Receiving Undeserved Love: Ecuador Day 3

If you’ve been following my blog this week, I’m in Ecuador with a group of pastors on behalf of Compassion International.

We were blown away today as we entered a village in the mountains of Ecuador. It took an hour to drive the curvy dirt road, our bus got stuck, and we walked a short distance to the village. Upon rounding a corner, we saw a crowd waiting for us. Hundreds of children from the village had formed a receiving line where they gave us a rose (Ecuador is famous for their roses) and a homemade card welcoming us to their village. It was slightly overwhelming.

Have you ever received an overwhelming undeserved show of affection?

I can’t help but share this picture. This little boy warmed my heart (as did many others). I’m not sure he knew how cute he is! […] Continue Reading…

Friday Discussion: Spiritual Growth

It’s Friday discussion time!

Let’s discuss spiritual growth…specifically yours.
I’m always interested in spiritual growth, because…well…that’s kind of what I do!

Help me by telling me some of your spiritual growth process.

To help you think, consider answering some or all of these questions:
Are you closer to God today than you were a year ago?
If not, what changed?
Is yes, what did you do differently?
What helps you most to grow spiritually?
Was there a time in your life where you felt the closest to God?
Who is mostly responsible, in your opinion, for your spiritual growth?
Do you practice any spiritual disciplines, such as Bible reading, prayer, fasting, tithing, etc.? If so, what do you do?
What changes would you need to make to grow more spiritually?
Help me out…tell me about your spiritual growth…

Discuss…engage…Go! […] Continue Reading…

Day 2 of Compassion Ecuador Trip

Day 2 of visiting Compassion Projects in Ecuador was my favorite so far, and it happened because of one little boy. He’s one of the boys in this picture. When I went to take his picture he asked if his “best friends” could be in the picture too. I loved that!

Anyway, this little boy was asked what he liked best about Compassion International sponsorship program and he said, “God blessed me with the opportunity to meet my sponsors.” Wow! That’s the part about Compassion I like the best! It’s an open book. Today I saw the records…I saw the documents…I saw the paperworks side…but more than that…I saw the kids who many people sponsor. If you sponsor a child with Compassion International, you can make a visit to that child…and they feel “blessed by God” when you do.

By the way, if you do sponsor a child… […] Continue Reading…

The Question that Started Compassion International

During the 1950’s, Evangelist Everett Swanson traveled to South Korea to preach the gospel to the troops in the Republic of Korea army. During his visit, he encountered children orphaned by the war hanging out in garbage dumps. They were searching for food, shelter, and hiding from the reality of their existence. Sometimes the garbage trucks would avoid them…sometimes they wouldn’t. Obviously, it burdened Swanson’s heart, but not knowing how to solve a mammoth problem, he headed home to the United States.

Soon after his return, Rev. Swanson was challenged by a missionary friend with a haunting question.

“What are you going to do about the orphans?”

He couldn’t continue without doing something, and from that burden, Compassion International began.

Today, Compassion International is changing the lives of children around the world. I love that Compassion connects to a local church and does ministry through that church. Compassion focuses on four aspects of the child’s life; social, physical, emotional, and spiritual. It is estimated that every child helped impacts 30 other people around the child.

Amazing what a small monthly amount can do! […] Continue Reading…

Where I’m At This Week!

This week I’m in Ecuador with a group of pastors and ministry leaders, including our family pastor Michael Bayne, and my good friend Casey Graham.

We are here on behalf of Compassion International seeing the work they do to improve the world of children around the world.

We will see first hand where an individual’s monthly dollars to support Compassion children goes. I look forward to reporting to you what I see. I’ve never been to Ecuador, but so far it looks much like countries I have seen, such as Costa Rica, Brazil, and Mexico. I have learned, however, that there is a rich uniqueness about each people group and I’m excited to explore this one.

Please pray for our team and check out the ministry of Compassion International. […] Continue Reading…

The Life of an Idea on a Healthy Team

Healthy teams allow every idea a chance to live…

The healthiest teams don’t contain an idea killer…

Healthy teams:

Brainstorm
Analyze
Test drive
Push back
Critique
Debate
Challenge
Every idea…

But healthy teams remain open-minded about an idea until it’s proven to be a bad idea…

Knowing that… […] Continue Reading…

A Much Needed Encouragement for the Pastor

It’s Monday morning…

I have spoken with many pastors who share a common struggle with each other. If it was a good Sunday…one where God’s Spirit was at work…during the 24-hour period from Sunday noon and Monday noon…they face doubt and frustration.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. I know I was speaking truth. I know God was working, but I was teaching on marriage to many who are undergoing tough times in their marriage. It was hard and I felt as though I was adding insult to injury to many. I left feeling down and allowing the enemy to discourage me.

I am blessed to have several in our church sensitive to this issue…or sensitive to God’s Spirit in their own life. Yesterday afternoon I received this email from someone in our church: […] Continue Reading…

10 Ways a Team Performs as a Team

A team…at least a healthy team…is not just a group of people who perform a common task. That may be a group, but it shouldn’t be called a team. I’ve written on healthy teams before:

10 Characteristics of a Healthy Team

Signs of an Emotionally Healthy Team

You can tell a healthy team by how it responds to each other and how it performs as a team.

A healthy team: […] Continue Reading…

Are You More Like Martha or Mary?

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, Luke 10:41 NIV

I’m confident that wasn’t the response Martha was looking for. Didn’t Jesus care that Mary refused to cut the pies or set the table? Couldn’t He see that Martha had so much to do if they were still going to eat by noon? Shouldn’t Jesus have told Mary to get up and get busy?

There was work to be done. If Jesus was going to get His fill of fried chicken, someone had to fry it! Martha was tasked with everything. The Lord was coming to dinner. Didn’t He deserve the best? Poor Martha! Left to do it all!

Do you ever feel like that?

Mary was just ‘hanging out’ with Jesus! Sitting at His feet, listening to His teaching, she had forgotten all about making the iced tea. She was busy, too!

Was Jesus saying that we shouldn’t prepare for our family and friends? Was He saying that we shouldn’t have a complete meal, because we need to invest all our time into meditating on His word? Is He asking Martha not to finish rolling out the biscuits? […] Continue Reading…