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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jrue Holiday is the 17th Pick in the N.B.A. Draft

I found this article on the Internet... about Jrue Holiday..

With the seventeenth pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected the freshmen sensation Jrue Holiday.

In no way, shape, or form did I think Jrue Holiday would be at the number seventeen picks. Most mocks had him going in the top ten. For about six or seven picks and he was ranked, not surprisingly, at number one on Jay Bilas' best available players.

The Sixers took the best available point guard, and the best available talent, in one pick. Holiday was ranked as the top guard a year ago coming out of high school, ahead of players like Tyreke Evans and BJ Mullens.

Holiday is considered the wild card of this draft, and most mock drafts had him as a lock for the lottery. Most fans wanted Ty Lawson or Eric Maynor.

Holiday is a much better prospect than a player like Ty Lawson or an Eric Maynor player. Even with Andre Miller gone, Holiday probably won’t start immediately since he has a ton of upside and must be brought up slowly, which is the only downside to this pick. But I can’t express how much I love this pick.

The former McDonald’s All American, was the best player at number seventeen. He has the largest upside of anybody in the draft. As much as people liked Lawson, he is what he is, he has reached his ceiling. At 19-years old he hasn’t even shown us what he can do. Maynor is 22-years-old, and has also reached his ceiling.

Based on potential and upside of a player, the Sixers get a consensus lottery pick at number seventeen.

I’m not afraid to rip Ed Stefanski, I did it when he hired Eddie Jordan. However he would have been ripped if he passed on a consensus lottery pick. Holiday may turn out to be a horrible player, which I doubt, but he was the right pick at seventeen.

I see the numbers for Holiday. He only averaged 8.8 points per game. However this is very misleading he played out of position since Darren Collison elected to return to school which surprised Ben Howland. Howland landed the top recruit and apparently thought he was good enough to get twenty seven minutes of game time as true freshmen.

At 6'4'', Holiday is a lock down defender, has an NBA ready body, is extremely athletic and did I mention he has a massive upside.

Holiday has a soft touch from the inside, although he needs to improve his range. Ty Lawson is less than six-feet tall and can’t defend. Maynor has issues with his defense already.

Holiday needs to improve, but years from now I think he could develop star potential. Lawson will be a nice player for awhile and the same goes for Maynor.

The question is what do you do with Andre Miller.
Do you resign him?

With him, you are a sixth seed in the East and without him you are a borderline playoff team and may pick in the lottery again. I am actually willing to let Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday run the point for a year in order to let Holiday develop. This is how you build your teams, by drafting young stars like Jrue Holiday, the player with the highest upside in the draft.
You have to give props to Ed Stefanski and with a young nucleus of Iguadala, Young, and the latest addition Jrue Holiday, the Sixers should be a team to watch out for in the future.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

30 days hardly a fitting penalty

I was touched by the following article as I thought about the family of Mario Reyes and the value we place (or fail to place) on human life versus sports and celebrity...

30 days hardly a fitting penalty
Stallworth's sentence sends wrong message

By Mike Lopresti

You drink through the night. You jump in your Bentley in the early morning, and your blood alcohol count could melt a breathalyzer machine.

Down the road, a husband and father is punching the clock to leave his all-night job. He has to take the bus home because he can't afford a car. He is as far from your world of wealth and privilege as Mercury is from Pluto.

He's walking to the bus stop and he crosses the street. Maybe he looks and maybe he doesn't. Maybe he's too tired to be careful.

But in this moment of fate, he is there when your expensive car rolls by. Pretty soon, Mario Reyes, 59, an anonymous night shift construction crane operator in the wrong place at the wrong time, is dead.

He is not an NFL player. He has not just signed for a multimillion-dollar bonus like you. The first headlines of his life are the last headlines of his life.

And your punishment for driving drunk, for killing a man, for making a wife a widow and a teenage daughter fatherless?

Thirty days. Thirty unfathomable days.

There are moments when it is impossible to look at the world, and sport's corner of it, and not be utterly dumbfounded. This is one of them.

Donte' Stallworth, receiver for the Cleveland Browns, stood in judgment Tuesday. He is going to jail for killing a man while driving drunk.

Watch an infomercial tonight. Order a new mattress for better sleep. Chances are, Donte' Stallworth will be out by the time you get it.

And here's the really good news, football fans. He'll be free for training camp! He'll be ready to go for the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings! He might even catch a touchdown pass, and won't the crowd roar?

Unless, of course, the NFL says differently. Justice has now plopped onto the desk of Commissioner Roger Goodell. He hasn't blinked much lately. He certainly better not blink now.

