Friday, May 25, 2007

TEF (3)

What a wonderful day! We woke up to a fantastic breakfast lovingly prepared by Justin’s lovely wife, Tamara. This young woman knows how to serve.
Justin loaned us his car for the day, so after breakfast and visiting with more Reimers (they seem to just appear…hourly…) we wound our way to the nearby High Desert Museum. The $52 to get my family of 6 in the door wasn’t so hot… but we got to learn a lot about this incredible part of America and that was better than cool.
Everything here is a wonderful mixture of green and reddish-brown. The pine trees are all tall and full of life. It might be the time of year, but I am totally smitten by the surroundings! It stuns me that God can create things so differently in other parts of the world. Justin was not exaggerating when he talked up the beauty of Oregon.
After the pricey museum we went to the cheap Lava River Chute. Now this rocked! Five bucks got us 250 feet underground and one mile in! The thing is what it sounds like… a bored out tunnel through rock created by a molten lava flow many years ago. Long straight-aways, bending turns, towering ceilings then hunched over “waddling” to pass into another section. It was awesome. The ranger dude told me there could be hundreds of them around, but the only reason they found this one was that the surface entrance collapsed. (Note to self: Do not build house near old volcano!)
We got back in time to eat a great dinner prepared by Tamara (this lady just keeps cooking for a million people!) and a meeting with all the volunteers to the big weekend that starts tomorrow.
I can hardly wait to open Job for these dear families in order that, by His grace, I might point them to the Supreme Worth of the universe. Pray for all that are serving this weekend, won’t you? There will be much need and thus we need much grace.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Elisha Foundation

The eagle has landed! Is it really 11:20PM? Well, we are here after a lovely flight - well, three of them! It is absolutely gorgeous here... "high dessert" they call it. I will try and post some pictures soon. Just wanted my mom to know we were here safe! (Hi, Mom!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Elisha Foundation (2)

Well, I leave tomorrow for Buffalo, then Chicago, then Portland, then Bend, Oregon! Quite a fun day of flying I should guess! All of 4000 kilometers!
I will be preaching at the annual retreat of The Elisha Foundation and am quite thrilled and thankful to have the opportunity to do so.
Pray for us tomorrow as we fly, won't you?
I will try to give some updates here on the blog while we are gone, but that will depend on internet access.
For those of you that want something else to read while I am gone, you could always check out that Challeez fellow. He posts once in a while!

How To Give a Great Man to Man Hug!

Because I am always on the lookout for ways to help men be men!

[Not sure why this took TWO DAYS to post... so if it is old news... sorry.]

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stupid Advertising #1

When I was a High School student I had some thoughts about starting an advertising firm with my good pal John. We even had a very cool name, that is still a very cool name... and I will not share with you!

Anyway, advertising has always intrigued me... especially how BAD some of it is. I decided to begin a little series of posts here detailing some stupid advertising. My source for these examples is very scientifically arranged - I check my mailbox.

Anyway, here is installment #1 of what may end up being a series of one!

From the Dove Soap folks:

Please note the brilliant copy to this ad:

"Your body, hands and UNDERARMS are a beautiful reflection of your spirit..."

Are you kidding me?

My pits are a reflection of a lot of things, but I sure hope they are no reflection of my inner man!!!

That last sentence is referred to as a "set-up" for all you comics out there... have at it in the comments section!!!

The Elisha Foundation

The Elisha Foundation

I will be heading off to Oregon this week to preach at the annual Spring Retreat of The Elisha Foundation. TEF "was founded to provide refreshment and encouragement to families caring for the disabled" by Justin Reimer.

This is a wonderful concept and a needful one.

Because of my son's disability, I have often been asked by other pastors what the church can do to help families in our situation. My answer is always the same. Talk and Relieve.

Talk: For some reason, we often feel shy about addressing the special needs associated with disabled folks. It is another world that makes most of us terribly uncomfortable. That means these familes often feel as if they live in a closet - a cramped and stuffy world that everyone happily ignores. Thus, one of the most helpful ministries a church can have in a family's life is to ask questions. What is day to day living like? What is the most difficult aspect of caring for this person? Are there ways our church could make corporate worship an easier experience? What are you scared of? Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
Simple questions like this can open the door of the closet... and especially as ministers of the Gospel we ought not be afraid to look in there.

Relieve: It seems to me that one of the greatest burdens on any family caring for a disabled child is the constancy of the presenting problems. In our case, my son's disability presents in ways that, for the most part, are easy to live with. But for others, the constant care, attention, explaining, guarding, stopping, starting, cleaning, and the rest can wear the caregiver down.
Churches are in the unique position to help in great ways! They can organize a small group of volunteers to provide an evening out once a week for the couple - Oh, what a ministry that would be! They could come and clean the house, sit with the special needs person in church, etc. The list is endless and the best way of filling it out would be to do point one- talk!

Anyway, for my part, I cannot wait to be with these folks and minister God's Word!

The Revenge of Conscience

The Revenge of Conscience:

Al Mohler writes a gripping opinion piece on what is being called, "selective reduction" - the in utero destruction of one or more babies in a multiple pregnancy. The whole article must be read, but I link to the closing paragraphs below.

"We can hide behind euphemisms like 'selective reductions,' but the woman on the table knows what is happening. She can hide her face under a gown but she cannot hide from her conscience.

The same is true for Dr. Evans, and for those who read Mundy's important article. Consider just these words:

Evans prepared two syringes, swabbed Emma with antiseptic, put the square-holed napkin on her stomach. Then he plunged one of the needles into Emma's belly and began to work his way into position. He injected the potassium chloride, and B, the first fetus to go, went still.

'There's no activity there,' he said, scrutinizing the screen. B was lying lengthwise in its little honeycomb chamber, no longer there and yet still there. It was impossible not to find the sight affecting. Here was a life that one minute was going to happen and now, because of its location, wasn't. One minute, B was a fetus with a future stretching out before it: childhood, college, children, grandchildren, maybe. The next minute, that future had been deleted.

A future deleted -- as simple as that. This is what we have become as a society, if this is what we tolerate and accept as a necessary cost of the new reproductive technologies. Even the most enthusiastic advocate of 'a woman's right to choose' must have to take a deep breath when reading these articles. Conscience will have its revenge."