Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just in time for the Holidays

I went to Rome. Mark Brown from Miami of Ohio was there too. And many others. We saw many famous buildings and places. And famous people, like this person enveloped in gold fabric of some sort, on a little podium, looking like a Pharaoh or something. It moved when you gave it some change. It was out of place, quirky, odd. If you look closely, we caught it moving its arms inside the little gold suit.

I know, I know. You've been on a forced "fast" from Global Road. Let's just say, November was full...unlike the Global Road. There was the father-in-law open heart surgery (he's recovering well), a CityFocus trip to Rome where there was so much to say (more about that later) and then, well the rest of life to manage. But here it is again, time to bring you cheer and hope during the Holiday season.

Another explanation: There was no internet connection in the hotel in Rome and I never walked by an interent cafe in the whole city. Our staff told me there was one a few blocks down from our hotel but for some reason I always ended up at an actual coffee shop before I got there. Oh yes, the coffee is good in Rome. And I drank lots of it. My hands are still shaking from the overdose. When you drink too much coffee and wake up with a pounding headache, what do you drink to snap out of it?

I should say that some of our staff had wireless in their apartments and did invite me over, but by then I was usually just done for the day. Anyway, the next few weeks will be insightful, biased, and colorful commentary on the topic of students and cities and what it means to reach them, including stuff about Rome. Along with all the coffee you can drink. Right here on the global road. All for free.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Streak is alive

A few months ago, I realized I had an unusual streak going. Last December I got several gifts of coffee. Then, on some United flights I took, they were giving free small bags of Starbucks coffee around Christmas. Suddenly, I had momentum going in my favor. Throughout the year, I just continued to receive coffee or coffee gift cards at various times, unasked for. Result: I've had free coffee at home since the middle of last December. It's coming up on almost one year. I was coming to the end of the glorious run this week when Kim, my loving and non-caffeinated wife, stepped in to keep The Streak alive. She dished off to me a gift card she had been given, laying it all on the line for me. A great use of the re-gifting principle.

Some would argue this was technically breaking the streak, because she knew about it. I think it stays on, because this was of her own free will. Others would just argue that my life has become very boring to even bring this up.

I'm taking it as symbolic of my undeserved provision from God for my daily needs, each morning as I sit down and start the day with the proverbial "cup a joe".

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Scraps from the kitchen table

Yes, it's time for some more random food for thought at the breakfast table. Freckles, come and get it...
My good car-ma has turned sour. In August I shelled out a few thousand dollars in 10 days on my car and Matt's. Then a few weeks later, it turned out my car had not really been fixed. The problems were deeper, more sinister, more...expensive. It was time to give up Mr. '96 Cirrus as an organ donor for other cars who still have a chance at a full, productive life.

Since then, I've been on a hunt for that proverbial "good second car". The one I drive to work, that doesn't matter if it breaks down on the highway cause men can handle themselves in life threatening situations; e.g. car broken down on 4 lane interstate where people are not the least interested that your fan belt went out, you're just blocking traffic.

So, I find that a neighbor down the street has a Toyota Camry for sale at a really good price. I test drive it. Pretty nice. I think I've got a winner, until yesterday. While driving it to a garage to have it checked, a noise starts up. It gets louder as the mechanic takes it for a (very short) test drive. The water pump is going out. How is that? I take a perfectly healthy car for a 10 minute drive to the doctor for a check up, and it gets sick on the way. Corky the Mechanic says to stay away, this probably has more ills where that came from. I am going back to bicycling.

I just imagined myself pulling up to the airport on a bicycle with a luggage rack. That would be fun someday just to see people stare. "Sir, where is the long term bicycle parking lot?"

Speaking of stuff that doesn't work, the laptop I'm working on is a Sony. I've had it for 3.5 years, after my other one was stolen. I love this one. It works great, though its a little slow now. Tired I think. When I turn it on its side, a piece of loose metal on the inside can be heard sliding down the inside casing (that can't be a good sign).

The funny thing is that the wireless connection has worked around the world except one place. And in that one place, whenever I turn on the wireless, the computer screen quickly flashes a message that literally fills the whole screen with various messages of impending doom for my computer, and then it just shuts down. Where is this place? Ahh, The Tokyo Airport, specifically United's lounge, the Red Carpet Club. Everyone around me is steadfastly working on their computers, doing work, sending messages to loved ones about how soon they will be home, etc. and I'm shutting down.

Irony: the only place my Sony will not work is Japan. I think it should work better there. It's home. Visiting its birthplace. Roots. All that. But it just collapses in a heap. Perhaps its just too emotional of a moment. Having been separated from its homeland to live with me, and my broken cars, in Florida. I can understand.

Okay Freckles, we're all out of scraps. Stop begging and go lay down.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Now is the time for "gi".

So, there we are at the end of the trip. Jessica Tekawa, the outstanding stint team leader in Tokyo stepped in and saved the day with a picture. So much happened its hard to know what to say, but here are a few quick thoughts and impressions-

First, Japanese students are receiving Christ. At least as big of an issue is discipleship and growth, because of the social structure that is "stay with your group" in orientation. But for the spread of the gospel, that can be an advantage. The Japanese ministry is already moving to a small group strategy based more on relational networks than the campus you go to. Second is that God has to get in the conversation for the students. For this one, we need to pray and ask God for His plan to unfold. There are things we can do with media and so forth, but we all wonder what God might do to bring the question of eternity and hope for a different life in the here and now to the forefront of conversation. Something out of our control. Hmmm.

The Japanese leadership is moving forward in faith. Several other countries are looking at bringing in stinters and staff to Tokyo starting next year. I think the stage is being set for a spiritual breakthrough there as laborers are preparing and praying for a new day in Japan. THere staff leaders are excited about trusting God for spiritual movements all over the city, not just on a few campuses. So pray for God to bring the leaders that we need for such a large endeavor in the years ahead. And for the Kingdom of God to break in and bring life to the students, and ultimately all of Tokyo, and Japan, and the world, from what happens there. If an awakening broke out here, it would surely be noticed.

On the lighter side, the last night 4 of us went to a local restaurant that is known for its little beef and chicken skewers. I've never tasted beef on a stick that was sooo good. We sat next to a Japanese couple who had lived in Washington DC and joked and laughed for an hour with them. We got into a David Letterman style banter about corn ice cream, one of the flavors in Japan, which they like. But they didn't like root beer, which they had in the US. It was all pretty hilarious. A "had to be there" moment for sure. But it was so worth it.

I also like that the Japanese word for "righteousness" is "gi". I like that. Gi. Jesus is our gi. May he bring gi to Tokyo.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Conveyor Belt Sushi

Our City Focus team ended a day of conversations and planning by going to 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at sunset and praying over the city. It is an incredible view, to look out over Tokyo, and its millions of citizens, and pray for the Spirit of God to sweep over this city and bring awakening. Our prayers join with millions of others I'm sure, for this great nation and city.