The Reyes family and Stallworth have reached a settlement. The survivors wanted to move on, and who is anyone else to say they shouldn't? Plus, Stallworth is by all accounts genuinely sorry. He hasn't been a bad guy in the past.

Fine. Nobody here is saying he's a repeat felon, so toss him in jail and throw away the key. Nobody suggests he is a hard core criminal.

But he killed a man. Thirty days. Something is very wrong with that.

We have devalued so many things in the modern age. One is accountability. Another is human life. Here, they intersect, and we see how numb we have become to the loss of both. The funeral bills will still be coming after 30 days.

Say you're sorry and mean it. Write a few checks. Lose your license. All fitting, all proper.

But there should be more. There has to be more. Drunk driving kills a lot of people in this country. Kids, parents, grandparents. This is one lousy message to send.

Disguise it in all the PR and legal spin you want. It is an appalling message to send.

So now it is up to Goodell, who has had to deal with crimes against dogs and now must ponder a crime against a third shift worker from Miami.

The commissioner can't send Stallworth to jail. The NFL is powerful, but not that powerful. He can send him to the bench.

A one-year suspension seems fair. All 16 games. Mario Reyes' daughter is going to live without a father a lot longer than that.

Or do we just dismiss Mario Reyes as unlucky, and go on with the season, the pressing issue being whether the Browns can do better than 4-12?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Tribute to my Dad

Dallas, Dad and DudleyPing Pong Championship.... Guess who won??? The gentleman on the right!! We are all really good at going through the chow line.

Dear Dad,

Happy Father's Day to you.... I tried calling but got an answering machine... Just wanted to make sure that you know YOU'RE THE BEST DAD IN AMERICA...

Thank you for ALL YOU'VE ever done to bless all five of us children.

The food in our tummies...
The monies that we spent..
The games that we played...
The gas in our cars...
The cars that we wrecked...
The sermons that we borrowed...
The jokes that we heard...
The clothes that we wore...
The bills that you paid...
The house that we lived in...
The fish that we caught...
The spankings that some of us deserved (Ha)...
The trips to St. Louis...
The travels to Norman...
The letters that you've written...
The tears that you've cried...
The dog named Rowdy...
The first set of Golf Clubs...
The first mini-bike...
The large fish you put in mother's tub (Ha) ...
The wisdom...
The advice...
The laughter...
The love...
The Church that you led...
The people that you baptized...
The example that you set...
The way you loved mom...

And most of all......
The Jesus that you pointed us towards.

Thank you dad...
You are the best.
And as you've always said... You're number one... right after me... (hahahahahaha)
I love you.
Your son....... Dudley !!!

P.S. Thanks for my name... what were you thinking?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Story of Auschwitz

Shocked and Stunned Unloading off the train
Men on one side, women on the other to never see their loved ones again.
Modern day picture of where they got off the trains..... my heart breaks
There have been many times when I read historical accounts of the Holocaust, and I always told myself that if I ever had the chance, I'm going to visit Auschwitz. Today is the day I saw the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps. It is impossible to walk those grounds without having a sick feeling in the depths of one's soul.

I questioned whether or not I should even write about it in fear of not adequately painting a true picture of my time there, for fear that someone might not understand the complete loss of life and the measure of the tragedy that took place at the hands of Hitler. Knowing full well that none of us will ever completely understand the atrocities that happened, I write this blog in the hopes that we will never forget.

I flew into a town called Krakow, Poland and hired a driver to drive me 90 minutes to the camps. I took time to talk to my driver, Arthur, about faith in Jesus Christ and pointed him to visit, and he assured me that he would. He was a safe driver for the narrow twisting road that we traveled. Every mile closer, I knew that it would be only a few more minutes until I arrived.

Nothing anyone could have ever said or explained would have prepared me for what I saw and learned. The first thing you noticed was a sign which read, "Arbeit Macht Frei," which means "Work will make you free." It was an attempt to cause the Jews NOT to fear upon entering a true DEATH CAMP called Auschwitz.

Hitler's hatred for the Jews and fear for those who may have one day turned against him in his quest to conquer Europe led him to deport 1.3 million people into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps. A total of 1.1 million Jews were sent to the death camps in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and of that number, 438,000 Jews were from Hungary and another 300,000 were from Poland.

When the Jews arrived, they came in CROWDED railroad cars, some of them having traveled up to four days in railroad cars with no food, water or toilets. The first thing that would happen is that they would separate the men from the women.

