5th book of the year completed…..

This evening I finished my fifth book of the year, “Hurt Healer” by Tony Nolan. The book is a very good read for any disciple of Christ who is looking to follow Jesus’ 2nd commandment in Matthew 22:39 — Love your neighbor as yourself.  And the author, Tony Nolan, is one to know. He has a very powerful testimony that comes from someone who lived as a non-Christian “on the other side of the tracks”. He is now a very impactful evangelical preacher who makes the rounds as an advocate for those non-believers who are hurting. And while Christ is ultimately the “hurt healer”, as the body of Christ we should be instrumental in leading those hurting to Jesus who can heal. In essence, he says by putting on the love of Christ we become hurt healers in the process.

The book did a very good job at revealing my shortcomings as an ambassador for Jesus and encouraging me to go further. Throughout the book he creatively parallels the story of the good Samaritan and provides various perspectives to hammer home his points. The book also has space at the end of every chapter to ponder questions and documents thoughts and growth.

Additionally, Tony is a genuine person, not just as an author, but as someone who is real and reachable. Around the middle of the book, I came across a part where he was conveying his failure in meeting non-believer’s physical needs but not meeting their spiritual needs by sharing the love and sacrifice of Christ with them. He states in the book a nightmare he had where (and I am paraphrasing now) Satan tells him thank you for filling the stomachs of the homeless but not impacting their souls by sharing Jesus with them. It was eery and really hit home the short-sighted and impotent movement of “random acts of kindness” without including Jesus in it. Physical acts of kindness (short term, temporary needs) really mean nothing in the larger picture if we aren’t reaching people spiritually (long term, permanent needs). So this really resonated with me because I was struggling with something similar – I would help people but not share Jesus with them. So I wrote Tony an email and he responded very quickly. I was very impressed with his responsiveness, accessibility and authenticity. He truly is someone who walks the talk. I highly encourage you to read any of his works.

Now unfortunately, as it stands now, I am a bit behind on my 2012 reading list. And this is not my only reading goal for the year — I am pursuing this 24 book list, I am reading through the Bible in entirety this year, and I am reading “The Story” as my church progresses through that book that creatively weaves scripture cohesively and linearly as a novel would. It is a lot to bite off and, while I am making some good progress, I can see delays and goal adjustments in my future.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

An awesome, anticipated family day…..

Several weeks ago my daughter K came to me with a discovery. She discovered that Jamba Juice, a favorite smoothie destination when we lived in California, had opened their first location in the state of Kentucky. Unfortunately, it was in Lexington which was a 45-60 minute drive. And no matter how much she wanted it, I was not going to drive over an hour just for a smoothie.

Well, she persisted and an idea came to me. My wife had a friend who suggested a wonderful doughnut shop in Versailles — on the way to Lexington. And recently, we have been having fun as a family geocaching. So I decided to combine all three into a family fun day — donuts, Jamba Juice and geocaching. So we inked a Saturday in March way back in Feb and began to look forward to our adventure.

That day finally came and, while heavily anticipated, ended up surpassing our expectations. We left early Saturday morning with the intent of the donut stop being our breakfast. Luckily, this is not every day because if I ate donuts every day for breakfast I wouldn’t be able to fit in my car. The donut shop — DoughDaddy Donuts in Versailles, KY — ended up being in a gas station. Now it was a nice gas station at that, but it didn’t fit our preconceived notions of a donut shop. Thankfully, the donuts were delicious and we each scarfed down a variety of glazed, blueberry cake, maple, sprinkled, and cinnamon twists to name a few. We enjoyed the meal as a family and set up camp at a barstool type table while we soaked in the beautiful day that was developing outside.

A few more donuts to go and we proceeded to the activity portion of our journey — geocaching. I pulled out my iPhone and tapped on the Geocache app which revealed that there was a geocache 181 ft away. Wow! Cool! Our first geocache and we didn’t even have to leave the property.

We cleaned up the table, secured our “to go” donuts and began homing in on the cache location. It ended up being strategically and cleverly hidden behind the facility. My son found it and was very proud to have found the first cache of the day. We signed the log, completed it in the app and proceeded to triumphantly search for the next cache on our route to Jamba Juice. We were full from donuts so we were intent on maximizing our geocache time on our way to Lexington.

