Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rachel's note about Bobby...

bobby-in-cambodia Our hearts are aching as we tell you that Bobby passed away this evening shortly after going into the operating room.  Before the surgeons started the operation, Bobby's heart stopped with an instant "flat-line".  The medical team tried for 45 minutes to resuscitate him but his heart did not respond. 

We are deeply saddened by our loss...but rejoice that Bobby did get totally healed...with a new heart, kidneys, and any other part that might have needed fixing.  The Lord knew the plans He had for Bobby...and today was his graduation day as he went to the One he loved the most and served so faithfully.  We know he was carried away in the arms of Jesus.

Words cannot express our thanks for all the love, prayers, and notes of encouragement that have come to us by everyone who have been touched by Bobby's life.  Our prayer for all of you is that you will experience the same peace and comfort that we have received from the Father.

We will let you know of memorial plans once these details have made.  Thank you again for all of the love and prayers for our family.

We love you all deeply!
Lee, Rachel, and Jeff

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Farewell, Friend

bobby My dear friend Bobby Michaels passed away a short time ago. I'm sure the details will become more clear, but as I understand it, he was on his way to surgery this morning and his heart simply gave out.

Please keep Lee, Rachel, Dian, and Bobby and Lee's extended family in prayer.

Bobby Michaels has touched the lives of multitudes through the years and around the world. His life and testimony fired up the passion for missions in my life. He let me tag along on ministry trips to Cuba and Cambodia. I always learned from him. Every time I spent time with him I learned.

See you again one day, friend.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Allie Smiles

IMG_1092 Allie's back. She started doing better last night. She hasn't had any morphine in close to twenty-four hours. She was getting it every two. Last night I snuggled with her all night in the hospital bed which is no easy feat when you're as big as me and your baby is wearing an A-frame for a cast.

This morning, she was making all of her familiar sounds, trying to chat us up in her little Allie way, and singing. We had her cartoons on this morning and she seemed happy to be back in her life even if she is in the hospital.

She really turned a corner yesterday afternoon when our close family friend Nancy came in and prayed over her. We saw Allie's fever drop, swelling go down, and a return to alertness after Nancy's visit.

Prayer works. Work it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Held Her

IMG_1078 I held Allie yesterday but couldn't think of a tactful way to tell her that she weighs a ton more. How do you ever say that to a female?

Her little green cast is cute, bulky, clunky, and heavy. But she was as peaceful as an angel when I walked her around the PICU in my arms. She was responsive and at home in my arms.

Last night was rough, though. She had a fever all night. A number of things can IMG_1085be blamed. It could just be the invasive nature of the surgery. She's anemic, so they gave her a blood transfusion - that could be to blame. Or.. she might have an infection. They took cultures, chest xrays, and blood samples to narrow down the possibilities. So keep praying.

Here's the work she had done to her hips.

Keep praying...



Bobby Michaels Heading to Surgery

This from Rachel:

image Dear Precious Friends,

Thank you for lifting our arms up over the past week!  Your prayers, messages and verses have been such an inspiration and encouragement to us!  We have further news for you concerning Bobby's condition.

Today the doctors told us that they've been wanting to give Bobby time for his body to heal before they go in and operate but at the same time they don't want to wait too long b/c more organs could shut down and/or infections could set in.  They feel this time is eminent.  Bobby is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday at 5pm which will be 6am EST.  They are going in to try to repair his left ventricle.  The doctors/surgeons are uncertain as to what the heart's condition will be when they go in.

Medically speaking, the doctors told us this surgery is an extreme risk but we know that to the Maker of this heart, there is no risk!  Please pray with us during this critical time that:

  • the Lord would give the surgeon's wisdom & knowledge to perform a totally successful surgery
  • the Lord would prepare Bobby's heart condition to accept treatment
  • Bobby's body would respond positively to the anesthetics
  • the Lord would give us the grace to wait patiently during the time of his surgery
  • a renewed heart condition would lead to the healing of his other organs and strengthen his body

We don't want to alarm you but we want you to know how serious this is.  Our hope is not in doctors or medical procedures but only the Lord will bring Bobby through this!  Thank you for standing with us during this critical time.  We love each of you and trust you will hear Bobby's beautiful testimony from his own lips in the months to come!


