Sunday, December 10, 2006

Baby on the Way

Here it is...the big news you've all been waiting for.
Is the baby a he or a she?
Check out the video to find out!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sorry for the Delay

Okay, I has been months since my last post. I know...I said that we'd keep this up to date with information about our ministry. I haven't upheld my end of the bargain. I'm the prodigal blogger. I apologize.
So, on with the ministry update.
Kim and I have accepted the position of interim Campus Director here at UK. I has been a challenge and a privilege to serve in this capacity. I have really enjoyed helping provide leadership to our movement. One of the greatest joys is seeing fledgling ministries start in new areas of the campus. This semester we have seen the Lord start a ministry among international students (Bridges International) and in the African-American community (Impact). I have loved seeing the Lord make Himself known in the hearts of the students, especially the ones that don't look like me.

I have also been taking a seminary class on Church History. It has been an incredible challenge and joy. I have learned so much about our roots. I have been encouraged by the strength of our early Church Fathers. Kim and I watched the Da Vinci Code the other night on DVD. Before, when I read the book, I could only think, "That doesn't really sound right." Now, I can accurately defend the faith. Christians, be encouraged...your faith is build upon the shoulders of men and women who have gone before us. They were strong and faithful to the end. Their perseverance in the face of death gives validity to our faith. Those who knew Jesus most intimately, were willing to die for the truth they knew; the truth that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully Man, that in Him alone can our sins be atoned, and that there is no other name by which we can be saved.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Our July Newsletter

Click here to download our July 2006 newsletter.
You can either click on it and Adobe Reader will automatically pop up with the newsletter, or you can right click and select "Save Target As..." and save the newsletter to our computer.

Enjoy and let us know if this is helpful to you.

(note: it is in pdf format. You will need Adobe Reader. You don't have that, you can download it here.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Tower of Babel and Mephibosheth

Kim and I have been up to our eyeballs in studying. We are each working on an exegetical paper. Kim is working on Genesis 11:1-9, the Tower of Babel. I have selected II Samuel 9, the story of David's kindness to Mephibosheth.
We have really been enjoying learning how to interpret God's Word. I feel that I have learned so much about seeing a passage in light of God's plan of redemption. It is amazing to me that every book, every verse, every part of the Bible points to Jesus Christ. From the beginning, God has been working all of history toward the redemption of all of his people. How exciting that we get to be a part of this!
I have also been working through an Old Testament Survey class taugh by Dr. Mark Futato of RTS-Orlando. It has been fascinating to see God's heart through the Old Testament. God's heart from the beginning has been the redemption of his people through his Son's death and resurrection. How good is our God?
We've also learned how to use fancy words like, chiastic. Email me if you're curious as to the meaning of chiastic.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Destination: Orlando

We're heading to Orlando (Florida not Bloom, but if you look closely you'll see that he is wearing an Ale-8 t-shirt, which everyone knows is the Kentucky soft drink) for a few weeks this summer to complete some training with Campus Crusade for Christ. We will be at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Kim and I will be taking a few seminary courses to better equip us to minister to the students at UK. We're really looking forward to the challenge. And no, we're not going to DisneyWorld. My guess is that in the eyes of a two year old, Mickey Mouse is a six foot rat. I don't know if you've ever seen a six foot rat, but I bet you'd go the other way if you saw one coming. We'll probably wait a few more years to avoid any undue trauma.

Kim and I will both take a class on Biblical Interpretation and Communication. I will also be adding on an Old Testament Survey class and a Systematic Theology class. Hopefully in four weeks' time we'll be much more better at cleerly talkin' 'bout Jesus...'n stuff.

We'll still have our cell phones and feel free to drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you! Also, feel free to leave comments on the message boards. We want this blog to be somewhat interactive. If there are things you want to hear about, let us know and we'll write about them.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Back from Chatta-boogie

We had a great time in Chattanooga. We spent two weeks in Tennessee meeting with some Ministry Partners and catching up with friends. We also got to eat some of our favorite Chattanooga food; Sticky Fingers (you can order their ribs on-line if you don't believe me), China Lee, Monterey's, Mayfield's Ice Cream, Mr. T's Pizza, The Southern Star, et al. It was a really great time. Thanks to all who helped make our time there so wonderful. We are especially thankful for those of you who hosted small dinners or introduced us to your friends. Your friendship and commitment to our ministry has blessed us. We believe that your partnership with us will help give every college student a chance to respond to the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Thank you!

Check out Hunter's blog soon. He's going to post a video of his day on the farm soon.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Check It Out!!

Check out one of the videos we showed at our weekly meeting this past semester.

I made this video following our October trip to Pass Christian, MS. We used it to promote our Spring Break Relief Trip to New Orleans, LA. You can see a story about our trip to New Orleans below.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Coming to Chattanooga

My Russian language teacher in Minsk, Grigory, used to make me sing this russian folk song. Loosely translated (and I mean loosely), it said, "There is no place like the home to capture the heart."
It has been some time since Kim and I have been able to visit Chattanooga, and we have missed our little jewel of a town on the Tennessee River. We will be in Chattanooga May 25th through June 8th. We would love to meet with as many of our friends and ministry partners as time allows. Please give us a call (859-492-6419 or 859-492-2264) or send us an email. We would love to hear from you!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

School's Out!!

