Monday, June 30, 2008

World Changers Update and Videos

A big THANK YOU to EVERYONE who checked my blog and sent encouragrams this past week to Durham, NC. (By the way, our group is in the left most "edge" of this group shot. Hint: Steve Cornforth is one of the few rebels who refused to wear the WC t-shirt, and I'm right behind him! Click on picture to make it bigger!) As a result of my "cell phone blog," our church was responsible for 90% of the electronic encouragrams! We had a great time sharing stories yesterday during the church service, and seeing pictures and videos last night at worship.

I'll be posting my own pictures soon, but for now, go to:
to see the pictures taken during the week by the staff.

Also, here are some video clips I've posted on YouTube...

This was on Wednesday night (our one night off) at a Japanese restaurant. Aren't I blessed to have such "helpful" and "loving" church members?

At our work site, on Thursday and Friday, another crew came to help us. Their church brought their lunch first and I could not pass up an opportunity to teach a needed moral lesson in sharing...

Years ago our church bought a shingle lifter for our construction trailer. I never knew a piece of construction equipment could be so appreciated. We spread the joy in Durham by letting other teams use it. You don't know what kind of joy I'm talking about if you've never lifted a 70lb. pack of shingles up a ladder....and YES, I have done that myself before so DON'T comment and ask me if I have!

And finally, the reason we bless our homeowners, Richard and Hattie...

It was a week I will not soon forget! You'll be hearing more about that in the days ahead. For now, let me, on behalf of our FBC Denmark group, thank you all for your prayers and your encouragement! And please keep both of those up as we all need to be World Changers year round!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I want to add a note...

I want to add a note on Friday night because I know some of the staff at World Changers are reading the blog. And this group of underpaid, overworked group have been fantastic and supporting us, and being encouraging, and they're(?) just great. And I just wanna thank them because of probably reading this. And they'll all going crazy(?) to try me get the final details. So we love them and say for a thanksgiving for them with me. Thanks. listen

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This is Friday night....

This is Friday night. We are waiting for our final worship celebration. Had a fantastic day. Got to share with our home owner. Katie Brewer was on my team today, and we went with a couple of other kids through the neighborhood. Got to play with three different people, and it's a great ending day for outside. So, thank you again for prayers. Talk to you later. listen

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

This is the hottest...

This is the hottest day there has been. Thursday afternoon we have another teen health class today and we broke up early because of the temperature and everyone is enjoying another hour and a half of free time and everything is well and great. And we'll be home in 48 hours and thank you all for checking in. See you soon thank you for the prayers. listen

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It's Thursday morning...

It's Thursday morning and wanted to remind everyone to continue to pray for home owner and her husband who are about(?) to have witnesses and ____ share for about 15 minutes, I guess they ____ ministers and ____ a lot, so just keep trying about that and for all about home owners as I ____. Thank you again for the prayers. Have a great day. listen

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday night, we...

Wednesday night, we all just right(?) back from our day off. Spent the day at the huge mall. Several people bought Crocks. Callo(?) Banks forced me to take a shirt, I bought back because of the color ain't cheap. Pick up an appropriate one, you'll hear about that. And we ate a lot of Japanese steak, chicken and shrimp. Anybodys(?) on their way to bed. Thank you all much. Pray again for tomorrow. Bye. listen

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This is Wednesday afternoon...

This is Wednesday afternoon and did you hear a lot of noise it's 'cause we're on the bus and we are heading to a mall just because we want air conditioning, okay? And everybody say hey. They're having good time and I know that won't transcribe so I hope you could click on the audio link. Keep praying for us, we're having a great time and I didn't get lunch today but that's okay. Bye. listen

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pray for us on Wednesday....

Pray for us on Wednesday. Several of our folks have to leave at 6 o'clock, so they can finish by lunch, when we had the afternoon and Wednesday evening off. And the kids want to go to a mall, just because they like air conditioning, that some of folks are gonna get up really really early. So, just pray for us on Wednesday, and thank you all again, and send some more we're gonna keep our record up. That's the most ____ charge, to(?) have a great day. listen

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It is Tuesday night...

It is Tuesday night and it's really late and I have a blog today. We had a great time of prayer tonight, great day. Have concert of prayer going sharing time, can't figure anything else, specifically today, except to say that it was noted by the ____ group who has got more programs ____ Orchard Group who has got more in programs ____ the other one. So, thank you thank you thank you. And will talk to you tomorrow ____. Bye. listen

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That's what I get for...

