New Place

October 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm (Uncategorized)

“The Kid Preacher” is officially semi-retired.  My normal blogging will now be happening at “grace unfilitered” over at http://billyjohnson.wordpress.com.   The one purpose I will still be using this site for, for now, is book reviews.  Thanks for your patience with the change, but I thought it was time for the Kid to grown up.

Billy Johnson

Permalink 1 Comment

Calories & Haiti…

October 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm (Uncategorized)

I have begun paying attention to how many calories I take in everyday. Although I am all about authenticity, I cannot bring myself to admit how many calories I was taking in everyday.  (By the way, I was inspired to pay attention by a friend. Thanks, Sean.)  Anyway, my new awareness has brought a few changes.  It also reminded me of a story from my previous trip to Haiti.

We didn’t like to take breaks in Haiti.  At Christianville, in the mornings we taught and connected with local church leaders.  After lunch we either went to visit and encourage the mission stations (medical, dental, school, etc) or did odd jobs around the place.  One fella loved mowing, so he mowed. He noticed, and pointed out later, that many of the Haitians working out there alongside him took frequent breaks.  It irritated him, and me.  It seemed like laziness.  We didn’t mind busting our tails to help, but we didn’t like them slacking off.

Our group leader, with 20+ years of Haiti experience, explained the situation, which broke us down.  You see, most of these Haitians didn’t get very much food in a day, and in turn not many calories.  My physical science lessons were refreshed in my mind, and I remembered that calories were a measurement unit of energy.  The body is designed to take in energy through calories (mostly in food), and use that energy with activity.  These Haitians weren’t taking in enough calories daily to perform a day’s work. And here we were, overweight American preachers. (Calories unused become, you guessed it, FAT!)

I read a quote recently that went something like this:  “The poor in the world see us as having a feast, serving cake and eating it too, and inviting them only to tea time and THEN asking them to split the bill.”  I don’t quote this as a political, policy, or any other kind of statement, except to say that my heart is broken over my excess in the midst of their want.

Jesus said: “Whenever you failed to do one of these things [feed hungry, water thirsty, visit outcast, etc] to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.” (Matt 25:45 MSG)

Permalink 1 Comment

A Heart For Haiti

October 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm (Uncategorized)

I have a passion for the people of Haiti.  I want to extend to them the love and grace of Jesus in a tangible and real way.  Two years ago, I went to Haiti for the first time, and it was a beautiful, wretched experience.

It was wretched to see the level of destitute poverty that plagues that nation.  As many of you know, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.  The desperation was written on most faces I saw as we drove through the capital, Port au Prince. I remember the 3-year old infant (yes, I mean infant) who was so malnourished she couldn’t walk.  But she was starting to grow, finally, and had this adorable scooting movement she did. And I remember her scooting to me every time she saw me. Here is a picture of her (and Mo, behind) sitting to play with me.

Mama and Mo

But I also saw something beautiful.  I saw the church. The Church.  They were extending grace AND truth.  I think back to Sue, who at that time had 7 infant orphans living in her house, besides the 30-40 other orphans who lived at the orphanage. I saw The Church giving the people exactly what they needed.  Not JUST the message shoved down their throat, but handing them the beautiful grace of Jesus on the silver platter of quality health care, clean water, and an education.  They still shared Jesus with them, but in the midst of loving them, not apart from it. By the way, the little girl’s name (above) is Hope. And because of the Church she has hope.

We spent the majority of our time investing in the church there.  In this picture, you will see the group of church leaders we spent time teaching, encouraging and connecting with.

C-Ville Preachers

Haiti was a strange place.  I found out what it felt like to be an outsider. (Not a reject, though.  I was looked up to, but an outsider, for sure.) I have never been in a place where I made an astronomically greater amount of money than anyone around me.  Every Haitian who looked at me knew that I was ‘rich’.  Not here in America, of course, but in Haiti, where it is normal to make $300-$500 a year, my preacher’s salary was a vast fortune.  And of course, mine was a white face in a sea of black.

Well, enough reminiscing.  Just wanted to tell my blog followers that I was headed back.  I am joining a group of other guys in January to go and invest in the Church some more.  We are breaking up and visiting village churches, encouraging, empowering and giving to them.

Here are a few other pics.

OrphansSchool @ PouilleChurch under Construction

Permalink Leave a Comment

Idio(t?)syncrasies…

October 12, 2009 at 7:11 pm (Uncategorized)

Do crazy people know they are crazy?  If not, how do I know I am not crazy?  Do weird people know they are weird, or do they place what they do in the realm of normal, like the rest of us?  If they don’t know, how do I know I am not weird? Wow. (This really doesn’t bother me, I am just having a little fun today….)

