care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


Tragedies ...

Currently I am sitting in a coffee shop - which I might add, is the most appropriate place eve to post a blog from.

Anyway, I am currently embarrassed for my a handful of my fellow brother and sisters, who are enjoying each others' company, but at the expense of something ... maybe its at the expense of Christ, or His church, or their own personal reputation ... which I feel the last two listed here will eventually reflect back on Christ...

I say they are enjoying the fellowship at some expense, b/c as I sit here studying ... I see the people around me mouthing words to each other about how "obnoxious" and "loud" they are, and can even see them kind of gawk at the loud laughter...

This makes me sad. I also think this is one of the most obvious moments for me to realize that "others" are always watching, and sometimes b/c we don't reflect Christ in obvious ways ... like considering that the majority of the people here are indeed here to study for finals.

Yet, thanks be to God, one of them I have recently been able to get to know this one guy pretty well,pretty quick ... and know he can handle a word of "rebuke" if I dare call it that ... and he addressed them after have been informed of some of the other peoples' feelings.

I must ask ....

WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO IF ... "Voters in Switzerland Ban Nude Hiking" ??? (Courtesy FoxNews)

The following can be found here!

Voters in the heart of the Swiss Alps on Sunday passed legislation banning nude hiking after dozens of mostly German nudists started rambling through their picturesque region.

By a show of hands citizens of the tiny state of Appenzell Inner Rhodes voted overwhelmingly at their traditional open-air annual assembly to impose a $176 fine on violators.

Only a scattering of people on Sunday opposed the ban on the back-to-nature activity that took off last autumn when naked hikers — primarily Germans — started showing up in eastern Switzerland.

The cantonal government recommended the ban after citizens objected to encountering walkers wearing nothing but hiking boots and socks.

"The reactions of the population have shown that such appearances over a large area are perceived as thoroughly disturbing and irritating," the government said in a statement.

A similar legal move is expected in neighboring Appenzell Outer Rhodes with legislation being prepared against "this shameless behavior."

German Web sites promoting the activity describe it as "a special experience of nature, free and healthy" and said nude walking in the Alps has roots in antiquity.

The verdant Appenzell region has been regarded as a favorite, with trails the nudists regarded as off the beaten path.

The German sites also promote walks in France and in regions of Germany, where public nudity has roots going back to the 18th century through a movement that has come to be called "Free Body Culture." Nudism in more conservative areas of Switzerland is less common.

A similar legal move is expected in neighboring Appenzell Outer Rhodes. The nationalist Swiss People's Party has advised the cantonal parliament it is preparing legislation against "this shameless behavior."

I just thought this was funny ... crazy Germs & their nudity!


the greatest news!

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,

"Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him."

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Hebrews 10:19-39


nothing left to say ...

I have noticed a trend in my own blogging ... namely that I have nothing left to say, if my heart is not totally in pursuit and in sweet communion with the Father, and that can only be by the grace of God. If I am not humbly walking with the Lord, rarely will there be anything positive coming out of my mouth, rarely will there be motivation for sharing of my life on this blog, and rarely will a post be of any worth. ...

In light of that, I am mindful this morning of God's own love for me! He is love (I Jn 4:16), so its even hard to say "God's love" ... but maybe more like, I am mindful this morning of God being for me. He has made me his own (Son 2:16)!!!

Oh praise HIM ... lift up your voice and declare the works of the Lord, His love toward you, oh child of the Most High, is endless, unfaltering, and perfect!!!

Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 150)


In response ... Heroes

One of my best friends had a post recently about heroes.

He expounded a lot about why people can take the idea of having heroes too far ... to idolization ... which, as he mentioned, happens all too often.

You should know, he is a much deeper thinker than I ... and I have ever personally been irritated "when people (especially Christians) idolize human beings who are no better than themselves" ... I have always thought admiration is an excellent thing, of course in its proper place ... this topic brings to mind several scripture references:

  • Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. - 2 Tim 1:13
  • For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. - 1 Pt 2:21
But, Nathan asked, "Who are your heroes?" I have a number, off the top of my head ...

my Dad - Ron, he is a business, yet man of God, like not many I know. He is not driven by pride, power, position, or money ... he is driven by a love for the Lord, and a love for our family. He is probably the most giving person I know.

my Mom - Lynn, she is probably the coolest mom ever, not too mention her godly lifestyle. She loves with all she is ... for example, my little brother is graduating this year and recently she has been sowing. This is not new, it just a hobby that seemingly has been put on hold for nearly thirty years as she has been raising three boys.

my Brothers - Benjamin (Bub) and Mark - each in their own right.

my mom's Father - He died when she was 11, so I never met this man. But the way my mom speaks of him makes me, not only, know I could love him dearly, but also makes me admire and view him as my grandfather. One day I will meet him.

