Wednesday, March 29, 2006

2nd trip to the Gulf Coast

We sent a second team of people from Crossroads down to the Gulf Coast to help out with the relief effort.  I stayed behind this time and playeed Mr Mom so Gail could go on the trip. 

I asked my friend Michael to share some of his thoughts on his trip.  Here it is:

So we were down in New Orleans, in St. Bernard Parish, where some of the worst flooding occurred when the levee let loose Lake Pontchartrain, leaving hundreds of homes under 9 feet of water for over 2 weeks.
We were heading to a distibution center run by a group called Pastors Resource Compassion. They have a huge tent sitting in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot where they're handing out food, clothes and other basic necessities to anyone from the area in need. I say anyone in the area, not anyone living in the area, because the area, for all intent and purposes, is destroyed. The 1000 to 2000 people coming through each day are either living in small FEMA trailers on ttheir devastated property or coming in for the day from friends' or families' homes or apartments outside the area salvaging, cleaning, or just staring at what they once had - a home.
 On our way to the center we drive a mile o! r two down the main drag - business after business, store after store, gas stations, grocery markets, banks, car dealers and barber shops, chuches and ice cream shops, you name it, all closed. Not because of a lot of damage, but because there aren't any people to buy anything. The few people in the trailers - they don't have any money - and if they do - they don't  have anywhere to put anything.
 But it's the streets off the main drag, whole neighborhoods, block after block, as far as your eyes can see - devastation - destruction - like I've never seen, like World War II news clips of the Allied bombing of Germany, an all to real episode of the Twilight Zone, like the End Times. House after house after house - total ruins - if it's still standing it's an empty shell - 9 feet of water - 2 weeks - that's a foot of water on the second floor of a 2 story home. Most of them were ranches. Some of the homes have been gutted, ev! erything that was in, is out. Look down the streets and you see big piles of debris in front of empty shells. Big piles of debris in front of empty shells? Hell! It's peoples lives, thier stuff, their valuables, their trinkets, their memories, their hopes for the future their home held for their families, for themselves, for their community - picture frames - the photo washed of its' image, broken dishes from family meals, a basketball, a little pink Big Wheel like my daughters we gave away last year, t.v.'s, couches, tables, towels, clothes - God it's like somebody ripped all your insides out and threw em on the ground in front you - its literally sickening to think what these people must feel when they see this, I'm feeling sick all over again telling you about it. Can you imagine what these people must feel? Can you imagine? God only knows. Only God will heal them. Let's pray. Let us all pray.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

2 Cor 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
2 Cor 1:3-4 NIV

At some level, I have always known, on this walk with Jesus, the self; myself, is at best a tie for number 2 on the priority list...God, others and then me. As I read the verse above this morning I was reminded of this fact. It starts with praising God. We then read how God comforts us. That's nice and comfortable and meets the basic needs we think God should meet. The reason God comforts us is because he loves us....yes but it doesn't stop there. The reason He comforts us is so we can comfort others.
This has been God's pattern from the beginning. He blesses, comforts, equips, provides insights, grows and transforms His people, His children so that they might be a blessing, comfort, meeter of needs, relayer of truth, teacher and change agent in the lives of others.
Pick just about any story from the life of Jesus, He called Matthew and through Matthew "sinners and tax collectors got a chance to meet Him. He raised Lazursus rom the dead so that God might be glorified and because he loved Lazurus and Mary and Martha and so that "many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him."
So I sit here and take stock of what it is God has done in my life. Now I need to fill in the blanks....

God has done xxxx in my life, and met me in the midst of xxxxx, so that I might be and do xxxxx for others

How about you???

Friday, March 10, 2006

Middle School Weekend at Young Life's Lake Champion

Spending the Weekend with 300+ Middle Schoolers at Young Life's beautiful Lake Champion. Should be a great weekend we are bringing 30 students from Crossroads. Please pray for safety as we travel and while at camp and that God would draw each person there at least one step closer to him.
Oh yeah... prayer for energy and love and patience for me and the other leaders would be good too.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Can't leave well enough alone

Well, I think I found the right combination of layout; three column, and readability. Props to Thur Broeders at thur's templates for doing the hardwork and making it available.

A different take on fasting

Rick, over at a new life emerging, has some great thoughts on fasting. There is something that rings right and true about fasting being a departure from "me-centered" spirituality. I'm still turning it over in my brain but I wanted to pass it along because it is worth the read.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Word Cloud

This cool little web-bot scans your blog and creates this thing. Thanks to Holly for the link. I like the way Jesus ended up smack in the middle of the thing