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A Few Minutes with Andy

Last Build Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2015 21:58:49 +0000


New blogging home

Thu, 11 Jun 2009 15:51:00 +0000

Ladies and Gentlemen, If you are looking for a "Few Minutes with Andy', I have moved to a new web home: Global Andy ! Not only is my blog there but info on our minsitry and other little fun things.

So after almost 1000 blog posts on 5 different blogger blogs I wrote for and 2 more I contributed to, I am now under Wordpress. Quite frankly it took me a while to master the intial set-up but it allows me to do more than just blog.

But I will still blog sharing opservations of life, family and your basic random stuff. I promise to write from time to time about the travails of my house to keep the Burning Hearts Revolution and his lovely wife laughing at my expense. And all the posts you may have loved/hated/missed on this site and the achived devotions on STINT Leaders have been imported to the new site. (Even the one the Burning Hearts wife gently rebuked me on.) Now you can find it here!

If you like visiting my blog, there are a number of ways you could choose, I prefer Google Reader myself as you can subscribe to all your favorite sites and its then its like have a newspaper that you can visit. So simply add .

Free Audio Download - Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places

Sun, 07 Jun 2009 03:28:00 +0000

(image) One of the best books I have read in the last few years is being offered free on Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson: Free Audio Download

12 mp3 files that take forever to download. But hey they are free!

Denial, Despair and Hope

Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:09:00 +0000

(image) I am reading No Place Left to Bury the Dead.   It's subtitle is "Denial, Despair and Hope in the African AIDS Pandemic".   So far I have only read the denial and despair parts.  

I have to say its frustrating to read of the despair.  Don't get me wrong.  It's a book everyone should read.  Heaven forbid that we continue to turn our back on our neighbors in Africa because its too painful to engage in their sorrows.

The first third of the book (where I am now) is centered around the life of one woman in Lesotho who is HIV+ and the realities of this epidemic on this tiny country that is encompassed by South Africa.  It's frustrating though to read things like how the very people who most could use proper medical care and antiviral drugs to keep them alive can't afford them.   Or knowing a widow will lose her home because her son has died of AIDs.

I am really looking forward to the 'hope' part of this book.

This morning, in another book,  I read: 

And I went back and read Psalm 10:  
"Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless....  you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.  The victim commits himself to you;  you are the helper of the fatherless.   You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;  you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed,  in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more."

That's hope.

Kung Fu Found Dead

Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:03:00 +0000

(image) David Carradine was found dead in Bangkok. Carradine was made famous by his 1970's role as Kwai Chang Caine, in the TV Series Kung Fu. 

In other shocking news it was found that Carradine was not Asian after all.

Tell it Slant - Book Review

Mon, 01 Jun 2009 21:20:00 +0000

(image) Tell all the Truth but tell it slant---
Success in Cirrcuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind-
--  Emily Dickinson

Peterson has become one of my favorite authors.  His way of writing and command of language takes theology into a 'can't-put-it-down' style.   His insight into the stories and prayers of Jesus bring new understanding to the reader.  Peterson draws you in and allows you to experience Christ in a whole new way.

In first half of Tell it Slant, Peterson focuses on the parables of Jesus recorded in Luke, parables told on the travel narrative as Jesus heads to Jerusalem.  These parables 'dazzle gradually' and help us understand the Kingdom of God but also how Jesus used language in between life and ministry.

In the second half of his book, Peterson takes us to the language of Jesus through His prayers.  he focuses on six prayers combining the words on the cross as one ultimate prayer.  Peterson is passionate that we don't need seminars on 'how to pray', we simply need to follow Christ's lead for prayer is at the very heart of our existence.

I'd rate this book up there with Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places.  Once you get into the rhythm of Eugene Peterson's writing you are compelled to read on and you better off for it as well.  5 Stars.

