Saturday, December 30, 2006


1. Am I exempt from the Great Commission?

2. Do I have the Master's permission to stay home or be idle during the harvest?

3. Is there any need that will move me to action?

4. Can I ignore Africa's 14 million AIDS orphans?

5. Even though I've trusted the Lord with my eternal soul, do I trust Him with my checkbook?

6. Is He urging me to give right now?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Good is the enemy of better.
Better is the enemy of best.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


The Savior is coming, is coming again,
But not to a manger in small Bethlehem;
The sound of a trumpet announcement will bring,
The coming of Jesus, our glorious King.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Even here in muggy Africa, the thundering decibels of secular sound are rolling back like the Red Sea did for Moses and allowing the gentle, beautiful music of Christmas to pass by.

Every year I fall in love again with "Silent Night, Holy Night" and "Away in a Manger."

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Think about it.
Babel, already united in language, joined in intent to rise up against God.

God stopped it probably saying under His breath, "Not yet."

Today man is creating another Babel--the internet.
Let's call it Babel ll.

The awesome commonizer of communication called Internet is forcing the world back into a universal language stream.

The one who inspired the first Babel has the world's communications right where he wants them.

Filth, debauchery and anarchy are shaping hundreds of millions of hearts and minds into God-haters.

Maybe God is saying, "Go ahead, it's time."

The reader of the Book of Revelation will recognize what is happening and say, "Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!"

The reader of Mark 16:15 will leap forward to avail of this awesome communication tool to "Preach the Gospel to every creature."


Can you hear the thunder echoing through our mountain valley?
The air is heavy.
The storm is coming.
What are the little ones thinking right now? Can they find a place to be safe and dry?

Six days ago a storm came up just like this. The first hailstones that fell in our yard were the size of softballs and grapefruits. For twenty, maybe thirty minutes the biggest hail I’ve ever seen crashed down from the skies on Mbabane leaving massive destruction of homes, autos and livestock.

Five people died.

Missionary friends saved the life of a man who was caught out in the hail with no place to hide. They got him into their truck and took him to their home.

“You have saved my life, thank you,” he gushed.

What does this storm hold today? One thing for sure, the car is in the garage. Last time I was too late—the hail was much too big and fast to try to get it in. Windows smashed and sledge hammer sized dents all over it.

And even now the little ones who have been hammered by hunger, abuse and AIDS are scampering for shelter. Many get under trees—trees that attract killer lightning.

Oh, Jesus, shelter the children like you would have Jerusalem—under your wings.

Follow up:

I wrote that yesterday.
The storm didn’t come.
Quite a lesson…
Let’s call it a climatologically illustrated sermon about not fearing threats. Don’t ignore warnings, but don’t let caution give way to fear.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Sometimes when it is quiet and my mind is free to roam I start to hear swirling quotes and see the speakers’ faces. Events and incidents flash in my vision in random sequence. And then I feel so very blessed to have been a missionary for nearly four decades.

Sit down with me and hear some of the voices that fill my memory.

We asked a young Swazi where he attended church. A hard hitting lesson, isn’t it?.

A Swazi health official.

An African child living in hopeless poverty. A new pair of shoes and food everyday changed his self-concept. “Maybe I can be somebody someday.”

An African government official trying to understand America asked me this.

An African boy asked the missionary this when she blew her nose and put the Kleenex in her pocket.

The cook’s remonstration when nobody answered the dinner bell.”

Causing an Asian to lose face is one of the worst possible personal affronts. By his making the lie obvious you could let the speaker hide behind the words but you would not be deceived.

The Africans really were trying to honor me.

A young teen told our staff when they encouraged her to stay off the streets.

A common question from the children and adults we help.

The head of UNICEF for an African country asked me this as we flew over “Stinger Alley”—a war zone where our teams risked ambush and land mines and missiles to get food to starving people.

Over and over we hear this as precious little ones plead with us. How can we say “No” but we can’t say “Yes.”

I’ve heard Asians, Latins ands Africans say this. You never forget it.

Usually it’s the children’s eyes that say this, not their words. Nobody has ever touched them except to hurt them.

A missionary in the Philippines had asked for a hot fudge Sunday.


A Manila policeman told a fellow missionary this. He was very serious.

A sign at the entrance to our doctor’s parking lot in Manila.

A Vietnamese businessman who was on the evacuation flight with me out of Vietnam when Saigon was falling. He came to our church in Manila and found Christ. His company had hired a plane to take him back to get his wife and leave Vietnam for good.
I got a letter from him after Vietnam fell telling how they stayed in Vietnam and Jesus was helping his family.

A Buddhist couple that had just got saved in Saigon and were being baptized in water.

My own brother Don after doing missions projects in war zones with me. Don is in Heaven now. His grave marker says, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.”

Queues of hungry children and adults wait for you to leave the restaurant

Advice from a fellow missionary when we first arrived in Manila.

More good advice.

I’ve heard this so many different ways in so many different places. It’s one of the devil’s favorite lies.

A desperate man asking for prayer before he faced his neighbor and and the neighbor’s ten year old daughter he had molested. He left the altar to go face them.

Words my late brother Don wrote about the hurting children he helped us reach. Don died a few days after writing this essay.

Lt. Col. Paul Kari who was tortured for 8 years a P.O.W. in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison. He want back to the prison with me with a forgiving heart. Vietnamese national TV covered his visit.

Sermons my children preached to me when they were toddlers.

A Vietnamese lady with a two year old daughter grabbed hold of me on TuDo street in downtown Saigon. Her body was the only value she could bargain with to save here baby’s life.

Jose Napoleon Duarte, President of El Salvador, as he hugged my neck thanking us for building dozens of Christian Schools in his country. The 100,000 graduates at that time were truly changing business and government.

My children got tired of hearing me say this.

I’ll never get tired of telling audiences and hurting people this wonderful truth.

A Filipino committee member was discussing the just adjourned meeting.

The Asian thought that ended it all and finished the question.

My captors in Manila threatened me. When they discovered I had only $23 and my mission would never pay for me they dumped me out of their car. Phew!

Hearing our 5000 orphans and vulnerable children (sometimes six hundred at a time) sing this as loud and passionately as they can takes my breath away.

These and so many more echoes and memories remind me why I’m a missionary!

Monday, December 11, 2006


It made us think of the plague on Egypt.

Yesterday the biggest hail I've ever seen blasted down on the Mbabane area.

The very first hailstone that fell in our yard was as big as a softball--and they kept coming for about twenty minutes. Almost every dwelling and every unprotected car was damaged--some cars were totaled.

Please pray as the Children's Cup team assesses the damage to our vehicles and CarePoints. (The Toyota Condor we are using is now unsafe to drive.)

People here are likening the damage and impact of the storm to Katrina.

Please pray that God gives us a clear course through the insurance maze and leads us to the right repair people that can actually get the parts. This did not surprise Him--He knows the way through the mess.

Please pray for the tens of thousands of Swazis whose meager resources cannot cope with this disaster.

The Book of Revelation talks about even larger hail--how horrible that will be.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Children’s Cup CarePoint Christmas Party.

Inflated jumping castles, tug-of-wars, acrobatic contests, three-legged races, getting soaked by the water hose, face-painting, Gospel music, skits, anointed preaching by a 13 year-old evangelist, and of course, food and drinks. Even fried chicken—a delight few have ever tasted. Very few ever get even a taste of meat.

Giggles, screams of delight, teams cheering each other on—that is what it sounded like.

Between 2500 and 3000 (did you ever try to count scurrying ants at an ant hill?) children orphaned by AIDS or abandoned by families that have very little in their lives to even smile about were experiencing a new level of joy.

Kind friends of an eleven-year-old girl near death from AIDS brought her to experience the big party. Great joy beamed on her face—in spite of her hollow cheeks and sunken eyes. I like to think of the event as a send-off party into the arms of Jesus for her and the other children who won’t live until next Christmas..

Thanks Children’s Cup friends for making it happen.

It ended up costing about $3.00 per child. So much happiness for so small an investment!

And the real value is all the children who gave their lives to Jesus at the altar call.

Maybe our best Christmas ever…

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Jesus was introduced to us as "The Bread of Life."

The significance of that name deepens as we remember that Jesus was first placed by human hands in a manger--a place where the hungry come to be fed.

In fact, "manger" is the French word meaning "to eat."

One step deeper: that manger was in Bethlehem which translates to "House of Bread"!

Absolute symmetry, exquisite and thrilling to my hungry heart.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I just watched “Peace Child” on a DVD.

I read the book decades ago and it was as stirring to me now as it was back then--perhaps even more after our own decades of missionary service, some of which faced similar treacheries.

So many times we have seen the Holy Spirit use the format of pagan rituals to open hearts of the unbelievers to the awesome mysteries of the Gospel. Many of them involve sacrificed blood.

Clearly, God has placed within every human heart the means to recognize the truth that the shed blood of His begotten Son Jesus (Heaven's Peace Child)is the salvation every heart seeks.