Rachel, Mom & the family

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Allie Status

Allie went in Thursday to have her hips repositioned and muscles lengthened. Her hips have migrated out of joint because her bones are growing at a faster rate than her muscles. So, like a bow string pulled tight, her bones have too much tension on them.

What the doctor planned on doing was 1) breaking then re-positioning her femur; 2) breaking her pelvis and re-shaping her hip joint sockets to receive her hip bones; 3 lengthening her her leg muscles by making incisions in three places to allow additional movement and flatten her feet (she's always on her tip-toes).

When the surgeon broke and repositioned her femurs, they "popped" into socket and the work on the pelvis was not needed. That's great news.

Allie is currently in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The medical staff is still working to manage pain. We also need to have Allie take food orally before she can be released onto the floor and then home. Below are some videos. You can go to Facebook to see some photos.

Before right after taking "Happy Juice"

After, recovering in PICU

Thank you for your prayers, visits, encouraging text messages, and phone calls.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


IMG_1068 This is Doctor Bayhnam explaining to us that Allie came through the surgery fine. She came through the operation fine. Allie is in recovery for another forty minutes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Review: The Blue Parakeet


Book title: The Blue Parakeet
Author: Scot McKnight
Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2008
Number of pages: 214

How do we determine what we're supposed to do and not supposed to do in the Bible. Circumcise, foot washing, keep the Sabbath (which day?); these were all commanded in the Bible. So why don't we do them. What about all the issues in the Bible that we take further than the bible commands? Some was for then but not now. So then, how do we determine what's for now and what was for then? What about women in ministry? Is that a "that was then, this is now" issue? How do we know?

McKnight establishes that the only way to understand the Bible is to read it as Story. The context of the Story must be understood to be able to discern what it is God is communicating with/to His readers.

The author's thesis is that the Bible is a Story comprised of wiki-stories. Like Wikipedia, the Bible is written by several different authors picking up the story where a previous author leaves off. Some authors retell the same story. The only way to understand difficult passages in the Bible is to understand the context of the story.

McKnight divides his book into four sections: 1) Story: what is the Bible? 2) Listening: what do I do with the Bible? 3) Discerning: how do I benefit from the bible? and 4) Women in church ministries today.

The author argues compellingly. He keeps the reader intrigued with the questions that cross the critical thinker's (like yours) mind. He leaves a trail of breadcrumbs that disappear into a dark wood, but you have to follow. You'll want to know where the trail leads.

The book emphasizes unity. In the garden, sin divided and its curse forced humans to dominate one another. The man over the woman, the woman over the man. But in Christ, the oneness God intended in the Garden is restored. In Christ, the drive to dominate ends. We are united to Him and to each other. The Bible needs to be read with this in mind.

The author's perspective is the balanced and most liberating point of view I've read to date. His point of view is informed and makes sense.

At one point, when discussing the role of women in church, McKnight recalls a conversation he had with super-theologian F.F. Bruce.

McKnight: "Professor Bruce, what do you think of women's ordination?"
Bruce: "I don't think the New Testament talks about ordination."
McKnight: "What about the silencing passages of Paul on Women?"
Bruce: "I think Paul would roll over in his grave if he knew we were turning his letters in torah."

See what I mean?

This book is for the average person who wrestles with scripture. It's not for the person who has every question nailed down. It's not the person who thinks he can silence all debate. If you're student, you'll be edified by this book. If you know it all, don't bother.

Begging Bunny

More News from Thailand about Bobby Michaels

Rachael made it safely to Thailand and was diligent to provide this update... Thanks, Rach!

image I made it to Bangkok, Thailand safely and of course my luggage stayed back in Chicago! :)  Hopefully it will be arriving in the next day or so...    It was so wonderful to see Jim and Cheryl McCandliss waiting at the airport and then to see my parents at the hospital!  Even under the great strain that Bobby's body is going through, he still recognizes familiar faces and his face lit up when our eyes met!  What a precious moment for me! 