Luke: When I Grew Up

Fri, 29 May 2009 22:21:00 +0000

(image) Yesterday Luke finished his year of kindergarten. (sorry not a current pic)  No graduation but they did have a pool party.  Robin and I are proud of him as he has learned a lot this year and really grown in terms of interacting with his class.

Last night we were talking as we went to bed.  he said, "Dad when I get older I am gonna feed orphans like you.  (Note:  Not sure I feed orphans but we are going together as a family to work with a ministry this summer that does that in South Africa.  You can read our team updates here. )  He said, "I am going to run an orphanage.  Dad, there are a lot of kids who die every year because they are hunger and I won't be able to save them all but I can save a few from dying."  

WOW!  Robin and I are hoping this summer is a life-changing time for our boys.  But even before we go, Luke is already thinking of serving those who don't have.  When I was six I was saying I wanted to be something like a baseball player, an astronaut or a famous actor.   My son is saying he wants to serve the poor and run an orphanage!

(Before you put him on a pedestal, know that he got a time out earlier that evening for acting disrespectful  during the blessing over supper meal.  Its a nightly occurrence.)

Bombing of a Starbucks

Mon, 25 May 2009 21:44:00 +0000

(image) This morning a small bomb went off outside a Starbucks store in New York City

Personally I find it easier to pay $2 for a really good cup of coffee, than a $1 for a lame one.  It has never crossed my mind to bomb a coffee shop but I have considered throwing a brick through the window of a few with lousy coffee.

Where are the Other Kids?

Wed, 20 May 2009 20:47:00 +0000

(image) Last week while sitting around talking with parents at Luke's soccer practice, it hit me that I was the poorest parent there.  No surprise as we live of a missionary's salary.  But as I heard them talk about all the expenses of children's sports and I contemplated how Robin & I thought through our budget in order to find money to pay for soccer.

But my thought wasn't 'woe is me'.   It was was 'what do all the underprivileged kids in our community do?'   It hit me that they can't be involved in recreational sports.   I don't even know.  Maybe Lafayette cuts families with little or no incomes a break.  But then how to they pay for the cleats, socks with the required shin guards, gifts for coaches, etc?  How do working single moms get their sons to practices?  Where are they?

I got this idea I have been toying with... what if we had a league for under-privileged kids?  And what if we got business & the faith communities to donate equipment and coaching?  As I have shared this with others, I have come across a few potential roadblocks.  Like where can we find fields for these kids?   How will we get them to practices and games?

Yesterday I threw my idea out to a good friend who loves sports and cares about the community.   Coach Donny had a more brilliant idea.  Instead of starting a separate league, why not have each team sponsor a number of unprivileged kids?  (Genius!) The parents (or sponsors) chip in to buy equipment and take it own to get the kids to practices.   That way they participant with the other kids at the same level.  No need for more coaches or soccer fields or refs or whole separate organizations.  You level the playing field.

So here's the dilemma...  I have the idea so I can't let it die.  I'd like to go meet with those in power to make this happen - those in agenecies that serve the poor, school officals, city rec officals, those in the faith community.  My goal is to say a year from now to have it where every kid in Lafayette Colorado can particapnt in city rec sports just like my kids can - at least soccer and baseball.

If you live in Lafayette and want to help me make this dream happen, feel free to contact me.

RSVP Friday Delivery

Fri, 15 May 2009 21:23:00 +0000

On Fridays (unless I forget or they don't need me), I help deliver groceries for RSVP.  This morning Luke went with me as my helper.  He had a choice of going with Robin and his brothers to church to set up for a yard sale for missions.  But he said he didn't feel like doing either.  I didn't push it but when it came time to go I asked again if he wanted to go with me.  (If he didn't I was going to have to cancel.)   But he said he wanted to go and I was glad.

It was good having a helper.  We only had two deliveries.  One was to a lady that I had never met.  She was a school teacher in California for 20+ years and came here 3 years ago to visit her sister.  She got sick and never left.  She was in a wheelchair having lost part of her left leg to diabetics.  But she had a joyous smile and I enjoyed chatting with her.  If I didn't have another delivery and Luke didn't have to go school, I might have stayed all morning and talked with her.

