Friday, April 6, 2012


I want to start by saying thank you to all of you who made my trip to Haiti a possibility. It was truly a humbling and life changing trip. Some of you might not know, but Tot was not able to come with me on the trip due to some circumstances that took place right before we left. This was a little bit of a bummer for me, but I was still very thankful that I was able to go.

I could talk forever about all the cool things that happened and all the things that I learned while in Haiti, but instead I will just layout the events for each day and provide pictures so you can get a glimpse of what we did. However, if you dont have the time to read everything below I will give you the cliff version of what your money helped provide in Haiti...In a nut shell we were able to build one home that allowed a long separated family to reunite; we built garden beds and planted gardens for a community of people that struggle to find any food at all on a daily basis; we poured our love into orphans every single night; and we cared for little Haitian special needs children. Thank you so much for providing the money to make all this happen. Trough your money Gods love, grace, and encouragement was poured out on the Haitian people. Please continue to pray for all those in Haiti; that they would hold fast to the truth of the Gospel and the hope that it provides! Love you guys!

Here are some pictures of the orphans that we got to hang out with every night!

Sunday: Our team headed up the mountain with to worship with a church in the village called Calabasse. This is the same city where we would building the house for Mr. And Mrs. Masalese. The worship service was beautiful, even though I couldn't understand a single word. It is amazing how hearing people worship in another tongue makes you realize the greatness of our God. After church we spent the rest of the day organizing supplies(toothbrushes, soap, socks, tuna, baby stuff, etc) that we would be giving away later in the week.

Monday: On Monday our group split into two smaller groups; one going to the ocean to help set up a camp, the other to the mountains to help build a home. I went with the home building group. We mixed a ton of cement the old fashioned way, moved a house worth of cinder blocks, wheel barreled sand down a hill, and did whatever else required a ton of sweat and minimal skill.

Tuesday: On Tuesday a few of us returned to the Masalese's home to continue construction. The rest of the went to a special needs camp called Wings of Hope. There they poured there hearts into the men and women. The blessed the staff by helping them wash clothes, feed the men and women, play games, and mainly just poor out tons of love on the them.

Wednesday: We all hoped in a bus and bumped our way on a 3 hour bus ride to a place called Double Harvest. This place was absolutely amazing. They have invested over 30 years in the land of Haiti. Their facility included huge crops of veggies as far as the eye could see, thousands of egg laying chickens, fish farms, medical facilities and so much more. We were there to assemble raised garden beds for a desert city called Canez. We spent all day carrying bags of dirt, cutting wood, drilling screws and stapling fabric. It was definitely one of my favorite days.

Thursday: We made the long trip to the very dry and terribly poor city of Canez. And even though their land was dry, their hearts were not...I have never felt so much joy in a place in my life. In Canez we put together the garden beds we made the day before and installed a drip watering system for the plants. Many of you might not know, but I love gardening, so this was my favorite day by far. Not just because I got to get my garden fix, but because of the joy these people had in what seemed to be the lowest of circumstances. It was a beautiful place.

Friday: This was our last day in Haiti, so all of us loaded up and went to see the house that we had been working on. The Haitian construction crew had almost completely finished everything. The only thing they lacked was the concrete floor. As a house warming gift our team brought Mr. Masalese a rocking chair. It was so cool to see him sitting in in on his front porch with a huge smile on his face. The reason he was so happy, he told us, was because all his children had to move away after the earthquake, but now that he had a home they could come back home. Beautiful! As we left we prayed for him and his new home, hugged all our Haitian friends goodbye, and went back to get everything ready for the trip home.

Thursday, July 21, 2011



You know those verses in the Bible that after you finish reading you think, “That was weird, why did he say that?” Well, I ran across one of those the other night while I was reading… And usually, I just let those verses disappear in the back of my mind, but for some reason I couldn’t bury this one.

In the last chapter of Colossians, Paul is giving his final instructions to the church, and he writes, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being WATCHFUL and thankful.”

WATCHFUL…? That seems obscure…especially in connection with prayer... And even more obscure in light of the way we are taught to pray in our culture…Heads bowed and eyes closed.