I ended the day with Greg Triplett from USC and Dennis Chen from Austin at a converyor belt sushi restaurant. On small plates the sushi (fresh raw salmon, tuna, etc) comes by on plates, you grab what you want, and pay for what you eat. 7 plate minimum, with 20 min. max for 7 plates. So there is an initial frenzy of sorts as a novice, cause I felt like I was eating against the clock. It was awesome. I think I won somehow, but not really sure. Notice the missing people in the picture. This of course because I left my camera in Orlando, but at least I brought the cable to transfer the pictures to my computer, as well as the battery charger. So, I got that going for me.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tokyo City Focus Trip

I forgot my digital camera, or else you could be enjoying another picture of me in an airport. I’m in San Francisco on my way for another CityFocus trip to Tokyo. (In case you are new to The Global Road, CityFocus is WSN’s partnering effort in some major cities of the world to see spiritual awakening among the students) I’m going with John Waidley, a way cool friend from Mission Viejo, CA with a huge heart for the cities of the world. And Sam Osterloh, long time friend from college days at Southwest Missouri State University and current fellow National Team member with CCC. Joining us will be Scott and Jen Thomson from Yale and Greg Triplett from USC, Dennis Chen from Austin and Ralph Cooley from Idaho.

What strikes me as pretty amazing about John, Sam, and I on this trip is that we were all present at the spiritual birth of WSN in 1988 at Horn Creek Ranch in Colorado. This gathering of about 100 or so CCC staff from around the world launched what God had been putting on many hearts for years, that students could actually be effective “short term” missionaries that planted campus movements all over the world, and not just go for week long experiences with a hope that they would go long term some day overseas. And that it would be about all students going, not just American students.

But what signified this as a spiritual birth, and not just a strategy or conceptual meeting, was what we all experienced from the Lord one evening. A powerful wind rushing down the mountain during an evening of worship knocked out the electricity. We continued to worship by candlelight with an acoustic guitar and some simple choruses, and what happened next can be told, but not fully appreciated unless you were there.

Within a short time, we were led to a time of prayer and confession of sin in this mountain lodge, and you could feel the Spirit of God in our midst. Mixed with prayers of confession of pride were prayers for the nations to know the glory of God, for His Kingdom to advance, and for the gospel to reach out to the “Powerful Percent”, the 1% of people in the world who are university students. And when we ended that time, everyone felt a sense of awe, that we had just experienced something that was of God, and His presence was there in a special way. For many of us, it was and continues to be one of those defining moments in our Christian experience.

So here we are, three of us from that gathering, 19 years later, still involved in the vision that had grabbed our hearts; seeing God change the world through the lives of university students. Please pray for these meetings as we gather this week and pray and plan for an outpouring of His Spirit on the students of Tokyo and all of Japan.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hey, I played trumpet in high school

One of the coolest things happened last week. I met with Louis Giglio, head of the Passion Movement, in Atlanta, along with two of their staff, Cheryl and Daniele. He now calls me his best friend as you can see from this picture. JUST KIDDING. I did tell him I played harmonica and wondered about a spot in one of their concerts. He was kind to not kick me out of their offices right then.

Okay, this part is true: as we talked and prayed together about students and the cities of the world, it was awesome to see how unified we are. The Spirit of God does that in us. Passion is ramping up for a World Tour in 2008, and I am so looking forward to hearing where they will be when the schedule gets finalized. I'll post it here, as well. I know it pleases the Lord when we as various members of His body are supporting and encouraging each other's Kingdom building efforts. Pray that God would use the Passion Movement to bring about a new generation of Christ followers around the globe. We're all in this together.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Award for the least known bicentennial...

Two hundred years ago today, Robert Morrison, arrived in China as the first Protestant missionary in that nation. While en route, he was asked if he expected to have a spiritual impact in China. Morrison responded, “No, sir, but I expect God will.”

I just had the above sent to me today. Robbie left for China on Jan. 31 and arrived - after a month stop in the US - at the ripe age of 25, all by himself. No team. No computer. No Ipod. He had spent almost 200 days on a boat getting there. He translated the whole Bible into Chinese in about 12 years, and his first convert was after 7 years. (All according to my source...Wikipedia) You should read the summary on this guy. Amazing. The perseverance of these type of men and women is astounding.

This makes me wrestle with the question of how tied in to results we are in our modern missionary culture. You write home from your "mission field" and report: No converts again this year, but I got another 100 pages of the Bible translated. Wow.

Just being honest here, but if someone had asked me that question on a boat after 2 weeks of being seasick, I think I'd have said something like, "why do you think I'm going there? Of course I expect to have a spiritual impact..." That would be while trying to throw the guy overboard. This alone may be why I was not born 200 years ago.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Parades and Flags and Labor Day

You all remember that little conference of 16,000 students 2 months ago in Korea. I have a few video clips to show of the Parade of Nations. Here is a link to a news report on Korean TV of the conference, and the first part shows the Parade.
Today is often a day of parades and honoring those who work (which I think is all but 4.5% of Americans), conceived by the labor movement in the late 1800's to honor American workers' achievements. I thought I'd honor the Christian students of the world, some who came to attend CM2007, and were sent out declaring the gospel as laborers in the Kingdom of God. We Christians should be the largest labor movement in the world. Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Beseech the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into His Harvest."

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A new vocation?

Personal amazing accomplishment of the past 2 weeks: Flipping pancakes for the staff who work in the campus office in Orlando. Our National Team made breakfast for our fellow staff, and I discovered hidden natural talent in flipping (and catching) pancakes. Notice the form, how I keep my eye on the pancake. Like hitting a baseball, this is the key. You can see the almost grim concentration all over, yet staying very relaxed and calm. With the pressure of the paparazzi, I was determined not to blow this flip. I personally like the pancake reflection in the mirror, proving this was no hoax. Notice the guy in the mirror, looking over his shoulder in admiration and awe. I now have a back-up vocation should the missionary thing fall apart, entertaining hungry masses at county and state fairs.

This is me with my boss, Mark Gauthier, our National Director. Mark felt a little upstaged by me and my flipping, but I still wanted to include him in a posed shot. We had a personal contest with whose pancakes were going the fastest. Mark is a natural optimist, and he felt his were going faster because they were disappearing from his serving tray faster. I told him it was because there were fewer pancakes on his tray to begin with because he was a slower cook, and that the staff in the office were naturally working him over, making sure to be on his good side.
As for me, and my stoic look: I thought we were going with one of those early 1900's style photos that you see of your great grandparents, where no one dares to smile because this is a moment that will live forever and we must not be caught having fun.

