Friday Night Lights

Ran across a couple of stories that are “close to home” for me. One in my former home of Joplin, MO and another in my current home of Belle Glade, FL. The first is a story of hope from ESPN’s Outside the Lines. It is truly amazing what has happened in Joplin since May 22nd and how the community has been so resilient in the face of adversity.


The second football related video is of a local standout named Kelvin Taylor from here in Belle Glade. Taylor’s father is former NFL running back Fred Taylor that spend the bulk of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kelvin is truly a chip off the old block and an amazing talent…and a great young man as well.

Where The Streets Have No Name-Joplin Tornado

A lot of things have happened since my last post, for sure. We have moved in with Jenny’s parents, been on a major week-long job interview in Florida (stepping toward a major burning bush in our lives), and the boys have started summer school here in Springfield.  Needless to say, I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog.

The end of the world was to be at 6:00 p.m. on May 21st. It didn’t happen as Camper predicted, but the world was definitely changed for many people in Joplin and Duenwig, MO in less than 24 hours from his prediction. We were in our bathroom with our weather radio on when the storm went through Joplin. The storm track was about 10 miles to the south of us in Carthage. We had big chunks of debris in our yard following the storm.

I was able to go over and help out some on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday following the tornado. Words can’t describe the destruction that happened. There was also an indescribable force at work following the storm…the Church…busy helping rescue, recover, and restore. The amazing thing is that it the entire body of Christ irregardless of denomination–Convoy of Hope (Assemblies of God), Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Samaritan’s Purse, and the list goes on and on.

At Forest Park Baptist Church, there has been over ten thousand volunteers come through to help with Disaster Relief, all funneled through the great ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. Forest Park turned their “bus barn” into an amazing place called “Mission Joplin” that is basically a store without cash registers for people to come and receive help. I talked to a former colleague of mine yesterday that tells story after story after story of God’s hand through the entire process. They have had a major outpouring of money and donations that they have had to ask people to stop sending donated goods because they were simply overwhelmed and didn’t have anywhere for them to store the donations. Amazing what happens when people rally around a cause.

My prayer is that in the next two to three months, the Church will continue to be there to help people in the recovery process. I have several friends that are have major trouble dealing with their insurance company over both their cars as well as their house.  There is also a great difficulty in finding suitable rental houses as well as the sheer amount of debris to remove. Plus, as always, when the government gets involved, there are always a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through to get help.

If you have opportunity, you need to donate to the cause to a reputable organization. Several of those which I have total confidence in are Forest Park Baptist Church (donate here), Convoy of Hope (donate here), or Samaritan’s Purse (donate here.) You can also come and volunteer with each of these groups as well. You can also dial 211 on any touch tone phone to talk with the coordinated relief effort . They can help you find the best place for you to serve. There is also a official site for the recovery at It is a very helpful site with two main options at the home page, “I have been affected and I have a need” or “I want to give to meet a need.” Check it out and get involved. While we are waiting on our next assignment (more details later) we are planning on going down to help volunteer.

Here is an amazing video of the storm and destruction. As you watch it, please pray for Joplin and Duenwig.

[tentblogger-youtube nXjiWaQBXjs]

So what is multisite again?

Here is a really good video that Zondervan has put out to advertise for two great books that you need to read to understand what I do a little bit better.? I like the concept here that the New Testament Church was actually a multisite church.? Interesting.

We have found that we are averaging almost 1000 people each weekend in our multisite campuses after only two short years.? It is really cool to be a part of a church, Forest Park, that truly cares about reaching people for Christ!? Some churches talk a good game, but Forest Park is trying to put our talk into action by sacrificing some of what we like and want so that others outside of the church might find Christ!

Multi-Site ? Being One Church in Multiple Locations from Zondervan on Vimeo.

Thursday Cambodia Team Update

Keep praying for the team for their last day of clinic before coming home on Friday!? They will be flying home at 11 a.m. Friday at CST.

Hey All

We had another good day in the Village.? It was Hot again, but not near as bad as Tuesday.

We all pretty much performed the same tasks as the other days.? We did have some good questions during our gospel presentation which was very encouraging.? It is a long process for a Budhist or a Muslim to convert to Christianity, but some of the questions showed that God is at work.

