Friday, August 31, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The Taliban has announced that they will free the 19 South Korean Christians that are being held hostage! Praise God!

You can read this article for more info.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Can You Say Bonehead?

So... I was recently on a trip to an undisclosed location to ask a foundation for money for our ministry. This was a big deal. We were going to ask this foundation for a great deal of money so we had to have our "A" game on. I say we, because I was with my esteemed colleague, Brian Mosley. You can learn all about Brian by watching this video:

So Brian and I have our slick presentation prepared with all of the bells and whistles. We have folders, picture books, video, etc... And we are both wearing our lucky shirts. All is well - we were ready for a great meeting and some serious needed dollars for our ministry. Now before I reveal my boneheadedness, I must give you some additional background information. This undisclosed location was far enough away from Dallas that Brian and I had to take a jet plane to get there. And the meeting was early enough in the day, that we had to fly in the night before and stay over night. I am not much of a fan of checking bags with the airlines, so I will do whatever it takes to make sure I can carry all of my stuff on board with me. This was not going to be too difficult in this circumstance because I only needed one change of clothing. However, as I was packing I realized that my shoes were going to make or brake which carry on bag I brought. If I could somehow get away with not packing any shoes for the meeting, then I could carry a small backpack and have all that I needed. Bringing the shoes would require a rolling bag. So I chose the backpack. Now I had to determine which shoes I could wear with both the slacks that I needed to adorn for this big meeting and the shorts I would wear on the plane and walking around this undisclosed city that night. Because clearly, one should never wear any thing but shorts on an airplane...

This severly limited my options. Upon a detailed review of all of the shoes I own (4 pairs of Crocs), I decided to go with my Black Crocs. These particular Crocs are actually named The Professional, so this is a sound choice by me. Of course, they don't look too good in shorts, but I can live with looking like a dork on the plane and at night in the undisclosed location because after all, the big meeting is why I am going. Oh yeah - and another thing about The Professionals, they are not only super comfy, but due to their dark black coloring, they go virtually un-noticed and can easily be passed off as "dressy."

Okay - that last line I just wrote may not be entirely true. Because when we got into our meeting our host did something quite strange. Since we were going to be meeting about money, he wanted to open the meeting by symbolically washing the feet of myself and Brian. He reasoned that this was a way to keep our meeting focused on ministry and not dollars. Sounded good to us. Just after he said this he got a phone call and had to leave the office for a while leaving Brian and I a few minutes to discuss what we thought symbolically washing our feet would mean? We were stumped.

Our host re-entered the room and promptly knelt by my feet. Then he opened up a shoe shining kit and began to survey my Crocs. "Hmm," he said, "I've never seen anyone wear Crocs to one of these meetings before. I mean I have a pair I use to mow the yard..." He didn't really know what else to say. He decided to use his rag to dust my Crocs off a little and then turned to Brian. I felt like the bonehead that I am of course. What a great way to start the meeting. Fortunately for me, Brian was wearing these brown and brown tennis shoes. So he looked even more boneheaded than myself. Our host took out his brown polish and pretended to scrub and wipe around Brian's shoes before ultimately giving up. The meeting continued after that... as does our search for the necessary dollars needed to fund our ministry...

Friday, August 10, 2007

South Korean Hostage Update

Reports on the South Korean church workers that are being held hostage in Afghanistan are hard to come by, but I did receive a report this morning that the 21 remaining hostages are still alive.

I don’t know what you think about the 23 church members that were on mission in such a dangerous place. I know many would call them irresponsible, senseless, or reckless. I actually think that they are heroic. I am in awe of their devotion to Christ. I am praying for them and I hope you will to.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

More Adventures

So... the day after my 1 am adventure at the wrong house I had another bonehead moment. My friend, who I was staying with, Josh Wimberley, was experiencing some discomfort due to a migraine headache. I had also experienced a similar discomfort earlier in the day and decided I should purchase some sort of medication to alleviate my pain. Since I was in an unfamiliar area, downtown Atlanta, I simply stopped at the first grocery store that I could find which happened to be a Whole Foods. I don't know if you are aware of the fact that Whole Foods does not carry any real drugs. They only had herbal remedies - so I bought the bottle you see in the pic, aptly titled "Migraine Headache Relief." Naturally, when my gracious host told me of his migraine headache, I was ready to come to his rescue. I told him of my recent purchase and asked him if he would like to partake of my newfound medication. Josh seemed a little hesitant, apparently he had some real migraine medication that he could take so he asked me, “do you think I can take both?"

I told him I had popped 7 or 8 of them in the last few hours and that they were harmless because they were herbal. Besides - they kind of tasted good - "go for it."

Ten minutes later we were enjoying a nice bar-b-que dinner with his whole family when Josh proclaimed that his migraine was feeling much better. He publicly thanked me for the medication. It was a nice gesture, I felt really swell inside. Then his wife’s face turned white. A very pale white. Very much like Snow White… She asked Josh, "what medication?"