Then they would be looked at to see who was the strongest and best suited to do work. About 25% were sent to Auschwitz to work, and the other 75% were sent straight to the gas chambers in Birkennau. The first thing they would do would be to have them take off all their clothes and head to the showers (or so they thought). They figured that because they had been couped up in the railroad cars, a shower would be in order. The Germans even affixed shower heads to the top of the gas chamber in order to trick the Jews into thinking that there was nothing wrong.
Of course, there were no showers, and after the doors were locked, then the gas would be dispensed, and within 15 minutes, everyone inside would be dead.

After they were murdered, they were thrown into the incinerator and burned. The SS Germans did every thing they could to hide their tracks, but history will never let us forget or neglect the details of this vile hatred. The story of the Holocaust is a tragic tale of terror, as Hitler killed over 6 million Jews in the 1940's, and we must never forget.

Part 2 Auschwitz

Hair from those who died
80,000 pairs of shoes
Digging a ditch.
The ditch serves as a reminder of those who died while fighting to remain alive.
Walking through the Concentration Camp brings about an eerie feeling. Knowing that whereever YOU WALK, you are walking where people lost their lives for no other reason except on the basis of their race.

As you walk from barrack to barrack, they are now set up as museums. There has been much debate on whether or not they should serve as museums. Some believe that the camps should serve as a cemetery and others regard it as a memorial institute.

I walked into one room, and at first, I simply did NOT know what I was looking at... And then it dawned n me... It was the hair that had been shaved off all the prisoners. (see picture above) In another room were the shoes. (see picture above) In yet another room, there were all the brushes and combs. Every room, every step took your breath away, and you felt as though your heart was going to burst.

There was a picture posted of a ditch that was being dug by the prisoners that were strong enough NOT to be sent immediately to the gas chambers, and then I took a picture of what the ditch looks like today. (see picture above)

These are just a few of the things I saw and experienced. I hope to post a video soon but right now, I canNOT get it to post. So please check back in a few days and look for my thoughts via video....

May God help us to value life and defend the defenseless.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pics again..

The lady in the red dress Tony and some students

Tony Twist
A group picture. Can you find me?? A clue? I am the only one waving... hahaahah

I want to tell you about the lady in the red dress. Her name is Julia... I canNOT tell you all of her story because some of these ladies come from countries where it is ILLEGAL to be a Christian, and it's best that some of the details are left out.

When I arrived at Haus Edelweiss, the Director, Tony Twist, had me meet with MANY people so that I could get a handle on the entire ministry. Remember, this ministry is primarily a Biblical Training Institute, preparing Christian leaders for Europe and Asia.

One of the meetings I had was with these four ladies. I wish I could tell you all of their stories. The common thread was that all four had gone through the college and received their degrees, and then all four were hired and are NOW on staff at the very institute that trained them. All four of them are bilingual and all four desire to see Christ shared with all of Europe.

In talking to them I asked them HOW they became a Christian. The lady in red told me an unbelievable story about how she got saved. She was attending a university as a student, and she took a class on the subject of learning English. Her teacher had heard about some lady from America that was visiting this particular country and invited the American lady to come visit her class. The teacher always invited English speaking visitors to her class so her students could truly learn how to pronounce words correctly. Thus, Julia was in class listening to the visitor, who was a guest of the teacher. After the class was over... the English speaking visitor needed to catch a bus, which was about 10 minutes from the school. She needed someone to show her where the bus stop was, and Julia was the only person standing around and volunteered her time and said she would help the visitor get to the bus stop.

Julia said that while the two of them walked to the bus stop, they quickly became friends and in the short span of a 10 minute walk, the visitor told Julia that she was a missionary and that she had come to her country to tell people about Jesus. She invited Julia to come to a Bible study that she was hosting, and JULIA accepted the invitation! It was through that Bible Study that she gave her life to Jesus. And now several years later, after receiving her degree from TCMI, she is NOW spending her life preparing students to spread the gospel throughout all of Europe.

I quickly thought about how GOD moves and directs our footsteps and allows each of us to cross paths with those who are lost like Julia. And when we obey and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, God will lead us to those who, in turn, will be saved and then be used by God to take the gospel to the nations.

I ask again... What would keep you from going on a missions trip? Take a week, a month, a year and allow God to lead you wherever he chooses. Who knows... on a trip to a bus stop, you'll meet a Julia and lead her to the Lord, and she, in turn, will be a part of reaching MILLIONS for the Lord God.

