Mar 13

Today in Phnom Penh, we’ll teach “How to Make Bread and Enjoy God”

It’s Monday morning in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – the start of our second full day here.
Today, we’ll be teaching at a ministry that houses and disciples Cambodian students. It functions like a house church and ministry training program.
We’ll be teaching an English, bread making and theology lesson called “How to Make Bread and Enjoy God”.
The ministry makes and sells snack foods to help cover its expenses. We’ll be teaching how to make a couple snack foods that they can sell.

Yesterday, we spent a few hours with the World Horizons team that lives here. There are about 18 people on the team. They have people from England, Ireland, France, Indonesia, Canada and the U.S. It’s a great group of people. They’re leading ministries for orphan care, church planting, art as mission, business as mission, ministry and discipleship training and after school youth outreach. I’m glad to spend some time supporting them.

This is where I’m sitting right now. Its nice.


Mar 13

Sunday Morning in Phnom Penh

It’s Sunday morning in Phnom Penh.
This week I’m traveling with my friend Jon (he lives here in Cambodia), Aleesa (she’s an American member of our organization who lives in Mexico and will join us on Tuesday) and Hope (she’s an American from Virginia who has been on a mission trip to Cambodia before).
We’re staying at a guest house/hotel. It’s pretty decent and has air conditioning.
Today, we’ll have lunch with the World Horizons team that lives here, then we’ll go to a church that meets in the afternoon.

Here’s Jon with an inflatable Josh Conrad.

Mar 13

My Rules for Air Travel

1. Pack the night before the trip. Not before.  There is a separate list of rules for packing.

2. Book a window seat for early morning flights so you can sleep against the window. Otherwise, pick an aisle seat – the freedom to roam is important.

3. Anything other than a window or aisle seat is crap and should be sold at half price. Therefore, the poor guy stuck in the “middle seat” gets to use the #$@^% armrests.

4. Always carry on (don’t check) your luggage. Always.

5. Have a toothbrush, individually wrapped face wipes, a book and downloaded movies at hand. A real pro also has good cookies for the flight and a fresh shirt for arriving decently.

6. Inflatable neck pillows, fanny packs, passport carriers, hidden travel wallets, safari vests, camel-packs, matching t-shirts? No. Don’t be that guy.

7. When someone is sleeping, reading, writing or wearing headphones on a plane – it means “please don’t talk to me”.

8. The guy in front of you can feel it every time you put that tray table up, tap the touch screen on the cool in-flight TV or rest your head on the tray table to sleep – do the right thing.

9. The armrest and seat cushions are very important borders. Stay inside your space while seated.

10. Just because you’re not in a rush to get out of your seat, into the aisle and off the plane once its landed, doesn’t mean the people behind you aren’t. Get out of the way.

Nov 12

Things I saw in my kids’ school cafeteria today

A lunch lady in a faux fur vest and purple apron.
School-issued lunches consisting of a thin slice of unnaturally colored mystery meat on a hot dog bun.
Offensively indiscriminate use of ketchup and mayo packets.
A child with an entire salt shaker in her lunchbox.
So much open-mouthed chewing.
Fruit cocktail from a can.

Oct 12

Branson, Missouri

A friend and I drove nearly 20 hours to get to Branson, Missouri today. We just arrived about an hour ago. It’s 12:35 AM. We’re hungry, so we came to the only place still serving food – The Andy Williams Moon River Grill. I am immediately inspired to make a list of the strangeness in Branson:

1. So many giant photos and billboards of elderly celebrities wearing sequins
2. The Andy Williams Moon River Grill
3. Yakov Smirnov
4. Whoa everyone is old here
5. They call Branson “MoVegas”
6. A Dolly Parton tribute show (isn’t she still alive?)
7. TV commercials selling tickets for “Lunch with Greg Brady”

Sep 12

My Focaccia Bread Recipe

4 cups of white bread flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1.5 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 tablespoon of dry instant yeast

1/4 stick of completely melted butter (not too hot!)
1.75 cup of warm water (approx.)
1 tablespoon of dry instant yeast dissolved in less than 1/4 cup warm water along with a very small pinch of sugar. Let it sit for a couple minutes to foam.
1 cup dry red wine

First, mix all of the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.

Mix the melted butter, yeast/water mixture and warm water with the dry ingredients BUT only use 3/4 of the hot water at first. You may need to add the rest of it in, you may not.
Mix it well before you decide whether you need a little more water. Make a ball out of the dough. You want the dough to be a little tacky. If it’s too sticky, sprinkle in a little more flour.

Knead the dough for a full 5 minutes. Work the entire mass of dough by kneading it on a counter top. It should end up with a uniform texture.
Form the dough into a tight ball – try to stretch a smooth, tight “skin” over it and pinch it at the bottom.

Put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl and flip the dough ball in the oil. Leave it in the bowl covered with a damp towel in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Drink wine.

When the dough ball is about twice its original size (usually 45 minutes), fold it into itself from the top, re-stretching a “skin” over it.
Wait another 45 minutes and repeat.

Roll the dough flat into a rectangle to fit into a baking sheet (approx 18x 12)

Oil a baking sheet with 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Put the rolled dough onto the cookie sheet, pour about 1 tablespoon olive onto the top of the dough, then season and salt it (kosher salt, ground pepper, cheeses, meats, dill, rosemary, basil or any combination). Gently and evenly “dimple” the surface with your finger tips. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Put it in the oven on the center rack and bake it until its light/golden brown (about 15-20 minutes).
Let the focaccia cool, then cut into squares or strips to serve.

Sep 12

Some myths and lies

You look good in that bow-tie.

No one got hurt. That’s all that matters.

As long as you’re happy. That’s all that matters.

It’s the little things that matter.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question.

Diet ______ is just as good as regular.

I’m committed to ________, I just don’t have time to spend on it.

You don’t need to put salt on that.

You can’t change how you feel.