The last 2 weeks became a blur of "start the year" meetings. I've been doing one version or another of these for 28 years. But when you go from "comatose" (read previous entry) to all day meetings for almost 2 weeks, you still feel weak in the knees at the end of the day. A couple of them almost put me back into a coma. I actually do okay at meetings, its other people I can wear out as I begin to self entertain.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

coming out of a coma

So, what do you say after coming out of a coma? How's it going? What's for breakfast? Why is everyone so old? Why do I drool when I talk?

After CM07, I put myself in my own social/spiritual/relational coma of sorts. I needed a large margin just to rest and connect with the Lord and my family, and recharge my batteries. Of course, there were a few jobs I still had to do, which I managed to muddle my way through, but mostly I went into deep hibernation.

This past Sunday Kim and I left for Colorado. We joined 350 Stinters going to 28 countries on the Global Road for the next year to bring the reality of Jesus to students of the world. Many are leaving for their destination this Sunday. This has been a great way to wake up out of the self induced exile of the last month. So by God's grace, I will begin a new journey with you and thousands of others who are connectting students of the world to the Light of the World; the One who wakes each person out of their own spiritual slumber into life and light.

I hope you'll join with me on the next stages of this journey.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

CM2007 Rehab

Okay, so I thought, really, seriously, that I would just start posting pics and commentary on the conference. Instead when Kim and I returned to the US, we have found ourselves at a barely functioning level. Such are the accumulated affects of planning an event for 2 years, and a 3 month sprint at the finish line to see it all come together. Now we are in Ft. Collins, Colorado at the US Staff Conference after a week in Colorado of doing laundry, seeing some friends, and speaking at a couple of events.

The big win for us this week was hiking 6 miles on Friday in Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park. It was a perfect day, and though exhausted at the end, it was a blast to see 3 sets of waterfalls, and also to know that we could still do this hike. Our hiking equipment consisted of 2 plastic bags from Target with Gatorade, nuts, peanut butter, and crackers. Other more professional hikers looked at us like we had gotten lost on our way back from the grocery store and wandered into the park. They had walking sticks, and Indiana Jones hats, and backpacks from the "I'm a professional outdoorsmen" catalogues. I was not dismayed. The watefalls looked just the same to me as to them!

So, our Campus Staff Conference starts today and we are doing somewhat better after our week of rehab. We will have 6 breakfast, lunch, or dessert receptions on Monday and Tuesday for staff interested in what we see God doing among the students of Central and South America, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. So, I will get to the CM07 highlights and pictures, and commentary eventually, but it will all take awhile. But do not worry, the best stories are yet to come...of students who are believing God to work miracles in the lives of fellow students around the world. And I hope to tell some of these stories in the weeks and months ahead. In fact, if you are our there bringing the gospel to the university students of the world, feel free to post a short story of what happened right here in the comments section.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Sitting in the airport in Seoul, on our way back to the US. I'll write more later, but I wanted to give a few pictures. Needless to say, there was so much going on that I didn't take time each day to update. I'll put more in later, like some stories and commentary on the conference.

This fashion show opened the conference. It was pretty cool actually. It gave an overview of Korean culture and also tied in the glory of God in the gospel.

This is what it looks like when 15,000 students file out at once to eat Korean box lunches.

Worship leader and singers the first night of the conference

Kim and I meet up with our nephew Kurt and his wife Ruth, and Matt and his girlfriend Laura. They had just been on the Rome Summer Project.

Korean BBQ is good, and its good for you. Even had some kimchi with it.

It's time to catch a plane.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


I'm exhausted from so many conversations in the last 2 days I can hardly think. It's 12:30 am here, and I haven't stopped meeting people since 7:30 this morning. I'd love to download some pics, but that will have to wait for now.

Sorry for those around the globe who have tried to get on the video link, though I did hear from someone that they were getting it to work. I think I've been most amazed in conversations about the students from the more "closed" countries, who are seeing more Christians gathered together in one place than they can even imagine. But American students are equally inspired by the parade of nations and the gathering of those from all over the world. Today my conversations ranged from Central Asia to Moscow, Mexico and East Asia. Only one more day to enjoy this incredible gathering.

Happy Independence Day all you Americans. Enjoy the hamburgers and watermelon.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Opening night

Here is the picture from the first night. It was an awesome evening. Right in front of Kim and I were 3 of our staff from Nigeria. There was a huge sense of excitement and anticipation at this incredible gathering.

This was the first run at feeding of the 5,000 delegates from around the world, right out in front of the Convention Center. I met with our STINT Team Leader's who are heading all over the world in the Fall. We had them come to Korea to experience the reality of what we are all trusting God for at each location. Teams like this are why many of the students are here in the first place; they came to Christ through a student missionary effort.

10,000 more Korean students arrive tomorrow.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Colombian cowboys

Heading to lunch yesterday, and the Colombians had just arrived and were registering. Do you like their hats?

They couldn't resist getting me in their picture. Seriously, I didn't ask for this. I've never looked good in hats, especially cowboy hats. It's really kind of an "Olympic Village" experience that is taking place. The lobby was a sea of nations yesterday, and the big registration will be this afternoon.

If you go to, you can see how to watch the conference on either streaming video of the main sessions or pull it up on an archive. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

How long does it take 50 Argentinians to get to Korea?

I'm eating dinner last night in the food court across the street from the Convention Center. About 30 students and staff come in from Argentina after a 36 hour trip from Buenos Aires. Here was their route. BA to Capetown to Johannesburg to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 12 hour layover there. Puddle jumper to another Malaysian airport (none of them seemed to know where exactly it was) and then on to Seoul. Then a 5 hour bus trip to Busan. Perhaps they get the award for longest trip.

After they leave here, half of them are going to the south coast of Spain to share the gospel with families as they come in to Spain from North Africa.

It's steady drizzle of rain here today (it's the rainy season in Korea) and registration is being set up outside the convention center. Students start arriving in large chunks today. I'm feeling a bit like a kid on Christmas Eve. Lots of anticipation and hope that the wait has been worth it! What am I hoping for? That God will move in our midst so that our lives and the world will never be the same. To me, there are really only 2 questions now that matter with this? How will God move, and what will be our response to His work here? That is where the anticipation comes for me, on the eve of Cm2007.

The banner on the right is up next to our CM2007 banner on the convention site. I call it: The Praying Mantis that ate Busan: A Child's Tale of Terror. Kind of a Harry Potter knock off.

There is a way

So, I have to use Kim's Mac to do this, for some reason. Mac users will say, "Of course". Here are some opening scenes from Cm2007. Arriving in Busan after 24 hours of travel, we are met by enthusiastic Korean CCC staff in bright yellow vests, who are also glad to go home after hanging out at the airport all day. They were at the airport the next day at 7 am.
Here is the Powerade of Korea. I wonder what it tastes like?

