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February 2010

Posts from January 2010

World's Narrowest Garage

Saw this on Alltop.  I can't understand a word the guy is saying, so it's a good thing there are subtitles.  Of course, I don't understand the language the subtitles are in either.  Regardless, here's a guy who has a tiny garage that is apparently 6 cm wider than his car.  Check out how he gets out of the car and gets into his home.  Funny.

Now, back to preparing for Sunday's messages. . .

"Buckets of Hope" for Haiti

The Florida Baptist Disaster Relief ministry is coordinating a "Buckets of Hope" opportunity for those of us here to bless those in Haiti.

Here are the details. . .

Everyone can have a hands-on, life changing affect upon the people of Haiti by participating in a Southern Baptists “Buckets of Hope” ministry.

The “Buckets of Hope” is just one means by which we can fulfill the mandate of Jesus Christ to feed the hungry in the name of Jesus.  As we are reminded in Matthew 25:45, Jesus tells us, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, yet did it not to me.” (KJV)

The “Bucket of Hope” consists of a plastic five-gallon bucket packed with selected foodstuffs. For approximately $30 an individual can purchase the materials and assemble a “Bucket of Hope.”  In addition people are requested to include a $10 cash contribution, placed in an envelope and attached to the lid of the bucket, to offset the cost of transporting the relief buckets to Haiti.

Project deadline:  By March 15, 2010, the “Buckets of Hope” must be completed and delivered to your local *Baptist association collection point.  Florida disaster relief volunteers will facilitate the pick-up and transport of the local “Buckets of Hope” to Hialeah, Florida, for placement in cargo containers for immediate shipment to the island nation.   After delivery to a Hialeah warehouse, before loading in cargo containers, all the buckets will be labeled indicating the “Bucket of Hope” is a gift of Christian love and support from Southern Baptists.

The Bucket:

The 5-gallon white plastic bucket with handle, which should be new and unused, can be purchased at such retailers as Wal-Mart, Lowe’s or Home Depot.  The bucket should not have any logo or other commercial imprint.  The purchased bucket must include a tight fitting lid.  

The Food Items:

The commercially pre-packaged food items can be generic, store brand items.  Once the food supplies are used, Haitians will find multiple everyday uses for the bucket.  Please do not substitute any item listed and do not add anything additional inside the bucket.

(2)  5-pound bags long grain enriched rice

(1) 48-ounce plastic bottle cooking oil

(2) 2-pound bags dry black beans (can substitute with red beans)

(1)  5-pound bag of all-purpose flour (not self-rising)

(1)  20-ounce cylinder container of granulated white sugar (coffee service size)

(2)  1 pound boxes spaghetti noodles

(1)  2-pound plastic jar smooth peanut butter

(1)  white kitchen trash can size plastic bag (which will be used to wrap the bottle of cooking oil)

(1)  French/Creole language gospel track (provided by Collection Site)

Packing Instructions:

(See video instructions on packing the bucket on

  1. As you pack the bucket, pray for the Haitian family that will receive the food.
  2. Lay bucket on its side.
  3. Place rice packages in bucket.  Lay bags side-by-side and flat running in the direction of top to bottom of bucket. Gently compress the bags (without breaking them) as flat as possible to create room for other items.
  4. Place bottle of oil inside a clean, unused trash bag and wrap the excess portion of the bag tightly around the bottle.  (This is a precaution to protect the foodstuffs should there be leakage or a break in the bottle during transport.)
  5. Lay the bottle of oil on top of the rice bags.  Lay the wrapped oil container so that the bottom of the bottle is at the bottom of the bucket and is approximately in the center of the bucket.
  6. Place the peanut butter jar on one side of the oil.
  7. Place the cylinder of sugar on top of the wrapped oil bottle.
  8. Place boxes of spaghetti noodles on the other side of the oil bottle.
  9. While holding the sugar and peanut butter containers in place, stand bucket upright .
  10. Place one bag of black beans down along the inside of the bucket next to the peanut butter.
  11. Place bag of flour on its side on top of the peanut butter, gently packing down the flour bag to clear the rim of the bucket.
  12. Place second bag of black beans next to the flour on top of the peanut butter.
  13. Place the French/Creole language gospel tract on top of packed food.
  14. Close lid on the bucket and make sure it is securely closed.
  15. Place $10 cash (bills only) into a business size (#10) or smaller envelope. Seal the envelope.  Securely tape the envelope to the lid of the bucket.
  16. Take the filled “Bucket of Hope” to your area *collection center before March 15, 2010.  

*Association Collection Sites are still being determined.  Please check back on this website for updates.

We can’t thank you enough for your interest in Haiti. We are changing lives! We are giving Hope to the Hopeless! Please continue to “ Join us on the Journey” as we seek to Change lives forever and give Hope.

Go here for more updated information -

Overwhelmed with New Series

I'm working on the sermon series to begin in February.  It's called "All You Need Is Love" but it's more than a tribute to the Beatles.  In fact, it's not even another marriage or dating series (though Valentine's Day is the second Sunday).  This one is about the overwhelming love of our God.  Sounds simple, but this is incredible.  I'm reading through Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  I'm sure I'll be gleaning form this as the messages take shape.  Great book BTW.  You can get it from my online store linked here on the blog.

Anyway, just working on this on a Tuesday and am sitting back saying "Wow" at how incredibly awesome our God is.  Good to get a little perspective now and then.

