Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Allie Videos

Since I got the iPhone, I haven’t been carrying around my little digital video camera around. But I need to. I love getting video of Allie and keeping friends and family updated.

In this vid, Allie is excited by the vacuum cleaner. It used to terrify her and I had to take her out for a walk so the Charming and Beautiful Susan could clean our domicile.

In the next video, Oliver thinks he has to protect Allie from something ten times bigger but a tenth as annoying.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Published at

RLVNTtwitteravatar_normal[1]I was very excited a few weeks ago to learn that was interested in my review of Pastor Tullian Tchividjian’s new book. It was posted yesterday on their site.

I was wondering, my friends, if you could do me a little favor: there are links on Relevant’s post to share this article on Facebook, Twitter, and a couple of other social sites. Could you share this on your Facebook and/or Twitter account? Pastor Tullian has a great ministry, his book is (books are) a great read and I would love to get the word out. Not only that, I’d like to contribute to Relevant again and increased activity on their site will help me achieve that.

Have I told you lately that I appreciate you?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Aaron in a magazine

Calvary Chapel Magazine is an exhibitor here at the East Coast Pastors' Conference. Tom Price, the mag's editor and I were just chatting about missions and such and Haiti came up.

"My son's down there," I bragged.

Tom trotted down to his table and came back a couple of seconds later with an open magazine in his hands. He dropped it on my table and pointed at a glossy page.



"Wow. You must be a proud dad."


- Posted using BlogPress

Best in Bible

I received a message from the folks on Logos asking me to review their app. This is the first time I’ve ever responded to review requests from app developers because I only use a handful of really popular ones (Twitterrific, Facebook, Gmail, Safari, and Google Maps) that don’t need good reviews to get downloaded.

This is an amazing tool. Works like the Kindle app. You flick your finger to turn the pages. The library is huge. And all free. When I
compare what I've put into this (downloading a free app and learning how to use it), to what has been provided (tons of free materials and
Bible translations), I definitely come out on the big end of the stick.

Live long and prosper Logos Bible App for iPhone.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Update from Aaron in Jacmel, Haiti

Here's another update from my son down in Haiti.

imageThe team and I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in Seguin, which is a little town three and half hours up into the mountains. It was very refreshing to get away from the heat of Jacmel. The temperature up there was in the 70’s in the day and the 50’s in the evening. We spent the night at a clinic where a man named Dr. John works.

Dr. John was a blessing to serve. He spends his days treating patients from the early evening to late afternoon. We had a couple nurses on our team who were able to help Dr. John. The rest of the team cleaned out the clinic, built shelves, painted walls, fixed doors and windows. We left the place looking better than it did when we got there. Mission accomplished.

I was able to spend my time up there chilling and recuperating from being sick. Thanks to everybody who prayed for me. I also went down to a local church there and asked if we could do a movie outreach there Monday evening. Of course the Pastor was more than excited to do that. And so I went into the market and began to invite a bunch of people to watch the movie with us. That night we had a couple hundred people show up, we showed the movie and I did a short gospel presentation, and sixteen people gave their lives to Jesus that night.

Wednesday and Thursday the team worked on an interim structure for a local orphanage. This week has been really good for me. The team here from Calvary Boca has been a huge blessing.

Aaron's missionary page

Saturday, May 22, 2010

East Coast Calvary Chapel Pastors' Conference

Tomorrow I head up to Sandy Cove Maryland to represent Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators at the East Coast Calvary Chapel Pastors conference. If you're going to be there, make sure you stop by and say hello. In fact, leave a comment on this post and I'll look for you.

Shepherd's Staff assists churches as they send missionaries into the field. We provide administrative services, that is, we process donations for your missionaries, provide receipts to donors, make sure your missionaries receive a salary and keep them compliant with US tax law. We offer missionaries health insurance and give them the opportunity to contribute to a retirement account.

We offer pre-field training and church consultation in the following areas:
-setting up a missions ministry
-writing missions policy
-short-term team training
-missionary budgeting
-setting up a sending team
-writing newsletters and communication with the home church

- Posted using BlogPress

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Church Planting Lesson Eighteen

Pastor Jeff teaches through Acts Six in this installment of church planting.

get the podcast

Surprised by Grace Interview Part 3

Pastor Tullian Tchividjian discusses the two kinds of self-salvation projects people launch as an effort to save themselves, whether religious or irreligious.

Four minutes; 26 seconds

Download here


Part One

Part Two

Interview in the Good News of South Florida

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't eat that

I ate cereal soaked in sour milk today. Every area of my tongue came under assault causing a neural overload in my brain. I was either unsure of what happened or went into shock because I instinctively took another bite to confirm what actually was going on.

"Is this food disgusting or what?"

"I don't know. Take another bite. Maybe your tongue doesn't know what it's talking about."