How can I WATCH with my head down and my eyes closed? And better yet, why be WATCHFUL, and what am I WATCHING for?

The answer to the first question is pretty obvious…You cant… Well , not unless you are a mom…all moms have eyes in the back of their heads…thats obviously why I always got caught sneaking out of the house…but that’s a different topic for a different day.

Why WHATCHFUL? And what should I be WATCHING for?

I took the liberty (I was bored at work) to look up the Greek word Paul uses for WATCH… and what I found was that at its root the word means…to be aroused from sleep…to open your eyes…to be alert.

So in other words Paul is telling us to devote ourselves to prayer…with our eyes open and our radars on…And I don’t think he is just talking about the posture in which we pray….heads bowed, eyes closed vs. heads up, eyes open…it goes much deeper than that.

You see Paul realized something that most of us have never realized or often forget. He understood that EVERYTHING is spiritual.

Not just going to church, listening to Christian music, reading the Bible, and praying….but EVERYTHING

“Unfortunately for most of us its far too normal to separate our spiritual life from our real life…but in reality there is no distinction….everything we do is Spiritual” The truth is whether we are playing golf, eating lunch with friends, sitting at our desk, or studying for a test…we need God in all those moments and places. And He is moving in all those moments and places.

Its this separation of my world into different compartments that I fear causes me to miss out on moments where God’s Spirit is moving in my life and in others all around me.

You see its not just about remembering to pray over our meals or before we hit the sack…But its about living AWARE of God moment by moment.

That’s what I believe Paul is calling us to…To devote ourselves to prayer as we watch where He is moving in every moment…this is a DISCIPLINE that will take a lifetime to learn, but one we must start practicing…

Because God is not just part of our life; He is our life…

And if we want to join Him in His work of redeeming the world, we must begin to PRAY…

with our EYES OPEN

and our RADARS ON

Let me and you make this our practice…

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



Do you ever have those days where you CANNOT stop thinking about all the things you wish you could be doing? Those dreams you thought you would have done by now or at least be doing by now? That was my day…I couldn’t shake the mental pictures of me and Tot walking on red dirt, bending our knees to pray for hurting people, telling them we would be their family and friends. Then walking hand and hand through a garden with people in the village picking squash and other vegetables that would feed their families hungry bellies.

these images, along with many others, just keep playing over and over and over.

Most of the time these thoughts follow with feelings of guilt and remorse. But that’s not what I felt. Instead, I felt a hint of FEAR. A FEAR of never getting there. A FEAR of settling for lesser dreams.

I know WAY… and I mean WAY to many people that say “I never thought this would be what I would do with my life…or… I always really wanted to do that, but then life just happened.”

LIFE JUST HAPPENED…that phrase terrifies me.

“Unfortunately, his (the Enemy’s) method often involves diverting us from our heart’s desire by getting us to settle for what’s normal instead of pursuing God’s best.” Isnt that what we usually do. Settle for what is NORMAL. We have these dreams that seem so far away and so unlikely, and we look around and see others on the escalator cruising through life…and we walk right past the stairs and jump on the escalator.

That’s my fear. Getting on the escalator and unknowingly and unintentionally missing out on the things I always really really wanted to do. Then five or ten years later looking back and saying, “Dang it…If I had only taken the stairs…then who knows what I could have really done.”

I guess these thoughts hit me so hard, because my wife and are inching toward big decisions that will greatly impact our future. Should we go overseas, should we stay here and get more schooling, should we move closer to our friends, should we buy a new car? I know the last one seems minuscule, but for us its been like facing Goliath. Our car is in bad shape, all our other friends are newly married and buying new cars, and isn’t it normal to get a new car when you both get a job? Maybe, but there are dreams we could make small strides toward if we choose to sacrifice the car. So we have a choice.

That’s where that word INTENTIAL comes in.

EVERY DESTINATION AND EVERY DREAM IS REACHED BY INTENTIONALLY CHOOSING THE PATH THAT LEADS THERE. And there are going to be plenty of distractions that tempt us to choose the escalator. The NORMAL route. But we must stay focused and deliberate.

