We Are Different, Diversity Week 2

year I’m doing some fun posts over select weekends in 2011 aimed at engaging my readership, but also learning from each other. The first one was a couple weeks ago. Read it HERE. I was leaving for Costa Rica and missed last week.

Some of these questions are serious and some are not. Read through the comments and see how different we are from each other.

The more comments…the more we get to see our differences.

Here are this week’s questions… […] Continue Reading…

Costa Rica Report, Part 5 (Seeking Wisdom)

Our team of 5 men built and repaired a fence during our Costa Rica mission trip this week. We worked well together, developed great systems, and shared the same work ethics.

The generally agreed upon leader of our team was a man old enough to be my father. I know that, because he has a son my age. This trip Jay invested in me! What a blessing that has been!

I grew up most of my life without… […] Continue Reading…

Friday Discussion: How Are You at Saying No?

One of the greatest improvements you can make to your leadership and possibly your life is to learn when and how to say “No”. That’s a tough challenge for me. I’m a doer and a people helper. I like to say “Yes” if at all possible. The reality is, however, than when I say yes to one thing I am ultimately saying no to something else. Often that “something else” has a higher potential for greater good. When I say no to another meeting and yes to my family, for example, I’m investing in God’s greatest gift to me.

It’s a constant challenge, but it’s a battle worth winning.

Today I’ve got a couple of simple questions…

Are you more inclined to say “Yes” or more inclined to say “No”?

Does it bother you to say “No”?

Bonus question: What helpful hints do you have for learning to say “No”? […] Continue Reading…

Costa Rica Report, Part 4 (Spending Time with a Daughter)

What an amazing team we had on our Costa Rica mission trip! This was a light construction trip, helping with projects around an orphanage that is part of the Abraham Project. The group of 27 are some of the hardest working individuals I know. We did what may have been considered mundane work, but everyone always had a smile, there were no ill moods displayed, and we all realized we were playing small parts in a bigger God story.

One of my favorite parts of the week was spending it with my future daughter Mary. Mary will be officially joining our family May 27th when she marries our oldest son Jeremy. (We’ve claimed her as one of our own for many years, but I’ll feel better with a piece of paper!) Several months ago Mary brought up the fact that Grace Community Church was going to Costa Rica. She said if I would go she would go. How could I resist an offer like that?

This week, I’ve fallen more in love with our beautiful Mary. She’s kind, gentle, smart, mature, and hard-working. Mary reminds me of my wife Cheryl. She’s going to be a great wife and mother. (I’m throwing in that mother part hoping that makes it come true!)

Thank you Mary for accompanying me on this trip…and for making sure… […] Continue Reading…

Encouraged by Big Faith: Costa Rica Report, Part 3

Jesus said faith as small as a mustard seed could move mountains. I’m glad God rejoices in small amounts of faith, but what can be done through those who, like Jesus’ disciples, give up everything to follow Him?

This week, our team in Costa Rica has be encouraged…and challenged…by the faith of two of our own… Jason and Kerby Harpst. Jason and Kerby are a precious couple, very special to Cheryl and me, who left our church this past year to begin full-time mission work in Costa Rica. Both were professionals, Jason an engineer and Kerby a teacher. They had a nice home, two nice cars, great friends, a wonderful church, the greatest pastor in the world (Okay, I threw that last part in…), but they had the “perfect” lifestyle in the United States.

This week we’ve seen first hand how much they’ve given up…at least as far as the comforts of the world…. […] Continue Reading…

Costa Rica Report, Part 2

Yesterday was our first official “work day” at the Abraham Project. (Read more about this trip HERE and HERE.) Everyone has their own assignments, but mine today was helping rebuild a fence. It was a long task. I’m not accustomed to working with my hands, but this was kind of fun.

The best part was the connections I made with people in my church who worked with me. These men can sling a hammer, but they can also… […] Continue Reading…

Costa Rica Report, Part 1

This is my first trip to Costa Rica. We are here to support missionaries Jason and Kerby Haprst, who gave up careers and left our church to join the Abraham Project here in Costa Rica. I was privileged to speak today at Lighthouse Community Christian Church, where it’s Pastor Jorge Gomez first had a vision for the church and the Abraham Project. I love watching big faith and action come together and this is certainly such an example.
[…] Continue Reading…

What Style of Worship is in Heaven?

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:9-11 NIV

About 10 years ago now, my family spent a weekend visiting churches with a group of people from our home church. The church was preparing a long-range plan and one part of that report was to review the style of worship. At the time, the church had a very traditional style of worship and was asking if it should incorporate more contemporary or a blended music.

A few days after out trip, I was sitting with my youngest son having lunch. He was about 10 years old at the time, but very perceptive. Reflecting on our recent trip, he asked a good question and it was one that helped shape my thoughts at the time. He asked, “Daddy, what kind of worship will there be in Heaven? Will there be one contemporary worship service and one traditional?”

I was stunned. I had never thought about it. What style of worship does Heaven have? Will we sing praise choruses, or will we use hymnals? Will there be organ music or piano? Will there be a praise team or a choir…a band or a solo artist? And…most importantly…the bigger question…do angels sing? […] Continue Reading…