Thursday, April 29, 2010


There are great churches and teams all over our state. I travelled to Sheboygan today (had never been there) to work with a friend's church staff, running thru some Life Development Resources for a few hours.

It was a great time interacting with their great team.

A little side benefit was lunch at Black Wolf Run Golf Course. Beautiful. It's one of the world class courses in the country. That wasn't really the highlight of the day for me, but it was a great add-on.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


While we were in Appleton at the annual Minister's District Council meetings, I received a call from my next door neighbor, who is a police officer. We live on a relatively country road and he informed that both of our mailboxes had been taken out by a car and the driver had her windshield smashed and ended up in my yard up the street.

This is the second time this has happened since we have lived here. The first time we received a call from our neighbor and that time we were in Northern Wisconsin at a minister's gathering, too. Hmmmm.

So today, I put a new mailbox in. That isn't that interesting of a story really. It might be interesting had a tried installing a new one alone, but I got help - hence, it isn't interesting. However, as my friend was pounding the new 4x4 attached to a metal holder into the ground, along came one of these guys (pictured) down the street. When he passed us, he swung the whole machine around facing us. Neither of us had any clue what the guy was doing or why he was doing it right then and there in front of us.

Next thing we knew, he yelled to us: "JUST LEVEL IT!" So we did, and he used the scoop of the backhoe to gently push the 4x4 right into the ground where it belonged. I looked up at him with a huge smile and gave him two thumbs up. He smiled and took off down the road.

I doubt he is reading this, but just in case, THANK YOU. You blessed us today.

And you be blessed, too.



We just returned from two days in Appleton, Wisconsin - where our Assemblies of God Wisconsin District holds its annual ministerial meetings. The business meetings aren't that exciting - I don't think business meetings are meant to be that - but it's great to hear the amazing things God is doing all over our state. That makes the annual Council worth it. You always get to see your friends from across the state as well - people you may not see more than once a year.

Both our Children's Ministry and Youth Ministry received award for having raised considerable amounts of money for BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Crusade) and STL (Speed-the-Light) - both missionary programs to help buy supplies and transportation for missionaries around the world. I was proud of our teams. We were the 50th highest giving church in the country for Speed-the-Light this year.

We also received an award for our giving to LFTL (Light for the Lost), yet another missionary-assisting program we're involved in.

It was great to see new missionaries from our church, Steve & Rachel Campbell, who are in the middle of itinerating to prepare to head to China as soon as they can.

But even THAT wasn't the greatest part of District Council this year. I love spending time with our pastoral staff and their spouses. And Benny, our worship pastor, led the whole Council in singing, and he was awesome. Beyond that, one of our pastors, Gabe, became a licensed minister tonight at the Ordination Service. And two of our pastors, Jason & Bob, were ordained into ministry. Very proud of them all. We have a great team.

And then, of course, the whole weekend can be very draining. Proof of that is this video Joelene took of me in the middle of the afternoon in between sessions (see below). She took it with her phone and then e-mailed it as a surprise to me. I was surprised. She has claimed for years that I make noise when I sleep sometimes. I haven't believed her - till now. (Yeah - turn up your volume.)

And be blessed.

Monday, April 26, 2010


We must face this reality. Simply by being born, we were drafted into an impossible lifestyle where "FAILURE" is automatically written on our page if lived apart from an unhindered relationship with our Heavenly Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit that rested on Jesus enabled Him to do only what His Father was doing and say only what His Father was saying. That kind of intimacy with God is the pathway for entering the life in which nothing is impossible.

This is the new reality.

And be blessed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010



Society is undergoing what may be the fastest, most ominous cultural change we’ve ever seen. It is happening so fast, the implications are mind-boggling. Even MORE frightening ... most Christ-followers seem to be unaware. We may very well wake up one day in a culture that is not only unreceptive, but openly hostile to the church and the Gospel.

The apostle Paul speaks about a form of Christian tolerance in I Corinthians 13 when he writes: Love endures all things.’