I want to first update you as I found out that some previous information was not totally accurate due to translation barriers...  None of the events that happened were reported incorrectly but we were originally under the impression that Bobby had some heart infections.  That is not the case, he had a myocardial infarction (commonly know as a heart attack but check out wikipedia.com for more info).  At this point in time Bobby's heart is way too weak for tests to determine his heart's condition.  The Doctors are pretty confident that there is heart damage but they are not sure how extensive it is..

His blood pressure is stable but is lower than what is should be.  He is still on hemo-dialysis as the kidneys are not functioning.  We still have a long road to recovery but the Lord is MORE than faithful and we know that we can rest in His promises!  Thank you for the continued prayers and emails!  We are making Bobby a book of everyone's emails and comments.  I apologize that I haven't been able to respond to everyone personally but please know that each email is being ready and will be added to his book.

Here are our current prayer requests:

  • for his blood pressure to continue in a steady climb upwards
  • for his kidneys to start functioning
  • Doctors to have wisdom & understanding for diagnosing and finding an appropriate treatment plan

Much love,

Rachel and the gang

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Unemployed Bunny

Don't miss church this Easter at Calvary Chapel Jupiter...

Mission Network News - Bobby Michaels

Our friend Bobby made international news today. Keep praying for him....


Thailand (MNN/ASN) ― Christians around the world are being asked to pray for Christian recording artist Bobby Michaels. He was traveling in Cambodia this week when he suffered some very serious heart issues. Family members say his life is in danger.

Bobby is a Christian recording artist (formerly with WORD Records), who firmly believes that the Message of God's love can be shared through the medium of music and the arts in a powerful and personal way. He was attending a pastors conference in Cambodia.

read the rest of the story here:Mission Network News


IMG_1042If you've been praying for Allie's surgery today, thank you. The surgery was postponed until Thursday. It turns out that a brace that Allie will need became inconveniently unavailable this morning. This news was delivered after Allie was already sedated.

So let's do this again in a couple of days.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Here are screen shots of a couple of web sites I've helped friends get up and running... go visit.




image I'm reading an advance copy of this book by Tullian Tchividjian (say cha-vi-jin) so I can review it for next month's issue of the Good News of South Florida. If the following applies to you, you'll want to read the book.

  • You look around at your church and notice that everyone there is basically the same age as you are—that they look and dress pretty much like you do.
  • You attend a "leadership" conference where you learn more about organization and props (structural renovation) than proclamation and prayer (spiritual reformation).
  • Your goal in spending time with non-Christians is to demonstrate that you're really no different than they are and to prove this you curse like a sailor, drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney.
  • You think that the way Jesus lived is more important than what Jesus said—that his deeds are more important than his doctrine.
  • The church you've chosen is defined more by its reaction to "boring, traditional" churches than by its response to a needy world.
  • You believe that the best way to change our culture is to elect a certain kind of politician.
  • The one verse you most wish wasn't in the Bible is John 14:6, where Jesus says, "/ am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That's way too close-minded!

The book is due out April 21, 2009

The Latest on Bobby Michaels

This is the latest email from Rachael about Bobby's condition. It's very good news. I also copied the note from Musicianaries board member and strong family supporter, Jim McCandiss, who is there in Thailand with Bobby.

Yesterday, a handful of us were able to gather with Rachel and pray with her before she went off to the airport to fly out to Southeast Asia to be with her mom and Bobby. I'm not sure how up to date we'll be able to stay with Rachel there in the hospital, but she promises to try her best. Let's all do our best to pray whether we hear from her or not because we know our Father doesn't need email or blogs for that matter in order to hear our prayer and take action on our petitions.

image Hello again dear friends and prayer warriors!

Bobby is doing much better but still in a very critical stage.  I’m attaching an email from Jim McCandliss who is there with him.  Jim sent this update to us this morning (which recaps the last 2 days events & more), so it’s the most up to date we have on Bobby.  I did talk to Mom around noon (EST) today and she was very pleased with how alert Bobby was.  She said he’s been very responsive and wanting them to talk to him today and for her to rub his head and hold his hand – very normal for Bobby’s character J  He’s been holding up his hand and giving her the “I love you” sign all day long so as you can tell, he’s back!

