Monday, January 31, 2011
The main reason Zach and Lyndy are going to Northern Mozambique is to train pastors. The church is exploding in Mozambique but there are not enough pastors to teach the new Christians. There is something like 70 churches in northern Mozambique with only 3 trained pastors between them. The people in Mozambique are hungry for God. It is harvest time. Please help Zach and Lyndy get there and begin training these new Christians who have heard a call of God in their life to be in ministry.
This is the link to their website, The Extension Chord. Please check it out and donate, even just $5 or $10. Every little bit helps. I know these people. I will vouch for them. They are going to do great things for the kingdom of God.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
That is, until three weeks ago. From Jan 10-Jan 21 I did not have much hot water. Some days It would start hot but within 5 minutes would be cold. Some days it would stay mild the whole time, warm enough to shower but not so warm that I was not paranoid that any second I would be in freezing water. Some days it was just freezing. As I said, this went on for about two weeks. However, this week the water has been very hot the entire time. I have a theory as to why this is.
I think that some of the ladies of Kresge made a New Years resolution. They were going to be responsible adults and wake up early. They would not hit snooze until 7:55 then frantically dress and run to class. They would shower and eat breakfast before their 8 o'clock class. Because they did this, they used up the hot water that I usually use during my routine...for two weeks. As the days wore on, less and less of them made the attempt. The lure of sleep outweighed the desire to get up early. Slowly, one by one, they gave up. And now my routine is back to normal.
Thank you ladies of Kresge. Thank you for giving up. Thank you for hitting snooze. My mornings are so much better because you do.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Do you think one day we will be held accountable for every dime we spent on sports, and every minute we spent watching sports? If you are not aware, there are some terrible things going on in the world—oppression, starvation, slavery—the sorts of things we as Christians are supposed to be standing up against. How many times have you heard that nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day? That’s $730 a year ($732 on Leap Year). Or to put it into perspective, about $500 less than I spent on season tickets this season.
Will I get a pass on this at Judgment Day? Will Jesus say, “You spent more money on football tickets than 3 billion of my children lived on in one year, but I understand, those games sure were exciting, well done, my good and faithful servant.”Of course you can get as legalistic with this as you want. I spent just as much on the cable and Internet bill as I did on football tickets. Is it OK for a Christian to have cable when children are starving in Africa?...Perhaps it’s a question of comfort. If you have disposable income to spend on sporting events, maybe your life has become too comfortable.
Disposable income. I know some people will immediately scoff and say, "I don't have disposable income." Yes you do. Its the money you spend at McDonalds, the movies, the mall, paying for gas to drive anywhere other than your job, etc. We have it and more often than not we use it on ourselves.
Now, Abby and I have a way to keep our disposable income spending down. Its called a budget. Within that budget is "Aaron's Fun Money" column and "Abby's Fun Money" column. (For a full explanation see Fun Money). The only way I can feel comfortable with us even having fun money is if I know we are giving away at least the same amount of money or more to charity, and that does not include tithe. So the way we determine our fun money amount is: total amount set aside to give to charity this month divided by 2. Then Abby and I each get that amount (roughly). This keeps me sane.
Then Christmas came. I got quite a bit of cash for Christmas. I was excited thinking, "I get to buy myself lots of stuff!" Then I read that article and it reminded me that Christmas is not my birthday and I will be accountable one day for the things I spend my money on. What a sobering thought.
For me, as I ponder all of this, what I think it means for me is that I need to find a worthy organization to be the recipient of some of my Christmas cash. But is that the answer or just a way to assuage my guilt?
To read the full article that started this mess:
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I know, my first book isn't super intellectual. It was purely a guilty pleasure read. I said I would put a book review up of each book I read in 2011, and review it I shall.
