Monday, May 21, 2012
If you've kept up with my blog, or gone on a trip to Fiji with Give Clean Water, you know first hand what an awesome impact we're having on the poorest of the poor in Fiji! With every filter we install, a family's life is changed forever. No longer do they have to worry about getting sick from their poor water supply. Bacterial diseases like typhoid fever and dysentery are eliminated with our state of the art water filter from Sawyer.
What really sets Give Clean Water apart is our follow up process. Using our GCW staff, community leaders, village head men, and Ministry of Health workers, our follow up process leads us to our goal of a lifetime of clean drinking water for every family who receives a filter. We document all our install and follow ups!
I'm trying to raise $2,500 for our "Change the World Event". I'd love it if you would consider making a donation in my name for this great cause! Our goal is to give everyone in Fiji clean drinking water in the next 10 years. With your help, we can reach that goal together!
Here is a link to my fundraising page. Come change the world with me!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Volcom and Tavarua Island have a rich tradition of giving back to the world. Their efforts in sustainable, eco-friendly projects are leading the way in the surf industry! What a perfect partnership for Give Clean Water!
During the event, you can log on to the Volcom website to keep up to date with all the latest news from the event. You might even catch us in the villages!
I'll keep you posted with lots of pics from the event!
Of course, if you'd like to be a part of changing the world with us, you can make a donation on the Give Clean Water website.
What if you could change the world?
Friday, May 4, 2012
If you are in San Diego, come join us. Once you cross the Coronado bridge, make your first right. At the first stop sign, make a right and take that street back to the parking lot where the park is. Walk towards the Coronado bridge and you will see a bunch of row boats on the shore. That is where we'll meet.
Bring a tripod if you have one. See you there!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tomorrow night I get to speak at God's Extended Hand to the Homeless, and Friday night at the San Diego Rescue Mission. As I anticipate all the people there in need of God's life-changing power, I can't help but think...how many miracle stories are going to be written in the lives of those at GEH, the SDRM, and Newbreak this weekend?
Standing by in anticipation...
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I have to say...it is such a privilege serving as a pastor at Newbreak Church. Our staff is full of some of the most talented, dedicated, and fun people around! Pastor Mike told me before I started working at Newbreak that we'd have a blast working together for the Kingdom of God. He wasn't kidding! I'm so blessed to be part of such a great staff!
So as my head is spinning with more sermon series ideas than my little brain can hold, I'm going to bed knowing that the rest of 2012 and 2013 are going to be amazing times in the life of our church! We will continue to shake the planet with God's love! It's the kind of forward thinking that we could never pull off on our own, but we know we'll never wear out God's capacity to do great things! He'll supply whatever is needed...just like he always does!
Are you ready for a great planet shaking journey with God?
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Yesterday was a great "full circle" day for me. I written a few times about my homeless friends who are no longer homeless. One of my favorite guys in the world, Michael, is doing great! He's been working for a special events business that specializes in hot dog, cotton candy, pop corn, funnel cake and other vending carts. They do lots of events around town and work and have been known to work the NASCAR circuit.
Michael worked for 30 years as an electrician, but dropped off the map of life for about 8 years. Well...he's back on the map now. He's the warehouse maintenance man and keeps all the cart in working order. He loves his job, and he loves the place where he lives! God has done a miracle in his life! The guy that owns the business is a real gift from God too!
Don't ever give up on those you love! God is always working and it's worth the wait to see the miracle that will unfold!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
|Rob Paparozzi, Me, Bernard Purdie|
Tonight was great, but it was nothing compared to this weekend, when you all will get a chance to get a glimpse of true greatness! No living legend could possibly compare to the one you could meet this weekend! This weekend is Easter and the living legend of all living legends will be at a church service waiting for you to be there. His name is Jesus!
I was super stoked my friend brought me to the drum clinic tonight. If he wouldn't have invited me, I would have missed it. The same thing goes for your friends this weekend. If you don't invite them to Easter services wherever you are, they will miss out on a life clinic beyond compare...an opportunity to experience the Savior of the world...an opportunity to maybe begin a relationship with Him...an opportunity for their life to finally make sense and have freedom, forgiveness, and purpose!
