Keep Growing!!

I’ve recently learned a new sport called pickleball & I LOVE IT!! This is a fun adventure because I’m learning new skills, meeting great people, getting exercise that’s enjoyable, getting some competitive interaction & enjoying witty banter!  My first experiences weren’t too whippy & I was impatient with myself for not learning faster & doing better. Things are better now 🙂

Moses is a powerful example of ongoing growth. The lesson I’m integrating in my thoughts & emotions is that it’s important to keep growing. We grow by doing some helpful things:

  • Comfortable can be the enemy to growth
  • Age doesn’t need to control nor constrict our ability to grow
  • Growing is a mindset that translates to our decisions & daily living
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Will You Grow?

It never ceases to amaze me how much we grow, as humans, in our first two years of existence. Not only do we gain weight and increase in height, but we also massively grow in our cognitive, emotional, relational and identity capacities. And we continue the growing experience when we go to school, learning lots of stuff related to communication, fine motor skills, organization, moral quandaries, computational proficiencies and the list goes on.

Just because we become adults, doesn’t mean that we should stop growing. May we never limit our capacities nor abilities to:

  • be compassionate,
  • explore new things,
  • learn new communication skills,
  • get more proficient with forgiveness,
  • become more loving,
  • take on new ideas,
  • meet new people

Let’s keep growing!!

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Learning to Love Well

Hello from Dubai!  What an interesting city & diverse population!  Our guide told us that about 85% of this city is not local & only 15% are native born. So I’ve been here less than 12hours & I’ve met folk from Bangladesh, Greece, India, Afghanistan, Egypt & lots of other places!  With such diversity, it’s helpful to be friendly, smile & be a learner. It seems to me that when I’m open to learn, that often helps me to love & in particular learning from people who are very different from me. 

Some thoughts for loving well:

  • See people & not objects, projects nor  functions 
  • Serve & smile
  • Flexible let’s me adapt to enjoy & thereby love better

Here are some interesting pix from Dubai today 🙂

 

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Convenient, Comfort & Cushy

I wonder how many wonderful experiences & people we miss because we make these 3 C’s our endgame. Presently, I’m riding in a Tuk Tuk in Cambodia & I can decide which filter in my thinking will be my perspective. I can choose the 3C’s & everything will be hot, noisy, smelly, loud, annoying & repulsive. Or I can choose the Adventure filter & my ride will be informative, interactive w the people around me at stoplights, breezy & bright.
So let’s consider how we think & the possible filters that we use to affect our perspective. And above all, let’s love lavishly & authentically since this is how we are loved by our Heavenly Father 🙂

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Try Something New

It’s easy to get in a rut & mindlessly do the same thing. And it seems to me like we crave routine at the expense of adventure & novelty!

So here’s a fun challenge: try something new!!  I say this as I’m catching a bus to the airport to join our team flying to Cambodia for nightcare w Saving Moses!  Here are some ideas for trying new things:

  • Go on a missions trip,
  • join a new club, small group or workout class,
  • eat some food from a different culture,
  • stretch into Holy Spirit for more involvement in your life,
  • give yourself to more worship,
  • read a book of the Bible that isn’t to your normal preference. 

If you’re feeling dull & lifeless, give yourself some fresh experiences & endeavor to walk w Holy Spirit today!!

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What Is Sacrifice?

I’m making my way back home from speaking at a pastor’s conference in Bangledesh. This has been a “quick trip”, considering that getting to Bangledesh can be a 30hour journey with a 12 hour time change – so no travel to Bangledesh is a in reality a “quick trip.” When I was deciding about this trip, I was weighing the cost of the trip, not only financially, but the cost of time, impact to my family & Spring Break time together – sacrifices.
With all these considerations, I felt in my heart that I needed to join this conference – a very unique opportunity to meet Christian leaders in a Muslim country & hopefully encourage & minister to them. And in light of our new nightcare in Bangledesh, I felt that this opportunity would also be strategic & a great way to begin some important relationships for the future.
Before I left for this trip, most of what I felt was a mix of hope, anticipation & sacrifice. Now that I’m returning home, I recognize the sacrifice to be sure. But getting to team up with Holy Spirit to minister to such incredible leaders has left me astounded. Additionally, I experienced some progress on some questions in my heart. And I sense a significant green light from God about Saving Moses growing in our nightcare work throughout this region of the world. Yes this trip was a sacrifice & I’m physically very tired. I’m also very awestruck with God’s generosity that counteracts the sacrifices that we make. I’m very thankful.

