Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Well here it is. The famous Cafe' du Monde. It's an open air place - kind of classy and dirty and loud, all at the same time. It is open 24-7-365 and has been since it opened in 1862. You get 3 beignets for about $1.50 and a cafe au lait (kind of a latte) is just over a dollar. And nothing compares! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

What happens in N.O. won't stay in N.O.

Well, here's Robert. What else can I say?

Robert is a former truck driver.

He's part of our Motorcycle ministry -- and is very "at home" on a Harley Davidson.

But what happens when you take a truck driven motorcyclist to New Orleans and give him his first cafe au lait? THIS!

Well, sorry Robert -- what happens in New Orleans doesn't stay in New Orleans because your pastor will most certainly blab about it! ha!

I'll definitely show this picture tonight!


So, tonight at New Community I will show some pictures of our most recent trip to Katrina ravaged Pass Christian. One evening, we went into New Orleans for coffee at the famous Cafe' du Monde -- we had bignets and cafe au lait -- wonderful! After coffee we walked a bit and found this mask store. I chatted with the store owner, and found out that his name is "Jesus" -- that's always wierd to me, but it shouldn't be -- that's a very common name outside of the U.S. And New Orleans is kind of outside the U.S.!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

All Things Kenna

Well, my little friend and daughter has started a blog of her own. So, check it out -- I think you'll like it!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Way to go - Greg! Talk about giving your all!

The house will be forever marked by your painting -- a gift of love!

Thanks to Ellen, too!

Greg's one request was to work on drywall, and avoid painting and other finish work...

And of course, the need was there, and Greg immediately jumped up and filled the need: painting and laying the floor.

Self-less -- what a dude! You're an inspiration and a self-less leader, JeeKay!

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Navy & The Amish

Wow - what a thought!

Alan and I were looking across the dining hall at Camp Gospel in Pass Christian, MS, and commenting on one very unusual combination.

Alan said: "Look how the Navy Officers from Annapolis (a large group of volunteers under the leadership of Campus Crusade) and the Amish dudes are hanging out together". We agreed that that's just not normal. Peace loving folks and trained warriors don't normally play and laugh and eat together...

Alan commented: "No where else do people from such varying backgrounds hang out and enjoy each other like this..."

And then it hit me..."except in heaven!"

Isaiah 11:6 (NCV) Then wolves will live in peace with lambs, and leopards will lie down to rest with goats...

There is something amazing when you are on mission together: you get along.

This proves itself true over and over: When people work shoulder to shoulder, they don't fight or bicker, or complain. Instead, they laugh and love and life is good.

That's a lesson we can all learn!

I miss my Amish and Navy friends! Heaven will be so cool!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Leo - the drywall master!
Just think, if you were to cut a hole in your wall -- what if this were looking out at you?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Most Amazing Girls on the Planet!

Here they are - my two girls!
They joined me on this trip to Pass Christian, and of course, I was hoping they'd work, but being 12 and nearly 15, you never know...
But they worked! They were so awesome!
By the 3rd day, they were slinging screws like seasoned veterans!
Leo and I would cut and hang the sheetrock (with a couple of screws) and the girls would follow and complete the job! For hours on end they worked without complaining!
I'm not sure I've ever been so proud in all my life! Way to go, girls!

It's Worth It!

So, here is the proud owner of a brand new house in Pass Christian, Mississippi. We first saw her house last Monday morning: it was framed in and weathered, but just studs throughout the house.
When we finished on Thursday evening, we had installed insulation throughout, and completed the drywall (aside from the bathrooms -- they still needed some plumbing - anyone know a good plumber?).
A ton of work - and lot's of fun!
And on the last day, we brought Sarah, her daughter and mother up into their new house, so they could see how it's coming along.
We prayed together, that God would give them great family time together, and that laughter would fill the hallways and that God's spirit would be a comforting presence.
After prayer, there is Sarah, crying.
You know, when people are hit with such hardship, they in turn often get hardened themselves: they feel that no one cares, and they begin to focus on what is wrong...
And then you pray. And God's Spirit speaks -- and hearts melt!
We worked hard -- I mean hard! And in turn, we received an amazing gift: front row seats to seeing Sarah touched by God himself! And she felt God's love! And up close, we got a chance to view someone very thankful and overwhelmed! That's cool!
Thanks God, for using us!

