Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Smiles brought to you by...

If you looked at the previous posts, you noticed Allie sporting some pretty big smiles. I have to be honest: these smiles are manufactured. If I need huge smiles or gut shaking laughs from Allie, all I have to do is play the song below. She loves music, but this song doesn't just make her happy, it's a pure thrill.

Big Bang Theory

Allie got her first little haircut today.

Allie has a serious affection for the lady that cut her hair today, as you can see. A true bond.

We said good-bye to her bangs. They were in her eyes. She was cute before, but this is over the top.

Allie can't wait to grow her hair back so this beautiful lady can come visit again and cut her hair.

Big bangs are out. Cute is in.

some more florida friends

We had a visit from good friends from Florida cruise through the Redwood Kingdom last night. Liz and Mary Smith are from our church in Florida, Calvary Chapel Jupiter.

Liz was in Seattle for awhile and just took a new job down in Florida so the two of them packed up Liz's trash and are driving across country to Florida.

We're glad they got to hang out with us and see Allie.

We're having a funky winter. It's been cold and wet and snowy all around. The inconvenient truth is that I had to take Liz and Mary down to Sears today to buy chains so they could make it off the Lost Coast.

Allie's favorite commercials

Allie spends time every morning catching up on the latest goings on with the Clinton campaign and other world news with Fox and Friends every morning. Her favorite commercials are those silly Credit Report.Com commercials. She stops what she's doing and listens and laughs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

up, up and away

Oh, if only I could fly. Admit it: you know you wish you could fly. Here we are simulating that flying sensation for Allie and blow drying her hair at the same time. Sometimes, this makes her puke. But even so, she has a smile and a giggle that begs for more. Besides, there's nothing as cute as baby puke.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

May I Buy an "L"?

I had one of my "foot-in-mouth" moments today. The charming and beautiful Susan and I have been dieting and exercising lately. To encourage her, I told my wonderful wife that her tummy is looking flatter. But my mouth launched an ambush against me. The words it formed were: "Your tummy is looking fatter."

My mouth withheld the "L" sound from the sentence.

I will never be out of the doghouse at this rate.

I have a way with the ladies.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Play is Work

Allie is not a big fan of the paparazzi - but she does love the grandpaparazzi.

I brought a camera to her occupational/physical therapy appointment today. I wanted you to see the work Rena is doing with her. Rena sits with Allie to help her learn to use her hands.

One of Allie's biggest challenges is that her muscles are so tight that it hurts to stretch her hands out which, in turn, limits how much she'll learn to use them. Rena has helped Allie regain an huge portion of her motor skills and Rena is teaching us what to do with Allie at home to keep her limber and exploring the world around her through touch.

Pictured here on this swingie thingie is Melissa the therapist transplant from California. She's tough and will not let Allie turn in to a good-for-nothin' slacker I'm here to tell ya. She works and challenges Allie and Allie, even though she registers complaints, loves Melessa. They've built an instant rapport with one another. As you can see, Melissa trust Allie enough to let her drive that thing hanging from the ceiling.

Here Allie is catching some serious air. No doubt Allie will be a stunt car driver or sky diver or rodeo star.

An Observation

I noticed something when watching these new Campbell's Soup commercials with the chef who makes the sea salt discovery and adds it to the soup to lower the soup's sodium content. The chef looks alot like Mike Huckabee. Does the Huckster have some kind of side job going to fund his race?

I thought I was the only person who made this observation, but when I went online to look for images to copy, I saw that a few other bloggers beat me out of the gates.

What reminded me about this was the email I just got from my editor at he Good News of South Florida. The Good News hosts a business person's breakfast and this GOP presidential hopeful will be the keynote speaker.

more info here: link


Not a Muslim

For the second time in two days, Christianity Today emailed me this article. I'm not complaining. It's all good. It's a good Q & A about faith and Christianity. Click the link at the bottom and read the entire article yourself. It's actually a little enlightening.

Barack Obama wants to set the record straight. He is not a Muslim, as recent e-mails falsely claim.

I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn't 'fall out in church' as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn't want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.

The above statement is directly opposed to the beliefs of Muslims. But I also want to say that I'm wary all the statements made by politicians while campaigning. George Bush made hay with evangelicals when he said that Jesus Christ is his hero. If he hadn't have said that, I wonder if he would have gotten evangelicals to rally around him the way he did and keep Gore out of the White House. I don't know if I voted for Bush because he was a true leader, his statement about faith in Christ, or if he was just the lesser of two evils.

