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Gabe’s Bank

March 21, 2011

41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.t

43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)

The family of a classmate of Gabe’s lost everything in a house fire the other day. Gabe mentioned this to Misty after school one day and wanted to do something for him. Misty checked with Gabe’s teacher and sure enough, they lost everything they had. The teacher said they would be checking with the Family Resource Center and would be sending out a letter to the parents of the class letting them know about it and what they could use.

We got the letter today and Misty was reading it to Gabe about what his classmate needed. You know stuff like underwear, socks, books and of course money. Gabe stood up and took off upstairs. Misty was expecting him to come back with a pair or two of socks and some underwear. I mean he’s six right. What else would he think?

Well he came back with his bank and said “I want to give this all to my friend.” Every bit of it. Now there may have only been a couple of dollars in change but to a six-year-old, that’s a lot of money. When we started to pray over dinner tonight, I asked Gabe what he thinks he should pray for. Without missing a beat, he said his friend. He only prayed for him and didn’t mention a word about our food or anything else. Just his friend.

He also gave him a Dr. Seuss book which was on the list. He also gave him 2 pieces of candy and wants to invite him to the Easter Egg hunt at church.

Gabe has such a big heart and is always concerned for others. Gabe is also very smart. We somewhat joke that Gabe will become a doctor and go over seas and work for something like Doctors Without Borders and live in a grass hut all of his life. But sometimes I really think that he will. He is a very special little boy. I pray that he will change the world and at times I really think he will.

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What does the Royal Wedding really cost?

February 21, 2011

Ok. So I have today off and was watching the morning news programs and a story came on about the Royal Wedding and again I have to say, I really don’t care. But then I got to thinking about how much that wedding cost. One source I found said that the wedding will cost about $48 millions US dollars. $48 MILLION. What impact could we have in the world if we took that money and put it somewhere else. So I did some quick number crunching and came up with two quick impacts.

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. The average cost for one well is about $5,000.

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. It cost $38/month to sponsor a child.

So lets break down those numbers. You can build 4,800 wells or sponsor 2,923 kids from birth to age 18 with that money.

Each well can serve a small community and can keep people from traveling all day just to get enough water to last one day. A clean well can help prevent disease and put a smile on a kid’s face. A clean well can free kids and women from the daily trek in search of water and allow the kids to go to school. A clean well can reduce violence associated with people fighting for water.

And from the Compassion International site. What specific benefits does a child receive through sponsorship?
The children Compassion serves receive, among other things: the opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus; regular Christian training; educational opportunities and help; health care, hygiene training and supplementary food if necessary; a caring and safe Christian environment to grow in self-confidence and social skills; personal attention, guidance and love.

So again imagine the impact.
4,800 wells or sponsor 2,923 kids from birth to age 18 with that money.

But wait. Do those numbers seem a bit low? Well they should. That is the impact of only half the cost of the wedding. Yes that is the impact of only $24 million. So double those numbers.

9,600 wells or almost 6,000 kids.

But no. We have to have this huge blowout of a wedding just to say that my family was able to take down another family and take ownership of the throne of England. I’m sorry. I just don’t care. People all over the world are just going crazy over this wedding and people saying how much they would just love to go. Why? They don’t know the couple. The couple doesn’t know them and in all honesty probably don’t care for them.

What kind of wedding could they have for half? Not that anyone with the wedding will ever read this but I will do this anyway. I challenge you. Cut the budget in half and take the other half and build 4,800 wells or sponsor around 2,900 kids. What say ya Royal Family?

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Taking down the giants

February 3, 2011

40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.
45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.
51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.

1 Samuel 17:40-51 (NLT)

A group of guys I regularly meet with decided this year to take the “Love Dare” since we are always looking at ways to improve our marriages. One thing I didn’t count on when starting this was killing some of the giants in my life. If by any chance you are a regular reader, you know I mentioned these giants during the summer of last year.

