Saturday, July 26, 2008

If Your Life Was a Movie - Would People Want to See It?

This question was posed in a message I heard many months ago by Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz). It got my much so, that I'm going to pose it tomorrow morning as I begin a series of revival meetings at Spring Branch Baptist Church outside of Bamberg, SC. Please be in prayer for me and the church as I'll be their guest preacher from Sunday through Wednesday night. Back to the question about your life and mine. Think about the great movies you've seen and/or books you've read. What do they have in common?
  • A hero or heroine who you want to succeed at some noble quest or goal.
  • Conflict to produce growth and/or transformation.
  • Resolution where there is some meaningful closure to the story (be it comic, tragic, etc.).
Isn't it interesting that the Bible is not just a book of rules, regulations and commands, but that it also contains many stories...isn't that how God wants His truth displayed? Not merely in a bonded or genuine leather, thumb-indexed, gold-lettered inscribed book, but on display in our lives, as we become a living chapter in Christ's story of the redemption of man. We WILL experience conflict and pain, but the question is, will we meet it as opportunities to grow and be transformed into people of character, Christ's character. Will your story and mine result in the ultimate "resolution" as we stand before Christ and hear those words, "Well done thy good and faithful servant!"

The real danger is in trying to play life "safe." Who will be drawn to a life so afraid of risk that we never try anything? The best stories in the movies, in print, and in our churches are the stories where someone is willing to risk everything for something more valuable than his/her own life.

May we be a people who live outside our comfort zone, as God continues to invite us to leave our fear-filled, conflict-avoiding, never risking, stagnant lives behind so we can become a part of the greatest story ever written (and "being" written!)...HIS STORY...the story that will engage people, and draw people, and encourage people to know Him and become part of His story, too!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Amazing Vacation Bible School

We had an amazing Vacation Bible School last week as we journeyed to OUTRIGGER ISLAND. One of the highlights was our nightly video reports from Zambia, Africa, as Ricky, Niki, Austin, Coby and Kelsey Cook gave us their impressions of life and ministry in Africa. This is their final video telling what they did with the $425 we sent them last year from Vacation Bible School.

It was great to see (to “actually” see!) where our offering went. So what was the response this year as we decided to send another VBS mission offering to the Cooks? We collected $1,400.00!! I’m already looking forward to hearing (and seeing) what Ricky and Niki will do with that amount! For more of their video clips go to:

Are You A World Changer or Something Stranger?

Sorry folks, I couldn't resist the temptation to rhyme! This week, as you've already read if you've been keeping up, our college World Changers team has been in North Charleston. Billy Self (pictured) is the Construction Coordinator for the entire project, which means he has been in charge of making sure all the construction projects have adequate supplies, and that they get the support they need. It is the construction sites that allow our students to open a door to let homeowners and neighbors know about God's love and especially God's love through Christ.

As I pondered Billy's position, it reminded me that all Christians should be construciton coordinators in a way. The Bible tells us plainly in Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

The hardest part of this command is the only "only." How many of us even monitor the words that come out of our mouths, much less seek to intentionally use words to build up other people? That's what's the "stranger" alternative to be a World Changing Construction Coordinator...that someone who has been adopted into God's family through Christ would miss opportunities to "build" something important (even eternal), and yet waste words tearing down and destroying! So be a part of some kind of construction's what we're made for!

Hurry Up and Procrastinate - RIGHT NOW!

I'm thinking about getting the church involved in this national campaign and I thought I'd let you all in on it! Don't you want to be a part of a national movement that can help you feel less guilty about putting off what you know you need to do? Check this out...

Then again, I guess if we do this thing, will have to AVOID reading or believing or putting into practice James 4:17, which states, Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. Then again, this might just be a parody that is "supposed to be" fiction! Sadly, it appears that many people live this way!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Your Chance to Encourage Our College World Changers

Our College World Changers Group
Back row: Jim Polasky, Eddie Creech, Eddie Platts, Cathy Self, Daniel Eubanks
Front Row: Jason Chew, Beth Polasky, Bretta Cook, Courtney Smith, Jordan Smith
pictured: Wyman Abstance and Billy Self

I just left the "launching pad" for our final World Changers' trip of the summer. Though our group is a little smaller than our youth team that went to Durham last month, this trip will have a couple of "firsts" for our church.

Billy Self will be the "Construction Coordinator" for the first time for a summer World Changer Project. He will be in charge of making sure all of the different sites have adequate materials, etc. The other "first" is that Cathy Self will be the first female crew chief from our church. She'll oversee a group of college students and adults as they roof a house. If Cathy can run a day care, she can certainly handle supervising a roofing project.

Wyman Abstance, will be participating, like I posted earlier, in his 29th project, and the 3rd this summer. This time around, he will be a supervisor, which means he'll be a liaison between Billy and several of the construction sites. He appreciated all the e-couragrams he got in Walterboro. THANK YOU. Eddie Platts will also be a crew chief (for the second time this summer!) at a construction site. Pray for our whole team, but say some extra prayers for these who are responsible for others working under them.