Beautiful view of Bexco Convention Center with the mountains in the background. Below that, you'll see CM2007 advertised on a 2 large banners on the front of Bexco. We walked through the Convention center today, with staging and banners and the Global Fair all being put together. It's pretty cool. It's pretty large. and I"m pretty hungry. so it's time to head for dinner.

live from cm2007

Okay, I'm here. Busan, Korea. Still getting over jet lag, in a full day of meetings the first day from 9 until 10 pm. But its all coming together and the students start arriving on Saturday. At our first meeting yesterday you could feel the sense of celebration of being part of this undertaking for the past 2 years. And I've got pictures, but I can't get them to download yet. So, this could go flat pretty quickly if I can't figure that out.

It's funny to get over here and one of the first things I saw (I think was actually a newsclip in Seoul) was Paris Hilton walking out of jail. So, I'm getting all the important news over here. Now to figure this picture thing out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Discipleship makes a difference

Following Jesus is a step by step decision. That is what it means to be a disciple. Often the difference it makes is so subtle, so daily, you never notice until you look up after a year and the changes are more distinct. You look at your life and can see where you are after hundreds and thousands of daily steps with the Savior.
When Kim was a college student, she embarked on that journey. She took a step of faith to spend a few hours a week with some girls in the sorority system at Mizzou (that’s University of Missouri for the uninitiated.) One of the girls she met with was Sharon, who wanted to share her faith, and Kim just took a step to help her. Sharon meets a guy named Mark, who says he’s a Christian. She invites him to a CCC meeting on campus, and Mark meets a whole bunch of really fun people who are Christians. Mark figures out along the way he doesn’t know Christ the way these folks do, and commits his life to Christ. Fast forward about 25 years…
I am working on the Mission program in planning CM2007. I’ve got a team that is spread out all over the world, including the new Campus Ministry Director in Eastern Europe. I don’t know him well, but we are getting to know each other. (Do you know what’s coming?) He is in Orlando last week on his return back to the US for a few months this summer. He drops by so we can put the finishing touches on the Missions Program. We talk more about our past. Turns out, this new friend, Mark Sanders, is a graduate of Mizzou. And the story of him being invited to CCC meetings, and becoming a Christian, and that he is some of the “fruit” of Kim’s ministry in college all rolls out.
And so, you just never know what will happen when you make a decision to take a step of faith and follow Christ. Where are you headed? Who are you following? What will your story be?

My next post comes from Busan. 5 days to CM2007.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Scraps from the breakfast table

For those who frequent The Global Road, you know "Scraps" is a regular feature. Well, actually I've done this one other time. So I guess you could say that today it becomes a regular feature. These are mostly random comments that haven't showed up anwhere else.

Only one more week until Cm2007. Last night as Kim and I took the Beagle on yet another power walk through the neighborhood, it was exciting to imagine what the week together in Korea will be like.

Of course, there have been the usual "things you don't plan for" as we get ready to leave, like fixing our kitchen sink. But Sam Osterloh, resident National Team member, Bible teacher, overall good guy, and turns out, plumber, came over and saved the day. At least it wasn't a tree falling on our house, like what happened to our friends Doug and Denise, 2 days before they left for the Global Project to Paris. I thought it worthy to show the completed sink project, a symbol of crisis averted.

Speaking of Sam, his daughter Allie bailed me out by doing some quick graphics work on the template for the CM2007 pledge. Props to Allie.

I read this morning about 200,000 who gathered for 2 days in the mud at Glastonbury, England, for the annual rock festival. I thought of 15,000 of us in Korea living in tents, slogging through the mud. That would have been exciting.

Latest youtube video circulating has squirming octupus on a plate as the main delicacy in Busan. Bon appetit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

9 the time most of you read this

As we think about spiritual movements among the students of the world, it will take the Spirit powered energy and leadership of students. This is the challenge that will be presented at CM2007. We are trusting God that in the next year, 365 new campus movements will be launched around the world, averaging one a day- at the most strategic cities and campuses around the globe. You will be given the chance on the last day of the conference to indicate your interest in exploring a partnership with one of these campuses. Would you cross a "bridge of responsibility” by praying, giving, or going with a team to plant a movement on another campus? You can see most of those priority campuses right now at Why not take a few minutes and check out the website? More importantly, be asking the Lord to prepare your heart for this great global opportunity of our time. You’ll be able to indicate where you believe God is calling you when you are at the conference online as well as with a card that will look something like this one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

11 days and counting

This morning I was thinking about how close CM2007 is. For the past 2 weeks, I think of that each morning. Now, it's only 11 days away. The planning team was formed 2 years ago. The undertaking has been a huge step of faith for each of us. I was reflecting on those early conversations. It was definitely not some grandiose desire to get alot of students together just to have a big gathering. In fact, I'd say we were all pretty much saying "No" out of the gate, with a need to be convinced that this would be worth it.

Two images stay locked in my mind from those days of meeting. One is of students from virtually every nation worshipping together, a small reflection of the reality we will experience in Rev. 7:9-12. The other was of thousands of students from around the world surrendering to the Lordship of Christ over their lives, with a desire to reach other students who do not know Christ. The ripple effect of that could last for 30-40 years. These students will be the leaders in their countries in the next 10-20 years. By 2020, they will be stepping into the beginning years of powerful influence in whatever field they choose. They can help shape history as God's ambassadors of reconciliation. For this kind of impact, it's been a bridge worth crossing, and we're almost there. And then it gets really exciting.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Crossing a bridge to Alaska

How hard is it to cross a bridge to reach students? Why not read about it from a 22 yr. old student who is doing it right now. Caleb Unruh is on the Alaska summer project, and you can read about it right here. It doesn't seem so complex when I hear him talk about it.
This is what CM2007 is about. Lifting our eyes to see that Christ can use us in His plan for each person, whereever He may lead us. From Alaska to Zimbabwe.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Floods, fatigue, and bridges to cross

Ever get that weary, run-down feeling as you confront life's challenges. It may have to do with wondering how God will provide for you to get to CM2007. Maybe it's the money. Maybe it's a visa. Maybe its overcoming your own insecurity or fear about...well, practically anything. I find there is no limit on what I can be insecure and fearful about.
Perhaps you're tired out by your own character deficiencies, or a relationship that just isn't working. Or the lack of a relationship you wish would start working! Or just wishing your life was different somehow. Whatever the case may be, we all have a faith "track" that God has us on. Israel had one that lasted 40 years. Every day, God had to show up and deliver some manna or else they would starve.
With that kind of track record, how do you suppose Israel felt as a nation when God said it was time to go possess the land, but they first had to cross the Jordan at flood stage, with no bridge? You might think they felt confident, trained by 40 years of daily provision. But I think many felt weak and afraid. Perhaps even Joshua the new leader, who was exhorted directly by God three times in Joshua 1 to "be strong and courageous". I usually need exhorting when my feelings pull me in the opposite direction of faith. I need this so I won't stop and quit in the face of fear and fatigue.
So today, whatever you face, be strong and courageous in the Lord's goodness and kindness toward you, for He will both protect and provide in His perfect way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Bridge Too Far?

