Monday, July 30, 2007

Safe At Home

We arrived safely Friday morning from Brazil. The church was built, the Word was preached and ministry is continuing in that isolated area of Brazil. I will fill in the details in the days to come. Thank you for praying. The next mission trip is teaching ESL in Croatia. Lona and I will leave August 17 for two weeks. I will give more info on that trip later, as well.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mission: Brazil, Part 4

Here are the specific prayer requests for the trip:

  1. No airline adventures!
  2. Safety in travel and during construction
  3. That Jesus Christ will be glorified above all things
  4. For me as I preach the dedication service
  5. Discernment in evaluating the church camp
  6. Protection for our families
  7. For the congregation that will use this building to minister to their community

Thank you for praying and I will give you an update when I return

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mission: Brazil, Part 3

After we build the church, we will drive back to Teresina and visit a church camp that is owned by the Baptist churches of Piaui. Since Piaui is the poorest state, the camp is run down, but they still use it. It has been 10 years since there has been a regular caretaker for the camp.

We will spend several hours mapping and assessing the grounds and each building. There are 3 dorms, a dining hall with kitchen, caretaker housing and two unfinished buildings for a chapel and something else. Our goal will be to evaluate the condition of the camp and decide whether this project is something our church can tackle. We hope to partner with the Piaui churches in not only this project, but in evangelistic work.

If God ordains this venture, then over the next few years we will go for a two week trip with a construction team and an evangelistic team. We have already been invited by the pastor of the church we built last year to help them with VBS during the day and preaching in the evenings. We would also help with discipleship training, if the pastor asks for it. We will only do what is asked of us. This is to help strengthen the churches, not add notches to our belts or whatever.

On Monday I will leave you with specific prayers requests.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

10 Books on a Desert Island

Here is a new meme: What 10 books would I want to have if I was stuck on a desert island. I will not be as studious as Randy or Rick.

  1. Bible, NASB - Thompson Chain Reference would be nice.
  2. I love reading sermons by great pastors, so 2-5 will be: Spurgeon - any volume
  3. Alexander MacLaren - Any volume
  4. Joseph Parker - any volume
  5. G. Campbell Morgan - Any volume
  6. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in one volume
  7. Foxes Book of Martyrs
  8. Beowulf in Old English (I love reading OE)
  9. City of God - St. Augustine
  10. While The Clock Ticked - an early Hardy Boy Mystery
There you have it. If you read this, consider yourself tagged.

Mission: Brazil, Part 2

The next focal point of the trip is what we will be doing. We are working with Christian Missions Unlimited (CMU) to build a church in Juazeiro, Piaui. (Shwah-zae-doo, Pee-ah-wee) Piaui is the poorest and least evangelized state in Brazil. It is also the hottest! We will spend four days building a church (laying about 5000 bricks) and having a dedication service. There is a congregation already in place and they have outgrown meeting in someone's home or the wooden shack they have as a church. Florencio is the Executive Director of the Baptist convention in Piaui. That is a high-faluten title which means he helps the churches and pastors in any way he can.

We are taking some bags of clothes, toys, basic hygiene supplies and Bibles to give away and to give to the church so they can minister to the needs of their community. They understand those needs better than we do.

It is exciting to meet new friends and to share the love of Jesus. God will show us His work in mighty ways. Most of the time, we just need to stand back and not get in the way! Tomorrow, I will talk about some long range ministry possibilities in Brazil.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mission: Brazil

One week from today, I will be leading a team from my church to Brazil. We will be building a church and other ministry opportunities that God gives us. I thought I would give some information each day this week concerning the trip.

Let us start with the team. There are 11 from my church, 3 others that are related to church members, one construction lead from Alabama and one retired missionary (Brazil) from Florida. We will all meet in Miami and fly down together.

The team has one husband and wife going, two sets of fathers and sons, one father-in-law and son-in-law and one brother/sister act. We have one pastor, one North American Missionary and 5 ordained deacons. Over half the team has been to Brazil before. 12 come from Colorado and one each from California, Indiana, Alabama and Florida.

That was a bunch of boring statistics, but there are some interesting relationships represented within the group. Tomorrow I will discuss the mission focus and the ministry we work with in building the churches.

All-Star Game

Today is the MLB All-Star game. This used to be the great summer classic. Now it is ho-hum. The Commish tried to make it interesting by installing a home run hitting contest and the stupid idea of giving the winning league the home field advantage for the World Series.

Players complain about the hitting contest because it either messes up their stroke or they get some sort of mysterious shoulder injury. When Mark McGuire was hitting, it was interesting, but not anymore.

The home field advantage is stupid. This game is for the fans and nothing more. Starting pitchers should pitch a minimum of 3 innings, no more than 4. Starters should play a minimum of 5 with no maximum. There need to be players ready for extra innings. No tie ball game. If it is a tie and you run out of players, bring back in some starters. This is for the fans, nothing more. Heck, do a home run derby to decide the outcome of a tie game. Every position player still in the game gets one swing. Total number of home runs wins.

My team, the Reds, have one player on the team, Ken Griffey Jr. Go Junior!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Quote of the Day

"See, my tummy is growling. Do you see it growling?" - Ian, holding up his shirt to show his tummy.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Quote of the Day

This quote was actually from Tuesday night. We went to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox game (AAA team for the Colorado Rockies) and they have the best fireworks display I have ever seen. After a rain delay and a 9-run 5th inning the game ended after 11PM. At the end of the 8th we walked out to our car to watch the fireworks from there so we could leave quickly. This was the first display that Ian had seen. I opened the hatch to our Subaru wagon and he and I sat in the back. He was covering his ears and watching. I asked if he liked the fireworks and he said:

"Yes, they are pretty but they scare my ears!"

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Red Swoon

Well, the Reds are 16 1/2 behind the Brewers and not looking like they can climb out of the hole they dug themselves. Jerry Narron got the boot. I think he is a decent manager, but made some strange moves. Basically, an inept bullpen has been the Reds demise. The starters have done a decent job but once they hand the game over to the bullpen, odds are the game is lost. The pen has lost a league leading 18 games. (Ouch!) The Reds are in every game. They are all close and 90 percent of the games, the Reds have had a lead. If the games were only 6 innings long, the Reds would be in first place. No kidding! I saw the stats! The Reds need to somehow skip the 7th and 8th innings. David Weathers, who has 16 saves, has been more like Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage. More than half of his saves are more than an inning.

Oh well. There are two bright spots on the season. Junior Griffey has hit 22 home runs and sits at 585 for his career. Josh Hamilton has continued to produce and is an inspiration to all who know his story.