I’m headed to Bangkok in less than 12 hours to go be with my parents! J  I will be arriving (after 30 hours of travel) a little before midnight (Thai time) on Tuesday.  I definitely feel comfortable making this trip as I have flown in and out of Bangkok many times – this will be my first time by myself though…    I will be there for 10 days and then flying back to my sweet husband in FL. 

Thank you again for your love and support!  I will try to email updates from Thailand, not sure how often it will be possible but I will definitely try my best.  Please know your prayers are being answered but we still have a long road to walk!

Blessings to all of you!

Rachel and the Family


Aloha Friends,
Here's the latest on Bobby...March 22 AM...he has suffered a sever heart attack which has affected more than 40% of his heart's function.  Yesterday while on the way to get x-rays, his heart stopped.  They immediately took him into surgery and inserted 2 stints to open up obstructed vessels.  Later in the day, his heart stopped 3 more times.  During the night there was a slight improvement in his blood pressure, however it remains dangerously low.  Today they are having to start cardiac dialysis because his liver is not filtering the toxins from his blood...and without the dialysis, he will not survive.

The doctors have been very candid about his condition...the bottom line is that Bobby is very, very sick and that his condition should be considered critical.  So we are asking our Heavenly Father to 1) raise his blood pressure and stabilize it so that it can adequately circulate throughout his body 2) get his blood cleaned up and remove all toxins that have built-up, 3) restart his liver functions and get them back to normal operation, 4) strengthen his heart muscles so that they can work efficiently and can restore proper circulation.

Please stop and lift up Bobby and Lee to our Father.  His peace and presence has been very evident in the hospital room and Lee is totally trusting in the Lord for Bobby's complete recovery.  Cheryl and I are so thankful that we're here to be with them.  Thanks for joining in agreement with our prayers for Bobby's total healing.  As Bobby told me on Friday before he was airlifted to Bangkok, "there are more people out there that I need to tell about Jesus' love for them...so I just have to get better"...sounds like him, doesn't it!

Thanks for joining with us!
Blessing to you all,

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Keep Praying for Bobby Michaels

Here's another note from Rachel...

image Hello Dear Friends and Prayer Warriors,

We come to you once again in need of your prayers.  Bobby’s heart isn’t working properly, yet…  My parents arrived in Bangkok last night (Thailand time) and in the morning the Dr.’s took Bobby out of the room to go run some tests.  On their way down to the exam room, Bobby’s heart stopped beating and they resuscitated him and took him immediately into surgery.  They put 2 stents in his heart and removed a blood clot.  After recovering from this surgery, he was then transferred back to his room where Mom was waiting for him.  While they were setting him back up in his room, his heart failed again and once again they resuscitated him.  The reason for this was that the muscles were too weak to do their job.  His heart was accepting the stents though Bobby did really well for the next 6-8 hours. He has tubes down his throat and is needing to rest and stay still.  He has been quite restless though during all of this…

About 3 hours ago Bobby’s heart gave way again and it took the Dr.’s 20 minutes to resuscitate him this time.  During this time, Mom said she was sitting in the room with Bobby & praying and crying out to the Lord asking “WHY?” and why was she there all alone without anyone to be with her.  She said the Lord’s presence came over her in a way like never before and He said to her “so you know that I AM enough!” Mom said that she stopped crying and felt total peace and that the Lord promised her that He wasn’t taken Bobby away, this is all the while Bobby is still unconscious.  The Dr.’s were finally able to revive Bobby but he is still in a SUPER CRITICAL stage – medically speaking!   The Lord has given us His peace and His promises that He is not done yet with Bobby.  Mom was also reminded of the stories in the Bible of when people had seemed “dead” and the physical circumstances seemed to be the same but the Lord said “No, they are just resting”

I just called Mom again a few minutes ago to see if anything else had changed so that this update would be very “up to date” and she said that Bobby is resting very well right now.  She said also that the Lord told her that “He was having a meeting with Bobby and they just needed to talk”  J  Dian and I think that this was the Lord’s way of making Bobby rest as he is always wanting to be social and interacting.  As huge, strong and giving as Bobby’s heart is figuratively speaking, we are praying that the same would be given physically to his heart!