Josh explained that he had taken his prescription along with the stuff that “he” gave me (as he pointed across the table in my direction). All eyes were now aimed at at me. I was then instructed to produce the said medication and promptly hurried upstairs to retrieve the little pills. Upon further review, I learned that Josh's wife is a Pharmacist, which does beg the obvious question that know one dared to ask... why didn't josh ask Stephanie first? Nevertheless… Stephanie did not look happy as she perused the ingredients list on my tiny white bottle. Dinner was now over. All of a sudden, Josh became queasy and Stephanie announced that my harmless herbal medication was actually some sort of like heart stopper something thingy. I don’t really know – I couldn’t understand between Josh’s loud moans. Evidently, what I gave him doesn’t mix well with what he was already taken and next thing I knew Stephanie was on the phone with Poison Control and Josh was laid out in his bed. The bonehead strikes again!

I actually had to leave for the wedding while they were on the phone and have not spoken to Josh since. His sister, Jordan, has told me he is still alive though. And if you like reading about boneheads, perhaps you will enjoy the following entry about Josh on his aforementioned sisters own blog… Definitely worth the read!

the image above is of the actual bottle used to apparently poison Josh Wimberley.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Please Pray

Have you read about the South Korean church workers that are being held hostage in Afghanistan? It is a horrible situaiton that seems to be getting worse. On July 19th a group of 23 church volunteers from South Korea were taken hostage as they traveled by bus along the Kabul-Kandahar highway. The church team, composed mostly of women, was in Afghanistan on a medical mission.

Tragically, since their capture, two members of the church team - the pastor and a volunteer have lost their lives. The situation remains extremely critical for the remaining 21 members of the South Korean church group. There is spleculation that some are being released and speculation that some are set to be executed. No one really knows what's going on - please pray for our brothers and sisters!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"Overdressed" Dresses up Nicely (A review of the new Caedmon's Call release)

The following is a review from Steve Hayes. Check out more from Steve at his blog: Cajun Roast Beef
When you're wearing a fig leaf, it's hard to feel overdressed, but that kind of ironic imagery not only paints the cover of Caedmon's Call's new release, it permeates nearly every song on the album. The return of Derek Webb brings with it a raw and rich honesty, and the songwriting talents of the underrated Andrew Osenga give this album, and the band, a mature yet edgy, warm yet independant feel that is unmatched in their previous efforts. If 40 Acres told of a band coming of age, Overdressed tells of a band entering a new age with a feel that is at the same time both fresh and trusted.The album begins, as it should, with Webb singing Trouble, a bluesy number that speaks of sin as not simply a "struggle", but something as deep as "the blood running through my veins." Webb's return is marked by the band's trademark B-3 organ, and fresh harmonies. Trouble is a song that sounds at once familiar, and demonstrates, right from the start, that all is right in the world of Webb/Caedmon's relations.As the album progresses the thing that stands out is the flow of different styles and voices, instruments and arrangements. Need Your Love and Sacred, songs that easily bear the Caedmon's Call signature, are followed by Expectations, a simple yet sweeping epic that speaks of the over-optimistic outlook often attributed to real world faith. Osenga writes with great timing and truth that Christianity is often presented as another "expensive ad for something cheap." The variance in arrangements and writing gives the album the same kind of flow as a good compilation or soundtrack, and, as the album builds, a sense of anticipation develops within the listener. This is a "can't wait to hear what's next" release.The anticipation created by the beginning of the album is richly rewarded in the second half of the release. The back-to-back-to back string of Share in the Blame, Hold the Light and Two Weeks in Africa is their best three song combination in recent memory. Share in the Blame is a folksy and melodic modern day admonition to get the log out of your eye before blaming others. Hold the Light is Osenga's tribute to accountability and trust, and it's haunting chorus is framed well by beautifully arranged instrumentals. It's a song more felt than heard, more absorbed than encountered, and it flows nicely into Two Weeks in Africa, a celebration of the change of perspective that comes only from participation in missions. The bridge on Two Weeks in Africa takes you from internal struggle to hope to outright elation over the possibilities present when people become partners with Christ in international missions.The record ends with another gritty Webb number, All Across the Western World, followed by the encouraging Always Been There and Start Again. In a twist of irony, the final songs speak of the presence and new beginnings that Christ offers only to those who come poor and weary. It is a fitting ending for an album that recognizes man's propensity to stand before God Overdressed, embelishing his own goodness in light of God's glory.In all, it's good to see Caedmon's Call return to form. The addition of Webb, though significant, is not all there is to Overdressed. Truth be told, this album dresses up very nicely. The writing is solid, as usual, but the overall flow of the music and themes is what makes Overdressed the best Caedmon's Call release in years.

If you're anxious to hear something off of Overdressed, check out Share in the Blame on the Caedmon's Call Myspace Page here. Great guitar solo by Andy!

Thanks Steve! I had the priveledge of getting my hands on this disc a while back and it is really good. It comes out on August 28th.