Welcome Home!

Well, here we are! Check out the floor and the walls! You may remember that under the direction of Jim Moline and his amazing framing crew, we built a couple of houses last January. This is one of them.
And we had the privilege of painting the inside and laying a beautiful floor throughout! The house is nearly finished!
Not only did we paint, do flooring and hang lights, but we were privileged to work on another house too! Over there, we installed insulation and then drywalled the entire house!
What a week! And what a crew!
The premise under which I've worked continues to prove itself true: When people work side by side on a mission, they grow close to each other!
Here's a rag tag group of people from a variety of different backgrounds -- and after only a day or so of working alongside each other, we felt like brothers and sisters -- brothers and sisters who loved each other!
Here's the deal: Do you want to have good friends? Then commit yourself to Mission Living -- and you'll find amazing friendship as a byproduct. Plus, you'll do the world and the cause of Christ a whole lot of good! To God be the glory!

Friday, March 9, 2007

A Little Bit of Everything!

Wow -- how cool is this?

Our team met each other on Wednesday night, and introduced ourselves to one another.

On the team there is...

1 Paramedic (just in case!)

1 Dental Hygenist (in case we bust our teeth)

1 Physical Therapist (for those sore muscles)

1 Pastor (for emergency sermon giving)

Some of the team are new to CrossRoads, and others are old, uh, they've been here awhile.

There are some men, a woman and two teen girls.

I think that we've pretty much got all of the bases covered.

Uh, none of us are professional carpentry people. But that won't be a problem! We've got passion!

Those who couldn't go have provided us with a 15 passenger van, and more than 200 dollars for gas!

Yesterday, I went to SAM's and stocked up on snacks.

I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Next Stop: Pass Christian

Well, we head down to Mississippi this weekend. Tomorrow is a cool day, for the team meets each other for the first time. I'll share with them the scope of the project, tell them to bring jammies and towels and sleeping bags and all that, and then...we'll pray.
This is always one of my favorite meetings. We'll look back on this day and remember how we hardly knew each other, and in a week, it'll seem like we've known each other for years.
Thanks God -- for giving us friends to go through life with!
What we'll do:
Paint, lay Pergo flooring, trim and doors in one house.
And drywall, tape and mud in another. Plus, if we have time, we'll build a deck and stairwell, install windows and wrap a house, getting it ready for siding...
I can't wait!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Going, going, gone!

Hey, another way to help change the world!
This morning, my wife shouted out: "I'm going to lead a Relay for Life team in Bedford this year." Bedford's "race" is held on May 19-20 and is at Bedford Community Stadium. Last year was the first time Bedford held a Relay for Life "race" and it was pretty exciting.
The concept is simple: in a fun way (walking!) we raise money for the American Cancer Society to fight cancer. Luminaries are sold, to memorialize former Cancer fighters, and that also brings in some needed dough. It's a very worthwhile weekend -- exciting, fun, and all for a great cause.
What gives Mary the right to jump on this bandwagon? Well, just over a year ago, Mary went through some pretty amazing surgeries in her battle with Breast Cancer. And a few months ago, the doc gave us the "all clear" sign -- we won!
You know, I think that all people, especially Christians, ought to do everything they can --"doing good" in this world. So, why not walk for an hour (or more!).
If you're not walking this year for someone else, why not do it for Mary? And then, you may find that in actuality, your 'steps' will help someone else who needs it!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Warm Weather

Listen friends, warm weather is coming again! I can't wait! Anyone want to guess where we are?


Last summer, my family and I had a great meal in one of my favorite restaurants -- Ed Debevic's in Chicago. I love walking the streets and enjoying the sun, and then having your wait staff make fun of you -- and then pay them to do that!


Wow! What a morning! Glenn (our Lead Pastor here at CrossRoads) gave a great talk about money. Money either controls us, or we control it. Ever wondered what the secret is? It's generosity! Generosity is the key to winning that battle of who controls who?

What a simple secret -- generous living frees us from being controlled, it changes the world, and it's FUN!

Thanks Glenn, thanks God, for life changing stuff! Try giving something away today -- and see how it feels!