I Got Mad for the Orphans Today…OOPS

Today I got angry. I know this surprises everyone that I actually lose my cool every so often (haha) but today was especially interesting. I got angry about the orphanage that Yolanda and I oversee in Nepal. Sometimes, I can get negative about people that I think would and should support what we are doing but don’t want to get involved. I mean, they are ORPHANS for crying out loud!

The interesting thing was that I preached a message at a church a few weeks ago about not having to defend God, the Bible and what He wants to do on the earth. I said, “We don’t need to defend the Bible, we need the Bible to defend US!” (Plus, I knew that was from God because it was too good for me to come up with such a clever line) I had lots of passion and meant every word I said. I am not sure why, but I threw all that good teaching for EVERYONE ELSE out the window and got ticked for the sake of the orphans!!

I need to remember and listen to all that good teachin’ I am happy to give others and remember that our kids in Nepal are HIS kids and not our responsibility. We are just to do our part, present the vision and trust God for the support. We have already had others who are fully behind what we are doing and I know that God is going to bring even more people to us to take care of the kids.

Today, think about something you are worried about or gotten angry about because you thought you were defending the less fortunate or even God, for that matter. Remember that He has way more power than you, has been around a lot longer and has the ability to actually protect YOU and not the other way around.

Ok. Now I feel better getting that off my chest. Have a great weekend!

An Owl Pooped on me this Weekend

IMG_7703You read it and are seeing it correctly, a Barn Owl pooped on me this weekend. It was like an explosion of turd all over my jacket and shorts while I was birding with Yolanda this weekend. In life, there are times when we are hit with an unexpected “crap-storm” of problems that come in all different shapes and sizes. The question is how will we respond? At first I was in shock because I had never been pooped on by a bird, not to mention a giant owl! Then I was trying to calculate what just happened to me from standing in a  tree grove, to a giant awesome owl flying over my head to having the sensation of drying bird poop all over me. Isn’t that just like life sometimes? We are hit with crap and try to assess the situation the best we can but it is sometimes hard to put all the pieces together. I walked up to my wife and her friend Nora and said, “I found the bird” while revealing my turd-laden jacket and shorts from behind a tree. As they started to laugh at me, I calmly walked back to my car, got some water on a rag and started wiping off as much excrement as I could so we could continue looking for birds that day.

The moral to this little story is a question; what are you going to do in your life when you get “crapped on?” Are you going to sit and cry and whine that you smell like turd? Are you going to try to get vengeance on the one who did the “pooping?” The owl, who was my aggressor, was LONG GONE by the time I got my bearings and realized what happened. I could have spent my entire day looking for that stupid bird and ruining the rest of my time with Yolanda and Nora, with a HIGH probability of not finding the culprit. Or are you going to wipe it off and keep going? Be encouraged today that things will happen to you that need to be brushed/wiped off and for you to keep going in life. Don’t let something as simple as the “crap” of someone else ruin your day and give them control over your mind and emotions.

Praying for you this week and have a splendid day!

Resolutions, Resolve and Making Change Stick!

Today I had a revelation about my year coming up. I was driving back from skiing and was trying to think through a meeting that I had to make with a person and thought, “I can’t really do Tuesday’s because I have pastor’s meeting on that day.” The only issue is that I am no longer working for a church and don’t have that obligation each week anymore. Generally, for the past 20 years of my adult life, I have had a “pastor’s meeting” in some form or fashion every week. I know that now working in the television world that I will still have some kind of staff meeting, but it will be at a time I choose. I then called my wife, had a good laugh and continued to drive home. Then I was thinking about how many times we make decisions in life based on the familiar and not the truth. I was modifying my meeting time with something that didn’t even exist in my life anymore because my mind had been programmed to remember staff meetings every Tuesday.

Now think about something you want to change in your life this new year. It is not as simple as just deciding to do something different. Deciding to change is definitely a start, but not the deciding factor of whether your life is modified or not. There is going to need to be what I call “repeated disciplines” that you commit to in the process of your life each day. One of the BEST ways to shift thinking is to read the Bible. Even if it is not something necessarily spiritual, reading the Bible can have amazing effects in your life. I know many people think the Bible is just a dusty book of life suggestions, but it has been such an integral part of my life growing up and now as a person who tries to let Jesus be seen in everything I do.