Invite your friends to be in the presence of greatness this weekend! Text them, email them, or call them right now. If you haven't been invited as you read this, then let me invite you to attend a church service wherever you are. If you are in San Diego, come to one of our 13 services at Newbreak Church!
Make it a priority to put yourself in the presence of greatness this weekend!
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Danny Davis, our Realtor over the past 12 years. Danny had sold both our previous houses in 1 day for full value. He also got us into new houses for the best value. We thought...let's try this.
Well, sure to his epic form, Danny listed our house on a Tuesday, and we sold it the next day! Three for three!... Plus he totally got top dollar again! We thought we were on our way. We had decided to rent a place for a while until we could settle on a new one. We have always felt we'd eventually end up more North, closer to our Mira Mesa Newbreak campus.
So we found a rental, close to where my office is located. It was perfect! The landlord was awesome! The only thing left to do was to have our appraisal done. We did that and continued to pray...and wait...and pray more...and wait more. The deal made sense, but "short sales" in our condo complex were pulling the comps down. So we prayed with great faith for the deal to go through, then waited some more.
Today, we got the news that the appraisal came in too low to make a deal. There was a brief sadness, but that was quickly replaced by great peace. Sheri and I figured that if we had so many Godly people praying for this deal to happen and it still didn't, God must have something amazing for us in our future. We have no idea what it is, but we are confident He does!
When God gives His final answer, it may not be what we like, but ultimately this is about HIS plans and purposes, not ours! His plans are perfect, and though we don't understand them, they will all make sense some day. So...life goes on...but not in a mediocre kind of way. It's a thrilling way in which we will anticipate the great things God has in store for us in our future!
Tonight, we will rest well. Tomorrow we'll wake up the same way we did today...looking forward to an amazing Easter weekend!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I can imagine when Jesus told his disciples that he must die and be raised from the dead on the third day, they were a little confused. When Friday came and he died, the wait till he rose on Sunday must have been full of all kinds of thoughts...some faith filled ones...some not so faith filled ones...but they waited and trusted.
It was on Sunday that their faith became sight. They SAW Jesus raised from the dead! Three days that seemed like forever became worth the wait when Jesus rose from the dead and PROVED he was the Son of God!
Our lives are similar to Jesus' disciples. Sometimes we have to wait and trust. We wait as we pray for family members to find a relationship with Jesus. We wait for that new job that takes forever to get. We wait for that new house that gets tied up in mortgage red tape. It seems like we're always waiting for something or someone!
But just because others are slow, it doesn't mean God is! He's always right on time! While the waiting IS the hardest part for us, God already has it all figured out. So pray, wait, and trust in Him.
What are you waiting for the Easter season?
Monday, April 2, 2012
If you look around, there are all kinds of blessings in our days. Take time to notice them...especially the unexpected ones!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
As I was driving around this week I got to see lots of interesting things. My back definitely took a pounding on the dirty, back roads of the poor communities in which we were serving. Every time I got to a paved road, I was thankful. I thought I'd share a little video with you to show you what I mean.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
It's great seeing familiar faces each month as our team serves the 4th Friday. There is a whole bunch of them ready to graduate from their one year program... more success stories of how God is transforming their lives! It just doesn't get any better than seeing a bunch of guys who used to be strung out and homeless who are now sober, and with purpose in their lives!
If you live in San Diego, you'll have to come with us some time. If you live outside San Diego, you should check out a Rescue Mission in your area and get involved some how. It's totally worth it!
I wanted to let you guys know that I won't be blogging from Sunday night to Thursday of this coming week. I'll be taking a few days of vacation time. I'll be back Friday ready to share again!
Thanks for all the kind words from those of you who are following my blog!
In the mean time, check out my photography website at www.tropicalphotosbylarson.com.
See you Friday!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The Optrix HD Sport case transforms your iPhone 4S/4/iPod into an HD action sports camera. It's like a Hero cam in iPhone format.
The Flashpoint 500 is a hard drive/memory card reader in one. Great for the field or trips.
Best Electric Razor ever! The Panasonic Arc 4! Smooth and closer than a blade!