It’s worth your effort to go to your Christian bookseller and get your own copy of the DVD entitled “Peace Child.” Invest this story and its message in your children and your grandchildren.

Also, get a copy of “End of the Spear”—the story of five missionaries martyred by Auca tribespeople in South America.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Oh, Precious is the Flow!

“Oh, precious is the flow,
“That washes white as snow,
“No other fount I know,
“Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Wonderful words, wonderful truth.

What more precious time is there than that moment when a guilt-crushed sinner surrenders to the sin-cleansing flow of Jesus’ blood?

Pain and embarrassment are washed away as the healing flow surges into anguished hearts and minds.

Some have called the tear-filled altar scene “messy” or “embarrassing.” Rather we’d see the tears as the sin and guilt-releasing effulgence of God’s healing.

What an awesome gift is God’s forgiveness, and what a privilege it is to be trusted by God to lead others to that moment and share the joy.

Why would we ever let embarrassment stop us from leading others to that moment?

Monday, November 20, 2006


“We are changing your lives!”
Over and over these words swirled in my mind and my heart.

About four hours ago I was at the Nkobe, Mozambique CarePoint with Daran Rehmeyer, Atlanta area Pastor Troy Shaw and his son Matthew, and their friends John Sparks and his grandson Josh.

We were showing these guests the progress on the construction of the Healing Place Church Melancon Chapel and the CarePoint where hundreds of needy kids are fed everyday.

Four-year-old Isabella bounced by. Some of you have seen her picture in our publications. She has the most infectious smile—and she has totally captured my heart.

A year ago when this project was but a dream Isabella was one of the first kids I met on the site.

Her smile, her eyes, and her hopeful looks at me became the symbol of Nkobe to me.

I remember looking into her eyes and promising her in English—she didn’t understand the words but she seemed to understand my meaning, “We are going to change your life, sweet child.”

And we are.

For a year she has had enough food, loving care and good news about Jesus that her little life is already so very different.

For her and more than 200 other precious little ones.

If you could see them now your heart would be ready to burst with joy like mine is right now.

Thank you dear friends that have helped make this happen.

In a few weeks the church will be ready and watch what happens to Nkobe then!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.

Jean's dad advised us when we got married, "Things aren't going to stay the way they are."

In the Third World things are always changing.

I've learned something that helps manage change. Determine the inevitables--the things you cannot stop from happening--and find ways to make them work for you.

It's somewhat true that time will do to you what you allow it to, and for you what you make it do.

Monday, November 06, 2006


It is both frightening and wonderful that God loves us enough to expose our sins.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


It's about 2 o’clock Sunday morning. The drums are still throbbing.

Across the street from our home here in Swaziland lives a witchdoctor. The people behind her are having a party.

Alcohol is flowing and more lives are being shortened by HIV/AIDS--and hell is shrieking its delight.

Coarse, joyless laughter disturbs the neighborhood.

The party was just starting about 2PM when we drove home from granddaughter Trinity's third birthday party at Ben and Sue's home.

How different the parties!

Trinity's friends--15 or 20 of the most beautiful little missionary children--were giggling and jumping in great delight. The joy of Jesus filled the place. Heaven rejoiced.

We adults looked on with joy and pride—and maybe one or two tears of thanks to God for our children. What promise these little ones hold!

Some if them will be world changers.

I hear the drums again. Hell-fillers are still groping for what their hollow souls cry out for but will never find in witchcraft and debauchery.

There was a second party tonight at Ben and Sue's house. A couple dozen missionaries from various churches met to praise and worship the One for whom the other party-goers's hearts crave.

By now the missionaries are home sleeping with the warm after-glow of God's presence in their hearts.

Shame and dread and hangovers await our neighbors when Sunday's sun comes up.

What a difference!

We have to--we must--introduce these neighbors to Jesus, the Difference-Maker!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


“Silent witness” is often nothing more than a veiled apology for embarrassed silence.

How could we ever defend embarrassed silence when our failure to witness costs the untold their souls?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


There is constant tension in orphan care over the question, “Do we go wide and save as many little lives as possible, or do we go deep and give 24/7 total care for only a few?

Mostly it’s a matter of resources.

Both needs are real and heart-crushing.

At Children’s Cup’s level of resources it has been an easy decision to go wide and save thousands of hurting little children. We know this is the best use of our resources. Currently we take care of as many as 5,000 children daily in Africa.

But anybody who has understood what happens to the children that live in the slums at night cries for a home to put those hurting children in where they won’t be raped and made to do heavy work for the abusive adults who dominate their nights.

‘Cup’s 5000 AIDS orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s in UN parlance) get food, medical care, education and the Gospel. Almost all of them have accepted Jesus as Savior. It can’t be wrong to go as wide as we can.

But neither can it be wrong to strive to go just as deep as we can and find or provide 24/7 care for our precious kids.

There is always the cruel truth that when you decide which lives to save you are also choosing which children you will let die. That agony never leaves our hearts.

“Wide or deep?” is not question of “either/or.” It’s a matter of “both/and.”

Can’t help but remember the delightful kids’ chorus out of my childhood: “Deep and wide, deep and wide, there's a fountain flowing deep and wide…”

We’ll go as deep and wide as our partners’ dollars will take us.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


We just came back “home” to Swaziland, Africa, after spending a few weeks in wonderful America—land of over-choice.

What a feeling to hug necks at the airport and to embrace the rest of the family and ‘Cup Team at Ben and Susan’s house. The grandkids hugged us long and hard.

We know the challenges and risks these courageous and industrious people have faced while we were gone. Jean and I wept and laughed and thanked God for the privilege of ministering here.

Then as we toured the AIDS orphans CarePoints hundreds of kids came running, giggling, and singing to us. Kids that are alive because we do what you help us do here. Try to describe that feeling.

And then it sneaks up on you. You begin to look past the giggles and into so many fevered eyes. It wrings your soul.

Some familiar faces are gone. New ones have come.

And then it all seems to center-up with a young lad at Mangwaneni. 'Cup Nurse Sister Teresa shows us the sores in his mouth and throat and on his body. He has AIDS. His guardians will not let us take him to get the ARV medicines that can improve and extend his life.

I struggle against unholy feelings toward the cruel ones that have told us to just let him die.

The newspapers tell of raped children, little ones thrown into toilet pits, and some deliberately scalded with boiling water--precious little lives Jesus died for.

How do you deal with the feelings that brings?

Maybe it’s more than a grammatical curiosity the “suffer” in the verse that says to suffer the little children to come unto Him is a homonym for pain and travail.

You already know I’m crying as I write this. I’m crying out to God to please help us do all we can to reach every child possible .

What a wonderful, horrible place Africa is.

God, please let me be a missionary to Africa the rest of my life.

Friday, October 06, 2006


October 5, 2006--yesterday--was the 48th anniversary of my first date with Jean.
It's been a great journey!

Marriage can work.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


If I don’t hold onto something, I’ll let go of everything.
What is there that I will refuse to let go of?

If I don’t stand for something, I’ll fall for anything.
For what will I stand and never back down?

If I don’t predetermine boundaries, how will I know when I’ve gone too far?
What line will I never go past?

When Jesus said, “Come,” He meant all the way. I dare not hold back.
When He said, “Go,” He meant all the way. I dare not stay back.
Do I believe the heathen will know Jesus if I don’t go?

Do I excuse my lack of spoken testimony by calling it, “silent witness”?
Do I shun my neighbors of another race even though I weep over the foreign mission fields?
If I truly believe that the lost will go to hell how can I not tell everybody—especially my loved ones?
How can I go to sleep tonight knowing that I did not do all in my power today to reach the lost?

Do I love God enough to…? Or not to?
Do I love my wife and children enough to…? Or not to?
Am I man enough to…? Or not to?
Do I have God’s permission to…? Or not to?

Do I trust God with my checkbook as much as I trust Him with my soul?

Is there any need that will move me to action?
How do I choose what needs to meet?
What kind of needs am I willing to ignore?
Can I look away from hurting children’s eyes, or close my ears to the little ones’ cries?
What does it mean to me when a mother dying of AIDS asks for help for her children?

Do I trust Him to meet my needs in the future like He has in the past?
Do I trust Him to guide my family even as I trust Him to guide me?
Do I trust Him with the rest of my life on earth even as I trust Him with my eternity?

Am I really grateful for all He has done for me? For my family? For our ministry?

Is my trust in God strong enough to obey his gentle request rather than surrender to the blaring, heated demands of the enemy?

Do I really believe the safest place to be is in God’s will? For my family as well as for me?
Do I always believe God will take the worst thing that could happen to me and make it the best thing for me?

Would I be willing to die for what I live for?

Am I willing to trust again after betrayals?
Am I willing to forgive others—even forgive others for not forgiving me?
Can I stay in Christ-like silence in the face of other people’s lies about me?

What does it take to make me cry?

