Friday, December 7, 2018

Mary's Journey to Bethlehem

The pregnant woman, Mary, was much alone in those last days, waiting for the baby to be born. And yet she was not totally alone because the Lord was with her.
It had been an uncomfortable journey leaving Nazareth and coming to Bethlehem with Joseph. She was with a child. She felt the child move and it felt amazing. She was favored by the Lord to carry little Jesus.

She couldn't help but think about Elizabeth, her cousin, and wish she could be here with her. They were in a stable with animals where she heard the animals moved and how they smelled. However, in a way, they were a comfort in her situation.

She knew Joseph had watched her carefully, and he had been wonderful to her on the road as they moved with others on a trail. She did not ride on a donkey. They did not own one. She leaned on Joseph and knew he would carry her if necessary. He almost had to do that as they walked into Bethlehem and was looking for a place to sleep. 

At last, they came upon an inn, but there was no room for them except a stable. She heard the animals around her and was getting used to the smell.

She was here in this stable, a waiting place for her pregnancy days. She had an empty manger to use. When it was time, she would wrap the Holy Child in the cloths she had brought and placed him right there in the straw. Mary looked up and saw light.
Luke 2: 4-7

Thursday, November 1, 2018


At a trade show in September, I met a woman who was fostering a Junior High aged girl. As we talked I could sense her deep concern for how her daughter might be influenced by peers. Then she told me her daughter had recently been invited to a Young Life group at school.

I immediately had a flashback to when I went to Young Life in high school and could still picture our leader. Jim Skelton was an influencer for God who worked with hundreds of unchurched children and some who did go. There was live music, snacks and Jim gave a message from the Bible.

"I absolutely endorse your foster daughter going to this group," I said.

INFLUENCERS leave a long shadow. They remain in our hearts. I would like to say that it was at Young Life that I came to Christ. Two of my friends did. I wandered and floundered around for a good 10 years and it was a struggle to find my way. Maybe that is why I have such a heart for Lost Sheeps.

We know that the younger the children hear the message of who Jesus is the better. The light of the gospel has not gone out. The truth of scripture is solid and dependable.

Want to be an influencer? Get on board with children in your local church or connected with nonprofits working to give children hope and a future. Cast a long shadow from your life.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Glance Back

14 years ago the first Touchdown Camp was opened in Redwood City, CA. Patty Cardona with the support of Project Lost Sheep opened it it for two weeks. The contents of program I had worked on for months putting all that would appeal to children with no means. Sports, food and more food, crafts, etc.

We had about 40 children and teen helpers. We thought we could have half the camp do sports and the other half do crafts, but the children wanted both so we did a bit of scrambling to get the children what they wanted.

Patty started the drama story that is so popular today. There were props. At one point someone had to catch a falling tree prop. We all worked very long hours and we decided that the next camp would last one week the hard work before camp is again in process.

Patty and team will need to instruct new teen staff as so many have left California. We have learned to prepare the best we can and do all we can to make this week shine for the kids. Pastor Cardona will again be up as he knows the importance of a good model. Each time we who serve receive so much blessing for being there for the kids. We may grow weary but the seeds planted this year for good will be seen in the teenagers in just a few years.

So "do not grow weary in well doing for in due time you will reap."

Come join us in seed planting! August 6-10

Monday, April 2, 2018


First, a story of a real boy whom we shall call Charlie. Charlie is 8 years old. His family is poor. His Dad walked out recently and Charlie is angry. He lashes out at his mother who has lost her job and is home. He is in trouble at school.

This is not an unusual story. There are so many children lost in bad circumstances and having reactions all over. The situation in elementary schools here and elsewhere seems to get worse year by year.

Without intervention and good adult models, especially men for the boys, children will drift and rebel. They won't do well in school and by teen years they become a prime target for gangs who provide a "caring group" plus money for them. From that point on it is a downward spiral.

Drugs are insidious when used as a way of life. They destroy people and families. This week I chatted with a grandfather. He and his wife are raising the grandchildren because both of their daughters have been involved in drugs and still are. This man said IT'S AN EPIDEMIC!

First, we believe we must address the problem early so we work with elementary children providing free camps and tutoring in the context of a local church and volunteers from the community.

We believe that we are to help the poor. That means the fat churches should look to the poorer ones and help. Rich Christians need to be rich in good deeds. Church doors need to be open to community needs.

A child who feels good at something is less likely to be swept away like scum.
Look at Charlie.
Who will care enough to be a big brother to him?
Who will see past the acting out to the scared kid underneath?
Who will mend a bike or pray for and listen to him?
Who will love him unconditionally?

Yes, this is hard. Yes, this may cost you. But, persevere in helping and caring and you and others will see change, we see this at camp as rebels change into leaders. See previous blogs..

The government can't fix Charlie.
You will.
We will.
We must be involved or we will see more drugs, more shootings in schools and more destroyed lives.

Get off the couch and do something where you are! You won't be doing this alone because God will be with you. Yes, He will. The longest step out is the small step of faith.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Why Are Kids Being Shot?

We are all too aware of what just happened in Florida and I have been asked for my input. I don't pretend to have answers only observations.

A child without any real home, life or anyone who cares, is much more likely to have so much anger over such a long time that it becomes a volcano of violence as we just saw in Florida.

There are some who may have "normal" childhoods and still can become deranged as we saw in Palo Alto a few years ago with teenagers throwing themselves in front of trains.

We live in a violent fed nation. That is there is a steady diet of violence in movies, tv snows and video games. In fact, these make money but are they really good for youth to watch?

We live in a "what I do is SO IMPORTANT" era. It is the age of selfish self-absorption. A child or children can easily be ignored or told to be quiet. People text each other, eat at separate times, and only dream of a real family time. I do see this as bad and unhealthy for families.

As one businessman observed to me recently: "The kids have no infastructure."
He mentioned that in his state of Kentucky there are lots of teens "On methamphidamenes". We have no less than an American plague from drugs on our hands, without caring and attentive adults in the picture, youth can and do race and beat to their own drums which can lead to tragedy.

A nineteen year old now is in jail for life. His act has killed 17 and stirred up high schoolers across the country to walk out of class and protest, we must act and become helpers to the most act risk younger children NOW!

Without intervention, these lives could be heading into violence acted out in real time a few years from now. The children are crying out for help and attention.

Jesus did not ignore the children. 
"Let the children come unto me," he said.
Why are we forgetting his example?