Moving Article by Gordon MacDonald on How a Loving Bible Teacher Prepared Him for His Latest Health Challenge

I love the writing of Gordon MacDonald. I owe that man a debt of gratitude. I heard about his health condition today and will be praying for a full recovery for him as he has a benign tumor in his brain that will have to be removed. Gordon wrote this powerful piece for Christianity Today regarding a childhood teacher whose strict instruction in the scriptures prepared him for this very moment in his life. It is a moving read and a powerful reminder for those of us who spend time teaching the scriptures to people. You can read it here

When the Doctor Calls


Mother Talks About The Blessing of Her Blind Baby Boy

This is really touching…

I don’t know if it was because I saw this super late at night after a tiring day of working on our bathroom or what but I nearly shed a tear.

A Must Read Post – Blaming God for Cancer

I ran across a blog last week that I wanted to share with you all. It is a blog by Ryan Woods who is a minister and church planter in Vancouver, Washington. He has terminal cancer and is sharing his thoughts along the way. Ryan is a young guy who has a lot to share from his unique perspective. I have found it helpful in dealing with some of life’s tougher questions. His most recent post is called Blaming God for Cancer and it is profoundly helpful and insightful. He is honest. He asks the right questions. He is humble. He shares things we all will need to hear at some point in time either from the standpoint of personal suffering or suffering of loved ones. So have a read when you get a chance…

Blaming God for Cancer

Ryan is speaking at the Exponential Conference in Orlando this week. You can read more about Ryan here and about the Exponential Church Planting conference here.

Last, pray for Ryan and his family when you are done with this post.

Seasonal Flu Beats Swine Flu 36,000 to 1

Did you know that influenza kills 36,000 annually in the U.S.? The swine flu has killed 1 in the U.S. I know which one I am more concerned about. Link. I wonder when the World Health Organization is going to put regular influenza at level 6.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding put it this way – “Given the size of L.A. County, given the traffic between here and Mexico, it would be very surprising if we didn’t have any cases…So it would also not be surprising if there were deaths with swine flu — even if it had the pattern of seasonal flu…Thus far, the pattern we see in the United States is very similar to that of seasonal flu — relatively mild to moderate cases.”

Sex Ed is Not Working – 1 in 4 Teenage Girls Have at Least 1 STD

There is a tremendous push to have us believe all we need is more sex education in the schools. With this new study out showing that 25% of teenage girls between 14-19 are infected with at least 1 sexually transmitted disease it is clearer than ever that sex ed just isn’t working. 15% of those studied had multiple STD’s. That is just shocking. Throw in these stats from the 2005 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey with that and the picture is even more bleak:

46.8% of high school students have had sex.
14.3% have had sex with at least 4 people.
33.9% are currently sexually active.
62.8% used a condom the last time they had sex.
87.9% say they had been educated about HIV and AIDS in a school class (sex education).

Clearly it isn’t working. The “all we need is sexual education” crowd says education is all these young people need. When 9 out of 10 know the risks, 6 in 10 practiced what they were taught (use a condom), and 1 in 4 has a disease that can result in death, infertility, and life long consequences the message is clear – sex ed doesn’t work because kids aren’t mature enough to make these kinds of decisions. The bottom line is that kids understand pleasure more than they can grasp long term consequences and risk levels. If an educator hears that what they are doing is resulting in this kind of mess how can they keep from teaching the only responsible thing to teach? Abstinence.

So Many Connections and So Little Connection

How many ways can someone contact you during any given day?  We have more ways to be connected than ever before: phones, cell phones, pagers, email, faxes, letters, internet (including blogging, facebook, myspace,,, flickr, friendster, LinkedIn, Twitter, Xanga, and about 500 other options…). We have never had this many ways to find people and be connected ever before. When I look through my facebook, I see people from high school, college, mission trips, graduate school, work, etc. all in one place. If you need to get in touch with someone there is almost no escaping it any more. When I was on call in the hospital during graduate school I thought I was really something. They gave me a pager to wear, which I thought was pretty amazing. Then I found out that people actually page you and expect you to answer and do something for them. Being connected all the time was not as much fun as I first thought.

Things have gotten so crazy that you can even slap a phone to the side of your head and talk away “hands free.” That is a schizophrenic’s dream – just put on bluetooth and no one will know you are actually talking to yourself! You have probably experienced the awkward moment when someone is looking right at you and talking…you figure they are trying to tell you something but they are just talking on the phone. I saw a couple the other day at Wal-mart and I thought they were married because they were standing next to each other talking back and forth…little did I know they both had bluetooth. I figured it out when they went their separate ways!

With all of these means for connection, how connected are we? It used to be that people had a few dozen connections and know those people extremely well. Today many of us have hundreds if not thousands of people that we are connected to in a very limited way. We don’t really know people like we used to because we give 1000 different people .1% each. What is the result? Community has been destroyed. Relationships are loosely connected even between husbands and wives, parents and children, ministers and Christians. What does that say about the relationship with have with God? How connected have we stayed with him? Have we realized that prayer is still the most important and effective means of communication that has outpaced any technology that the world has ever or will ever see?

How have you remained connected with God and others in a generation that has remained so loosely connected?

The Disease of Convenience

I have often thought of Type II Diabetes as the “Disease of Convenience.” That is more to keep myself from eating the things that will take me that route than it is entirely true. When I am in a rush I tend to eat and drink things that are not the best for me. That is fine from time to time but to make that a steady diet leaves me sluggish, malnourished and always hungry. I am not diabetic and hope that I never will be. Its effects can be pretty devastating to the body.

I think there are some pretty significant spiritual parallels to the “disease of convenience” concept. Spiritually speaking the effects are the same – sluggish, malnourished, and always hungry to be filled but never consuming that which satisfies. If not held in check it can lead to an untimely demise. The source can also be the same. We can get in such a hurry that we leave out the important things. When we do that our lives will have a void that we can try to fill with the empty calories of a “quick fix.” We may pursue a new hobby, sport or television show. But without God we will never find satisfaction and true spiritual health.

God is the solution. The problem is God’s fix is not as convenient as the “alternatives.” That may be why so many people avoid God and try everything else first. Look at Moses. It took him waiting over 40 years of herding sheep before finding his purpose through God. You cannot be in a hurry with God. You cannot expect him to operate according to your timetable. 2 Peter 3:9 says, ” The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God’s pace is not always our pace. We are used to instant this and microwavable that. If you don’t like the show you are watching try one of the other 500 options. Not so with God. God does not operate out of a convenience mentality. He doesn’t pad and insulate our lives from all problems and inconveniences. Instead he actually brings our lives directly into contact with many of them. Why? Because he knows that convenience kills. What good is a pot that has not passed through the fire? What value is gold that is full of impurities? What good are our lives if make convenience the gold standard of making decisions? I am glad Jesus didn’t take the easy route. I am glad he didn’t ask himself, “which of these options would be most convenient?”