Jim & Cheryl McCandliss, along with a dear friend, Jennifer, from Singapore just arrived at the hospital in Bangkok and are now with Mom.  Bobby is alert and aware and trying to talk, which isn’t working very well with a tube down his throat!

Here are some specific prayer request again:

  • That Bobby would just rest and for his restlessness to be gone
  • That his blood pressure would stabilize
  • Continued wisdom for the Dr.’s and medical team
  • For Mom to be able to get GOOD rest
  • For Jim & Cheryl to be able to get good rest also
  • Wisdom & Knowledge for Mom, Jim, Cheryl & Jennifer as decisions need to be made

Bobby can never be accused for not loving someone enough and we thank you from the deepest parts of our hearts for loving our family enough in return!  I will probably be headed over there soon and will keep you all posted as to what’s happening.  Thanks again for your prayers, love and support!  This road has been a lot easier to walk knowing we have your support!

Love to all!

Rach and the Family

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Bobby Michaels Update

This came in from Rachel this afternoon...

Hello Friends & Prayer Warriors,

We heard from Jim McCandliss this afternoon (Friday EST).  He shared how it’s been beyond amazing to see the affect of how everyone's encouraging messages of love and prayers have kept my parent’s hearts buoyed up.  Many times during the day their eyes welled up with tears as they'd read a text message or heard someone praying for them over the phone.  The Holy Spirit was definitely in the hospital room and engulfed all of them with His peace and calm quietness.  I have also given them many of the messages that have been sent or phone calls that I have rec’d.  Mom and I got to cry together on the phone this morning as we have all been SO humbled by the love and support shown our family during this time – THANK YOU! J

This morning talking to Mom and Jim McCandliss, they shared that my parent’s would be Medi-Evac’ed (ICU with wings) to Bangkok, Thailand later today as there would be better Doctors and a much better hospital.  At about 10:15 Friday night their time (11:15 am EST), my parents departed from the Phnom Penh hospital along with the Medi-Evac medical team for the 90 minute flight to Bangkok.  They expected to be seen by the medical staff when they arrived and hopefully we'll have more to report in the next few days.

For now their prayer request are for the following:

  1. That the medical team will be able to accurately identify the exact nature of Bobby's condition.
  2. That an effective treatment plan be implemented
  3. That Lee be encouraged and supported as she stands along her husband's side waiting for the expected improvement in Bobby's health.  We've been told that the anticipated treatment will not be an "overnight wonder" were he jumps out of bed in a couple of days.  The Lord could certainly make this a reality and we are praying that it is so...but the Docs are setting the expectations much lower, saying he could be in the hospital 1-2 weeks before he's well enough to fly back home.
  4. That Cheryl and Jim will be able to get to Bangkok as soon as possible.  They are to fly to Singapore on Saturday morning with the extra luggage that couldn’t go to Bangkok.

Thanks for your continued prayers for our family during this time of need!  We truly do appreciate it!  Thanks also for ALL of the messages and phone calls!  Sorry if we haven’t been able to respond to all of them personally yet!

Lots of love to each of you, from all of us!

Rachel & Dian and Jeff & Phoebe (their kids)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Please Pray for Bobby Michaels

I just received this prayer request in my email...

image Hello Friends & Prayer Warriors,

Just wanted to let you know that I rec’d a call from Mom this morning.  They are in Cambodia right now along with Jim and Cheryl McCandliss speaking at a Pastor’s Conference.

Before leaving for Asia and Australia for a month, Bobby had been very sick with the flu.  This morning he woke up and said that he was “feeling the best he had in 2 weeks.”  Around noon (Cambodia time) Bobby passed out.  They took him to the local health clinic as there is no hospital in the small town they were in.  After running a few IV’s through him, it was evident that he needed to get to a hospital.  An ambulance brought Mom, Bobby and a Dr. and his wife (who’s a nurse) that were attending the conference to the main hospital in Phnom Penh which was a few hours drive.  Jim and Cheryl met up with my parents at the hospital in Phnom Penh. 

