Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Review: The Expanded Bible

image This was a difficult translation for me to read. It's a word for word translation on steroids. The translation itself is actually quite readable. It's just the addition of synonyms and bible verses added linearly in the sentence that breaks up the flow of verse and rhythm and narrative that's such a huge stumbling block for me. I stumble and trip and stub my toes on those brackets.

Here's what I mean:


Now some may find it easy to selectively harvest nuggets of truth and brilliance from sentences this way, but for me, this is exactly what it means to miss the forest for the trees. I could never get the story because I'd be too tuned into the individual words. Is the lesson in the individual words or the complete text?

That said, I'll keep this translation on my shelf as a quick reference for a quick word study. But I don't think it will ever take the place of a Strong's Concordance, Bible dictionary, or Greek interlinear.

Church Planting Lesson Four

This is the fourth installment of Biblical Church Planting by Pastor Jeff Jackson. Many have found this resource to be incredibly helpful and interesting. Enjoy.

duration: 57:18

Download here

Subscribe to the entire podcast here on iTunes.

Miller: A Million Miles in a Thsnd Years | The Good News

image My review of Donald Miller's new book was posted this week on the Good News' website. It will run in print in the November  edition.

Miller: A Million Miles in a Thsnd Years | The Good News

First Long Ride

If you've been following Allie's story at all, you know that a long ride in the car usually leads to some kind of a melt down for her. That's the reason we haven't taken any rides longer than a half hour in duration since we moved back to Florida. Until today.

Last week we took a ride to down Hollywood, about an hour and a half from here in morning traffic. And Allie was amazing. She sat by herself in her car seat and just listened to her songs and played with her little toys. On the ride home she watched Veggie Tales and was happy all the way to our door step.

We were down in Broward visiting a pediatric neurologist. Allie has been having seizures, but we didn't know it. We thought they were just some kind of spasm until she had a couple at school and they told us they were definitely seizures. Her teacher encouraged us to get a video of her having one so we did and showed her new doctor today. He said that she is definitely having epileptic seizures.

This is disappointing news. But we love this new doctor. For the first time we have a neurologist for Allie that seems like a normal person. Her previous neurologist were difficult to talk to and extremely negative and unimaginative. But this new doctor is great.

Allie has had a pretty long stretch without any more seizures, thankfully. The new doc prescribed some medication that seems to really be working. Allie is schedule for a number of examinations, and MRI and an EEG. Hopefully some of her other medications will be reduced.

Several times a week we get emails and Facebook messages from people praying for Allie. I can't even begin to express my gratitude for this. I try to reciprocate by praying for every prayer request that hits my inbox, but I know I'm praying for less people than are praying for us. I don't know where we'd be without your intercession and prayerful petitions.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Church Planting Lesson Three

This is the third installment of Biblical Church Planting by Pastor Jeff Jackson. This is a dynamite series. Pastor Jeff Jackson, in my never-to-be-humble opinion, is one of the best kept secrets in the missions and church planting movements.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where to get Your Pumpkin

pumpkin fundraiser

You need a pumpkin. There is no getting around it. You must acquire a pumpkin no matter what it takes. That's your problem.

Here's your solution. Ride on over to Juno Beach Saturday morning and pick yours up at the Yankee Peddler at 12174 US Hwy One. All proceeds benefit Allie's school, Potentials School at the Arc.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This past weekend I spoke to a group of guys about our little Allie ordeal. I went at it from the angle of God allowing His followers to go through situations that sift them. Sifting is more than making a powdery substance like flour a more fine powder. That's how your momma sifts.

Real sifting takes place after grain is beat down, ground up and pulverized between heavy grinding stones. Then chaff and husk are separated and sifted from the useful and nutritious kernel. That's sifting. When you're sifted, it's rough. It's painful. This part of you is dislocated and ripped from that part you. Then you're shaken through a screen or tossed up into the air with this part being forever separated from another part of you. Ever gone through that?

I didn't realize how emotionally ragged I'd get from going through it all. I shared all the junk my wife and I was taken through. Then I was hit head on with guilt because I talked more about what happened to me than what happened to poor baby Allie. The whole thing hurt so much.

I'm encouraged by Peter who came through his sifting experience to come face to face with the forgiving, restoring love of Jesus. Jesus didn't just forgive, though. He gave Peter a project; a new job description: "feed my lambs," Jesus told him. Peter became responsible for the sheep Jesus sent his way. Before Peter was sifted, Jesus told Peter He was going to do something like this.

What unbearable circumstance are you going through? What's ripping you raw? I wonder what God has for you to put your hand to on the other side of your sifting.

A Call to Prayer and Fasting For the Events in Yemen

Some of you know that I've done some work in Yemen. This email came to me today asking for prayer for those that were kidnapped a few months ago.

church_2004pics 385Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On June 12, 2009, six expatriates from three nations working at the Al-Jumhuri Hospital in Saada, Yemen
went missing together with three children. A few days later three of them were found dead, one Korean
school-teacher and two German medical interns. As we write this, the parents with their three children
plus their colleague are still missing (see pictures of the missing and a log of events on the home page of
Worldwide Services, the charity with which they were working: http://worldwideservices.