More Pics

Photo with a few students

Tony Twist, the Director

Some Emperor's Summer Palace...... Just one of them..

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Haus Edelweiss

The HAUS EDELWEISS One of the classes I attendedRobert (just got out of surgery) and his wife, Sunny. I do not like the Texas hat... hahahaTell me this is NOT beautiful

I am getting ready to preach at Haus Edelweiss outside Vienna, Austria.

TCM International Institute originally began as a church planting organization that evolved into a ministry that smuggled Bibles into the former Soviet Union. After the cold war ended, this ministry began training leaders and preachers, equipping them to lead, pastor and develop Christians and churches throughout Europe.

Today, TCM International Institute is the largest Bible college of its kind in Central Europe.

They currently have 751 students from Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

They have 13 satellite campuses and are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

MOST, if not all, of the students make and live on about 100 dollars a MONTH, so TCMI raises full scholarships for all of its students. I sat in on one of the classes today and listened to one of the best Bible courses I have ever heard. They bring in teachers and preachers from all over the U.S.A and the students who graduate are getting the absolute BEST INSTRUCTION possible. I heard things today that I wish I had learned while I was going to college.

A friend of mine, Tony Twist, who is a great man of prayer, leads this unique and WORLD CHANGING organization. It is operated by over 300 volunteers who come to Haus Edelweiss to cook, serve, and clean for the students and faculty. It is truly a labor of love.

We currently have two church members, Robert and Sunny Torres, working here on a FULL TIME basis. YOU should HEAR THEIR STORY.

If you EVER wanted to take two weeks and go on a short term missions trip, THIS IS THE PLACE TO GO. Firstly, it's one of the most beautiful settings in the world. About 6 miles up the road is Beethoven's summer home, where he wrote Ode to Joy. Secondly, all you need to buy is an AIRLINE ticket. Your room and board are FREE. Thirdly, your work will enable students to be FULLY trained to take the gospel ALL over EUROPE and ASIA.

The question is................ Can you raise the money for an airline ticket? Can you come for two weeks????? Are you willing to simply GO????? If so..... These two weeks will be LIFE CHANGING for you, for the people you serve, and for the people who will hear the gospel from the students you serve. WOW!!!! How can you NOT COME???????

Friday, June 12, 2009


Even though I'm tired, sick and misspoke a couple of times, I still hope you will watch this video post from Budapest and listen to my heart.

Budapest2009 from Call On Jesus on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On my way to Vienna

The Great Synagogue

Seats over 3000
Cemetery.. See ArchesSame arches in the background
I will write more later... But I am on my way to Vienna, and I stopped by Budapest, Hungary for a couple of days on the way. I wanted to share a couple of things. Please think and pray about these thoughts. First, Hungary is a small example of all of Europe. Ten million people live in Hungary, and 2 million people live in Budapest. As you walk up and down the streets of this city, you realize there are NO Christian churches, and literally, millions of people live in this country withOUT knowing that Jesus Christ is Lord. It's difficult for me to imagine how so many folks can live day to day without any real hope. Yes, they have some formal churches, but as far as a church that is patterned after the ACTS 2 church, you are NOT going to find one here. When and how will God raise up a leader to come to this country to help evangelize to the lost? I want YOU, yes YOU, whoever you are, to seriously consider coming to this part of the world and building a great New Testament church. I know you probably have a million excuses, but why not visit and see for yourself, and begin asking God if it's possible. Ask HIM if he would provide for you a way to come to this country and give your life to a great cause.

Secondly, I want to post some pictures. I never know the order of pictures posted so I will write here and you can try to locate which picture I am talking about.

First, there is a Jewish Synagogue that I visited today. It is the largest Jewish Synagogue in all of Europe. It was built between 1854-59 and seats over 3,000 people. Outside the church, you will see a Jewish cemetery. Notice the arches on the side of the cemetery. That is a wall outside the Synagogue. The wall was a walkway between the cemetery and the Synagogue. You will see a picture taken during the time period where Hitler was trying to rid the world of Jews. Look for the arches. They are the same arches outside the Synagogue/Cemetery.

Some 600,000 Jews from Hungary were killed by the Nazi Regime. (Before I return to the U.S.A., I plan on visiting some of the Death Camps, where millions were killed. Remember how violated we felt during 9-11, when 3,000 Americans were killed in New York City? We are talking 600,000 Jews from this country alone that were brutally destroyed by Adolf Hitler. It is a SHAME that the world did NOT move faster to help divert this tragedy. One picture is a MAP... and down in the LOWER right hand corner is where this FAMOUS synagogue stands. This map is an area that was turned into a GHETTO, where literally tens of thousands of Jews were sent to the Death Camps. Some 70,000 Jews were enslaved inside this Ghetto.