Romans gives us the same principle of tolerance when it says: Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you ... ’ (Romans 13:7)

This is the kind of tolerance most of us understand and embrace as compatible with Scripture because our understanding of tolerance has meant ‘respecting the rights of others, even those with whom you disagree and who are different from you.’

And I’ll buy that. But today, there is a new style of tolerance. It might sound like the traditional kind, but it isn't. The new style of tolerance is based on an un-Biblical belief that ‘truth is relative to the community in which a person participates.’ And since there are many communities, there are necessarily many different truths.

So ... if truth is created, not by God, but by communities and humans, and if all humans are 'created equal,' then the next logical step is that all truth is equal. All opinions are equal.’ This is the new style of tolerance - that not only does everyone have an equal right to his beliefs, all BELIEFS are equal. All VALUES are equal. All LIFESTYLES are equal. All TRUTH CLAIMS are equal.

But they’re not, are they? Do the values of the KU KLUX KLAN deserve equal respect with all other beliefs? What about the values of ORGANIZED CRIME ... or the values of OSAMA BIN LADEN? Do we equally respect the cultural custom of placing Thai and Filipino children as workers in the sex industry?

The Bible makes it clear that all values, beliefs, lifestyles and truth claims are not equal. It teaches that the God of the BIBLE is the ONE TRUE GOD -- that if something is not right in GOD’S sight, then it is WRONG.

Now ... follow this: In a society that regards all beliefs, all values, all lifestyles, all truth claims as equally valid, there can only be one universal virtue: TOLERANCE. And if TOLERANCE is the cardinal virtue, then there can only be ONE EVIL: INTOLERANCE.

Given all that, let's pray that we keep the love of Christ central to everything we do, so we can combat this new form of tolerance that threatens to assault everything we as believers hold dear. True, genuine, Christian love for everyone around us is our only hope.

And be blessed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Tonight we celebrate with 60 men and their wives. These men have finished 24 weeks of Men's Fraternity teaching and small group time.

Men's Fraternity challenges these men to authentic manhood ... to:
Reject passivity
Accept responsibility
Lead courageously
Expect God's reward.

One of the things they'll get is a brick wrapped in velvet, signifying the strength God calls us to as men and the tenderness He calls us to walk in at the same time. The scripture emblazoned on top of the brick will be I Kings 2:2-3 ... "Be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord requires ... walk in His ways and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements ... so you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go."

Oh yeah -- and a steak dinner, too.

And be blessed.

Friday, April 23, 2010


As Bill Johnson says: As soon as the Holy Spirit made our body His temple, He immediately expected us to conquer something.

It is tragic when the highest point in a church's celebration is when we accomplish something humanly possible. Once the Spirit takes up residence in us, powerlessness becomes inexcusable. As leaders today, we must face the causes for powerlessness in our lives and accept the challenge to live the life Christ made possible.

And be blessed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Today is Earth Day.

I don't know if you know this, but the FOUNDER of Earth Day is a Pentecostal man named John McConnell. His grandfather was baptized in the Holy Spirit at the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles and his parents, John & Hattie McConnell, were founding members of the Assemblies of God denomination that many of us belong to.

It is very interesting to me that the Biblical story of mankind begins in a garden and ends in a garden. As the Bible opens, Genesis chronicles God’s magnificent creations - sky, land, stars, moon, sun, aminals, trees, plants - and yes, man and woman. We find a beautiful garden where the fall of humanity eventually occurs and sin is introduced into the world. The garden is defiled. But as we read ahead to the end of the last book of the Bible, Revelation - we see God bringing things back to a restored garden.

There was ‘a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal ... and on either side of the river was the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1, 2)

Shouldn’t this make us sit up and take note that there is something important about God’s love for nature ... something there that tells us God values the relationship between His people and the rest of creation? One of God’s first commands to mankind was to ‘tend His garden.’