Please be praying as Bobby’s heart is only working at 30%, there is fluid around his heart and there is not much blood flow to his heart.  He has an infection in his cardiac artery.  He has the best cardiologists in Cambodia looking after him right now! J  I asked Jim McCandliss what he thought of the hospital and he said the conditions are very basic but that he was confident in the Dr.’s and nurses abilities.  I honestly don’t care about the conditions, anything is “doable” but what I care about is that the Dr.’s are the very best to take care of my Dad!  The rest of the tour is on hold right now and it looks like they will be in Cambodia for a few more days than scheduled. 

Please pray for wisdom, strength, peace and comfort for all involved.  Mom is doing pretty well, Cheryl McCandliss is one of her closest friends so that is encouraging to me that she is being taken care of by Jim and Cheryl.  Also, feel free to pass on this prayer request as you see fit.

Thanks for your love and friendship,


SRI LANKA - Civilians in North Desperate

While you and me have been hyperventilating over CEO's getting huge bonuses as if it was a sign of the Great Apostasy, other stuff has been happening on our planet.

Look at the pictures at your own risk.


image The Sri Lankan Army has continued its relentless march north and east of the island, gaining control of territory formerly held by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE).

The Red Cross warns that a humanitarian disaster is looming as the LTTE is holding a UN-estimated 200,000 civilians as human shields. Some have been killed as they have tried to flee into the area controlled by government soldiers.

Thousands more Tamil families suffer unhygienic conditions in overcrowded camps for the displaced where they will likely have to stay at least two years. Five Christian NGOs have government permission to work in the camps and a hospital.

Meanwhile, Christians are very concerned that legislation against "unethical conversion" in Sri Lanka has been presented again by the Buddhist majority. Activists accuse Christians of offering jobs or money in order to get people to convert to Christianity.

Sign up for OM Headlines here.

The Window International Network has issued an emergency prayer alert for Sri Lanka.

Source: Operation Mobilization News Bytes and Headlines

The Other Side of Church Growth | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Here's something I never really put any thought into before: the extinction of the Church. There's a book about that very issue out currently. I've read tons about church growth, missionary expansion, but never Church retreat. But it's a fact of life in some areas. What do you think? Why did God let it happen? How do you reconcile the appearance of the church disappearing somewhere with the statement of Jesus declaring "I will establish my Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail..."?

image Question (Stan Guthrie): You argue that we are lacking a theology of church extinction. Why do we need one?

Answer (Phil Jenkins): I sometimes ask audiences how many people have ever read a book on the growth or establishment of a church, and many people raise their hands. Then I ask how many people have ever read a book on the death or extinction of a church, and virtually nobody does. But in history, church death is a very common phenomenon. Christianity moves from one area to another, but it also dies in areas where it has been strong. That fact violates a lot of what we expect about Christian growth. We have a theology of mission, not a theology of retreat. So do we explain these episodes as the churches doing something horribly wrong? Do we regard them as a natural part of historical development? Do we think that if Muslims replaced Christians in a country like Iraq, the expansion of Islam must be within God's plan? How Christians actually deal with things like the destruction of the church in Iraq is by not talking about it. We pay no attention to it because we don't know about it.

Read more here: The Other Side of Church Growth | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Über Christ Follower: Shaun Sells

image Shaun is the lead pastor at Calvary Chapel Cheyenne. His parents put me up in their home while Pastor Shaun and I worked through Missions Policy and Short-term Mission Team Training for missions ministry at his church.

Wednesday nights, Shaun is leading a very cool Bible study. He calls it Bookin' Through the Bible. He teaches through and entire book in forty-five minutes. He hits the high points of the book. He includes an approximation of how long it takes to read the book as an encouragement to give it a whirl in your personal devotional time.

Shaun has a cool problem at his church. People are popping up everywhere to do ministry. So Pastor Shaun wanted to put a process in place to equip and train his folks to think through and do missions effectively. That's what we worked on while I was there for three days.

