Author Archives: bigiufan29

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

sherlock holmesI just finished a good book I downloaded from Noise Trade books. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of stories of the well-known detective.  The book contained the first twelve stories of Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Having never read any of the original stories, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was an enjoyable read and the stories highlighted the uncanny ability of Sherlock Holmes to observe, perceive even the smallest of details and bring answers to questions that no one else seemed able to provide.

Part of the challenge of the book was understanding th language in which it was written.  Since it was written in the late 1800’s, some of the phrases used are not ones we hear today.  I laughed a couple of times at some of the phrases including “knock you up so early.”  In that setting it meant to disturb someone early in the morning.  Today, it carries a little bit different meaning.

An added feature of this book was a set of links that would take the reader to the Story Cartel blog where a person could respond to questions about a certain chapter and interact with other readers.  It was a unique way to explore more about Sherlock Holmes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle told the stories from the perspective of Holmes’ associate, Dr. Watson, and revealed not only Holmes’ ability to solve crimes and mysteries, but also some of his unique interests and vices.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was an entertaining and engaging read.  It would be a good book for a vacation or mental retreat.

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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Great Post Game Speech

While I don’t really follow the Little League World Series, I know once the young men reach that level, a loss can be crushing.  I saw this video given by the Rhode Island coach after his team lost 8-7.  A great way to not just end a season, but to encourage them in life after the game.

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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


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A Short Walk to the Edge of Life

short walkI think most people like the story of the over comer, the one who achieves despite having the odds staked against them. A Short Walk to the Edge of Life is such a story. Scott Hubbartt tells his story of survival, of overcoming what appears to be nearly impossible odds and beating both the rugged terrain of the Andes and the poor decisions that lead him there.

The beauty of this book is that even though the reader knows how the story ends (the subtitle lets you know he survives), I was still engaged by the situations he faced, how close he came to not making it out and all he endured. I found myself wondering how I might respond if I were in the same situation.  Hubbartt’s background and experience were a help to him, but he also had to make some tough choices during this experience.  Could I suck water from clay through a pair of my own underwear?  Not sure I would have thought about that.

Hubbartt shares his thoughts as he dealt with not knowing if he would make it out alive. He writes the elation of being rescued and the regret he felt if he wasn’t able to survive. He also writes candidly about his crying out to God and the emotions that he experienced.

While sometimes we tend to modify past events (to make ourselves look better), he points very clearly to his own poor choices and pride that put him into the life-threatening situation.  He places all the blame on himself for being where he was and also gives all the credit to God for rescuing Him and His miraculous provision.

A Short Walk to the Edge of Life was a good read and speaks to how God can bring good out of bad situations.  If you like stories of survival and the seeing someone overcome, you would enjoy this book.

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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


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10,000 Reasons & Psalm 103

10,000 Reasons is a pretty well-known worship song and has been used in a variety of venues.  Just this summer I’ve sung it with our congregation, with about 900 high school students at a CIY MOVE Conference and with about 100 junior students at our week of summer camp.  We used it as part of our song set yesterday in our morning service and it seems to really connect with groups of all ages.

Before we sang it yesterday, we played about the first two minutes of this video where Matt Redman (who helped write the song) talks about the story behind the song.  Since I’m not a song writer, I find it interesting to hear about the process writers go through.  I like what he shares as it gives the back-story to the song we love to sing and points to Psalm 103 and what it says about worship.

Redman also gives a good reminder that God is always giving us reasons to worship Him.  Whether we are young or old, on the mountaintop or in a valley, loving life or struggling to get through the week, God provides numerous reasons to worship him.  A good reminder not only for our Sunday worship sets, but for how we live Monday through Friday.

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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Baptism at a Creek

Alicia baptismI had a “first” last night. I’ve done baptisms in churches, in lakes and in swimming pools. Yesterday I had the opportunity to baptize one of the ladies from our church family in the creek behind her family’s home. Seven of us made the hike a few hundreds yards through their backyard to the creek, waded across ankle-deep water until we got to the spot where the creek was deep enough and then had the baptism. It was quiet and beautiful.

When I called the woman regarding her decision, she shared that she had been attending church with her family and reading her Bible on her own and was lead to this next step in her walk with Jesus. Her husband had been baptized in the creek and she wanted to do the same thing. While I know that a lot of creek baptisms have taken place, this was unique for me.

Her husband did share that someone from his family was a preacher and told the story of the time they had the break through the ice to perform a baptism. Glad it wasn’t that cold for us!

Her decision, along with the baptisms we experienced at camp the week before, have reminded me again that God is the one that moves people to decisions and He is the one that changes hearts. Whether through the example of a friend, spending time alone reading God’s Word or being taught His truth by someone else, God is the One who brings about change. We simply make ourselves available to be a part of the process where He decides to use us.

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Posted by on August 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Another Great Week of Camp

Camp pic 2I spent last week at Butler Springs Christian Camp leading the Basketball 2 week (for students going into 5-8 grades). This was my 10th summer leading this particular week. Some of the things have changed – like those who serve on faculty and of course those who attend.  The facilities and grounds continue to be upgraded, but there are a number of things that stay the same.

One of the highlights of the week was the number of students who responded to the invitation to become a follower of Jesus. Since we spend about 5 days together, we offer a formal invitation at the end of the week and encourage the students to be in conversations with their family leaders about what it means to follow Jesus.  I knew a handful of our campers were doing that, but didn’t expect 16 students to come forward.  We had 11 baptisms take place before we left the camp and several were planning to be baptized at home churches.

One of our high school students baptized a girl from her camp family.  One grandpa who served during the week had the privilege of baptizing his granddaughter.  It was a great way to end the week.


Another highlight was the faculty with which I served.  Several of my faculty members have been doing camp as long (or longer) than I have.  Many of us have served multiple summers together and they are such a benefit to the week.  One of the couples who serve with me didn’t have kids when we first worked together.  Now they have four kids and their two older boys were part of the week.  Some of the faculty are teens who used to be campers a few years ago and have now come back to serve.  I’m so grateful for the time and energy they give to the students throughout the week.

I think this year more than ever the hearts of our adults were touched by the campers we got to know.  There were a few students who came from some difficult backgrounds.  While we didn’t know a lot about what home was like, we saw enough to know that these students needed love, compassion and attention paid to them.  I’m so grateful for the adults who came alongside those students, encouraged them, became a friend to them and showed them the love of Jesus.  Even when our patience was tested, our faculty continued to lovingly serve.

I know that God was working before our week of camp ever started and He is working now.  He simply gives us the opportunity to come alongside what He is doing and for five days interact with the campers He brings.  I’m thankful for that chance.


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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


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