I definitely don't want to be confined to a choice that, boiled down, is the lesser of two evils.

CT put out a great list of issues we need to think about when electing our next leader. I've reprinted them below:

While the secular media handicaps the election as a horse race, asking whether Obama is black enough or Clinton is warm enough, we should press the candidates to answer questions such as these: What is your plan for Iraq? For the Middle East? What would you do to stop the genocide in Darfur? How would you expand religious freedom worldwide? What would you do to reduce abortion and to protect innocent life in general? How would you secure our borders against terrorists, reform our immigration laws, and permit more refugees to resettle here? How would you promote equal economic opportunity for all while protecting the environment?

Source: Q&A: Barack Obama | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Good political link



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Check back later for pictures of Alley in her new physical therapy routine(?). listen

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweet Distraction

After the bad news in the previous post and the horrible American Idol auditions the charming and beautiful Susan made me endure, I was in desperate need of a distraction. I worked on the Shepherd's Staff website some, but, then, that's work. I was thankful that Colee from church called.

me: hello.
Colee: hey, Bryon, want some crap?
me: what kind of crap?
Colee: not crap... CRAB.
me: yeah, I want some crab!
Colee: I got six for you. I'm bringin' them over.
me: I'm so glad you're not bringing crap.

This isn't as easy as it looks. These guys have claws and they're all desperately hanging onto each other. I think the word got out somehow that they were headin' for a boiling pot of water.

From Humboldt Bay to a boiling cauldron on my stove. That's the trip these bad boys took tonight. Check out the steam.

I'm one happy camper.

It always makes me pause...

How is it that celebrities have such an impact on our emotions. A few moments ago my wife told me about the death of Heath Ledger. My heart feels heavy.

I'm not a real fan. Honestly, it will be hard to miss him because I don't know him. But I think it reminds me of death. Headlines and news bytes won't let us forget it until something hotter moves the story to the back burner. So, for the next few days, every level of American culture will think about death. Everyone will think about their own mortality. People will ask why and how and walk away with unanswered questions about life. We'll each think or form or revisit an opinion about the Afterlife.

Any thoughts?


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Monday, January 21, 2008

Two Words



This said in a conversation with Allie by Allie this morning.


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Friday, January 18, 2008


We bought Allie this jump-a-roo. Sometimes she like it and sometimes she's not to into it. She' not quite ready to bounce, but she will hang out in it for a little while.

Being up in a vertical position is an entirely new thing for Allie if she's not being held by one of us. She like the perspective. We also do exercises with her where she lays on her belly on her elbows. While she's up on her elbows, she's gained enough head control that she can look around which she loves to do; looking from right to left kicking her feet laughing and smiling and slobbering. I can't help but to drop everything and smother her whole face with kisses. Sometimes I get a mouthful of Allie drool but oh well.

Today we met Michelle Allie's physical therapist along with Melissa, the new girl, Melissa, a transplant from SoCal. Melissa is taking over as Allie's main therapist and she's awesome. Allie really loves Melissa and Melissa has done a great job of establishing instant rapport with Allie.

Melissa had Allie stand in a shoe box full of bean the other day. Allie thought it was so great. Melissa's tough, but thorough. We're expecting big things with Melissa on the case.

So, as I was saying, we met Michelle and Melissa today down at Hangar Prosthetics. They fit Allie for leg braces today. We were not looking forward to this because Allie is not usually very cooperative when a bunch of people are huddled over her while she lays on a table. But, this morning, Allie was a team player. It was unprecedented behavior for her. She played with toys with Melissa while Michelle and a technician put casts on both legs to make a mold for Allie's braces.

Later in the day, Charity and Allie and I took a ride up to Arcata and hung out on the plaza. Allie did great in both the car and walking around Arcata while we took turns holding her.

Today was a good day.

Ups and Downs

Sometimes I get so frustrated I want to peel my face off. I want out. I want my old life back where I had two grown kids that could take care of themselves and me and the charming and beautiful Susan looked forward to growing into maturity in our little house in a warm climate.

That's how I get when Allie is having a bad day. It's just not fair. I mean the way I treat people when I'm not living my little dream life just isn't fair.

Sometimes I sit on that ball bouncing Allie to sleep because she's tired and I'm tired and she needs to take a nap and we need the short break that little nap gives us. Just a half hour. I plead with the Lord. I promise I'll be nice to the charming and beautiful Susan.