The word ’environmentalism’ has gotten a bad wrap, so we should define it before going forward. Environmental stewardship is simply the idea that we should care for, manage and nurture what we’ve been given by God. He has gifted us His creation to USE, not to ABUSE. He has given it to us as a way to provide for our needs. There must be a balance between the USE and the PROTECTION of God’s creation.

The most famous environmentalist ever is right in the Bible. Almost everyone, even if you don’t read the BIBLE much, is somewhat familiar with the story of a man named Noah. With the people of the world turning their backs on God, God’s grace won out over His anger and He chose to preserve the life of this planet thru Noah and his family. Picking a man He could trust, God asked Noah to build a boat that would house at least two of every kind of animal.

With Noah, we find the foreshadowing of God’s great story of redemption, the one that is still at work in our lives. And what comes thru loud and clear in this great story is God’s heart: HE LOVES TO RECYCLE.

SHOULD I PROVE IT TO YOU? Instead of throwing US away every time our lives deserve the trash heap, what does God do? He meets us along the path we have chosen for ourselves and points us home. He purifies us - restores us - He breaks us down and re-shapes us into something new and useable ... revealing that recycling and redemption are at the core of His nature.

We’ve all asked ourselves: “If my house was burning, what would I be sure to save?” God's creation needed cleansing, and what was God going to save? He saved PEOPLE. And ... He saved His creations. And now, He calls US to participate in that.

God could just have thrown up His hands and started fresh with a new earth and new people. But what happens when God's power collides with His grace? A RAINBOW. But the rainbow covenant wasn’t just between God and humanity -- it was also between God and creation.

Genesis 9:13, 16 - “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth ... whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

Here we realize how precious God considers all life and how much He treasures creation. And as God's people, WE treasure what HE treasures.

At the very least, go pick up some trash off the ground today.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I confess that I have church wounds. I have been exposed to insensitivities, hypocrisy, church politics, personal agendas, relationship breaches, pressure that nearly broke me, unfair comments, selfishness, pride. I have church wounds.

Pain does not remain in the pews.

When I read the book "Unchristian," I don't know what surprised me more -- that 87% of outsiders consider Christians to be judgmental - or that 52% of churchgoers feel the same way.
My experience with church wounds isn't an isolated incident.

The Gospel of Jesus is offensive to the natural mind. But sometimes people are not only offended by our beliefs, but by how we treat them. How many misrepresentations of Christ-following does it take to turn off an entire culture?

89% say they have church wounds.
79% say they have been significantly healed.
99% say they are willing to forgive anyone in the past who hurt them.
59% say they have considered not returning to church because of their experience.

Truth is, since most life wounding has a relational connection, it makes sense that some of the deepest interpersonal wounds occur within church -- a community designed to be centered on relationships.

They seem more devastating than other wounds because trust is broken - and believers claim to represent a God of love.

They seem more devastating than other wounds because the deepest part of who we are is involved - our spirits. This leaves people feeling unprotected and uncovered.

They seem more devastating than other wounds because there is almost an expectation of perfection within the church.

But someone willing to be healed will realize Jesus came to give us life, so we settle for nothing less than what God intended. We also realize some church wounds are the result of our own insecurities.

And in the end, I also confess - in my church interactions, I have been treated with love and grace and respect far more than I've received hurt.

I know God will heal my church wounds and help me become an agent of healing to a broken world around me.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


It is a normal fact of life that healthy people reproduce. So do healthy churches. They birth other living, thriving organisms from themselves.

The stats tell us that new churches grow 23 times faster than existing churches over 10 years old. If the mission of Christ is to expand and we are going to accomplish the plan of God on the earth, we must start new and reproducing churches.

As Dave Ferguson says: We don't just want bigger and more. We want to see the mission fulfilled.

To see Acts 1:8 happen - bringing heaven to the ends of the earth - we need more followers of Christ - not so we can keep track of them on an ever-expanding database or warehouse them in large buildings with crosses out front - but to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, include the lonely, bring hope to the hurting and help people find and experience God.

The best way we can do that is by reproducing churches. This is what I'm trading my life for.

