Monday, December 24, 2007

4 Shizzle Church

4 Shizzle Church
Originally uploaded by Chris Winkler
When we were in Chicago a few months ago, we passed this interesting sign outside of a building. The hanging sign says, "I Got 99 Problems 4 Shizzle." On the side of the building it says, "Don't Hate Church. Oh Yeah. 4 Shizzle." Hmm.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

First Anniversary

Christie and I celebrated our first anniversary on Sunday. Hard to believe, isn't it? Two years ago at this time, I was single and preparing to move to Orlando! We celebrated by going with Plan C (Plans A and B were rained out). Christie found a cheap room at a fancy hotel--the Gaylord Palms--here in Orlando. When we arrived and the staff found out we were there for our first anniversary, we were upgraded--to an executive suite that normally would have cost $640/night! Following are some of the pictures from our weekend.

Part of our gigantic room. This was just in the living room. There was also a huge bathroom, bedroom and some corridors connecting them all.

The Gaylord Palms is a pretty cool place to be around Christmas time. There were various fun activities going on, including a music and light show, model train exhibit and wreaths representing each of the counties in Florida. We also played a lot of bocce ball!

The hotel is huge, and there are all sorts of water, plants and animals (including gators) throughout the center of the hotel.

One year down, and we're looking forward to plenty more!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another cool Wycliffe video, this one created by my friend and former roommate Jon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Praying for the Bibleless

I highly recommend checking out this video. It's one of the coolest prayer stories I've heard in a while.

For links to more of these videos, click here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Panama Canal

What would a trip to Panama be without a visit to the Panama Canal? The planning and execution of this amazing landmark made this a remarkable feat! And as a history buff, the elaborate exhibition documenting its history is fascinating.

Our timing was good, as well, because we were able to see the entirety of a ship enter one set of locks and then depart out the other side...quite a process!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

View from Panama

So I'm in Panama for a conference for a few days this week (arrived Tuesday afternoon, leaving Friday morning), and I wind up with a huge room with a nice view. This picture doesn't really do it justice, but just imagine a hotel overlooking the rain forest.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What I Do

A lot of people ask what I do for my job. One of my roles is helping to prepare my supervisor, Bob Creson, for events like radio interviews.

Click here
for a link (you'll have to scroll down slightly and then click "Bob Creson Interview") to listen to a radio interview. In addition to briefing Bob prior to the interview, I also took pictures (that's mine on the link) and was in the studios to assist in whatever way necessary.

On this trip to Chicago, Bob did three radio interviews in addition to speaking on the campuses of both Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Those Hard-To-Find Customer Service Numbers

Has anyone else noticed that with the advent of the web, some companies do whatever they can to have you NOT call them on the phone? They hide their phone numbers and then when you can find a number, you get put through a million voice mail systems (during which they encourage you to hang up and check the website). I tried calling United Airlines a few weeks ago and after finding their number could not get through to a real live person (which I needed) even after trying all the tricks I knew.

I ran across this website today, courtesy the Orlando Sentinel. I haven't tried it yet, but hopefully it will cut down on some of the hassles with trying to reach customer service at several different companies.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wycliffe on the Air

If you're interested in hearing a little of what Wycliffe is all about--and hear the results of a project I've been working on--you might want to check out the following. For several weeks I've been working with my boss, Wycliffe USA president Bob Creson, to help him prepare for two live radio interviews which will be streaming online.

Here's the info:

Wednesday, October 24, 9:35 a.m. EDT, WMBI. Click here to listen online to WMBI.

Friday, October 26, 8:30 a.m. EDT, WETN. Click here to listen online to WETN.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Stuck Semi

Stuck Semi
Originally uploaded by Chris Winkler
Christie and I were in Chicago this weekend when we ran across this strange sight. A semi truck was stuck between the road below and the elevated train tracks above! Guess someone missed the height restrictions memo before going into downtown.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Student Heroes

Check out this article about some heroic high school students from a city just south of Orlando.

I always ask myself when I see something like this: "Would I have done something similar when I was their age?" I would like to think so, but I sometimes chicken out at stuff like this. But maybe the adrenaline would kick in and then who knows what any of us could do!

Friday, October 05, 2007


Christie and I will be spending a few days in Chicago later this month. Even though I lived there for the better part of a year, I'm always open to checking out new places. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vote for My Buddy Chris

My good friend Chris Plaisance is a mover and shaker here in Orlando. He runs a couple companies with his wife Alissa and God gifted him with an incredible mind. And to boot, he is committed to Jesus Christ.

