Category Archives: Christianity

Mercy Chefs Dallas Homeless Outreach — 1/18/2015

Trekking from Shreveport to Dallas and back to head up a homeless outreach under a bridge is a big undertaking for me. This was my first time driving the kitchen trailer by myself. I wasn’t dragging a three foot popup tent. It’s something around 37 feet of culinary carnage. Really, I anticipated that careening in slow motion off a bridge was in the realm of possibility, but I drove like an AARP racecar driver.

The other concern came from my wife as I have a history of falling asleep at the wheel, and I had my oldest daughter and her best friend in tow. If I was feeding my candy crushing addiction and caused a fourteen car pileup because of my gross negligence, I don’t know how I could live with myself, but I think after community service, I could get back in my wife’s good graces. Catching my beauty rest at 75 mph with live cargo is a line my wife won’t cross. The other option was to go to sleep by 10 pm and guzzle about eight Red Bulls throughout the day. I thought aliens were going to burst out of my chest from this tonic, but it was a reasonable risk.

We served shepherd’s pie and delightful bundt cake to around 200 homeless people under the bridge on Hickory Street. A church comes out regularly to preach the gospel to these people who may never have the opportunity. It’s a gospel of hope, and I hope the simple gift of a hot meal does its small part in sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

Seventeen hours later, I’m on my couch reliving the day’s events. It is so amazing being to volunteer with fellow Mercy Chefs. It’s amazing to be trusted to move the kitchen to the site. It is just amazing serving Jesus Christ.

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (‭Luke‬ ‭14‬:‭13-14‬ ESV)

Is Tolerance Intolerant?

I was engaged in an online conversation regarding the matter of homosexual ‘marriage.’ This is a matter in which many are involved. It is interesting to see how people today are quick to demonize anyone with a differing view. Tolerance is not holding the same view as everyone else. That is called agreement. In order to exercise tolerance, I must hold a view that is different than somebody else. No, I’m not evil if my views are not your views. In fact, if they were, that might make for some one-sided dialogue.

Below is a response I wrote regarding a perceived “tolerance infraction”:

I want to set the record straight that I do not believe homosexuality is an abomination. According to the Bible, God says homosexuality is an abomination. He says the same about lying and a litany of other transgressions. Do I think homosexuality is wrong? Absolutely. Do I believe that people should be able to conduct their lives as they see fit? Unquestionably. But I believe people deserve informed consent so that they may act accordingly.

One issue I do have is the requisition of the term “marriage.” I believe as the Bible dictates. It says marriage is between one man and one woman. Though I disagree, I would be more comfortable with calling a homosexual union something else. The term ‘union’ would work nicely. As for me, it doesn’t matter what it is called as long as it is not marriage. I sincerely believe that marriage is a representation of the relationship between Jesus Christ (the Bridegroom) and the Church (the Bride). This is very sacred to me. So is my marriage to my wife of many years.

If part of the issue pertains to affording homosexual couples the same benefits that married heterosexual couples enjoy, the laws need to be changed so that both groups are on equal ground. Another option is to strip benefits from heterosexual partners.

A possible solution is this: the Church abandons the term ‘marriage’ in favor of a term that accurately defines the nature of the relationship in a God honoring way. Call it a covenantal union or something. I’m not terribly concerned over semantics. I just know that a heterosexual marriage is not the same as a homosexual ‘marriage.’ As much as we try to reshape our perceptions in the name of equality, it doesn’t change the fact that they aren’t equal. Sure, we can pass laws and we can aggressively prosecute Christians who don’t get with the program, but nothing is changed. A homosexual ‘marriage’ is not endorsed by God. Nor will He ever endorse it. I’m not saying this to be mean, but declaring something as true doesn’t make it so. Though a zebra looks similar to a horse, it still is a zebra.

There was a time where I wouldn’t protest. Not because I thought it was the right thing to do. I just didn’t care. I also didn’t care about abortion or really anything else. I was an unregenerate who looked out for himself. I’m still a sinner, but I have repented of my previous life and put my trust in Jesus.