Transformers: Exodus gives us the history of Cybertron from before Autobots and Decipticons existed through the time they leave Cybertron and make their way toward Earth. I grew up watching the Transformers TV Show. I loved the 1986 animated movie (still do). The book caught my interest because it promised to show us how Optimus Prime and Megatron came to be the leaders they are. The book sets up a number of intriguing and exciting plot lines that ultimately fall flat due to execution. I will give only one example: Megatron begins as a rebel who is trying to overthrow the oppressive caste system of his planet. Optimus shares his ideals and they become friends, ultimate becoming co-leaders of the anti-caste movement. This is good stuff. Anyone who has ever seen any form of the transformers know Optimus and Megatron are mortal enemies. They hate each other. But, wait, what? They were once friends? This opens the opportunity for the author to really develop their friendship. To show them grow together, then slowly apart, with some event leading to a violent break between them. Instead we get 30-40 pages of weak build up with an unconvincing event leading to a lackluster "betrayal".
The author also failed to ever establish a consistent form of measurements or terms. In using words like "cycles" and "orbits" he tried to help the reader feel like they were truly reading a foreign history. Instead, the inconsistencies make reading a juvenile novel feel exceedingly difficult.
I was hoping that Transformers: Exodus would be the Silmarillion for the Transformer mythology. Not even close. Hey, Hasboro, let me take a crack at this thing. I promise to do the mythology and its characters more justice.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Yesterday we were able to give him a bath. They bath Eli once a week but we had not been offered an opportunity to participate until yesterday. It was wonderful. He really liked having his hair washed and his scalp rubbed, but hey, who doesn't right?. The best NICU nurse in the world was there to walk us through each step. Her name is Rhonda.
Look at him. He is just so happy.
We were also able to measure him and he is now 15.5 inches long. He was 13 in long when we has born which means he is growing at approximately .5 inches a week.
Looking right at his mama.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
1. Prayers: From day 1 we have had an incredible number of people praying for us. It has been humbling, overwhelming, and has brought us more comfort than anything else could. We have even been told of people on different continents who are praying for us. It truly displays the incredible grace and love that the body of Christ has, that people who do not know us would stop and pray for us simply because they heard of our situation from a friend. I was told of several offices that stopped work to gather and pray for us. Students told us of classes that began in prayer for us. Like I said, it is overwhelming to me. Thank you for praying.
2. People ask about Eli: This might seem small, but it touches my heart. Everyone Abby and I meet asks us how Eli is doing and I think each one has been a sincere question, not a polite question that they feel obligated to ask. I appreciate that people care enough to ask. Abby has had some fun instances where she has bumped into people she has not seen since high school who ask about Eli. Thank you for asking.
3. Financial Support: People have been incredibly generous to us. Within days of the birth, there was a fund set up at First Southern Bank called the Baby Eli Wilkinson fund. Apparently anyone can walk into any First Southern Bank, ask for Aaron Wilkinson and this fund will come up and they can donate to it. I don't know who set it up, I don't know how anyone found out that it existed, but people have definitely been donating to it. Abby and I have deposited all the money people haven given us on Eli's behalf into this fund. Last time we checked there was $1815 in there. Wow. Praise God.
People have given us help in so many other ways: gifts cards to restaurants and gas cards have been a huge blessing. Abby and I now drive to the hospital in Lexington twice a day. The gas adds up and we often do not have the energy to cook, so the gas cards and restaurant cards have allowed us to, so far, do this without spending money. That is a HUGE blessing. We have also received Visa gift cards, Gap gift cards, Wal-Mart and Target cards, Babies-R-Us cards, and so much more. THANK YOU! Thank you for giving.
4. Support from Asbury University: I just have to say this; Asbury has treated us better than I could have ever imagined. This place has shown itself to be more than a place to work. It has really proven itself as a place of community. Abby's boss and my boss have been so nice, understanding, and generous. We have been contacted by two Vice Presidents and the President herself. All of our co-workers have pitched in and helped carry the load when we have needed to miss work. Human Resources went above and beyond to help explain our insurance, sick-time, vacation time, etc. Thank you Asbury, for being not just a place to work, but a community that cares about those who work here.
I just wanted people to know about all of this. It blesses my soul each time I think about it. Maybe it will bless yours as well.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
My friend Ryan is doing this "No book buying for a year/Read a book I own each month" thing with me. Check his blog out.