Joining a rEVOLution…some history

Tori’s dad, J. Calaway, was my youth pastor in the mid-80’s.  I’ll spare you more photos from the era, but here’s Tori (with her youth pastor, Dale).


In ’97, when I was youth pastor at Park Crest A/G, we went to work in J.’s church in Hammond, IN, on a missions trip.  One of our driver’s cancelled the night before, so I called the only youth sponsor I could bother the night before a 10 day trip…my sister.  After telling me the reasons she couldn’t go, she finally gave in and said she’d go.

In the church driveway as we arrived, J. and the former executive pastor, Alan Bixler, told/asked her, “We’ve got a husband, a house, and a job for you…when are you moving?”  A year later she arrived, and 6 months after that, she and Scott got married.  They’re still here (with 3 kids).


On Wednesday, I connected with Pastor Dale (who was in the youth group when I met him in ’97) and rEVOLution, _hammond11the youth group at Hammond 1st A/G.  I’m humbled at the thought that they’ve chosen the missions work I do with Convoy of Hope as the work they’ll sponsor in ’09.  They’re praying for April and I and the interns every week, we’ll be keeping in touch when I’m on the field, and they made us a very meaningful gift…a coffee mug that they decorated with photos of them and of us, and a book of encouraging scriptures and thoughts they prepared especially for us.  It was cool…

I say all the time that missions work is a partnership, and this is a very good example of it.  I look forward to keeping in touch with some of the students and leaders from the crazy places our interns and I will serve in ’09, and returning over Christmas break to say thanks again._hammond3

We’re humbled by the fact that so many pray for and financially support us.  I told the group that it’s like that Verizon commercial where there’s one guy on the phone, but an enormous network of people behind him that allows the phone call to happen.  That’s what missions work is like.  At times I get to be on the front line, and at times I get to be in a support role praying for others (like the youth of rEVOLution and other donors and prayer partners), but whatever it is…it’s teamwork and it’s for Him. 

So to rEVOLution…thanks for being a part of Convoy of Hope and our intern program…and it’s cool to be a part of what you’re doing.

Here’s Nate E., who preached his first sermon after I shared with the group.  He did a great job…


Which is the worse tragedy? Your thoughts?

Our Convoy of Hope interns and I talked Monday of two great tragedies…

Tragedy #1. There are people today who haven’t decided to follow Jesus. Maybe they’ve never heard, or maybe they’ve rejected. Either way, this means they don’t have the comfort/strength/guidance/etc. from the Holy Spirit. They don’t have the “full life” that John 10:10 promises. And then a future without Jesus after their death is quite a tragedy too. All tragic.

Tragedy #2. God created man to worship Him. He sent His Son to die for us. His Son (that’s Jesus) sure worked hard and sacrificed for us. God is love, you know. He “dwells in the praises of His people.” Many people around the world don’t know about Him so they’re not worshipping Him. Many who do know about Him have chosen not to worship Him. He’s wanting praises, our attention, our love, and our lives and not receiving them. Tragic.

John Piper is a pastor/author who’s written about this. includes a 14 point sermon that touches on the topic…good stuff.

So from your perspective, which is the worse tragedy? Which is a stronger driving force? Their bleak future here and after life outside of Jesus, or a deserving Jesus not receiving their praises today?