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Showing posts from March, 2007

Where do I begin?

For the past few days, I've been telling the story of Choluteca, Honduras. To my fiancee, family and friends. I will keep telling the story. There is just so much to tell. I've been fortunate enough to go on many week-long mission trips and each has held its unique value, but this one felt pretty special. Maybe the best one yet. Yes, I think it was.

I don't have much time right now, but I wanted to get some initial thoughts written. So, where do I begin? How about I tell you one story. The story of Esperanza & Carmello.

Esperanza and Carmello are married, with seven children and live in Limon, Honduras, a small, impoverished town, located about 7km from Choluteca. About a year ago, the family was living in a delapidated, makeshift shack. Carmello only has part-time construction work and in their prior living condition, Esperanza had no work. Then Esperanza met some men from the GCLA (Great Commission Latin America) church in Choluteca (Iglesia Gran Comision) and Esperanz…

We're bringing serving back.

Today at 2pm I'll be heading up to O'Hare with 14 friends for a week-long missions journey in Honduras. If you think of it, please remember our team when/if you pray to God this week. We're in for quite a weather transition. 40 degrees in Champaign today. About 98 degrees in Choluteca, Honduras last time I checked. So why Honduras for spring break?

Starting with my first missions trip several years ago, there has been something beautiful and mysterious that has happened on that and each successive journey. I've become more closely tied to the friends that I serve with on those trips. I've seen God move to restore lives, reinstill hope, bring smiles to kids faces, magnify the name of His Son, unite diverse peoples and awaken exciting dreams that lie deep inside some. On man, whom we were helping to reconstruct his little inner city church in Memphis, TN, helped put it all into perspective: "You're my miracle." I don't take any credit for this. Major…

Never Fails.

Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Those last three words hung over me like a fog that wouldn't lift. Their gravity pulled me in, deeper and deeper. Before, the words of this famous passage ran together as one lofty view of what true love is. It is what we should aspire to. It is the love that a husband and a wife should have for one another--at least it seems to always be read at weddings.

But those last three words. I just couldn't get them out of my head. "That's the love I have for you." That's what I sensed, deep in my gut. God's love never fails me. His love always finds me. A simple truth that constantly evades me, leaving me feeling helpless, feeling like I need to…


One of my friends was saying tonight that he loves overcast days. He loves winter. "Good thing you still don't live in the Caribbean," I said. "Yeah, that'd just be depressing," he shot back. Hard to imagine. He just can't understand how everyone hides during the winter and then today when it's the first amazing day of spring (sunny and 75), everyone comes out of the shadows, looking all chipper. People he hasn't seen in months he says. Well, spring is my favorite time of the year, but I enjoy the snow enough that I'm not a recluse during the winter. The weather does change my mood, though--sometimes too much. It's amazing how good of an elixer some good ole fashioned sunshine can be for my soul. That first nice day of Spring when you can open the windows and let the fresh air flood the room. The first scent of a neighbor grilling. Mmmm.

So, the past two Sundays have given us pretty decent weather and I've enjoyed my Sabbath by takin…

I was an engineer once.

Every once in a while, the engi-nerd inside of me rises from the depths. Today was one of those days. I wandered around the highly acclaimed Engineering Open House on campus today and even stopped at a few booths to talk to the people. For some reason, the challenge beckoned me once again. Even though most of this stuff is over my head. These amazing engineering projects reminded me how God's creativity and design is seen everywhere, from computer science to biomechanics. To top it off, I come home and visit my friend Ritish's blog, where I found this post. Even if you're not an engineer or a math geek, you'll get a good laugh. I guarantee it.

Becoming a kid again, II

"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." -Jesus

Manning contends that to be a disciple of Jesus, to become like a little child, we must be willing to accept ourselves as ones who have little importance in comparison to our King. Only when we recognize our low position will we receive a "privileged place in the kingdom." This privilege comes not from us proving our importance, but from God's delight in us, simply becuase we have humbled ourselves as his children.

Talk about a counter-cultural position. Certainly unique from any other faith in our world.

In Luke 18, a rich young man comes to Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Manning says that:

"It is no coincidence that Luke juxtaposes the passage of Jesus and the children immediately preceding the verses on the young aristocrat. Children contrast with the rich man simply because there is no question of their having yet been able to merit…


The poetry, wonder and truth of Psalm 96 resonated in my soul this morning:
1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the people…


Becoming a Kid Again

I'd like to do a few posts on what Jesus taught about becoming like a child. I'm in the middle of Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning, and he offers a few thoughts. Here is one for today:

"When Jesus tells us to become like little children, in order that we may enter the kingdom of God, he invites us to forget what lies behind."

There is a story of a Zen monk who was being chased by a ferocious tiger. He raced to the edge of a cliff, glanced back and saw the growling tiger about to spring. The monk spotted a rope dangling over the edge of the cliff. He grabbed it and began shinning down the side of the cliff out of the clutches of the tiger. Whew! Narrow escape. He stared down and saw a huge quarry of jagged rocks five hundred feet below. He looked up and saw the tiger poised atop the cliff with bared claws.

Just then, two mice crawled onto the rope and began to nibble at the rope. What to do?

The monk looked to the side and happened to see a strawberry within arm'…