That's why it's important to have a group of people who will be there with you in the process. You'll need people praying for you, and giving you wise counsel along the way. You'll need strong people of faith in your life. They will be the ones who will be a part of your encouragement team. I like that team! They are helpful to the process.
There will also be a group of people looking to be a part of your journey who are not so helpful. It seems like every audacious faith journey is filled with at least a few people who think you need a discouragement team. In their own weird way, they might think they are doing you a favor. When they speak, they want their world of fear to become yours. They'll be the ones who try and talk you out of going somewhere on a mission trip because they are afraid to go. They are not so helpful to the process.
Although others may choose to live their lives in fear, God never has that plan for us. So...let God help you build your team of faith...and minimize, tolerate, smile, and speak God's potential into team fearful.
Living a life of audacious faith is way more fun and fulfilling!
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The class will be taught by a good buddy and photography mentor of mine, Fred Greaves. Fred is an award winning photographer who will teach you all about your camera. He'll help you get your camera out of the "Auto" mode and really start capturing some great images.
As a follow up to the class, you'll be able to sign up for a free 2 hour photo shoot at La Jolla Cove with me. We'll take what Fred teaches us into the field for some "hands-on" practice.
Spread the word! Bring a friend! Let's have some fun with our cameras!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I've been with our pastors and directors for a couple of days of planning for our church. We have such an awesome staff at Newbreak! This is going to be an great rest of the year!
I want to share a idea from our lead pastor. He was speaking of our faith journey being like a big puzzle box. If you've ever put a puzzle together you know that it's way easier to put it together if you have the box cover. That's where you'll find the picture of what the puzzle should look like.
Here is the idea: Jesus has the box cover, we have the puzzle pieces. Most of the time we can't see the box cover, but by faith we still have to put the pieces of the puzzle of life together. Sometimes it takes a quite a while to figure out how all the pieces fit together. It can even be very frustrating!
As we walk in faith and continue to put the pieces together, we start to get an idea of what the finalized puzzle will look like. We begin to see clarity take shape.
The great news is that Jesus totally knows what the puzzle will look like. Not only is He holding the box cover, but He created the picture on the box cover! We can take great comfort in that, especially when we experience times in our lives when the puzzle pieces just don't seem to be going together well.
In those times, remember this is only a puzzle to us! God holds the box cover!
I was with our worship pastor and some of our church staff today and we were talking about worship. He spoke of a worship concept that really made me think, and I totally agreed with it.
I tend to be a very calculated person. It's a part of my wiring to care about details, sometimes to a fault. One of my biggest challenges toward being more versatile is learning to be more spontaneous. So what our worship pastor shared was definitely something I'd like to grow into and champion.
Here's what he challenged us with..."in worship, let the first draft come from the heart and let the second draft come from the head." What he meant was that we tend to get this the other way around. We tend to think about worship in a calculated way first, then try to get our heart into it. Today's worship experience with our staff was a challenge to let the first draft come from our hearts, from a spontaneous place where we could simply meet God where we were at.
I have to tell you...for a calculated person like me, this was a challenge, but it was very liberating! A core value of mine is to strive to live a life of balance, not letting the pendulum swing to far in either direction. I know my heart still has room to move toward more spontaneity and I will look forward to the journey of meeting God in that place.
Heart first...head second.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
It's only been a week of clean and sober for him, but there was a huge break through before the weekend. He actually was offered a job and a place to stay. The job was for a maintenance position for a event vendor here in town. His first job was fixing all the electrical problems in their warehouse. My buddy was super excited because before he was homeless, he was a journeyman electrician for almost 30 years. This guy totally knows his stuff. Over time though, he had lost confidence in himself.
Well, he totally amazed the owner of the company when he installed a brand new breaker panel, and fixed a bunch of the vendor stands. He did such a great job that he was offered a permanent job! Plus, there is a small apartment inside the warehouse my buddy gets to live in.
The greatness of this is, this is the first time in 8 years he's actually worked a real job instead of holding a sign on the street corner. This is the first time he's live in anything besides a tent under a bush...besides when he stays at my house, and his time in the San Diego Rescue Mission. Development is starting to manifest itself.