How have you been ambushed by food?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Allie’s MRI Results

allie-flamingo Last week Allie had an MRI and an EEG done. That was a pretty big deal. We've been trying to have these done for over six months. But Allie was always sick every time her appointment rolled around. One time we made the hour drive down to Hollywood only to be turned away by the MRI tech because she had reservations about the medicine Allie was given that morning. The nurse was okay with it, the doctor thought the tech was a little paranoid, but for some reason the tech got her way and we were sent home. Allie's appointment was postponed for six weeks.

Six more weeks went by but we had to cancel because Allie was sick again. We're told that happens often in your child's first year of school. Especially in a snotty, unsanitary environment and your child always has her hands in her mouth. Now she has a chronic ear infection and more appointments scheduled. Now she's too busy with doctors' visits with four different specialists to go to school. Finally she's healthy long enough to get the work done the neurologist orders so he can tell us how bad or good her brain damage is.

The last time she had an MRI and EEG was three years ago when she was in a coma. We were told then that our baby had moderate to severe brain damage.

Today we were told that the EEG showed that areas of her brain were emitting weak electrical signals.

It's weird to me that electricity flows through your brain and my brain.

But in Allie's brain the signals are weak because there are areas where her brain is damaged and the live healthy part of her brain where electricity is flowing is under a layer of damaged area that used to be healthy brain matter. That area of the brain emits weaker signals for the EEG. That is consistent with the picture the MRI, a kind of a full body x-ray, paints.

Her brain development, the doctor tells us, has plateaued. The vocabulary Allie has at almost four years old might not grow beyond the few words she currently employs.

Allie's favorite word is "good". She really knows how to use that word. She tells us when her food is "good" with every bite. She says "good" when she's happy or in a good mood which is often even when she's sick. When Mickey Mouse Club House or Handy Manny or the Imagination Movers comes on she says "good" indicating that this is children's programming she enjoys.

Allie says "hi" when she's happy to see me. She likes "hi" so much that she gives that word two syllables. "Hah-hi".

She also says "Oliver" which is our dog's name. He's not really a dog, though, because he's part Chihuahua. "Oliver" sounds like a complex word for someone with such a small vocabulary, I know. Allie being the creative thinker and problem solver that she is says this word with her fingers in her mouth. Well for part of the word. The first two syllables she has fingers in her mouth. "Ol-la". The last syllable she slides her fingers out of her mouth while pulling down on her lip: "vah".

The doctor says she has plateaued and that she should learn alternative ways of communication but I think Allie is already a step or two ahead of him.

"Ol-la vah".

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Surprised by Grace Interview Part 2

I interviewed Pastor Tullian Tchividjian about his new book Surprised By Grace; God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels for the Good News of South Florida. You can read the interview online here.

There is also audio available of the interview that I'll be posting in several installations. This is the second part:

You can download the audio or listen on your mobile device by clicking here. Time: 2 minutes; 21 seconds.

Download part one here. Time: 5 minutes; 36 seconds.

Part one blog post.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Pray for Aaron

My son Aaron texted me from Haiti this morning. He requests prayer for himself, his team, and the ministry in Jacmel. He has had a sense this week that he’s been under spiritual attack. He’s doing vital work moving the gospel forward and working as an agent of hope, and he’s felt some serious spiritual push back. This has taxed him emotionally.

Please join my wife and I as we pray for him and all that he puts his hand to as he makes the Name of Jesus known in Haiti.

imageAaron’s missionary page

Calvary Chapel Haiti Initiative

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Overdue Church Planting Podcast Installments

I'm a little behind posting these. Please forgive me.

Church planting lesson sixteen (download)

Church planting lesson seventeen (download)

Lessons one through most recent upload

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Book Review: Plan B


Plan B
Author: Pete Wilson
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2010
Number of pages: 226

image Tweet from Pete Wilson: Hey @crosspoint_tv!!!! We need your help today. Can you take the day off and join us.

Another tweet: - Part of the boat tour I took this afternoon. This is not normally a river...

More: Thanks to @dinorizzo for all of his help in our flood relief. Love partnering with other churches!! #servolution

If you're headed to @crosspoint_tv Bellevue bring hammers, trashbags and brooms. Thanks!!

imageYesterday Plan B, Pete Wilson's first book, was released. It hit shelves in bookstores nationwide while its author Pete Wilson lead pastor at Crosspoint Church in Nashville was coordinating relief efforts in the wake of the most devastating rains to hit Tennessee in decades.

This is the perfect illustration of the premise of Plan B. What do you do when life doesn't go the we you hoped it would? You watch Plan A get scrapped and you're forced to implement Plan B. That's what happened in Nashville over the weekend and Wilson put his money where his mouth is. He put feet to his faith. His church became a command center and a place for churches across the country to bring relief to friends and neighbors whose lives were just wrecked by a horrific line of storms.


Throughout the book, Wilson tells stories about people who've faced "Plan B" situations and their lives and watched God transform their lives through them. They've watched God transform their unrealistic expectations of him. God gave their relationships and understanding of him a makeover.

Wilson wrote this book to give readers a different perspective.

