God?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

shack attack

after hearing so many people talking about "the shack" by william young, i read it and really enjoyed it. several folks at our church have wanted to start a group discussion around the book so if you are reading this post and would like to participate in this group, either comment to this post with your email address and i will send out an email about time and location, or you can straightup email me at