Specifically, we worked on writing missions policy. Shaun has a heart for evangelistic and ministry outreach locally, cross-culturally, and internationally. His people dream up ministry organically. They have an incredible passion for reaching the hurting. He can't hold his people back from the work. Some from his church are spending their retirement years pouring their lives out for others. That's how they want to live out the many more productive years of their lives and Shaun established a ministry mechanism to support their missionaries administratively, operationally, and prayerfully. This dude gets it.

Alabama gunman had sued slain mother's employer

image “We found a list of people he worked with, people who had done him wrong,” Coffee County District Attorney Gary McAliley said in a brief interview outside his mother’s house where the rampage began.

The killings were the worst mass killings by a single gunman in Alabama state history, and devastated rural communities in two counties near the Florida border. While the list was one of several perplexing clues that emerged on Wednesday about McClendon’s life, authorities couldn’t say what set him off. read more...

Keeping a "list of wrongs" is the easiest thing in the world to do. It takes no talent; no creativity. There is zero talent involved. Horror is the bitter fruit of such a list.

1 Cor. 13:5 & 6 (NLT)
It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Imagine what the world would be like if you kept a "list of repairs" or a "list of reconciliations".

Alabama gunman had sued slain mother's employer | Top stories | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bubba's New Song: "My Six"

Aaron and Adam wrote and produced this new song... "My Six"


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Allie's New Spoon

Eating and ergonomics. It's something we've always done without thinking. We naturally have everything easily within reach and we have no problem getting food to our mouths with normal utensils.

Not so with Allie. Allie's hands don't bend normally, so the spoon has to be bent. And she doesn't have the coordination to only put the spoon so far into her mouth (as opposed to down her throat) so there's a little mouth-guard attached that works as a spoon stopper.

Here's a demo:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blogging Slacker

My mother-in-law called the other day to complain that nothing new about Allie has been posted.

I just want to let everyone know that I have reprimanded Allie and she will post something very soon.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Tunes Review: U2's No Line on the Horizon

image "Classic U2 sound," according to the charming and beautiful Susan. The album's title matches the stories Bono tells: there's no telling where this journey is going. I'll agree with reviewers that say this isn't U2's best. But I'm also saying that this is a great album and it definitely lives up to and even exceeds U2 standards.

The more I listen to it, the more I love it. I'm listening to it right now so I can write something catchy about the tunes, but I'm caught up in listening to the first track and looking for the lyrics...

"I know a girl with a hole in her heart

She said infinity is a great place to start

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh"

The Edge shred's signature licks in Magnificent. You'll think of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" when you spin this one.

Get the album. The whole thing rocks. You're level of affection for this CD will increase with each revolution.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Book Review: This is Your Brain on Joy

image Book title: This is Your Brain on Joy
Author: Dr. Earl Henslin
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2008
Number of pages: 236

"After the Fall, everything in creation took a hit, including the hardwiring of our brains. In other words, all brains today are not equal." That is a concept I've never considered. Look around and it seems pretty obvious, but for some reason, I've never attached oblongata inequality to the Fall. I guess I just thought God gives us the same deck of cards. We just play it differently. But I'll admit, I never put any real thought into it. But the world makes more sense when you realize that we're all dealing with the residual effects of original sin. Hmmmm.

ADD, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, GAD, and any other acronym that afflicts you can all be treated. Your brain can be brought back into balance. The brain is plastic posits Henslin. We can train and retrain the mushy gray matter. It can be coaxed in off the ledge with nutrition, therapies, and when necessary, drug protocols. Balance your brain and issues like anger, phobias, eating disorders, and addiction can be managed and brought under control.

Henslin introduces SPECT (single photon emission computerized topography) image technology in this book. He praises the contributions of Dr. Daniel Amen to brain science and imaging. Henslin uses layman's terms to explain the study of the brain and how it effects our lives.

The main point is if we have a happy brain, we can live a healthy, Christian life. A Christian with an "unhappy" brain tries unsuccessfully to live an impulsively religious life. "Before" pictures of brain scans show overly active regions of the brain sparking unproductive chemical activity. "After" pictures show us what a healthy brain scan looks like. Henslin includes surveys and self-test to help the reader evaluate whether her brain may need a little help. And there are charts aplenty to match up mood malfunction with a remedy.