Since God holds me and only me responsible for doing His will in my life, doesn’t that mean that no decision by another person can stop me from doing His will?

My role as father and head of my family is likened to Christ’s role as head of the church—does my treatment of my family do violence to the image of Christ?

Do I live in daily expectation of His return?
Who do I want to see first in heaven after I see Jesus?

Do I audaciously believe that good things come into my life on my own personal merit rather than the mercy and grace of God?

Is there anything the devil could offer me that I’d trade my soul for?

Is there anything God could ask me for that I would not give Him?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Read the words as the poet pens them onto the parchment.
Feel the parchment come alive as the poem is born in the inkwords.
Fear not, though the haters would slash and torch the parchment, and the inkwords become but ash upon ash; and though the ashes be scattered or buried; fear not, the poem will live on.

It’s clear, the ink and parchment had no life until the scribe shaped the words. Words brought the life.

And so it is that the parchment that is my body was given life by the Word.
Though haters would slash and burn this parchment of my life, like the poem, that part of me that is alive will never die!

Glory to God!


It is the most priceless gift God could give man-the blood of His begotten Son.
Waste it?
Squander it?
How could we even think about such a slap on the face of God?

No higher price has ever been paid for a gift. No gift has ever been so perfect and powerful.
No gift has ever been so rejected and mocked.

Had we been there we would have pleaded with the lashman, "Lay down the whip."
"Throw the thorn-crown into the fire," we would have urged.
We'd have wept and shouted to the crucifiers, "Forget the nails."
"Put down the spear," we would sob.

But, no amount of pleading would have stopped the crimson flow from Redemption's arteries-it was God's plan. Our minds would have reeled at the enormity of the price the Nazarene paid.
We know why He did it.
We acknowledge its worth.
We know there is healing and forgiveness and deliverance in that shed blood.
We sing about it, write lofty poems and soaring prose telling about its power and its reach.

However, what do we do about His Blood in out daily lives?
No, it would never be our intention to belittle and mock His gift. We would never want to demean it or waste it.
How could we ever squander it?
But, we do.
Like just today.
Did we let old guilts that were covered by His Blood long ago claw at our minds?
Did defeat and depression, fear and anger and greed and habit control our actions?
What about the loved ones we didn't talk to about how much His Blood could do for them?
What about the lost ones He told us to go to and we held back?

Consider this. We who name the Name of Christ are the only ones who can stop Golgotha's saving flow from reaching the hurting, needing world.
The devil cannot.
Hostile laws cannot.
No barrier can stop it-except the silence and unwillingness of the Body of Christ.

Bleeding Savior, forgive us for demeaning your priceless gift to all of mankind. Help us, Crucified One, lest we squander your atoning blood.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


A commotion interrupted the service.

Two men walked down the aisle to the front row. They took hold of a husband (a board member of the church) and abruptly marched him out of the sanctuary. The audience had not noticed the missionary’s signal for the ushers to begin the dramatization.

There were a few nervous laughs hoping this was a joke. The audience kept looking toward the missionary and then to the pastor to see what this was all about.

“Who will take his place?” the missionary asked.

And then he explained. “Around the world every three minutes a Christian is martyred by Jesus-haters. In fact, more people have been martyred because of Jesus’ name in my lifetime than in all 2000 years since Calvary.”

As the missionary continued to speak the two men accosted a mother sitting with her children and marched her out of the sanctuary.

Three minutes had elapsed.

This time there were no nervous laughs. Weeping could be heard.

“Who will take her place?” the missionary asked again.

“We Christians in America have been so insulated and isolated from the perils the majority of our brothers and sisters in Christ must face. It’s like we believe nobody would ever do that to us—not here in America.

“Many take comfort in thinking, “That won’t happen to me because I’ll never be in a third world country where they do that.

Once again the three minutes were up and the two men were taking away their next victim.

And the weeping intensified.

Maybe this will not happen in America, but many of us believe the politically correct mentality is shaping the will and laws of America to allow it. Already many Christians have been jailed for actions our forefathers vowed to protect.

“America was once God-fearing.
“It became God-less.
“And now it is anti-God.
“Christians are the only minority that can legally be discriminated against and persecuted. In fact, laws encourage our harassment.

“Every three minutes and the pace is quickening around the world. Many countries today legally proscribe the death penalty for converting to Christianity.”

The two men were in the aisle again. For yet another believer the three minutes were up.

Several of my missionary friends have been murdered by Jesus-haters. Think about the courage that led them to lands where death awaited not only them but also anyone they led to Christ.

“As you enjoy this beautiful sanctuary and padded pews, honestly ask yourself if you could openly declare your faith in Christ knowing it would mean your death. Before you answer too glibly, remember the last time you stayed silent about Jesus because you didn’t want to be embarrassed.

“Or probe your own heart to see if you really could look another person on the eye and lead them to Christ knowing it would mean their death. Are you convinced enough yourself to invite another?

“I hear the heavy footfall of the two men again coming down the aisle.

“What if they are coming for you?”

Every three minutes…

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Celebration Church, Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday AM.
Pastor Stovall started the service by riding his Harley down the center aisle and up a ramp onto the platform.
He had everyone's attention.
Great message and altars full.
Here's the pattern: these growing mega-churches all have this in common. The altar is the core of the service!
This already-strong missions church is dramatically increasing their involvement in overseas ministry.
Check this church out.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Yesterday morning we were at The Rock Church in Huntsville, Alabama.
Dozens at the altar for salvation.
Pastor Rusty Nelson's straight-on message really brought in the net.
We have watched this church grow from being a young congregation with a vision into a powerhouse.
God keeps doing it for those who will step forward in God-given vision.
If you are in drive range, it's worth a visit.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


So many different sounds and styles.

So many different ways to praise Jesus.

In the last few weeks Jean and I have experienced a wide array of different worship experiences.

In Pastor Zake's church in Swaziland, African worship was a "total being" experience.

Back in Baton Rouge it was an immersion into praise with the voices and songs of our dear friends.

In Sydney, Australia it was an explosion of Hillsong music, Delirious! worship and praise, and Alvin Slaughter's powerful voice extolling Jesus.

At the Commissioning Service for new missionaries in Springfield, Missouri, we heard the familiar sounds of the churches we grew up in.

Mile after mile of Bill Gaither CD's on our car stereo.

And tomorrow we'll be with our friends at Cowboy Church in Henrietta, Texas--yet another style of profound worship of God.

All styles different. All flowing from deep wells and lifting the worshipers into God's presence.

Makes me think what it must be like for God to hear it all. Must be like an orchestra--all different sounds blending in a global concert of praise to Him.

I love it!

Friday, July 28, 2006


We stood there in goose-bumps.

It was last Wednesday night at Celebration Church in Round Rock, Texas. Pastor Joe Champion was interviewing Jean and me.

Our minds went back a few years to a meeting with Pastors Joe and Lori when they announced that God had given them the vision to start a church in Round Rock, Texas.

Awash in goose-bumps, we remembered the Champions' words.

"We don't know anybody there but we are going and intend to spend the rest of our lives there."

Now just a few years later thousands of people--many of them business and community leaders--have embraced the vision. They have more than a hundred acres right on I35 and have clear and continuing vision to build a ministry that truly impacts the world.

I wish every God-called person with a vision could experience this awesome church. It's worth the trip to be there and to absorb the spirit of this leadership team.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Forty Days

Many times people say they'd love to help Children's Cup, but they just don't have the budget.

Well, there is something you can do that doesn't cost anything: PRAY.

Would you like to join Children's Cup in our Forty Days of Prayer for the Children?
Check out our special website for further information. It's free. And you will make a huge difference in a bunch of kids' lives.

Check it out here.

And your kids can get in on the action as well. This will make an impact on their lives. Check out the website together.

One day in heaven you'll meet a lot of people who will thank you for taking time to include them in your prayers. They'll tell you that it made the way for them to come to know Jesus and know hope for the first time ever.

Bless you for joining us in these 40 days, starting August 1, 2006.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Eden’s blood-soaked soil cried out against Cain.

The blood of slain prophets testified against religious bigots.

History’s town squares still remember the ashes and blood of the Spanish Inquisition martyrs.

Crusaders butchered across Europe and the Middle East falsely using Jesus’ name.

The beaches and fields and cities of two world wars have not forgotten the blood of nations’ sons and daughters.

Holocaust furnaces still reek of the blood and ashes of 6 million Jews.

Stalin’s Russia is embedded with the blood of several million of its own people.

Korea’s gelid mountains blotted up so much war blood.

How can one make a list like this without leaving out thousands of events and millions of people? Surely you have thought of more for the list.

Maybe it’s too much and you want to quit reading this...

The life-blood of blacks and whites murdered by Mau Mau fanatics and other haters permeate the dark soil of African jungles—including my boy-hood hero Jay Tucker and fellow missionaries in Zimbabwe..

Mao Tse Dung’s millions of victims spilled their blood into China’s lands.

Vietnam knows the blood of my friends and just last week added the blood of my younger brother as Agent Orange took his life..