School is out for the summer. The students are finished with exams and beginning to look toward their summer plans.
We have several students going on stateside summer projects. These are 10 week long mission trips to various locations around the US. One of our students' favorite locations is Santa Cruz, CA. Kim and I spent the summer or 2004 there. It is on of the most beautiful parts of our country. We stayed in the luxurious Peter Pan Motel. I think that AAA rated the Peter Pan a 4 diamond resort...of course that wasn't the American Automobile Association rating. It was the American Association of Anyplace is fine with me. Nine months out of the year the Peter Pan Motel is the type of place where you pay by the hour. The Summer Project comes in and completely cleans out the place and gets it ready for 70 college students to live there. The students get jobs on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. There they work in the game areas, selling souvenirs, operating the rides (my favorite was the swinging spinning thingie that I nicknamed the "Vomitron."), or sell food. The interesting thing about the food at the Boardwalk is that everything is fried. I mean everything; garlic fries, funnel cakes, hushpuppies, and Twinkies. Yep, you read that right...deep fried Twinkies. Just in case you woke up one morning and thought, "You know what? My blood is flowing just a little too freely this morning. I need to tighten up those arteries." The students will then use the relationships they form in these jobs to share their life and the Gospel (I Thess 2:8).
Some other students will be spending their summer in Ekaterinburg, Russia. They will spend 6 weeks helping to establish a campus ministry among the students of that city. Kim and I had the privilege of spending two summers in Russia leading these Summer Projects. God is doing a great work among the students of Russia. The most exciting part is that the students who come to faith in there will be able to go out and share the Gospel in parts of the world where an American can't easily go. God turning that country, who had rejected God for 80 years, into a blessing for the nations (Zech 8:13).

This summer, Kim and I will be spending the summer in Orlando, FL. We are taking some seminary classes to help with our theological development. We are excited about learning more about how to interpret and teach God's Word. We always like to spend the summer with students training them in new ways to share their faith, especially in cross-cultural situations. We know, however, that this summer will help us to be better at our job.

Please be praying for our students and us as we enter into our summer assignments.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Da Vinci Code and How We Got the New Testament

I recently shared with our students about The Da Vinci Code. This book and upcoming movie has touched on something significant in our culture. As Dan Brown puts in this book, "Everyone loves a conspiracy." The trick for Christians, however, is to be able to discern fact from fiction...very entertaining fiction, I might add. In sharing with our students, I encouraged them to read the book or watch the film...but to do so with this knowledge. Your bible is historically reliable and the claims of this story are not. This story relies on the accounts of Jesus that are contained in non-canonical gospels, specifically, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Mary (not to be cofused with Peter, Paul and Mary). There is also a heavy emphasis on secret societies. Secret societies that don't really exist, for that matter. The suspect history is treated as fact. It really is amazing how official something sounds when you phrase it like, "Many scholars agree...." Try it sometime. Many scholars agree that Michael Bolton is the real President of the United States. Truth doesn't really matter with such statements. The only thing that matters is that "scholars" agree with them. I won't go into a detailed rebuttal to the story of The Da Vinci Code. There are already numerous resources that do a much better job than I could. If you are curious, check out Campus Crusade for Christ's Web site, Jesus and Da Vinci. What I am more capable to share is the history of the New Testament and the formation of the Canon. I hope to briefly give you a basis for the reliability of the Gospels of the New Testament and the unreliability of all the non-canonical books. Our New Testament was roughly determined around 100 years after Christ died and rose. Within that one hundred years, the disciples and Paul were scattered about the known world proclaiming the truth that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and risen Lord. While there was no "official" statement affirming or denying the validity of some books, the early church had a set use of books. By 180 AD, Ireneus' writings and sermons had quoted from all 27 books of the New Testament...and only from those books. So, while there was no "official" documentation, the church had in practice already set the canon. The church relied on two main criteria. One, the document must be written by an apostle or a close associate of an apostle. Two, the document cannot be contrary to a document in which the authorship is known. That means all the books of the New Testament were written by first or second generation disciples. The Gospel of Matthew gets in because Matthew was a disciple. He hung out with Jesus. Matthew hands the early church is gospel and says, "This is what I saw Jesus do. You oughta know this." The church says, "I know that you are Matthew, you hung out with Jesus. We're going to listen to you." The Gospel of Luke gets in because he was a friend of Peter and Paul. He writes a detailed account and says, "This is the true story of Jesus. This is what his disciples told me." The church says, "I know this is Luke. He is friends with the disciples. We trust him, listen to him." The Gospel of Thomas shows up. It says that it is that "secret teachings of Jesus as told to Thomas." Thomas was a disciple, but he's not the one that gave this to us. In fact, Thomas has been gone for some time. So, the authorship was in doubt. The content is very much contrary to content of the Gospels that we know are truthful. Therefore, Thomas gets the boot. It's really that simple. Authorship and content were the primary deciding factors. Despite what "Sir Leigh Teabing" smuggly says in The Da Vinci Code, it was not a vote of Council of Nicea in 325. In fact, that council didn't even vote on the canon. There were addressing the heretical issue of Arianism. The New Testament is historically solid. Jesus Christ is who he says he was in the Gospels. These other accounts carry no weight historically. The Da Vinci Code is a fun read. I finished the 400 page book in a couple of days...but the scholarship is shoddy (that's being kind). How should Christians respond to this? Follow Dan Brown's advice, "Seek the Truth." Know your Church History. Know your Bible. Use this novel as a doorway into spiritual conversations. Share this truth with your friends who have watched the movie or read the book. If they like the book, there's a really good chance that you can have a great conversation about the Jesus Christ. Share how he has changed your life and why the Truth is more important that fiction.