That's what I get for trying to blog so early in the morning before ____. What I wanted to tell everyone was to pray for Mr. Benny(?), who I met yesterday. A neighbor or our house owner, he does not even have a bathroom, has to go next door, and we're trying to find a way to help him out at this week. So, say a prayer for him and so many others in the neighborhood. You all have a great day and pray that we'll have a great day too. listen

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Tuesday morning, I woke...

Tuesday morning, I woke up at 4 a.m. and I am on my way, or now it's 5 o' clock and I am on my way to retrieve diet mountain dew from the back of Steve's truck, and people already up so it's not like you know people on _____but anyway _____for a good day and just checking in, that's all. listen

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 3 continued, Monday....

Day 3 continued, Monday. I only have 30 seconds at a time because it's free so forgive me. Everyone is having a wonderful time, very excited and talking to a lot of people in the neighborhood. I got to pray with 4 different people today just to bath their relationship with Christ. That was wonderful. Keep us in your prayers and we will be talking with you soon. Everyone, sincere(?) love(?). Bye. listen

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Monday evening, we had...

Monday evening, we had a great day. This is a transcription of a phone call and sometimes I do not speak clearly enough and that is why you're getting some of these lines and things. We've had a wonderful day. One of our team members accepted Christ tonight, Cody Jameson and we're all there excited about that. I got to talk with a lot of people around the work site. More later listen

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Day 3, Monday morning...

Day 3, Monday morning 6 o'clock. Everyone is moving around slowly like ____ but they are moving and we are looking forward to a great day on our job for the first time. So we all keep praying for safety and effectiveness and outrage and for cooler temperatures and again thank you in for checking in and it's time for me to yell at people to get out of bed and blog ____. Bye. listen

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 2 Sunday, met Mark...

Day 2 Sunday, met Mark Russ(?) they are fantastic went to the church and had a wonderful time there worshiping with the neighbors at the site where we are working and had prayer with them and of the good week and I can go out and get along great so I appreciate everybody's prayers and details later Okay Sunday afternoon and I have got to go to the meeting and thank you for checking in. Bye. Bye. listen

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

We have arrived. I am...

We have arrived. I am standing outside looking at the rain from Southern High School in Duram, North Carolina. We got here without incident. And we had our first worship service and looks like we're gonna have a great time. And you all be praying for us and thanks for checking for blog. I'll be checking back in soon, bye bye. listen

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Friday, June 20, 2008

This is a test. I am...

This is a test. I am trying a new feature of to see if I can post to the blog, if this works? I will be blogging from North Carolina and the world changes(?) trip that also be an audio link to my actual voice, isn't that thrilling? See you. listen

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I'm Leavin' To Change the World

This will be oh-so-brief in that I have to leave in 7.5 hours with the first of two World Changer teams from my church. The youth team will be working next week in Durham, NC. (The college team leave in July for Charleston, SC) Pray for temperatures under 88, safety, and effectiveness in sharing Christ. I doubt I'll have internet access (I can't wait to sort through the piles of junk email that will be waiting on me.
If you want to send me (or anyone in our group) an "E-Couragram" you can go to:
and find the Durham, NC project under the June 21st - 28th section. You will also (hopefully) be able to check out pictures of our project! Wowee!

Well, I better finish packing! AH

Monday, June 09, 2008

Inspiration in Finding Nemo

I know that I should be looking for inspiration (or should I say “illumination” of inspiration) in more mature settings, but when I find it, I find it. If you automatically dismiss anything animated as just for kids and just for entertainment, you can skip this. Never you mind that when Jesus was asked “who is the greatest in the kingdom,” He called a little child to stand among them, and said, “"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-6)” He was talking about being humble (which means being teachable!).

I must admit, in the few minutes I caught of the movie this past Saturday (I was watching it to see a longer preview of the upcoming WALL-E Pixar movie), I was surprised at the children sermon ideas that were popping into my head. In a relatively short sequence, I found two illustrations, and then a bonus one!

Nemo Lesson One: Tell A Story Worth Telling!

First, Marlin, Nemo’s over-protective father, is on a quest to find his son, Nemo, who was taken by a diver, and placed (unbeknownst to his father) in an aquarium in a dentist’s office in far away Sydney, Australia. He tells his story to some turtles, who quickly pass the story to fish who pass it to lobsters who pass it to dophins, etc…. until it finally reached a pelican, who knows where Nemo is!

He quickly flies to tell the little fish that his Dad is doing everything to find him! When Nemo is told of His father’s quest and determination to find him, he is inspired to not give hope, and he sets about on a new course that eventually leads to his escape back to the sea and back to his dad! The story of his father’s quest was the main story of the movie; and the story of our Father’s quest for us through Christ is the main story of our lives! Hopefully, we’ll be sharing it whenever we can! (To see this clip go to : segement 06/11 and move the progress slide to around 7:20. The scene continues into segment 07/11 at I'll deal with those irritating seagulls in the next lesson!