Pol Pot’s insanity reddened the ground of Cambodia with millions of corpses.

Idi Amin butchered thousands.

Twin evils of famine and Jesus-haters have wetted the desert places of Africa with Christian blood.

Madman Saddam opened blood-gates into Babylon’s ancient soils.

Today, like most other days, Jesus-haters cut off the breasts of Christian mothers so they could not feed their babies in Sudan.

And just weeks ago Jean and I walked in the blood saturated abyss of genocide in Rwanda where a river of blood from 1 million lives drenched the land.

I can’t stop thinking about the blood.

Who can name a place that has not been bathed in human blood?

And even pandemic diseases like AIDS target the blood. Witch doctors tell men with AIDS to rape a virgin or a white person and the spirits will heal them. Their vile deeds infect innocent blood with HIV and the devil giggles in delight.

Shed blood is the hallmark and stench of evil.

Hell hates the blood. For the devil, Golgatha’s blood was his final defeat. It has never stopped flowing. Redemption’s arteries still gush.

Every drop of human blood the devil spilled in glee is much more than an evil toll, it is a down-payment on Heaven’s purchase. This world was Blood-bought at Calvary. A Greater Blood, His Redeeming Blood answers the cry of human blood.

Awesome the thought, God directs the current of that river of Blood through our human hands. Jesus’ blood is the ultimate currency, freely given, by which we can redeem—purchase back—the souls of men.

How dare we fail to invest it? Hoard it? Squander it? Ignore it?

To do so stains our own hands with the blood of the ones we refuse to tell.

The Blood cries out. Let’s answer the call.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Music by Hillsong, Alvin Slaughter and Delirious took us into God's kinetic presence.

Praise and worship gushed and erupted and swept the arena in waves.

Challenging messages by world-changers--including our Pastor Dino Rizzo-- took 35,000 Christian leaders from over 70 countries to higher levels.

Nothing like it!

The Hillsong executives and 4,000 Hillsong volunteers (some taking vacation time to work free for the conference) have hosted us with precision organization and Christ's love that is very obviously genuine.

Now I understand why Hillsong's Hope:Rwanda 100 Days of Healing has made such an impact on Rwanda. It was birthed in this environment. Hillsong's leaders and workers in Rwanda went there fresh from this place of fire.

Consider putting this conference on your agenda for 2007. Contact or or for details.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


“Here we go again,” I thought.
“There are some issues indicated by your blood lab work.” The doctor’s call was chilling. “You need to see a specialist.”

Standing at the specialist’s check-in desk I heard the lady call to set up lab work for a retest of my blood. “Diabetes induced acute renal failure,” is how she described my problem.

Moments later the specialist said, “This test indicates your kidneys are functioning at only 20%. It’s not reversible but we can try to maintain that level. But, let’s retest and be sure of what we are working with.”

Three vials of blood (seemed like three gallons) and a sonogram later Jean and I left with the doctor’s promise, “I’ll call you with the results.”

An hour later I was standing in line at Albertson’s gas station to pay for a couple Dasani waters and my cell phone rang. It was the THE CALL.

“We have the retest lab work—it is absolutely normal. No need to change anything.”

“Doctor, you know how wonderful this news is to me,” I said.

“Yes, I do. I don’t often get to give such good news.”

What happened? Was the first test a fluke? Did God change things? I don’t know, but I do know God has once again given me more life to serve Him—it’s all His.

The highway collision in Swaziland, the raging blood infection in my leg, the cancer scare and now this. We are aware that there is an enemy who would try to stop our work, but God is bigger than anything that enemy can do.

Awesome God!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


"You need to see a specialist. These lumps on the side of your head could be cancerous." (These lumps were not put there by Jean.)

My doctor's words hit hard. That was four days ago.

"You have absolutely nothing to worry about. The bumps are not cancer. There is one pre-cancer spot but I'll remove that right now."

Yesterday the specialist's words made the sun shine brighter and the grass greener and lifted a load off my spirit.

She did warn me about the need to always wear a hat under the African sun. Will do.

Can I tell you again what an awesome God we serve?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


It's my turn to blog in this week-long blogging report from 'Cup missionaries.
We arrived in USA Friday evening from Africa – a long, long, long trip.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

12:30 AM Wake up thinking it’s time to get up

1:45 AM Wake up thinking it’s time to get up

3:10 AM Wake up thinking it’s time to get up

4:30 AM Give in and get up

5:30 AM Enjoy a breakfast of good old American Rice Krispies and fresh raspberries

7:00 AM Think about going to the 8:00 service at HPC and then remember we went to the Saturday service last night

8:00 AM Go to the office and catch up on emails (227), sort 4 months of junk mail, watch a Gaither Homecoming video—finally some “real” music—and then remember how moved I was by the music of radical youth called "Delirious" in Rwanda. I am old but God’s anointing can still get me even if it is young “whipper-snappers “ singing

12:00 PM Meet son Dan and his family and nephew Todd and his girlfriend at TJ Ribs (awesome) for lunch.

12:30 PM Take picture of plate of baby-back ribs to email to Ben to rub it in

2:00 PM Sit back and look at my beautiful family and thank God for them and for wonderful America. Relive parts of Saturday night’s service at HPC

3:00 PM Stop at CompUSA to see about replacing my camera I gave away in Swaziland

3:30 PM Think about going back to bed (It’s 10:30 by my body clock which is still on Africa time.)

4:30 PM Think again about going to bed

6:00 PM Sleep on the couch for an hour

7:30 PM Think again about going to bed

8:00 to 9:00 PM listen to good gospel music and thank God again for letting us be missionaries surrounded by co-workers who are like-minded family and friends

9:00 PM Do it. Go to bed

9:02 PM Go to sleep thanking God for the awesome life He is giving Jean and me

Be sure to read Monday's "A Day in the Life of a Children's Cup Missionary" blog by Pat:

Monday, May 29, 2006


Just a few hours after we landed in America, Jean and I were once again immersed in the anointed praise and worship and preaching of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge.


Guest speaker, Matt Fry of Raleigh, NC, challenged us to win the lost--one at a time. It minstered to us. A few hours earlier we were in Africa facing the massive challenge of hundreds of thousands of AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. I confess it pushes every thing in us right up to the edge, as the children we couldn't reach die.

When Pastor Matt said "One at a time," the faces of Tinotenda, Isabel, Jackolyn, Pepe, Treasure and thousands of others we have rescued, flashed in my mind.

They are worth all that it has cost.

Thanks, Pastor Matt, for speaking into our spirits.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Watoto is an African children's choir. I have their recordings and even the memory of their sound and story gives me chill-bumps right now.

If they are ever in your area don't miss hearing them!

In Rwanda at the Hope:Rwanda meetings I got to know Missionary Gary Skinner whose vision launched the choir and established a great orphanage in Uganda.

This Fall Missionary Skinner is calling together a meeting of missionaries who work with AIDS orphans to find ways to motivate the local African churches to get more involved in solving the AIDS/HIV pandemic.

Ben and I will be participating in that conference.

I trust this man and his ministry. Help him if you get a chance to.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I’d like to believe the heathen would know
If I didn’t go.
I’d like to believe that they would learn to pray
Even if I’d stay.
I’d like to believe that God’s Holy Word
Would somehow be heard,
And I could stay in America
But I can’t.

I’ve searched through God’s Word and have to say
I found just one way.
I’ve searched my own heart and find these words there
I’ll go anywhere!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


It was a day of great excitement.

The groundbreaking for the new Healing Place Church and Mercy Center for orphans in Mozambique was a major neighorhood event.

Monday this week Pastor Mark Stermer, Lee Domingue, and Joe Martin from Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge were with us for this event.

One count had the crowd at over 650 people--all anxious for the church to be built. It is the only evangelical church for the 7,000 people in the resettlement neighorhood which is expected to grow to 10,000 people--all needing Jesus.

Jackolyn--the lady whom God healed of a black mamba snake bite while she was helping clear the land for the church--helped do the cooking for the celeration. Her face beamed as she told again of how God--the very God that the people can meet in this church--healed her after the doctors said she would surely die.

What a way to launch a church!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Our daughter Susan and "Sister Teresa" Rehmeyer (a registered nurse and 'Cup missionary) were called upon by a neighbor in an emergency situation to deliver a baby. The lady lives right by Daran and Teresa Reymeyer here in Mbabane, Swaziland.

...A bit scary because of body fluids and HIV/AIDS infections, but Sister Teresa was prepared with rubber gloves and coached Susan on infection avoidance techiques.

Mother and baby are fine.

Pray for them as we use this connection to this family to bring Jesus into their lives. We want this child to grow up knowing Jesus.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


The three nights of Joyce Meyer stadium meetings in Kigali, Rwanda were an excellent combination of timing, appropriateness, annointing and audience reception.

Many times in the meetings the tens of thousands of Rwandans in the audience exploded into praise and commitment to God.