And be blessed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The Bible may be inerrant, but unfortunately, WE are not. I'm always careful when I stand before a large (or small) group and begin to wax eloquent -- because I know people are truly listening to me. Our words as well as our practices shape the theology of others.

The truth is, I could find a portion of scripture and use it out of context to imply just about anything I wanted. I can make the Bible seem to support polygamy, slavery, hatred, homophobia and even violence against women.

The Bible has, at times, become a weapon used by people to push selfish agendas that hardly represent the heart of God. This is not a hypothetical conversation we're having right now.

Matthew 18:20 is an oft-quoted passage by Jesus about 'where two or three are gathered together, there I am with them." Most people use it to back up the need for multiple people to come together to pray. I doubt most of those people would deny that Jesus would also hear and readily respond if they were stranded on a desert island. The real context of this passage has nothing to do with how many people need to be around for God to show up. A quick reading of the previous verses reveals this verse is in specific reference to relational conflict.

John 8:32 is another: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." Most people think this verse is referencing truth - as in not telling a lie. But the appropriate understanding of this verse is that JESUS is the truth and knowing HIM will set you free from the sin mentioned later in the chapter. I don't think lying is right either, but this verse is not about that.

Philippians 3:13: "This one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." This verse is commonly used to tell people to forget about their past negative experiences and move on into the future. The apostle Paul certainly had a lot of negative past to put behind him, but he was actually telling the church at Philippi that he wanted to forget the SUCCESSFUL achievements of his past in order to pursue what God had next for him.

Our practices must be consistent with the Scriptures themselves.

And be blessed.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Most people know that except for the occasional Ho-Ho and Oreo, I try to eat right. So it was with some trepidation that when we were with our friend and missionaries - Dave, Barb and Hannah Kniesz this week in Thailand - that as we passed by a local Thai market featuring various delicacies, I couldn't resist trying some grubs and crickets (actual ones pictured here - those aren't french fries).

It's not smoke and mirrors; that's really me up top eating a cricket. I had several. Think 'buttered popcorn.'

The other unexpected and interesting feature of the Thailand trip was that we had the opportunity to ride elephants bareback. We're not talking around an oval track, circus-style; we're talking out in the rough open tundra - with no cushy seats. Just your rump on the elephant's back holding on for dear life. So it was an extreme surprise that as we passed thru a river, the elephants (at the owner's command, evidently) decided to take a little swim in the Ping River with us on their backs. Pretty tough to hang on when a 2,000 pound elephant decides to lay down in a dirty river. We didn't hang on. We got doused. I mean all the way under.

Showers for everyone afterwards that day.

And be blessed.


We have done a couple of prayer walks while we've been here in Thailand with friend and missionary, David Kniesz.

We walked one of the streets of Chiang Mai that house row after row of prostitute houses and asked God to do a work there and on streets like it all over Thailand. The darkness is great.

On the way from Pai to Chiang Mai we all had a great time reading scripture and singing as many worship choruses as we could bring to mind. It was a great ride and helped pass the time in a big way because the road we were traveling between those two cities is famous for the 2,074 turns and switchbacks that span the route. I got a t-shirt commemorating it.

Today, we drove to one of the temples located high on the mountain overlooking Chiang Mai and prayed that the One and Only God would be God of this great city of 150,000 people (pictured above).

Help us pray for Thailand.

And be blessed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Imagine tens of thousands of people throwing buckets of water on strangers passing by as a way of celebrating. This, in part, is Songkran, commemorating the Thai New Year. We just happened to be here in Chaing Mai at this time, which also just happens to be the 'wettest' city in Thailand for the New Year celebrations which began April 13th and runs thru April 15th.

Songkran means 'movement' or 'change,' indicating the sun coming into a new position. The splashing of water in Buddhist culture has had significant meaning. It has been a symbol of cleansing and renewal. Families would sprinkle water on the elders as a show of respect. The Thai New Year Songkran Festival has now become legendary for its water play.