Do you have little weird tendencies, often referred to as idiosyncrasies?  I know I have a few.   My personal favorite is my obsession with clocks being set to the right time.  A flashing 12:00 drives me absolutely crazy!  My parent learned this as I was growing up, and thus stopped trying to even figure out how to set clocks.  Whether it was their alarm clock, their car radio clock or whatever.  They just knew if I saw it, I would fix it.  In fact, I mastered all of our clocks.  Yes, I even did it to other people’s clocks. “Yeah, I know it’s the wrong time, but I just can’t seem to fix it” was music to my ears. I always got it. Always.

Anyway, do you think we all have these kinda things?  What’s yours?  Or do you just think I have idioTsyncrasies?

Permalink Leave a Comment

Sunday at 6

October 11, 2009 at 10:06 am (Uncategorized)

Sunday at 6 AM.  Been up a while. Gonna be a long day.  But long days, and exhausting hours give me a sense of accomplishment.  No one ever looks back and says, “Do you remember how awesome that day was that I sat on the couch the whole time?”  These are the days memories are made of.

Permalink Leave a Comment

“The Search for God and Guinness” Review

October 10, 2009 at 2:57 am (Uncategorized)

Hey readers.  Here is another one of those reviews I do because Thomas Nelson gave me a free book.  They told me I could say whatever I wanted, but wanted to make sure you knew I got something out of the deal for it!

It might seem a little sacrilegious at first glance to consider the faith of one of the world’s leading breweries, but only to those unfamiliar with the history of beer. (And those unfamiliar with what the Bible has to say about alcohol in general.)  But as I read the story of the great faith and conviction that lead the Guinness family business through it’s 250-year history.  In a day and age of corporate greed and mistrust, the morals and standards that drove the Guinness brewery for two and a half centuries is an inspiring and welcome change of pace.

In “The Search for God and Guinness“, author Stephen Mansfield carefully chronicles the tale of a family driven to not only make great beer, but also to enact social change, inspire a workplace culture of generosity and prosperity, and pass along the ancient art of brewing to succeeding generations.  In this book you will see the forgotten art of son working many years alongside father to become an expert at his craft, and eventually taking over only to lead the business to new heights, while teaching his son.  One paragraph, on page 122, sums up the impact of the Guinness’, which is a largely untold story in America:

In the minds of most of the people in the world, Guinness is beer and that is all there is to the story.  But this is far from true. Guinness the beer is magnificent, yes, but it is the Guinness culture that for nearly two centuries changed the lives of Guinness workers, transformed poverty in Dublin, and inspired other companies to understand that care for their employees was their most important work. It was the Guinness culture of faith and kindness and generosity that moved men to seek out ways to serve their fellow men, to men what the harshness of life had torn.

As I said, you will be surprised and impressed.  You will be deeply moved and impacted by this book.  Mansfield tells a wonderful story which makes the Guinness family come to life in the mind of the reader.  If you like dry, dull history textbooks, DON’T get this book.

As the Guinness commercial of today says, “Here’s to Arthur!” (Guinness)  And, “Here’s to you, reader!” You certainly are in for a special treat.

Read anything good recently?  Recommend for me?

Permalink 1 Comment

A Million Miles… Review

October 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm (Uncategorized)

I read a lot of books. I LOVE reading. It is one of the ways I stretch my mind and explore new ideas and thoughts. It is one of the ways I stay fresh in my thinking. And the book I just finished was no exception. This book has literally changed the way I think about life, and has re-adjusted my vernacular. You need to read “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Don Miller. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Video With Pics from Year One

October 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm (Uncategorized)

Permalink Leave a Comment

My Words

September 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm (Uncategorized)

This is a Wordle of my blog lately. Basically, the more often a word is used, the bigger it is.

So, if a wordle was made of your spoken words lately, what would be the biggest three?

Permalink 3 Comments

Dream

September 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm (Uncategorized)

We all have hopes, dreams and aspirations.  We dream of making things better.  Ever wonder what God’s dreams are?  Granted, they will not just be wishful-thinking nonsense that we often get trapped in.  But what does He ultimately desire to accomplish?

We are going to be asking those questions this October at DCC, specifically in regards to His dreams for the church.  What does His dream church look like?  What do they do?  How can we (DCC) take steps to get there?

If you want to start reading ahead, plunge into the book of Acts, the only inspired Church History we have.  We are going to spend a lot of time there this month.

So, what do you think some of God’s dreams are for the church?

Permalink 2 Comments

Next page »