So if you're in an encouraging mood (or even if you're not), you can send e-couragrams to our college team through next Friday (7/25) by clicking here...

Then click on the "Send an E-Couragram" link for the Charleston, South Carolina project from July 19th - 26th (If it's not listed, just scroll down till you see it!). (If something happens and this link doesn't work, then go to, then to 2008 projects, then to the Charleston, SC project.)

You'll see a screen like this:(click to make it larger), just fill in your name, the name of the team member, and our church (FBC Denmark) and a short note. This group will be working in HOT conditions, meeting new people (on their crews and in the neighborhoods), looking for opportunities to share Christ's love, and they need our prayers AND our encouragement!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vacation Bible School Pictures!

Frightening isn't it! I've been extremely busy (like a lot of folks at my church this week) with Vacation Bible School this week, and taking lots of pictures. To reduce the clutter on this blog, I've started a new one just for pictures. Either click on link in the right column, or click on link below...

Go to:

to see my latest VBS pictures. In the future, this is where I'll be posting special photo collections. Check it out!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rain - Not An Obstacle But An Opportunity

I'm sometimes accused of being too much of a Honda fan, so I'm pleased to say I was "inspired" today by another car company's commercial. It was from Acura (I know, I know, Acura IS Honda, but it is a baby step!) Anyway, the company was touting its four-wheel drive SUV, highlighting its agility in the rain, and finished the commercial with this statement (or something like it): To us, rain isn't an obstacle, it's an inspiration."

I know they didn't mean to echo an important biblical truth, but they did. Peter, who knew more than his share of struggles, would write later in his life about difficulties, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." I Peter 1:6,7

I hope that whenver you face difficulty, your first response won't be that of escape. I was reminded recently that in any good movie, there has to be some kind of conflict or difficulty for someone to get through so they can grow and/or achieve a goal. It makes the story worthwhile.

For some more encouragement on facing difficult times with hope in your heart, check out Rob Bell's first Nooma video entitled "rain." You can see the entire 10 minute video at:

So the next time you encounter some "rain," don't think of it as an obstacle, but as an inspiration!

I Need A 60 Second Favor

Would you please write this man right now?

I'm not really joking. Wyman Abstance, my vice-chairman of deacons (and good friend) is participating in his 28th World Changers project this week (July 12-19th) in Walterboro, SC, as a crew chief (for those of you unfamiliar with this program, that means he'll be in charge of a group of between 10 and 15 teen agers and adults as they rebuild floor, add a walk, put in a couple of doors, and who knows what else in someone's house who needs it.)

Wyman went with us two weeks ago to Durham, and then he'll leave next Saturday from Walterboro, and head to North Charleston for his third week of World Changers this year. He'll be with our college group in North Charleston, but he is by himself in Walterboro, which is why I'd like to surprise him with more-than-expected emails.

Even if you don't know him (and it will surprise him more to get an e-couragram from someone he doesn't know!), send him a short electronic e-couragram to let him know you're praying for him and his crew during the week. I'd love to hear him come back with stories of how even strangers sent him emails.

Wyman is a good guy who God used to start our World Changers involvement at the church over a decade ago. So, if you don't mind, just take a moment to tell him that you heard he was in Walterboro, and that you are praying for him. Just go to this link:

Then click on the "Send an E-Couragram" link for the WALTERBORO, South Carolina project from July 12 -19th.(If something happens and this link doesn't work, then go to, then to 2008 projects, then to the Walterboro, SC project.)

You'll see a screen like this:(click to make it larger), just fill in your name, his name and church (FBC Denmark) and a short note. Thanks for helping me to encourage someone who will spend three weeks this summer encouraging others!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pray for Our Vacation Bible School

Can you guess what Eddie one of my deacons, Building Committee Chairman, and VBS contractor is doing? Hint: It's something for this year's Vacation Bible School which starts this Sunday. Pray for stamina for all our workers and for a Christ-glorifying week as kids, youth and adults journey to Outrigger Island to learn about God's unshakable truths!

Oh, Eddie's working on our volcano...Mt. Andeehota-airee!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Excellent Video Library for Parents

Since I'm such an expert on raising children, I'm passing on what seems to be an excellent resource on parenting. This free website has a lot of free video clips covering a lot of different areas with regards to raising kids. The site originator is a former teacher/school principal who used to produce parenting spots for television stations.

Check it out at:
For a Christian perspective on parenting check out:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Movie Tip - We Are Together

I was checking out "Rotten Tomatoes" ( and spotted a rare 100% review of a documentary entitled "We Are Together." This site averages a bunch of movie critics to come up with either a fresh (over 60% positive) or rotten (under 60% positive) movie rating, gleaning the best lines from the best reviews. One of the best lines concerning this movie was made by Ronnie Scheib of "Variety," "We Are Together stands as a celebration of resiliency."

Here is the Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: "We Are Together tells the remarkable and moving story of a group of children who use music to overcome hardship and loss. Filmed over a period of three years, it is the story of an orphanage unlike one you've ever seen, where the young singers of the Agape Choir lift their voices to create the home and family they so very much need."

