Mo’ bloggin’

Hey y’all-

I’ve setup a blog with my lovely future bride to apprise folks of wedding information. Now, I realize most of y’all (the three or four people who actually read this thing) may not be able to come to the wedding. But, I still wanted you to know where you might be able to read more about our relationship. Well, the genesis of our relationship.

So, check out: The Aggie and The Preacher.

Hope all is well in your part of the world.

I preached this morning and am enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon at Starbucks updating this kind of stuff….

Livin’ the dream,

Uncle Jeff

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Christmas Cheer

Hey y’all-

Last week, the church where I serve as Associate Pastor, GracePoint Church, participated in an effort to deliver food, toys, and clothing to those less fortunate in eastern Kentucky. We loaded up, headed out, stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, and drove over 200 miles into the hills and hollers of Kentucky.

The day was a cold, rainy, cloudy day…perfect for delivering Christmas cheer to those who need it. And, a great day to show the love of Christ through a tangible expression of clothes and other goodies.

When we arrived in Lynch, KY, we met Lonnie and Belinda who head up a sweet little ministry empire (can I use that word?) called Meridzo Center Ministries. Lonnie told us about how they came to acquire their Solomon’s Porch Retreat Center.

Short version:

Lonnie and his wife were offered an opportunity to buy the retreat center. It was an office building that was built by a corporation in the 1920s. The owner wanted $85,000.He gave Lonnie and Belinda 30 days to buy the place.

Lonnie and Belinda had $0. So, they prayed.

Lonnie told us that he didn’t ask anyone for any money. They didn’t send out a letter asking for support. They didn’t do anything but pray. As God began answering their prayers, money started coming in. Over a period of three weeks, they had received about $25,000. This was good, but not enough.

One week before the sale was to happen, the owner called Lonnie and they made plans to meet and hand over the deed. The owner reminded Lonnie of the amount-$85,000. He asked how much money Lonnie had…Lonnie said, “$25,000.” The owner said, “Remember, you need $85,000.” Lonnie said, “Yeah, I do, but I don’t need it today. I need it one week from today and God will provide.”

During that week, Belinda was contacted by a benefactor who said he wanted to send them some money. He had been praying and God had told him to send some money to Lonnie and Belinda. She told him to send it on….

A few days later, Lonnie asked about the money the man was to send. Belinda checked and said he had wired it. Wired? Lonnie asked, “How much did he send?” They checked with the bank and he had sent $65,000.

Lonnie and Belinda had a cashier’s check for $85,000 waiting on the owner of the building when he arrived to sign the deed over. The owner was amazed. Lonnie told him that he lives by faith in a faithful God and the owner could have that same faith if he placed his trust in Jesus Christ…..

An awesome and amazing story of God’s provision. I walked through the 120+ room retreat center, built in the 1920s by Italian stone masons, with beautiful (donated) furniture and was humbled.

Note: The band I’m in The Long Run Players has a Youtube channel and a blog and we’re on Twitter and Facebook. Want to follow us?

Click here for Youtube.

Here for Facebook.

Here for Twitter.

Here for the blog.

Merry Christmas, y’all.

Uncle Jeff

 

Thoughts on Thanksgiving 2010

Hey y’all-

Haven’t dropped a line on here in awhile, but I’m feeling a little froggy. I thought I’d reflect on Thanksgiving a bit.

First thought:

A year ago, some friends and I were throwing a party this week in Banciao, Taiwan. We wanted to get together with some college kids we knew and tell them about the American holiday – Thanksgiving. As we told them about being thankful and our American traditions, it was very natural for us to tell them about our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Here’s a shot from that great night:

Truthfully, country music, Starbucks, and flip-flops (three things I am thankful for on a regular basis) are great, but true thankfulness comes when one realizes the gift given by God in his Son, Jesus Christ. And, once you see and receive the gift given by God to free you from your sin, pain, darkness, and hopelessness, then it is very easy and joyous to be thankful in all circumstances. I call this conversion and so does most of Christian history.

So, I am thankful….for Jesus and his love for me that enables me to be cleansed of all unrighteousness and made whole in the eyes of the Father. Can you say you are thankful for that type of love, freedom, joy, peace, and righteousness? If not, message me and let’s talk. This is too important to pass over…..

Second thought:

The holidays make me a little lonely. I see all the adverts on the telly (kinda Brit, right there) and think, “Man, I’d like a hot tamale to snuggle with in front of the fire.” Then, I go hang out with married friends and see the stress and hear the arguments and I think, “Man, I’m glad I’m single.”

Having said that…if anyone has any connections to a hot tamale with low self-esteem and even lower standards, let me know. She doesn’t have to be perfect, but close would be nice….

Third thought:

My Mom makes a mean sweet-tater casserole. It may be wrong to look too forward to a dish, but I look forward to that every year. I missed it last year when I was overseas, so I’m doing a double helping this year. Mom, hook a brother up!

Final thought:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope and pray that 2010 has been a good year for you. I pray that your family and friends are well. I hope you have peace with God through a relationship with Jesus. I would love to see all my family and friends in eternity…I’m selfish like that.

Blessings.

Livin’ the dream,

Uncle Jeff

A Wild Year…for me….

Hey y’all-

A lot has happened in the last year. A year ago today, I landed in Hong Kong with four friends as part of a bluegrass band called “The Long Run Players.”

Sarah, Matt, Paul, Jeff, and Cameron..confused in HK.

