A View From The Famine 2

Our famine has come and gone but the change continues. Our 30 Hour Famine weekend was incredible. Many thanks to all of you that prayed, as well as to those that gave financially. The money is still coming in, but to date we have raised roughly $5,300! That is enough to feed 15 children for an entire year. I couldn't be more proud of my students!

Here are some of the highlights....

Portland area rally. Once again I had the privilege of emceeing the rally this year. There were 41 churches represented with about 700 in attendance. It was a great time worship, laughs, and challenge.

Serving at Northwest Children's Outreach. NCO is a ministry that takes in clothing, baby supplies, toys, and books, to distribute to different agencies in our area that are committed to ministering to the needs of the poor. KATU our local ABC affiliate even came and did a story on our service with them. If I am able, I will post the video.

The Longest Line. We played a couple of fun games, but my favorite was the fun, yet thought provoking game called The Longest Line. After dividing the students into four teams, we had them lay all the possessions on their person, along with one other item of theirs, end to end to see which team could create the longest line. Once the lines were created we then changed the game to a third world version of the game.

The students were then told things like...

• 25% of people in developing countries cannot read. Remove library cards, books, and other reading materials from their lines.

•100 million primary-school-aged children aren’t able to attend school. Remove school ID cards and school books.

• More than 1.1 billion people still do not have access to a safe water supply. Remove water bottles.

• Nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day. Remove any item valued over $2

The lines got very small and made a stark impression of the reality of how most in the world live.

To break the fast we enjoyed a great burrito bar. Man was it a welcomed end to our time together. We were filled up with good food, but even more filled up with all the great things God accomplished in and through us.

See more of our pictures here.

Good Bye Larry

At 2:45 am Sunday morning the world lost a very special person. At the age of 60 Larry Norman the one often regarded as the father of Christian rock, passed away.

I have been a fan of Larry's for nearly 30 years. I have seen him play live several times, and have many of his albums, including "Only Visiting This Planet" which is regarded as one of the top Contemporary Christian albums of all time. Definitely one of my favorite.

Larry and his life have always fascinated me, even to the point of making him the subject of one of my term papers in high school. He was never afraid the say things that he felt needed to be said, even if that meant his record sales would suffer. "Only Visiting This Planet" was even banned from Christian Bookstores for a time because Larry sang of things the Christian world was not yet ready to hear. I'm glad he wasn't afraid to say them.

The following statement was issued by his brother Charlie:

Hello everybody.

Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sunday morning. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in bed with him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past week laughing, singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had us taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry and art

Yesterday afternoon he knew he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the following message to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these words into Larry’s computer:

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God’s hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I won’t be here much longer. I can’t do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I’d like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.


Thank you Larry for your life, your music, and your ministry. You will be missed.

A View From The Famine

We're 19.5 hours into our 30 Hour Famine and having a great time. As you can see the auditorium at Beaverton Christian Church looked a little differently last night than it did two days ago!

The rally went great! It is just so cool to see hundreds of students serious about seeking the heart of God, wanting to see the tide of poverty turned around.

There are 50 of us in our group going through the weekend together. This morning we will gather for a worship time along with another youth group in town, as well as a group of men in our church that are engaging in the famine with us. After worship we head over to Northwest Children's Outreach to serve in their warehouse. Barring a breaking news story KATU is supposed to send a crew out to do a story on our famine. We're excited about that and the opportunity that will give us to share God's heart for the poor with all of Portland.

After Northwest Children's Outreach we will head over to Medical Teams International to go through their REAL. LIFE. Exhibit. You can go here to see a video description of the exhibit. It is an incredible life changing experience.

At 6:00 we break the fast with the men in our church and our excited to share together a meal and all that God has accomplished in our hearts.

More to come.

Spiritual Types

What is your Spiritual Type? Go here to take a short quiz and find out. Kind of interesting because it pretty well pegged me.

I'm a PROPHET. Here is what it said...

You are a Prophet, a crusader with a kingdom spirituality. You experience God best through serving others. You value competence and knowledge, and are good at leading and influencing others. Prophets are devoted to their causes, often becoming assertive and aggressive as you implement a vision of the world as God's kingdom on earth. You are our heroic change agents and we admire you for that. Single-minded and deeply focused, you aren't content until society has been transformed.

Prophets are the least represented spiritual type in the general population. You also are the hardest spiritual type to be around, mainly because you make the rest of us feel guilty for not having the same zeal for change that you do. We admire you for sacrificing your personal life for your hope of the kingdom realized on earth, but we are uncomfortable around martyrs.

You have a courageous and sturdy idealism that takes responsibility for change. But, your passion for transforming society can lead you to become impatient with congregations and their perceived lack of concern. You fit best in a hospitable, like-minded community that shares your vision.

Nevertheless, be careful not to become so involved in your cause that you neglect your inner life. Attend as much to your inner life as outer life. One will nourish the other.

