Showing posts from August, 2010

Count your BLESSINGS!

Every day from 7 AM to 3 PM our host family in Daund, India could rely on one thing - no electricity. India cannot generate enough electricity to meet the demands of its people, so rolling blackouts are a part of life. In addition to these scheduled blackouts, the loss of power can also occur at other times. This happened on our last morning in Daund (ever try shaving by flashlight?). The power went out around 4 AM and, I am guessing it stayed out until at least 3 PM that day. What amazed me is how the Indian people take it all in stride. If that were to happen here in the U. S. --- you can just imagine the public outcry!

This (among many other things) reminded me of just how much we have here in the States. We are so wealthy compared to much of the world. Yet we can so easily find things to gripe and complain about, can't we? Let me encourage you to count your blessings today - among which are the many things you (and I) take for granted (like reliable electrical service, clean w…

Joy and Sorrow!

During my time in India I experienced a lot of joy - the first dose of which occurred when I saw the boys lined up to greet us as we entered the CFI campus. Even though I was about to collapse from fatigue (36 hours of continuous travel with little sleep will do that to a person!), when I got out of the vehicle and began walking down the path between the two column of boys all shouting, "Hello Uncle!" - I found the adrenaline that began rushing through my veins made me forget all about my tired body and foggy mind. Oh was it was good to be back at CFI! However, no sooner had I begun to soak in the joy, I was forced to confront a reality that brought great sadness. "Uncle," several of the older boys cried out to me, "Sarug, gone!" These boys knew that for nine years (since Sarug arrived at CFI as a hurting and hungry 6 year old), my wife and I had been Sarug's sponsor. Sarug, however was now gone. He had run away a few times in the past year and when h…

Back Home!

When Ted Long (one of the India team members who remained with me in India when the rest of the team left last Thursday night to return to the States) and I left our hotel in Bombay Monday evening (8:30 pm Bombay time; 11:00 Monday morning Lancaster time) - we were more than ready to get home. Both of our flights (Bombay to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Newark) were on time. Once on the ground in Newark, we breezed through immigration, baggage claim and customs. We only had to wait 20 minutes to connect with our ride ... and we were home by about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon. I couldn't quite see straight at that point (I had only slept about an hour on the plane). But I saw straight enough to know I was back in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of home!

Going to India always stretches me. And this trip perhaps a little more as I struggled a good bit with my health (which is not the norm for me). But at the end of the day, God proved Himself strong and faithful - as He always does. I…

Madder than a Wet Hen!

The expression "Madder than a wet hen" comes from the fact that chickens in no way like to find themselves in water. And if they do happen to fall into the drink, they flap and cluck, doing all they can to get out (to say chickens don't swim very well would be an understatement!).

Earlier this week, 34 year old Omar S. Thornton was called into a meeting with his employer. Thornton had been caught on video tape stealing beer from the company. At this particular meeting, he was given the choice of resigning his job or being fired. He chose the former. Then on his way out, he pulled a couple of handguns out of his lunch box and opened fire. His rampage led to the deaths of 9 people, including himself (he committed suicide).

In the aftermath of this horrendous act, questions have been raised as to the motives of the shooter. According to his own testimony (recorded on a 911 call he made after shooting his victims and just prior to the taking of his own life), Thornton claimed …

Are Our Prayers Really All That Important?

I don't know how it is with you, but all too often I find that my "prayer life" stinks. Really. I know I should pray. I know I should pray more. But the urgent tasks of my busy life will often crowd out the truly important activities - one the most important being that of communing with my Father in heaven (for more on this "tyranny of the urgent" I encourage you to pick up and read the little booklet by that name written by Charles E. Hummel - it's a great read!).

This morning as I was reading through 1 Peter, I was convicted of my "prayerlessness." In particular it was the following verse that the Spirit of God used to get my attention:

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray" (1 Peter 4:7)

When Peter mentions that the "end of all things is near," he is referring to the return of Christ and the end of this world as we know it now. In light of the fact that Christ's r…

One Way to Make a Point!

All of us have been in either a store, a restaurant or some other public place when a young child(ren) have run wild! When I see that, I feel sorry for these kids. If they don't learn self control when they are young there are heading for nothing but trouble later in life.

I am sure that retailers and restaurant managers grow weary of asking parents to "corral " their out-of-control offspring. But one restaurant management of an eatery I recently visited sought to be proactive from the moment people walked in their door. Hanging prominently adjacent to their front reception desk was a cute sign that read, "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy." The sign, meant to be humorous, was this restaurants way of saying, "Parents, please keep your child in check!"

Parenting has always been challenging ... perhaps never more than it is today. But it is a challenge worth "grabbing by the horns!" Children are a gift from God (see…

Talk about Greed!

How much do you think a city manager of a 36,000 resident city should be paid? Before answering this question, consider these figures: The President of the United States (population 350 million) is paid $400,000 per year. The salary level of the Mayor of New York City (population 8.3 million) is set at $195,000 per year (although billionaire Mayor Bloomberg receives only $1.00 per year in salary as he declines the city's salary). The city manager of Los Angeles (population over 4 million) earns a $200,000 salary. Now, given these figures back to my original question: How much do you think a city manager of a 36,000 resident city should be paid? I hope you are sitting down for this answer. Robert Rizzo, the city manager of Bell, California (population 36,522 - 2009 estimate), makes an astonishing $787,637 a year! That's right! He makes $387, 637 more than the President! And his salary level is set at over $500,000 above the salary levels of the Mayor of NYC and the City Ma…

Worship the Resurrected Christ!

If you have a few minutes ... or even if you don't ... I would encourage you to watch this video. World renown artist, Ron DiCianni talks about his two year project of painting the largest mural in the world of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Wow! This is incredible! Praise God we serve, love, trust, obey and worship a LIVING SAVIOR!

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