I know many people think it’s mean to tell others that they are wrong. Some behave as if it is evil to use the “w” word. The fact is that it is the opposite. Believe it or not, atheist Penn Teller helped me understand that. Regarding a particular proselytizer he said, “If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell…how much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” That sums it up quite nicely. It’s okay to tell people they’re wrong in the spirit of love. Not some sappy sentimental love, but a godly love that genuinely cares for people and their eternal souls. In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” He determined this was so important He repeated this twice in the same chapter. To emphasize, He followed with, “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” (John 14:24 ESV)

I don’t want anyone to go to hell, but if someone lives an unrepentant lifestyle, the Bible is clear that hell will be his destination. Those are harsh words, and if I was in danger of hell, I would rather hear the truth now than find out when I’m standing in judgment.

I’m sure it’s my turn to hear that I’m wrong. That is okay. Disagreement is not synonymous with hatred. It seems that people use the terms interchangeably. I hear people trying to enforce tolerance through intolerance. Maybe someone redefined ‘tolerance’ when I was sleeping, but to be tolerant of something, there must be some incongruity. If you like cheeseburgers and I don’t, as long as we don’t punch each other in the nose, we are being tolerant of each other. If I try to coerce you into forsaking cheeseburgers through litigation or other means, I’m being intolerant. I see the Tolerance/Intolerance Paradox in the world today. Some homosexuals demand tolerance while being intolerant of some Christians’ perceived intolerance. I can’t speak for everyone, but as for me, speaking against homosexuality (or whatever sin happens to be the flavor of the month) isn’t me trying to throw my weight around. I’m a wretched sinner like everyone else. I’m speaking out against the sin, not the sinner. I do so out of genuine concern for others’ salvation. I wish we didn’t live in a broken world. I’m compelled by my faith to warn of the real danger of sin. I do so out of love for my Savior, not out of hatred for my fellow man.

The Day of the Lord

Luke 4 documents when Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and read from the scroll of Isaiah.  Though Jesus’ version is very similar to what we have in Isaiah, there are some differences.  Scholars are divided on the issue, but it appears that Jesus may have quoted from the LXX when he read Isaiah 61.  In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus reads :

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Notice the difference in Isaiah 61:1-2:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;                                         to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;


It is interesting to see the differences.  KJV Today actually compares Luke 4:18-19 to Isaiah 61:1-2 from the LXX and from the KJV which is derived from the Masoretic Text.  I assumed that both passages were identical.  Once I looked at them together, I could see that there were significant differences. These differences serve as fodder for strict KJV adherents and I’m sure it stirs up great controversy among Bible nerds.

What interests me is that Jesus quit reading from the scroll after he read, “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  He stopped at the comma, closed the scroll, and in Luke 4:21 Jesus said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  Then the Jews in the synagogue tried to throw Jesus off a cliff.

Jesus simply stopped at the comma as God’s day of vengeance is not yet upon us.  The Day of the Lord (as it is known throughout the Bible) is the Day that He will pour His wrath out on the wicked.  The day is coming where Jesus finishes the phrase and crushes the wicked.

Contrived Community

I’m laying on the couch watching Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man. There was this episode about Sunday Assembly, which is essentially an atheist church. I have heard about this type of church and I find it puzzling. Not only is an atheist church an oxymoron, I find that it is not much different than some churches today.

Spurlock was in Nashville visiting churches so that he could glean some inspiration for his atheist message. For the record, I’m not particularly fond of churches using the term “message” in place of “sermon.” It sounds so sanitized and secularized. Nonetheless, I was interested to see that real worship services were used as inspiration for this brave new church.

As I watched Spurlock’s reaction to hearing a  sermon regarding marriage and homosexuality, I could see him mentally disengaging. I know that this topic made the cut to reinforce the notion that Christians are judgmental and intolerant. Not only that, the mere mention of God garners a subtle response that believers are bonkers. I can live with that but I still find it peculiar for someone to look to the church to model an atheist church.

Many churches today perform contemporary Christo-pop songs quite badly and on this episode of Inside Man the secret of Sunday Assembly is revealed–badly played Bon Jovi and 80’s hair music and ego puffery. If you look at Joel Osteen, you get an unbiblical feel good message sanitized of the real Christ. Atheist church has its own brand of positive sentimentalism. It is actually alarming to see that many churches today are virtually indistinguishable from this new godless church movement.