Today we shared the gospel with the children using the colored bracelet (black=sin, red=Jesus’ blood, white=forgiven, blue=baptism, green=grow and gold=heaven).? The children were very attentive and it was fun to share with them.

This morning Rhet, the man I asked you to pray for yesterday, attended our devotional time.? The Gospel was presented in a very clear way and we prayed for him and his wife.? I think he has tremendous potential to be a great leader and look forward to the day that he surrenders his life to Christ.

Tomorrow we will work until noon and then make our way back to Phnom Penh.? We fly out at 11pm our time (11am Joplin time).? I doubt I will have the opportunity to write again, so keep us in your prayers as we travel back home.

God has been good and it has been a blessing to serve Him here in Cambodia.

Wednesday Cambodia Update

Keep praying for our medical team in Cambodia!? They are 12 hours ahead of us, so it is Thursday morning!

Hey All

Thanks for your prayers, we had a great day.? It started off by being cloudy and breezy.? It was still pretty warm, but not unbearably HOT like yesterday.

When we arrived at the clinic we were told of a young lady that was possibly having a miscarriage.? So, Dr. Kit and I went to see her. (I know, I was thinking the same thing.? Take the guy with not medical experience when you have two nurses and Doctor?!?!?!?!?) He decided that she was having complications from a previous miscarrieage and that she wasn’t pregnant.? She did need IV fluids and to be taken to the hospital.? Terry came to give her the IV, she told me to pray because she hadn’t done that in over 20 years.? God was good and Terry was able to get the IV in quickly. We later found out that she is the wife of one of our translators.? Neither of them are believers, but he has been asking many questions.? We stopped by to see them this evening at the hospital and they were shocked that we would take the time to stop by.? Please pray that God would use this time to draw them both into His Kingdom.? His name is Reth and I don’t remember her name.

After the excitement of the morning the day was pretty routine.? We all continued doing the same jobs as yesterday.? We saw around 130 patients today.

Tonight, we had a treat for dinner.? We had home-made French fries with our sweet-and-sour chicken, water melon,? and rice.? All in all our meals have been pretty good, but the fries brought a smile to everyone’s face.

God is at work and we are glad to be part of what HE is doing.

Thanks again for your continued prayers,

Tuesday in Cambodia

Keep praying for our medical team in Cambodia!

Hey All

Tuesday was HOT, I heard it was over 100 today!!!!!!

We had another great day at the clinic. The Doctors saw just over 100 people. Terry continued to evaluate patients before they were seen by the Doctors. Julie joined her today. I worked some in the pharmacy, shared the Gospel with some and played with kids. Did I mention it was HOT today?

Terry and I are both feeling better. We still have coughs, but we also have our voices back. Wow was it HOT today.

The food has been good, so far no major stomach issues. We are about to run out of Diet Coke though. I am not sure what that might do to team chemistry, because I think 3 of us are addicted. We can’t find anymore in the town we are staying in, so it could be a long couple of days. By the way, it was nasty HOT today.

Driving in Cambodia is amazing. I have never seen more motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in my life. They drive like they are invincible. It is fun to watch, especially since I am not driving. It was pretty HOT today.

We are expecting another good day tomorrow. I think it is supposed to be HOT.

Thanks for your prayers,

Cambodia Mission Update

Just got this from our missions pastor, Brock Cummins.? I was planning on going with the team on this trip, but it just didn’t work out.? Please keep these four people in your prayers!? Pray also for the missionary doc, the Cambodian people that are receiving medical care there.

Hey All,

I apologize for not getting an update out sooner.? All of our flights went smoothly and we arrived Saturday night around 11:45pm local time.? All of our bags arrived with us and we had no trouble getting through customs with all the meds.

Sunday morning we did some shopping at a market in Phnom Penh.? Sunday afternoon we loaded up the van and the truck and headed to the province of Kompong Chhnaing (I don?t know how to pronounce it either.).? The hotel here is nice.? The air conditioners work great and we have hot water.

Today, we had a great first day at the village.? It is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from our hotel. Dr. Blake Little and Dr. Kit (a missionary Dr. with New Tribes Mission) saw 50+ people.? We shared the gospel with those who were seen.? Nurse Terry Osborne assessed everyone before they were seen by the Doctors.? Nurse Julie Reed and I worked in the pharmacy and we found some time to play with kids.

