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.