Here is the website for the film: where there are video clips of the film and lots more information on these remarkable kids. Though it's in limited release, it's definitely on my "to see" list when the DVD comes out!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

My Take on Wall-E

One of the highlights of my vacation was going to see Wall-E. As expected, it was great. It is an animation masterpiece, but the underlying message is sobering for those with eyes to see it. Basically the underlying message is consumerism left unchecked will result in massive amounts of garbage, and lazy, self-absorbed humans who can no longer think for themselves, connect with other humans in a meaningful ways (the only characters in the movie who fall in love are machines!), or even walk! After 700 years, humans have evolved (or de-evolved) into overweight couch potatoes who spend their days in hovering recliners watching TV and eating. Every day is like the day purpose, no adventure, no love, just consumption. It's scary because it seems to be true for some people.

Wall-E, after 700 years of compacting and stacking garbage on an abandoned Earth, finally meets another robot from the ship where humans have been "surviving" for seven centuries since the garbage they left behind had rendered the planet uninhabitable. Suffice it to say, Wall-E rocks their world.

On a Christian level, it amazes me how many people don't understand that Christ came not just to get us into heaven, but to transform us here so we can be transforming agents in our culture... for the better...hmmm....sort of like Wall-E...who comes to humans who have forgotten what it means to be truly alive, to show them the way "home." So don't write Wall-E off because it's animated. Critics are almost unanimous in their praise for Wall-E's artistry and for its message.

Wall-E is introduced doing what he was built to do, stack garbage in nice little cubes, but along the way, he found out life has a lot more to offer. We live in a culture that pushes consumption, and there are a lot of people out there who are buying into that (literally). Maybe we Christians need to learn again and again that we all were created for a lot more than that, and like Wall-E, will have the love for our fellow man and God to spend our lives helping others to discover the life that IS life and worth living...the life Christ died to give us!
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." Philippians 2:14-16

A Special Greeting from Uncle Sam

Vacation is a great time to find new websites with new "toys" to use on my blog. Like this message from my good friend, Uncle Sam! (Sorry about the ad in the viewer below, but that's how they keep it free!) Goto: for more info!

Get a Voki now!

Friday, July 04, 2008

World Changers 2008 Durham, NC MAIN ALBUM

CLICK ON THE PICTURE to go for My World Changers' Album. If you scroll down, you'll see six slide shows of 30 slides each. These are the SAME pictures as in this photo album. So if you want a quick look, scroll down. Do note, however, that the pictures were posted where the most frequent pictures will appear first, so if you want to take them in order, scroll down to the WC 08 01 album and work your way up. Some of the vertical pictures were chopped off in the slide show (I'm still learning!) so I included this link to all my online pictures.

I apologize to all my fellow photographers in that I haven't had time to sort through ALL the over 2,000 pictures we all took, but I had to have a little vacation time on my vacation! All those pictures you did submit to me will be included on a master DVD with more pictures than you'll ever want to look through! Thank you fellow World Changers for an amazing week!!!!! For now...enjoy the memories....

Photobucket Album

WC 08 05 Fri - Sat and HOME

WC 08 05 Fri - Sat and HOME

WC 08 04 Wed Play - Fri PM

WC 08 03 Sun. - Wed.

WC 02 Sunday Morning

World Changers 01 Departure

Thursday, July 03, 2008

For The Goofus Roofers!

This post is primarily for my World Changers crew in Durham, NC, the "Goofus Roofers!" (I wanted to lobby for a more uplifting name, but didn't have time to file the legal papers!) Weren't they thoughtful to buy my "Andy Fan Club" shirts that I always have with me? Okay, okay, so I photoshopped a little!

Seriously, we had a fantastic week and I wanted to post some pictures of our time together. Everyone, of course is welcome to see the pics, too! One of the biggest blessings of a World Changers' week is in meeting some pretty amazing people who are far, far from being "goofuses!" I thank our God and each of my fellow Goofus Roofers for allowing me to be a part of such a great group involved in worshiping our Great God by participating in His Great Purposes!

Until I can figure out how to post a Flickr slideshow here, for now just click on this link to go to the pictures!

Oh, and here is the "normal" crew shot for my group if they want to download it!


Cool Clemson Crystal

Here is a photo of Tillman Hall at Clemson I took several years ago. and have been retouching over the years (Adding a tiger here, a tiger there). Yesterday I picked up a crystal paperweight I ordered online from CVS (yep, the pharmacy people!). because it was half price ($25.00). Not a bad price for a one-of-a-kind thing-a-ma-jig.

Here's the video of the crystal on a light stand that I got for a whopping $1.00 at the Dollar Tree!

Katie and Jenna Sing

Here is a video clip from this past Sunday's World Changer's sharing service. Katie and Jenna are sisters and both they and their mom journeyed with us to Durham last week for World Changers. The weird camera angle is because I'm sitting on the edge of the platform holding the camera in one hand, and holding the teetering microphone stand in the other!