So yesterday - ('when in Thailand,' right?) - we drove thru the streets of Chaing Mai with our friend and missionary, Dave Kniesz, in the back of his pickup truck. It was loaded with water up to our shins and we had big black barrels of water filled up. Big super soakers and large cups were our weapons. The traffic moved at a snail's pace because of all the traffic involved in the celebration. The main dragway was traveling around the moat of the city, from which many were getting their water (yeah, it was dirty water).

There were thousands and thousands of people on the streets for the Songkran Festival New Year, dousing one another with buckets of water -- throwing it on cyclists as they rode by -- on pedestrians -- on children and old people -- pickups like ours lined the streets filled with 4 to 18 people in the back, all with buckets and squirt guns, shooting everybody in sight. Some purchased huge blocks of ice to put in their water containers so the water that was thrown on you was as icy as you can ima


At one point as we passed a large fountain area, we saw hundreds of people playing in a mass of suds emanating from the huge fountain - and throwing it on as many people as they could (at top).

We rode in the back of Dave's truck and threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the celebration. We were drenched to the bone within five minutes of leaving our hotel. This was happening all over the city - anywhere and everywhere you walked. There is no mercy. Even if you are dressed up, it doesn't matter. Everyone is fair game during Songkran. Absolutely wild -- and fun.

Wish you were here.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


We have spent the past couple of days with our friend - and missionary to
Thailand - David Kniesz.

We flew to Mae Hong Son in extreme northeastern Thailand and visited one of the remote villages there where David does ministry. We met some Karenni widows who have been sponsored by ladies in our church. They walked an hour-and-a-half from their refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border to where we were. We aren't allowed in that camp because of some incidents that happened awhile back where some people were killed. These women have been widows since their husbands were killed in skirmishes with the Burmese military, fighting for their Karenni independence from the rest of Burma. We were able to give a word of encouragement to these widows.

Next we visited the Long Neck and Big-Eared people. I asked David if these were derogatory terms and he said they were not. These adorn themselves by putting rings around their necks and ornaments in their ear lobes that stretch them over time. They seemed lovely and gentle people to me and they spoke English as well as anyone we have so far met in these kinds of areas. There was a school there that had fallen into great disrepair and that could be re-built for only $300. Because we are teaching them school curriculum, we are also allowed to teach Bible to the children. We are planning on giving them the money to re-build the school there before we leave Thailand.

We went to the Yellow Farm village - which houses a school where children from outlying villages come to learn. They are also taught Bible here. Since it is the Thai New Year this week, the school was closed. They desperately need workers and teachers in the above places who will come for even short term assignments (at least 6 months).

We also visited the city of Pai and met with the Tourist Police (David is one of these as well). They are looking for someone to come partner with them to minister to the foreigners who visit places like Pai - well known as an illegal drug center - and who ultimately get arrested for drug use.

It has been a rewarding trip so far - and great to see all that David has his hand in. He says it is just the 'tip of the iceberg.' I can only imagine.

And be blessed.


The other day on Soi Cowboy (see the last blog) in Bangkok was probably both the greatest - and saddest - day of the trip for me.

Working with the MST PROJECT (, we met two more men ...

The first - Jake - was from Australia. A young, in shape, nice-looking guy -- hanging out on this infamous street full of bars and girls ready to provide services for interested men. We talked for 30 minutes on the street. Meaningful conversation. We thought the conversation was over, but Jake wanted to hang around some while longer - talking about why he was here on this street ... exploring the edges of faith. He took our information and we got his number. It was a great connection. Pray for him.

The other - Don - was from Pennsylvania. Don was the ‘sad’ part. Such inner conflict and torment. Such insecurity. So adrift. Not really sure of what he felt or thought. Contradicting himself so many times in the hour long conversation we had with him. And in the end, accepting our information and agreeing to be open a future meeting. So maybe it wasn't the saddest moment after all. Pray for him.

My heart went out to these men, both of whom seem like such powerful prospects for the Kingdom.