What are you?

HT to Brian Vinson

A View From the Ride

Just finished our run through for our 30 Hour Famine Rally over at Beaverton Christian Church and thought it was time for another installment of A View From The Ride.

Took these standing on the stage looking at an empty auditorium thinking about the full house we will have tomorrow night for our rally. We are very excited about what God has for us tomorrow, as we come together as His people to catch a greater glimpse of His heart for the poor.

Please join me in prayer asking God to do incredible things tomorrow night at the rally and throughout the course of our 30 Hour Famine weekend. Watch for more to come

Water = Hope

I have written quite a bit about water lately. The fact that one-sixth of the world (1.1 billion people) does not have access to safe water is just beyond my comprehension. We have the resources to change this.

World Vision is working tirelessly to address this problem. They have just released a video that must be seen. Please take the next four minutes and watch. You may see it here. Then take a few minutes to reflect on the life God has given you, along with all your resources, and consider what your role is in giving a cup of cold water to someone in need.

Water = hope.

Think On This

"God never threatens; the devil never warns."

-Oswald Chambers


How easy it for you to confess sin? It rarely is easy, yet it is what God calls us to do, and for good reason. Confessing to God is one thing, confessing to one another raises it to a whole new level, a level God calls us to. James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we might experience healing.

With sin there is consequence, but with confession there is great freedom and healing.

One Texan youth pastor has realized this and has made a big confession. Read the story here. Despite the consequences, he made the right choice, and I believe God will use it in tremendous ways.

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Bottled Water Pt. 2

While pursuing the referring web sites on my sitemeter (those sites that link to my blog) I saw that my previous Bottled Water post had been published at bottledwatercomparisons.com. While there I discovered this little gem.

A Petition Worth Signing

Today President Bush left for a six day trip to Africa. While there he will be visiting Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania and Liberia, and will see the life saving results that the ONE Campaign has been lobbying so hard for.

Much has been accomplished in the fight against extreme poverty since and because of Bush's last visit to Africa in 2003. We must not let this progress end.

With Bush in Africa the ONE Campaign has put together a petition that will be given to all the presidential candidates. The idea is to urge all the candidates to prioritize the fight to end extreme poverty and global disease in Africa. The petition says:

As a voter in the 2008 Presidential election, I'm asking you to pledge to visit Africa during your first term in office. It is my hope that your trip will increase U.S.-African cooperation, save lives and help build a better, more
secure future for millions of the world's poorest people.

Copies of all the signed petitions will be delivered to each of the presidential candidates, right at the same time that this presidential trip to Africa is in the news, for maximum impact. The petitions will remind the candidates that we expect the next president to visit Africa and keep the poverty-fighting promises we've heard on the campaign trail

Would you consider helping? Take a moment and go here to sign the petition.

Bottled Water

In preparation for the 30 Hour Famine Rally I am leading next Friday, I have been doing a good deal of research on water. At the rally we will be focusing on the fact that while we Americans are consuming water at an alarming and costly rate, so many in the world don't even have access to safe drinking water.

Did you know...

• One-sixth of the world (1.1 billion people) does not have access to safe water and even more (2.6 billion) are without adequate sanitation.

• The average American flushes 10 times more water daily than the average person in a developing country uses for a whole day's drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning.

• Bottled water can costs $7.50 to $11.00 per gallon in the supermarket yet tap water costs most customers only one-tenth of one cent per gallon.

• A child dies every 14 seconds from a preventable water-related disease.

• It takes about 2 to 3 liters of water to make every liter of bottled water, just to treat and filter it.

• It takes 72 billion gallons of water and 47 million gallons of oil a year, worldwide, just to make the empty bottles.

• Eliminating those bottles would be like taking 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

As if those facts were not disturbing enough, then there is this...

Frozen At Grand Central

I have always loved a good practical joke. This one is just plain amazing!

The Medium Is The Message

The new World Vision magazine this month features a fascinating work of art by Minneapolis artist Phil Hansen.

Phil Hansen chose to portray his sponsored child, Daudi Natiigo from Uganda on 44 Starbucks coffee cups. He states that there are a number of possible explanations. I like them all. One is that for the price of a cup of coffee each day it's possible to help a child in desperate need. Another is that some of the cups are upright and some upside down. Is this child's cup full, or is it empty?

Hansen has raised $3,000 selling posters, postcards, and prints of the original work and is donating the money raised to Daudi's community to further World Vision's work there.

San Clemente

We've been enjoying a great time in California this last week, especially after all the wintery weather we have been having in Portland. For the last several days we have been in one of our favorite places, San Clemente.

I am always taken back by the beauty of the place. The ocean, the sunsets, the pier, all so beautiful. It is especially fun seeing it all through the excited eyes of our three year old son and four year old nephew!

Click image for larger view.