Thursday, December 6, 2012

5 People I'd like to get stuck sitting next to on the flight back to America

I'm not an airplane conversationalist.  I usually watch movies or sleep, maybe listen to music or read.  I've never seen anyone "famous" on a flight and I've never really sat next to anyone especially memorable except for an elderly Indian couple one time; I helped them complete their Customs form and navigate the airport in NY upon our arrival.

But I'm always on the lookout and so here, not in any particular order, are 5 people I'd like to get stuck sitting next to on my flight to America next week:

1.  Katie Holmes.  By Ukrainian standards she's not too young for me.  And she should be on the rebound, right?  I'm taller than Tom Cruise so she could talk to me without having to look down so much.  I like to think I'm a pretty normal guy so that should be a change-of-pace from her last 6 years.  Maybe I could help her detox from all that scientology suff and I'd like to remind her that Jesus died for her and loves her.  (A close runner-up here is Natalie Portman but I want to keep my list to just 5 people).

2.  Pastor Rick Warren.  He may not be your cup of tea.  A lot of my friends are all about more cerebral preacher/writers like Piper or some of younger crop of current church leaders.  I like Rick Warren because he's a master of "practical".  I've never had to read something he's written over and over again just to understand it.  He's as successful as any big-time preacher in modern history yet he remains, by all accounts, the same grounded person he's always been.  I've never heard him stumble over an opportunity on a big stage to boldly (if simply) proclaim the Gospel.  I've read that when he became a bazillionaire he repaid his church for 25 years of back salary and continues to serve without a church salary.  I've read that, like the late RG Latourneau, he tithes 90% and lives on 10%.  His church has sent workers to most every country on the planet.  In short, he's put his money where his mouth is, he makes disciples, equips the saints, and serves the poorest of the poor all over the world.  Whenever I encounter a critic, I usually want to ask, "ok, so what have you done for the Kingdom?", and it usually pales in comparison.

3.  Kari Jobe.  Would it be creepy if I just looked at her the whole time and kept saying, "sing something for me." From seeing her onstage one time and reading a little bit about her I think we could have pleasant conversation about the church and worship and missions.  If she wanted to give me her number, I'd be ok with that.

4.  Bill Gates (or maybe Warren Buffet).  A speaker friend of mine said a few years ago that you should have a definite answer to the question, "What would you do with a million dollars?"  He told a story of a man who had an encounter like that and because he had a definite answer he was given a great amount of money.  I've thought often of that story.  So I have a definite plan for $45,000 (fund our Refugee/Student Outreach for 2 years), I have a plan for $90000 (fund our Print-on-Demand business/ministry).  I have a Million Dollar Plan (Build or buy a big enough house here in Ukraine to start an Orphan Home...of course I need a wife to do that). and I have a 5 Million Dollar Plan (Ministry Happens, Inc- to fund thousands of mission trips).  I'd love to hear from Bill what motivates him to give so generously and I'd like to thank him for the lives he's saved and the difference he's made in the world.  I'd also like to tell him about the One who gave it all.  I'd like to ask him for some money, too.

5.  Any American family returning home with one or more former Ukrainian orphans.  I'm not fluent in Russian by any means but I think I could offer some assistance to a family traveling with a handful of excited/anxious/downright scared kids who were just a few days earlier wards of a Ukrainian orphanage now on an airplane for the first time and on their way to a new life in America.  I always love to hear adoption stories. They are, each in their own way, a parable of the Gospel.

Who would you like to get stuck sitting next to on an overseas flight?


Anonymous said...

Clinton, you never cease to make me think! Rick Warren...not my favorite...but you pointed out some big positives about him. I'm impressed actually. Thanks!

Five people: Voddie Baucham, Ray Comfort, Elisabeth Elliot, an Amish person (although this may be unlikely), and my good friend Mollie who I haven't seen in a few years.

A runner up would be an old order Mennonite.


Anonymous said...

Only 2 women? Really? I'm kind of surprised...

Ministry Happens in Ukraine said...

I've been thinking of honorable mentions: The aforementioned Natalie Portman, Missionary Katie Davis, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary, the guys from Duck Dynasty.

Ministry Happens in Ukraine said...

And one more: Earl J Hickey.

Megan Anderson said...

That's a fun thought process I plan to start with my friends!!
I fly in one week from today. People I want to see:
David Crowder, Harry Potter, Allen Vazzuti (trumpet guy), Shane and Shane, Kari Jobe, an internation student.....gosh the list could continue. that's fun.
I love your list for sure! Sounds grand.

Thuy said...

Man, I love this post. It was so real and funny and honest. I also like the things you pointed out about Rick Warren. If I get Kari Jobe's number, I'll pass it along to you. :) I will be home around Dec 21-29. Will you be there? If so, text or call me at 314-753-2352, as I'd love to see you.

theartproject said...

I think I'd like to be stuck next to you. You have an amazing heart, a real passion, and good stories! Keep up the race my friend!