Have you ever seen the movie “Private Eyes” with Tim Conway and Don Knotts? I know I saw it many times with my sister and we always thought it was so funny. I haven’t seen it in a long, long time but somehow, I think it probably isn’t as funny as I thought when I was little. One thing always stayed with me from that movie though, the word Wookalar. I don’t remember the context of it in the movie I just thought it was a hilarious name for a monster, I guess I still do. To me one of the funniest things I can tell a student, of any age, is that there is a Wookalar in the bathroom just above the sink. Most of the time they know I’m just playing a joke that only I will think is funny and most of the time they are also correct. Just above the sink is the mirror and the joke is, “they are the Wookalar”. Even typing it, the thing makes me laugh. With our students we are still meeting outdoors under the carport of the mission house Bronwyn and I currently occupy. We open the church doors closest to our house so they can have access to bathrooms and last week I just couldn’t help but ask a few if they had seen the Wookalar. They knew it was going to be dumb and to them it was, to me however it was amazingly funny. Just saying the word Wookalar is funny to me. I found the scene from the movie if you want to check it out. If you decide to watch it all let me know if it holds up.

A few days later we were meeting, and I hung up a picture from the movie of the Wookalar. Again, they did not think it was funny but what they did think was funny was holding up a picture of me and saying that I was the Wookalar. Honestly, whoever wrote that movie should just be happy anyone remembers it 39 years later. Speaking of mirrors, as a camp director almost every summer I had to deal with “Bloody Mary”. If you aren’t familiar with that its when you go to the bathroom and turn off the lights and she appears in the mirror. There are several variations, like you say her name 3 times or twelve or whatever and then she kills you or haunts you but all basically the same thing. After it would start, I would always do the exact same lesson about how our eyes adjust to light and so the reflection you are actually seeing is your own as you become more accustom to the dark. I loved when it happened because it gave me the opportunity to talk about how amazing the human body is and how clear it is that we were designed by a Master Designer. Look, I know people who have already decided that the eye, like the rest of the body, just came about through evolution. But to me that takes much greater faith than trusting that there is a Great Designer and He created us and as it is written in Psalms 39.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.

And not only is there a Creator but there is a Creator we can know and have a personal relationship with. Because it also says in Psalms in chapter 100:

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Our Creator lovingly made us and now calls us into a relationship with Him and calls us His people. Anyway, I already know you’re going to pull that Wookalar joke on someone, please tell me about it when you do.

Maybe I do look like a Wookalar

Stinky Clothes

When Bronwyn and I hiked the Appalachian Trail, we would often go a little while without being able to put on clean clothes. We did however splurge a bit on pack weight with socks because clean dry socks were a huge luxury. I literally knew hikers who had two pair, the ones they were hiking in and the ones they had strapped to their packs so they would dry. After days of being dirty there was nothing better than finding some place to take a shower and then being able to put on your hiking clothes after they had been washed. One of the things that always surprised me was that people would have an opportunity to wash their clothes and then wouldn’t do it. Bronwyn, however, was the master and finding ways for us to clean our clothes. She would get hotels we weren’t staying at, random strangers, whoever, because putting on clean clothes was definitely the best! We did have one unfortunate clothing disaster where almost all our hiking clothes were destroyed; you can read about that in our trail journal if you would like.


If you look at Galatians 3:26-27 is says:

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

The context of the last part “put on Christ” is the same language that’s used for putting on clothing. I love thinking of coming into a relationship with Jesus like that because I have experienced the dirtiness of sin and the dirtiness of hiking clothes and love the reality of being cleansed from sin because it feels a little like a hiking shirt with 4 days of sweat and grime on it being washed and smelling fresh. I John 1:7 says it all:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

There is nothing like being cleansed from ALL our sin because of the blood shed on the cross for us. If you have ever smelled old hiking clothes, or old hikers, you’ll know how incredible pungent it is. The only smell worse is the smell of death and decay and in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 it talks about us being the aroma of Christ opposed to the aroma of death. What a clear beautiful analogy of the new life in Christ because we all can understand bad smells from good ones, especially people who were unfortunate enough to have had to stand near me after many days of hiking.