There may be forks and a re-shaping of dreams, but with every dream there are escalators that must be avoided and stairs that must be CHOSEN.


Let me and you CHOSE the stairs and walk intentionally toward our dreams.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Following Jesus

To be a Christian is to be like Christ. It’s a losing of your life, in order to somehow find it. A denying of who you are…a taking up of something else (your cross)…in order to be molded into the image of Christ. I mean Jesus said it himself, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” So to be a follower of Christ there first comes a giving up…followed by a taking up.

The giving up is simple. Not the act itself, but the understanding of what Jesus is demanding. He is demanding my life. The giving up is a forfeiting of my selfishness, my desires, my purposes, my dreams, my own way. It’s that moment (or moments) when I come to Jesus and set my life at His feet and say “Its yours, do with me as you wish. For your Name not mine” The losing of myself…in order to find the new me.

The taking up of my cross, the new me, is where it gets complicated. What is my cross? What is your cross? Whatever it is we have to be sold out to it. Jesus was. And if we refuse to sell out, to give up everything, then we have turned our back on Jesus, and walked away from our CROSS. The rich young ruler is a perfect example…Jesus told him that the only thing he lacked to be His disciple was to sell all his possession (EVERY THING HE HAD) and give it to the poor. The man refused and walked away from his CROSS.

Are all CROSSES this radical?

Remember the story of Zacchaeus? He was rich, filthy rich, and when Jesus came to have dinner at his house Zacchaeus stood up and said, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor…” HALF? Doesn’t he know that Jesus wants it all? And yet Jesus turns to Zacchaeus and says, “Today salvation has come to this house.” Zacchaeus’s response to Jesus is good enough to inherit the kingdom of God. Yet he didn’t give it all. John the Baptist’s response to the crowds who asked him what they should do to inherit the kingdom of God is the same; “If you have two coats, give one to the poor.” Not both? And this doesn’t only occur with possessions…

The twelve disciples of Jesus left everything they knew to follow Jesus. Their jobs, their families, their friends, everything. Yet we have the story in Mark 5 where Jesus frees a man who had been possessed by a legion of demons. After setting the man free Jesus gets in a boat to leave and the man who had been cured BEGS Jesus to go with Him. But Jesus refuses to let him go. This man was willing and ready to forsake all to follow the one who healed him. To GIVE UP EVERYTHING, yet he is turned away…And told to “go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

This leads me to my question…

Maybe we have been missing the point? Maybe the point of following Jesus is not about how much we are willing to give up for Him, but maybe it is about listening to what He is asking us to give up. Maybe there are different degrees of discipleship? What if some of us have sold everything we owned and traveled to the furthest village in Africa to teach others about Christ, but Christ was asking us to “return home and tell how much God has done for you.” Is it possible to be out of God’s will while serving Him? Could we go when He says stay? Is there just one plan that God has for each of us or are there options? Am I missing the whole point of following Jesus?

Answer any one of those that you want…because I am dying to know what you guys think!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Behind the Blog

I have been wrestling with the idea of blogging for awhile. It just always seemed funny to me, and maybe even a little vain, to think that people might care about what I think about. And to be honest I still have a feeling most won’t; which I understand, because I know what goes on in my mind and I can hardly entertain myself with my thoughts, much less others.  But here I am…blogging.
The truth is I miss discussion. I miss the late nights with friends, talking and probing at life’s questions. The asking of gut wrenching questions. The bouncing of thoughts. The challenges of changing our lives to follow the footsteps of our Leader. The wrestling with what it means to be a follower of Jesus. And the struggling to help His kingdom come. The talking, the probing, the challenging, the wrestling, and the striving…that’s what I miss. And the desire for these things has pushed me over the edge into the blogging world.
So this is my chosen path of reconnecting...Reconnecting with the voices in my life that have played such a prominent role in shaping who I am. And a path of connecting…connecting me (and us) to those outside my (our) world of influence so that a new (or maybe old) path might be forged. So I ask you guys to join with me in a discussion…a discussion that will hopefully push us all toward a life molded in the image of Christ.