What if you crossed a bridge? To a campus on the other side of town, the other side of your country, the other side of the world. Just cross the street, cross a culture, cross the ocean. It's not that hard. It's just that you'll have to cross some boundaries of faith. But that's where God shows up. At the cross.

Go ahead, cross a bridge and change a life, a campus, the world. Check out the list of Priority Campuses and get moving. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A New Campus Every Day

What if every day in the next year, a spiritual movement of Jesus followers was established on a new campus somewhere in the world? Where none existed before. Or where there were previously only a small band of Christians who are now focused with a new hope and vision for impact. That's one of the tangible goals of CM2007.

You can get online now at and see a list of every campus in the world (or 99% of them.) You can also see the work in progress we call a "Priority List" of campuses. You can find the website of most any campus, and learn all about it for yourself. (I pulled the banner above off the site from Meiji University in Tokyo.) We want to trust God to see student movements that are sending dynamic followers of Jesus into every part of the campus and ultimately, throughout a nation. Why not pick one and make it YOUR priority?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Clearwater Beach Summer Project

Kim and I spent Friday evening with the 45 summer project students and staff at the Clearwater Beach Summer Project. We met Heather McHugh there, and she'll be leaving the project for a week and going to Korea with 4 of her friends from college. Notice the funny sign up in the corner about the swimming pool.

Though I shared stories of how God is working in students lives all over the world, Kim and I were mostly reminded of God's work in our lives as students on summer projects. Those few short weeks were life transforming for us. I went to Myrtle Beach after my freshmen year, Kim went to Hawaii after her junior year. She's pretty smart in her project locations choices, don't you think? Those summers were pivotal for us, and we're praying that this summer will be the same for thousands of students all over the world. "The will of God is always a bigger thing than I bargain for." - Jim Elliot.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Austin from Africa

Austin Okomohwo and I were both on Skype today, and just ended up chatting awhile. Austin has a really fun last name to say. Even better to hear him say it in his deep baritone voice. He is one of CCC's best leaders on any continent, and has become a dear friend over the past 5 years or so. We happened to be "talking" when CNN was running the Bono interview from the G8 summit, and the need for countries to follow up on their commitments. (Turns out, the US has done more than their original commitment from 2 years ago. Yeah.) So I was relaying the content of the CNN interview to Austin, who was in Ghana, and we were talking about it as it unfolded. It was another cool taste of the instant global community we live in. I can't wait to see hundreds of African students at CM07. Their zeal will light up the place.

Earlier I had been on a Skype Conference Call (no, I am not getting endorsement money from Skype, but I would be glad to if they offered.) with several speakers for CM2007. Besides Orlando, we were in Houston, Los Angeles, Birmingham, England, Singapore, and Seoul, Korea. It is very cool to see how this is coming together, the messages and the flow of the conference. I'm starting to move from "this is a whole lot of work" to "what if God were to move so powerfully that 15,000 students and staff went back to their countries, ignited by the Holy Spirit to change the world with the love of Jesus?" Hmmm. We just might be a little dangerous, in a good way.


About 7,000 registrations from 127 countries are in for CM07, along with about 9,000 Koreans expected to come. Should be a blast.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

CM2007 - 24 days away

My last couple of months have been mostly devoted to preparing for CM2007 in Korea. Today we were putting the finishing touches on a list of 365 priority campuses that we will all join together to pray for over the next year, and trust God to raise up powerful movements of evangelism and discipleship among the students around the world on these campuses and more.

I just heard today that students from 127 nations will be attending CM2007! I haven't heard a final registration total yet, but will try to post one soon.

One amazing thing is to hear of students from all over the world who will attend the Korean urban immersion mission project after the conference. They are coming from Belarus, Cameroon, Ecuador, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad, and many, many, more. God is raising up laborers in every country to be the next generation of spiritual leaders around the globe.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Dinner with the Coach

Its great when you get back together with friends you don't see very often. "Coach" Donny Wilcox is one of those guys that you drop what you're doing to grab a few hours with, and since he was in Orlando, that's just what Kim and I did. I haven't known Coach my whole life, but it seems like I have. We met while serving as WSN Regional Directors together, about 11 years ago. We've pretty much laughed at life and each other all over the world. He's working with Leadership Network now, connecting churches filled with Boomers, helping them figure out how to unlock their all too often buried potential. Exactly what you would expect of a great coach.

Coach Donny is one of those too rare kind of leaders: honest and authentic; humble, not preoccupied with himself or a need to lead or be noticed, but not afraid to step up when he sees the ship getting off course. I frequently saw him elevate scores of fellow staff members, including myself, to do things he could do better. He always said something like, "Ah, you'd do this alot better than me." His belief in you as a leader and his penchant for great storytelling made him the kind of guy you want to hang with. Plus, he was a pretty good quarterback and baseball player back in the day. Thanks for dropping by, Coach.
A lot happens, especially among celebrities in just a few days. For example...

Kim and I celebrated our 27th anniversary with an awesome meal at one of our favorite restaurants. No paparazzi caught us at the back corner table, probably due to the sunglass disguise. It was nice to not be bothered by the press for once.
LeBron James elevated his game to Jordanesque levels.
What’s her name went to jail.
A baseball manager became irate over a call (wow, that’s never happened before) But then he did a commando crawl out to the pitcher’s mound, and threw the rosin bag onto home plate like it was a hand grenade. It must be more pressure than I thought to manage a minor league baseball team.
I almost suffered a full scale meltdown myself while trying to fix a ceiling fan over the weekend. Glad I wasn't caught on video.
Some alleged crazies were caught allegedly plotting to blow up alleged JFK, (Covering myself legally)
Billy Donovan left coaching University of Florida for $27 million to coach the Orlando Magic. In a temporary fit of sanity he changed his mind 48 hours later and is back to coaching Univ of Florida…almost, sort of. Well, we’re not sure.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Scraps from the kitchen table

Just returned from an awesome trip to Tokyo, one of the great cities of the world. Here are some random musings. This can be dangerous when you're on jet lag, and you're me.

We were delayed 4 hours leaving LA. We all got a nice letter from United saying they were sorry and fill out this form and we'll give you a travel voucher. No word on how much the voucher will be worth. I'm sending mine in just to find out. I'm guessing $50.

The problem was something about crews and flight attendants being sick and not enough to fly the plane. The crew that flew had to fly in from Boise and Denver. The pilot gets on the intercom and says, we have no First and Second Pilots, we're both captains. But we are pretty sure we can do this. I can overhear the other guy saying, "hey, I've never seen one of these lever thingies before. I wonder what it does." It was hard to relax for awhile.

The part of Tokyo I was in was not as crowded as I thought it might be, and it was incredibly clean and organized. There were no trash cans around. I brought home several pockets full of candy bar wrappers and coffee lids as gifts for my family. They were not impressed.

