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Entries from January 2010

Cool and Uncool

Is it possible to be in the midst of something so wonderful, so incredible that words fail to come even close to describing it, and still feel blah. (That’s the censored version, just for you Sam.)

Kate and I are living out the very vision God gave us. I believe we are on the cutting edge of what God is doing in the church today. I’m talking about the revival I looked for my whole life, it actually happened to me. We see miracles literally every single day.

Yet some days I just want to sit in front of my t.v. and not move.

This move of God doesn’t necessarily feel euphoric. I mean I always dreamed of revival as a foot stomping, halleluiah shouting, pew jumping, aisle running party. Turns out that being in the midst of what God is doing is not so glamorous. It’s work, without any pews.

Not the 9 to 5 kind of work. Not the Sunday morning sermon kind of work. Not the Wednesday Bible study kind of work. Nope it’s 24 hours 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, the rest of your life kind of work.

Which is cool, but uncool at the same time. I suppose I am still being transformed by having my mind renewed. That old time religion is hard to purge.

I love what I’m doing. Caring for those who need caring. It’s great, and the move of God. I have learned so much about my Father in Heaven, and why I’m on the Earth. I would not go back to my old self. However……

Some days I miss sitting in front of my t.v. without a care in the world.

Quote of the Week

Yep... Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing... Somethin' we was born with... Somethin' that's ours and ours alone... Somethin' that can't be taught to ya or learned... Somethin' that got to be remembered... Over time the world can, rob us of that swing... It get buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas... Some folk even forget what their swing was like...

from the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance

We are to Break Every Yoke

"Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?” Isa 58:6 NKJV

One of my favorite passages out of Isaiah. When folks ask me what I believe God is telling us today, this passage comes to mind. In particular for us Christians or those of us who follow Jesus and His Way.

We are to break every yoke. Israel was complaining in the verses before this one that God had not paid attention to their fasting. His response was that they had not yet fasted.

We are to break every yoke. The writer continues to describe God’s idea of what a fast is. It includes feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and inviting the poor into your home. And I thought fasting was just about not eating.

We are to break every yoke. Those who follow Jesus have not even begun to fast yet. I’m tired of talking, talking, and talking some more. I’m tired of skipping meals in an effort to manipulate some cosmic spiritual force. I’m tired of trying to demonstrate my superior holiness. I’m tired of trying to please a creator, who is already pleased. Come on, let’s invite the poor to our house.

We are to break every yoke. Culture and religion can be, and more often than not are forms of bondage. We are asked to break them. Smash them. Destroy them. Loose the bonds of wickedness.

We are to break every yoke. Fear constricts a person to the point they can no longer move. As those who would fast, we are to break the hold of fear. After all we have not been given a spirit of fear. Love will cast out fear.

We are to break every yoke. It’s time for more radical living and less radical speaking. As it was put by a white guy sporting dreadlocks, we need to become ordinary radicals. Today, right now, we need to decide that enough is enough. Following Jesus necessarily means we will no longer be like the rest of the world. Our values will adjust. Love transforms one’s outlook on life.

We are to break every yoke. The truth will set you free. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Not a religious system, not a moral code, not a book or even a collection of books. Nope, it’s Jesus. Know him and know truth.

We are to break every yoke. Knock and it shall be opened. Come on join us in our campaign to break the bondage of poverty and loneliness. We can do it. Maybe not for the world, but for those that God brings to us we can love unconditionally. That is all He asks of us.

We are to break every yoke.

Wrestling with God

This morning during my class with the children we talked about Esau and Jacob. Going through the story, we came to the place where Jacob wrestles with God. You know where God changes Jacob’s name to Israel?

I felt vindicated as a teacher, because Butterfly got the point. “Wow. Jacob fought God.” It was a moment were I was a proud daddy. Especially since I didn’t have time to really emphasize that point.

She gave the wrong answer though, when I asked is it o.k. to wrestle with God. She said no. To which I pointed out that Jacob did and God blessed him for it.