In fact as I am writing, I am remembering that she had called the home repair department with RSVP to see if someone could install a ceiling fan and wasn't sure if they could come.  Maybe I will call her back and see if she got that done.  If not today, perhaps I can swing by tomorrow after Luke's last soccer game.

I did learn some sad news this morning.  One of the men we deliver to regularly died.  His name was Vern Ewing (pictured here).  I haven't seen his obit in the paper yet but he died Sunday.  His family was a long time member of the community and his family homestead is a historic site.

Mr. Ewing was a nice man and I enjoyed getting to know him the half a dozen times I have delivered to he and his wife.  (Dick, another deliverer, usually took Mr. Ewing because he considered him a friend.) Mr. Ewing is the 2nd gentleman to whom I have delivered groceries that I know of that has died.  Sad to think of these nice people passing away.  Makes me think more about taking time to listen to them and be a blessing to them as I deliver.

Wherever did we come up with that?

Thu, 14 May 2009 13:22:00 +0000

Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these 'nobodies' to expose the hollow pretensions of the 'somebodies'?...  ~  I Corinthains 1:28

"This is in constrast to the widespread and virutally unchallenged American strategy to target influencial and accomplished men and women for kingdom work - men and women, as we say, with 'proven leadership qualities' or at least 'leadership potential'.  Wherever did we come up with that?  Certainly not by reading the stories that Jesus told and the stories that were told about him." ~ Eugene Peterson, Tell it Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers, p. 115

It Happened in Italy - by Elizabeth Bettina

Mon, 11 May 2009 22:21:00 +0000

(image) In occupied Europe, 75-80% of the Jewish population during World War II was executed.  And, yet what if I told you that in one country, approximately 75-80% of the Jewish population in that same period survived.  What if I told you that number may not include thousands of more foreign Jews living in that nation?  What I then told you that this nation where so many Jews was one that was Hitler's prime ally?

Of course you read the title of the post so you know by now it happened in Italy - fascist Italy.  But if you were didn't know all this you were like me and most students of history and you were like the author.

 Elizabeth Bettina  takes us on a journey of discovery in her first book -   It Happened In Italy: Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust .  As you dive into this easy read its more than just a book of facts but more a personal journal of how Bettina unearths a little known history.  We travel with her as her journey begins during a visit to Campagna, Italy and Bettina discovers a doctoral thesis and a photo of a rabbi and a priest on the steps of the church were her grandparents were married.  From this one photo, the passion of Bettina is seen through the pages as she discovers survivor after survivor of Italian Internment camps.  She discovers that their experience is diametrically opposed to what was going on in Germany and other parts of Europe.  

Bettina, a Roman Catholic who grew up in a Jewish neighbor of New York, is the perfect tour guide to reconnect the past and tell the story takes you all the way to audience with the Pope.  You feel like you not only learn how the Italians lived out the command to "Love thy neighbor as thyself" but you see how the author follows this same command and takes it upon herself with zeal to honor those who made the story happen.

I warmly recommend It Happened in Italy.  (object) (embed)

Drew's Story

Sat, 09 May 2009 17:20:00 +0000

Once upon a time there was a mommy lamp and a baby lamp.  (I'm sure he meant 'lamb' but said 'lamp'.)  The mommy lamp made the baby lamp a milkshake and then they went for a walk.  

A tiger came by and ate their house.  The mommy lamp and the baby lamp came home and said, "oh no.  Someone ate my house."  So they built a new house made of sticks.  And the tiger ate that.

So the mommy lamp and the baby lamp went to live in a tent.  The mommy lamp found a mushroom.  The baby lamp knew it was a marshmallow.  So they roasted marshmallows over the fire and ate them.  

End the.