Monday, April 17, 2006

UK CRU featured on University of Kentucky Web Site

Recently, UK CRU was featured on the home page of the University of Kentucky. The University highlighted some of our efforts with the Recovery work from Hurricane Katrina.

Check it out at If the main article is something other than the Hurricane Katrina Recovery, click here to view the article.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Campus Crusade for Christ's Recovery Efforts in New Orleans, LA
The first thing I noticed driving across I-10 over Lake Ponchartrain was the temporary bridge segments. Whole sections of the interstate now lay under the brackish waters of Lake Ponchartrain. Leaving the bridge I entered East New Orleans. The first thing that caught my eye was a car lot. All of the cars were covered in mud. Apparently, every car in at the dealership was submerged and waiting to be junked. We passed a Home Depot with a large security fence completely surrounding the building. No one was getting in or out of that building. Whole apartment complexes were vacant with debris littering the grounds. The place was a ghost town. It was very eerie.
We drove on into the city. I saw a billboard for Billy and Franklin Graham. They were in town for a “Celebration of Hope.” Over 30,000 people came to hear the Grahams present the Gospel and over 1300 people indicated a decision to trust Christ! Hope, indeed, for a city running on empty.
We drove on to the 9th ward. This was the area hardest hit by the flooding. As we exited the interstate, I began to see a brown water line on every house. It stood somewhere between 8 and 10 feet tall. This is the level at which the water sat for 3 weeks. It was so different from our time in Mississippi. There, every house was just blown away. There were only piles of debris where houses once stood. Here in New Orleans, all the house were intact, simply flooded and empty. Businesses, homes, churches, everything was empty. We crossed the canal into the lower 9th ward and the destruction only intensified. The only vehicles on the street were FEMA law enforcement. There were no residents to be seen. You could look down streets and only see junk strewn about. Rancid refrigerators that had been untouched for 6 months lined the street and polluted the air. Everything has been left undisturbed, covered in mud and black mold.
Our home for the week was Camp Hope. It is a tent city in the City Park, housing 1000 college students from all across the US. Our UK group shared a circus tent with a Campus Crusade group from Chico State (northern CA). It was at Camp Hope that I began to meet some of the residents of New Orleans.

Jack is a retired Marine. His family has lived in New Orleans for 150 years. He moved into his house 50 years ago, when he was only 10. When he returned to his home, it was completely destroyed. His family’s photos, chronicling 150 years of history in New Orleans, were gone. Everything he owned was destroyed. But Jack was brought to tears when he told me about two of his beloved cats that drowned. Jack is unsure of what the future holds, but he is confident that his city will rebound. I asked Jack why he has such hope. He told me to look around. College students from across the country are coming to rebuild his home. Jack said that his city was in bad shape before the storm. He had hope that things were going to be made new.
The word “hope” continually popped up in my conversations with the residents. I saw how hope in anything of this world was futile. Levees failed. Homes failed. People failed. Governments failed. It seems as if everything failed. It seems to be a hopeless situation. But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Hope in Christ will never fail. We can gut a house, but it is merely a cosmetic change. Christ came not to remodel our lives but to completely rebuild. God is at work in New Orleans. Through the destruction and death, the body of Christ is at work rebuilding more than homes. Christ is on the move and changing lives in New Orleans.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cultural Collisions

I spoke to the E-Kat summer project team today about the collision of American and Russian cultures. Good times were had by all.
I explained that culture comes from the history and geography of a people. Then I went through 1000 years of Russian history in 7 minutes (well, 7 1/2 minutes...but who's counting?) From that we began to evaluate some of the differences between American and Russian culture. The most important point, however, was the revelation of the ultimate reason for cultural conflict; sin. Your life is a pail of water. When you begin to brush up against Russian culture (or any culture for the matter), your pail begins to slosh about. The difficult thing is that when your pail sloshes, you see that your water is much dirtier than you thought. It is a difficult thing to confront. My struggles with a foreign culture arise from my own sin. My pride says that I am entitled to certain things; personal space, good hygiene, ice in my sweet tea, or something like that. They aren't biblical...merely cultural. When those expectations aren't met, I get mad...and the cultural collision is on.
The reality is that I was not made for Russian culture. I was not made for American culture. I was made for something far greater, something far more beautiful. I was intended for a citizenship in Heaven.