Now, there was one hostel we stayed at in Maine that did something extra special. They actually had clothes you could put on while you washed all your dirty clothes. It was so great but also weird to have on non-hiking clothes for the first time in months. I tried to find the absolute best outfit I could. However, someday we will be clothed in glory forever with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

My Lovey Ensemble at the Hostel in Maine

Our Game

I woke up this morning a little more sore than usual. Now this might be a side effect of being 45 and having done a few thousand pushups yesterday but more likely it’s because of a game me and three of my high school boys invented. No need to go into all the details but it was basically us kicking a huge pilates ball at each other and trying to score by putting it over the other teams’ head. We played two on two and the game, like most games with this group, was very intense and even if I tried to explain the rules it would probably not make sense to anyone else. We didn’t plan to invent some new game it just happened organically, and in the end, we just called it “Our Game”. It was something we created that was just for us and it was crazy fun.

There is a reason people like inside jokes so much, it builds community and bonds people. There is a reason people love to share the same stories over and over and reminisce and laugh, it’s a connector. People long for attachment, they want to feel like they are a part of something that’s just for them, a special group that helps give them identity. It’s exactly why small groups in church are so important. We were created for community! God instituted both family and church for the purpose of meeting needs that He created us to have, like the need to be with other people. Let me say this differently, you need other people in your life who are loving you, supporting you, and encouraging you. People you can share your life with that are inside and outside your family. It’s one of the reasons we do the thing called Sunday School, even though I dislike that terminology because it makes it sound like the chief reason for it is so we get taught something. Look, teaching is a part of it, you should be learning and growing in your knowledge of the Bible and who you are in Christ but really what you need desperately is a Jesus community that gives you the opportunity and space to share your life.

In the coming weeks I am going to be sharing with you about Victor who is Kenyan and lived with us for a while and the amazing ministry he is doing there. I’ll even tell you about the opportunity to partner with what he is doing both financially and prayerfully. He has become a son to me, and I could not be prouder of him. In the slums of Nairobi, he helps run what he calls “Life Groups”. Don’t you like that? Don’t you want to be a part of a life group where the word of God is taught and people are growing in their faith, but also where they are sharing their lives. Remember that is what the first Christians in Acts were doing, sharing their very lives with one another, and not just seeing each other on Sundays….maybe…if there wasn’t something else going on or they weren’t too tired. I think Paul put it best in I Thessalonians 2:8 when he wrote.

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

So yes, yesterday with some of my teens, I helped invent a game but it wasn’t about the game. It was about the community. If you are reading this, even as I type I am praying for you, that you will find community if you don’t have one and if you do that you will become even more invested in it. Remember, the first thing God said wasn’t good in Genesis 2:8 was for man to be alone.

This is the actual ball used to play “Our Game”

Making a Difference for the Kingdom

I think all of us want our lives to have meaning, to have purpose. I think everyone wants to live a life that impacts the world and eternity in a seismic way. Well I know two young men who are dedicating their lives to doing the kind of work for the Lord that I know will have lasting impact on the world and for the Kingdom. If you have followed our story much at all you will have no doubt heard the names Victor and Rodgers. Both of them are from Kenya and are currently living, working, and serving God in the slum area in Nairobi known as Mathare. I’ve been to Mathare myself and I know firsthand the kind of need there is in that community but having worked beside these young men I also know first hand the kind of impact they are having for the Lord there. Soon I will write about how these men came into our lives and how one of them came to live with us in Kenya and why they mean so much to us. I’ll explain in even greater detail all the work they are doing and why we felt the overwhelming need to start a non-profit here in the United States that could support them and hopefully in time make them full time local missionaries to Mathare. But if you have any faith in me and my word then just know that what these young men are doing is some of the finest work I have ever seen done for the Lord and that these are two of the most trustworthy and upstanding people I have ever met in all the time I have spent serving God. Both of them have powerful testimonies about what they have seen God do, and both of them love Jesus and other people in a way that both excited and inspired me.

Because of all that and dozens more reasons I will go into later I am asking that if you are not already supporting a missionary or missions organization that you would consider supporting the work Victor and Rodgers are doing in the slum of Mathare in Nairobi, Kenya. I assure you every dime that comes into this ministry directly supports the work they are doing. Bronwyn and I are personally overseeing all the money for this ministry and neither we nor anyone else is taking anything from it. With the exception of some small banking and accounting fees everything goes directly towards the work they are doing. And the work they are doing is amazing and life changing.

Mathara – Nairobi, Kenya

Here is how you can support this ministry and what that support goes towards.

A Donation of $25 helps put a Bible in the hands of a family in Mathare

A donation of $50 will help provide meal baskets for families in Mathare

A donation of $100 will support living expenses for Victor and Rodgers and help them provide for the needs of others in this impoverished community.