This is how I am when I'm in a rough patch.

Last night I taught down at the homeless shelter. Every other Thursday night I take a turn giving a little sermon during the services they provide down there. I taught from John 8:1-12. That's the story of those religious wankers dragging an adulterous woman into the place where Jesus was hanging out. You heard about that. Jesus was more famous and relating to people about God better than them so they were trying to bring Him down. So they toss this chick at Jesus feet and basically demand that He agree with Him about the necessity to stone her because they think that Jesus would rather show compassion and even extend forgiveness in the name of the Father rather than obey the law of Moses. As they interpret it.

So I tried to look at this from the woman's point of view. This really wasn't fair. I mean, yes she was caught. But she wasn't caught for the sake of righteousness; she was caught so someone's ego could be soothed; so someone could be more right than Jesus. So if no one really cares about righteousness, why is she the one getting picked on? This just isn't fair.

Fair or not, I think Jesus has her attention. She's all ears.

Fair or not, Jesus has my attention. I'm all ears.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Passing the Torch

My buddy Ed Compean has been training his boy in many ways. He's a godly man and father. He's shown his son that the most important and satisfying thing anyone can do is lay down your life for the cause and gospel of Christ. Jackson is learning to walk in his father's footsteps as Ed follows Jesus. The evidence that Jackson admire where his dad is leading him is that Jackson has taken up his father's trade and is doing well.

Ed is a photo journalist by trade. I met him on an expedition through South Sudan while working on a story for Calvary Chapel Magazine. We were both serving along side Far Reaching Ministries at the time. Now Ed is church planting in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, with his family serving in ministry where ever needed. As you can see, you Jackson has a natural gift for communicating God's goodness and compassion for lives that are broken.  

"These are some pictures Jackson took from a food distribution in Dandora and Huruma Slums to victims of the post election violence. The lady pictured looking back from the rear of our Toyota is Frieda. She is a faithful servant at Calvary International Fellowship and heads up our helps ministry."

Good job with this boy, Ed. You must be proud.

Source: Ed's blog



Islam has some common ground with Christians in what it teaches about Jesus. For instance, faithful Muslims believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. They believe He is a prophet worthy of extremely high esteem and reverence. But the Iranian maker of a Jesus movie readily admits the differences between the Biblical Jesus and the Muslim Jesus:

"Gibson's film is a very good film. I mean that it is a well-crafted movie but the story is wrong -- it was not like that," he said, referring to two key differences: Islam sees Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God, and does not believe he was crucified.

Nader Talebzadeh's "Jesus, the Spirit of God," won awards at the 2007 Religion Today Film Festival in Italy (source).

Our recent conflict - rather, our recent collision - with the Muslim world has peaked our interest and curiosity in Islam. The same thing happened during our clash with Viet Nam. The West foamed at the mouth as Eastern Religion infiltrated every level of pop culture. Current cultural views have been shaped by Eastern influence.

The same thing is going on in the Muslim World. As Western influence spreads through technology over radar waves, Internet, and American boots on the ground, West is influencing and shaping East. The Muslim response is to remind the faithful what their religion teaches.

My missionary mind thinks of the bottom line: there is a resurgence of interest in the Middle East about the person of Jesus Christ. He's impossible to ignore. I have personally had more engaging conversations about Who Jesus is while spending time in the Middle East. This movie - although I don't know how popular it will be - could open a huge door for sharing the True Jesus with Muslims who want to learn more about God and the One Way to approach Him and gain His favor.

I wonder how effective it would be to host a viewing of this movie followed by a showing of the Jesus Film.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Project Vote Smart

Found this website today. Just put the name of your candidate into the little text box on the left of the page and you'll have enough information to choke a mule.
(click image)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What We Really Want | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

The following is an excerpt from a Christianity Today article mass emailed this morning. Its straight forward and even a little thought provoking addressing how we as Evangelicals approach politics and how different political groups approach us.

While evangelicals favor different policy proposals and solutions, we are remarkably united on the issues the next President and Congress should address. In 2004, the National Association of Evangelicals approved a landmark document, "For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility." In a presidential election year, it is worth recalling that statement's seven core commitments: freedom of religion and conscience; protection for families and children; protection of all human life; compassion and justice for poor people; global human rights; the pursuit of peace and restraint of violence; and biblically based creation care.