ONE MORE PICTURE is of group of Hungarian Mafia members standing among hundreds of slain Jews. There is a plain wall behind them. It is the outside wall of a hospital. These Mafia men who are standing in front of this wall went into the hospital and murdered everyone INSIDE the hospital. They went inside and killed all of the Jewish doctors, nurses, and patients. Anyone who was Jewish was killed. Then, the men proudly stood in front of the dead for a trophy picture. After the war was over, this VERY picture was used to track down and hold accountable the ones who had executed these murders.

My heart stirs for the Jewish people who died at the hands of EVIL MEN. I wish someone had saved them... I wish this tragedy had NEVER happened... But the world stood in denial and watched as millions were killed. Yes, the United States of America stepped in to help end the war, but many wish and wonder why we didn't involve ourselves sooner. THESE TRAGEDIES took place as recently as the 1940's. THAT WAS NOT THAT LONG AGO.

And here we are in the year 2009, and there are now 10 million people living in this country and they are all dying without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And here we are, the church of Jesus Christ, standing on the sidelines and just thinking that someone else will get around to it. Brothers and Sisters....... May God burden YOUR HEART to do something about this. Millions are dying.... We have the solution.... Who will go? Who will commit? Who will be burdened to help save those who are dying....

Part 2

Map. Jewish Ghetto. Synagogue in lower right hand corner. Hungarian Mafia outside hospital

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Bit of News and Info

There is so much going on right now, and I really don't know where to begin. Of course, there's the Lakers, who I believe are going to beat the Magic and bring another Championship to Los Angeles. I am going to miss watching the rest of the games because I'm about to leave for a trip overseas. But before I leave, I wanted to write and let you know a little bit about what's going on in my small world.

First, all three of my children are out of school for the summer and are thankful to be away from studying for a while. Kayla is thinking about going on to medical school. Dallas continues to work and find a place to attend school next year. Kerri is excited about being in the 8th grade next year. I pray all of my children find their place in ministry and will use their gifts and talents to honor God.

Shepherd continues to grow, and we are constantly trying to help those who are struggling. The economy is affecting so many folks and it's almost impossible to deal with the sheer number of people who are truly hurting. Please pray that God will continue to provide in every way.

I know this will seem vague, but I was in a meeting today that will greatly effect the future of our church, and it was so exciting to see how God was opening doors that many thought were impossible to open. I hope in a few weeks that I will be able to share this good news with you.

One of my burdens is for all of our satellite campuses. We are so strong in the number of people who attend our Porter Ranch campus and I want to see the Lancaster, Agua Dulce, Fremont, Woodland Hills, and, of course, the West L.A. campuses thrive. We need to be a little more intentional about outreach in these areas.

We continue to be on CITY-WIDE TELEVISION. We have close to 15 million possible viewers and are in need of sponsors of our KDOC channel. We have the potential to share the Gospel through T.V. if we are able to find these sponsors. Please pray about YOUR involvement.

Some of you may or may not care that I have started to TWITTER. I am wrestling with all the technology and how much time to put into it, but I want to do EVERYTHING possible to help spead the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ.

So, I am going to use Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot and the web via and to reach the world. Don't you think that Paul would be using ALL MEANS to spread the Gospel if He were alive today? I think so!!!

Speaking of which, Tom Ellsworth, a dear friend of mine, is helping me with a HUGE project in which we are going to have an IPHONE application for You will be able to download this application and watch our services ONLINE via your cell phone. I am AMAZED at God opening this door for our church.

Don't forget we are still attempting to build a 3500-seat auditorium. We need the Lord to provide the resources, and we are going to do something where GOD WILL GET ALL THE CREDIT FOR IT. More to come...

Lastly, I am headed to Austria after church this weekend. I am excited about going to Europe and being involved in the training of pastors and ministers in that part of the world. Please pray for me, for safe travels, that God would be with me and give me favor with these leaders and that I would be able to encourage them in THEIR work in THEIR ministries.
Ohhhhhhhhhhh, one really last thing... I am planning a Footsteps of Paul Tour in March of 2010. Contact Carla Keefrider in my office if you are interested... This tour includes a three-day cruise through the Greek Islands. We will visit Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, Philippi and Thessalonika. I would love to have you travel with us.

Please know that I will be praying for EACH OF YOU. That God would bless you, provide for you and lead you into all righteousness.