Last time I talked briefly about a woman who’s influence on me was both deep and wide.1 Today I want to talk about the opposite end of the spectrum, a woman I spent a total of forty-five minutes with, in the company of several other people, six-and-a-half years ago.

It was our first trip to Cambodia. The church body we’re members of had formed a partnership with IJM, and a member of their church mobilization team led seven of us from 121 on a trip to meet as many organizations working on the ground as possible, and learn as much as we could about the country and the cause (combatting sex trafficking).


If you’ve been reading here very long, you know our family is heavily involved in Cambodia. I’ve been leading short-term mission trips there for several years, and last year our daughter and her family moved there (read about it herehere and their blog here).

Our church has partnered with IJM there the last few years in the work they’re doing to fight sex trafficking of minors. An enormous amount of work has been done there over the last decade, and I was privileged to write a summary of the progress for our church’s web site.

If you’d like to read about it, click here.

Please Release Me

That’s the title of of an old Engelbert Humperdink hit from the 60’s (my mother was the right age, I got it second hand). I’ve been thinking a lot about that song this week for a couple of reasons.

The first reason comes from small group. We’re studying Acts right now, and this week was Acts 13–14. At the beginning of chapter 13, the Holy Spirits tells the church, while they were fasting and praying, to set apart Barnabas and Saul “for the work to which I have called them.” The church fasted and prayed some more, and then “sent them off,” or so say most translations.

I’d like to teach the world…

There are different kinds of people in the world.

There are Coke people. These are cool people, up on all the latest fashion, beloved by friends and enemies alike, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. These are people you want to marry your daughter, be your boss, and watch on “Jeopardy.” These are happy people.

There are Pepsi people. These are insecure people, people who prefer imitation leather instead of the real thing, and are constantly challenging Coke people to a taste test. These are people you want to cut off on the freeway, live next door to your evil boss, and see tackled on “COPS”.

What an awful church!

I went to an awful church today.

They didn’t have Starbucks coffee. They didn’t have any coffee. Good grief, they didn’t have any snacks at all. It’s like they didn’t even care to satisfy our morning cravings.

They didn’t have a sign on their building; it didn’t seem to be important that people know where they are. Come to think of it, they really didn’t even have a building, just a room in what looked like a strip center. No decorations, no cross, no baptistry, nothing.

And no chairs, so we had to sit on the floor. On the floor! Are you kidding me?

A Perfect Day

What is a perfect day? It is different things for different people, I suspect.

For some, it’s playing a round at Augusta. With Tiger. (If I played golf, it would be Jack for me, which tells you I’m not as young as I look.)

For others, it would be watching Josh Hamilton hit a walk-off grand slam in the seventh game of the World Series at the Ballpark in Arlington. (They have to get past the Tigers, first.)

For still others, it would be… well, maybe something like yesterday.

The day began early — we were all awake by five, although some didn’t actually make it out of bed for another hour-and-a-half.