Rwanda is a country where racial hatred forced a million people over the edge and into the abyss of genocide. Those that survived have stepped way back from the edge of the abyss and are looking to God for healing.

I've never seen a more vivid scene where a nation made a hurting place a forgiving place and God turned it into a healing place!

One of the most outstanding events Jean and I have ever been part of.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Have you noticed a growing absence of songs about the Blood and the Second Coming in our churches today?

What a loss.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


High in the green mountains of Vietnam, the Hmong tribe gathers for the ritual. They will ask the spirits to purify and protect the people.

The witch doctor gathers the villagers into a tight body-to-body circle. Gongs and drums and chants fill the air and fill the senses. Almost hypnotic.

The villagers begin to feel that they are blended together into just one chanting, dancing, undulating body.

The witch doctor takes up a long cord. He encircles the entire group and ties the rope into one large, confining circle.

A few steps away from the circle is the sacrifice. It’s a chicken.

One swift hack with the machete and the chicken’s blood gushes.

Quickly, the blood is sprinkled over the people in the circle. Parents make sure the blood touches their children.

The chanting and undulating tempo increase to a fevered pitch.

To complete the ceremony, the witch doctor makes a circle of the blood around the roped-in tribal circle.

A great shout and the ritual is over.

The blood had been spilled.

The blood had been applied.

They were now pure.

They would be protected from evil.

This ancient ritual began along ago. Even before the land was called Annam or later called Indo-china—before any missionary ever made it into these highland with the message of the cross.

Yet again we see undeniable truth that embedded in the hearts of men—deeper than consciousness—is the awareness that it is the blood that saves.

They’ve got it almost right.

But it is the wrong blood.

Hebrews 4:10 makes it clear: “For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats (or chickens) should take away our sins.”

Hebrews 9:12 gives the answer: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves (or chickens), but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

They are so close.

Who’s going to tell them and help them make it all the way to Truth?

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I'm not afraid of tomorrow--God's already there!

Monday, April 10, 2006


Since the slaying of Eden's animal to provide the covering for the garden-leavers' sins, blood has always been the currency of redemption.

Through all millennia, rivers of blood have streamed from the veins of sacrificed animals onto temple altars. The pattern, indeed, the need for the blood, the awareness to the power of the blood is embedded in the human heart deeper than conscious understanding.

Knowing the blood comes from a much deeper place than the mind.

From Adam to Noah, children and children's children saw the blood's atoning role.

The devil hates the blood.
In hellish burlesque he mocks the blood. Not content with just the blood of animals, he demands the crimson price from men's own veins--a just price for sinner men to pay had it not already been paid by Calvary's blood of God's own Son.
On Calvary's cross the most horrific, yet holiest of all deeds climaxed God's plan for redemption sinners' souls.

Truly, the devil knew that Calvary defeated him. And just as truly he shakes his fist at God and says, "Yes, you win, but I'll make you pay every drop of the blood-price."

And, again throughout the millennia, a river of blood--human blood--has soaked the earth.
I have stood at the places of the blood.
At Rome's coliseum I heard history's echoes of the crowd's roar of delight as gladiators and beasts sundered believer's bodies.
I've walked the Waterloo sod where more than 70,000 died in one battle. Europe's cobblestoned and forested battle sites still bear the scars bloody World Wars.
I've dodged the traffic on London's streets and alleys where Hitler's bombs once killed thousands.
It seemed I could still hear the screams and smell the smoke at Breendonk and Dachau--part of Hitler's "final solution" slaughtering 6 million Jews.
I can still smell the rancid, sour-sweet smell of Corregedor's Malinta Tunnel in the Philippines. I can feel the cold marble of the grave marker crosses in the American War cemetery in Manila. And the same stone crosses that remember slain American comrades in Luxembourg.
I remember the grasp of tiny hands, the sobbing pleas of the children on Cambodia's killing fields where haters spilled the blood of 2 million people.
And then there are my days in Vietnam--both before and after the war's bloody end. The blood of 3 million Vietnamese and 58 thousand Americans soaked that tiny land. They tell me that here at home three times as many American war veterans have poured out their own blood in suicide.
Then I walked through the children's ward of the Viet Duc hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam where medical professionals didn't even have aspirin to ease a fever.
My emotions still swirl as I recall standing at the killing tree in the Congo jungle where believers, black and white, were butchered. Or standing on the banks of the river where they threw to the crocodiles the body of a boyhood hero of mine--martyred missionary Tucker.
Most of the time my mind lives in Zimbabwe and Swaziland and Mozambique where about half of the 3000 AIDS orphans we take care of are HIV themselves. Once you hug them you'll never forget their fevers--or their eyes.
At the Incas' altars of human sacrifice at Machu Picchu high in the Peruvian Andes I dealt with my own attempts as a young man to defend my atheism. I claimed that the Christian Eucharist was but a grizzly rite borrowed from the ancients. Peace came to my soul when I realized that it was the other way around--the pagan's blood rites and cannibalism are in fact the devil's device to warp and twist that "blood-consciousness" that was passed down from Adam and Noah.
In a tiny village on a Haitian mountainside, I saw the starkest display of the devil's hatred of the blood.
It was a cross about a foot high.
On it was a crucified rat.
The rat's blood-soaked the wood.
The devil's voodoo priest had mocked God's Son's blood in worship of the devil.

Christianity has become uncomfortable with the blood and espouses a bloodless redemption, a feel-good religion. The sanctuary used to mean the place where the blood is. Without the blood it is but a haven for whitewashed minds and unrepented hearts.

For a world awash with violent blood of pain and evil there remains that healing flow of Calvary's crimson stream--a stream of the forgiving, redeeming, healing blood of Jesus.
It's an unending flow "drawn from Immanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains."
Appreciate again with me the old songs of the church that so often tell about the blood. Bathe your mind and soul in their sweet refrains.
Old and wonderful words are even now sweeping over my soul.
"Oh, precious is the flow,
That makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!"

It's all about the blood.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Man With The Whip

I did it.
I'm the one.
I'm the man with the whip that lashed the back of the Son of God.
Even now, after all this time, when I close my eyes I see the blood, the torn, bleeding flesh of God Incarnate's back.
And I weep.
As a Roman soldier it was not the first lashing I'd ever given, but this one was different.
Come back to the moment and relive it with me.

Pilate just ordered the scourging of the Nazarene. I'm uneasy about this and I fear that my commanding officer will order me to do it.
The officer is nodding toward me. I salute him my obedience.
I must do it.
Normally being the lichter doesn't bother me. I know I am executing the just penalties of law breaking.
But this one is different.
I know this Man's reputation. They say He has done only good things--that He has done miracles. They even say He's the Son of God.
Can it be true?
Am I about to punish God's own Son?
My mind reels. It feels like my soul is fleeing my body and leaving a dank, foul cavern inside me.
But if I disobey the order, I will be the one to receive the lashes…
The whip in my sweaty hand is heavier than it's ever been as I walk toward the Man. He is looking at me and it's taking my breath away.
It's never been like this. Normally they are trembling and their eyes glare with fear and hate toward me.
I want to look away but that would show weakness.
"Stop looking at me!" my mind silently screams at Him.
No fear in His eyes. It's rather like He is feeling sorry for me.
"I can't do this!" "You must!" my mind battles.
"I'll just go easy on Him," I think as I bring the cat-o'-nine-tails down the first time.
"Soldier!" my commanding officer shouts. "Harder! He must be taught the power and justice of Rome."
The Man is looking at me again. His eyes seem to give me permission to continue--like this was something that has to happen.
Fellow soldiers are counting out the number and cadence of the strokes. It's all just a blur of lashes and blood and torn flesh--and His eyes.
He never cries out during the whole beating.
The scourging is over and one last time I look at Him.
The eyes again. He isn't saying anything. But, I'm sure His eyes are saying, "I forgive you."
All I can think of now is to get away. That foul cavern inside me wants to erupt and spew out the bile of this wretched deed.
"Run. Find a place to gain control of yourself."
I throw down the whip and run.

They are taking Him away now. I hear the crowd chanting, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
I see where we are going--out to the garbage dump at Golgatha.
And again it's all a blur of hammer "thunks" and nails and blood and screams--not His but from those two criminals beside Him.
I can't turn away. He's telling one of the men beside Him, "Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise."
I begin to know Jesus must really be the Son of God--our Savior.
How can I bear the weight of what I have just done?
He's saying something again. He's calling upon His Father.
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
It stuns the crowd.
He's lowering His head and opening His eyes.
And our eyes lock again.
This time I know they are saying, "I forgive you, son."
I know I'll never forget what I have done, but neither will I ever forget the warm balm of His forgiveness.
It's over now. He has surrendered His spirit into the Father's hands.
A sun-darkening storm has come suddenly with torrential rain and violent lightening.
Over by the Temple is a great commotion. Somebody shouts, "The veil is rent! The Holy Place has opened up!"
I'm trying to ask my commanding officer for permission to leave. He doesn't even acknowledge my presence. And then I discover he is experiencing the same awesome moment of forgiveness I did.
"Truly this man was the Son of God." he says

Right now there is a holy hush of awe in my office. In a few moments I'll be going to one of the Sunday AM services at Healing Place Church where thousands of friends will celebrate that same forgiveness that the soldier and the Centurion and I have known.