Henslin's argument is compelling. He gives strong support for his thesis, but better yet, he offers solutions that are within reach through, in many cases, just a few environmental adjustments.

Henslin writes about "Joy Boosters" in one chapter. This is the most informative and practical chapter in this very informative and practical book. Every way you can adjust and impact your environment internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually and physically are covered in this chapter. Making changes in what you eat, read, watch, or smell can boost the joy in your life.

This book is for the curious. If you want to know how the brain works, or better yet, how to manage your brain, give this book a read. It'll take you about three or four hours to get through the book, but I promise you'll spend much more time later referencing and rereading it. Stamp your name in it because once you start discussing it with friends, they'll want to borrow it.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Don Miller Blog: Why They Stay on Top

 imageDon Miller wrote some thought provoking things about U2 and their new album which I'm listening to as I write this.

And diggin' it... I bought it for the charming and beautiful Susan but I didn't even let her take it out of the cellophane before I started listening to it...

Don Miller Blog » Why They Stay on Top

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I'm Sorry Rush

image I had a funny conversation on the phone with a buddy yesterday that made me want to wade a little way into the political pool. This friend of mine said that he originally thought that Barack Obama was the Anti-christ. But with Rush Limbaugh's recent weekend antics, he now thinks Rush might be Satan incarnate.

I told him he should apologize to Rush for that. If you feel you need to apologize to Rush for something, click the link below. It'll get to Rush quicker than your Christmas list to Santa thanks to the miracle of Al Gore's Internet.

I'm Sorry Rush

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Book Review: The One Factor


Book title: The One Factor
Author: Doug Sauder
Fort Lauderdale, 4Kids of South Florida, 2008
Number of pages: 172

One person can make a difference; the difference. The questions then becomes: are you the person? Author Doug Sauder makes the case that you are; at least you can be. But because you may think yourself inadequate to evoke change in the world, you don't. Sauder writes, "One is always the catalyst... One person can inspire another who inspires others, turning addition into exponential power." And then he lays out the proof.

This book speaks to issues you and me don't often think about. Rarely does this issue ever even intersect with our work-a-day worlds. The foster care services in our country are so clogged up that the system choking.

This is the story of One church in Broward County in South Florida that took action. A verse comes to mind: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:26 NIV). Most churches have systems and strategies for the last part - keep oneself from being polluted by the world - but not for the first - to look after orphans and widows in their distress. I wonder why that is. I wonder if God wonders.

Influence a child; change destiny.

The book is neatly divided into a series of "Ones". One Vision, One Person, One Moment, One Idea, One investment, One Passion, One Source, and then he brings it home with You; what will you do with it.

Sauder's stories and his final appeal are moving. You are the One that can make the difference. No matter what your view of you is, with God's help, you're special enough and equipped for the task.

Sauder practices what he preaches. This isn't idealistic sermonizing, this is a life being lived. This could be your life being lived and having an impact on the world around you.

The audience this book is intended for is One reader: You. I recommend this book. You can pick it up at the bookstore at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale or online at Amazon.com.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cross the Bridge expect 1,000's | The Good News

Here's an article I wrote in this month's edition of the Good News...

Cross the Bridge expect 1,000's | The Good News

Free Audio Book Download

image Donald Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is available for free download. When you checkout, enter MAR2009 when prompted.

I'm downloading it now and will listen to it on the treadmill when I'm running like a gerbil.

Broadcasting pioneer Paul Harvey dies at age of 90

Rest in Peace...


His fans identified with his plainspoken political commentary, but critics called him an out-of-touch conservative. He was an early supporter of the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy and a longtime backer of the Vietnam War.

Perhaps Harvey's most famous broadcast came in 1970, when he abandoned that stance, announcing his opposition to President Nixon's expansion of the war and urging him to get out completely.

"Mr. President, I love you ... but you're wrong," Harvey said, shocking his faithful listeners and drawing a barrage of letters and phone calls, including one from the White House.

Click below "for the rest of the story..."

Broadcasting pioneer Paul Harvey dies at age of 90