Sunday, July 27, 2008

Man shoots lawnmower...

...because it wouldn't start.

Maybe if he hadn't set it on fire it would have started.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our anniversary

Today is Amy's and my anniversary. It's hard to believe it has been 11 years. We give all credit to the Lord for getting us this far, and we look forward to the future. Both of our parents are inspirations for us. Her parents have been married around 35 years, and mine have been married 52 years.

We celebrated this past Tuesday. We went to Six Flags Over Texas and saw "Cirque Dreams Coobrila." If you've ever seen or heard of Cirque du Soleil, it's the same idea: amazing acrobatics, breathtaking balancing acts, and other-worldly costumes all swimming in an explosion of colors, surrealistic props, and hauntingly dreamy music.

We had a great time.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We are now free to leave the country... least in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Amy had to renew her passport, and all the kids needed passports. No, we don't have any plans to go anywhere at this time. But it's nice to know we could go if the opportunity arose

I believe every Christian should have a passport just in case we are called into service outside the borders of our home country. At least five times, Jesus commanded His followers in general to go worldwide with the good news:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19);

"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15);

"Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations..." (Luke 24:46–47);

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8);

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14).
That last one always gets me. As long as there are nations, tribes, or people groups who have not heard the good news, the end will tarry. God will wait. Judgment will be delayed another day. But when we, Christ's followers, have finished the task of going to every nook and cranny of planet earth, look to the heavens because the time will have drawn near! How exciting that we get to be a part of God's great plan of salvation, and that we are a part of the timetable for Jesus' return!

So get your passport ready. You may not go across the world, but like the Boy Scouts say, "Be prepared."


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Divine appointment at a prayer meeting

I've been getting together with a younger pastor, named Brad, from the church our family attends. We talk about theology and whether Kansas City has better barbecue than Texas. Last Tuesday, he told me about a prayer meeting that he wants to start going to. Since we both talked about giving our prayer lives a shot in the arm, I decided to take him up on the offer.

"Oh, yeah," he said, "it's from 5:00 to 6:00 am." Since I'm now a math teacher, it was relatively easy for me to calculate that I would have to get up pretty darn early for this prayer meeting. But I was motivated and curious.

The prayer meeting was this past Thursday. We had a great time. There were about eight of us altogether meeting in the living room of this young couple. From a quick survey of the room, I'd say that I was about 14 years older than the next oldest person, but I felt right at home. One guy led worship on guitar, and we prayed in between songs.

Afterward, I introduced myself to the guy who hosted the prayer meeting. His name is also Brad—no relation—and he's a 23-year-old, on-fire-for-Jesus type of guy. I couldn't believe how much energy he had at such an early hour. (Then I reminded myself that he had no kids.) We clicked right away and started talking a little bit about our backgrounds.

"I did some mission work in Africa," Brad told me.
"Oh really, what country?" I inquired.
"Mali. I went there in 2003."
"No way! I went to Mali, too, for mission work in 2006," I responded with surprise.
"That's crazy!" he said. "Most people I talk to about it have never even heard of Mali. What city were you in?"
"I was in Bamako."
"So was I!" he said excitedly.

We were both amazed at how God set us up to meet each other. Brad was involved with evangelism when he was there, as was I. We talked about how we would both love to go back some day. Since it was getting late—it seems strange to say that 6:30 am is late—we agreed to get together again and share our stories about how the Lord called us to Mali. I left the prayer meeting rejoicing over what God had done that morning.

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