So far no one has come forward claiming to have done this. Likewise we do
not have proof that the missing ones are alive. The authorities investigating
this case are faced with a wall of silence and much of this is a riddle to those
who know Yemen and its people. The families of those killed mourn, and the
relatives and friends of the missing live between hope and despair. The
much needed work in the Saada hospital had to be severely reduced – much
to the regret of the population. The war between government troops and
rebels in the area continues and causes much suffering.

In the light of these extraordinary and far-reaching events we – the
leaders of the Christian agencies mentioned below – call all Christians to
pray and – if possible – to fast for the items mentioned below on
Reformation Day (October 31st, 2009). We are convinced it is very
important that as Christians we stand firmly together and jointly raise our
voices to the Lord for whom nothing is impossible.

 Let us pray for the protection and freeing of the missing – especially the children. If they are already in
God's eternity, may the light of God shine into the situation and may truth may come to light.

 Let us pray for comfort and grace for the families of the three women who were killed and of the six
who are still missing. They suffer the most of us all.

 Let us pray for the national and international staff of the hospital in Saada, now scattered, who need
comfort and who are full of questions about their future.

 Let us pray for those who took these people, as Jesus has taught us to pray even for our enemies, that
they will be convicted in their conscience, let the prisoners go and find peace and salvation in Jesus.

 Let us pray for the local and international authorities and all those who are assisting, that they might
be given wisdom, perseverance and good cooperation in their various efforts.

 Let us pray that Yemenis stirred by these events may ask deep questions and seek the living God. May
the seed sown in the land soon sprout and bear fruit. Let us pray for a speedy end to the war.

 Let us pray that we will be more willing to follow Jesus – even if that should mean suffering and death.
Let us ask God that He will encourage and strengthen us through His Holy Spirit to be witnesses of His
love and His Good News in all places of the world.

 Let us praise and thank God, that even in this situation He is the Almighty One to Whom we can turn.
Let us be joyful and glad – as Jesus exhorts us in the Beatitudes - when people insult us, persecute us
and falsely say all kinds of evil against us because of Jesus.
With warm Christian greetings, one with you through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The leaders of four Christian agencies in Germany:

Frontiers - OM - ReachAcross - WEC
PS: Please pass this on to many others who can pray! Thank you.

˙ǝʇısqǝʍ looɔ sıɥʇ ʇno ʞɔǝɥɔ oʇ ʇoƃ ǝʌɐɥ sʎnƃ noʎ

My buddy Pete sent me an upside-down birthday message on my Facebook last week like this that tripped me out.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Church Planting Lesson Two

I uploaded the second Church Planting Lesson taught by Pastor Jeff Jackson.

This podcast is also available on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Shepherd's Staff Podcast on

Download iTunes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Church Planting Podcast

Today Shepherd's Staff launches a PODCAST. The first series will be one that was unearthed from audio archives of Pastor Jeff Jackson teaching a Church Planting class at Calvary Chapel Bible College.

Pastor Jeff is one of the best teachers I've ever had the privilege of learning from. I've been listening to this course for the past several weeks and have enjoyed it tremendously. In the next day or so, iTunes will have it available at the iTunes store. If you don't have iTunes, download it here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fearless | The Good News

image  You may have already read this review here on this blog, but in case you didn't, the Good News ran it in this month's issue.

Next month my review of Don Miller's new book will run.

Fearless | The Good News

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Huge Milestone Everyday at school Allie is sat on the potty twice. She usually sits and fights and cries. Today she peed. First time.

Just thought you should know. I know, I know. This is one of those little time capsules that will be unearthed to embarrass her some day.

I'll enjoy this memory again, then.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Midwest Calvary Chapel Pastors' Conference

image I don't know how much blogging I'm going to do while I'm here in Indiana at the Midwest Calvary Conference, but I wanted to share something Gayle Erwin said that I really thought was worth repeating.

On the subject of the American Right To Pursue Happiness, Gayle said:

"If we love others, happiness chases us."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Allie Swinging at School

allie and lana

When Allie is having a bad day, the swing is just what the doctor ordered. Here, Lana has started the launch sequence.

allie on the swing

Coming at ya'. Notice how well Allie is hanging onto the rope.

allie swing

She looks SO big. Her tennis shoes are a couple of sizes bigger to accommodate her braces. I think the big looking feet seem to add a few inches to her height.

allie, lana

Along with the oversized shoes, Allie is wearing a vest under her shirt that helps her sit up and hold her head up. This gives her get better use of her arms and vision.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


image I've wondered often about Allie's capabilities and potential. But I never asked myself if I'd thought she'd be able to bowl. But her school dares to ask and DO things I've never given much thought to.

This week Arc Potentials loaded up a bunch of vans with kids and wheel chairs and hauled them all down to Lantana to bowl.

Allie was a little freaked out at first. She had no idea what they wanted her to do in that place with the crazy sound of wood being knocked into imageoblivion by a big, heavy poly-urethane ball. But once she got going, she bowled a perfect 300.

Just kidding. But she had fun.