I've just reread these words. When I got to the place where the soldier threw down the whip, a crushing thought came.
Too many times I have picked it up--I've been the man with the whip.
Every time I have sinned my sweaty hands have reached for the whip and punished God.
Authors often assume the identity of their subject to sense more fully the emotions of an event. They call it writing in the “first person.”
I wasn't prepared for the stunning awareness that I was, indeed, that first person.
Too heavy for me, this weight of guilt.
Too heavy, that is, until once again I hear Him say, "Father, Forgive."
Thank you, Awesome God!


I just heard those words in a new way. I’ve been watching The Visual Bible’s video dramatization of the crucifixion events. Pilate just asked the mob what they wanted done to Jesus.

“Crucify Him!”
“Let His blood be on us and our children.”

My next thought startled me. That’s the same prayer I pray. “Cover me, cover my family with your blood.”

So different in intent, their words and mine, yet so alike in ultimate meaning.

They did not know that their words carried such prophetic importance. The words have now, to me, become one of the most poignant descriptions of the plan of salvation.

What they snarled out as a curse, in fact, became the only thing that could redeem them and their children from sin’s curse. The very blood their hatred spilled and cursed would atone for their grizzly deeds that caused it to flow.

All they and we have to do is ask.


Did some of them avail of that forgiving blood? I can’t know but I think so. I do know about the thousands that were added to the church at Pentecost and daily thereafter.

I do know that countless martyrs mingled their blood with His in Rome’s Coliseum and Circus.

I do know that more martyrs have mingled their blood with His in my lifetime than the combined totals of all 2000 years since Christ’s death until my birth.

Brutal slayers still curse their victims’ blood and the Blood they preached. Yet, Calvary’s Blood will still cover their sins—if they but ask.

Not with snarling, cursing hate, but with a thankful heart I say, “Let His Blood be on me and on my children!”

Saturday, April 08, 2006


What a night this is.

I read your Book, Jesus, and I know what happens in a few hours. You do too.
This night is the last checkpoint before the awesome plan of salvation crafted in Heaven unfolds.

It is the Eve of Redemption.

You chose a garden, familiar place, a quiet place you had been to many times. Two thousand years later I visited this place and saw olive trees so ancient they had known your presence. Of all the historical holy sites, Gethsemane remains the most emotional to me.

I know you told your disciples what was coming. What did you feel as you walked into this garden with them for this last time?

You could tell they didn’t really sense the urgency and finality of the moment. Did you wonder if you could really trust them with your mission? Would they rise to the occasion and carry your message into all the world?

I know you knew the end from the beginning, but you are also God and have the power to alter events however you wish.

When you slipped away deeper into the garden you asked them to pray with you. You knew their weak flesh would drowse them into sleep.

Maybe I understand this. You knew what they would do based on your foreknowledge, but you still gave them the option—even though they’d disappoint you.

How many times have you done that very same thing for all of us? You always let it be our choice even though you knew what choice we’d make. And because you didn’t intervene and over-ride our choice, it can be said you ordained it to happen the way it did.

How alone you must feel just now as you walk on to your praying place.

This is it.

The plan of all ages past and for all ages to come has come to this very moment. It’s decision time.

Is your mind reeling with the myriad of alternatives that you as God could ordain?

I remember that when the religious leaders brought before you the harlot they had caught in the act. You were teaching in the temple. They interrupted your teaching and presented you with what they thought was a brilliant trap. Jewish law required one thing, Roman law another and they asked you what should be done to her.

You are bigger than any logical box man could put you in. You surprised them with a third option. Faced with their own sin-guilt they just walked away and abandoned their charges.

Surely right now you can think of another way to redeem my soul.

You know Judas’ kiss is coming tonight. His name and action will evermore be the symbol of betrayal.

But you could stop it.

Vain little men with puffed up egos are going to stand in mocking judgment over you. One word and legions—ten thousands of angels--would come to your defense.
You could rise up in your God-ness and thunder out, “I am God!” and destroy every human imagination against you. But if you do, man will know you as God, but we won’t know you as our Redeemer who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.

The body you are in is just as human as mine. You know the beatings by whips and sticks, the nails, the thirst are coming. Don’t you already feel the pain?
Beads of sweat on your face tell me of the inner battle you now fight.

The crown. What a cruel device. You know the acute sting of a thorn stab.

This night marks the border between time and eternity for your begotten body.

Did those great drops of blood on your brow escape into the present from the thorn wounds that will come later on tonight across this blurring edge of time?
Right now you are totally aware of the unmeasurable weight and pain of evil and sin. It’s no wonder you groan. In a few hours you’ll be carrying it to the cross. No wonder you will stumble under its load.

“O my Father!” Your cry shatters the garden silence and pierces my soul. I’ve never seen such pain.

“If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” You say “if.” If there is another way…

But surely, even as you say it, you know there will be no other way. Every offered sacrifice—all the way back to the first atoning sacrifice in another garden called Eden—depends on your decision tonight for its meaning and efficacy. Your death, your blood, will be the atoning empowerment of your peoples’ sacrifice and prayers. Every sinner’s appeal to your blood from now on depends on this night.
You know you must.

“Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”


It’s done!

Even as you said it, I could sense the immediate calm in you—and in me. That cleansed feeling of every new believer was born with the one word, “Nevertheless.”

This night’s drama will unfold rapidly. Within hours it will be over. Confessed sins will forever be forgiven. Broken bodies will be healed.

And Lie’s head will be crushed.

You will say, “It is finished!”

Friday, April 07, 2006


It was a minor skin abrasion. Just a scratch.
My knee must have hit the dash of the car when we had the wreck a few days ago. (If you haven’t heard, Jean and I were in a highway collision that totaled both cars and should have killed us. Jean and I and the couple in the other car are fine.)
A week later that minor abrasion turned into a fiery red infection running from my knee down my shin—scary for diabetics. Diabetes can keep wounds from healing which can lead to amputation.
We all prayed. Some of you knew about it and prayed.
Children’s Cup Swaziland Medical Director Teresa Rehmeyer gave me some topical and oral antibiotics.
Today is the third day that the infection has abated and is going away—marvelously quick for one with diabetes!
I have never viewed prayer and medicine as adversaries and I surely know God is the author of healing by whatever means.
This wonderful healing started at Calvary—His bleeding wounds healed mine.
What a merciful, awesome God we serve!

Monday, April 03, 2006


It’s all been different since the accident a few days ago that nearly took our lives.
Jean and I face each day and event knowing that we would have missed these days and events if God had not saved our lives.
The green mountains have never been more beautiful.
Jean’s arms have never been more thrilling to me.
The Sunday morning service in an African church was glorious.
Sunday dinner with good friends, Ben and Susan and our grandkids was so perfect, and the setting in a rustic mountain inn was idyllic.
Computer messaging with our staff back in America is so immediate and helpful.
Real-time pictures of son Dan’s children on computer chats almost cancel the distance between us.
We have never been more vividly aware of God’s goodness to us.
It could have all been taken away in just a blink of the eye as our car and another smashed together at a highway intersection.
But God!
Jean and I are looking back over nearly four decades of serving Jesus overseas as missionaries. What awesome things God has let us see and do and be part of. We often ask each other, “Who do we know that has such a blessed life as we?”
What grandparents do we know that get to spend half their time in beautiful, challenging Africa hugging their grandkids and watching them grow up in Swaziland?
And then we get to be in America the rest of the time, hugging our grandkids in Louisiana and Iowa—and fellowshipping with the awesome, generous donors who share their financial strength with us enabling Children’s Cup to honestly change thousands of little lives.
Our children are all serving Jesus—and they are raising our grandkids to know Him and serve Him, too.
When I was 10 or 11 years old I had a part in our church’s Christmas play written by our pastor’s wife, Juanita Meyer. My lines included Mathew 6:33. “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
It’s been part of my life ever since.
Right now I’m very aware of how often I did not “seek first” yet for every time I did He has filled these days of my life with joy beyond belief.
Who would not want this kind of life? Only the ones who had never been told about it and that it could be theirs, too.
“Lord, Jesus, Jean and I pledge you a new intensity and unfailing effort to tell all we can how great it is to live for You!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


If you want to go fast—go alone.
If you want to go far—go together.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Great buildings seem to have a “personality” about them. One example is the Grand Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan. It is a massive red and gold marvel of oriental majesty.

Numinous feelings dizzy the mind and skip the heart the first time you enter it.

There is a presence of life about it.

In many intricate ways a building patterns itself after a human body. Frame-skeletal system; bricks-cells; plumbing-circulatory system; wiring-nervous system, etc.

