Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Disaster Relief this week

Here's the latest disaster relief info from the SBC. If you are qualified to help, start making preparations to go now in case they need folks to volunteer. If you're not qualified, find out how to get trained so that you're for the next Katrina or 9-11.

If you're not part of a Southern Baptist Church, contact one and find out how you can help or contact your own denominational leaders.


Hurricane Gustav Preparation

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for your calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and
I will listen to you." ( Jeremiah 29: 11-12 NAS)

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) is developing plans in cooperation with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Department of Homeland Security (FEMA) and state Baptist conventions in Hurricane Gustav’s projected path. SBDR has been requested to provide a feeding capacity of more than 600,000 meals per day as the Gulf Coast braces for the arrival of a possible Category 4 Gustav.

The Disaster Operation Center located at the North American Mission Board has been activated at a Level III status. Operational hours through the Labor Day holiday are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Hours of operation and staffing levels will be evaluated on a daily basic.

All Southern Baptist feeding units are on Alert! With the exception of the Illinois and Minnesota/Wisconsin Baptist Convention feeding units, on standby to support the Republican National Convention, feeding units are asked to be prepared for a possible response to the gulf coast. All units are expected to deploy with Disaster Relief Chaplains as members of their volunteer teams.

Conference calls are being conducted with Southern Baptist state convention Disaster Relief directors. Planning continues to develop and the hurricane track is being monitored.

State conventions expected to be affected are planning to staff liaison positions at the American Red Cross and Salvation Army operational headquarters in their states. Liaisons are also deployed to command centers in Washington, D.C. to coordinate with the American Red Cross and FEMA. Incident Command Team members have been recruited and are expected to deploy to staging areas in Louisiana and Mississippi over the next two days.

Plans are in place to stage feeding units and other units, from a number of states, in northern Mississippi and Alabama by noon Monday. Tuesday these units will be moved into the affected area. Some states located close to Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas will be asked to be prepared to deploy from their home as soon as conditions are favorable.

Southern Baptists are also tracking Tropical Storm Hanna. The Southern Baptist state convention Disaster Relief directors located on the southeastern United States coastline are monitoring Hanna’s track and developing contingency plans for a possible landfall on the east coast or gulf coast later in the week.

For more information click here.
National Disaster Relief Leadership

* Terry Henderson, National Disaster Relief Director
* Mickey Caison, Disaster Operation Center Manager
* To contact the Disaster Operations Center, call 1 888 462-8657 or e-mail dr_offsite@namb.net.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Urgent Video for Your Church

Imagine that an angry mob attacked your church. They burn the church building--also your home--to the ground. They follow up this destruction by raping, torturing and murdering the individuals in your congregation--simply because they chose to follow Christ.

This horrific situation is reality for hundreds of pastors, missionaries and other believers throughout Orissa, India, during the past week. Our brothers and sisters desperately need your prayers. I am providing a link to a video outlining the situation and explaining how I'd like you to pray for these people who are literally losing everything because of their faith.

Join me in praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Orissa right now.

What We Believe

A well-done presentation on the basics of the faith. If you asked me what fundamentals should I hold to, I'd say here is a great list which is presented with excellence.

What We Believe

Monday, August 25, 2008

Saddleback Civil Forum Video clips

Once again, Rick Warren leads the way in pastors thinking with a God-sized vision.

Gary Bauer notes,

As I noted in my Human Events column last week, the presidential candidates' forum at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California was a defining moment in this campaign... While the event was broadcast on CNN and Fox, I have heard from many people who, for one reason or another, missed it. So, I want to take this opporturnity to share with you some YouTube links highlighting Senator John McCain's responses to some questions on the issues that are most important to people of faith.

John McCain on the Right to Life

John McCain on the necessity to defeat the evil of radical Islamic extremism

John McCain on judges

John McCain on faith

John McCain on taxes

John McCain on energy

John McCain on educational choice

The GOP has also launched a great new website -- www.notready08.com.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mission: Charleston 2009

Believe it or not, I am already excited about next summer! Yes, we are already planning in earnest what our mission emphasis will look like in 2009. Here's how God is shaping it as I see it right now:

1. Consistent with our Acts 1:8 strategy we are planning to do go on mission next summer all the way to...Charleston, SC. Wait. That's like 20 miles down I-26. That's not a mission trip, is it? Yep. That it is.

We went nationally ("Judea and Samaria") in 2007 to Gulfport, MS. We went internationally ("Ends of the earth") to Curacao, N. A. in 2008 so it follows that we'll go locally ("Jerusalem") in 2009. Hence, Mission: Charleston 2009.

Mission: Charleston 2009 will be an all out effort on the part of Grace and our partners to minister intensively for 10 days across the SC low country. Our slogan is to share the love of Jesus in a practical way. We hope you'll plan to be a part. This will happen July 11-20, 2009.

The total God-thing in all of this is that IGA (Ignatius Gracia Abundante) wants to come and bring 20 youth to do a mission trip here with us! Talk about a partnership!

The 10 days will start off with a youth weekend retreat where we'll train and get to know each other. The rest of the week will be spent actually serving people.

2. The second component of our mission effort in 2009 will be to go and build on our partnership with the Church in Curacao, N. A. We have a team forming right now that is planning to go to help with VBS and depending on our numbers do some addition projects as well. This will happen July 4-11, 2009. The cost will be the plane ticket plus $250. This trip will be led by Gene and Doris Hundley. There is an informational meeting coming up.

Now while things are shaping up, they aren't in stone. There definitely seems to be a group coming together to go so they are moving forward with our blessing. And there definitely is a group from Curacao that wants to come and have us host them.

But there still remains the question of whether we want to take on this Mission: Charleston challenge. Make no mistake: This would be the single biggest project we've taken on since starting the church. It will require faith, time, resources, focus and lots of energy. It will require an effort from nearly everybody to make it happen and go well.

I believe we can and should do this. While it will stretch our faith, isn't that right where we want to be anyway. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb 11:6) Anytime we exercise faith, God is pleased.

So I invite your input and comments on this. I pray God will use us in a mighty way next summer!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vacation? What's that?

Vacations are surreal. I've only been back 2 days and I'm left wondering if I really went.

We were gone for 10 days. We didn't stay too busy. Just one day at SeaWorld. The rest on the beach or lounging around the condo. We played games, ate a lot, read lots of books, watched the Olympics every night and overdosed on Disney Channel. (trust me, it was too much)

Here I am my second day back trying to catch up. I'm already tired! What's that all about?

Jesus got tired too. I need to remember that. But he also took time to pull away. To rest. To pull away from the intensity of life. I got to do that. I got to slow down, play games with my girls, walk on the beach and build sand castles just because. I got splashed by Shamu and fed the sea lions raw fish...and I got to read and listen to God speak.

So now I'm back in the jungle. But hopefully I'm better prepared to handle all that comes my way. Thank you for vacations, Lord.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pray for Tommy

Tommy Evans is a friend of mine. His wife, Melissa, and boys Ethan and Tyler would appreciate you praying for his surgery in the morning:

Hey Darien,
Thank you so much for your prayers. They mean a lot to all of us. Dad is going to have surgery tomorrow at 7:30am. They are going to put ZenoGraph on his burns. It is a pig skin that will retain moisture and cover his nerve endings and speed the growth of his skin. Please pray that the graphs will take the first time, that there will be no blood clots, and for wisdom for the doctors. Also pray that he will have a speedy recovery and be able to go home soon. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.