Also, financial support of any amount can be set up monthly and will be used to continue to support these young men and their ministry year around.

If you click the link below and select “Mathare Ministry – Kenya Missions” (where it says General Fund) you can directly support their ministry in the slums of Nairobi. This is a registered 501c3 in the United States and Bronwyn and I are sending all dollars raised directly to support the work they are doing. Please let us know if you have questions.



There is a lot to love about the church I am currently serving, the biggest being just how amazing the students I’m working with are and a close second is how incredibly supportive the people in the church have been to what we are doing here. But another big reason I love this church is the fact that we have so many men and women who have valiantly served our country. I had the honor of preaching just before this past Veteran’s Day and it gave me the opportunity to address them and thank them for the freedom we have here in the United States. I have also had opportunities to talk to many veterans in our church and hear their stories of bravery and comradery as they served our country. There are some truly heroic people in our church, like real heroes and I am so honored to serve with them.

The church of Philippi, who Paul wrote to while under house arrest, was filled with retired soldiers. The church was located in Macedonia and was the first church Paul founded in Eastern Europe, you can actually read about it’s founding in Acts 16. It was a Roman colony and a leading city in the district. One of the great things about serving with former soldiers is that you have this amazing group of leaders who know how to get things done. However, these men and women also have learned how to follow and aren’t all about themselves. They have been a part of teams and understand that the many can accomplish more than the few. Learning how to be a good leader came instinctually for me, through trial and error I became what I think is someone able to lead capably. Learning to follow has always been harder for me especially when I didn’t always agree with how I or the organization I was part of was being led. I have been blessed with some amazing leaders in my life, but I would say I have also been blessed to serve under a few who were not as great. I say blessed because I learned from both kinds of leaders. How to do, and how not to do. Learning what worked and what didn’t work.

Just before Covid hit and shut so much down I was actually working with a few people in our church on how we could serve our veterans better and even become a church that loved and supported veterans well. We were formulating a great plan and getting ready to launch our first event with the purpose of providing a space for men and women who had served in the armed forces to gather and share and support one another. My father and grandfathers all served in the military and I may not have honored that part of their lives as much as I should have before they were gone. I want to make sure that every man and women who served our county and protected our freedom know that they are loved and supported. I want them to have space to hear about the love Jesus has for them from other men and women who have experienced what they experienced. I look forward to seeing this program get off the ground once we get back open again.

Finally, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge those who were not with us on Veteran’s Day because they made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In John 15:13 Jesus says:

13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

This is the truest statement I can imagine. Love is about sacrifice, and there are men and women who need to be remembered for sacrificing their lives for you and me even though we were complete strangers. And think about who is saying this, Jesus, our Lord and Savior who would not long after saying this would lay down His life for you and me. I hope I can, like Abraham in James 2:23, call myself a friend of God. If you know a veteran, thank them and if you know our Lord remember to thank Him too. Sacrifice is difficult and thanks is easy.

With Great Power

The think the first time I was ever introduced to Spider-Man was in the early 80’s by the 1960’s cartoon. If you want a little stroll down memory lane here is a link to a full episode.

Spider-Man was always the best because he kind of just seemed a lot like me, at least until I grew my hair long and identified more with Thor. But Spider-Man was just the high energy kid who liked to swing around and catch thieves just like flies and for the son of a police officer that seemed like the kind of super hero I would have wanted to be. I never even thought about him appearing in some larger universe, he was just a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Because I’m a pretty huge nerd, I would like to geek out about one of my favorite scenes from Infinity War. The scene is where Spider-Man is swinging from Thor’s hammer (Mjolnir) that was thrown by Captain America to protect an infinity gauntlet made by Iron Man. That last sentence has nothing to do with this post really, I just thought you would like to know I really am a super hero guy who had always loved Marvel and especially The Avengers. If you would like to see that scene, here it is.

Anyway, back to the actual reason I’m writing this post. Spider-Man always has a mantra that “With great power comes great responsibility”. Honestly, it’s extremely hard to argue this. In fact, for Christians it should be a bit familiar because it sounds a lot like Luke 12:48.

