Serious Dance Moves.
This Saturday we took a group students from our high school ministry at church into the inner city of West Palm Beach to go and serve a local church. Through our partners at Urban Youth Impact and long time friend, Chris Tress we were able to connect with Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church. The church location is just a few blocks from a notorious gang infested neighborhood and in the center of an impoverished crime ridden community. We took our Calvary Cruiser down and started our project around 9 am. As we were painting, the leadership of the small church was serving local homeless and under privileged folks inside with their weekly soup kitchen outreach. Our teenagers were unbelievable as they worked tirelessly and finished the project at around 12:30 pm! When we were finished we were able to connect with some of the people from the neighborhood and a few of us even played some hoops (I was named "Bird" by the locals). All of this to say what a blessing it is to go and serve. You see, the word serve is used in the Bible to describe the heart and action of Jesus. When He washed His disciples feet in John 13 He told them "to do as I do". This was the only time in the Bible Jesus said do as I do. He never said it when He was healing the sick, or walking on water or even supernaturally feeding thousands. Just when He was humbly serving others. He proclaimed in the New Testament "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many". That is why we served this weekend. Because it's what Jesus did. It's what we are supposed to do.
This morning around 10 o'clock we received a phone call from Sara, our representative from America World, the adoption agency that we are using. Typically when she calls it's a reminder to get some paper work together or to let us know that there has been a change in the Russian government towards adoption. Today was different. Sara called to let us know that we have a referral, this means that we have been matched with our children! What an amazing surprise! We were not expecting this at all, as a matter of fact we thought that it would be another 6 months or so before we would get a referral. Our children are beautiful and healthy! We would post a picture of them, but the Russian government highly frowns on the public posting of children that are going through the adoption process. But believe me, these babies are amazing! Our girls name is Lydiann Elizabeth. She was born on August 20, 2005. Her hair has a reddish cast and her eyes are blue (just like her mom!). Roman Christopher is our sons name. He was born on March 21, 2005. He has a huge smile and blonde hair. Please pray for us as we have immediate needs as we will be flying to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia in two weeks to meet our kids. As you well know it is incredibly expensive and as a couple in ministry we don't necessarily have tons of resources. Our prayer is that the Lord will continue to provide and through the generosity of friends family (and anyone else) we will be able to bring our babies home. We will have to go back to Russia after our first visit. This will most likely take place in 2-3 months. At this time we will be able to bring Roman and Lydiann home. Please pray. I will update often! If you want to contribute just click the button below..........
Well as promised here is the latest on our Great Experiment. In June we did away with DirectTV, mainly trying to save a few bucks as we'll as become more time conscious. If you think about it, 100 plus channels is ridiculous! We often times found ourselves just flipping through the channels killing precious time. Well, we have really moved into the future today. I purchased a Miglia TV Mini HD receiver/recorder. This little gadget caught my eye few months ago and knew that we would one day purchase one. The installation was incredibly simple. You pretty much just plug and play after a few installations and registrations (minor, don't let this scare you!). The coolest thing about this gadget is the fact that you can do the hole TiVo thing without TiVo and monthly payments. We can watch all of our local TV channels (32 in South Florida!!), in HD through my MacMini on the big screen!!! Add to this the DVR aspect and wow, this is one hot little item. If you are looking to become independent from satellite or cable and want to utilize your computer to the max, this is the way to go. Watch the video below and you can see first hand the coolness.
We are back from our trip to the Carolinas. It's amazing how much the terrain, culture and traffic can change in a 9 hour period! We stayed in Charlotte with my sister in-law and her husband and new baby girl. We had the opportunity to explore the city of Charlotte and also enjoy some good cooking (Penny's bro-in-law is a chef and is a professor at Johnson & Wales University). If you have never been to Charlotte, it's a pretty nice town. It's spread out all over the place, kind of like Jacksonville, Fl. One thing I noticed: there are tons of baptist churches, everywhere! There's not just lot's of them but, most of them are gynormous! When you get back down here in South Florida it makes you realize how different our world is here. Comparing the two we are relatively unchurched here. Lot's of ministry to do! Anyway, after lots off sweet tea, winding roads, really cheap gas and southern charm, we are back down to the bastion of New York influence and muggy hot late summer days. I think I like it here, even after twenty some odd years.
Today Steve Jobs and Apple Computers are supposed to make a major announcement. Obviously it is concerning downloadable movies and possibly a new iPod reveal. There's a rumor out there that the iPhone may even get and introduction. What is your "dream" Mac reveal? Oh by the way, this week I will be sharing with the readers of "Life &Times" a new aspect of our "Great Experiment". Stay tuned!
This morning Penny and I took off early (like 6 am) for a few days in the Carolinas. After a breakfast stop at, you guessed it, Cracker Barrel, we started to notice that the air in our vehicle wasn't quite pushing cold air. To be honest, it felt more like someone was just breathing on us. We stopped at an auto a/c place in Jacksonville, Fl. to get it checked. The guy there gave us the predictable bad news, it's a $500 job and it will take like four hours to do. We said thanks, but no air will do us fine for the rest of the trip. We ended up going to our first stop, Greenville, South Carolina. Although it was miserable without the air, we made it, sunburned left arm and all (from holding my arm out the open window for 5 hours). Greenville is a beautiful place. Very hilly. The locals call the region "the upstate" because of the approximity to the Appalachian Mountains. There is a beautiful downtown with a very active arts community, lots of cool waterfalls, restaurants, bars, vacant storefronts and all the other things that most cities show off and also try to hide. There seems to be a lot of culture and pride for this community. The interesting thing about Greenville is it's small town feel with big city flare; there's a really amazing state of the art baseball stadium (complete with a Green Monster!) that hosts a Boston Red Sox minor league team; a huge civic area that holds thousands and a ghetto that can hand with any city in America. Tomorrow we will explore the area a little bit more and then take off for the Carolinas largest city, Charlotte, home of the Panthers (NFL) and Bobcats (NBA). Check again for updates.
We all know that the USA is not the king of world basketball. It's just a completely different game. That was proven once again several weeks ago when our NBA stud team lost to Team Greece who did not have one single NBA player on their roster. Chuck Closterman from Esquire Magazine shared his thoughts in an article entitled "A new game plan for Team USA". I thought the article offered a very interesting view on how the USA can develop a plan to disconnect the NBA players from world basketball play. If you are a basketball fan or like the Olympics, this article is a must read for you, enjoy.
Thanks Jeff for the heads up on the John Mayer download. One of the coolest things about this guy is he wants people to hear his music. He encourages recording his concerts, bootlegging, and all that other "big music" taboo stuff.Another cool thing about him is he listens to the same stuff I do, at the same time, weird, I know. Well here is a post from his blog about the reveal he had at STAR 98.7 in L.A.. I have listened to this and really can't wait to buy a hard copy of this album and see him perform the songs live in October.