Through all of the lies of the enemy, these giants seemed impossible at times to overcome. But through the “Love Dare” I found the way to beat them. Pretty simple really. Just talking. One of the “Dares” in the book is to have your spouse right down three things that they are irritated with about you. That in itself is a huge undertaking. I mean, you are to give your spouse free reign to let you have it and you can’t say anything negative about it. But I told Misty to go ahead and let me have it. Of the three, 1 I expected and 1 I should have but didn’t expected it at all.

The 1 I expected did involve one of my giants that I needed to take down. Misty told me she would do this for me if I did it for her also which I did. Between these two list, we had two great talks. One of these talks really helped me in taking down this giant. It was lies and deceit from the enemy which he tried to focus on Misty. Down deep I knew they were lies designed to do nothing but destroy our marriage but talking about it killed it. Funny how bringing things out in the open really can show you the truth. The enemy just wants you to keep things in the dark. Don’t talk about them because he knows the truth comes out in the light.

Jesus tells us He is the truth and the light. I have always had a problem telling her how I feel but over the last year or so I have seen how much relief and truth comes out by talking. Communication is one of the most important things in marriage and I’m seeing now just how important it is. I have to get past my pride of being a man and thinking that I can handle this myself. I can’t. That is why God gave me Misty. God knows we can’t do this ourselves. We need that person that God created to walk with us.

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Challenger anniversary

January 28, 2011

So where were you 25 years ago today? It seems that every generation has their where I was moment. Over the last couple of decades you have the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the JFK assassination.  For my generation it is the Challenger disaster. There is of course 9-11 but I will leave that for the generation after mine. I was a sophomore in high school when it happened and being in January we were out of school that day. So like I would when out of school, I would head to work with my parents. This particular morning I was heading to work with my mom. I remember trying to find out if I could hear anything on the radio about the launch and was wanting to hurry up and get there so I could see it on tv or something to get more information on it. I still hadn’t heard of the explosion.

When I got into work I remember the guy working for my parents asking us if we had heard and of course we hadn’t. He told me the shuttle had blown up after launch but I didn’t believe him. I mean how could I? I just doesn’t happen that way. But after listening to some radio reports I learned it was true. I don’t think we had cable in the store yet so I couldn’t really get anything from there. Listening to the radio give accounts on what happen, I was just sitting there in disbelief. I have always been a huge fan of space travel and especially the shuttles. I have always wanted to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and hopefully I will have a chance this summer to do that. I have always wanted to see a shuttle launch and with only two launches remaining, it’s not looking good. I have a book somewhere at my parents house that talks all about the shuttle and even has diagrams of the control panels and a second by second detail of the count down to launch.

The people who work for NASA have always been some of America’s best scientist and engineers. I think Apollo 13 showed us that. With the shuttle fleet being retired, I hate to think that NASA is not looking forward to the future. I hate to think that they are not giving our kids today something to look forward to when it comes to space travel. This is our unknown frontier and we need people who want to explore it. Like President Reagan said. “The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted… it belongs to the brave.” We need more brave people today to claim our future. We don’t need people just to sit back and hope someone else claims it for us. Where have our explorers gone? I seen a commercial on PBS the other night about the Panama Canal and what it took to build it. Some said it couldn’t be done but American engineers and scientist did it. We have punished our brightest children these days by forcing them into all being the same as the other kids in their class. They can’t achieve higher because kids that need more help with their work hold them back. I’m not saying they are dumb and we don’t need to help them but our brightest need more challenges in front of them. If not then they will never know how to face and overcome some of the biggest challenges in front of them.

My twins are very smart. The kindergarten they are in had to add two extra classes at the start of the year. By the time they knew they needed to add the classes, the teachers already knew how smart the twins are. In my opinion they should have went through all of the current classes and pull out the smartest and the brightest and put them in an accelerated class together and let them advance higher. But no, we can’t do that. We have to be equal. Well I’m sorry. We are just dumbing down America this way.