Swine Flu Propaganda from the Dharma Initiative (c. 1976)

Sun, 03 May 2009 00:05:00 +0000

Thanks to my loan follower of this blog for this.   I guess since "A Non-Quotidian Existence" is my only follower, I really am just passing this back and forth.

(object) (embed)
Was this put out my the Carter administration?  "Betty's mom gives it her best friend Dottie.  But Dottie died."

Rusty Nail Allegedly Found in Starbucks Egg Thingy

Sat, 02 May 2009 04:12:00 +0000

Maybe you can get me something to eat with a little iron. 

Sorry James Tipu Talukdar, I Don't know You

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 16:50:00 +0000

(image) Seems weekly (sometimes daily), I get random friend requests on facebook from people I have no clue who they are.  

I almost befriended this guy though.  Not so much because I know him but for the profile pic.

Maybe we should have a vote.  Is it...

A. Their child who is very tall for an infant and has an abnormally sized noggin.
B.  An actual floating baby head that just drifted into the frame as the picture was being taken.  Seems Bangladesh is being overrun by floating baby heads at a pandemic rate.
C.  A very bad photoshop job.  (I am not even sure the baby is of the same race/nationality.)
D. A balloon.

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Mon, 27 Apr 2009 15:37:00 +0000

What does God expect of me?

Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision, points out that this question is a profound one for those who say they follow Christ.  Stearns' answer to this question is laid out in his excellent book, The Hole in our Gospel.  

Stearns writes passionately that God calls us to be partners in changing the world, that God desires us to live our lives in such a way for the world to catch a glimpse of His love, justice and mercy.  This is the gospel.  This is what Jesus came to do.  This is what he invites us to join Him in.

The Hole in our Gospel is a treatise for the premise that being a follower of Jesus requires much more than having a personal and transforming relationship with God.  It also involves a public and transforming relationship with the world.   Stearns, who left a high-paying executive job to take his current role with World Vision,  shares his own journey toward the understanding of this hole. He lays out how the deep the hole is in the world with real stories and more than just numbing statistics of poverty, injustice and disease.   But most importantly, Stearns share how we can move out of this hole toward being true followers of Jeus who live life the way Christ did.

I highly recommend this book.  The implications for the body of Christ today are huge, as are the implications for the world that needs Christ. We can either continue down a path of a diminished gospel that is amounts to a simple individual transaction with God or we can embrace a revolutionary gospel that can change the world.  

Buy it. Read it. Join the revolution.


Mon, 27 Apr 2009 13:53:00 +0000

(image) If you click this pic, you can get a full poster of the uses of twitter.  I am still trying to figure it out myself.  

If you have twitter, you can follow me - GlobalAndy.

Not Bad for a Mutant

Fri, 24 Apr 2009 15:28:00 +0000

(image) Hugh Jackman gave  $100,000 to two charities via Twitter.   He held a little contest and split the amount between Charity:Water and Operation of Hope.   How could you say no to these kids with the signs?

(BTW, I have never before been to Ryan Seacrest’s website.  Seems very People magazany to me. I got this message from a facebook cause application I am a member of. )

Sunday Conversation at the Lufthansa Ticket Corner

Thu, 23 Apr 2009 01:16:00 +0000

Sunday while helping some friends check-in at DIA, I had an interesting conversation with the lady at the Lufthansa counter...

Me  (reading her name tag): "Svetlana Hernandez.  I bet there is a story behind your name."

Svetlana (with a thick Russian accent):  I left my home for a Latin lover.

Me: Like Trotsky.

Svetalata:  Yes, like Trotsky.  Ochen bueno.  (No lie, she combined  Russian and Spanish.) 

You May be the Best Culutural Learner, but You Still Will Always Look a Little Stupid

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 22:37:00 +0000

(image) I am in the midst of briefing a group of African-American staff and students who are going to serve in South Africa for a 1 1/2 years.  Sort of a little strange in itself.  Especially since two others helping me are white too.