This is the forth homeless person who has come to our church, and is now mainstreamed back into society with a real job and a home to live in. That is super cool! It makes all the effort worth it. God is totally changing their lives and it's amazing. So I write this to celebrate with each of you who has played a part in this recovery situation. Your consistent love and prayers have made a difference!
Never quit loving and praying!
Friday, March 9, 2012
Rather, the goal is to restore people to a full expression of humanness, to being what God created us all to be, people who glorify God by living in right relationships with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
First person to guess what beach we're at wins a print of your choice (up to 12X18) from my website www.tropicalphotosbylarson.com.
One guess per person. You must guess in the comments section of my blog. I'll announce the winner in my next blog.
Good luck. Have an Epic San Diego day tomorrow!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I have to say, after all these years of being with her, my love for her just keeps getting stronger. She is absolutely my best friend and I love spending every moment I can with her. She is the most amazing, loving, thoughtful, selfless, caring, devoted person I've ever met. Every day I thank God for her!
I may not get everything right in my life, but 31 years ago when I said "I Promise"...I totally got that right! I love you Sheri!
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
From a big picture view, you can see the changes that took someone from "most every day was bad" to "most every day is pretty good." But the day-to-day journey is filled with much frustration.
As relationships develop, consistency, boundaries, and tough love must go hand in hand. Quick types of relief like some spare change, a warm shower, or a night out of the cold, must ultimately transition into rehabilitation and development. If not, those things will only temporarily revive the addict for brief amounts of time, usually making them feel 6 foot 10 and bullet proof. They will always believe that they've had their last drink, only to be thrust back into surroundings that breed more failures. The cycle never seems to end. But I have to remember that God created them for way more than this! So, I keep speaking this into them until the light bulb turns on in their lives.
This week, I picked up a guy who was in pretty bad shape, gave him a hot shower, and a warm bed for the night. Though he had not taken a drink in 24 hours, the effects of alcohol poisoning were taking its toll. It's hard to watch a guy with cold sweats and the shakes, but it's all a part of the process of healing. The tough love part was sending him back to his home...a tent down by the river...while he was still withdrawing. Although I wanted to keep him, I knew that wasn't the best thing for him. What he really needs is to check into a recovery program that will help him with counseling, job training, and the ability to become all God has created him to be. This week, he wasn't ready to do that.
The good news was, he called me today and was feeling much better and thanked me. He is talking like he is close to seeking the help he needs...checking into the San Diego Rescue Mission. Until he's ready for that, I'll keep being his friend, dispensing God's love, but being OK with tough loving him towards the healing he needs. Maybe next week will be his week!
Who will you speak God's love and purpose into this week? It doesn't have to be a homeless guy, but someone in your life needs to hear it. Maybe this will be their week!
Monday, March 5, 2012
Although the Samsung w200 has a more rugged and larger body, much of that is due to the fact that it is waterproof up to 10 feet. This would make for a great pool or snorkeling camcorder. There is a white balance setting for underwater too.
In head-to-head outdoor video shooting, the Samsung is richer in color. Both have image stabilization and do a pretty good job with that. In low light shooting, the Samsung is still richer in color. The Bloggie did a poor job with color in low light. The Samsung also uses a micro SD card so you don't have to worry about running out of memory, as long as you have enough memory cards.
After shooting both, I choose the Samsung over the Sony. Easier menu options, micro SD memory, waterproof, and richer color make it my winner. Both are available at Costco.
I have to say that my Canon s95 point and shoot camera does an even better job with video, as does my iPhone. But if you need a cheap, waterproof option, the Samsung w200 can be a great choice.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
It has a built in level for leveling your horizons. You can adjust focus and exposure separately. You have 1 tap sharing to your favorite social media sites. There are special effects, an "Awesomize" button for auto correcting, and a cool video feature...so cool you'll have to check it out for yourself. There's even more than this!
Did you miss it the first time? This is a FREE app. So what are you waiting for? I'm not sure if this comes in a Droid app, but I'm sure it will soon.
There is one more phone camera app that I love. It's called SnapSeed. It's a very powerful little app. It comes in iPhone and Droid versions, and was just released for Windows.
Have fun making awesome photos and videos with your phone!