Now he has been nominated as one of Orlando's most powerful young entrepreneurs and could land some great publicity if he falls in the top 10 of this category. Please click here to vote for him.

If you would like to learn more about his companies, please see:

Plaisance Vehicle Brokers

Gym Soap

Vehicle Spa

SpiderWeb ShadeTop for Jeeps

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Evangelicals and the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

I just finished reading a book about the 1967 Six Days War, which was a continuation of the Arab/Israeli conflict. Very enlightening, as I felt the book provided a balanced perspective. This is such a complicated topic that I was somewhat clueless prior to reading the book.

However, now I have a renewed interest in this issue and it seems to be good timing. Check out this video from a CNN piece. It really presents a view has not been discussed much at all but that I've felt strongly about for some time. I've learned a lot from friends--both Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews--and I think my perspective from these experiences is similar as that being presented by the group.

Many of you reading this will be familiar with three of those interviewed (Ron Sider, Chris Seiple and Joel Hunter).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Importance of Bible Translation

I recently read some quotes from Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda. They were published in First Things, Aug/Sept issue, in an article titled "What is Anglicanism." I thought for everyone with an interest in Bible translation, or at least why I do what I do for a living, this would be interesting:

"Traditional African Society was solely an oral culture, which limited its ability to share ideas beyond the family level. We couldn't write our language, and there was nothing to read in our language. . .Because of the Bible, our languages have been enriched and recorded. For the first time, we heard God in our own languages. To this day our people bring their Bibles to church and follow along with the readings."

"The Bible has given us a moral and spiritual basis for transforming culture."

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, September 21, 2007

How Does GMail Go From One Place to Another?

For all of you GMail fans out there, check out the final version of this video--some of you may have seen earlier portions of it.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Photos on Flickr

For those of you who don't know (probably most of you), I started posting more of my pictures on my Flickr site. Feel free to bookmark and check it periodically, or I've also added a link to the right on this page.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Grandpa's 80th Birthday Party

We had a big shin-dig in Michigan on Saturday for my Grandpa's 80th birthday party (and my Grandma's 78th). It was the first time in nine years that all of their kids, grandkids and great-grandkids have been together in one place. Christie and I flew up for an elongated Labor Day weekend and it was well worth it. Lots of time with my parents and plenty of other relatives.

The best part was when we first arrived at their house for the party--because they had no clue we were in town! My grandpa told us to never do that again or else he might have a heart attack. My grandma thought that I was my brother at first until she did a double-take and it finally sunk in.

It certainly gave them something to talk about at the Dairy Barn, the coffee shop in town where all the locals hang out! (In all actuality, I'm sure they'll be talking about it for months to come.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cry, Laugh, Whatever

Christie sent me this video that her friend Tammy sent, and I had to share it. You can cry or laugh or whatever at it. Just know that it's a little disturbing if you care at all about the future of our country.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Relevant article on CSM

Many of you know that I used to work for a great ministry called the Center for Student Missions (see link at the right). There was just a really good article written in Relevant magazine about the disparity in Washington, DC, and CSM's own Mark Harmon is quoted extensively in it.

Thought it might be worth a read for you!

Vacationing Down South

Even though we live in Florida, Christie and I don't really live in "the" South. However, Georgia definitely qualifies as the South and that is where we found ourselves last week for a vacation. Some highlights:

--A visit to Christie's alma mater, LaGrange College.
--Seeing Callaway Gardens, a beautiful park at which Christie used to work. We did it by bike--which amounted to about 11 miles or so. We had a blast!
--My first visit to Turner Field in Atlanta to catch a Braves game. Besides being a great baseball game and watching Bobby Cox earn his record-setting 132nd ejection, I was able to notch up the 14th major league baseball park in which I've seen a game--I'm almost halfway to seeing all of them. (The game ended on a walk-off double by Chipper I said, it was a great game!)
--A trip to Trader Joe's, everyone's favorite grocery store. This time, with no airline weight restrictions limiting us, we stocked up--including a cooler we snagged from Christie's parents. Nothing beats TJ's hummus, and Christie really likes some of their healthy snack food. I think this was the best part of the trip for her!
--Relaxing for the last half of the week a B&B for missionaries near Athens.
--The food was incredible, and classic for the South: Waffle House, soul food (including an all-you-can-eat buffet for only $8.50), BBQ, and sweet tea by the gallon for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Though it was a long drive, the trip was well worth it. We hadn't seen much of each other in the previous month because of the day camp which Christie was running, so we spent a lot of quality time together. I'll try to post pictures as soon as I can.