But its been really good and I have enjoyed just serving and learning from them rather than being the one with all the answers.  In fact, these past few days have been awesome.

 I decided to have us all go to a West African Ensemble on CU campus for a fun outing last night.   I had seen the ad for it on facebook.  All I knew is a professor from Ghana leads the group and they were having a special guest artist from South Africa.

What I didn't get is that the ensemble was made of up CU students and therefore all white.  All White.  So as the lights came up on the first song, I was sinking in my seat thinking my friends probably think I am stupid that I brought them to this.  (They were gracious.)  Actually it wasn't bad just not near as good as it could have been.  And it was great these students got to learn about other culutures.  But... it was still white folks wearing African clothing trying to dance and sing like Africans.  Many danced more like me than my friends. 

All I could think was: "This is what we look like when we go overseas.   No matter how much we might learn language or culture, we are always still an outsider and look a little stupid."  

Andy, Why are you Sleeping?

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:41:00 +0000

Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, 'Pray that you will not give in to temptation.'He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.'  Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 'Why are you sleeping?' he asked them. 'Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.'   ~  Luke 22:39-46I am working in Starbucks this morning and ran into a friend from church.  I say friend, we know each other by name and have had a few conversations, but this morning was the first real-to-real talk we have ever had.  It was a huge blessing.John and his wife Stephanie lost their son Johnny this past fall.  When I asked how they were doing he spoke of how this week brings hope knowing that his son had faith in the One who conquered death.  We talked some more about the new normal for he and Stephanie as they face life with something no parent plans for.John asked me how I was doing and I shared some things that Robin and I talked about even this morning.  How we need clear direction from God as we wade through the sea of differing advice.  John and I had a great conversation about life, ministry and hearing from the Lord.  John said something that struck me: "My prayer is that I don't fall asleep like the disciples."   So here I am reading this passage again and on Good Friday.It has always baffled me.  It's like whenever something huge happens for the Lord, the disciples take a siesta.  (See Transfiguration.)  And when they think its a big deal, Jesus is taking a nap.   Here they are snoozing at a critical time.   They were exhausted from grief.  (And he hadn't even been arrested or crucified yet.)  Do I?  Am I?  Am I asleep at the wheel/the watch?   Am I just so busy doing my "Jesus thing", living my "Jesus life", running on my "Jesus work" hamster wheel, spouting my happy "Jesus talk"... when in reality I am asleep?  Am I more concerned with own agenda than His? (Foolishly thinking its the same when I am too afraid to really ask if it is?)   Am I walking circumspectly?  Am I watching? Am I listening?  Am I praying or just talking to myself? Am I like the rich man living in luxury who passed poor, sick Lazarus at his gate every day with so much as noticing him or bending a knee to address his needs?   Do I notice?  Do I care?  Do I stop?  Do I act?  Am I really in fact missing the heart of God?   Does my heart anguish of what His heart does - sin, injustice, hunger, loneliness, disease, death, idolatry, hypocrisy, rebellion, strive, indifference, abuse, slavery, selfishness, pride...  Oh I can on forever and I am just thinking of the darkness within my own soul.Lord, may my heart be broken, truly broken, over the things that break your heart. May I not be exhausted by grief but aways praying, always depending, always trusting, always sensitive to your heart, O Lord, that I will not enter into temptation. [...]

I am Rich... You are Rich.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 19:03:00 +0000