Our friend Yoshitaka was late for our meeting the last morning by 30 minutes. Someone had caught their backpack in the closing doors of the overpacked subway car and, well, a big owie followed for that person. This led us into a discussion how there are 500,000 suicides in the world a year, and 30,000 are in Japan. That's a high rate of really bad days/person. The mass transit authority is trying to figure out how to keep people from using the mass transit system as a personal killing field by jumping in front of trains.

The Land of the Rising Sun may be named that because it comes up so early. Dawn started at 4 am (jet lag, remember, that's how I know this, in case you were wondering if I normally get up at 4 am.) and by 5 the sun was up. Shane and I went to a large and beautiful park a few blocks away each morning where dozens of people were walking and jogging. Wearing white gloves seemed to be important to some of the Japanese, but not that many. People were playing fetch with their Japanese version of Freckles the Wonder Dog. It was all very pleasant and enjoyable. I actually thought Freckles would like this park.

The first early morning there we were up in the lobby of our place trying to get the hot water pot to work for my travel coffee, which I always take with me. I've found I can live a "normal" life even with jet lag if I start with my own coffee. We never figured out the water pot (so many buttons with Japanese subtitles that we got confused) but we found a 24 hour mini mart with hot coffee - in cans. Yes, the cans were behind a glass case, not refrigerated, but heated. So we got our Japanese version of the Starbucks Double Shot all heated up for us and took it on the road. It was great, and odd that the coffee was hot but the can didn't burn our hands. I wondered if I spilled it down my lap if I could sue the Mini Mart for billions of yen? After I finished, I just put the can in my pocket, and carried it back with me to the US as a gift for Matt.

So, speaking of trash, which somehow I've oddly veared into this morning, the trash cans there are actually organized in a recycling system. Even where I stayed, we put our trash into separate wastebaskets for paper or plastic. I think I fooled them a few times, practical joker that I am. Will there come a day in the US when we use lines like this on our grandchildren: Well, when I was your age, we used to just chuck all our trash into an oversized green plastic container in the garage. We liked it that way! And they'll roll their eyes cause they've heard that story a billion times before, and still can't believe there was a day when "mumps and grumps" didn't recycle. Ahh, those were the days.

Enough, it is time to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. Here's to all those who served our country in the defense of freedom. And to my dad, who was an awesome dude. He took 4 sons out golfing at the same time every summer. This act of insanity puts him in the Hall of Fame of Fathers.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Here I am with Yoshitaka Satoh, the Japan National Campus Director. We’re looking at my Sony laptop and he’s explaining why it beats a Dell any day. Actually we are talking about our strategy to plant spiritual movements on campuses all over Tokyo. There are over 900,000 students just in Tokyo, with a .02% evangelical population.

This is the way cool STINT team that I just had dinner with. They’ve been here the whole year, and for some it is their second year. They were so honest, sharing about how hard it is to not see Japanese students put their trust in Christ. But they have grown so much in their walk with Christ this year, and they truly bonded as a team. Way to go STINTers. We are proud of you.

Out on the Tokyo street, it appears “Gone and with the Wind” and “Shane” are making a comeback on the DVD Top 10 list.

Item last: Notice I do not have on one of my 2 blue travel shirts. My new lucky travel shirt was given to me by Matt and Megan for the Big 50!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Signs of a different culture

Although vending machines are not new to us, ones that talk to you are. Of course, the effect is lost without the audio.

We have no idea exactly what this was about, but it only cost about $3.

Eating raw fish on the run, an important skill to acquire.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Shane and I are hanging with the stint team leaders in Tokyo this morning. They stay in a part of the city called Mitaka. We ate breakfast with the woman who is helps run the place we are staying at, kind of a bed and breakfast for missionaries owned by TEAM. She is from Romania, moved to the US in 97, and is on her own short term mission here in Japan running this place. She told us about life under communism and what freedom is really like when you've never had it before.

Monday, May 21, 2007

With Shane, delayed at LAX

This picture with Shane was taken before we found out we would have a 4 hour delay. Otherwise we wouldn't be smiling. This puts us in at 8 pm to Tokyo. This means we have a longer day than the normally impossibly long day you usually have.
Taking a picture with 2 guys is hard. You don't know if you should stand apart, or together. Too "together" feels weird. Totally apart and direct toward the camera lke you don't know each other is also a non starter. We split the difference, with me turning and leaning on the counter ever so nonchalantly with Shane wondering how I convinced him to do this. Now we just will start to look for a good place to eat.

As we head to Tokyo, I want to share a few thoughts from last week I had about CM2007. I wrote this to several of those in leadership of this event. It seemed to strike a chord. It was what God was doing in my heart in reference to all the load of details we are swarmed with right now, as is typical for something this big, I think. Here you go:

In 10 years, no one will be talking about how the handbooks looked, or if there were enough banners hanging, or if the plenary program was smooth, or if we sang all the right songs. These will be faded footnotes if they are even remembered. I know this, because 30 years ago my life was radically changed at a mission’s conference and I can’t remember any of this. What will be the things which last for eternity?

-20,000 students will experience the presence of God in a global community, a momentary glimmer of the eternal banquet celebration. We could stop right there and call it “success”.
-Thousands of students will have surrendered their lives to Christ, and dedicated themselves to reaching the unevangelized students of the world.
-Another slice of God’s missionary force that will impact the next 30-40 years of global history will have taken up the baton for their part of the race.
-Students who will be in our place 10-20-30 years from now will be given visions and dreams for the glory of God and His church.
-The gospel will be carried around the globe in ever increasing circles of impact. -Fireseeds of spiritual awakening will be ignited and scattered everywhere.

In just 45 days this will happen, barring a national or global emergency of some sort, which we should pray against. I believe the eternal repercussions of this conference may alone account for a good portion of internal stress each of us feel. We need to pray that Satan would not thwart this conference on either the global scale or a personal one.

While the stakes are high, it is not us who will accomplish these things. Our buses may be disorganized, the program will not be perfect, we will all have a list of 100 things we wish we could have done differently. Others who have not seen the complexity of this event may well give us their “helpful thoughts” on what could have been done differently. I can say pretty confidently that in 50 days, none of that will matter. The eternal will far outweigh the temporal. Let us keep our eyes on the eternal, and not the temporal.

Time to look for food.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Off To Tokyo

I head for the land of the Rising Sun and a bajillion university students who need to hear the gospel. I fly over with Shane Sebastion, the fantastic WSN Director from the Pacific Southwest Region. We will meet with Yoshitaka Satoh, the National Campus Director of Japan CCC, as well as some of the US staff and stinters there. We'll be talking about how to plant spiritual movements all over Tokyo, like we are seeing happen in Mexico City. I'll try to keep you posted on our exciting yet incredibly brief adventure.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wrestling with God

Yes, 30 years ago I had just finished my second year at Southwest Missouri State University, now just MSU. I attended a conference called "World Thrust". It traveled around the US, challenging students and church folk - who all sang from hymnals then...see my post from last week - to see the needs of the world and "go anywhere, do anything, say anything, and give anything, the Lord wanted". Or something close to that.

