Monday, May 29, 2006
"The average height of Peruvians at a national level is 1.57 meter (61.8 inches or 5.15 feet). The average height of men is 1.64 meters (5.38 feet) and for women 1.51 meter (4.95 feet), according to a recent survey made by the Executive Direction of Monitoring Food and Nutricion (DEVAN), part of the National Health Institute (INS)."
It's good to know that at 5' 10" tall, I'm going to be the tall guy in town. The down side of this is getting shoes to fit. When Lena and I were in Peru two years ago, I saw some great sandals. I asked if they carried my size. The guy said, "We go as high as a size 10." I'm an 11 or an 11 1/2. At least nobody will mug me for my shoes.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
As I stared at my sweater, our friend said, “There’s a message from God in those sweaters.”
I said, “What is it?”
She said, “That’s for you to find out.” (Note: never trust a prophet who does your homework for you. When the going gets tough, you need to know you got your orders from God.)
I took up the challenge and took my sweater to our bedroom, where I do my morning devotions. I would lay the sweater out on the bed and kneel with my forehead on the sweater. I cried out, “God, what’s the message?!” I cried that out, over and over.
In the second month, I changed the prayer to, “If you want us to go to Peru, just say the word. IF you want us to go to Peru, just say the word.”
By the time we reached the third month, my heart had started to change. After 20 years of working with college students, my heart was starting to change. In the third month, I took the word “if” off of my prayers and started praying, “Just say the word.”
By the fourth month, God had spoken so dramatically that I knew I was in disobedience praying about it anymore. The time for prayer had past. It was time for action. I picked up my sweater and said, “Father, I’m going to Peru!” But there was still some fear in my heart, so I added, “And if this turns out to be a big mistake, you’re going to have to stop me.” Even as I said it, I knew it was no mistake.
P.S. People ask us if the sweaters fit. The answer is a resounding Yes.
We've been in a quandary over whether we should sell or rent our house. I asked many of my missionary friends for their input. Many said to rent. Most said, "It depends on if you know the renters." Finally, one friend wrote from overseas and suggested that we rent for the first year and see if it works. That advice had the ring of wisdom to it, so now I feel good about renting the house. I guess that our new prayer request should be for the right renters.
I thank the Lord for giving us peace each step of the way.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
He said, "The coach told us to stop and think!"
I explained that the coach did not mean for Colton to stop running every time he got to the ball; rather, to think about the play before wildly kicking the ball.
That's good advice and Lena and I are having a hard time following it. We need the Holy Spirit's help to know how to live a normal life while preparing to move overseas. I remember when we moved across town five years ago. It took months to quit obsessing about the house and the move. That's where we are now, only with a much bigger move. Please pray for us, that the Holy Spirit would help us to "stop and listen." We long to be quiet and listen to the Lord's voice--to know the peace that transcends understanding (Philippians 4:7).
Sunday, May 14, 2006
2) That God would give our families comfort and assurance as our departure date draws nearer.
3) Wisdom concerning whether to sell or rent our home.
4) God’s help and wisdom in packing. What to take and what to leave?
5) That we would raise our budget before our target date of August 29.
6) Inspiration and stamina as I read and write papers for the doctor of ministry degree. Our August 29 departure target and itineration are putting the squeeze on my study time.
7) For the upcoming presidential elections in
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I drive hundreds of miles every weekend, which provides a lot of time to daydream. My daydreams are very predictable, depending on the season. Since this is Spring, I’ve been dreaming about camping. I love camping. We have a pop-up camper that is the focal point of many dreams. There’s nothing as wonderful as laying in the pop-up’s bed, feeling the night breeze and listening to crickets. We knew when we got the call to
I say, “Of course I’ll have to leave it behind, anybody can see that. I just brought it on so I could say goodbye.”
The scene ends with some brutish baggage handlers ripping the camper from my steely grip, while the captain and flight attendant hold me back. With my arms stretched out, reaching for the camper, I say, “Goodbye sweet breezes…Goodbye pitter-patter of the rain of the aluminum roof…goodbye…”
In Luke, chapter 5, Jesus calls out to Peter, Andrew, James and John and says, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Luke says, “When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” (NASB)
He’s worth it.
Above is a picture of the camper from a XA trip back in September, 2004.
I preached this past weekend at
Buster was an incredible blessing to me. I moved to
I transferred to Southern Baptist Seminary to finish my Master’s degree. I lost my wallet in the parking lot, where it was picked up by Buster Gilliam. Buster had recently retired from the Army. He took the wallet to the administration building and found out the owner was his neighbor—so he brought the wallet home. That was a fateful day for both of us. Buster is a great cook and loved to make pinto beans with ham hocks. I would make rice, and the two of us would eat all week. Those beans, and the great conversations we had while eating them, soothed my soul like a healing balm.
Buster went on to get his Doctor of Ministry degree and planted a great church in
I’ve been studying Emotional Intelligence for my doctoral project. Daniel Goleman says in his book entitled, Emotional Intelligence, that one friend can make the difference between a life of wisdom and contentedness and a life of discontent, marked by destructive decisions. When I needed a friend who would help me stay on the path of wisdom and contentedness, the Lord sent Buster—like a raven with beans.