The next few geocaches were fun and offered some steps away from the beaten path. One provided a nice view of a local castle. Yes, you read that correct – a castle. Another geocache down the street from that one was in an old cemetery that had veteran soldiers buried in it from the Revolutionary war, the Civil war, WWI and WWII. That also was the first geocache that my wife found on her own. It was so cool to see my wife and daughter excited in joining this family activity. It was a beautiful day and we were having a lot of fun as a family.

We knocked off a couple more geocaches – one in front of the Lexington airport, another down a country road, and a few in a local park. Soon enough it was Jamba Juice time due to the building heat (of which term I use loosely because #1 it is still March and #2 it was only in the 70′s). While we weren’t starving, we weren’t ready for our picnic lunch but needed a break from geocache hunting. A Jamba Juice would fit the bill nicely. We made our way towards the location that blinked on my phone’s GPS map. It is across the street from UK (University of Kentucky) and looks like your typical Jamba Juice. In fact, with the spectacular weather and outdoor seating, we commented that we could have been enjoying it outside a Jamba Juice in Thousand Oaks, CA rather than in Lexington, KY. We were all very happy to have the familiar smoothies, be soaking in the wonderful weather (especially since it was still officially winter) and having fun as a family adventuring and exploring.

Prior to our departure, I indulged in a second “to go” favorite Jamba Juice — a power sized Strawberries Wild with immunity boost. We all had our fill of donuts, of geocaching family fun, and of Jamba Juice and the decision was to meander home and just enjoy the beautiful weather and country drive. In a nutshell – to enjoy the journey. Not less than 1 mile from Jamba Juice though, I spotted an ornate obelisque structure ahead in a cemetery. I guided the car into the driveway and was informed via a very nice sign that we were at the Lexington National Cemetery. It was a beautiful place with lots of gardens, markers, flowering trees and peacefulness. Between the weather and spring flora it was truly a beautiful place. We parked the car and decided to wander around. The obelisque structure turned out to be a monument to and tomb of Henry Clay – a Kentucky statesman. We read the marker and continued our exploration of the cemetery. Below are a few pix I snapped of the beautiful flowering trees. Our timing was perfect to enjoy the various colors.

All in all, it was a perfect family day that I could not have planned better. We are already planning on doing it again with the slight variation of different geocaches.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Good and bad on a Friday…..

Today had some suck in it but ended with some praise.

First off, I had to get to my doctor urgently for an infection on my right forearm that had become painful and troublesome. While on the 10 mile lake hike with the Scouts last Saturday, I dinged my arm on a few thorn bushes but thought nothing of it. The dirty environment, the prolonged wound cleaning and my healthcare environment exposure during my wife’s recent hospital stays resulted in a fairly serious condition — an MRSA staph infection.

However, after seeing the Dr, having her perform a procedure to drain it, dress it, and get an adequate supply of anti-biotics, I was not going to let it interfere with my family’s attendance of the Called To Love tour at a local church. This ended up being a great concert of worship and praise music by Jason Gray, Aaron Shust, and downhere. We had a great time and the sold out house was lifted up in fun, music, praise and worship.

What a great way to end Friday and head into the weekend.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Still winter?…..

While today might be March 14 — technically still winter — nature and the weather beg to differ. The link below shows the record high for Louisville – set today at 82F degrees! Eighty-two!!!!! In March!!!

Record high temp for Louisville, KY on 3/14/12

It’s beautiful outside. I even ate lunch outside today. It’s about time global warming meant something.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A man in today’s world…..

The list below was shared by a pastoral Facebook friend who is a true fisher of men. I am sharing it as truth and very Biblical. And while I believe in equality between the sexes, I also know they aren’t the same (which modern feminism is bent on shoving upon us).

I use this simple equation to prove that. $1 = 4 quarters (one dollar equals four quarters but one dollar is not the same as four quarters). A one dollar bill is useless for a soda machine that only takes coins. And if you are purchasing a new flat screen TV with cash, coins are pretty useless. While the monetary amounts are equal, they are also not the same and are used for different purposes. That is how God made men and women.

  1. Men protect women and children.
  2. Men are leaders.
  3. Men are responsible as heads of their families.
  4. Men are to teach their children 24/7.
  5. Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and be willing to die for them.
  6. Men are to be fruitful and multiply.
  7. Men do not own their bodies. Their wives do.
  8. Men must bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord.
  9. Men must ensure that their whole families and everyone else around them should celebrate the Sabbath.
  10. Men’s hearts should be turned toward their children.

Here is the original link. (Note I made an editorial addition to #1)

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Viral, viral, viral…..

