Friday, 26 March 2010

Another day at a coffee shop...

Yesterday I was in town meeting a young leader that I disciple. At the store I found a man holding his fingers and in obvious pain. He mainly spoke Kirundi, so I invited him to sit down and tell us what happened. He had just slammed his fingers in a car door. Ouch! (been there myself). We told him that our God heals those in pain and asked if we could pray. He agreed. We prayed. He was healed! Completely able to bend his finger and all the pain was gone. I watched the blood wash back into his finger nails too. So then we were able to share the Gospel with him and tell him that God is personal and cared enough about him to plant us there just as his accident happened. He said he had never considered a relationship with God before, but wanted to know more... so he is coming to my church on Sunday. His name is Jimmy, so please be praying that God touches his heart (after he hears me preach on fasting?!) and wants to know Jesus personally.

Friday, 12 March 2010


I sometimes find it refreshing to discover there are places in the world where American culture has failed to infiltrate society. I am certainly in one of them. Any movie reverence... completely missed. Any movie reference. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Cinderella, the classics, all of them... not a part of the culture at all. The Oscars? People get a gold statue of a little man who ends up becoming a door stopper years later? Why?

Franchises too. The only one is Coke. Not a single brand name... and the ones I do stumble across have lost their meaning. I'll drive down the street and see any number of second-hand name brands or t-shirts that have significance in America but are just something to cover your back here. For example... the cool looking young man with a Curves light pink t-shirt. He has no idea it's a womens' exercise club... and if he did, it wouldn't matter. Or the off chance I come across an Ambercrombie and Fitch shirt... again, no meaning.

I love the shirts. They really crack me up. Like one extremely built friend who rarely cracks a smile and looks like Mr. T. He only wears black shirts, but some have writing on them. One is the USA Army slogan: "Lead, Follow, or get out of the way." With him wearing it, I believe it. Another says "Some Like It Hot" but my favorite has hot pink writing and says Bridesmaid. Of course I'll never mention what it means.

While it would be nice to be understood when making a cultural reference every now and then... I'm thankful this country has remained hidden from many of our Western influences.

Monday, 25 January 2010

UK... Norway... Hazaa!

Have you ever had God do something for you that you didn't even ask for? I mean completely blow your socks off with His love?

That was my recent trip to the UK and Norway. Everything lined up, I saw so many people I love in just a few days, literally ran into friends on the streets of Bristol, and my heart is overflowing with the fun that was had.

One of the best parts was sharing these two special places with my sister... and getting to go into God's presence together.

On one particular snowy night we were headed back to Wick Court when I saw an old man hobbling down the road. I thought 'oh no you don't' and pulled over to offer him a ride. His car had broken down and he was planning on walking 7 miles back into the city! We had a great chat during the trip, but when it was time to drop him off I mentioned that I noticed he was limping. He said he was in need of a hip replacement and found it quite difficult to walk. Eleanor and I said we would love to pray for God to heal him and give him a new hip. His face lit up and he said, "you know what... a few years ago I really hurt my arm. Then I saw a sign in a shop that said 'healing prayer' so I went it. It was almost completely healed." He was excited for us to pray again. Sure enough... God restored full movement to his arm! Then we prayed for his hip even though he kept insisting that one was too big for God. (!)

He was so touched by our encounter he gave us his email, then walked off to his home. He disappeared too fast for me to see if he was limping, but at least he got a new arm.

The fun of this one was that Eleanor and I did it together... and it was the first time we have teamed up like that.

Stayed tuned as I process the trip and share other stories...

Friday, 25 December 2009

talk about humility...

I've been really thinking today about how Jesus was born.... homeless! Then He was a refugee. You can't get much more poorer than that. Then poor Mary giving birth with all the animals staring at her and Joseph having to deliver Jesus. Woah! I don't think dudes typically do that in Jewish tradition. Or any tradition for that matter! They're called 'midwives' not 'midmen', if you know what I mean. So yeah, there's Jesus, sleep'n on some hay. I mean that really is the poorest of the poor. Picture the contrast. Humble King. Taking off his crown, coming down, literally to be born on a pile of poo... killed by the worst execution method still known of today (don't really see any terrorists dieing that way either. Something about human rights violations.) Then to to be exalted above anyone. You don't get much lower... and you don't get any higher. Our Humble King. Our friend. Emmanuel... Our God WITH us!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Fuel for Encouragement

I was just listening to a Bill Johnson podcast (as I often do) and I need a place to process... no one to talk to so here we go. (disclaimer... 99.9% of this comes directly from the Word or Bill...)

Grace is given to us not simply as unmerited favor... but abundant grace comes for our encouragement... to build and strengthen us. Grace turns us into something before we can do anything... we must become before we can do. This comes in 3 ways:

1.) Personal intimacy with Jesus. Not just seeking him for favor that brings cool stuff. This will happen automatically, but we will be limited in the amount of miracles and cool stuff we see if this is the only reason we pursue him. We must learn how to be with him just because we like him. Better yet, because we love him.

2.) Grace also comes by honoring the gifts in others. We get fueled up when we recognize and give credit to how God is working in other people... and learn to receive from them. It's like the good stuff in them jumps on us. And it does! That's why I'm so encouraged and built up when I talk with my friends. I love hearing what God is speaking to them, how He is moving, and blessing what they do! It really does build me up!

3.) We receive grace when we freely build up others and give away what we have. This means specifically in our speech. God is attracted to our words of encouragement. With our mouths we can build up and encourage or cut down and destroy. When we build up others it's like He says "Yeah! I know that's how they are..." and then everyone is built up!

But we also need to note that when we are in need of some grace or encouragement, this may not come in the form we find easiest. How often do I have a bad day and the last thing I want to do is encourage my housemate? How often am I busy and feeling weighed down and the hardest thing to do is Stop and just be with my King? Or how often do I feel lonely and really need people, but it's easier to sit alone than seek encouragement from others?

Hmmm... Yeah Lord, teach me how to give and receive more grace. Show me how to freely administer what you freely give me. Thank you Jesus you don't limit us to one option, but you've designed us for relationship and community. Your great!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Wooo Hooo!

I feel all grown up! I just walked over to the World Food Program office and asked if I could meet with the director (ha!). To my surprise, and without an appointment, I was taken directly in, explained the Harvest for Christ project with the Batwa, and they said they would be interested in providing food security as the community build their homes!

So... we now have the papers to register the project and get rolling...

A Merry Christmas indeed!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Team GLO!

Simon was here for an awesome whirl-wind 2 weeks... Meg has moved back to the USA... and now I begin the new solo journey.

Loved this last team GLO pic of us!