Nemo Lesson Two: "MINE" Can Be An Ugly and Destructive Word!

The second lesson from FINDING NEMO concerns some VERY irritating seagulls! As Marlin's story makes its way to the Australian shore, we find some seagulls who all can only say one thing, “MINE!” They say it over and over and over again…incessantly! At one point, the pelican, who is trying to listen to the important story about Nemo, gets so frustrated that he yells, “SHUT UP!” They are quiet for a second or two! But then start right back up! You can see them as part of the previous clip...go to time mark 8:30 on segment 6/11 from LESSON ONE CLIP.

They are not interested in hearing the story, or being a part of the story of a father trying to find his son.
None of the seagulls ever become a part of the greater story because they are blinded by their own selfishness. Yes, it’s an animated movie, but here it display an ancient problem….remember the rich, young ruler in Luke 12:13-21? I wonder how many people come to some churches because they are drawn by God’s story, only to be met by a bunch of “seagull” church members shouting, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

We need to be shouting, “His! His! His!” It’s His church, not mine! How many churches have been destroyed by that little word, MINE?
How many people have missed being a part of God’s story of redemption and salvation because, even though they attend a church, are more focused on what they want or don’t want; what they like and what they don’t like? May we each pause before we should “mine” one more time! If we are quiet long enough, just maybe we’ll hear God inviting us to be a part of HIS story, which is always going to be better than MINE without Him!

Nemo Bonus Lesson: Choose Freedom or Safety - It's Hard to Have Both!

Finally, I stuck with the movie till the end, and I'm glad I did. I got one final illustration worth noting. The other fish in the aquarium finally escape into the harbor which is across the street from the dentist office.

Their escape occurred when they had been put in plastic bags while the tank was being cleaned. The ironic and funny thing was that when they finally rolled into the water, they were still in their bags, floating on the surface. They were free from their tank, but they were not yet free to swim! One of them summed it up saying, “Now what?”

(Go to:
to view this part of the movie. It's right at the beginning of the clip!)

We can only hope that some how they escaped their bags to truly be free. That reminded me of how we can be so close to freedom in Christ, but we don’t go all the way. We want our little private bag of safety and security. We want to go to heaven, but we’re secretly afraid of what God might want to do with us between now and then. We don’t venture out of our comfort zones, thinking we’re safe (We’re really not ultimately), but we give up true freedom, true adventure and true purpose. Christ comes to get us out of our safety bags to explore WITH HIM the vast expanse of possibilities in the ocean called life.

Summary: To sum it all up, FINDING NEMO reminded me

  • to tell a worthwhile story
  • to be careful about using the word (or attitude) “MINE,” and
  • to trust Christ completely, right now, even when it means letting go of our perceived safety and comfort!

Want to Know What Goes On At An Annual SBC Meeting?

Every year the Southern Baptist Convention meets for two days to hear reports from various SBC agencies, make recommendations, worship, etc. If you are interest in what goes on there, you can see streaming video of all their sessions on Tuesday, June 10th, and Wed., June 11th. Go to:
Here is what you'll see.

Click on "Watch Live Streaming Video" to, well, uh, "watch live streaming video!" (I know you didn't need the picture, but I like using my screen capture!)

Hamlet, Horatio, and Harvey

I officiated at the funeral of a 93 year-old church member last week. Harvey was a retired postal worker, and a WWII veteran. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge. If you don’t know anything about that, shame on you. It was Hitler’s last ditch effort to win the war. He was defeated, but only after almost 20,000 soldiers were dead, and almost 24,000 were captured. (For more information:

Harvey’s daughter asked me to read a quote from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” It is said to the dying Hamlet by his best friend, Horatio at the end of the play . Basically, the story is a tragedy (some say one of the most influential and powerful tragedies in all of English literature) in which Homer, a prince of Denmark (I didn’t know my town had such a rich history!) takes revenge on his uncle, who poisons Hamlet’s father, takes the throne, and marries Hamlet’s mom.

On this journey through themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption, everyone including Hamlet ends up dead except Horatio, Hamlet’s best friend and the voice of sanity throughout the play.

Horatio’s final words to his dying friends were the sentiment Harvey’s daughter
wanted included at the conclusion of the service: Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!" - Horatio (V.ii.370-371) After some research (including an emergency email to my former English professor!), I found some important context to the quote that altered my concluding words at the funeral. For even more information on Hamlet, go to:

You see, Horatio wanted to join Hamlet in death, but Hamlet wrestles the poison away from him, bidding Horatio "to live and to help put things right in Denmark!” Here's Hamlet's quote:
"If thou didst ever hold me in they heart,
Absent thee from felicity a while,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain
To tell my story."

