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Where were you 10 years ago?

9-11-fire

It was my first day at a new job. I had just joined the Staff of a large Church in the Midwest. That morning I arrived carrying my first box of items into the office; the receptionist was nowhere to be found. Had I beat her in the office my first day? Then I noticed there was no one at their cubicles, offices were empty. Everyone seemed to be crowded around a television in the break room. In this moment I have to honestly say the first thought that went through my mind was, ”This is going to be an awesome place to work.” Seconds later I would discover that five hijackers had just crashed American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

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Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation

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Leading on Empty

Empty

I recently finished reading “Leading on Empty” by Wayne Cordeiro, and simply put, if you are a leader than this is a must-read! While we in Church-world are seemingly adept at identifying and pointing the finger when it comes to burnout, depression, and the pressures of leadership we are unfortunately rarely as honest, forthright, and helpful with those same issues as Wayne is in this book. Wayne’s courageously transparent about his own struggles while at the same time provides his readers a clear path forward. It’s such a good book that we are going to be reading and discussing it together with the Sun Valley Lead Team this fall.

Here are some thoughts and quotes from the book that impacted me:

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Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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reparando

For the past 17 years I’ve been traveling all over the world on short-term mission trips. I’ve had the privilege of leading literally hundreds of people on trips exposing them to what God is doing, and can do through them, around the globe. Last week was a dream come true for me. I was able to take my wife and two oldest girls (ages 6 & 7) on our first “family mission trip” to Guatemala. Serving with the Radford family, some friends of ours who are missionaries, at an orphanage that they work at was an incredible experience for my family. But surprisingly what captured my attention and has my heart still stirring was a movie that Lee and Angel showed Lisa and I one evening after the girls were in bed.

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Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation

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my last post from Guatemala

IMAG0208

Today was our last day in Guatemala. Tomorrow we take a road-trip back to Guatemala City and then catch a flight home on Saturday morning.

To top off the week we decided to pack up the girls and take a trip over to check out Vina Studios. Vina began years ago as a part of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Today they are carrying on the legacy of Wycliffe translating the Gospel into the languages of indigenous people groups around the world. Not only were we hoping to reinforce a high view of Scripture in the lives of our children and instill a vision for the Bible being made accessible to all people, but also expose them to a unique project Vina has been working on. Vina is specifically targeting the next generation…children. And they are doing it through an incredible show called “Deditos,” which literally means “little fingers.” Vina is doing a series of children’s videos telling the major stories of the scriptures through finger puppets. We got to see the sets that are being designed and used as well as tour the sets on which these films are shot. Finally we got to preview the story of Noah’s Ark. Vina is doing an incredible job of telling the story of the Scriptures in an accurate, compelling, and culturally relevant manner to a generation of children that is primarily illiterate. We were excited to see such an incredible tool that is going to be used to reach many with the Gospel!

Then just for a little fun we hit the local market in Panajachel for a few souvenirs and of course the girls first tuk-tuk ride!

The bottom line goal of this trip was to both construct and to reinforce the culture of our family. These last few days have been about continuing to place guardrails in the lives of our children to nudge them not only to God, but joining Him on mission in this world. Here’s to hoping that these last few days have been seared into the minds and hearts of our little girls for the rest of their lives…and here’s to hoping that God uses the environment we’re creating in our family to do something incredibly special in our girls for the sake of His Kingdom!

See you stateside soon!


Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation

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Guatemala Day 5

Day 5 in Guatemala is pretty much in the books, and it was a fruitful day!

We headed back up the mountain from Panajachel to Eagle’s Nest to spend some more time at the orphanage and the feeding program with the kids. On our first day at the orphanage I met a little boy named Carlos Raul. Carlos is around 2 years old and has been at the orphanage for about 3 months now. He has been really slow to open up, interact with other people, and even receive affection and love from people. It really has just been since last week that he’s even letting people hold him and love on him with out pushing people away or crying. Each day I’ve gone back this week it’s been so cool to see him open up more and more. He loves playing with my sun glasses and cell phone. Today he stood right up when I came in and held his hands up. Without a sound, he was asking me to hold him…and I was happy to oblige. He sat in my lap and rolled a basketball back and forth to the girls…he was super content to just be held.

The girls spent time with the preschoolers again today. Leading a Bible story about Naaman, the military leader, and the little girl who should have been his enemy but instead pointed him to Elisha to be healed. They also spent some time doing crafts with the kids. After lunch we worked at the feeding program again, but before serving the kids lunch the girls shared that same Bible story again with the kids from the community. They had some help from their friends Parker and Anna Kate (the missionaries children that we are connected with down here). Parker and Anna Kate have been incredible for Kennedy and Mia this week. They’re just a couple of years older than our girls. So being a bit more mature, and understanding the lay of the land down here, it’s been great for my girls to have two friends to look up to who are providing a great example to them on their first mission trip. Leadership has no age limit!

After coming home and getting the girls down for a late afternoon nap Lee and I ran by the coffee shop he introduced me to yesterday to pick up some whole bean coffee for the trip home. Incredible coffee! Right from the growers here in Guatemala and then roasted this morning. You can check out the website here. Let’s just say there are going to be a few happy coffee lovers when I come home.


Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation
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