Friday, May 29, 2009

Review: The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

26,500 children died yesterday. 26,500 died today. 26,500 will die tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, all due to poverty-related causes (lack of food, lack of clean water, lack of medical care, etc.). And yet each one of these deaths is preventable, provided that those with means – you, for instance – each do a part to combat the poverty and hunger that is rampant in many parts of the world. This is the message that Richard Stearns is trying to bring to our attention, a wakeup call to Christians everywhere. Something’s missing in our modern vision of the Gospel, the “Good News” that we (the church) are supposed to spread to a lost and dying (in more ways than one) world. Somewhere over the last 2000 years we’ve lost sight of true religion, God’s religion: “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world,” (James 1:27b, NKJV*) and “to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17, NKJV*)

“The Hole in Our Gospel” is not a book about statistics, it’s about people, individuals; but the statistics in the book are quite astonishing and eye-opening. However, the numbers presented are justly used to show the quantity of suffering, while the supporting text shows the effectiveness that a single individual’s contributions have. Through his own personal experiences, Stearns shows how the Gospel, in its entirety, can truly change the world. That “whole Gospel” includes not just the telling of the good news, but the providing and caring for those in need.

Having just finished “The Hole in Our Gospel,” I can confidently say that this is a book that should not be read by the average Christian. That is, it should not be read by the average Christian who wants to remain average.

It is very difficult to write a review of this book without going in-depth into its content; suffice it to say that it is very engaging and very personally challenging at the same time. This book serves as a call to action and a reminder that we were saved for good works (see Ephesians 2:8-10), not just for our own personal gain. Richard Stearns does a phenomenal job of portraying our modern world and our modern church. Time after time I was personally convicted by the words in this book. From tears to anger, shame to sorrow, emotions are stirred by the portrait of those suffering in parts of the world that are not necessarily next door to my house, but are reachable through a variety of methods easily at my disposal.

* New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version® is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I am a spoiled rotten person.  Yes, I had my motorcycle repossessed recently (and subsequently redeemed it with the assistance of my dad); yes, I am driving a 15-year-old car as my daily driver (again, courtesy of my dad, after another vehicle was totaled by vandalism shortly after I bought it); yes, I can't afford the iPhone or Blackberry I "need" or a new guitar or a nice Kayak or Canoe to start a new (admittedly healthy) hobby.

But I am spoiled.  Likely, you are too.  Go ahead, be offended... but didn't you eat today?  Two or even three times?  And maybe shower, and use a toilet, and perhaps brush your teeth and put on clean clothes?

I'm currently reading a book called "The Hole In Our Gospel" - it's for Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program (Google it - I don't feel like adding the link right now) - and, yes, it's powerful.  Look for the review coming soon, but I don't want to do the review until I completely finish the book.  In the meantime, you can read a fellow blogger's review here.

I'll leave you with one of the quotes that Richard Stearns (the author) put in there, by the really famous philosopher "Anonymous":

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."
"Well, why don't you ask Him?"
"Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Honor of My Wife's Anniversary

In honor of my wife's 18th anniversary, which also happens to be my 18th anniversary, I have uploaded a new song to my music page: "Dog Poop" (it's a love poem set to music; I'd like you to think it's an old Irish jog, but 1) it's not old; 2) it's not really Irish; 3) I'm not quite sure what qualifies as a "jig").  Note the fancy "tin whistle" part (it's near the end, so you'll have to listen to the whole thing! Haha!).

If you're reading this on Facebook, you'll probably need to visit my music site at - but do it sooner rather than later, because Google is doing away with their googlepages and going to google sites instead.  Unfortunately, the fancy scripts I use on my music page won't be supported on google sites... I guess I may need to actually look into a real web host now, eh?

Dog Poop (a Love Song)

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Some info about this recording:

  • It was done in a single, separate take of each track (acoustic, vocal, tin whistle, bass, drums)
  • The acoustic, vocal, and tin whistle tracks were recorded using a PS2 Rock Band USB mic
  • Bass was done using the guitar-level input on a USB M-Audio Fast Track
  • Drums were also done using the Fast Track, but with the input switched to LINE instead of GUITAR input (in retrospect, I wonder if I should have left it at GUITAR level to boost the input signal, as it was quite low at first)
  • The DRUM track was done by my 10-year-old boy (yes, in a single take!)
  • I have performed this LIVE at a Valentine's banquet back 2004 (I think); it was quite well received (I was the comedic interlude between "real" skits by the Wall Highway Baptist Church youth drama team, led by my wife)

On a side note, if you are offended by the poor quality of the music I am creating, you can do something about it!  I will gladly accept donations to:

  • Buy better musical gear and recording equipment
  • Buy a Porsche, which will encourage me to spend more time out driving (thus away from home and making music)
  • Bribe me to quit the musical business altogether

Just let me know if you would like to make a donation and you can send it to my PayPal account.  That way I don't have to worry about meeting you in person, fearful that you might try to stop the music another way (like with a knife or a .45 or something).

Here is the text of the original poem:

Dog Poop

by A. R. Moore


I gave my lady dog poop

On our anniversary;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw the poop at me.


I gave my lady dog poop

For her birthday, by and by;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it in my eye.


I gave my lady dog poop

As a Christmas gift so dear;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it in my ear.


I gave my lady dog poop

As a valentine so sweet;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it at my feet.


I gave my lady dog poop

As a new year’s gift for luck;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it at my truck.


I gave my lady dog poop

On Halloween so quick;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it as my trick.


I give my lady dog poop

Every chance that comes along;

She always says, “You retard!”

As she throws it back quite strong.


Copyright © 2002; you may tell others about this poem, link to it, send it in an e-mail, etc., as long as the author is given credit (what a moron, wanting credit for this poem!) and ensure that enough of this notice is included that others, when forwarding your e-mail or whatever, include enough of this notice that other to whom they forwarded the poem, when forwarding it themselves, include enough credit… you get the idea…