I don’t see the point. To meet simply for community seems ridiculous to me. I know different people have different motivations for attending church. As for me, I’m going to worship Jesus. Everything else pales in comparison. I have numerous friends at church, but I don’t get up Sunday mornings to hang out with my buddies. I go to worship Jesus.

Maybe I’m just antisocial. Growing up I often found myself often excluded on the playground. Today I carry my phone everywhere and I get irritated if it rings. I sometimes get put out if I get a text. It keeps interrupting my candy crushing efforts.

What I’m trying to say is that meeting up with a bunch of people I may or may not know doesn’t feel much like community to me. I’d rather pile into the van with family and friends to feed the homeless instead of having some life coach facilitator telling me and the rest of the strangers that I can feel loved and included. It’s vacuous and empty without Christ. It is an exercise in self-importance.

I don’t have a problem with atheists meeting up for their godless church therapy sessions. I just find it pointless. If we really are just living to die, why waste it on some contrived sense of community? Are we really this disjointed as a society that we have to create a cheering section for our egos? If there is nothing after I die, my time is best spent as an epicurean. If this is it, why waste time when I can fulfill my desires and numb my senses?

Then again, how much different are some of today’s churches from Sunday Assembly? Not much.

A Generational Curse

‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ (Numbers 14:18 ESV)

While I was wasting time today, I came across a blog post that piqued my interest.  The author, Lisa M. Price, was correlating personal responsibility with societal ills.  I can’t agree more.  It’s easy to blame our problems on racism, liberalism, conservatism–pick any -ism you choose, but before we release the scapegoat into the wilderness, maybe we need to look inwardly.  Perhaps we can take responsibility for our errors instead of pointing fingers at others.  I think the elephant in the room is the fact that we say our problems are typically somebody else’s fault, and we certainly shouldn’t rely on the government to shore up our problems.  It’s apparent that the government cannot even handle the responsibilities it’s been given.  It’s like having a podiatrist perform brain surgery.  He may be the best foot doctor in the world but I’m not letting him near my head.

In my estimation, the largest issue that negatively impacts society are the abundance of broken homes.  I was alarmed at the statistics I read on singlemotherguide.com, but the first sentence is what I found staggering.  It states, “…single motherhood is now becoming the new “norm”.  Granted, there are many reasons that a woman may become a single mother, but I’m focusing on the irresponsible aspects.  The statistics support that this new “norm” is the normalizing of immorality.  49% of single mothers have never been married.  This isn’t merely men acting like pigs and sowing their sinful oats.  Women also shirk decency by behaving like harlots.

I know, it’s time to bring up the liberal rhetoric because we all have the right to do whatever we want to be happy.  That sounds reasonable on the surface, but it really means, “Let us indulge our wanton lusts and engage in whatever debasement and humiliation is necessary to attain happiness.”  Are you happy?  Your doctor tells you that you are pregnant.  Are you happy now?  You can’t find the guy you had a one night stand with and decide it’s best to have an abortion.  Does this make you happy?  You have complications when the doctor removes your unborn baby with a giant suction tube.  You don’t have to worry about that inconvenience but now you are sterile.  Is this what you were thinking of when you were thinking about your happiness?

I’m not trying to pick on women, but who is stuck with all of the decisions and responsibilities when dad skips town or moves to prison?  This isn’t racism, either.  Black people have the same responsibilities with their bodies as whites and Hispanics.  I’m also not trying single out the poor as I have a heart to minister to the homeless.  The fact is that 39.6% of unwed mothers are poor according to NWLC.  Of those, more than half live in extreme poverty.  Does this ensure that children of unwed mothers will overcome poverty?  Of course not.  Children that grow up in poverty will likely remain in poverty.  Then their children will live their lives in poverty.  The tragedy in this nightmare is that the children are innocent but are paying for their parents’ sins.