Stuart Hamblin’s song called a man’s body, “This ole house.” The scriptures call our bodies “the temple of the Holy Ghost.”

Building structures seem to have a life essence.

Awe of this phenomenon was so great in Tokyo, that ancient (and some not-so-ancient) builders believed that the structure could only live if someone lay down his life for the building.

The victims, usually willing volunteers, were buried alive in the building’s foundation. The lowered cornerstone snuffed out the life of the one honored to be chosen.

Only by doing this could the builders be sure their building would live.

Ephesians 2:20-22 “…Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

The church—fitly framed and builded together—has as its chief cornerstone the once sacrificed now risen Lord Jesus Christ,

Jesus made sure His building—His Church—would live.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


O flaming tongues that danced
On Moses' burning bush
And filled the Upper Room
With a mighty sounding rush

Come fill my hungry heart
And set my soul ablaze
Prompt my willing tongue
And fill my voice with praise

Dave Ohlerking

Saturday, March 18, 2006


If I am not walking in daily awe of Jesus—with a feeling like I’m into a relationship far beyond my capacity and ability—then I’m not properly considering Who He is.

Yet, if I am walking timidly—taking hesitant, insecure steps—then I’m not properly acknowledging His presence in my life!

This, then, is the ultimate mystery:

He is beyond yet within.

Like the Psalmist said, “Such knowledge is too wondrous for me.”

Sunday, March 12, 2006


God’s near side to me is His Spirit.
My far side to God is my spirit.
Therefore, God reaching my spirit encompasses all of me.



It’s a matter of absence.

Consider: Dark is the absence of light.
Cold is the absence of heat.
Evil is the absence of Godliness.

Choice is the most God-like power He vested in man. When He chose to give us choice He drew a line of boundary He would not cross—man’s will.

And man has so totally abused that power. Evil is the creation of every man’s will when it operates in the absence of Godliness.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The Louvre—what a famous gathering place!

I wonder how many people have stood here—right here in this chamber—and contemplated the broken, yet stirring form of Venus de Milo.

Who is here right now? Orientals, Africans, Latins, Americans, maybe every region is represented.

Paris, this City of Lights and treaties and fashions has brought millions to this museum for public and private viewings. How long is the roster of viewers? Who are some of the famous that have visited this spot?

Radicals like HoChiMinh, Kruschev, Lenin. Gentlefolk like Hammarskjold and Einstein. General Ike, Statesman Adlai, Warrior Patton. The haughty, the soft, the rich, the workers. Bitter ones, lovers, bullies, helpful ones…

We have all seen the same thing. It is almost like this defiled sculpture has bound us all together. Their eyes, seeing it, reached forward in time to meet and hold the same image my eyes now see.

My eyes leap the centuries and hold the same image they beheld. For long moments the eyes of yesterday, today and even tomorrow lock together on her face. There’s even a sense of presence, like we’ve all come together at history’s gathering place.

What a thought! There is something that bridges my experiences and theirs—centuries notwithstanding.

Can it be that there is one thing that bridges all people across time?

At first the thought is gentle, but then it grows and takes on a driving, compelling force.

There is!


A different form—marred by human misdeed—was lifted up for all to see.


Like a spike driven into the middle of History, the crucified Christ rises at the ultimate gathering place—that special chamber in man where he fixes his soul’s destiny.

The fortunate have heard and can lift their eyes to Truth in that chamber.

Some refuse to look. Oh, pity the one who came to the gathering place and looked away. One step from Now into Forever and he, too, shall see the Truth. Too late!

Others search the chamber but can’t find Truth. They haven’t been told. They’ll see in Forever, but oh, cherish the chance to tell them now!

Bid all to come to the Gathering Place!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


How often we think and hear things like this:
“Something has to happen.”
“It can’t go on like this.”

Impending, unsolvable political conflicts and disease pandemics are out-pacing fiction writers’ imaginations.

People feel like society’s “autumn” is almost over and winter’s blizzards of destruction are coming fast.

There’s a general feeling that mankind is about to reap the harvest of its evil deeds. The harvest is overdue.

It is the “due season.”

As we survey the costs and hindrances to harvesting souls for Christ’s Kingdom, it is easy to feel faint. So many forces threaten the harvest everywhere.


None of these forces cancel the Great Commission to go everywhere and tell everybody.

None of them void this promise: “And let us not be weary in well doing, for in DUE SEASON we shall reap if we faint not!”

That is the promise that assures the purchasing power of the dollars you give.

That is the promise that eases the fatigue on the mission field.

It is the “due season!”

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Not when you think of the price Heaven paid to send us “The Word.”

Not when you remember that by talking we can lead another to eternal life in Jesus.

Not when you think of all the martyrs whose only crime was talking about Jesus.

Not when you feel the struggle and risks that oppressed people will take just to hear the words of life.

Not when you measure the value of a loved one’s last words.

Not when you read again Jesus’ last words telling us to “Go everywhere, tell everybody.”

Not when you can wrap words in light and electricity and hurl them over walls and through iron and bamboo and muslin curtains into the waiting radios, televisions, and computers and change the world.

Indeed, talk is not cheap—or is it?

For all words are worth they cost so little to wrap up in electricity and flood the world with them.

Just a few cents lays this very blog out there where hundreds of millions of computers can see it if they wish


Power doesn’t do any good until it is released. That’s true of mechanical power or electrical power and especially true of the power of God.

To release is to let go—but letting go is hard to do.

For instance, who can easily let go of their life? Yet in Luke 2:24 Jesus said, “For whosoever will save (hold onto, clutch) his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (let go of) his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

I kind of believe Jesus was remembering Abraham and Isaac as He said that. What a moment it must have been when God asked Abraham to sacrifice—to let go of—his son’s life! And it was so much more than that. It meant letting go of his future generations that God had promised would be born through Isaac.

Most scholars believe, also, that Isaac was old enough to understand full well what was happening. He had to be a willing participant in that ultimate act of obedience and letting go.

Yes, that had to be an awesome time of decision. But there was a moment coming that would live forever in their hearts and even now brings faith to our hearts.

Think of it. Abraham keeps looking for the way out that he is sure God will provide—but nothing happens until he takes up the knife and begins to plunge it into Isaac’s heart.

And that’s when it happened.

The instant he and Isaac had truly and actively let go of Isaac’s life, God stopped the knife and revealed the substitute sacrifice.

When they let go it released God’s power to give them back the very thing they had let go of—but in a new way.

Neither of their lives would ever be the same again. They had experienced the awesome power of God together.

The lives of the promised generations that Abraham thought he was sacrificing have each been touched by this great lesson.

When you think about it, Isaac’s life never was theirs to begin with. Did they really think they could have held on to it if God had wanted to take it?

It will never be true that by human grasping and clutching we can hold onto or make more secure what God has placed in our hands.

What a lesson!

But there’s more. Let’s illustrate it this way. Hold out your hand, palm up. Now close your fingers and clench your fist.

Can you see now that you can hold more in an open palm than you can in a clenched fist? So much fuller our lives are when we let go and open up our hands.

This note was found in the papers of a missionary martyr: “He is no fool who lets go of what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Like the song says, “Let go and let God have His wonderful way.”

Don’t clutch!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


How could we ever defend embarrassed silence when our failure to witness costs the untold their souls?


There is a more mature faith than that which comes by observation.


It is as impossible to doubt as it is to understand.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Read the words as the poet pens them onto the parchment.
Feel the parchment come alive as the poem is born in the inkwords.
Fear not, though the haters would slash and torch the parchment, and the inkwords become but ash upon ash; and though the ashes be scattered or buried; fear not, the poem will live on.

It’s clear, the ink and parchment had no life until the scribe shaped the words. Words brought the life.

And so it is that the parchment that is my body was given life by the Word.
Though haters would slash and burn this parchment of my life, like the poem, that part of me that is alive will never die!

Glory to God!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I feel an urgency to write—it almost feels like if I could just scratch through the whiteness of this paper, the words would suddenly burst forth.

But what subject?

There are so many things in my mind to get said . Words fight for the gate to get out but they get clogged up. It seems to be a mechanical impedance.

There are so many things that need words; hearts that need healing, gratitudes to be expressed, wrongs to be addressed, people needing hope—all waiting for words.

I wonder how He feels—the original Word Speaker. He started words. He wants His Words to bring life to everyone.

But, only those who have heard His Word can tell it to others. How saddened he must be to see that so many hear yet so few tell others.

We so easily become a mechanical impedance to the flow of the Word.

Fill your pens, run your presses, roll your cameras, sound into you recorders, amplify and multiply the Word in every way known to man!

Let the Word flow!

Monday, February 27, 2006


Wholeness and new life awaited the eager plunger into Bethesda's troubled pool.

What fulfillment awaits the ones who eagerly plunge into these troubled days?

The efficacy was not in the troubled waters nor is it in the troubled days,

But, rather, the power flows as the Master speaks and we take up the challenge to walk, yes, even plunge into whatever circumstances we face!