I want to challenge you this new year to make reading the Bible a staple in your daily life if you are deciding to make some kind of positive change. You can start with the book of John which is such a great book about the love of Jesus and is a fairly easy read. I would read The New Living Translation or New International Readers Version instead of the good ol trusty King James which can be difficult to understand. Maybe you already read the Bible each day but you are reading it out of obligation only. Maybe that needs to be your “change” this year in that you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal new truth to you before you read one word. I know that I always get more out of the Bible when I do that before I start to read.

Have a wonderful new year this week and do more than make resolutions that are filled with good intentions but lack a positive game plan for execution. Praying for you all!

What I learned from my Free Ski Lesson

I had a great day skiing at Copper Mountain yesterday and thought I would write a little blog about what I learned from a free ski lesson I got from a guy I met on the hill.

I would classify myself as a great non-mogul skier.  I am not afraid to go down anything but it just may take me a little longer than some.  I can ski anything very well as long as it doesn’t include trees or those little white devils known as moguls.  I was trying to ski a Black Diamond at Copper (actually, I was more “surviving the run” and not really skiing it) when I came up behind a guy and struck up a conversation about how great the day was the condition of the snow.  He noticed I was doing my “survival routine” and asked if I wanted any pointers.
Lesson number one learned: I had the option to be prideful and tell him “no, I’ve got this” when I knew in my mind and the obvious show of my lack of mogul skiing, that I needed all the pointers I could get.  I said, “definitely” and he proceeded to help me for about four hours teaching me some of the fundamentals about skiing bumps as well as jump turning and skiing in the trees.  Pride is THE #1 obstacle to growth in life.  When we think we have it all figured out or don’t want to admit to being insufficient in something, no matter what it is, we have just put a limit on our learning and stunted our growth in life.
The second thing I learned from my ski lesson was that I could hear the instructions being told but if I didn’t apply what was being said to my actions it was pretty much useless information.  The same is true with a follower of Christ and the Bible.  I can read the Bible, see and even believe what it says but if I don’t apply what it is telling me I am never going to get “better” with my walk with God.  Always remember that our walk with God is organic and is either growing or dying.  That is an important element of life that we sometimes forget and really is the foundation of  a mediocre walk with God.  The third thing I learned was that the more comfortable I got with how I was skiing the more adventurous I was willing to be.  The same is true with knowing and following Christ.  I have heard people say that they think a life following Christ sounds like a bunch of boring rules.  Skiing a groomed run and skiing moguls have some “rules” you need to follow but once you learn them the sky is the limit!  When I read in the Bible about what the boundaries are for my life and live by those rules set out for me, my relationship with Jesus takes on a whole new level and I can enjoy listening to God and doing what he says.  I feel even after a one day lesson that I want to go back up to the hill to practice what I learned so I can get even better and enjoy myself even more on the hill and skiing even more terrain.  A life with Christ can be the same thing.  A hunger to know God even more so I can go out in the “terrain” of the world and “tear it up” for Christ!
I know my meeting Howard was not a coincidence and I have a new ski buddy and a foundation to hopefully lead him to Christ someday which is super cool and as an added bonus, I feel more confident than ever about my skiing ability and can enjoy my days off when I hit the slopes which is a great feeling as well!

Nepal update Day 3

Today was another great day with the kids. Its like I can’t spend enough time with them! Today we went to a field of cows, goats, lots of dirt and hardly any grass which to these kids is a palatial plot of land to play soccer and other field games. I tried to play goalie but was not good at all. My team lost and I owed the winning team 5 bottles of coke which to these kids was like winning the World Cup itself! The more time I spend with them the more comfortable I can sense they are with me. Mina, the little girl I just adore here, held my hand all the way back from playing games. She was repeating everything I said and was laughing and talking with me which was much different than last time. When she smiles my heart just melts. All of them are really good kids and I can see future potential in each one of them. Emmanuel and Hannah, the orphanage managers, do such a great job with them and we can see greatness in their lives.
I was thinking about the greatness that God sees in us if we would give him control of our lives and let him adopt us into his family. When we commit our lives to Jesus we make changes in our lives and choose to live with him and have him take care of us. As we walked back from the field where we were playing games the level of despair and the condition of the city is so apparent and just breaks my heart. I think of each one of our kids and the life they would be leading if they were not in the orphanage. Then I consider the ways my life would be different if I was not under Gods covering and care. Just another reminder here in Kathmandu of what God means to me and what the orphanage and care we can give these kids means to them. God has been so good to the children’s home and we know that the greatest days are yet to come!! See you tomorrow with another Nepal update! Have a great day