While the secular media handicaps the election as a horse race, asking whether Obama is black enough or Clinton is warm enough, we should press the candidates to answer questions such as these: What is your plan for Iraq? For the Middle East? What would you do to stop the genocide in Darfur? How would you expand religious freedom worldwide? What would you do to reduce abortion and to protect innocent life in general? How would you secure our borders against terrorists, reform our immigration laws, and permit more refugees to resettle here? How would you promote equal economic opportunity for all while protecting the environment?

read the rest of the article here: What We Really Want | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Monday, January 14, 2008


Today I was on my hands and knees begging for my wife's forgiveness. The charming and beautiful Susan wanted a treadmill for the garage so she could take a few minutes everyday, by herself, and exercise. I, of course, pooh-poohed her idea. That's not the way to her heart, by the way. Especially when she's already slightly traumatized over a slight weight-gain. She's put on about ten pounds since we came out here. Correction. We've both put on about ten pounds since we came out here. She knows I'm writing this.

Anyway, as I said, I unwisely told her that it would be a waste of money to get a treadmill because we would be like so many other people we know that use their treadmills to hang drying laundry on. Besides, why don't you just go outside and walk? Rain? Cold? Muggers? Don't be such a baby.

This did not go over well and to make up for my foot-in-mouth mistake, I paid her off. I bought her the treadmill.

The thing is, I've been running outside a lot less and inside a lot more. I'm getting ready for a race next month and having this treadmill in the garage is really neato. But I had to get upstairs and beg my wife to forgive me for my rudeness before things get out of hand and she reminds me how great her idea was and that she told me so.

If anyone is going to tell anyone so, it'll be me, thank you.

When did you last apologize to your spouse? For what? Painful, huh?

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Friday, January 11, 2008


My two ladies. Hey, those of you that know the charming and beautiful Susan - see anything different?

By the way - pray for me. Tomorrow I'm taking my niece Ambir out to teach her how to drive a stick shift. Pray for my clutch, my patience and my safety.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Clam Beach Run

I signed up for the Clam Beach Run today. For the last three years, I've run the Disney World Marathon in Orlando. But not this year. Usually, I'm about ten pounds lighter this time of year, too.

I miss training with my boy, Billy. Good luck in the Goofy Race, bro'.

techni colored coat

Have you ever seen such a beautiful baby? This little number Allie is sporting is made from 100% Ecuadorean wool. So much color never looked so good until worn by this little lady.

Char the amazing ballerina nurse was over today checking in on Allie. Allie has put on thirteen ounces since two weeks ago. That's like an ounce a day. And she's grown half an inch in the past five weeks. That's like a tenth of an inch a week. It wasn't that long ago that we were pleading with you for your prayers because Allie wasn't putting on any weight.

Well, thanks for praying. And don't quit. We've gotten too accustom to God answering your prayers for us.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Book Review: Mission in the Old Testament

Missions is not a New Testament concept or venture. The Apostle Paul did not think that what he was doing by taking the gospel to the gentiles was an idea that originated with him after his conversion. Paul knew that taking the God's Good News to the Nations was God's plan revealed in scripture all the way back in Genesis when God called Abraham out of his homeland to go to a country he didn't know anything about.

Kaiser thoroughly documents the theology of cross-cultural missions all the way through the Old Testament. It's not a modern movement. It's God's plan from the beginning.

Kaiser helps us step back and look at the big picture. The fifth chapter was my favorite. Kaiser demonstrates the missionary heart of God as He calls Jonah to bring a message of repentance to Nineveh. "Should I not be concerned about that great city?" God asks Jonah.

The glossary is quite a useful tool with some great vocabulary words. Impress your friends at parties by knowing words like "Centrifugal" and "Centripetal."

Centrifugal - "Outward-moving." This is the word used to describe the active work of Old Testament believers to aggressively take the message of the Good News about the coming Man of Promise to the Gentile world around them.

Centripetal - "Inward-moving." A term used to describe the more passive attitude many think they observe in the Old Testament obligation to witness to Gentiles. Instead, the burden rested on the unreached to take the initiative to become converts to the faith according to this view. ---p. 83

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Urgent prayer request for Michael Newnham | Phoenix Preacher

Urgent prayer request for Michael Newnham Published by BrianD at January 7, 2008 in Prayer, Prayer Requests and General.

This is what we know right now in regards to Michael Newnham's condition.

Earlier today, he wrote a one-sentence post on the latest prayer thread:

Michael Jan 7th, 2008 at 11:08 am I'm on my way to the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack. Just waiting for my ride.