I Can Swim!

Several of you have written to me wondering how swim lessons went. In short, the class was fun and successful. It was supposed to be a two-week class, but the the three students and our teacher got along so well--and were making such good progress--that we decided to keep going for another two weeks!

By the end, we were all much more comfortable in the water, able to tread water (still not as efficiently as I would like, but good enough for the time being), swim using several different strokes, and float three different ways. Most importantly, the three of us now have the skills necessary to save ourselves if anything unfortunate should happen in the water.

Thanks for the prayers. And if there's ever a pool around the next time we're together, ask me to show off my new skills!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

SF Mayoral Election

I love San Francisco. In what other city--okay there might be one or two others in the world--would the list of candidates running for mayor look like this? Note the occupations of each:

Harold Brown, retired teacher and blogger

George Davis, nudist activist

Tony Hall, former supervisor

Lonnie Holmes, San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department manager

Harold Hoogasian, flower shop owner

Grasshopper Kaplan, taxi driver

Quintin Mecke, program director for the nonprofit Safety Network Partnership

Gavin Newsom, incumbent

Wilma Pang, music teacher

Michael Powers, owner of Power Exchange sex club

Chicken John Rinaldi, showman

Billy Bob Whitmer, educator

Josh Wolf, blogger

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Swim Lessons

For the first time in something like 15 years, I'll be taking swim lessons.

There have been valiant attempts before to teach me to swim: my friend George offering me a swim lesson if I taught him tennis (high school); lessons through the county (middle school); random people offering me the miracle 15-minute lesson. Nothing stuck.

But I'm tired of being afraid to go out in water over my head, I know that learning to swim will be necessary when we move overseas, and if that wasn't enough to push me to take lessons, there was the little canoe accident out in northern California a few years ago.

Pray for me that I would be a good student and that the methods taught would stick with me. Classes are 40 minutes long and run Monday-Thursday for the next two weeks.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Buy One Get One Free to the MAX

Several months ago, when we were just married, Christie was still figuring out how to shop and cook for a guy who loved to eat...but also loved (and needed) to eat healthy. She knew that I liked Kashi cereal--one of the least-processed cereals that they sell in regular grocery stores.

So when Kashi went on sale one week at Winn-Dixie, Christie stocked up! This picture was taken to document the rationale for Winn-Dixie never again failing to put a limit on its Buy One Get One Free deals.

And yes, there really are 30 boxes of cereal there. It only took us (me) about three months to go through them...with the exception of a few boxes that people decided to ask if they could take. We must have looked like a store or food pantry or something.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Adventure on Half-Dome

Check out this blog posting by my friend Ryan. The trip he references was the one the best experiences of my life--and a highlight of all the hiking trips we took in California. Read the article he links to first, as it gives good background of the harrowing experience the hike can be.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rental Cars and Airport Parking

On my way to work every day, depending on the route I take, I pass several car lots that offer two services: airport parking and rental cars.

Every time I pass one of these places, I have to laugh--does anyone ever get suspicious parking their car and leaving it at a place that also specializes in loaning out cars to other people?

Makes me think twice!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Midwestern Fun

Brief recap of our Michigan and Minnesota trip last month: GREAT! In typical Chris Winkler fashion, pretty much every moment of every day was full of some sort of activity--introducing Christie to various people at Hope College, meeting friends at random parks in the Twin Cities area, having dinner with some friends from Chicago (now living in Minneapolis), and several speaking engagements at four different churches.

We came away exhausted but full of new friends, renewed relationships with old friends, and a fun time all-around. And yeah, we took care of some work stuff, too: Christie attended a Children Desiring God conference and we shared about Wycliffe on multiple occasions.

This picture is from an amazing open house that my parents threw for us. The purpose was to give all of our friends and family from Michigan a chance to celebrate our wedding with us, as Florida was a bit far to come for most of them. Mom and Dad did a wonderful job with the food, decorations, invitations, etc. We also owe thanks to Doug and Katrina Jones and many others who helped my parents in tremendous ways.