Wrestling with God is the right thing to do at times. Sure you’ll get a limp out of it, but the blessing, ahh, the blessing makes the limp worthwhile.

I’m wrestling with God right now. Don’t worry. I’ve done it before. Sure I have limps, but the blessings have made the limps well worth it.

Not that I really like the wrestling all that much. Sometimes I can’t see the outcome during the match. I get disappointed.

Yet this morning Jacob has given me hope. Hope for a blessing from God himself. A blessing because I choose to fight him.

Mary, did you know?

Mary, age 10, had no living relatives to take care of her. She was all alone in a remote village of East Africa.

When she was hungry, she'd find work. People would ask her to carry water or fire wood that weighed as much or more than she did. Her payment would be just a couple of mangoes or a few bits of ugali...

Some one in the village had the bright idea of making a few bucks off of Mary by selling her to someone in Mombassa as a 'house help.' There, she could work all day, seven days a week in exchange for 'getting to live there.' She may or may not get to eat.

Then Ben came to her village and saw how she was being treated. He told us about Mary. We opted to bring her here to our home and give her....

A Future and a Hope.

We are so happy to have Mary move in yesterday....Mary, did you know that one day you'd be living with Americans in a big city, going to a nice school, and wearing nice clothes? Did you know that you would live in a huge house, have some one ELSE wash your clothes and cook your food? Mary, did you know that you would never miss a meal, and you'd even get to eat cake and ice cream, and play with real baby dolls? Did you know that you'd be tickled and hugged and loved on?


I don't think Mary had a clue, but boy, is she smiling now! Welcome to A Future and a Hope, Mary!



Eggs Dropped

Cracked-egg  I dropped the eggs today. Literally dropped 60 eggs. Well actually they slid off the car while I watched, but still there was no getting around the fact that I dropped 60 eggs.

Not to worry, they weren’t that expensive, and we will replace them before they are needed tomorrow. (Almost every Saturday we eat scrambled eggs, grits, and toast for dinner.)

This is actually the greatest worry I have in my life. The biggest monster hiding in my closet waiting for the lights to go out. I worry about dropping the eggs in someone’s life.

It gets overwhelming at times. That’s usually when I get reminded how human I am. You see I learned that in ministry you are not supposed to be human, instead you are supposed to be angelic. That’s a lot of pressure, especially since I’m pretty sure angels don’t need to sleep.

I’m no angel. I’m no saint. I’m not good at following a religion. What I am is human.

I can’t save everyone. I can’t feed all the hungry children in Nakuru. I can’t be the saint that people need missionaries to be. I am just Johnny.

I still worry.


I feel powerless.

I feel as if there is nothing I can do.

I feel shame that there are many hungry in our community.

I feel scared at trying to raise money to feed them.

I feel anxious about the future.

I feel like Frodo as he realized that it was him against the dark lord Sauron.

I feel thankful for the following passage in the Christian Bible:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

send a small box

A friend of ours has discovered an inexpensive way to send small things to us. Let me let my friend David explain how he does it:

I use a Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box (it's the same box for domestic and international shipping)
8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8"
Up to 4lbs weight
$13.45 to mail it to Kenya (make sure they know it's a Flat Rate Box if they want to charge more for it)
It requires the smaller Customs Form 2976.
I usually record the contents as "Housewares" with a value
of $25.
I've used this method a few times and really like being able to send stuff on a more regular basis. The size is basically the length of a DVD case and just under 2 inches thick. I've been able to fit slightly thicker items. It does take some creative arranging of items, and I often take things out of their packaging. I've sent DVDs by replacing the standard DVD cases with slimline cases. Also beef stew and ranch dressing mix make great packing material as do the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.
Packages usually arrive in two weeks.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you need other information that would give people an "incentive."

So there you have it! FYI, I've updated our care package list. There's a link on our side bar, if you are interested.