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Not much was said about the unlikely hero of the story, except that he had a 1st century happy meal, and he was willing to give it to Jesus so he could do some big-time math. But it struck me that the unlikely hero was a little boy...not Jesus' disciples, not someone important in the crowd, not the owner of the local market, just a little boy.
From the little boy's perspective, what could he possibly do to satisfy everyone's hunger? It seemed like a drop in the bucket with his little lunch. But he didn't let the smallness of his lunch keep him from doing something that he could do. He could for sure share what he had. He was cool with letting Jesus do the rest. You see, Jesus is really good at multiplication! We do the simple math, He does the complicated multiplication.
So, what do you have that God might use to build His kingdom? Time? Talent? Treasure? It may not seem like much to you, but when you give it to Jesus, He can turn it into a big time multiplication miracle...with leftovers!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The opposite is true too. The more you exercise, the better you feel, and the more motivated your are to keep exercising. That's because when you exercise, your body produces endorphins that cause your body to feel good.
Usually my exercise cycle gets broken by too busy of a schedule, or catching a cold or something. I'll be cruising along, working out, and feeling great...then something comes along to break my rhythm and and I skip a few days. It doesn't take long before the funk sets in...I don't feel like working out...and the funk goes on.
I learned a long time ago that when I begin to feel like this, I have to push myself past my "lack of desire" and just go workout! Immediately I start to feel better! It's a discipline thing.
Can anyone relate to this?
For more ideas on "Fighting the Funk", check out this blog.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
website on metallic paper and it really popped!
You should give it a try some time.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Why does this matter? There are lots of places in the world that have problems with crime, including our own city of San Diego. Every night there are shootings, car jackings, gang violence, burglaries, and more. Yet, San Diego is one of the best places to live and visit in the world. If people were freaked out by the news, nobody would ever come to San Diego, or any other big city.
The truth is...San Diego is a big place, and most parts are perfectly safe to travel in. There are certain parts and times of the day where you use more caution, but in general, one moves very safely in the city. Now imagine the whole USA. You can move very freely and safely in most of the USA. We live by faith every day on this fact.
So why is it that a giant country like Mexico gets a bad rap. Yes, Mexico has big cities just like the US where crime happens, but most of the country is fine to travel through. Ask my buddies who rode their bikes across Mexico last year. They said the people were awesome!
Now take a big city like Tijuana. It's as big as San Diego county. Does Tijuana have crime? Yes...just like San Diego. But Tijuana is a BIG place! I just got back from a mission trip to Tijuana and I still had people tell me they couldn't believe I'd go there. When I hear that, my reaction is always...really?...I do it all the time and never have a problem.
For me, Mexico is my crosswalk. I look at the crosswalk, push the button, and walk across the street. Thousands of times... never an incident... it's about faith, not fear. We all do it every day if you think about it.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
|Martha, Alexa, & Daniela|
It was quite amazing to me that Pastor Haros was not only laying a spiritual foundation for Martha's family, but also laying a physical foundation for her family's house. Martha's first memory of her neighborhood church was of a man of God who didn't just talk about God's love, but he first demonstrated it. Pastor Haros was "earning the right to be heard." That was inspiring to me!
Each of us would do well to follow in the steps of Pastor Haros. Will we be the ones who will not only speak of God's love to someone this week, but we'll model it as well? What foundation will you lay in someone's life?
Monday, February 20, 2012
The neighborhood we were in was on a hillside that overlooked a dairy with hundreds of cows. It was a picturesque setting, but one full of poverty everywhere we looked. Martha and her two girls, Daniela and Alexa, were super sweet! As we worked, they looked on with excited anticipation as they were seeing their new house being built right before their eyes.
Each day as we finished working, Martha would clean up the exterior and interior of the house, already taking such pride of ownership. This morning, we finished up a second coat of stucco and then had a house dedication. We presented Martha with the keys to her new house, and prayed a blessing over her and her kids. It was an awesome moment!
Today as we were finishing, another church group from Washington state came and started 5 more houses. Right around the corner, a Chinese church was finishing up their houses. We were all right in the middle of a complete community transformation. These houses were all practical expressions of God's love to this community and a gift from the local church in Tijuana. Amor Ministries made it all possible! It was an AWESOME weekend!