Please pray for the salvation of men who walk the streets of Bangkok and Pattaya searching for love and acceptance. As people Jesus loves and died for, they are no less deserving recipients of His grace than anyone else. We know Jesus is their one and only answer.

I have said it loud and I have said it often ... spirituality is extremely messy. So is grace ... and love ... and mercy ... and compassion. We're asking God to increase these exponentially in the lives of KFA-ers as we move into the future. It is only thru these Christ-like characteristics that we will see His greatest work done.

And be blessed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


In Bangkok there is a place called 'Soi Cowboy' ('soi' means 'street'). It is narrow and bar-lined with scores of young Thai girls scantily clad and hanging out - almost Las Vegas style in its gaudiness. Men visit this street to buy girls for an hour or two of 'fun.'

Conversations from 'Soi Cowboy' and 'Walking Street' (see Thursday's blog):

"My name is Reginald and I am from Wales. I am here with my dad and uncle and my 18-year old cousin. I'm 18 too. It's not our first time here. Our dads brought us here last year when we were 17. (ME: "What are you here for tonight?") [grin from him] What do you think we're here for? We're here for the sex. This is the greatest place on the planet. We love coming here. We'll be back tomorrow night --- and the next --- and the next --- and the next --- and the next."

"My name is Tony and I am from Canada. There is more happening on these two blocks per square inch than any other two blocks in the world. I am an atheist but I am still a spiritual person. I have values. I think it's terrible that under-age girls are out here. I just finished having sex with a woman but she was 33-years old, so it's OK. We're both consenting adults so there shouldn't be a problem with it. I guess I'm a little worried about diseases, but I'm aware of STDs and HIV. I don't think there's much chance of anything like that happening since I use protection. I'll admit I agonize over whether I'm hurting anyone when I do this. I have questions about the morality of it all, but since I don't believe in God anyway, I don't guess there's much chance HE is going to punish me, right? Ha ha."

"My name is Ken and I am originally from Washington but I live here in Bangkok now. I'm just here for dinner tonight, but you have to admit this street is pretty entertaining. I don't have sex with girls here - not anymore. I'm a good Christian. I have a Thai girlfriend that I love. I'm not saying I wouldn't come down here for sex, but I don't need to. I have 4 sons who live in the states. They always enjoy coming over. They bring their grandchildren and we watch them while they go out. (ME: 'Would it bother you if your grandsons grew up to come down here and engage in this activity?') [without hesitation]: Of course not. What do I care? Why would it bother me? Should it bother me?"

(Names have been changed and language has been cleaned up.)

Note: The political unrest you may be hearing about in Bangkok that has killed several and injured many seems to be contained to a specific area of the city. We are not in danger. Please pray for peace to reign. And continue praying for us.

And be blessed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Pattaya, Thailand - Walking Street - encounters:

"My name is Fernando and I am from Italy. I have come to Walking Street in Pattaya tonight for sex. Maybe more than once tonight. I am an agnostic, and while I do not believe prostitution is necessarily a good thing, it helps Thai families receive money into their homes by the girls offering themselves each night. I would like to find love, but so far, I haven't. I'd probably do anything if I could just find someone who would love me ... "

"My name is James and I am originally from New Zealand. I have a home here in Thailand. It's just a good time down here. You can get whatever you want -- beer, good conversation, sex, new friends, you name it. I don't see why it's a problem for anyone to be here since everyone is having such a great time. People who view what happens here as a problem have a problem."

"My name is Kyle and I am from California. My first time to Walking Street was two years ago. Now on my trips here I come every night. As often as I can. Actually, I don't even know why I come. I guess it does something for me. You know I used to teach Sunday School in my church when I was younger. But that's been years ago. I don't think anybody is getting hurt by what happens here on Walking Street. But I don't know ... maybe I shouldn't come here ... I'm not really sure why I do ... I'm going to have to think about it some more."

The above are real-life conversations from our Thailand missions trip to work with MST project ( The names have been changed to protect the men.