My oldest son is also a very smart boy. All through school his work has come easy for him. But now he has hit third grade and things are not so easy for him. He keeps telling us that he doesn’t like school because it’s so hard this year. He only likes recess and algebra which is funny that he likes algebra since it’s probably the hardest class he has. I need to show him the information on the Challenger explosion and use it to show him how we need to work hard to achieve more in life. I told him this morning that anything worth having is worth working hard for. I’m hoping that I can use this tragedy in our lives to show the true American spirit on how to overcome challenges and push on into the unknown.

Kind of fits doesn’t it? Challenges. Challenger. I guess they named that one correctly.

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National Adoption Month

November 8, 2010

November is National Adoption Month. In honor of that I thought I would share a link of a couple who are friends of ours that have opened their doors to foster kids. And because of that will be adopting one of their foster kids soon.

Our Life

dj

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RIP Sparky

November 5, 2010

One of the things I remember most when growing up is the Big Red Machine. Living in Cincinnati during the hey day of the Big Red Machine, I grew up having Johnny Bench and Pete Rose as my idols. The Big Red Machine lost one of their own yesterday with the passing of Sparky Anderson the manager who lead what was possibly the greatest team ever in the National League. I always remembered him coming out to the mound while never stepping on the foul line. I remember in the late 70’s with the “fire sale” of the Reds when the team started releasing or trading all of the players from the Big Red Machine. I can still remember telling dad that the Reds will never be good anymore since they got rid of all of their good players. And I was right for a while. It took them almost 10 years before they would win another World Series and have never really been a dominate team like they were in the 70’s.

Here’s to you Sparky.

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The Narrow Gate

September 27, 2010

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hells is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Matthew 7:13-14(NLT)

This is a post that I have thought about trying to write for the last couple of weeks but just can’t seem to nail down how I want it to go. So let’s see what happens.

The last year or so has been a mind boggler for me. One thing I have learned is that the path is narrow. It doesn’t take much to fall off of it. Like verse 14 says, the road is difficult. I can vouch for that. I have been trying to focus my walk along that narrow path but the more I focus it seems like the narrower the path gets. When the narrower it gets, the tougher it gets. Another thing I have noticed it that even though the path seems narrower it really isn’t. It’s just the thorns and weeds along the path creep in on the path trying to pull you in to their destruction.

I find the more I focus on God, the more tends to get in the way. I can only conclude that I am on the right path but I need to quit getting distracted and stay focused. So what will it take? What do I need to keep the thorns and weeds away? Like I said the path doesn’t get any narrower and I also don’t think the path is too narrow for just one person. The more I focus on God means that I need more help in my life to keep the thorns away. I need people to walk beside me that will crush the thorns and weeds under their feet while I walk on the unobstructed path.

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Suppers), and to prayer.
Acts 2:42(NLT)

As Acts 2:42 points out, all believers came together to share life with one another. Community plain and simple. But there is more to it than that. It’s great to get a bunch of friends together and talk to each other about what is going on in our lives.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believers is overcome by some sin, you who are godlys should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:1-2 (NLT)

Galatians has that covered. It talks about helping each other back onto the path. There we are again. Back on the path. It also says to be careful to not fall into the same temptation yourself. Again, we are on the path together. We need to make sure we have someone to walk this path with us. Trust plays a major factor in this. We just won’t open up to anyone nor should we.

We need to know the person that we want to hold us accountable will and that they won’t go blabbing your mess to the whole world. We all mess up. We all make mistakes. We all have issues that we need to talk out to get resolved. That is why we need someone we can trust. Someone we can open up to and talk though the issues of life. Not just someone who will give you a pity party whenever you feel bad. You don’t need anyone who will just agree with you when you try and reason yourself out of sin.

Can we walk this path alone? No. There is no way for us to be able to. With all of the destruction that lay along our path, there is no way we can walk it alone. We can’t watch our left for the weeds on the right will grab us. We can’t defeat the weeds on the right because then the thorns on the left will pull us in. We have to have the accountability. We have to have the help. Who do you have in your life to hold you accountable? What are you doing to find someone you can trust? Are you opening up your life to someone who will help you stay on the path?