Now for all you Mexico haters who can't believe anyone would go to MEXICO because you think it's way too dangerous. Well...once again...my experience tells me something VERY different! Just like all of the other hundreds of times (probably into the thousands now) I've been in Mexico, we were completely safe the entire time! So my challenge for you is this...quit living your life in fear and start living your life in faith! God shows up big time when we live in audacious faith, not fear!
As for me and our Newbreak team this weekend...we can't wait to go back and do it again! You should join us!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
One of the key concepts of the book is discerning when Relief, Rehabilitation, or Development should be implemented. Getting this wrong is often why poverty alleviation efforts do more harm than good.
Relief is the urgent and temporary provision of emergency aid to reduce suffering from a natural or man made crisis. Not very many people are trained to implement this well, although most opt for this method.
Rehabilitation begins as soon as the bleeding stops, and works with victims. This takes time and is often avoided.
Development is a process of ongoing change that moves both the "helpers" and the "helped" closer to being in a right relationship with God, self, others, and the rest of creation. Development is not done to people, it is done with people. This takes even more time and is often avoided.
All of these methods are important, but each one is very specific in its function. For instance, relief is appropriate for immediate Tsunami relief, but can be more hurtful than good for people who really need rehabilitation or development.
If we are to really help the poor, we must choose methods well. This book is full of specific ways to do it. It will really challenge us to rethink some things we might believe are true. Read it, and let's lead well! Let's be a part of the solution to eradicating poverty, not contribute more to it!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Go ahead and click on the link and that will take you to their home page. Run your cursor over the photo and watch the dramatic results! And yes...these are real results. This software is amazing and very easy to use. You have complete control over every part of a person's face. You can whiten eyes and teeth, take out wrinkles, take off shine, pucker the lips...I mean you can do everything!
So the next time you see that perfect person on the cover of a magazine, be assured they don't look that way in real life. Now that said, most everyone who gets the VIP treatment with Portrait Professional loves the results! I've never had anyone say, "Oh...I look too good in that shot!" LOL!
I don't mean to cost you money when you read my blogs. I'm just trying to keep it real! Real is where it's at! But if you need to dress up for the party and you can't afford your own makeup artist, don't worry...there's always Portrait Professional.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Right before Jesus died for all of us, he told his disciples this. He said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)
I love being part of a church that loves each other, our city, and our world!
So tomorrow when people ask me, "What did you do for Valentine's day?"...I'm going to tell them that me and the rest of our awesome church got to radically love a bunch of people in Jesus' name! We loved the kids and teachers at Hage, and we got to rescue dozens of girls from the sex traffic trade in India!
Come have some fun loving our city and the world with us! www.newbreak.org
Monday, February 13, 2012
Newbreak Church, the local church in Tijuana, and Amor Ministries.
I LOVE these trips! They are so life changing for everyone involved. Not only will Martha and her family have their lives changed, but our team's lives will be changed forever! It's something that never gets old for me. Now Martha will be able to focus her attention on feeding and educating her children, instead of fighting off the rain and the cold every day. I can't wait to present her with the keys to her new home!
Friday, February 10, 2012
We decided we'd watch the fastest cars from closest side of the track. I mean...we were right up on top of these monsters. The mechanics had worked all day for this moment, when these cars (rockets with wheels) would travel down a 1000 foot track at speeds of 310 mile per hour in less than 4 seconds. It takes your breath away!
This particular race looked like it would be awesome. Both drivers were ready to go. The countdown began and both cars took off like rocket ships. At about 800 feet, both of them blew their engines. All that work...all that hype...and they could barely limp to the finish line in a cloud of smoke...Fail!
There were other races where cars zipped pass the finish line at full speed and needed to be slowed down by 2 parachutes. The blown engine race lacked something the winners had...a great finish!
Life can be like that sometimes, especially our relationship with God. We may start out well and have the promise of a champion, but somewhere along the way, we have a blow out and find ourselves barely limping to the finish line.