And be blessed.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I am in Thailand with four of our KFA men. (Somebody called our church KFC over here. We've been called 'chickens' before, so it's OK.)

We began our first night at the Nancy Ross Training Center in Bangkok - home of YWAM (Youth With a Mission) - to get some great orientation. From there, we travelled two hours to Pattaya, Thailand went with our YWAM/MST ( hosts, Chris and Keith. Our first night out on the aptly named "WALKING STREET," where hundreds of 'customers' come to drink, eat and get sex with young girls or boys.

We split into two teams and made our way, praying the whole time. My team met several men walking the streets looking for a variety of escape from their loneliness and satisfaction for their emptiness.

I met two men about my age from Wales who stopped to talk with us. They had two 18 year olds with them. Both of the younger men were sons of the older ones. Their fathers had brought them to Walking Street to buy sex from young women. It wasn't the boys' first time there either. They were eager to talk with us -- and also eager to get on with why they were here.

There was another gentleman from New Zealand who remains heavy on my heart. He stayed to talk for a relatively lengthy period of time and took the information we had. I'm praying he returns for a follow-up.

There were others, too.

What I love about how our two MST contact leaders are leading us is that there is so much emphasis on prayer. We're praying before we go out on the streets, we're confessing our thoughts and holding each other accountable - and then praying for one another, we're stopping in mid-ministry when a thought or feeling pops up inside of us, to pray - then after the late night ministry, we're downloading it and praying some more. Then around 2 a.m., we get to sleep. The great thing about it is - after all that - and BECAUSE of all that - the sleep is sweet.

It's not easy to love the way Jesus loved. You can't do it without Him. It isn't natural, you don't do it by working hard at it, anything less isn't recognized or received as love. Only JESUS' love is real love. Everything else is a terrible facsimile - destructive even. All other loves are sadly lacking and woefully ineffective.

Jeremiah 33:3 - "I have loved you with an everlasting love." God, give us THAT kind of love when we go out again tonight.

Keep us and MST in prayer. We all need it.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Well, it has begun. My trip to Bangkok with four men from KFA. We're joining Joelene and three of their wives (and some other women from KFA) who went ahead of us several days.

Our first stopover is in Seoul, South Korea, where I'm sitting right now. We've lost a whole day of our lives. It's already late Tuesday evening but I'm sure this blog post reads that it was posted very early Tuesday morning.

Pray for a rewarding trip with our guys. We're all pumped up, though tired. One of our main targets for this trip are the European and Asian businessmen who travel to this part of the world to pick up girls for sex. Our ministry will be approaching them on the streets and talking with them. We'll really need God for this one, friends.

I'll post as often as I can.

Be blessed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


If you're a follower of Christ, TODAY is the greatest day of the year. Because today we celebrate the most important event in all human history.

Here's why. Christianity is not built on the teachings of an individual. That’s news for some of you. ‘I thought it WAS built on someone’s teachings.’ But it isn't. It's built on one factual event in history ... the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, if you were to pull this one event out of Christianity, there would be nothing left – it would completely deflate. We may as well sell our church buildings and go to the lake next weekend. The whole thing rises and falls, not on a teaching – not on a view of heaven or hell or eternal life – but on something that happened on one single day in history – the big event.

After Jesus' resurrection and ascencion, every time His disciples stood before people, they weren’t saying, “Jesus was a good man,’ or Jesus taught us to pray,or Jesus said some really great things about forgiveness." The driving force of their faith and communication was the EVENT, the EVENT, the EVENT ... Jesus rose from the dead.

So why do we celebrate with such confidence that today is the best day of all - that it is the most important event in the history of the universe? Because this is the event that made it possible for us to say, I can be loved and accepted and cared for and forgiven ... and I can actually love others and accept others and care for others and forgive others ... because I'm following a resurrected Savior.'

He has changed my life. I’m not the same person I was before ... and I’ll never be the same again. And it isn't that Christ followers think they're better than anyone else, we just think we're better OFF than we used to be because we've met Jesus ... and we LIKE what He's done inside us.