C.H. Spurgeon - I love to read his work. I can picture sitting with him, smoking a pipe, speaking softly in a dimly lit room about the deeper things of God, salvation and sanctification. If there is one author/book (besides the Bible) that has influenced my life the most, it would be his writings!

Joseph - the Genesis Joseph. I would love to sit & talk with him, to hear his perspective, from his own mouth, about his life and how God "gloriously ruined it"!

Maybe I will have time soon enough to explain all these a little more, and complete my list. I would also like to follow this post up with my thoughts about our societies misplaced value of greatness, which ties into who we view as heroes ... !!!

Thanks Hoag, for triggering some good thoughts!


You can do anything for 3 hours ... right?

Three hours is not very long ... In the span of my 23 years of life, or 18, 57, or however old you may be, three hours is only 180 minutes, not accounting for much in the span of your life on earth, and infinitely less throughout all of eternity. Right?


At one point in history, 3 fateful, dreadful and wrath-filled hours accounted for all of the ferocious, justice-filled, righteous and fiery anger of a wrathful God who by nature cannot let evil, go unpunished, to be fully, without need of any future provisions, eternally satiate & appeased!!!

For during those three hours, the God-man, Jesus the Christ, son of Joseph of Nazareth ... who walked, wearied, & breathed just as you and I do ... the Son of God, eternally by the Father's side ... who condescended, not jealous for his eternal prerogative to glory equal to that of the Father ... this man, the Man of Sorrows, the God of all creation, yet One with no home, no pillow to his name, the One esteemed smitten and without majesty among men ... hung in agony on a cross of wood, whose back, lacerated to the bone, scrapped against that rough cross as He sought His breath ... hung in spiritual torment as the Father, all good and holy, turned His face away his & let loose a wrath that slammed down in a torrent of ... a torrent of indescribable justice, finally to rest fully upon the shoulders of Jesus ... and so he remained for three hours!!!

So I ask, you can do anything for three hours? No, not you nor I, can ever, let me emphasize, EVER EVER EVER, for all ETERNITY ever satisfy God's demand for holiness. Hell will the never be enough for the unsaved soul be able to pay back his debt to the Father .. and what will never be accomplished for an unbelieving soul ... was fulfilled in Christ, the eternal Son, in three hours!!!

Take it in.

My humble, and extremely grateful praise is to Christ Jesus alone, who today is yet alive, to the glory of God. Amen and amen.

Songs for Easter

1) The Power of the Cross

Oh, to see the dawn

Of the darkest day:

Christ on the road to Calvary.

Tried by sinful men,

Torn and beaten, then

Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow'r of the cross:

Christ became sin for us;

Took the blame, bore the wrath—

We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain

Written on Your face,

Bearing the awesome weight of sin.

Ev'ry bitter thought,

Ev'ry evil deed

Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

This, the pow'r of the cross:

Christ became sin for us;

Took the blame, bore the wrath—

We stand forgiven at the cross.

Now the daylight flees;

Now the ground beneath

Quakes as its Maker bows His head.

Curtain torn in two,

Dead are raised to life;

"Finished!" the vict'ry cry.

This, the pow'r of the cross:

Christ became sin for us;

Took the blame, bore the wrath—

We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see my name

Written in the wounds,

For through Your suffering I am free.

Death is crushed to death;

Life is mine to live,

Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow'r of the cross:

Son of God—slain for us.

What a love! What a cost!

We stand forgiven at the cross.

I Will Rise

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise


A Long Road Home ...

I have set out the read John this week, so come tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday ... I may be reading the end of the book, yet again exploring and seeking to identify with Christ in his walk to the cross ...

And even now I can see it ...

Tomorrow I will ascend to Jerusalem ... friends, look at that city of old, quickly fading in the night. Do not ever forget what you will witness ... for my life is required of me, but do not fear ... for what will take place is not permanent, it is the Father's will ... Let Mary alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me."

... ... ...