Source: Urgent prayer request for Michael Newnham | Phoenix Preacher

how to get out

Do you have a cell phone contract with Cingular/ATT? Do they suck? Want out of the restrictive confines of the one way agreement? No problem. Just move to Humboldt County in Northern California and they will drop you like a bad habit. They have coverage every where in the known universe beyond the foggy borders of the Great Redwood Forest.

So, if you need to contact the charming and beautiful Susan, Charity, or me, just email me and I'll get you our new cell phone numbers.

We are now with Verizon.

Tazer Parties

This is not yo' mommas social get together. My mom used to go to tupperware parties. Now gals are gathering for for tazer parties.

Don't taze me, sis!

No alcohol, thankfully, is served at these parties nor are you encouraged to participate if you've stopped off at happy hour or ladies night on the way.

Man, I'm really concerned about these developments. Soemone needs to make the Department of Homeland Security aware of this. I'll be emailing these articles (link 1, link 2) to them. Watch for the threat level to be raised after further investigation.

To book your party, visit this website.

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Book Review: Where is God When It Hurts

I've been trying to work through an extremely tall stack of books lately In the past six months, I think I've completed one full book. And it was a novel. I've been in a season in my life where there has been little to no routine and I've not been able to focus on completing one book all the way through unless the book has been incredibly compelling. I've started at least twenty books in the past six months. That is probably a low estimate. I've tried theology, novels, historical, technical, inspirational, devotional; you name it. And so many friends have sent me books as we've weathered this storm with little Allie. I've even had an author send me his book to review here on this blog. Which I intend to do once I get back into the rhythm of reading like I used to.

Guys like Bob Franquiz and Dan Plourde challenge me. "Leaders are readers," Dan always says. So in 2008, I've resolved to finish each book I've started, first, to keep reading the writers that inspire, second, and third, to read in my field, that is missions.

One writer that inspires me is Philip Yancey. I've blogged about him plenty of times. I've even blogged about the book pictured above. I started reading this book back in May when we were in the middle of the crisis of my life. I think it was a good thing for me to read through it and process it slowly.

There is no better book on the subject of human suffering than Yancey's Where is God When it hurts. I've read C.S. Lewis' Problem of Pain, and it's good, don't get me wrong, but it's not as accessible or readable as Yancey's writing on the subject.

I have not read something by Yancey that didn't challenge or stretch the way I think about my Christianity. As I've worked through the worst crisis of my life, Yancey has helped me move my focus from myself to God and His plan. Basically, this book adjusted and corrected my thinking. God is working through more than just the moment I'm living in right now.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Allie's Physical Therapy Update

Allie had a recent evaluation that I thought I'd share with those of you who are interested. I know that many of you are praying for us. I need you to keep it up. We attribute the success Allie has experienced to your fervent prayers. By the way, Michelle and Rena, Allie's therapists, are awesome. Their love for their work and this little girl are incredibly evident.

Dates of Evaluation: December 17 & 24, 2007

Diagnosis: Status post nonaccidental head injury, cortical visual impairment, optic atrophy.
Treating Diagnosis: Quadriplegia

Parent Concerns: Allie's grandfather is pleased with her progress. He would like to see her use her hands more effectively and be able to roll.

Functional Skills:
Allie is dependent in mobility. She is able to roll occasionally from prone to supine but does not yet roll consecutively for mobility. She is usually carried by her grandparents. For distances, Ali uses a jogging stroller.

Transfers: Allie is dependent in all transfers as she is unable to push up into sitting or pull to stand.

Muscle Tone: Allie has markedly increased tone especially around her hips, hamstrings, and shoulders.

Balance/Gross Motor Skills: Allie is able to roll prone to supine with moderate (sometimes minimal) assistance. She is not able to push up into quadruped or prop on her elbows in prone but is able to maintain quadruped with assistance when placed. She is not able to pull into knee stand or standing. She is able to stand with support but not balance in standing, and when held in standing, feet are plantar flexed to about 60 degrees bilaterally and her hips are flexed 30 degrees.

Allie can step reflexively when held in standing, with excess ankle plantar flexion, hip adduction.

Allie has fair head control and can usually hold her head up in supported sitting. She has inconsistent head righting which is better on the left compared to the right. Allie is not able to sit by herself but is able to sit with moderate support. She is able to balance momentarily when placed in sitting but lacks equilibrium and protective responses to sit without falling.

