Tag Archives: Travel

#eternalthreads

So this is a short video about the trip that Matt Pinson (The Highland Director of Communications) and I just got back from. We’d like to get the word out about what is happening in Nepal and ways that Gospel centered people are trying to stop sexual trafficking in creative and significant ways, so if you have a moment please click the share button at the bottom of this page to share this story with your friends. We’ve been looking for the “go viral” button on the internet but can’t find it anywhere. Continue reading #eternalthreads

The Red Thread Movement

So I just returned from a couple of weeks in Nepal working with the ministry Eternal Threads. It’s a great ministry that I highly commend that is working to create connections between 3rd and 1st world countries, and providing fair trade opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people in the world. (In fact, if you are a person with any influence in your church, and would like to throw a gathering for your church to shop and make a difference in the world at the same time, you can email eternalthreads@mac.com)

One part of the Eternal Threads ministry is something that has grown exponentially over the past couple of years. It’s called the Red Thread Movement, and what it is doing for the girls in Nepal is unreal!  For those of you who haven’t heard, The Red Thread Movement is an ACU student initiative that helps women who have been sexually trafficked from Nepal to India (over 12,000 girls are trafficked in Nepal every year) and because the culture is a very honor/shame based culture, most of the girls who are trafficked are too ashamed, or not allowed to go back home.

So Eternal Threads helps them go to a safe home where they are taught a sustainable business skill like sewing or being a beautician and then sent back to their villages. And they take the Gospel with them! These girls are planting churches in villages that no Western missionary could reach, and it’s working like crazy!

It starts like a mustard seed, and just keeps going.

But it’s not enough to tell you this in the abstract. So let me introduce you to Gita:

Gita came from a small village in Nepal, where her mother left to become a migrant worker overseas to hopefully raise money for her struggling family. That was over 5 years ago…they haven’t heard from her since. So Gita’s dad eventually remarried, and her step-mother was less than kind to Gita. The family had no money and then Gita met “Romeo.” He promised her the world and gave her hell. He romanced her, proposed to her, and slept with her, all within just a short time of knowing her.

Then “Romeo” told Gita that what he really wanted to do was get married in India, Gita didn’t have much holding her to her small village in Nepal, her prospects were extremely limited, so she went. And it’s here that Gita’s life really turns on a dime. At the border she was stopped by girls at a border station, girls who had previously been trafficked themselves, and it’s here that Gita learns about the true intentions about the love of her life.

She was less than 10 yards from a life of Hell on earth. And she was stopped.

They say that it takes the average girl anywhere from 1-3 months to be able to face the reality of what has actually happened to her, and how close she actually came to being forced into sexual slavery. At first they deny it, they think he really loved them, or that he really was trying to get them a legitimate job in India. But when it finally dawns on them what has happened they need more than just a place to stay.

They need the Gospel.  Continue reading The Red Thread Movement

The Strange Nature of Leaving

So hang with me on this one…If you were an alien just coming down to check out the world for the first time. If you were hoping to see what we valued and held as important, where would you go?

Now if you as an alien, wanted to discover what the richest people of the world cared about, not the insanely rich that most Americans are tempted to compare themselves to. (That kind of research would be easy, you’d just have to watch Cribz) but the people who are wealthier than the vast majority of the world. You know the ones who can eat any time they want to, and actually own a car and have a roof over their heads. In America we tend to call them something like middle class, but only because we compare them to Donald Trump.

You would recognize this all as an alien because you don’t need to think in the categories that we, as insiders, have been given and think within.

So where would you go as an alien to research what these very wealthy people care about. I submit to you, potential travelling researching alien that you would go to the airport. You would fly on a plane, a luxury reserved for the very few elite of the world who actually have enough money to defy gravity and move across the world as easily as if Delhi was just a bus ride away.

And there you would find Sky Mall.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on airplanes the last few days, now we are hanging out in the Katmandu airport, with 1 flight down and 3 more to go.  When were finally home, we will have spent half a week in the sky. And after a while the siren’s call of the sky mall can overpower the strongest of persons. So you find yourselves find thumbing through the most insane of products thinking to yourself, what idiot would buy this? And then you suddenly find something that you realize you cannot live without, answering your own question.