Proof of the Owl

So if anyone actually doubted my owl story, here is a picture. More appealing pictures to come soon. (And those pictures are NOT of the owl, in case you were concerned.)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Friendly Neighborhood Owl

Christie and I just got back from a 10-day trip through the Midwest. About half of our time was spent in Michigan visiting the towns where I grew up and went to college: Boyne City and Holland, respectively. The other portion of the trip was in Minneapolis, where Christie attended a Children Desiring God conference and we visited with some of my friends who live in the area.

The trip was great, but it exhausted us. We were looking forward to coming home and spending the late afternoon and evening on Monday just relaxing and getting ready for the work week. Little did we know what was waiting for us at home.

A friendly neighborhood owl had somehow found its way into our house. But finding an owl in your home is one thing--I don't think that sole issue would have been too disturbing. However, finding a dead owl being eaten by maggots, and that appeared to have enjoyed defecating on almost every surface possible in our house--now that was quite upsetting.

Upon finding the owl, Christie ran out of the house screaming. I went next door and got the nine-year old twin boys who I thought might like to help me dispose of the animal. (They did at first, until it came time to actually move it.)

Since then, we've spent our week cleaning up owl feces and washing everything in sight. (In addition to working with our landlord to close the hole which we think the bird found its way in.) Ugh.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Two-Issue Christianity

Isn't it cool when you read something that is almost exactly how you feel, but you have never been able to eloquently put it in writing? That's what I thought when I read this great article that Christie passed along. May it provoke your thinking as much as this notion has provoked mine over the past several years.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about my time in San Francisco lately, for a variety of reasons. As I was listening to my favorite SF radio station this afternoon on the Internet, I heard something interesting.

There is a big evangelical teen conference going on there right now, a program of Teen Mania called BattleCry. It has received some publicity in SF. Really, anything in SF is cause for a protest. (I seriously felt like there was one every day somewhere in the City.)

But as I was listening to KFOG today, the DJ said something which really caught my attention. To paraphrase: "Remember, in thinking about tolerance, we need to be accepting of those with views other than our own. And to all of you out there at AT&T Park for Battlecry, I hope you meet many of our stellar San Franciscans." The implication here is that in the city known for its tolerance of every belief EXCEPT Christianity, maybe a few people are actually beginning to see the hypocrisy in that system.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Great Place to be Christian

This article was in the San Francisco Chronicle this past week. It's about protests surrounding a seminar hosted by my old church (Promised Land Fellowship) and quotes the pastor as well as a friend of mine (Michael Laird).

Some of you know the hostile climate Christians face in SF, and for others, this article is just a small taste of some of the issues going on in the City. I miss it, though, and think that San Francisco is a great place to be Christian.

Why? The Christian community is so small that it is a pretty tight-knit community. Also, the City really forces you to take a stand: either you're a Christian or you're not. Bible-belt Christianity ("I'm a Christian and go to church because my parents did.") just doesn't cut it there.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Updated Website

If you get a chance, check out my new and improved Wycliffe website. I just put up a bunch of wedding photos and updated the prayer requests.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rocket in the Rear View Mirror

There's only a few places on earth where you can look in the rear view mirror and see a rocket heading out to space. Central Florida is one of those areas, and this experience happened to me on Saturday.

I was heading west on the Beachline Expressway, on my way back to Orlando after an ultimate tournament in Palm Bay, when I looked in my rear view mirror to see a thick smoke trail with a ball of flame at the end of it. Cars were pulled off on the side of the expressway to take pictures. I was clueless, thinking that there was a shuttle launch that I had not heard about.

So when I got home, I found this article about a rocket launch that took place at that time.

Last summer's shuttle launch was one of the coolest things that I've seen in my life--and that was from my front yard! It's one of the few redeeming factors that I've found about living in Central Florida.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Why only 24 hours?

I often am disappointed at the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day.

To maintain an all-around healthy life, we're supposed to: exercise, eat healthy (which means taking time to menu plan and cook meals), spend time in God's Word, journal, pray, mentor someone, be mentored, engage with a church community, keep up on the latest world news, spend time with family and friends, read books, and relax.

And we're supposed to do all that, plus go to work, with only 24 hours in a day? Yeah, right. I like to get eight hours of sleep every night in order to be at my best, but I doubt I could do all of the above even if I only got four hours.

And there's also that neglected blog...