Love screen 3 copy

A Day at Upward

Upward Basketball is a ministry we have hosted at our church for seven years. Each year hundreds of children participate in our basketball and cheerleading leagues.  This year it's up to almost 350 participants.  This means we have games Friday evenings and all day Saturday for eight weeks.  That plus the practices makes for a very busy and full week of sports ministry here at First Baptist.

On Saturdays, I get to watch as people come and go and as games are played.  In the afternoons I put on my striped shirt and referee for four or five games.  Then, normally around 7:30pm or 8:30pm I coach my son's team.  I get a variety of perspectives: spectator, referee, parent, and coach.

Here are some things I've noticed during these Upward games. . .

  • Even in the leagues where no score is kept (Kindgergarten - 2nd grade) every parent and coach knows the score.  Some kids do, but not all.
  • Apparently it's a big deal with the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits arrive on Saturday mornings.
  • It's impossible to referee a game where both coaches and all the parents think you've done a good job.
  • "Dribble it, pass it, we want a basket" is the most used cheer.  Every cheer squad does this cheer and if you're here all day you hear it over and over and over and over. . . 
  • A day eating nachos and cookies normally ends in a stomach ache by the end of the day, yet I still find myself eating nachos and cookies all day.
  • Girls like to play basketball wearing earrings, makeup, necklaces and nice bows.
  • Our referees don't get paid.  I am one, so therefore, we're getting what we pay for. :-)
  • Some folks really get uptight about the Upward colors.  It's funny.  This year the colors are orange and blue and Gator-haters are having a really hard time wearing the uniforms and coaches shirts.  I just tell them it's Boise State colors.  They change every year.  Will probably be red and black again next year.
  • Parents yell at their kids while they play, thinking they can hear them.  Most of the time the kids can't hear anyone.  At least that's what I tell their coaches when they get frustrated because the players aren't doing what they say.
  • For many players, the end of game trip to the concession stand is the highlight of the day.
  • The longer the day gets, the shorter my temper gets. Not a good thing.
  • The older girls wear the best looking socks.
  • The computer doesn't always make the teams equal.  This is very frustrating to me.
  • All in all, Upward is the best sports program I've seen with the focus it has.
  • Games starting at 8:30pm.  That's just too late.
  • The ladies that work and set up the concession stand are incredible.
  • Unbelievable referees (excluding me).  These folks donate all their time.
  • Amazing to see this many people volunteering so much time for the kids in this community.
  • A loose basketball just hit the fire alarm pull button.  Now the alarm is going off.  Fun.
  • God is all over this program.  Praying that many lives will be changed.

These are just some observations.  You should come out sometime and cheer these kids on.

Discover Your Personality - Key for Finding Your SHAPE for Service

Last night in STEP THREE, I discussed the fact that everyone unique personality is given to them by God and that they never change.  So, to discover one's SHAPE for service, it's important to know what type of personality one has.

The attached documents are great tools for helping discover your personality type.  These come from our Men's Fraternity material.  To take the survey, download the first document, the Description Sheets, which describes the types of personalities reviewed.  Then, download the survey.  These are PDF files, so you'll need Adobe Reader installed.  Have fun.

Download Description_Sheets

Download Your_Personality

32 Seconds! That's How Long It Takes To Lure Your Child Away

Child lures poster copy
Ever since the disappearance and murder of Somer Thompson, we have been working to discover more things we can do for our community to educate parents and teachers and protect our children.

There is evil in the world, and I'll be preaching on that in March so be sure to be here on Sundays.

I want to make you aware of an event we're hosting on Saturday, March 6 from 6pm - 8pm featuring Ken Wooden of Child Lures Prevention.

Here's the poster we have just completed.  More details on the event to come, but at this point, mark the date and time on your calendars.  This is an event for community leaders and parents and adults are all invited.  There will be no child-care, so make arrangements.

Oh, and I learned this yesterday.  The same lures and tactics used by predators to take young children are also used by those stalking and attacking men and women on college campuses and military bases.  So, the child that needs to learn the lures may be eight, or twenty.  Don't miss this event.

3 - Lose What Entangles

When putting these messages together for this series, I thought this would be the weakest of the lot.  Boy, was I wrong.  God has used this message already in incredible ways to impact and begin healing in the lives of people.  I'm being overwhelmed by the response.  Believe me, it's not a response of "Wow.  This was a fun sermon to here."  It's been more "Wow.  This is hard and yet, God is so real!"

I pray that God will continue to bring healing to the hearts of people and if He chooses to use this message, well, it's His anyway, then that's wonderful.

Click this link to listen to the audio of the message. . .

01 3 - Lose What Entangles

(My iTunes podcasts are not working presently, so if you want to download the sermon, right click the player above and save to your computer.  You can then import into iTunes.)

The video shown at the end of the message is here.  It features Nate Larkin, author of Samson and the Pirate Monks.  Many of our men have read this book.  I encourage you to get a copy and read as well.

You can watch more videos like Nate's at

Click here to read more and purchase Samson and the Pirate Monks.


Pat Robertson, Haiti and the Wrath of God

Robertson's statement regarding the Haitian people signing a pact with the devil has garnered much comment and airplay across numerous media outlets.

Pat Robertson

So, here's an interview regarding this and God's wrath.  It's from NPR, which obviously, is not an evangelical Christian news agency, yet this interview is solid.  Host Michel Martin interviews Pastor Hershael York of Buck Run Baptist Church who also serves as professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  I think Dr. York gives solid responses on this issue.  What do I think?  I agree with Dr. York.

Hershael York

It's not a long clip.  Take a listen. . .