He awakes, fully aware of what is lying in wait for him ... yet onward he goes ... probably dragging his disciples out of bed, if they be anything as I am ... yet he leads the procession into Jerusalem ... streets laden in palm fronds ... the crowds pushing in and shouting amidst the commotion ... HOSANNA! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD, even the King of Israel ... Hosanna ... Hosanna ... Hosanna ...

... ... ...

Now my soul has become troubled, and what shall I say, 'Father, save me from this hour?' But for this purpose I came to hour. Father, glorify your name. ... ... ...

did i do that?

I walked into my office not but thirty minutes ago, today ... the first thing I saw is the following:

This is by and by the best spoof I have seen yet.

Having said that, let me mention ... I am all for President Obama doing a great job, and I want him to be a great president ... but thus far .... I feel this spoof is mostly accurate, and that is highly unfortunate.

Thanks Urkel!!! You're the man!


donuts ...

two things about donuts ... well three

1) they are delicious and we will have them in heaven, well may be more like an eternally better donut!!!

2) we just got our first donut place in town ... in more than ten years

3) two of my peers and I were just discussing how to spell the word "donuts" ... these are the spelling offered:

- dounuts
- doughnuts
- donuts
- douhnuts

my response to the long spelling ... "Yes if you are speaking, using both words individually ... as in dough nuts" ... then as a few seconds passed, Albert responds ... "Yeah, thats what the Pillsbury Dough Boy has ...hahaha!


new mercies

now i must offer praise to the One and Only ... the great, majestic and mighty God of all creation, who speaks and it is and will always be so ... who declares and it stands for eternity, unmovable! He is LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness ... and to me, He has been both yesterday and today ... for with sunrise there are new mercies, new hopes, new joys, all found in Christ ...

but sometimes those mercies are more obvious ... which, when you were as i was yesterday, make you want to hold your tail between your legs ... for the following is an email response i got back from and missions organization:

Thanks so much for your letter to us. Wow you sound like the kind of person we have been praying for. You shared a lot about the training you've received at Auburn University, etc, but what about in missions? Have you had any training in missions? We as ---- require our staff to go through the discipleship training school in order to be involved as a full-time staff person, but, I don’t know if that’s what you are looking for exactly. We would love to be able to see you use your training and fulfill your dream as you shared with development for poor communities of the world.

I’m sure you’re aware that as missionaries, we don’t get paid for what we are doing, so that is the greatest difficulty of all to do what we do and try to see it grow. That is the reason the Lord planted the idea of the “Tree Project” in order to help us that way and actually be busy caring for His creation also. But we, up till now, have not had the funds required to see that to fruition, to even begin on a small scale. However, we do have a wonderful vegetable garden and fruit trees that are doing well, although we still lack the hands to care for them. We can see someone of your gifting and heart have a wonderful future with us in the Environment & Resource Stewardship - - we are praying for those who would become the leaders here when we are gone, this could very well be you, (if God so leads you to do this).

I have a suggestion for you to maybe “get your feet wet” and see if this is what you want. We have something called the mission ------- program which offers a three week to three month time to serve the base by working here in the various areas needed and during that time, you can get to know ---- in a better way to see if you’d be interested in further training, which I've already told you is required for being a staff person. As a ------, you will receive food and housing in exchange for working an 8 hour/5 day week. With the knowledge that you have attained, we could even use you as a possible teacher for the next Environment & Resource Stewardship school, at least in the area of aquaculture/fisheries & horticulture – if you were here during that time, (Jan – May 2010). I will send you the information and attach the application, and if that sounds good to you, just fill it in and mail it back to us, and we’ll start there. Otherwise, I suggest doing --- which is good for any Christian to go through at any time of their life.

Just on a further note, we envision a future “tilapia pond” that we would like to build on our property, fed by the stream running through our property, and an additional food source for our base too. We need to have an area that filters and cleans the water, before entering this pond, (as it could contain, who knows what) from contamination up-stream from us. This seems to be just your thing too, and could be part of the training program in seeing it happen. Just another idea for you.

Well, I hope to hear back from you very soon. May God continue to lead you as you make your plans!

now then ... let me clarify, all those dashes, i added. there is no need to disclose anything here ... on public media, since this is nothing ... all you need to know, is that the Lord is working and this is one of the most encouraging and amazing things i have ever read ... i nearly fell out of my chair, laughing out loud in amazement at the coffee shop when I read this!!! truly each day is full of new mercies!


well crap...