Last week, I was mulling over the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Usually when I read this I think, 'not me.  I am not rich, not young and not a ruler.'   This passage is for someone else.   But am I?   (Not the young part because I am now 45 and therefore only young to people like my dad.)  Are you?Check out this test to see!   I am in the top 4.62% and the 277,391,305th richest person on the planet!  Ouch!   That dude is me!   (Maybe I am the Luke version of this story since Luke doesn't say he is 'young'.)Is there one thing I lack like this guy?  Would I sell all of my possessions and give to the poor and follow Him?  ( And no this isn't the only time Jesus said to do this.)  Do I walk away sad because I have a lot of stuff - idols, things my grip is tight on, things that stand between me and God? (And why does - not once but twice - when people asked how to have eternal life Jesus it turns it into a call to serve the poor?  I never learned that evangelism technique in CCC.)The other morning, I sat in the green chair in our living room and in tears said, "I give it all away to the poor.  Once again I sign the deed of my life to you.  I don't know if Lord you want me to sell this stuff but if it stands between me and you, between me having treasure in heaven, its gone."   Now I didn't list everything on Craig's list or load up a truck and take it down to Sister Carmen's.  Maybe I should.   But I resolved that I will leave all - position, power, possessions, some other 'p' I can't think of... to experience life, real life, a life of purpose (hey there's another 'p')... forever.And then I picked up the book Robin gave me... and read about someone else wrestling with this passage.   [...]

Quote from the Book Robin Gave Me for my Birthday

Sat, 04 Apr 2009 00:52:00 +0000

(image) “Proclaiming the whole gospel, then, means much more than evangelism in the hopes that people will hear and respond to the good news of salvation by faith in Christ. It also encompasses tangible compassion for the sick and the poor as well as biblical justice, efforts to right the wrongs that are so prevalent in our world…The whole gospel is truly good news for the poor, and it is the foundation for a social revolution that has the power to change the world.” 

- Richard Stearns, President of World VisionThe Hole in Our Gospel (Thomas Nelson, 2009) 

The Persecuted

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 17:26:00 +0000

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" ~ Jesus(This is a continuation of posts on the Beatitudes starting on January 20th.)  Jesus had begun his ministry teaching that the Kingdom of God had arrived. News of his healing power had spread and large crowds began to gather.  The people were hoping, He was the promised King who would deliver them. And so Jesus begins teaching about this Kingdom.  The whole sermon on the mount is about the reality of this coming kingdom and how we should live.  Even these first little verses (Matthew 5:3-10) bookend with the promise of the Kingdom of God.  But really its all about His Kingdom.The PersecutedPersecution seems to be something we think of that happens somewhere else.... in some closed land to a few.  Yet Jesus teaches that persecution (for righteousness sake) would go hand and hand with following Jesus.  It is not if but when.   If the world persecuted Jesus, the world will persecute his followers.  I can't say I have faced major persecution.  Okay I got knock down a grade in college in one history class for standing up for my faith.  (At least that how I saw it).  It cost me graduating cum laude.  But so what?   Once our ministry almost got kicked of campus at University of Northern Colorado and another time we were stopped from passing out surveys..  But I went through the proper channels even visiting the President of the University and nothing really happened.  I had to leave a country were I was serving early because we heard they were going to call our disciples in for questioning.  But really it was our students we were trying to protect not me.  And I got home and saw my girlfriend (now wife) sooner.   So actually I should have thanked the PSB.None of these are anything like losing your life or being imprisoned.  Just inconvenienced.Yesterday I heard of two of our teams that are facing  potential situations of visas being revoked or not being allowed on campus.  In another country where we hope to send people, I read all they are cracking down more severely on believers coming into the country.  I shook my head.  But shouldn't we expect it?  Is this in fact, the norm for a person living in the Kingdom of God?   Should my response be to shrink back or rejoice?Blessed..  Rejoice... Be GladI don't want to discount our brothers and sisters who are facing persecution.  It's real.  Millions are facing persecution for their faith around the globe.  It's serious.   But here we have an encouragement from the One who would face the ultimate persecution to rejoice.   I think of Paul and Barnabas being kicked out of on town and rejoicing they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ.   I can see them skipping down the road to Iconium not fully knowing what lay ahead.  They would be kicked out of another town and then on to Lystra where Paul would be stoned and thought dead.   Of the 12 cities where Paul ministered in the first 3 journeys, he would be forced out of 6 and face huge trials a 7th (Ephesus.)   And then of course after those journeys involving various intense persecutions, Paul woul[...]