…juan pablo…

In a few weeks I’ll be heading back to Planet Wisdom with the students in our student ministry.  I am excited about that.  They came to Tulsa in 2009, took a year off in 2010, but are back again here in 2011.

Last time a lot of things were impactful for my students including Mark Matlock, Dutton and the Skit Guys.  While I enjoyed each and everyone of those guys, that wasn’t really what impacted me the most.

Juan Pablo impacted me the most.

During the conference Mark stood up and talked about how he had become a sponsor of a child through Compassion International and had used this as an opportunity to help his kids connect with those outside of Dallas.

He said that his kids had really gotten into writing the 1 or 2 kids – I can’t remember how many they sponsored.  It was cool for him to watch them minister to these students across the world.  He kind of got choked up talking about it even.

You know those times when the Spirit starts speaking to you in such a way that you feel like the room just got 50 degrees warmer, your ears tingle, your stomach turns, and you can only think about one thing?  That is EXACTLY what happened to me when Mark offered the challenge to sponsor a child.

I knew that this is what I was supposed to do.  I knew it!  But I didn’t know if my wife was wanting to do sponsor a kid or not.  Although she was sitting right next to me it wasn’t the best time to talk something like this over.  So I whispered a prayer much like Gideon did when he put stipulations on God.  I said “God, if You want me to sponsor a child then when they pass out the packets in a minute, then I need to be given the packet of a little boy from a Latino country.”

See I had gone to Mexico in college and loved the little boys in the orphanages.  So I had a heart for those little boys already.

When the people came by with the packets, I raised my hand signaling I was interested in sponsoring and they handed me a packet.  When I looked at the front there was a picture of Juan Pablo – a little 8 year old boy from Colombia.  He called my bluff and answered my prayer.

I looked at my wife and said “Are we gonna do this?” And she responded with “If God is calling you to then yeah.” So I signed up that day.  I’ve been sponsoring little Juan Pablo since February 2009 – almost two years.

Last April our church participated in Compassion Day at church and through that my wife felt called to pick out a child.  So she picked out little Herrietta from Ghana.  I was so proud of my wife for that.  And it turns out that Herrietta had been waiting over  months to get sponsored, and my wife did that for her!

It has been a blessing getting little pictures, and cards, and “art projects” in the mail from these two kids.

I’m thankful for the fact that we can help these two in Colombia, South America and Ghana, Africa from our little house in Tulsa, OK.

If you are interested in sponsoring, head on over to Compassion International now!

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…my 2011 book list…

Hopefully by now we are done with the crop of “What all I read in 2010” type of blog posts.  I’m not knocking them though – after all I posted one of them myself.  (See here)  The reason why I hope that they are kind of done right now is so that this post won’t seem like it is a copy of anyone else’s.

Last year one of my goals was to read 20 books.  I accomplished that goal but I found myself struggling to complete it somewhat towards the end.  This year I don’t want to be rushed when I read.  I want to enjoy it.  So I’m bringing that number down somewhat and am only going to try and read 17.  I know it is kind of a weird number, but that is the number I am going with nonetheless.

So even though I am not going to go after 20 like I did in 2010, there are for sure 11 that I am going to try and hit in 2011.  Here they are.

  1. RadicalDavid Platt (The only person so far who I heard didn’t like it was Kevin DeYoung.  Thats a pretty good response.)
  2. ChazownCraig Groeschel (I loved It, and it is my first review for Multnomah.)
  3. Finding Our Way AgainBrian McLaren (Haven’t read too much emergent stuff, especially not him – but I’d like to.)
  4. Soul CravingsErwin McManus (I loved Chasing Daylight, hopefully I’ll love this one too.)
  5. The Next Christians – Gabe Lyons (unChristian was good and I heard him speak about this one and am very interested in it.)
  6. The Gospel According to LostChris Seay (I loved the show!)
  7. Prodigal GodTim Keller (This got a lot of traction in 2009 and my chiropractor gave me a copy of it for free.)
  8. No Wonder They Call Him SaviorMax Lucado (Never read a Lucado book so it is about time that I do.)
  9. Coffeehouse GospelMatthew Paul Turner (He is controversial and yet conversational.)
  10. Hole in Our Gospel – Richard Stearns (If you haven’t heard of this one, then where have you been?)
  11. The Grace of GodAndy Stanley (My wife’s cousin wouldn’t shut up about it. Definitely gotta read it now.)

There is my list.  I hope you approve.  And if you don’t, oh well.

What are you reading this year?

 

…a sobering note…

On the third weekend of October 2009 my wife told me that we were pregnant.  All the signs pointed toward YES.  She had taken some tests and didn’t pass them, she had the feeling like she might have been, and we had been trying to have a baby for about 2 weeks (we work fast!).

Riley laughing at her funny mommy

Fast forward to July 14, 2010 and you have the day that my little girl, Riley Grace, was born.  Tiffany woke up about 1:00 AM that morning having what she thought might be contractions, kept a record of them for awhile, and then woke me up at 4:00 telling me that we needed to go to the hospital!  So we got there about 5:00 AM, and at 2:09 PM our little girl came into the world!  It was a glorious and sacred moment.

And although now I’m so excited for my little girl to grow up and experience life I am also scared out of my wits about it.  One of the reasons is because every time I walk into the room and she sees me she gets so exited, smiles, and looks away with this shy look on her face.  It melts my heart when she does she.  My wife told me that she was boy-crazy for her dad.

But as I thought, I wondered what might happen if she really did grow up to be boy-crazy.  I don’t mind her being crazy about me and my attention, but I don’t want her to be crazy for every other man’s attention.

The reason I say all this is because of a note I saw posted on a cross at a Boiler Room that we had here in Tulsa for a week.  The note read like this: “I let boys treat me like an object.  I’m not, I’m YOURS.”  It hit me and impacted me quite a bit.  First I was so glad that this girl had found her way into this Boiler Room and had the courage to write this down this bold thought, and then sacrifice it on this cross.

But it made me wonder about how things will be like for Riley when she grows up.  And what if Riley gets a sister in a year or two?  What if she gets 2 sisters and all I end up having is girls!? :)  I think that might have me on my knees more than anything else in my life probably would.

Anyone else have these thoughts?  What do you all do with them?