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Never mention free food to a journalist. Whenever a kind soul brings food into the newsroom, my co-workers spring to life, pop out of their cubicles and dash like lemmings to the free offerings, with little regard for their  dignity. I’m different, in that I don’t sit in a cubicle. I usually try to not be the first to race for the food. I said I try. I do, though, show restraint, limiting myself to only one piece of chocolate. (One piece of each variety, to be clear).

Speaking of free food, Lakepointe Church in Macomb Township on Sunday, March 18, is celebrating its second year. After the 10:30 a.m. service, there will be a free luncheon for all guests. It will mostly be a great time to get to know the fine people at Lakepointe. If you are looking for a church to check out, I strongly recommend Lakepointe. I’ve talked with Pastor Scott Blanchard a couple times, and I have lots of respect for him, as well as Jared Sabo, who leads youth ministries at Lakepointe.


You’re most likely way ahead of me in hearing about the KONY 2012 video that is very viral.

The video already has 37 million hits and counting. According to this story by The Associated Press:

Despite an International Criminal Court arrest warrant and the deployment last fall of 100 U.S. Special Forces to four Central African countries to help advise in the fight against Kony, few Americans know who he is.

Myself, I find it more than coincidental that Joseph Kony is suddenly getting all this deservedly bad press. A day ago, my daughter asked me if I knew anything about this Kony guy. It rang a bell, yes, but I’ll admit I couldn’t quite place it. Then after 2o seconds of watching the video, it was one of those, “Oh, yeah, of course!” moments. Two days before that, I was reading “The Hole in Our Gospel,” a book on which our church based a series that has just concluded. (Well, sorta. It’s more like just the beginning.)

In the book, author Richard Stearns makes a reference to Joseph Kony and his KLA. Not anything in depth, but enough to spell out clearly what a monster Kony is. I just find it a little weird that I was reading about this guy two days prior in a book that was written two years ago.

What’s more, it  was about a month ago that I was visiting my Aunt Nell, whose daughter’s family has been on the mission field in Kenya, Uganda and nearby countries for most of their lives. Aunt Nell was telling me about how her grandson, who repairs trucks, had to be cautious about venturing into certain areas because that was the domain of the KLA, which is led by this monster Joseph Kony, who she said could barely be called a human. Like I said, just too strange to be coincidence.

The KONY 2012 campaign is a testament to the amazing power of technology and and increasingly interconnected world. I’d be ecstatic if a viral campaign like this could topple this evil regime. It’s frustrating to know that Kony and people like him have been perpetrating these horrors for years now. Nonetheless, the KONY 2012 effort could become a template for significant change in the world.

This weekend marks both the end and the beginning of a special four-week series at Kensington churches. The series is based on the book, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” written by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S.  Kensington has intertwined the messages of the book with its outreaches already in place. The challenge for Week 3 was, “Think about water everyday.” You’d think that we’d think about water every day, but you must admit we take it for granted. There are probably a lot of us today who are thinking about how much we depend on power. I thought about water this morning because our dishwasher has died, and now I must wash the dishes the Old Fashioned Way, which, apparently, is a skill my children will never be able to grasp. I also heard a story this week about how in these United States, everyone west of the Mississippi will soon be coping, if they aren’t already, with a dwindling supply of fresh water. We are surrounded by the world’s most precious supply of fresh water. For this reason, I’m glad that the water monitoring system in southeast Michigan will continue to guard us. I used to complain about my ever-increasing water bills. They’ve gone from $30 a month when we first got here, to close to $130 a month now. I may still complain, but in reality, I’m so glad I have the option to pay for fresh water. When you get a few minutes, look at this video, and you will better understand how good we’ve got it.

At the end of each message, we were enticed to purchase an empty gallon jug for $5. The jug did not contain gas or milk, just air. But what a bargain! The picture at the top of this post is of the label attached to each jug. Many chose to give well above the five bucks, and many fetched more change from others by piquing curiosity about the empty gallons. As of Friday night, the people at Kensington had raised $125,000 — and counting! That money will be used to drill water wells for people in Pokot, Kenya. The author of “The Hole in Our Gospel” challenges us to think twice about what we believe is true. One of those “truths” is, there is nothing we can do to help the poverty of Third World countries. Give that some thought today and take a deeper look, because that “truth” may be a big lie.

I found the top two comments to this video very enlightening.

Here’s the first:

I always worry when I donate to charities like this. If you do this, give these people a well, is it going to lead to an increase in their population? The reason there is trouble is that there are too many people living in an area which can’t support them. So what then? We have two villages instead of one, and again we have trouble. So we give them another well? How about they control their population instead. I have seen what the population growth in Africa is like.

Followed by:

As a teen I cant do much but me and my friend are trying to find ways to raise money to donate. Keep up the good work!

Now it’s easy to me to say what a jerk that first person is, and say bravo to the teen with the big heart. But do I really have more hope than the first guy? I’d like to think so, but I’ll admit I’ve often felt there is nothing that can be done. I wonder how many times teens get their spirits crushed by the things we say?

As I said earlier, the series may be wrapping up this weekend, but the adventure may just be starting. The challenge for Week 4 is, “Be Part of the Solution.”