Mary or Judas

Last Wednesday I was in a church service where a visiting pastor was speaking. His sermon was a comparison of Mary and Judas in Mark 14 verses 3-11.


  • Focused on the most important–worshiping God (Christ). Luke 10:38-42
  • Faithful in trials. John 11:21-40
  • Forsook her greatest possession. Mark 14:3


  • Criticized intimate worship. Mark 14:4
  • Complained about God’s work. Mark 14:4. 5
  • Confided with wicked people. Mark 14:10, 11

What struck me is that while many look at missionaries and think that we are willing to give up many things to go live on a foreign field, most of us don’t see that as a hardship. However, we struggle with giving up some things. Maybe your struggle is the thought of giving up regular electricity, or moving away from family. We do give up those things, but personally my struggles are in giving up things of even lesser value.

I don’t think I fall into the category of a Judas, but I am not sure I am a Mary either. Sure, I am willing to give up some comforts to be a missionary, but am I willing to forsake what I see as materialistically important? I am not sure I am there yet.

New content ideas

I am considering adding some new content to my main website. Many of my readers would know that we are missionaries working with the Deaf. In an effort to connect with our supporters in a greater way, I am considering adding a video and/or an audio podcast**. These will be short updates that will help engage with our supporters and friends. I have no planned regularity in putting out content, but it will be at least one update a month.

The reason for doing a video version is that many of our friends are Deaf. This would allow them to get content in their language while still making it accessible for the hearing. Meaning that I would both sign and speak each one of the updates.

I don’t plan on this being a traditional podcast in that I will provide content that the general public might want to consume. Rather it will be simple, short updates about what is going on with us.

What do you think? I know that those who pray for us would like more regular content so that they know how better to pray. Is this the best way to deliver that content? I have intentionally avoided using my prayer letter mailing list as an “update” medium. I would rather those who are more connected with us go to the website and get that additional information. Do you agree?

**What is meant by “podcast”? This is a format for providing content that the “subscriber” can receive automatically via software that grabs the new information when it is available. All the content will be available at the website to view on-line, but by making it a podcast that simply means that the user could go to one piece of software to consume all the content, i.e., iTunes.

Carol Burnett’s Wall Bed

One of my favorite Carol Burnett skits has her walking into the house like a zombie arriving home from work. Her “husband” Tim Conway stumbles out of bed and gets dressed for work, again zombie-like. They go through their morning routine with only a passing kiss. As she crawls into bed she announces to him that she is pregnant. As he walks out the door he simply says, “No way.”

During the skit he gets up and makes the bed and folds it into the wall. She gets ready for bed and pulls it down and crawls in. I always thought it would be cool to have a wall bed that could serve as a spare bed in the house.

[This is a sponsored post.]

¡Viva la Grandeza!

Today I ran a 5K road race. This was an event put on by the church we attend when we are in Pensacola. The entire race was run on the campus of Pensacola Christian College. It is really nice to be able to run a race in an essentially closed environment. Traffic is never an issue for races held there at the school.

Like last year, this race was fraught with rain and wind. But unlike last year, we went into this weekend having a week of record low temperatures for the area. Last year the puddles were seen as a neat opportunity to goof around in the rain. This year people were scared to get out in the cold water because we might all get sick and die. Last year the starting temperature was 68 degrees and this year 57. It really was not that cold, but it was cold enough to keep the crowd small.

Because I turned 40 recently I got to move up in age division for this race. Now, instead of being the old man in the 30-39, or 35-39 age group, I was the young whipper snapper in the 40-44 age group. ¡Viva la Grandeza! (Long live old age!)

As we started the race I was not aware of anyone in my age group even competing. There was hope that I would be the only one. In total there probably were not more than 70 people in the whole race. I knew I had a chance to place even if I did not win my division.

This was a three lap race. After the crowd thinned out, but only about 1Km into the race I was passed by a girl half my age. She pulled in front of me, but never too far out of reach. She became the only person I was determined to beat. When I went by the water stops I asked the workers to trip her on the next lap around, but they did not comply. Towards the end of the second lap she and I caught up with another young lady who was apparently her friend. She pushed the friend along and they both stayed just out of my reach until half way through that last lap. They faded slightly and allowed me to catch up. I slowly pulled away from them as the lap came to a close.

I finished the race in 29:30. Not a great time for a 5K, but I am not in my best running shape either. I was pleased with the effort. This was my longest run of the year.

According to the man calling out the splits I ran the first lap/mile in 9:20, the second in 9:25 and the third in just under 10:00 (if I remember right). Then the rest of the time was made up in the .1 miles at the end.

At the end of the race we were given a card and shown the clock. We had to write down our own time and drop it in the box of our age division. I was thrilled when I found the 40-44 year old box and there were no cards in it. But then equally disappointed when I was told that was the ladies’ box. I searched for the men’s box and had mixed emotions about seeing a card already in there. That meant I did not win my age group, but there was only one man in front of me. I took second place. There was at least one other 40-44 year old since they handed out a third place ribbon.

While winning second out of three with a less-than-stellar time may not seem like something to brag about, I feel pretty good about it. I did not go fast, but I went a lot faster than all the other men in my age group from the church and community who did not even make the effort to get out and run with us today. Just showing up guaranteed me a better chance of winning than those who were still drinking coffee at 8:00 on a lazy, rainy, cold Saturday morning.

There has to  be a sermon illustration in there somewhere.

Missionary Talks 71: Mark Coleman

I am very pleased to get another Missionary Talks episode up at the site.

The interview with Mark Coleman is an interview with a friend. I have known Mark for several years. I was pleased to spend time with him in his church recently and find out a bit more about how he got involved with Deaf ministry. Mark and I started learning sign language about the same time; 20 years ago. I think you will enjoy hearing him talk about how the Lord led him into working with the Deaf.

Getting interviews has been a bit more difficult than I expected while we have been home. It seems that it is easier to do a phone interview than a face to face one. Until recently, I have not had the ability to do phone interviews because my equipment was not set up in our transitional housing. However, I found a new solution for doing an interview via phone. This should allow me to get more interviews up in the next few weeks as we prepare to move to Argentina. Though the move will complicate any kind of schedule I have for a while.

I have another interview recorded that I am working on editing. Some are easy to edit, and others are not. The one with Mark was easy, and therefore was put up within a few days of recording. The other one I have had for 3 weeks and have worked on it a bit at a time, but I still have several more hours of editing to go on that one.

A new idea has been rolling around in my head for Missionary Talks too. I may change up the format a bit. I will still keep the missionary interviews as they currently are, but may add another type of conversation/interview into the mix that will have me talking regularly with some of the missionaries I have already interviewed once. I will keep you posted on what I decide to do.