We were stopping in Hong Kong for a few days of orientation before heading to Taiwan to serve with IMB personnel doing outreach and evangelism for six months. What happened in the 5+ months in Taiwan?

1. We met some really cool Taiwanese people like Amy, Gayo, Erin, Eva, Example, Stacy, Ifan, Ice, Slash, Joyce, Rain, Brian, Frank, Shelly, Chocolate, Patrick, Douglas, Wayne….etc…..

Some friends....

2. We ate some cool (and interesting) food.

3. We drank some great drinks like Black Pearl Milk Tea.

Black Pearl Milk Tea from Crazy Sue's

4. We played over 60 bluegrass shows.

5. We were featured on a national TV show on a Christian network (Good TV).

6. We told hundreds (even thousands) of people of the love of Jesus Christ and His desire to have a relationship with them.

7. We met some great M friends in Taiwan. (You know who you are…)

8. We ate some great apple pie (thanks, Patti!).

9. We traveled all over Taiwan playing music and seeing the sights.

10. We came home.

What has happened in the six months since landing back in the good ‘ol USA?

1. The band has continued to play and tell people about the people of Taiwan. (Over 25 shows since coming home…)

2. I graduated from seminary (SBTS) in May with my Master of Divinity degree.

Beauregard, Joe, and Me.....hotness

3. I was accepted to the doctoral program in Christian missions at SBTS.

4. I have sang and preached in churches in OK, TN, KY, MO, NC, and NY is to come….

5. I am getting ready to move to a new home here in KY.

6. I have snorkeled and sea-kayaked in Puerto Rico.

Playa Flamenco Culebra, PR

7. I have hiked in a rainforest.

8. I have told a lot of people about the love of Jesus Christ.

9. I met a girl in HK and we’re seeing if it’s gonna work……

It has been a great year. Here’s to the next one…..

Livin’ the dream,

Uncle Jeff

Moving from Tennessee to Ohio

Hey y’all-

My folks are moving this weekend. We’ve been in Crossville, Tennessee for many moons. I started here in 4th-grade and my folks have been here ever since. It’s home. Always will be, but I won’t have a place to go to after this weekend…..well, you know what I mean….

My Dad moved to Crossville because of K-Mart. Really. He got a job and they offered him a chance to open a new store in Crossville. So, we loaded up like the Beverly Hillbillies and moved from Knoxville to City Lake Road.

Whar we movin' to, Paw?

After we got here, we seemed to bounce around a bit until we eventually landed on a prime piece of real estate (complete with a mortgage) in Pleasant Hill. Victor Lane was the site of our greatest accomplishments as a family dynasty in Cumberland County.

The house was beautiful.

I used to take dates to the Jungle Room for a game we called "Safari."

We were all stars in our own right: basketball, cheerleading, academics, rolling yards, two-stepping, lifeguarding, beauty pageants, softball….you get the drift….an era came and went on Victor Lane.

Now, Mom and Dad are loading up the U-Haul and pointing the slightly damaged bumper (Dad had an “issue” in the rental-place parking lot) north. We’re heading up to Ohio. What does that mean for Cumberland County and Tennessee? Well, y’all can get back to normal ’cause we on up outta heah!

Well, just thought I would post this morning and my coffee is wearing off, so I better go.

Crossville. Love you, mean it, and I’ll be back! Word.

Uncle Jeff

To My Taiwanese Friends

Hello 你好 –

  It is a cold, rainy day in Kentucky and we are expecting some snow this weekend. I have a great desire to be back in Taipei with my friends in the warm weather. I think a trip to Mr. Donut for some coffee and conversation would be very nice.

  How are you? 你好馬? Last night, I had dinner with Paul, Sarah, and Cameron and we talked about our friends in Taiwan. We miss you! We also played some bluegrass music. It was a fun night.

  I hope you are all enjoying your winter break and having fun. I wish I was there to practice my Chinese and tell you more about Jesus. We are praying for you and hope that you will come to believe and trust in Jesus as your Savior.

  We came to Taiwan to tell you about Jesus and we hope you come to know him like we do. 耶穌愛你我們也是.

  I wrote a blog about my belief and trust in Jesus. Here are some things I believe about him and his sacrifice for us. Click here. Important to know and believe.

  Your friend 好朋友,

  Jeff – 火雞

Back in Kentucky

Hey y’all-

I’m back in Kentucky and glad to be here. However, I really, really, really miss my friends in Taiwan. It was very hard to leave. Why? Well, I’m not sure when I might see them again. It is tough to build relationships, get to know people, spend time with them, and then just scatter to the four winds. Very tough. But, I was a short-term missionary. I went to Taiwan knowing that I would leave at the end of five months. Doesn’t make it any easier.

Now, I’m back in Bedford, Kentucky.

I got home Saturday night and was at church on Sunday. That was good. I like “shaking hands and kissing babies” and church is the place to do that. Plus, I got to see some old buddies. I ended up teaching the youth group on Sunday night. That was cool, too. Nice to get back in the saddle….so to speak.

Went to Trimble County High School today (Monday) to see the kids at lunch. Had a great time re-connecting with some of them. Got a lot of hugs and pats on the back. Nice to see old friends, too.

Jet-lag isn’t really bothering me too much. Glad to be sleeping when I should and awake when I should. Still processing my time in Taiwan and I’ll ruminate on it more in the future.

For now, I’ll just cruise.

Uncle Jeff