The title says it all. Fun times. For those of you that are wondering… no, I didn't get fired.
It was recently brought to my attention that I never posted this one on my blog. My apologies to all who have been waiting.
On another note, several people have commented that they have missed my more serious and indepth blogs. I will return to posting things like that in the near future, but not posting blogs of that sort has been intentional. For awhile there many or most of my blog posts were very serious subject matter, and I felt that I was running the risk of taking myself too seriously. Some of the best advice that I have ever received came from a sweet older lady in a church where I used to work. One weekend after I had spoken from the platform, she came up to me and said:
"Son, I usually love to hear you speak. But today, I felt like you took yourself way to seriously. God has a big plan for your life, and he is going to use you in great ways. But always remember, you are not all that important. Don't ever take yourself too seriously."
On that day I vowed to never take myself too seriously. For those of you who don't know, "Smooth" is not my legal name. It is a nickname that I was given as a kid that stuck with me (in fact, my whole family has nicknames). But on the day that I made this vow, I decided that I would be intentional about keeping that name, because it acts as a constant reminder never to take myself too seriously. When I graduated with my Master's degree, a professor asked me if I was going to stop going by "Smooth" now ("Smooth Via" is the name that was on roll through my seminary career). I asked why I should do that? He replied, "Well, now that you have your Master's and you're on your way to get a Ph.D., don't you think there is a level of respectibality to which you should rise, that there is a certain 'aura' that comes with acadamia?" I politely told him that I rejected that mentality, and that I was working hard not to become one of those kind of people.
So in honor of my commitment, here is the moment you've all been waiting for: me putting ice down my pants.
This is a special "That Was Alex" edition of That Was Smooth. This video was filmed and played at Uprising the week I was in Uganda. Alex spoke at Uprising so I decided that I draw for him and let him enjoy the same experience that I get to enjoy every week!
Now you can enjoy watching… it's hilarious.
Well, we've just recently gotten back from Uganda. What a great trip. I think this is around my 6th or 7th trip there and it is never a disappointment. God really moved while we were there. Our primary focus was to provided training for the pastors and church leaders of Arise Africa's over 200 churches that spread across 22 zones in Uganda.
God has been moving in a powerful way and he has been greatly using Arise Africa to accomplish his mission. This is the way it usually goes: Arise Africa plants a church; the church grows and people start coming from surrounding villages; eventually the church decides to plant another church more convenient to those having to walk long distances; that church grows and flourishes and people start coming from surrounding villages; eventually that church decides to plant another church more convenient to those who have to walk long distances… you get the idea.
The churches are growing so rapidly, and many of them are so far out in the bush that it has become very difficult to make sure that the churches are being properly trained and cared for. For some time now Godfrey Wanamitsa (the Director of Arise Africa and good friend of mine) has been expressing his burden over his responsibility to properly care for his pastors and churches. So when Jimmy and I first started talking with Godfrey about how we could be of use to him and his ministry, the one thing he kept coming back to was training and encouragement for his pastors and church leaders. After much discussion, Godfrey and I finally decided on a plan of attack that would reach all of the churches in all of his zones by traveling each day to 1 zone and providing the means to bring the pastors and church leaders from the surrounding zones to meet us there. Then we were able to spend the better portion of a day training and encouraging them. To reach these zones, however, would still be an enormous task. For instance, one day we did 13 hours of travel to do 5 hours of ministry. It was an 18 hour day! At one point in the day, Beverly (Jimmy's wife) turned to me and said, "Smooth, it's 12:00. We've been going for 8 hours, and the day has just begun!" That particular day, we got up at 4:00 am and got back in bed around midnight. The video below takes place on that day!
It was a long hard trip, but it was very rewarding. I look forward to being able to do it again.