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Divine Provisions

“My God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory,” – Philippians 4:19.  I’ve prayed this verse far more times than I could ever count, asking God to provide time, wisdom, strength, money, direction, anointing, etc.  Usually, when I’ve prayed this verse, I have some specific things that I want from God, to match up to the needs that I’m experiencing at that time.  What never ceases to amaze me, however, is how God meets my needs and answers my requests – often in ways that I didn’t consider.  Here are some examples that might encourage you about the creative ways that God is our Provider:

  • money:  I’ve had God divinely supply money, provide an unexpected resource, or decrease a bill / expense.
  • time:  there are innumerable times when I’m overbooked & trying to figure out how to get everything done, when an appointment I’ve booked will cancel or get rescheduled
  • energy:  somehow when I run out of energy, the Holy Spirit finds ways to help me with strength on the inside to go the extra mile and to push through the tired or drained.

Let’s be sure that we let the Holy Spirit be our provision, however the Holy Spirit would chose to provide 🙂

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Watching or Playing?

Usually when I watch a sports program, if I let myself get engrossed, I think about what it would be like to play that sport. So when I watch soccer, I often walk away wishing I could play soccer and the same is true for lots of other sports (except football – I don’t want to play football).
Let’s also consider that the Holy Spirit probably has a similar mindset with your life. Rather than watching from the sidelines and being a spectator, I’m thoroughly convinced that the Holy Spirit wants to be a realtime participant in your life. And I can’t think of any good reason why we wouldn’t want the Holy Spirit’s participation in our daily living. Indeed, when we walk with the Holy Spirit, everything gets better, is more exciting and has a greater chance to experience supernatural power! So let’s be committed to letting the Holy Spirit be an active participant in our lives rather than a passive spectator!
To help you walk in this reality, feel free to grab a copy of my latest book for some helpful ideas and practical insights!

In Step with the Spirit!

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Keep Growing, Keep Learning

I’m really excited about the recent release of my newest book on the Holy Spirit,

In Step With the Spirit!

I’ve had lots of really good feedback & people expressing how much this book is helping them to walk with he Spirit! This is massively encouraging & I LOVE IT!!
At the same time, I find myself going through some soul searching related to my walk with the Spirit.  Just because I write books about the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that I’ve learned everything about this journey & I’m an expert. That’s a dangerous pitfall & I sense the Holy Spirit alerting me to this trap while beckoning me to nestle into the Spirit’s presence more & deepen my roots into our intimacy like never before. To this end, I’m wholly committed to walking in daily integration with he Holy Spirit, deeply rooted & abundantly fruitful! I hope you’ll agree to this adventure with the Holy Spirit in your life, taking your own steps with the Holy Spirit!

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Not What You Think

Sometimes I meet people & they’re not who I thought they were. We tend to see or hear people & then create these expectations or stereotypes that are often, almost always, inaccurate. So I’m hoping to learn not to frame people in constrictive expectations nor suffocating stereotypes.
In the same way, let’s be aware that we might also make this mistake with God. It’s been my experience that just when I thought I had God all figured out, something happens that totally obliterates my nice & tidy theology / mindset. Rather than living in a predictable & safe human controlled relationship w God, let go of the reins & let God do more & far beyond what you expect!

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Try Something New

“A rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.”

I’ve heard this saying more than once & I like it. It’s helpful to try new things because we humans can gravitate to what’s familiar & comfortable, at the expense of adventures, obeying God & new joys!
There are lots of Bible examples of people who tried new things & I’m listing a few below. As you consider these examples, take a minute to think about what might have happened, if they hadn’t tried something new:

  • Peter – tried fishing in the morning at Jesus command, despite an entire night of fruitless fishing
  • Moses – checking out the burning hush was a novelty to be sure
  • David- killing a giant was something new
    Esther – initiating a conversation with the king was both new & highly risky
  • Ananais – laying hands on & praying for blind Saul was something new for Ananais.

These people took risks & tried new things because they obeyed God, even when it was uncomfortable, illogical, inconvenient & uncertain. Let’s be willing to try new things, at God’s leading!

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Walking with God

I’m presently in Cambodia with a magnificent team expressing Jesus’ love
To the babies & toddlers of prostitutes. This is a really powerful experience for everyone & me in particular. For starters, getting to love on babies is thoroughly glorious. Their bright eyes, curiosity, trust & acceptance are unparalleled in our adult relationships. There’s a simplicity & purity with babies that we seem to lose as adults. This experience is also powerful for me in getting to watch my team come together as individuals & join in cohesion, complementing each other rather than competitive division & exclusivity. Finally, this year is unique for me from the previous years. Last year when I was here, I was recovering from a concussion & that was extremely difficult, blech. The year before that, I was doing physical therapy to recover from shoulder surgery.
Going through hardships helps us appreciate the non-hardship times! Walking with God is truly the adventure of a lifetime!