Poverty doesn’t care about the color of your skin.  Poverty is in many cases, the result of bad decisions.  The problem with poverty is that it rarely stops at one generation.  If you make bad decisions that land you in the poorhouse, those decisions can impact generations.  Your one night stand may affect your great-grandchildren.  Do you have a right to engage in risky behavior that can cause unhappiness in your great-grandchildren’s lives in the name of happiness?  If I was a sociopath that enjoyed killing people, do I have a right to murder my neighbor so that I can be happy?  It’s an absurd example, but the truth is that my actions can and do impact my children’s lives.  I have the ability to improve their lives through a pattern of good decision making or I can destroy their future if I make some ill-conceived choices.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we have a right to happiness. Happiness is not guaranteed in this life and in our reckless pursuit of happiness, we should not compromise our integrity.  We need to consider the consequences and refrain from activity that could negatively affect not only our lives, but the lives of our children.  This “new normal” isn’t working out.  It’s irresponsible to label aberrant behavior as normal in the first place.

The Least of These

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14 ESV)

Saddest.  Tree.  Ever.  We were contending with 30 mph winds and the tree took some serious abuse.
Saddest. Tree. Ever. We were contending with 30 mph winds and the tree took some serious abuse.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to spend some time in Ft. Worth, TX to participate in Mercy Chefs’ “17 Days of Christmas.”  Heather and I have talked about serving the homeless on Christmas Day for years, and we were blessed with the opportunity to serve around 100 homeless and underprivileged men, women, and children. This project will continue through December 31.

(In case you are not familiar with Mercy Chefs, let me explain.  We are primarily a disaster response and relief ministry.  We serve hot chef prepared meals to first responders, victims, and volunteers. Fortunately, we don’t have continual disasters, so when we have downtime, we partner with other ministries to feed the homeless.)

I’m always amazed when we are obedient to Christ.  We serve with the intention to bless others, but we always seem to be the ones blessed by the homeless.  Yesterday, I sat down with a 60 year old man who has been out of prison for 18 months.  He spent a couple of years in prison after he beat up some creeper who was abusing his fifteen year old daughter.  What surprised me was that this man, Terry Gibson, was a brother in Christ and could quote scripture better than I could.

Learning about Terry Gibson and his circumstances.
Terry said that before today, he hadn’t eaten in two days.

Terry said that he was a manager at a classic car dealership for ten years before he went to prison.  He was a single father who had custody of his three children.  I spent about an hour listening to him as he told me that his predicament came solely because he didn’t trust God to handle the precarious situation with the sexual predator that was after his daughter.

As I imagine myself in his shoes, I know that if I was faced with a similar situation with one of my three daughters, I might be tempted to handle the matter similarly.  I pray that I am never thrust into a comparable position.

My wife and middle daughter watching "Elf" with a couple of new friends on the side of the Mercy Chefs trailer.
My wife and middle daughter watching “Elf” with a couple of new friends on the side of the Mercy Chefs trailer.

His troubles are far from over as he is still picking up his broken life. His children, feeling abandoned by his imprisonment, have pretty much abandoned their relationship with their father.  He attributes it to his unwillingness to allow God to handle his dilemma.  Yet, he is still upbeat.  He is thankful for his experience in prison as it has drawn him closer to God.  He served as a father figure for many young men behind bars, and now he offers his wisdom to kids and young adults on the streets.

My family.
My family.

When we parted ways, he left with a full belly and a warm blanket and I left with a fresh perspective.  God can and does use the least of us to serve Christ, and I’m blessed to have a new friend.  We may never meet again, but I don’t have to worry about him.  He is safe with the Lord, but I do pray for him and his family and I pray that God saves others through him.  It was a Merry Christmas, indeed.

Focusing On What’s Important

It’s the day before Christmas (I think calling it Christmas Eve-Day is awkward) and I see an article from CNN regarding the new generation of megachurches.  These are absolute monstrosities, and at the very least, are examples of bad stewardship of resources.  I’m not writing to bash megachurches (though I could go on about Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, or social justice adherents or seeker-sensitive preachers), but I was reading the comments in response to the article where I saw the usual atheist propaganda.

I get frustrated when unbelievers twist scripture saying that Christians aren’t supposed to judge, and Christians should be poor, and Christians are hypocrites because they presume we are not living a godly life.  I’m not a rube, I know that there are many who just pay lip service to Christ while living their little hedonistic lives.  The accusation is that we are charged to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.  They are right as Matthew 25:35-40 is very clear that whatever we do to the least among us we are doing to Christ.  We, as Christians, know (or at least should know) what we are supposed to do, and as I read the comments denouncing Christians, it appears that the belief of our responsibilities releases the unbeliever from any responsibility.  Matthew 7:5 is clearly written for the Christian, but it would do unbelievers well to take the plank out of their own eye before they start pointing fingers.