Okay, here goes my ruthless slaughter of great literature: Hamlet seems to be saying to Horatio, "
if you really love me, even though you will be sad, and live in the reality of a life which is difficult and painful, you need to remember me and tell my story so people will know what really happened."

I ended the service saying that we are part of Harvey’s legacy, and part of being someone’s legacy is to continue to “tell their story.” The last thing anyone who dies would want is for his or her death to be the emotional/spiritual death of those who are left behind. A better choice is to be grateful for all the love and lessons left behind by someone, and then to continue to share with others the positive impact the person has had on you. Maybe we all need to read a little more Shakespeare!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Making Your Own "Demotivator" Poster

While doing the previous post, I stumbled on the "make-your-own" demotivator site at Just upload your picture, type in a description and you can download it to your computer (you can also buy an 11x14 print for $13). I fooled them and made a "positive" poster! can buy some really cool stuff at this site for the pessimist in your life. One of my favoriates is the "Half-Full" coffee mug! Oh, and I tried to buy this shirt for myself, but it was out of stock!

Does Anyone Get Paid for Fulfilling The Beauty of Their Dreams?

If you’ve been to a graduation lately, you probably heard someone talk about “realizing the power of your dreams,” or some other “dream-related” sentiment. I couldn’t resist posting this poster from which produces parodies of all those motivational posters you see in offices. Here are some of my "dream-related" favorites:

Back to graduation speeches talking about the power of our dreams. I want to get up there and say, “Wait! What if your dream stinks? What if your dream is selfish? What if your dream settles for a life of shallow consumerism, and you miss the life God wants to give you?”

Before any of us give our life to the power of our dreams, we really need to make sure we’re dreaming the right dream!

The Church – Cruise Ship or Battleship

When I saw this video, it immediately reminded me of a message I heard almost 30 years ago at a lay renewal conference I attended just a couple of months before going to seminary. Dr. Findley Edge, a religious education professor at Southern Seminary spoke on the subject: “The Church: A Hospital or a Hotel?” He said, “a hotel exists primarily for the pleasure of the paying guests.” Is that what Jesus died for? I think Dr. Edge would have liked this video…

The following video is a little more humorous, and hopefully not true of any churches, though some might be tempted to give car washes and ponies to get people to join!

For more videos like this, go to:

Commencement Address – What Were They Thinking?

Our local private school’s senior class requested that I be their graduation speaker. What were they thinking? They had to sit through two “sermons” since their baccalaureate was the night before with a full-fledge sermon. I knew that the chances of their remembering anything I said were slim to none. Since I don’t enjoy the prospect of fading into commencement oblivion so quickly, I decided to cheat a little bit.

I told the class that they probably wouldn’t remember much of what I said, so I made each of them a “cheat sheet” for life. Have you ever tried to reduce life’s most important lessons to five or six ideas? It’s hard. I laminated 4 x 6 cards and told the graduates to hang onto them as one day, they may understand their importance. At the very least, they got a “cool” bookmark with a redwood seed containing the actual genetic code to grow the tallest living thing on the planet.

I’ve blogged about the “seed” idea being used to simply remind people as they feel the tiny little bump under the plastic, that if God is smart enough to cram all the information needed to grow the tallest living thing on the planet, He’s smart enough to be trusted with our lives. So, what lessons would you include on your cheat sheet? Here are the ones I came up with…click on each for a larger view. If you want to make your own, you can order the seeds from:

Scroll down to "Coastal Redwood." They are $3.29 per 50 seed packet.

Denmark: Small? Sure! Boring? NEVER

If I had to come up with a theme for the past two weeks it would be a “Whirlwind of Significance!” Since my last blog I’ve attended…

  • Two high school graduations (I spoke at one of them.)
  • One high school baccalaureate
  • One Graduate Recognition Sunday (See Photo!)
  • Two weddings (Helped officiate one; took pictures at the other. The picture is of Charlie and Crystal. This was the first wedding I've been involved with that included a fire truck!)
  • Numerous hospital visits

Also, in the past week:

  • One church family welcomed a new baby
  • Another had to say good-bye to someone who passed away Saturday

When I was called to this church over 21 years ago, the search committee feared I might become bored in such a small town. Over the past 21 years I can not recall one moment of boredom.

Then again, if your life has relationships with God and other people as first priorities (not that I’m always successful at keeping my priorities in their correct places), boredom really isn’t an option is it?