Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad and Haiti

I really want an iPad. I know the name is silly. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it will be. I really want to enjoy my books and magazines on a single device while sipping my hot chocolate at the local hip coffee shop. I really would, but...

I am not one to be over dramatic about things. I am not an activist and I barely vote (my brother in law spent a whole year in Kuwait away from his family, that loyalty demands me voting). I don't put much hope in our government and just want to follow 1 TIm. 2, pray for my leaders, promote peace so the gospel can be spread most effectively.

Haiti demands that we don't by an iPad for awhile. I am not sure for how long, but I am sure Jesus does not desire me to have another toy, amongst all of my other toys. Not now, not yet, maybe never (let's not get to radical). This is convicting for me because I write this post on my 17" laptop, next to my fully charged iphone, in my home filled with food for a week, and when I am done with this post I am going to my church to pick up my boys who spent the day with loving teachers learning about Jesus and playing with friends.

And this picture doesn't leave my mind... (I don't need an "i" anything)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Redeeming Stuff

The soccer flyer came, a conversation pursued, and decisions need to be made. Will we join the masses and become parents living out of control? Soccer is just the beginning for our twin boys and we know it will take off from there. The goal, not to let the next fifteen years disappear before the blink of an eye.

Everyone fills their life up with stuff. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, we need to do something. Some people find lots of different stuff to involve their families and themselves in while others choose one thing and place all of their energy towards it.

For a long time I have allowed my judgmental nature to criticize those who filled there lives with non-church stuff, or non-religious stuff. I would preach and teach they should eliminate their ungodly stuff, and instead fill their lives with godly stuff, specifically my programs, at my church because this would equate to being with God, having a relationship with Jesus.

In the parable of the Prodigal Sons, the younger builds a life on stuff and then loses all of it. Strife enters his life when a famine sweeps the land. You can see his friends dropping away one at a time, as his funds dry up and he can’t keep up with the neighbors across the street anymore.

The older son also fills his life up with stuff. It leaves him just as starved for the Father as the younger he just hasn't realized it yet.

When the younger son finally wakes up, and goes home, what do we expect the Father to do? Remind him of his iniquities, ask him his future plans, tell him to rethink the stuff he is doing in his life so he can change. Nope!

He runs. Right towards him. No regard for anything but his son. He plows into his son, dives straight for his heart and tattoos it with his signet ring. Game over, he belongs to the Father, what was lost is found!

From this point forward the stuff that the son does is not important, what the son has learned is that stuff itself is not the most important thing, but it is the heart behind the stuff. It is doing the stuff with the Father’s heart. This is gospel living.

So today and everyday I need to evaluate my stuff and remember how is my stuff opening my eyes to a deeper understanding of Jesus.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Churches Helping Churches

A couple of pastors have gotten together and are visiting churches in Haiti. They are looking for opportunities to help the church rebuild in Haiti so those churches can then support the community again. I remember visiting New Orleans when the disaster hit there and listening to the brokenness of pastors sharing about their lives as well as the lives of their congregations. I think the one thing that stood out was pastors sharing that even without the great flooding peoples lives were in a wreck. The flooding only added to that and made it exponentially worse. I can now imaging there are entire church communities wiped out with only a remnant left. I am hopefully that these men will be able to help organize churches to help churches. Check out the site it is very simple and not a lot on there yet. Here is an example of just one video.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti Survivor


Saturday, January 16, 2010


If you want to help or give at this point here are some good places that I have found through the various blogs that I like to read. If you can find a way to give today.

We have a child in Peru and like this organization a lot. Very trustworthy.


I have been moved by this blog.

HT: The Gospel Coalition

If you are ticked at the remarks of Pat Robertson read these articles for insight:

Does God Hate Haiti?

Relevant Magazine Blog

As one who has adopted I am also touched by the plight of the orphans at this point as well:

Together for Adoption Be praying that these sons and daughters can make it to their new homes. I know not everyone gets adoption, but when you get this close to adoption they become your kids instantly in that moment. All the fears, all the toils, all the hopes, dreams, and burdens. Pray for these disconnected families.

I think the most helpful thing I read was from someone in Haiti, the blog I mention above, said they need money and doctors and nurses. These are the most important things at this moment and then other opportunities will come, but resources like food and water need to be saved for those who can help most. So let's not be a burden but help and really listen to the people of this country and what they need.

So at the very least just give to the Red Cross.

If you have yet to be touched by this look at the pictures:

HT: Buzzard

I remember so well during these times that the restoration we will receive from Christ, the restoration that will put all of this away for good, will be wonderful and praiseworthy for eternity.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Is this good?

8 million dollars was raised by texting it for relief. This was reported at Huffington Post.

Is this good, or does this show why situations in Haiti happen in the first place? It is troubling to me how much money we, me, I have and how easily I get to spend it. I am reminded of a message I heard from John Piper, "It is not how much money should I give, but how much do I dare to keep." I think the devastation in Haiti and it is such a telling example of how our rich lifestyle effects the rest of the world.

When the earthquake happened in the Bay Area I was 18 years old. I was in a 7-11 playing a video game. The earthquake hit 6.9, and everything fell off the shelf. The electricity went down about 45 seconds into the quake. I then went home, checked on my grandfather, and then listened to the radio as the announcers were telling us the Bay Area World Series would be delayed and reports of devastation from around the Bay came.