It is very HOT, but we are all surviving.? Terry and I both have colds.? Dr. Blake put us on antibiotics.? We both have bad coughs and squeaky voices.

Jessica, the missionary we are working with, is great.? She is taking wonderful care of us and did a great job of getting all the details taken care of before we arrived.

We are looking forward to another good day tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers,

Just Another Manic Monday . . . and Tuesday . . . and . . .

Go ahead and sing along the old Bangles song with me!? Don’t you just love the 80s?? They don’t make cheesy goodness like that anymore!? Who knew that Prince, or “The Artist formerly know as,” or simply “The Artist” wrote that gem of a song?

Ok, to the heart of the post . . . It seems as though I am really, really busy, but I can’t seem to get ANYTHING done!? Do you ever feel that way?? We had a great staff meeting yesterday morning, but the day seemed to get away and before I knew it, it was time for Life Group at our house.

We had an AWESOME Life Group.? I absolutely love hanging out with our new found friends and study the Bible and hang out together!? We are really starting to gel and “click,” which is really cool.? We are studying “Discovering God’s Will”–an Andy Stanley/Northpoint study.? Man, what a great study so far.? Some highlight statements that really spoke to me from this week:

“The problem with knowing God’s will is not God’s unwillingness to speak; the problem is our unwillingness to follow through. Discovering God’s Will by Andy Stanley & Reggie Joiner, 21

“God does not give us direction for our consideration; He gives us His direction for participation.”

“God is more interested in your discovering Him than His will.”

“In the process of trying to know His will, we get to know Him.”

The message was built around Proverbs 3:5-6–

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

I think this verse is very appropriate for my Tuesday that I had today . . .

Have you ever noticed how we seem to tell God “how it’s going to be?”? You know the deal.? We basically expect God to get on board with what we are doing.? When He does something we don’t want, weren’t expecting, or makes us uncomfortable; and we get all bent out of shape.? We tend to work harder, plan more thoroughly…work YOUR plan and ask God to bless YOUR plans.

God doesn’t work that way!? He wants us to wait on Him.? He wants more than anything a relationship with us that is real and personal.? He wants us to be so close to Him, that of course we would know what to do in order to do His will.

I am learning that the more plans I put together, the more they will not go so hot.? When I seek God and work on my relationship with Him, then I set to planning. . . that is when the my plans will become His plans.? When I am so atuned to His heart, that His heart becomes mine.

When things are seeming to “go your way.”? Maybe it is a perspective change?? Maybe it is a change in who is making the plans.? As Experiencing God says, “God is always at work around you.”? You need to find out what He is doing and do it.

Kudos to the musical team!

Got this email from Pastor John yesterday and thought I would share it with you all.? I agree with him completely and it would be worth the effort to go see the final performance tonight at 6:00 p.m. for those around J-town.

My dear friends,

Wow, wow, WOW!? Last night’s presentation was simply the BEST Christmas
performance I have ever experienced!? I laughed, I cried, my soul soared.
The people around me in the balcony were wrapped up in it too.

Thank you, thank you, for your hard work.? I NEEDED last night.? It was the
first time this year I have felt “the Christmas spirit.”? I woke up still
feeling it today!

Thank you for being willing to “reach down” to engage our culture.? By
telling a story from our culture, people who don’t know Jesus could relate
to their need for God.? Some might say that the church has no business
singing songs that are from culture.? To that I would say, “then why did
Jesus use culture so often in his teaching?”? “The Kingdom of heaven is
like” he would say, and then use things from the world to help his audience
understand spiritual truth. You did EXACTLY what Jesus did last
night…which is why it had such a powerful impact.? What some call “carnal”
is actually “incarnational.”? The WORD was made FLESH (John 1:14).

Thank you most of all for your personal walk with Jesus.? In my sermon last
Sunday I started by saying that some people have God all over them.? Last
night, you all had God all over you.? Excellence and talent (which this
performance had) is no substitute for God’s hand being on those who are
telling the story.? God came down on Forest Park last night, some might say,
but the truth is, because He lives so powerfully in YOU, He was already

I wish I had EVERYONE’s email address…feel free to pass this on to others.
I’ll be praying for you this afternoon as you tell the story once again.
For those of you who missed the news story on KODE, there is a link below.

I love you all so much!? And I am thankful that I get to be one of your