Jesus says the poor will always be with us, but that does not release us of our responsibility.  I say “our” loosely, because it should include Christians and non-Christians alike.  I’m not saying that unbelievers do not care about their fellow man, it’s just the loudest ones appear to call foul on the Christian while doing nothing themselves.  Further, social justice should not be the ultimate goal for the Christian.  What is the point in feeding and clothing someone if you don’t share the Gospel?  People die everyday with full bellies and without repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, that full belly was useless.

Let the unbeliever worry about social justice and saving the northern hairy-nosed wombat.  Let us feed body and soul.  Let us be a light in the darkness.  Let us bless our enemies while they curse us and our King (Matthew 5:44).  Let us be slaves to Christ and remember Mark 10:45–“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

CC image courtesy of Stephan Rebernik on Flickr.

Is Endless Punishment Really the Best Option?

It’s common to hear people say that they will never submit to God because of His threats of eternal torture.  That is interesting because I have yet to hear someone refer to hell as eternal torment.  Torture undoubtedly refers to some type of unmerited experience, where torment could be entirely deserved.  The Doctrine of Endless Punishment has nothing to do with eternal torture.  If one finds himself in hell, it is a punishment he earned because he rejected his Savior in favor of a logical error.  Adhering to a fallacious argument like the argumentum ad baculum, or the Threat of Force fallacy, is unwise because it cannot diminish the reality of hell.

Universalism is the preferred religion of post-moderns as it ignores man’s sinful nature and the threat of hell along with it.  Joel Osteen’s brand of Christianity encapsulates this perfectly as sins are regarded as no more than mistakes, and if we have positive vibes, God will shower us with gifts because we deserve it.  This “God owes me” mentality is impossibly stupid.  How can we have the audacity to demand anything from God?  He owes us nothing but wrath, but we feel entitled to His grace.  This reasoning reduces God to an instrument that we wield to satisfy our carnal desires.

If we believe that eternal punishment is too mean, what other alternatives does God have?  In his commentary on Revelation, Chuck Missler suggests that there are three other options at God’s disposal, all of which would result in something worse than hell.

  1. God could let the world just continue to exist forever.

On the surface, this seems to be perfectly reasonable.  But what about the cruelty and injustice?  What about pain and disease?  This would go unchecked, and this Garden of Eden would go on and on.

  1. God could force man into automata.

Can anyone honestly say they would prefer life without free will?  We would be nothing more than mere robots carrying out orders.  Maybe this would be easier, but would we have meaningful lives?  Of course not, but without free will we would never realize it.  As a result, God would be forcing us to love Him which runs contrary to His nature.

  1. He can withdraw Himself.

We might assume that this would look something like number one, but in this case He would not be simply be ignoring His creation.  He would be turning His back on it.  The world was spoken into existence, and if the Word (revealed as Jesus in John 1:1-5) chooses to withdraw from His creation, we could expect that we would not exist.  It is impossible to imagine what it would be like without Him, but I suspect it would be much like it was before Genesis 1.

These are all bad scenarios for man and they all go against God’s nature.  From man’s perspective, the best option is an eternal hell.  What makes hell so appealing is the fact that God provides a way for us to avoid hell through Jesus Christ.  For many, this is preposterous as this would require submission to God.  Some find it much easier to impugn God’s character.  After all, if we must repent of our sins, we have to acknowledge our depravity.

Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley

Again With the Persecution?

I just read an article from the Daily Caller regarding another story of a “bigoted” florist that refused to sell flowers for a gay wedding.  I really can’t say that this story is news because it happens so frequently nowadays.  This particular story caught my attention because the state of Washington is not only levying fines against the business, but it is suing the owner personally, which seems to go beyond punitive.  As for me, these tolerance/intolerance shenanigans are so bizarre that I would find them laughable if they weren’t so devastating to those who are only trying to honor God.