For most people I know it was not a tragic quake as much as it was a story to tell. Today it was something that we barely remember, it was something that was experienced in the normal throngs of life. We rebuilt and there is very little reminder in the Bay Area twenty years later that anything even happened. Except that if a quake like that happens again we will be even more safe today than we were then because we spend trillions improving our infrastructure.

I look at these images now and wonder about my wealth. Does my wealth contribute to these problems? At the very least I know it is time that I give, not just with this situation, but I must learn the difference between what I want and what I need and think of others before myself (2 Cor. 9:1-5).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Infertility, Leukemia, & Jesus (Part 2)

... continuation of my first post "Infertility, Leukemia, & Jesus (Part 1)"

Another statement from the article that I learned about through infertility but understood practically from Adriane's Leukemia was this:

Marital stress.
All those decisions. What are we going to try? How long are we going to try it? You have expenses, a lot of disappointment, and a lot of stress. I was afraid that Phil resented me because I was the infertile one. Did he regret marrying me? That question came up one day. He said, “You’re not infertile. We are infertile.” His response was very comforting to me. Family members’ pain.

It doesn't matter who gets sick in a marriage. It doesn't matter whose body is broken the most because both are broken just in different ways. When Scripture teaches through marriage two become one it is not just a romantic statement to make everyone feel warm inside (although it is romantic). It really is true, there is no more I or me, and there is no more her and him, we are one. The whole purpose of marriage is to understand the idea of two becoming one (in our marriage, and in Christ).

When Adriane got sick with Leukemia (year five of being healed coming up fast) and I went home that first night after the diagnosis I remember going into our bedroom and I couldn't get into our bed. It didn't seem right for me to sleep there while she wasn't in the house. Now I am not saying when our wives go on a trip we can't sleep in our bed, by all means jump right in the middle of that bed and enjoy the space. It was more about knowing she wanted to be in that bed with me and it was suffering for her not to be in that bed and I needed to partake in that suffering with her. I didn't sleep in that bed for the next thirty days while she was in the hospital because I wanted to experience oneness with her and this was the best way I could do it at that time. Eventually, we got to the place where home was no longer just our house, it was wherever we could both be together (home, hospital, extended stay hotel).

I think a correlation between this and fasting could be argued. Fasting is suppose to be done with specific purposes in mind; searching for and hoping for clarity from God. Fasting is about denying yourself and then when you really feel the pain of that denial; talk with God, call out to him, and remember him.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bay Area

The beauty of the Bay Area.

Bay Area. from AJRCLIPS on Vimeo.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Infertility, Leukemia, & Jesus (Part 1)

I got to my blog reading yesterday and found several people posting on an article about infertility. Every time I see something or read something on infertility it is like a little slap in the face reminding me of the blows that life has dealt. I forged ahead however and decided to read the article. A few things jumped out at me that I would like to share over a few blog posts ..

Infertility shatters your identity. You have a picture in your mind. You are married. You have a house with a white picket fence. You have a minivan and a big dog. But where are the children? Infertility shatters this rosy picture. Infertility is often misunderstood. People take it lightly. A person with a chronic disease or terminal illness gets support from all those around them. But to a couple struggling with infertility, these same people offer platitudes. “Count all your blessings.” If one couple says they want kids, another says, “Take mine!”

This is so true. There is nothing like the mental and spiritual domination of infertility. To this very day I read articles like this looking for the author to say when their little miracle came and how it really helped them appreciate the baby all the more and how they realized God's providence in their life. Those articles I quickly put aside and the silent resentment that never leaves attempts to rekindle the embers of anger in my heart.

Infertility has taught me how to be careful of using words like devastating. Infertility has humbled me to the point of learning the definition of devastating. I never knew what devastation really was until infertility visited my family doorstep. Devastation is that place where hope is crushed but time still exists to experience it.

This is where my relationship with Christ needed to change. My concept of God was bound up in do's and don't, but those where insufficient to carry my wife and I through the devastation. This is where we needed to learn to live in grace, in that space that operates within the confines of grace while not bouncing our heads against the wall with requirements of the faith. We needed to understand the relational aspects of Christ versus the commands of Christ.

Please don't get me wrong, the commands of Christ form the pathway that allows us to walk in grace, to know him, but they are not the journey itself. The journey is walking in the promise of hope; namely that Jesus will redeem me from all devastation. That devastation will be no more.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


If you would really like to experience your Bible in a whole new way please check out Logos Bible Software. These people are dedicated towards helping people understand their Bible with a depth that is beyond what can be gained simply by reading books. This program takes the books we read about the Bible and integrates them with the Bible so you never get very far away from the Bible.

I was able to spend the last two days learning to use the program. It was a wonderful two days and I feel ready to dive in. Here is a video talking about Logos and the Seminar.

Camp Promo from MP Seminars on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Team in Training

Thanks to efforts by people like these many people who face Leukemia have a greater fighting chance. We are very thankful for all of these efforts.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Apple iTablet

Not sure which one I am going to root for, but any of these would look awesome. How am I going to ever resist?


I really enjoyed this article on community. It was written by Paul Trip for By Faith, a magazine put out by our denomination.