Do you ever have days where things - in the beginning - appear as though it would be a great day?

Well, to day was one of those days. key word being was. My morning was awesome ... physically I woke up rejuvenated, spiritually I was refreshed in the with Spurgeon's words, the word of God and in prayer ... and even got out the door on time.

But as soon as I got out to my research ... the ---- hit the fan! (Pardon the expression) Everything that could have gone wrong at the fish farm did! What should have taken me 1 hour, took 2 1/2 hours!!! I missed class ... the last one before my second test in there, and altogether through me into a funk that has not worn off ...

I say all that to say several things.

1) Satan pisses me off. He knows exactly how to trigger my patience, to exceed that which I am immediately capable of tolerating ... how to steal my joy ... and how to get my focus off of trusting of the Lord.

2) I prayed along with what Spurgeon's Evening edition from today says (see previous post) ... that I would belong to Christ... all in all, my mind, heart, soul, and all ....

3) I have failed miserably ... unable to overcome the peace I enjoyed this morning being stolen in a matter of minutes ... and the worst part? I am stilled worked up, not over it yet ... knowingly holding on to my grudge and my impatience ... and I know its not about how I perform ... but God allows test when his children ask for them ... and in light of that ... I did indeed fail!

Thoughts from a immature Christian ... unfortunately

whom shall I fear ... ?

In the name of the Lord I will destroy them. (Psa 118:12)

Our Lord Jesus, by his death, did not purchase a right to a part of us only, but to the entire man. He contemplated in his passion the sanctification of us wholly, spirit, soul, and body; that in this triple kingdom he himself might reign supreme without a rival. It is the business of the newborn nature which God has given to the regenerate to assert the rights of the Lord Jesus Christ. My soul, so far as thou art a child of God, thou must conquer all the rest of thyself which yet remains unblest; thou must subdue all thy powers and passions to the silver sceptre of Jesus’ gracious reign, and thou must never be satisfied till he who is King by purchase becomes also King by gracious coronation, and reigns in thee supreme. Seeing, then, that sin has no right to any part of us, we go about a good and lawful warfare when we seek, in the name of God, to drive it out. O my body, thou art a member of Christ: shall I tolerate thy subjection to the prince of darkness? O my soul, Christ has suffered for thy sins, and redeemed thee with his most precious blood: shall I suffer thy memory to become a storehouse of evil, or thy passions to be firebrands of iniquity? Shall I surrender my judgment to be perverted by error, or my will to be led in fetters of iniquity? No, my soul, thou art Christ’s, and sin hath no right to thee.

Be courageous concerning this, O Christian! be not dispirited, as though your spiritual enemies could never be destroyed. You are able to overcome them-not in your own strength-the weakest of them would be too much for you in that; but you can and shall overcome them through the blood of the Lamb. Do not ask, “How shall I dispossess them, for they are greater and mightier than I?” but go to the strong for strength, wait humbly upon God, and the mighty God of Jacob will surely come to the rescue, and you shall sing of victory through his grace.

Thanks Charles.


the things in my heart

I have the privilege of teaching my Sunday school tomorrow ... I always help, but tomorrow is mostly me teaching ... which I take seriously ... but I am super excited too! Not b/c I get to hear my own voice ... rather I get to talk about the virgin birth of Christ to several Chinese men ... who are awesome, by the way!!! Johnson, Haitao ... and maybe Walter and Albert. ... We were supose to go fishing last week ... the weather did not permit. Boo!
This is a picture of Johnson, from a trip maybe a year or so ago that we took!

I am excited b/c I get to share the truth of the miracle of Christ Jesus' birth ... the beginning of salvation, the birth of the King of Creation! I get to talk about the promise of Immanuel ... God with us ... which is one of my favorite names of Jesus. All that means I get to spend time today preparing ... I wish I could have spent time all week getting ready, but time is sneaky. Anyway, I am exploring the truths of Isaiah 7 and Matt 1 and Luke 2 today, and its fun, awe-inspiring, and mind blowing ... b/c as I may seek knowledge and truth to share about God ... I find there is an eternity's worth of God to continue to discover. He truly is glorious!

That's all for now, as I must be on my way to continue studying for tomorrow and a test on Wednesday.


feed 'em

Hunger = death = lost souls

Let's all be aware of the hunger reality around us ... check out some details here, here, here, here, here, here, & here... its time. We, the church, must act...

Jesus: Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.