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I’m extremely excited for the next week or so & I want to stay connected with you!! I’m excited because we have our largest ever team trip with Saving Moses in Cambodia, working with our five nightcare centers, loving on babies & experiencing the MARVELOUS people of Cambodia!! I’ll be posting pictures, telling stories & bringing you along with me, hoping you will feel God’s lavish love for you through seeing & reading about these experiences!
And on top of all that excitement, I’m also popping into Bangledesh for a few days to continue working to set up nightcare there!! I’m giddy excited for God’s love to pour through me in these days & I’m praying that you’ll also sense God’s love for you, as you keep up with my blog 🙂
Feel free to subscribe to my blog so it will be easy to keep up! Thanks & let’s have a really fun adventure together for the next week or so!!

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Crazy Ideas

I have heaps of crazy ideas & what’s really interesting is that I’m not afraid to try out lots of these ideas. Sometimes it works out well & sometimes it’s a disaster. Over the course of time, I’ve grown accustomed to the raised eyebrows & quizzical looks that people give me, but there are few friends who give me the thumbs up & seem to enjoy these grand adventures.

Sometimes, I think the Holy Spirit has some crazy ideas as well. I’ve had the Holy Spirit direct my steps to do some really incredible things, like starting nightcare with Saving Moses, teaching German in China & learning some fun languages! Let’s be careful that we don’t automatically dismiss something crazy & miss an opportunity to follow the Holy Spirit on a fun adventure!!

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Mix It Up!

What are you planning for your vacation this year? Are you going to do the regular stuff: pools, driving, sunburns, etc? Why not try something new?
Here’s a cool idea: come with me to Cambodia & make a vacation that you’ll never FORGET! I’m taking a small group with Saving Moses to help with our nightcare work in Phnom Penh. The cool stuff you’ll get to do includes:

  • experiencing a new & incredible culture,
  • meet babies & toddlers who will steal you heart,
  • do some cleaning, painting & renovating with our centers,
  • meet Jesus in the faces of desperate people

Let’s make your vacation this year something fresh, unique & possibly life changing!!

Here’s how to get started: LETS GO!!

Space is really limited, so apply fast before we fill up!

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Changing Things

Changing Things

Normally, the day before Thanksgiving our family goes skiing since we live fairly close to some epic vertical. But alas, today we are electing for the flatland because there’s almost no snow & the few runs that are open don’t tempt us enough to take the plunge.
Seems to me that change can be challenging to navigate but we need to change for lots of reasons:

  • Change indicates that we’re alive & not moribund in static rigamortis
  • We don’t grow if we’re unwilling to change
  • Change affords new adventures, delights, joys & discoveries
  • Our souls stay supple when we are willing to change, letting God love through us more thoroughly

Cheers to change & happy Thanksgiving!

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Try It!!

One of the things from my parents that I deeply cherish, is the “try it!” attitude. So when I was growing up, I tried heaps of stuff: lacrosse, blue corn tortillas, clarinet, softball, Perry Mason tv mysteries, eating crawdads, swimming in canals, classical music, basketball, viola & loads more! Of course I wasn’t proficient in most of these things but my parents were always super encouraging, even when I miserably flopped. So to this day, I’m a “try it” kind of person & I love this mindset!
Indeed, I’d rather try & fail, then not try & succeed at not trying. Peter was like this with Jesus when he walked on the water. He tried it & had some failure, but it seems to me that he was the first human water walker just because he tried!

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Say Yes!!

“I need to think about that.” This is my classic answer to the majority of the things my kids ask from me. If I impulsively say yes or no, I’m likely going to get into some hot water rather quickly.

But with Jesus, I always want to say “yes!” When we say yes to Jesus, it can be saying yes to

  • being kind to a stranger,
  • loving our kids when they get under our skin,
  • being generous with our finances,
  • helping a prostitute look after her baby or toddler,
  • praying for someone who’s sick
  • and lots of other things!

Let’s decide before Jesus asks that we’ll say “Yes!”

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Loving to Learn!

One of the things I greatly admire about my mom is that she is continually learning & her learning isn’t limited to just small pockets of interest. She’s recently started using emojis in her text messages & she’s more than excited about using periscope in her latest social media adventure. Learning is a BLAST, particularly when you have a good teacher – my first major at college was physics because my high school physics teacher was so amazing! Having a good teacher is half the battle in getting to enjoy learning & Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher. Truth be known, there’s no one in our lives who can teach us better than the Helper. 
The other half of learning is the determination to be a good learner. You can have the best teacher on the world & learn virtually nothing if you decide not to learn or grow, full stop. 
So let’s decide to be awesome learners! Here are a few suggestions about how to be a good learner:

  • Be flexible – decide to learn regardless of the “classroom” or the lesson 🙂
  • Don’t let shame or discouragement color your learning
  • Buy my book, Heavenly Help, and learn about the Holy Spirit, your Teacher, Comforter & Helper 🙂

   

 