But as I read through Sky Mall these last few days, I noticed something that I never had before. Every product that Sky Mall sells really falls into a couple of categories.

  1. Comfort
  2. Entertainment
  3. Not being bald Continue reading The Strange Nature of Leaving

iPad to Malibu: Captain’s Blog

This last Friday was Samuels 1st Doctors appointment. It was the one that every parent dreads, where they hold your baby down and draw blood for their (what I can only assume are sick and twisted) experiments. Because of the nature of the appointment, it falls to me, as the man of the house to go in the room while the baby is tortured in the name of science. Leslie won’t go near. However, I had a problem.

Because I knew that the Ipad 3G was scheduled to come out at the same time as Samuels appointment, and I figured if I wasn’t in line I probably wouldn’t get one in time for our road trip to California. I had a tough decision to make, but really the choice was obvious. Family comes first.

Of course, what I mean by that is that I sent my parents to wait in the line for me. So I was actually hoping that family came first, or at least in time to get an iPad.

And they did.

So now I’m typing this blog on some desert highway in New Mexico, wondering how I ever  lived without this “magical and revolutionary” device. Continue reading iPad to Malibu: Captain’s Blog

Genesis, Burbank, and Fletch

N.T Wright has been one of my favorite Theologians for the past several years, and I’m interested to hear what you think about his comments here on Genesis 1-2. Listen carefully to what he’s saying because he’s not arguing against God creating the world, but rather against a flat reading of the text that turns Genesis into a running argument against Charles Darwin or Enlightenment for that matter. What’s your thoughts on this? Can you see where he’s coming from? What do you think is gained or lost with this kind of reading of these chapters? Continue reading Genesis, Burbank, and Fletch

The Lion and the Lamb

So last week Leslie and I took off for Arizona. I was speaking at a church in Phoenix for the weekend and we decided to head over there early and spend the better part of the week in Flagstaff, and one day we went to see the Grand Canyon.

Eden was in rare form the day we went. Waving at everyone, pointing at everything and screaming loudly at what she could only assume was a big hole in the ground. I know I should have been looking at the Grand Canyon more, but in some ways Eden was stealing the show that day. For example, this picture. This is one of my favorite pictures we took this week because juxtaposed against the backdrop of one of the greatest scenic views in the world is Eden’s tiny blue eyes.

About a month ago, I picked up a book called, “Jesus, mean and wild.” It’s written in the vein of books like Wild at Heart or Your God is too Safe. The basic premise is that most American churches have created a kind of Mr. Rogers Jesus. A Messiah who’s goal is to create nice people who pay their taxes and say Please.

Now I get these books. I thought when I signed up for following Jesus it would be a bit more revolutionary then just being a good citizen. But I recently started thinking about another side of this.

There are plenty of people who don’t need to read books like that. They have no problem envisioning a mean Jesus. Maybe it’s the Jesus they always heard about, or the way God would be if he ever met them. I’ve met with many people in this situation, and just reading the gospel with them, when they see how gently Jesus interacted with broken people, it helps them let down their guard.

Sometimes people need to see the kinder side of Jesus.

Sometimes people need to see the Jesus turning tables over in the Temple.

And both Jesus’ are in this story. Filled with grace and truth.

The Theological word for this is God’s transcendence and immanence, which are just million dollar words for saying God is both big and near. But the Scriptures normally don’t use theological words, what they do is paint a picture.

One of my favorite pictures in the Bible is in Isaiah 65. Isaiah is telling about how the world will be one day. When war is a distant past, and no longer will infants die. It’s a world where evil has been judged and found wanting and peace is the commodity of the entire universe, and Isaiah says The Lion will lay down with the Lamb.

Which is an interesting way to say that.

He’s saying the predator will lay down with the prey. But more than that, those are two metaphors that describe the Lord repeatedly. But they are talking about different aspects of his character. His transcendence and his immanence. And in the end they come together.

That is after all the beauty of Jesus. The God who created the Grand Canyon is embodied by a God who doesn’t turn away anyone.

The lion lays down with the lamb, because in Jesus we find, the Lion is the Lamb.