And so we celebrate this day. Celebrate Jesus. He is risen.

And be blessed.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


It is Resurrection Eve.

All that Jesus did -- His birth as a baby in human form -- His sinless perfect life -- His selfless death on the cross -- His rising from the dead -- He did for YOU. For all the wrongs you've done, said or thought.

For you.
For me.

Was it fair? No.
Was it right? No.
Was it love? Yes.

Think for a moment about the worst thing you've ever done. You have SOMETHING -- I do too. It would cause you the most intense pain and humiliation if it were flashed on a screen for everyone to see.

Now ... imagine having the weight of THAT sin ... and the shame and weight of EVERY SIN EVER COMMITTED BY EVERY HUMAN BEING WHO EVER LIVED --- every act of abuse -- every crime -- every jealous and hateful act -- every proud and hurtful moment -- from the beginning of time right down to today and even into the future -- every betrayal, every deception, every greedy act -- every mean word -- every dishonest lie. Imagine feeling the pain of ALL THAT directed at YOU.

And the Bible says Jesus took all of that on Himself -- for you. And THAT is why, today, you can ...

Be blessed.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Jesus said: Imagine you had a servant out plowing a field. At the end of the day, would you say to the servant, 'Come sit and eat now?' Or would you say, 'Prepare my supper first and after that, you can eat?' Would you thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So also, when you have done all you were told to do, should say, 'I am an unworthy servant; I have only done my duty.'

I talk a lot about MISSION -- OURS at KFA is 'making it easy to find and experience God.' The essence of that is our focus on those who are far from God and helping them get to God - not making it difficult for them.

Having said that, it may not quite be our very highest calling. All our service must be born out of intimacy and worship with Christ.

Suddenly I'M the one in the field plowing. When the day's work is done, I'm tired and sweaty and hungry. I've worked hard and now I need nourishment. So I go to the Master's dining hall to be fed. As I walk in, I expect the Master to say, "Well done. Now, sit and eat."

But the Master says none of that. Instead he says, "Put on your apron. Serve me first. After that, you can eat."

At first that seems harsh, but nothing could be further from the truth. He says: There's a need in me that only your friendship and service can meet. I know you're tired, but before I feed you, I need you to do something for me. I want you to come here and sit down and let me speak to you. There is so much I want to tell you. I look forward to this time every day when I can have connection with you and you can put your attention on me.

That whole thing should humble us big-time. Why would Jesus want me near him? Why does He ask me to pause and serve in His presence? Because when I wait on Him and listen to His voice and hear what He has to say, IT FEEDS HIM. He says it's food to Him when I hunger to hear Him speak.

So when you've finished your earthly daily toil, come to the Master's Table -- to serve Him. He wants to unfold Himself to you. He promises to speak to you.

And be blessed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was trying to figure out what kind of blogger I am. Now that I have written over 500 entries, I figured I had developed some relative style - by now. There are several KINDS of bloggers. For instance ...

1 The Aggregator
Re-posts interesting tid-bits from all over the internet.

2 The Talk Show Host
Brings up provocative topics to fuel comments.

3 The Professional
Writes insightful posts about his particular occupation.

4 The Hobbyist
Tries to blog seriously, but can't help but post family pics and sports scores.

5 The Editorialist
Writes long diatribes fueled by current events.

6 The Human RSS Feeder
Tries to blog but ends up mostly citing other blogs.

7 The Preacher
Preaches short sermons in each blog post because the world is his parish.

8 The Jokester
Treats the blog like a humor column and links excessively to YouTube as if nobody's heard of it.

9 The Social Media Expert
Blogs about blogging to help others blog about blogging.

10 The Storyteller
Uses chuckle-in-the-belly anecdotes to share insights about life.

I think I'm a conglomeration of #2, #3, #5, #7 and #10 -- with a little splash of #8. Whattaya think?

And be blessed.