Anna and Dustin are due with their first baby in April. They are going to be awesome parents. Pictures like this seem to mean a lot more to me right now. Children and Gods process of putting them together is an amazing thing. Actually as I think about it, the whole process from conception to 25 is nothing short of a miracle. (My experience only takes me to 25, kind of).
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
I got this email from a friend in Nigiria this morning;
Beloved,Happy new year. It is important that we ask you to stand by us in thaksgiving to the Almighty God for saving me from death in the hands of Armed robbers. Just before the last Xmas, we were blessed with a car. But on the 9th of this month, armed aducted me on my way from Church. The bonddled me into the booth of the car and drove me arround while they carried out their robbery operations. However, the Lord intervened and I escaped mirqculously. Though, they made away with the car, my eventual esacpe is worth thanking God for. Stand with as we pray for it’s recovery.Also, join us in prayer as we prepare for the D4D Foundations Training coming up between 28th January and 2nd Feb., 2008 in Warri. Pray for journey mercies and good health for the Team of Facilitators led by Scott Purser, and all the participants.Our warmest regards to all the brthren arround you.Your friendd, Adams
“The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy
with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just aren’t happy and want a change.So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ”What we are so unhappy about?”
Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings.
Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.
I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days
after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from
The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn’t take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?
Think about it…..are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the “Media” told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn’t have to go.
They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ”general” discharge, an ”other than honorable” discharge or, worst case scenario, a ”dishonorable” discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash
with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells , and when criticized, try to defend their actions by
“justifying” them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn’t kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way……Insane!
Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.
We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.”
“With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, “Are we sure this is a
good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?”
We had a great time with some new friends from Bethlehem this last week end. Sixteen of us left Friday morning and headed up to Cass Lake MN to minister to the natives in the reservation. Greg Mott, our leader, has a real burden for the people of Cass Lake. He takes his family up there about 4 times a year and tries to include others that will go. We were able to take up over 500 packages of gifts for the people. On Saturday we drove our big truck full of the gifts to a housing project parked it and started talking with people, before we knew it there was probably 25 people in line waiting for their gift, and they just kept coming till we were just about out of gifts. Later that evening we were able to attend a POW WOW, a celebration of native culture.
As I have contemplated what we did up there I am still reflecting on the effectiveness of continually giving things to those people. They seem to be given everything they need to live and have become very dependent for survival on the gifts of others. Discussions with some of the women revealed that they have learned to live and raise their children without Husbands and fathers and have actual come to prefer that circumstance. The more I think about it, I am coming to the conclusion that the thing that could help the most would be a concentrated effort toward the men. I am not sure what that might be.
The traditional family model has almost completely broken down. For a people that are concerned with preserving their heritage, culture and religion that is passed on orally by story telling, the lines of respect for fathers, husbands, elders is almost none existent.
At the POW WOW one of the Elders gave a convocation in their language. As he spoke he was almost totally ignored. I think it was merely a matter of formality but there appeared to be norepect for the process. An interesting side note, I was asked not to take pictures during this part of the ceremony as a matter of respect.