God never meant for any of us to limp through life to the finish line! He wants us to use all our time, talents, and treasures for His purposes. He wants us to hit the finish line of life at full speed, having lived a life of planet shaking faith that changed the world by connecting it to God's love!
The question is, will you be a good finisher? Will you live a life of planet shaking faith?
Thursday, February 9, 2012
It's true! Can you imagine living in a tent in the middle of nowhere, a mile away from the nearest restroom, and you ate something with hi-fiber content. Oh boy! You might as well give them some ex-lax and tell them it's chocolate.
Now you have a little more info on how to help the homeless. Have fun loving them with God's love!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
In a world where one can buy a 59 cent beer at the local liquor store, $2 for one that will sedate an elephant, or call the "pizza man" and get any drug delivered right to your tent, the surroundings of the streets present many challenges and temptations for the homeless. Match that with a desperateness that is always looking for a next meal, and you've got a recipe for a crazy cycle of wanting to "break out" and "trapped" all in one.
Some of the best things I've learned about helping the homeless are the great programs available to them, like the San Diego Rescue Mission. They have a one-year, live-in program designed to take someone off the streets and mainstream them back into society. Program graduates will be clean and sober, moved into transitional, sober living housing, and helped with finding jobs. Most importantly, they'll find out about a God who loves them, died for them, forgives them, and has great plans for them!
Our job simply is to be the ones who point them to the God that loves them. With much frustration, I've learned that the homeless have to be ready to change. They usually have to get "sick and tired of being sick and tired." But through consistent love, and always pointing them toward help, LIVES DO CHANGE!
So...don't give up on loving them and pointing them in the right direction. When they are ready, they'll know where to go because you will have consistently shown them God's unconditional love. Maybe it will be the Rescue Mission, or some other great program like it. I'll tell you one thing...when you see them change from where they were...most days being terrible...to where they are after graduating from Rescue Missions...saved, and most days being great...you'll know it was all worth the roller coaster!
Have fun loving with God's unconditional love!
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I've learned by hanging out with them. For one, they are just like you and me. Sure, they might have lived harder lives, but they are all God's children. In our own way, we're just as banged up as they are, just in a more "tidy" and "socially acceptable" way.
So here is tip number one for helping the homeless. Most of us drive by at least a few on any given day. You might see them in front of a store, or on the corner. We have all kinds of thoughts that go through our heads as we pass them, but occasionally we come up with a brilliant idea and actually try to help them! That is a good thing. God loves the poor!
|No crunchy bars!|
Gift cards are good, but not to a grocery store. You might as well just buy them a beer. Fast food gift certificates are good. They like subway too. Mac & Cheese...now you're talking!
Speaking of talking, that's what many of them like the most. Not many people actually talk to them. Not all of them are mentally ill. Many are quite nice.
Anyway, they'd want you all to know this stuff, so there you go.
Monday, February 6, 2012
There are lots of awesome ways of helping the poor in the world. With water borne diseases being the number on killer in the world, I'm super stoked of what we're doing in Fiji through Give Clean Water! It's such a simple, cost effective, and highly effective way of solving the biggest health problem in the world!
Today I spoke with our team in Fiji, and three guys who will soon be joining the Give Clean Water team in Fiji for 8 weeks. We're planning out our next visit to Nanoko village. This village is the one recently on quarantine due to a typhoid outbreak. We'll soon give clean water to all 107 houses in that village. We're also planning on installing filters in 2 schools that have been shut down due to poor water quality. These schools are located on Fiji's second largest island.
With GCW teams scheduled for March, June, August, and October, we'll make a big dent in Fiji's rural water problem this year! If you'd like to go on one of these amazing trips, visit the Give Clean Water trips part of the website for all the details. It will be a week you'll never forget!
What if you could change the world?
Saturday, February 4, 2012
|Recent Flooding in Fiji|
When we started Give Clean Water 3.5 years ago, we knew we had a great challenge ahead of us...to Give Clean Water to everyone in Fiji who needs it. Well...we are well on our way to doing that. New partnerships are developing as we speak that will change Fiji's water situation for good...one family and one filter at a time.
I'm grateful to everyone who is part of this journey. What we are doing MATTERS, and IS making a difference!
What if you could change the world? No excuses! You can!