Barronelle Stutzman, the proprietor, sold flowers to homosexuals.  She even sold flowers to this same couple.  In all likelihood, Ms. Stutzman gladly provided her services to anyone for all occasions except one:  same-sex weddings.  In those instances, she helpfully directed customers to florists that would sell flowers for these special occasions.  Her reason was simple.  She was upholding her convictions as she did not want to sin against God.

Before you launch into your “selling flowers for gay weddings is not in the Bible” tirade, let’s look a little closer.  Granted, the Bible has no explicit command to refrain from participation in gay wedding ceremonies, so this matter is adiaphora.  The Christian could make a determination that he is not sinning by providing a service for a gay wedding.  After all, he’s not performing the actual ceremony.  For another Christian, his conviction may be that any participation would be sinful.  Either way, a person’s faith should not be subject to government intrusion.

The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin and defines marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 tells us to abstain from the appearance of evil.  I’m not trying to be inflammatory, but the Bible is clear on matters of sin.  Sin is evil.  Further, we should be mindful of our actions so that we do not become a stumbling block for other Christians. (1 Corinthians 8:13)  Romans 14:13-23 is an important passage that helps clarify, and I believe is especially helpful in navigating issues that are not specifically addressed in the Bible.

Consider the consumption of alcohol.  The Bible condemns drunkenness, but does not prohibit drinking.  It’s actually very clear that drinking alcohol is lawful; it’s the excessive drinking that is sinful.  If I personally think drinking is sinful, I am committing a sin if I drink a glass of wine because I’m not acting on my faith. (Romans 14:23)

This shouldn’t even be an issue.  This is not discrimination.  If anything, it’s a moral issue and the government shouldn’t be in the business of legislating morality.  Actually, in this case, Uncle Sam is legislating immorality.  If the florist was Muslim, it’s unlikely that anyone would object.  Islam forbids homosexuality and in certain countries, one could receive the death penalty by being a homosexual.  That’s the double standard that is pervasive in American culture today.  The tolerance/intolerance duality is hardly anything that resembles egalitarianism.  Matthew 10:22 and John 15:18 illustrate the real reason for the animosity.  The world hates Jesus Christ and we are hated because we love Him.

I understand that this is an unpopular position.  Before I was saved, I would have been on the bandwagon hurling insults at prudish Christians (and I identified as a Christian).  I also would have ridiculed homosexuals as I affirmed their right to do whatever they wanted.  Only five years ago I came to understand that I was an utterly depraved and wrong-headed unregenerate.  I realized that I must repent and put my trust in Jesus.

As a Bible believing Christian, the world views me as bigoted and small minded.  I can live with that.

Another Mercy Chefs Adventure

Mercy Chefs adventures have become a regular facet in my life, and until recently, I have not had exposure to the logistics issues that need to be addressed to have a successful deployment. Three weeks ago, I went to Tuscaloosa, AL to assist in the transport of the command center. We were undertaking massive Thanksgiving feedings in Texas, and with our resources spread over several locations, we needed a central position to effectively manage the operation.

Yesterday, I embarked on an adventure with Chef John Stout to Portsmouth, VA. We were tasked with driving Mercy 3 (our third mobile kitchen) back to its home. He was coming from Dallas and picked me up in Shreveport so that we could deliver our cargo.

We had a late start and didn’t get settled into our hotel in Duluth, GA until about 2 am. I finally dozed off about 3:30 am and I was in the shower three hours later. I felt like time had slowed to a crawl as we journeyed today. We were pulling a massive trailer, plus I’m a slow driver, so it took about five minutes shy of eternity to reach our destination. Fortunately, it turned out to be the ideal time for some great fellowship with two integral members of the Mercy Chefs organization, Donna Testa and Gary LeBlanc. Gary is not only the CEO, but he made a killer turducken gumbo for dinner. That’s what chefs like to do. If we aren’t serving, we like to eat.

IMG_4759.JPG
Chef Gary made an incredible turducken gumbo.

I hope to sleep five hours tonight as I’m ready for the trip home. I’m glad to experience what it is like beyond the deployment. It’s a lot of…well, logistics. I’ve only scratched the surface and I’m sure I’ll have the opportunity to learn and grow in the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime, I’d really like this Lunesta to kick in. It’s 1:19 am and I’ll be back in the truck in no time.

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