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Rivers and crooked men take the path of least resistance.

Friday, February 24, 2006


“I’ll never forget it!”
“I couldn’t stand to watch.”
“Don’t look, it’s too much.”
“It made me physically sick.”

Come upon an accident or crime scene and you’ll hear these phrases.

Three and a half decades of brutal scenes in 106 countries have victimized my memory.

The enemy of peace and calm in your mind knows he can draw you into the scene with human, inborn morbid curiosity. He knows the scene will then steal from you, and make you a victim, too.

But, oh wonderful the thought, there is one crime scene where it works just the opposite. Far from making you a victim, one look can make you the victor. And whether they know it or not there is a cry in every human heart to visit the scene.

It’s the crime at Calvary, the cross.

The pattern began with Moses in the wilderness. God instructed him to put a brazen serpent upon a pole. If the snake-bitten people would but look upon the lifted-up brass snake, they would be made whole.

“Look and live,” they were told.

When I first thought into this I knew the brazen serpent on a pole was symbolic of Christ’s crucifixion, but I rebelled at the snake being the pattern for Christ.

Then, waves of guilt swept over me when I realized that the snake was, indeed, appropriate. The snake is symbolic of sin. Jesus who knew no sin, became sin for us on the cross. He took all our sins, my sins, to that lifted-up, atoning altar.

Guilt changed to praise when I looked to the cross.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Blindered eyes.
Shielded minds.
Locked-up hearts.
Blythe belief that if it’s ignored it will go away.

Who am I talking about?

First I’m talking about adults in third world countries being destroyed by AIDS.
Next I’m talking about many of “the church” in North America.

We’ve watched the unbelievable phenomenon of parents emotionally detaching from their babies and toddlers. Some children are handed off after birth without even being named—handed off to wicked adults who will raise them as sex slaves. Parents are afraid of the pain that love of their children will bring as their children's little lives are crushed by AIDS in their own little bodies or in their loved ones.

It is disturbing to see that so many little ones are far past ever expecting their family—if they still have any left—to help. They wrest life a morsel at a time out of garbage cans and dumps, an occasional bit of food from a kind person, or whatever they can steal. I know of cases where sawdust and tree bark and sand were swallowed to ease the hunger pangs.

For these precious little ones (Jesus died for each of them) their whole life-plan and thoughts of the future are to just find the next bite to eat.

Skinny bodies and bloated little tummies are an unbearable rebuke to me for all the times I turned my heart away from them to pursue a personal comfort or possession. I remind myself, though, it is not wrong to provide safety and comfort for one’s family.

So then where is the line? Wherever I have drawn it has always been short of what I really could have done—and whatever I can do alone is not enough.

Can I ask you to close your eyes for a moment and look past the distractions of affluence and see a generation of little ones with eternal souls needing the barest necessities of life?

If your mind is shielded and your heart is locked, will you open up and make room for some hurting children?

Sunday, February 19, 2006


(My daughter, Susan, when she was about 6 years old, and I wondered what it might have been like...)

My daddy and I were right in the front of the crowd. I could tell by the way people were gathering and listening this was a great man speaking, yet His words were so clear to me as a child. I knew His words were important.

And it seemed like He kept looking at me.

There were a lot of us children in the crowd. Could you imagine our thrill when He said, “Let the children come to me”?

Several kids—some of them I knew as playmates—immediately ran to Him, but I couldn’t move. It was like my legs were paralyzed. Oh, how I wanted to go but I just couldn’t do it.

“I know,” I thought, “the next time He looks at me I’ll go.” And right then He did just that—but I still stood there frozen.

Tears came but I brushed them away as I decided what I would do. I would count to ten and at ten I would step out and go to Him. I wouldn’t even think about it. It was already decided.

“One, two three.” My heart was beating faster and my throat was getting dry.

“Four, Five, six.” I was almost dizzy with the thought of being near Him.

“Seven, eight.” I could hardly breathe.

“Nine, ten, go!”

But my legs still wouldn’t move.

“Why can’t I go?” I silently cried.

I looked up to my daddy’s face and his eyes were teary, too. He gently pushed my shoulder and said, “It’s okay, go to Him.”

At that very same instant He looked right at me and kept looking. His eyes were saying, “Come.”

Oh, I ran. I ran as fast as I could to His side. He leaned over and put His arm around me and lifted me up to His lap. So strong and so gentle.

With His other hand He tenderly pulled my head to his chest. I felt his robe—it was coarse cloth like my own. It had the fresh scent of the fields on it.

And His beard had the faint scent of olive oil.

As He spoke I felt the power of His voice in His chest and in my heart.

And then I felt His heartbeat. Quick and urgent.

He looked into my eyes again for a long moment. Then He motioned for us all to go back to our families.

I ran to Daddy. I didn’t care that my tears were gushing.

Daddy pulled me up into his arms and hugged me tight. He was crying, too.

“Oh, Daddy, this is the most important thing that has ever happened to me. I felt His heartbeat. I will obey His words and serve him forever.”

Daddy squeezed me harder and tried to say something but his voice was choked by tears of love and joy.

He just nodded and then managed to whisper, “Me, too.”


The fury of the cross was conquered by love.

Willingly, He set aside His regal crown and took instead the plaited thorns—each thorn unlocking a rivulet of Love.

Compassionately, He bared His back so the angry lashes could rip and tear the fleshly mantle from the Love that now heals disease and cancels pain.

Anxiously, He opened His hands to receive the nails that would open streams of Love—streams that still flow as those hands reach out to touch us and make us whole.

Expectantly, He steadied His feet against the splintered plank to feel the rusty spike of sin pinion Him to the cross and open yet another crimson fount of Love.

Agonizingly, yet excitedly, as the climax neared, His eyes searched the generations of mankind and rested on me, on you, on each soul that has known or will know life. He saw that only His crimson Love could cleanse our filth.

Oh, how His bosom surged with the swelling tide of Love. His very being wretched against the nails as He sought to fully release the cleansing tide.

The vilest, yet most meaningful of all deeds was climaxed, and in a final metaphor event, the spear opened His bosom into a spillway and released a flood of Love that engulfs all humanity.

His words were, “It is finished!”

His part in redemption was accomplished.

There remains our part—ours is not yet finished.

Sad, burning eyes search for but a glimpse of that fountain of Love.
Parched souls crave the dew of Love.

Fevered minds scream for the cool release of Love.

In a frenzied, dissonant concert, mankind is crying out its hunger and thirst for Calvary’s Love.

Friday, February 17, 2006

"ANY DEALDY THING..." Urgent need to pray

Terror raced through the nurse's mind. Blood from a child's wound had splattered into her eye.

The nurse is part of a medical team from America here this week treating children at our Children's Cup Care Points in Swaziland. Statistically, about half the children we care for are HIV positive.

Did this child's blood carry the deadly virus into the nurses body?

Another nurse treating another child was accidentally pricked by a syringe just used to give a child a shot.

Instant terror followed by deep dread followed by prayer. Was this child HIV positive?

These two nurses came to Swaziland out of compassion for suffering children. Now they have several week's of dreadful wait to see if they became infected with life stealing AIDS.

Unexplainable cultural protocols and medical regulations keep us from testing the children the nurses were treating to see if they were HIV positive--a gut wrenching, senseless denial of information. The nurses must wait about four weeks before they know if they are victims.

Mark 16:18 declares God's power over "...any deadly thing..."

Please pray with us for these nurses that God will, indeed, protect them from any possibility of being harmed by "any deadly thing." Let's ask God to give each of them a quiet peace and confidence in Him.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


She looked across the table at a church fellowship potluck dinner into the eyes of the people who had butchered her family--and left her for dead at Rwandan massacre site. She had lain among the dead for three days until a passerby noticed her twitching and took her to help.

And then she saw a family bringing food to the table in what had been her mother’s favorite dishes—looted trophies of the macabre event.

Now she ate with them in forgiving fellowship with Christ.

Children’s Cup missionary David Van Rensburg, “Beano,” is helping coordinate preparations in Kigali, Rwanda, for the Joyce Meyer Crusade—part of the Hundred Days of Healing projects of Hillsong and many major ministries.

As the lady told Beano about the potluck encounter he could easily see how she was disfigured by the machete chops, yet he also saw a radiant presence of God in her life. Her scars had become badges of God’s grace.

Healing is coming to Rwanda. It is coming because hurting people on both sides have turned their hurting place into a forgiving place and God is making it a healing place.

Please pray with us as we seek God’s direction for Children’s Cup’s onward involvement in Rwanda.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Fear will make you look back.
Worry will make you look around.
Faith will make you look ahead.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


God will take the worst thing that can happen to you and make it the best thing for you--if you let Him.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Think a bit before you answer this question.

Is my ability to do God's will in my life limited by another person's actions?

Can somebody else do something that stops me from doing God's will?

Thursday, January 19, 2006


If we will turn our hurting places into forgiving places God will turn them into healing places.