The video below is exploding virally across the net. And for good reason — it aims to make a change that we can all agree upon — eradicating the cruel, evil and hideous violence of abducting innocent African children from their homes and using them, mutilating them, and destroying them as sex slaves or youth soldiers.

It is a hard video to watch. But we cannot just sit by the sidelines and turn the channel or go back to our lattes. As our world becomes more connected, we must shine the bright light of truth into the cold, dark places where evil hides and reveal it as what it is. If you are not yet moved let’s put it another way — if your own child was abducted and put through this tortuous ordeal, would you do anything other than everything in your power to stop it and pursue justice?

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” — Ephesians 5:11

Stop Joseph Kony in 2012!!!!!

www.kony2012.com
…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Tornado devastation…..

My last post was Friday afternoon right before the devastating tornadoes hit. We knew it was going to be bad — we just didn’t know where and we didn’t know exactly when.

Well, now we know — Henryville, IN; Marysville, IN; Pekin, IN; West Liberty, KY. All those towns and several others were either literally wiped off the map or severely impacted by Friday’s severe weather. And shift those winds a few miles here or there and that could have been the city of Louisville or it could have been us.

The devastation that has been shown on the news or social media is staggering. I was working in the garage on Saturday and watching The Weather Channel coverage of, what seemed like a different world less than an hour away. I had half a mind to grab my son and head up there to help some how — but they are encouraging all non-professional people not to help. Instead folks were encouraged to pray and to give monetarily to organizations like the Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse or their local church efforts. My church has a campus in Indiana as well as a lakeside retreat in Henrysville. They mobilized the spared retreat center and are now using it to house some of the families that were displaced as well as to feed emergency workers.

Below are a few photos that begin to tell the destructive story of the EF3 and EF4 tornadoes that forever changed people’s worlds. And there have been some very sad and touching stories as well. I am going to include the links below as an attempt to provide proper credit to stories and photos.

Mom loses both legs while saving her kids from the tornado

Toddler found in a field miles away after the tornado dies and is laid to rest with her family

HOW YOU CAN HELP — http://www.wdrb.com/story/17077774/help-for-kentucky-and-indiana-storm-victims

MORE HOW YOU CAN HELP — http://www.wlky.com/news/30597415/detail.html?fb_ref=story_top&fb_source=home_oneline

Also, my church’s assistance efforts — http://www.southeastchristian.org/Default.aspx?page=3814&promotionId=1598&refPage=3957

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Weather prayers…..


When Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel shows up in your city, it’s probably not gonna be a party…..unless you are storm chasers. We are actually “storm chasing” from our front porch right now — there are tornadoes on the ground a few counties north in Indiana and another huge line of storms west of here between Evansville and Louisville.

You know it’s serious when the local weather geeks are concerned. They even let school out early and told most people to go home and get off the roads.

“Our atmosphere is what we call ‘loaded’ meaning that there is lots of energy and potential for tornadic activity.” — WDRB Mark Weinberg

My wife already has dinner ready and we are taking Toto and everything else down to the basement. See ya on the back side.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Support Christian radio…..

This week my local radio station, WJIE, is having their Spring fundraiser that raises most of the operating costs for their ministry. I have been fortunate to join them several mornings this week before work to help answer phones and hear some good stories from those who listen. (This explains my lack of posts this week due to early to bed and wake up time at 4:45am.)

There was Maia who was 8 years old and donating $8 from her Christmas money. There was the couple who, during the Fall fundraiser, had pledged $25 a week only to have the husband lose his job that day. They remained faithful and met their pledge in spite of their challenge. He subsequently found an even better job and were calling up to double their pledge to $50 a week. And there was Luke, age 11, who gave $20 and asked that we pray for an upcoming doctor appointment he was worried about.

While I was volunteering and answering phones, I would always end the call by asking the caller if they had any prayer requests. Interestingly, there were no decliners (as there had been in previous years). Every single person had a need or asked that I pray for someone else. It truly mirrored my own prayer list which is very full of folks who are sick, hurting, suffering, hopeless, or just in need of our Savior’s love. I am amazed at how prayer works and have testified in blog posts on the power of prayer.

I encourage you to go pledge — WJIE (Where Jesus Is Exalted. WJIE is a faithful ministry that reaches out, spreads the love of Christ and gives hope and encouragement to those who are listening. And if you are outside of the Louisville listening area you can still stream WJIE online from their web site.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net