We as Christians have been given so much, the gift of eternal life, knowledge of our Father in Heaven, the Holy Spirit our Helper who guides us, the fruits of the Spirit and other specialized spiritual gifts. God has given and given and given and given, but to whom much is given much is required. If we were Spider-Man and we used our web slinging just to grab stuff from the fridge, or we used our ability to crawl on walls just to show off that would be a pretty pathetic super hero. But as believes we have been gifted with even more, the knowledge of the truth about the universe and the meaning of life. Aren’t we even worse if we just keep that gift to ourselves?

So, what’s the deal with you? What are you doing with your amazing gifts given to you by God himself?


Have you ever felt abandoned? Maybe by your friends or even family? Have you felt alone or unloved? I think most people if they are honest have experienced abandonment and it’s probably one of people’s greatest fears. Nobody wants to be alone and left to feel abandoned. As I write this, I am currently helping with the care of two cats, it was four cats but two have found homes. These cats were abandoned in our church parking lot in a crate on a Sunday afternoon (we know this because we saw it on the security camera) and not discovered until Monday. These cats are super sweet, and I am definitely not a cat person. But every morning I’m usually the first thing they see. One of them is super skittish and only lets me pet it after a long time of warming up, but the other usually just plops down at my feet and wants to be petted and loved on. These cats seem like they belonged to someone at some point, but then were just thrown out, abandoned. I can’t imagine being that type of person.

With the holiday season upon us it’s important to remember those who may be feeling abandoned, and unloved. Some of them may even be difficult to love but that shouldn’t matter because we aren’t called to love the loveable, we are called to love and serve everyone, especially those who may need it most. Let’s not forget Matthew 25.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

What can you do to help ease the pain of someone who may feel abandoned? What would you want someone to do for you if you found yourself in one of these situations? I worked with prison ministry and with adjudicated youth for years. Once I heard a former inmate who was now a pastor give a sermon on what it was like being in prison. Just before he started, he sent one of the young men out of the room. I thought it was so strange at first but then his sermon was so enthralling that I forgot about it. At the end he brought the young man back in and said, “you all forgot about him, didn’t you?” And he was right, we had. And he said, “that’s what it’s like to be in prison”.

This is just cats and I know they had to have felt the pain and loss of abandonment, how much worse it is when it’s a person. I do have one really good piece of news though. There is someone who will never abandon us and we can be reminded of it in Deuteronomy 31.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Power House Student Ministry


The name of our Student Ministry is Power House. I actually wish I could take credit for it, but I can’t, First Baptist Winter Park’s children’s minister Mary Peters came up with it along with some of the students. As soon as I first saw the name and the logo, I fell in love with it. It’s not only a perfect name for any student ministry, it’s unbelievably perfect for our student ministry. The word in the New Testament that get translated to Power is actually “dynamis” which is the same word we get dynamite from. This is such a perfect illustration of this group because right now they are small but incredibly mighty, something Mary had actually told me early on. They are small but I know they will accomplish unbelievable things as our ministry grows and as they become the leaders that usher in the age of growth for Power House and ultimately First Baptist Winter Park.

This was the last time we were all able to be together before Covid 19 kept us apart. However, one of our students was unable to be there so he photoshopped himself in.


The first time I met them I was still in the process of being interviewed. I went up to the rooms they call the Power House to meet with the students they call Power House for their Wednesday night meeting time that they also call Power House. I kind of love the fact that I can say “Power House, go to Power House, it’s time for Power House and it makes perfect sense. It’s kind of like how “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a complete sentence in the English language, if you don’t believe me, google it. Anyway, the first time I met with them I was blown away by their energy, their excitement, and their clear love for one another. They were like dynamite, small but ready to explode. It was also exciting because they were all 7-9th graders, which means we would get the privilege to walk with them through all of high school.


I have been in contact with so many other Student Pastors and they have been discouraged because their numbers have dropped in their online meetings, we have done the opposite. As surprising as it was to even me, our online meetings have increased in number since we started. We meet as a group three times a week. Sunday mornings at 11 for church, Wednesday night at 6pm for Power House and again on Friday afternoon at 4 for a game. We have one on ones and other stuff going on throughout the week as well including a girls zoom workout with Bronwyn. These students have been so faithful and they are so fun! Leaving Kenya was unbelievably difficult even though I knew this was exactly what God was calling us to do, but the minute I met these students I knew the transition was going to be so much easier. I can’t imagine not having these young men and women in our lives.

Power House Zoom Call


Before the pandemic sent us into our homes and we had to stop meeting together, we decided that our groups verse would be 2 Timothy 1:7. The words power and love describe this group so well. In fact, all of the verse describes this group so well. I have no idea what we will look like as Power House in two years, or four but I know we have a core group of powerful students just waiting to explode.