It was the final night of the conference, and as the challenge was given to stand if THAT is what you wanted to do, I sat. My group of SMSU friends all stood, I think. But I sat there, wrestling with God. It seemed pretty all inclusive. Funny thing about "Lordship", it IS all inclusive. And somehow, I got that at that moment, and realized this was no ordinary moment in my life. I wondered if my life would end up being boring, or if God would make me marry an ugly woman, just to see if I could handle it (how odd is that?). I wondered if he would send me to be a missionary to some foreign land never to be seen by friends again. A gazillion issues that would keep me from doing this flooded my head. All the normal fear of a God just looking for a chance to totally ruin the lives of those who would bend the knee. So, there is your stated theology, and there is what you really believe. I was wrestling with all that.

I went back home and kept wrestling with God until 2 in the morning. He finally won, I literally bowed, and said "okay, I'm yours". Life has been anything but boring, I fell in love with a beautiful woman, and I have gone to some pretty remote places on the planet, but I've got more friends than I can keep up with. I met Kim for the first time at this conference in a sweet irony of God's plan. Kind of a punctuation mark on the script of my life where He says, "how's that for knowing what I'm doing if you will just listen and follow!"
Fast forward 30 years. In less than 50 days, 20,000 students from around the world will show up in Korea to consider His Call on their lives. His love for all people, nations, languages. And another call to surrender will be given, the CM2007 Pledge. And who gets to help write that Pledge? And help plan this conference?
Yes, the humor of God, the plan of God, the love of God is wrapped up in all this, that I would get to be part of what He is doing. He must be rolling His eyes. God will use a goofball if he lets Him.

Jim Elliot said something like this: The will of God for our lives is always bigger than we imagine. It's true. Believe it. Ready. Wrestle.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I'm 50 today!

Yes, it's that day. I just went from being almost 50, to 50. It's amazing how that happens. You wake up one morning and your 50. Unless you're say, 57, and that will never happen to you, so don't worry. You can't wake up younger, darn it.

I was with several of my CCC teammates last night at Jellyroll's on the DIsney Boardwalk. It's a place you sing along, with two guys at the pianos up front. My "friends" mentioned it was my 50th - which technically it wasn't, today is - and so before you knew it I was up front of everyone, talking and doing some sort of dance like thing to an Elvis hit. The loyal and ever true wife managed to capture some of video. It may show up here soon.

Kim and I are staying at our national team retreat with Sam and Chery Osterloh, friends for 30 years since our college days. Sam just showed up with birthday breakfast of bagels, donuts, and fresh oj. And a Sponge Bob Square Pants Birthday Balloon. WooHoo. We are having fun in Orlando.

I don't mind being 50, in case you are wondering. This morning I was reminded of the faithfulness of God in my life. A great family to be raised in, parents who loved me and gave me all they could, 3 older brothers who let me do sports with them as much as I had any right to expect and a lot more, a great wife who has fully embraced a life of - well, let's just say there is a lot of flexibility required to live with my adventurous side. And 2 kids that are so cool and fun that its hard to imagine how I could be anymore blessed. So, in all, I'm one very grateful-to-God 50 year old this morning. Amen.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Okay, this really happened last week at church, and it just cracks me up. It was seriously explained that we were mostly done with using the video screens at the front for woship music, and it was back to using the hymn books. This would of course be much better for all of us.

Reasons: 1. It was good to follow the notes in the books, even if we didn't read music. 2. Holding hymn books provided a tactile experience- thus enhancing my worship - more than just seeing the words on the screens in front of us. 3. Holding a hymn book with someone you don't know can help build relationships. Ah, the joy of meeting someone next to you who can't find a note if their life depended on it.

This seemed like quite the apologetic for hymn books. Today I thought about developing a "scratch and sniff" hymn book increasing the worship expeirence through smell as well as touch. We could buy fewer of them, thus forcing three to four people to sing, touch, and smell their way through worship together, and saving the budget hundreds, maybe thousands. Count me in.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Dateline Peru: Now THAT'S a cup of coffee

As you travel the Global Road, an occassional oasis of a Starbucks or Seattle's Best, or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf appear on the horizon to bring comfort and relief. But it's always important to sample the local brew to really taste the culture. So, if you head to Peru, you might want to be aware of this version of a Frappucino.

LIMA, Peru — Carmen Gonzalez plucks one of the 50 frogs from the aquarium at her bus stop restaurant, bangs it against tiles to kill it and then makes two incisions along its belly and peels off the skin as if husking corn. She's preparing frog juice, a beverage revered by some Andean cultures for having the power to cure asthma, bronchitis, sluggishness and a low sex drive. A drink of so-called "Peruvian Viagra" sells for about 90 cents.

Gonzalez adds three ladles of hot, white bean broth, two generous spoonfuls of honey, raw aloe vera plant and several tablespoons of maca — an Andean root also believed to boost stamina and sex drive — into a household blender.

Then she drops the frog in.

Once strained, the result is a starchy, milkshake-like liquid that stings the throat.
At least 50 customers a day ask for steaming beer mugs of frog juice at Gonzalez's countertop-only restaurant in eastern Lima, and many treat the concoction as their morning — and afternoon — cup of coffee.

What I like about the drink is that it's a multivitamin that deals with so many different health issues. I think I'd prefer this with crushed ice. Hmm good.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Trusting God for Peace in the Middle East

Here is a great story from Kate Osterloh, in Lebanon with YWAM. This is Kate's second mission trip in a year. She's a college student out to change the world for the glory of God. Be encouraged, and dream of the possibilities.

Whew! I am back from Lebanon and two of the most profound weeks of my life! I started out my journey up in the region of Mount Lebanon, where I joined a local YWAM team hosting a kid's camp for local children.
About 40 children were there, the majority of them Druze Muslims, but the team was able to freely evangelize and pray with many of the kids. It was amazing to see these children lifting their hands up to worship Jesus, hungry for the life He brings! So many seeds were planted, and I am in faith that these kids will share Jesus with their families and communities as well.

After the camp, we moved into the main focus of our trip, which was a combination of scouting out opportunities to send larger teams later on in the year, planning for a seminar we hope to host in 2008, and spreading the message of reconciliation and dialogue to as many local leaders as we could. We traveled all over the country, from Tyre and Sidon in the south, up to Byblos and Junni in the north, and Baalbeck on the coast with Syria. God amazingly provided divine appointments, leading us directly to many people in positions of authority. It was just a blast to see. During these meetings, we would listen to their view of the situation in Lebanon between different faith and political groups, and then discuss with them ways in which they could spread a message of peace and unity between different factions. We gave them an outline of our work in other countries, and ask how we could participate in the peace process in Lebanon in the future.