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One of the things I greatly admire about my mom is that she is continually learning & her learning isn’t limited to just small pockets of interest. She’s recently started using emojis in her text messages & she’s more than excited about using periscope in her latest social media adventure. Learning is a BLAST, particularly when you have a good teacher – my first major at college was physics because my high school physics teacher was so amazing! Having a good teacher is half the battle in getting to enjoy learning & Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher. Truth be known, there’s no one in our lives who can teach us better than the Helper. 
The other half of learning is the determination to be a good learner. You can have the best teacher on the world & learn virtually nothing if you decide not to learn or grow, full stop. 
So let’s decide to be awesome learners! Here are a few suggestions about how to be a good learner:

  • Be flexible – decide to learn regardless of the “classroom” or the lesson 🙂
  • Don’t let shame or discouragement color your learning
  • Buy my book, Heavenly Help, and learn about the Holy Spirit, your Teacher, Comforter & Helper 🙂

   

 

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Are You Coming??

  

Let’s GO!!!! Let’s go do something amazing! Let’s join God’s redemptive plan for humanity! Let’s join a divine revolution & JUMP!  
Sometimes we can get stuck in our routines, responsibilities & even ruts. But sometimes, God wants to upset the apple cart & is merely waiting for us to give a small nod, “yes” & that’s when the adventure starts! To be sure, following Jesus has its fair share of thrills, disappointments & shockers. But in my experience, nothing satisfies the core of who I am more than walking with Jesus, whenever He leads, be that in brothels, slums, palaces, prisons, churches, crosswalks & carpools. So when Jesus beckons, may our default answer always me, “Let’s GO!!”

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hot topic: transformation

I like Autumn because all the transformations and changes that happen:  leaves turning colors, weather cooling off, schedules getting more routine & lots more.  Autumn reminds me that life is continually changing, even if slowly.  Autumn also encourages me that change is possible because sometimes I can get discouraged with myself when I don’t see the changes that I want in my thinking, etc.  If you’re like me, we like to be involved in changes that are improvements, so here’s an opportunity for you to bring transformation and be transformed at the same time:

Saving Moses is hosting a severely space limited team trip to Cambodia in July 2015 & I’m inviting you to check out this transformational possibility for your schedule:  Saving Moses Team Trip 2015

 

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Don’t Freak Out!!

“LET GO!!!!!”  When I was younger, I went paragliding in China & had virtually no instruction for the paragliding adventure.  Whatever training the paragliding “company” did was in Mandarin & my Mandarin skills don’t have any paragliding vocabulary.  Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for this undertaking, which of course didn’t stop me – smile.  I strapped into the harness thing, proceeded to jump off the mountain and I had this TOTALLY SHOCKING experience, which I later learned was a thermal.  I caught a wind gust that was like rocket thrusting me straight up!  My mind said, “LET GO!!” and then I thought about my options: let go & fall or hold on & keep going up.  I decided that I preferred the lifting experience over the falling experience, so I held on.  Let’s make the same kind of decision about Jesus when we get in a crisis.  Hold on to Jesus & He will lift us up!

ps – I had an amazing ride with my paragliding experience 🙂

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Each day has new adventures

Thank you heaps for reading this blog today! I’m in Cambodia w Saving Moses & we are in our first day here, already seeing incredible things happening! I was just able to visit a possible 2nd location for our nightcare work here & to say I’m excited might be te understatement of the century! ,)
Seriously, I’m so excited about getting to open a 2nd nightcare facility here & I feel God’s hand on us to give us direction & wisdom – what an amazing experience!! Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement & support, helping us to express genuine love to babies everyday where the need is most urgent & the care is least available. I’m attaching a pix of a baby that we might get to care for at our second facility. His name is Sopi & he’s 7months old. A beautiful baby, full of life, hope & possibly a bright future.
Saving Moses = saving babies everyday!

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a word of caution

Generally, I don’t consider myself to be overly cautious.  I like to race my grocery cart in the parking lots, I like to snowboard super fast, I like to travel to remote places, and I like to take on challenges, usually.  But here’s something to be careful about, that’s been rolling around in my mind of late:

Be careful that you don’t limit God based on your understanding

I know that God has given us a brain & that we’re supposed to use it to bring maximum glory to God.  I know that many of us have amazing talents and abilities with our brainpower, analysis skills and learning abilities.  There can be, however, a down side to relying solely on our brains for interacting with God.  I believe that our brains are designed to function and excel in a finite and concrete world.  When we try to use our brains to understand God, I think this is when we can get fuzzy and murky.  Of course we must use our brains as much as possible, but connecting with God can’t be limited solely to our brains.  It’s been my experience that most of the deepest connections I have with God go beyond my brain & begin to explore the regions of the heart.  To me, that’s the greatest adventure of my life 🙂

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