Progress: Allie met her goals of being able to tolerate side-lying in preparation for rolling, the ability to flex her neck forward and laterally against gravity when held with support as well as rolling from side-lying to supine from prone. New goals were set in September 2007 for mobility - scooting and rolling two feet towards toys with assistance - she has not met this goal.

She met her goal of sitting with moderate assistance, but not transferring in and out of sitting with moderate assistance. She is making progress towards these goals but has not yet attained them.

Summary: Allie is an 18 month-old girl with a diagnosis of spastic quadriplegia secondary to nonaccidental head injury. She also has significant visual impairment. She has made progress in Physical Therapy in the past six months as she is now much more tolerant of being handled/moved, and has demonstrated better head control, is able to be positioned in sitting with support, and is able to roll prone to supine inconsistently. She continues to have significantly increased tone, particularly in her hips and shoulders. She has significant contractures of her hip adductors and flexors, and slight hamstring tightness bilaterally. Her grandparents are excellent at following through with suggestions for activities and exercises given by this therapist and are consistent in attending Allie's therapy appointments.


Improve transfers - Allie will be able to

  1. sit independently when propped for one minute when placed
  2. push up from side-lying to sitting with moderate assistance
  3. support self in quadrupled for thirty seconds when placed in preparation for creeping and moving in/out of sitting

Improve mobility - Allie will be able to

  1. scoot or roll two feet to obtain a toy


  1. Continue Physical Therapy twice weekly
  2. Obtain AFOs (ankle-foot orthosis) for lower extremity positioning in sitting and standing

Fall Out Boy in Uganda

I've been meaning to post this video for some time, but I keep forgetting.

Invisible Children has been raising awareness with a campaign aimed at youth to bring attention to the plight of Acholi children in Northern Uganda. Children live in fear of being kidnapped by a rebel militia called the Lord's Resistance Army and forced into service as soldiers and/or sex slaves. It's one of the most incredible and little known injustices taking place on this planet.

Fall Out Boy Website

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Calvary International Fellowship: Update

This is from my buddy Ed who's a missionary in Kenya. That place is totally spun out. Do me a personal favor and pray for Kenya and our friends serving the Lord there. This is the third post I've put up on various blogs today bringing news and prayer requests from missionaries. Post 1. Post 2.

In 1998 I was a journalist in Albania covering the Kosavar refugee crisis. After spending days among the suffering and human tragedy I found myself in a quite café on the Adriatic. It was a beautiful sunset, the pasta was wonderful and the coke was cold. It should have been relaxing and joyful celebration of a completed assignment. Everything should have been great, except I had deep sorrow that words are not sufficient to express. The preceding days had been spent in refugee camps documenting horrific scenes of people fleeing the horrors of ethnic cleansing. For days I silently prayed for people as my Nikon snapped away. With no shame I was a completely biased journalist slipping one family some crumpled lira to help them get reestablished. Now I was sitting in a café enjoying a hot meal and knowing I was heading back to a soft bed in the hotel before returning to my comfortable house and family in California. It was difficult knowing that the airplanes flying over head were on sorties going into Kosovo to kill. It was difficult to know that as I sipped that coke that people were fleeing their villages and becoming refugees.

That feeling is back. Kenya has been absolutely terrorized by ethnic violence resulting from a corrupt election process in the last days. There have been riots outside Calvary International Fellowship and the last three nights we have heard gunfire. Official reports put the death toll at about 200 from across Kenya, but that is way too conservative. Police are guarding the morgues so journalists can not give accurate counts. The most sickening report is that one tribe burned a church full of people from another tribe killing 30 people in the process.

Read the rest of this post here: Link to Calvary International Fellowship: Update

Orange Crush

This mash of orange mess is carrots and sweet potatoes. Allie waits until her mouth is good and full of goo, and then she jams a few fingers into the mess so she can massage her gums.

That's her left hand, by the way. Allie's gaining more control over her left hand. What's significant here is that Allie is learning to self-soothe. Before, if she itched or something hurt, she couldn't do anything about it. Can you imagine? We've all had an itch we can't reach, but not every itch. Now she finds a way to make herself comfortable.

What's become sort of funny is that Allie has learned how to inflict some pain on us. Watch out! She bites. It's turned into a bit of a game. We never let Charity and Aaron bite, but then it's taken all these years to figure out that we taste good. Allie can bite all she wants just as long as she doesn't draw blood.

You've been warned.