We also got to visit the Imam Sadr foundation, which is an orphanage in the south, where many children orphaned by the recent conflict were taken in. We visited refugee camps and churches, and attended a large conference on Faith in Politics, organized by the Arab Working group, which was attended by many governmental leaders. We also attended a seminar for Conflict Resolution, which was hosted for 20 Iraqis who were brought in. Meeting with them was just incredible, it was so humbling to meet with them.

Overall, we got a truly profound sense of God's redemptive plan for the nation through these meetings. People are very willing to talk with one another and all long for peace in their land. There have been huge inroads in reconciliation between the various factions. We found our presence in the country so welcome, as many people told us our visit had caused them to rethink their views of the West. We heard a lot of comments on how meaningful it was to them that people in the West actually care what happens to them and their country, and they found fresh hope that we had traveled so far to be with them. Talk about a humbling experience! I can't even explain to you how funny I felt sometimes, a 20 year old from America, getting to meet and share the message of Jesus with these really important, influential people. It's just hilarious the way God chooses to use the weak and lowly people to advance His kingdom.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Facebook United for Hope

Monday, April 30 is an event called "Facebook United for Hope". For one day we're asking you to change the picture on your page to represent Virginia Tech, to show we care and are not forgetting those students and faculty. Yes, it's symbolic, and I'm not much into symbolism. But if in some small way it keeps people from going numb about murder and death, and focusing on hope and community, at least for another day, then fantastic. But the Bigger Picture is that of student's leading the way to a call for spiritual revival in the world. I think there is a revolution emerging among the students of this generation. We are calling for 40 days of fasting and prayer for spiritual awakening among the students of the world, Sept. 1 - Oct. 10. Why not join in and bring others with you, worldwide? Just imagine what might happen. Spread the word.

Friday, April 27, 2007

What's in a name?

The VT Candlelight Vigil last week.
And this just in from the NIV Study Bible's intro notes on Jeremiah. The most likely meaning of the name Jeremiah is "The Lord throws", in the sense of "hurling" the prophet into a hostile world. So, "the Lord hurls" would also be a possibility. Which reminded me of Rev. 3:16, where Jesus said he would spit professing believers out of his mouth because they were lukewarm. They'd lost all sense of their neediness, and had become self sufficient and independent of heart. Kim and I visited Laodicea several years ago on a trip to Turkey. Remnants of an amphitheater is all that's left. Total Desolation. You look out over the landscape and say, "so this is what can happen when Christians get complacent."

So God can hurl us like so many Jeremiah's into a world to change it, to take a stand for righteousness, grace, and mercy; or He can decide to hurl us because we've become room temperature. Status Quo. Self absorbed. Will we get used to spiritual darkness in our world, or will we band together and make a difference?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Virginia Tech and massive prayer

This sign from students at Auburn University that was sent to VT says it all. The response of prayer and messages of love and compassion for the students and families at Virginia Tech have been astounding. Almost 3000 students signed up on the Facebook Call to Prayer group in just 2 days. Hundreds of messages have come in to our website. I've seen responses from Delhi, Venezuala, Taiwan, South Korea, and Africa, as well as university Christian groups and local churches all over America. They speak of praying for comfort, healing and revival.

I really don't understand why lots of prayer makes a difference in some situations. God can move in power throught the prayers of one person. But it seems that when God's people join in prayer, repenting and worshipping and intercession, that God creates spiritual breakthroughs in the darkness of our world. I think this is going to happen, and already is happening right now due to the countless prayers of His people, scattered around the globe but unified in the cry of their heart for Him to work, to heal, to save.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Isaiah 61: comfort to all who mourn

Right after posting my previous entry today, I opened up to the next place I was reading. Isaiah 61. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the comfort all who mourn."

This is, as we know, what Jesus said was His identity. His job description of sorts. He would do this, for us. We can pray this into the world of students today, knowing confidently He will do this. At Virginia Tech, in your family, at your campus, in whatever your "world" is today.

Today is "the favorable year of the Lord". He wants to place around us "a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,..that He might be glorified."

VT Convocation

I'm in Southern California now, preparing to meet with the leadership of CCC here about reaching out to the 2.5 million students in their region. It somehow seems very fitting in light of the drama of the tragedy at VT. We know that 4 CCC students were among the 32 who were killed. That the troubled young man, Cho, had been encouraged and invited many times by the Korean CCC students to various activities, but he had remained isolated. I can't imagine the grief of family and friends who have just lost their loved ones on a random Spring day at college. This is not supposed to happen, life was never meant to end this way.

Around the US and the world, students are connecting about this tragedy. The awareness of "it could have been me" seems tangible. Students are gathering on campuses everywhere to pray, and just to be together. At the VT Convocation yesterday, "Amazing Grace" and Onward Christian Soldiers" are among the hymns that are played. President Bush: "People who've never met you are praying for you". We must all be in prayer that God would redeem this day of death to bring life; to bring from this pain and grief an awakening of true spiritual healing and life and grace that will astound us all. Tomorrow is a day we in CCC are calling on students everywhere to join in prayer for the families of those lost, the faculty and students and community of VT, and for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ to break through in this dark moment.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tragedy at VT

We know so little still about the massive killing rampage at Virginia Tech just 12 hours ago. 33 students are dead. It reveals how desperately sick and twisted some have become. Oklahoma City. Columbine. 9/11. Virginia Tech. I think this will be another landmark event in the US. How, I'm not sure. What if it brought us all such a deep sense of remorse and sadness and grief that we fell before God and cried out for revival to sweep through our land? But what if we just end up numb? Can we be shocked anymore? We need a national revival.

On a note of something good out there...I lost my wallet today. I probably left it on top of the car. Wallets do not make good car ornaments, in case you ever try it. I didn't even know it was gone until Eddie found it, called our house and told me he had all the contents that he found by the side of the road. Except for the wallet and the emergency $50 I have stuffed in a side pocket. So, I got all my stuff back tonight, right before leaving for a trip to CA this week. Though I wonder if he kept the $50. Thanks Eddie for not charging all my credit cards.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I said this could be random

I've been asking myself this question lately: How long will Freckles the Wonder Dog live? And right after that one, will I outlast him? This is what happens when you get close to 5o. Be warned. Take heed, young people.

And speaking of changing the world...It seems the NT example of spreading the gospel could be something like this: It takes a disciple (or two..."go in pairs") to reach a village. Have we turned this around? It takes a village (of Christians) to make a disciple (or two)?

I could go get some of that bad dog food just to make sure I outlast Freckles, but that would be cheating, and I wouldn't experience the thrill of victory. (Finally found that picture of him.)