Wilson does a phenomenal job of drawing the reader into the stories he tells. If the intention was for me to compare my situation to those in the book, Wilson achieved the goal. I constantly asked myself, "What would I do in their shoes?" and "Would I respond with that kind of faith?" The book challenged the way I look at circumstances and my thoughts toward God. My attitude of entitlement was confronted. My lack of gratitude was exposed. I noticed that courage and faith both needed a refill. Plan B motivated me to go to the source of all that is good to start stocking back up.

This week, Wilson and the church he leads will put the principles in this book to work. They'll teach its lessons on Nashville's water logged streets. While they're doing that why don't you make your way to your favorite book seller or website? Have the book delivered to your house to get these lessons up and running in your own life. The book is well worth the read. When you're done, hand it off to a friend and work through the study guide together. It's time for a new attitude.

Monday, May 03, 2010


My missionary buddy Ed Compean had these pictures posted on his blog. They were snapped by someone on their way to church one day. In Africa.





So what are we looking at?

A desert king snake making dessert of a sand monitor.

Does anyone have a toothpick?

via: the Uttermost

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Surprised by Grace Interview Part 1

I interviewed Pastor Tullian Tchividjian for the Good News of South Florida last month. I enjoyed the time I spent with him on the phone immensely. So much so I that I thought you needed to hear it to. Here's the first part of our interview.

Download audio

Read the interview here in the Good News of South Florida.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Book Review: Surprised by Grace

Book title: Surprised by Grace; God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
Author: Tullian Tchividjian
Wheaton, Crossway, 2010
Number of pages: 208

"The gospel doesn't just ignite the Christian life; it's the fuel that keeps the Christian going every day."

Tullian Tchividjian brings fresh perspective to the Old Testament story of Jonah in his new book Surprised by Grace; God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels. The book is scheduled for release on May 31, 2010 by Crossway.

The central character in Tchividjian's book is Jonah the prophet. The story does not begin with Jonah as a hero nor does it end that way. In fact, the Jonah's story ends rather abruptly as Tchividjian points out a little more than half-way through his book. Jonah is a runner and a complainer. Jonah has the right religion and proper politics; he serves the true God and hates the worst sinners. But, as Tchividjian so skillfully explains, Jonah needs the gospel. “He sounds like a lot of people in the church… despite his pedigree and profile, Jonah’s still running from God. His morality and correct religion have brought him no closer to God…”

Tchividjian says that there are two ways to run from God. And both of them are "self-salvation projects". "Immoral people try to save themselves through licentious living - liberally and lawlessly. Moral people try to save themselves through legalistic living. The immoral try to save themselves by breaking the law; the moral try to save themselves by keeping it.

Tchividjian argues compellingly. He shows that the rule keepers need the gospel just as badly as the rule breakers. The reader learns that Jonah is good at being religious and knows it and expects God to move on his behalf because of it. Like the older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (another "rule keeper"), Jonah is baffled that God would show such compassion to such horrible sinners. Tchividjian skillfully links the Old Testament narrative of Jonah to New Testament principles of grace and new beginnings.

Why is God so persistent about Jonah seeing this assignment through to its conclusion? Why doesn't God employ someone more willing and more passionate about the souls of sinners? Tchividjian explains that God pursues religious "rule keepers" with grace. He pursues them even if it hurts.

“The fish’s belly was not Jonah’s prison or death chamber," explains Tchividjian, "but only a temporary hospital for his soul and a protection for his body from the ocean depths. It’s good for Jonah to be here. God ensures that his unworthy servant is made fully aware of this undeserved deliverance.” God is much more interested in the person than the project. We think we're replaceable, but God makes it obvious that Jonah is the project.

Tchividjian includes plates from world renowned artists, samples from Raphael, Dennis McGeary, Phillip Ratner, and Salvador Dali, to name a few. The works of art displayed in the books pages are incredible visual aids for the reader. Jonah thrown overboard and then swallowed to stew in the digestive system of a large fish are horrors that defy description. With great talent, the artists illustrate their disgust as Tchividjian vividly contrasts it against the backdrop of God's grace. "As a storied presentation of the gospel, it especially reveals the expansiveness of three things - our sin, God's grace, and God's mission. There's nothing small about any of them."

This book is written for any of us that tend to minimize these three. I can't decide which is worst to minimize; my sin, God's grace or God's mission. Your eyes will be opened to corners of the Jonah story that will look familiarly like dark corners of your own heart. You'll lie awake at night comparing your heart to Jonah's.

It’s interesting that God doesn’t hold grudges against Jonah, but Jonah begrudges everything and everyone including God. A worldly boss would simply replace Jonah. Why doesn’t God?

"Once God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to steer them beyond the gospel but to move them more deeply into it.”

Read the review in the Good News of South Florida

Read my interview of Tullian Tchividjian in the Good News of South Florida

Free audio download of Hole in Our Gospel

I reviewed this book last year. I’m going to download it and go through it again. To get your free copy, click here. When you get to the check out, enter MAY2010 when asked for a coupon code.

Then download it free.