Get Your Copy Today!

Posted by mike On July 29, 2009

My photography book Where Skies Burn is now available on Lulu.com and Amazon Marketplace. Lulu even offers a few-page preview. This is a collection of some of my favorite pics from my year living in Namibia. I did all the photography and design myself so it's almost like having me sitting on your coffee table! Donate to my starving artists fund by picking up your copy today. Show it off to all your friends, or better yet, buy one for all your friends. They'll love you for it! Thanks for your support. I know you'll enjoy it!

Where Skies Burn cover

The Role of Indecision

Posted by mike on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 10:12 PM 1 comments
I have a love-hate relationship with the sun. I love it on cool, autumn days when it slices through the air temperature to warm my goose-bumped skin. I love it after a cold, dark winter when its rays bring with it the renewed life of spring. I love the way it tones my skin as I lounge and play under its long summer light. I love the way it sparkles off the gentle waves on a quiet lake. I love the way it paints the sky as it rises and sets. Without the sun our planet would be a frozen wasteland in which none could survive. Without its light our plants couldn't produce the oxygen which we breathe. I love it when it's good for me and meets my needs and pleasures.

But that very same sun burns my skin when I linger underneath it too long. I hate it when it turns summer days into a sweltering, sweaty sauna. I hate how it incessantly beats down its heat through the cloudless skies as I hike through the desert. I try to hide in the shade or the air conditioning, but it's always there with its perpetual blaze and its ultraviolet rays. When it makes me uncomfortable or irritated, I turn against my once celebrated ally.

But isn't this also how I treat God? I'm a huge fan when it suits me and meets my needs and makes me feel comfortable and accepted. But when things aren't going my way or I feel like I can do fine on my own, I'm content to live without Him. Not literally without Him. Certainly He continues to uphold me and provide for me despite my traitorous betrayal, which only credits His faithfulness. But I live practically without Him. I forget to pray, or purposefully don't waste the time. I lose sight of His subtle, sovereign workings and attribute them to my own ingenuity or happy coincidence. I turn against the very source of life when in reality He's what I need the most. I'm reminded how fickle my affections really are. I'm reminded how quickly forgetful I can be. I'm reminded that my greatest consistency is my inconsistency. The part that I hate the most is the love-hate relationship.

Quote of the Day

Posted by mike on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 8:23 PM 0 comments
"God never promises his people smooth sailing in this life; the only thing He promises is a safe port. Some of us may indeed traverse the bloody seas in order to arrive in that mooring." ~ Dr. John Currid

Quote of the Day

Posted by mike on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 10:17 PM 0 comments
"The discontented person thinks everything he does for God too much, and everything God does for him too little." ~ Thomas Watson, Contentment

Quote of the Day

Posted by mike on Sunday, January 2, 2011 at 8:20 PM 0 comments
"Indeed, there is no middle ground between these two: either the world must become worthless to us or hold us bound by intemperate love of it. Accordingly, if we have any concern for eternity, we must strive diligently to strike off these evil fetters." ~ John Calvin

Quote of the Day

Posted by mike on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:29 PM 0 comments
"He liked as he liked; he seems to have like everybody, but especially those whom everybody disliked him for liking." ~ G.K. Chesterton on St. Francis of Assisi

Quote of the Day

Posted by mike on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 12:03 PM 0 comments
"For the Son of God, the incarnation meant a whole new set of relationships: with his father and mother; with his brothers and sisters; with his disciples; with the scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees; with Roman soldiers and with lepers and prostitutes. It was within these relationships that he lived his incarnate life, experiencing pain, poverty and temptation; witnessing squalor and brutality; hearing obscenities and profanities and the hopeless cry of the oppressed. He lived not in sublime detachment or in ascetic isolation, but 'with us', as 'the fellowman of all men', crowded, busy, harassed, stressed and molested. No large estate gave him space, no financial capital guaranteed his daily bread, no personal staff protected him from interruptions and no power or influence protected him from injustice. He saved us from alongside us."
~ Donald Macleod, The Person of Christ

There and Back Again

Posted by mike on Monday, September 6, 2010 at 10:03 PM 0 comments
It's been about two weeks since I've been back and it's taken me this long to sit down and write about the trip. Probably part of that is because I wrote so many blog posts during our trip (you can read them all here) that I got blog-posted out. Part of it is also that I'm working 25 hours a week and taking three grad classes so that pretty much consumes all my time. But I think part of it is also that I don't really know what to say. I've done these kind of trips so many times that I don't feel like I've returned with anything terribly profound or life-changing. Not to say that it wasn't a great trip, in fact it was, one of the best short-term trips I've helped lead. The team was phenomenal, willing to open themselves up and get to know complete strangers, incredibly flexible to serve in any capacity needed, and awesomely adventurous, willing to try new things and experiences. But in helping lead teams like this I put more and more of my attention on how things go for the team and less and less on my own experience. I've been there before and I'm fairly confident I'll go back again, so I do everything I can to help the team have the best trip possible. I help plan fun and meaningful activities. I engage in conversations asking questions to help them evaluate what they're learning and experiencing. I spend hours updating the blog and posting pictures while they're off doing ministry. I do these things because I'm a team leader and the trip is not about me. So when people back home ask me about my trip I have very different answers then they might expect if I had gone on this trip for me. I talk much less about what we did and what I learned and much more about how the team did and what they learned. My highlights are when I can share things that I've come to enjoy with the rest of the team (like rusks and strawberry heavenly bars!) and they enjoy them too. Those are the kinds of things that have become far more important to me. But I don't think supporters and friends back home always understand that, so for me it's been a process of coming to terms that that's ok. So yeah, it was a great trip. Yeah, I wish I was still there. But for now I'm here and quite content that everyone else on the team had the best trip possible. That makes my trip a great success.

Back to Africa

Posted by mike on Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 7:32 PM 0 comments
The countdown couldn't have gone any slower but it's finally time! Bright and early tomorrow morning I head out to the airport on my way to NY where I'll converge with the rest of our team heading to Namibia. In total there are 13 of us from 5 different states who make up the Nam2010 team. I won't be able to keep up with this blog while I'm gone but you can follow along with our trip at http://nam2010.blogspot.com. We'll make updates about our latest ministry activities and stories along with pictures and hopefully some videos. Please join us on the blog and leave me some love in the comments section!