The Far Flung Body of Christ

“It was my understanding that there would be no math” – Chevy Chase playing Gerald Ford in 1976 on Saturday Night Live during a debate.

Normally you wouldn’t see much math on this site either, but I do want to throw a few numbers at you. I know that people are feeling isolated and wondering how the Body of Christ can function when it is so separated. Well the reality is you are separated from most of the Body of Christ. In fact, in your entire lifetime you are only likely to meet 0.00067% of people who are alive on the planet today. This number comes from Dave Haridson who studied accounting and economics and lives in Orlando and that number seems about right. Basically, if you round down you will meet about 0% of the world’s population over the course of your entire lifetime. With that figure in mind you have pretty much been living your entire existence knowing only the tiniest part of The Body. If you compare this number to the human body its like thinking you understand the entire body of Christ but all you can see is one cell.

God is moving in ways we can’t even fathom, almost all the work He does in peoples lives we will never ever see. However, God still has a perfect amazing plan for you. And even though you won’t see how God is moving you can trust that He is, and He has a specific plan for your life just as each cell in the body has it’s own important function. So yes, we are separated but it’s ok because we won’t be forever and now is the time to focus on Him. On His plan for your life.

I know this is super similar to what I wrote yesterday, but I also think it needs to be repeated. I think we view the Body of Christ and even God in such small terms sometimes. We don’t see the bigger picture. Even when we do see a bigger picture we see in in vague terms. Look at the night sky, did you know that according to science we can only see 0.000003% of the universe? And what we can see is only in the smallest of detail. We can’t interact with it or even completely understand it. God is at work in ways we can not even imagine! Ephesians 3:20 says:

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

Or look at I Corinthians 2:9:

But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love Him”

So we are separated from our body of believers, I get that. It’s hard, God wants us to fellowship together. But during this unprecedented time in human history, I know God is longing for us to learn more about who He is and who we are in Him. And it’s possible now more than ever He is calling us to see how enormous His power is and even as we are isolated gain an increased worldview of how He is working and impacting not just what we see but what we don’t.

person sky silhouette night
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What Should Ministries Do?

Over the last few days, I have been involved in so many conversations with people in both church and camp ministries. Most of those conversations have boiled down to one thing, we really aren’t sure what is best. On the one hand we want to be safe, obviously. We want to protect the children, youth, and students in our care, and we are not sure we can safely do that. We also want to protect their families and loved ones and the last thing anyone would ever wants to do is become the reason someone got infected. At the same time, camps and churches are grappling with so many missed opportunities. We cannot impact students the way we want to if we don’t have them in programs, in our care, and in our presence. It’s a difficult thing for sure. I am literally struggling with it every single day and we have been fortunate because our students have taken very well to meeting via technology. So, what do we do?

I’m not an expert on these matters but I do have experience and if you want my advice, which you may not and if so just quit reading. I would say wait. Waiting is hard!! I hate it, like I’m not gonna lie for a couple of weeks I really kinda spiraled a bit and I may go more into that in a future post but for now I think we need to wait. God doesn’t move at the speed we do. I love Isaiah 55:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

And I believe with all my heart that God is in the difficult times just as much as He is the easy ones. This is the challenge of this age. Think about that for a minute, this is the challenge of this age and we owe it to ourselves as believers as followers of Christ to wait and hear from Him on what our next steps should be. Maybe this is our burning bush, our great flood, our opportunity to hear from God like never before. Let’s not rush to get back what we think we lost but wait and see what it is God is trying to show us. Besides, you think you can’t do ministry without seeing people? Paul hardly ever got to see the people he was ministering to, he was dependent on letters and I don’t know how long it took to get a letter from Rome to Philippi but I would imagine longer than I sometimes make students wait in a Zoom waiting room after they lost connection. And Paul was desperate to see people in the churches he started, see Romans 1:11 or I Corinthians 16:7. Or literally any other letter he wrote. Just like we long to have Christian companionship so did he. But, lets not put that ahead of the companion we really need, Jesus. Maybe now is the time that God is calling each of us to draw closer to him as individuals so that when we are able to come back together we are stronger in our relationship with God and able to love one another deeper than ever before. Real John 13:34 love!

So, lets wait in Christ. Wait for our safety, safety for the people we love and so we might hear from our King in a way we never have before that may bring about the worldwide revival we have been hoping for.

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
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