Monday, July 30, 2012

Chemotherapy for Bee

I put this picture up on facebook yesterday with the following introduction:

Dear Tumors: She may look cute and innocent but she is rotten & strong and she is going to kick your butt over the next 70 weeks.
More in formation coming later in the week when I get back from my interview. But this is what I put on facebook on Friday after we met with the oncology department on Thursday:

Yesterday was a day that I had dreaded for awhile. In a sense, it felt like a nightmare that you knew was true but hoping it was not or that it would be diverted that was coming into reality at the present moment. We sat in the doctors office and heard the news about Bee's tumor on/near her brain stem and that now is the time for chemo. So, my brave little Bee will begin 70 (yes 70) weeks of chemo very soon. Thank you God for my exceptional daughter and thank-you for creating individuals who are talented beyond imagination that will be treating my daughter.

The journey begins soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shoot for Mediocrity ?


It is a word that you hear frequently in the church world. We must do everything that we do with excellence. Sometimes, it comes in the following way: we are going to "eliminate" some of our programs and ministries, so that we are only doing a few things and we will do them with "excellence".

I have to be honest. I cringe at the word excellence when it comes to the church world. I do not think that it has to do with me not thinking that I can produce 'excellence". Rather it comes with my hesitation if that is what we should be aiming for and I am not sure if that is what god intended or Jesus aimed for in HIS ministry.

If we are going to shoot for excellence, that means that we are going to have to eliminate many people from ministry. Here are a few examples:

Jenny, I know that you love to sing but we just cannot have you in the praise team.
Jon, we have to move you off the AV, the sound is just "not right"
Alex, your "theatrics" are over the top; we will use someone else for the skit

We create an A-team, so we can put the best performers on the stage and ministry venue so we can create "excellence" and folks will go away impressed with how we execute and be encouraged to invite new people for this unbelievable experience.

This past Sunday, I went to a "downtown" church and they had a VBS kick-off. They may have had 10 kids. They had has many adults there grilling hot dogs, doing tattoos and a Tye-die project and playing the parachute game. It was so simple.  Yet individuals there were loving their time WITH ONE ANOTHER and everyone felt that they belonged. Any talent-scout or head-hunters would have quickly exited, I am sure -- not finding what they were looking for. However, it was beautiful.

I have a very loose connection with Karl. I have never met him. I have never talked to him. But, i am aware of his church community and love (from a distance) what they are doing. He did an article recently on striving for mediocrity not excellence and it got me pondering and thinking. The article is linked below:

Mediocrity is the Goal

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Campaign: 25-4-HN

Today, I am launching a campaign that I am calling 25-4-HN

I hope and pray that you will join me in this adventure and be one of the twenty-five that will step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Below is an explanation of the campaign and what 25-4-HN stands for.

HN is the abbreviation for Honduras. Recently, Stacey and I began sponsoring a 7 year old girl whose name is Gelsey and she lives in Honduras. She and her two sisters live with their parents and reside in the village of San Pedro Sula.

Honduras is a land of contrast. It is a place that is known for its lush subtropical paradise and  some of the most pristine beaches in the world. However, at the same time, UNICEF reports that over 70% of the country lives in poverty; Gelsey and her family being one of them. Their family income is just over $105 a month. They live in a one-room concrete block home.

Children International has a strong presence in the country and they are making a difference. One of the most difficulty aspects of the poor in Honduras is that they struggle to learn. The classrooms and resources for the schools in poor areas are inadequate. Couple that with the families need their children working and not in school; it is a vicious cycle that children and teens are caught up in. Reports are that over 25% of the population over 15 is illiterate.

Health care for the poor is almost non-existent. the hospitals do not have adequate supplies and there are simply just not enough beds for all the patients who need care. However, there is a beacon of light and hope. Children International (sponsored communities) is able to provide regular parasite treatment, training on disease prevention and hygiene supplies and these clinics are making a HUGE impact in the community.

So, I am kicking off this campaign for Honduras and I am simply calling it 25-4-HN (Twenty-five individuals becoming sponsors for children in Honduras). From friends that I meet on a daily/weekly basis, to those on facebook, through the blog world and more, I think that we can get 25 individuals willing to sponsor a child in Honduras by August 31st.

So, will you take the challenge? Will you be one of the twenty-five?

The sponsorship is only $25 a month and Children International is constantly at 85% of the funds going directly to the child (very minimal administrative cost). The $25 will go directly to a child. You will be able to communicate with them and receive updates. The small amount will help provide, education, health care and community centers where they can learn and play in a safe environment.

You can message me directly on facebook:

You can comment here in the comment section

You can email me at

Once you contact me, I will send you a packet with your child from Honduras. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of a child in Honduras. Below is a photo of a road and home similar to where a child that you sponsor may live:

A big dream .... for some of us who are part of this campaign to go and see the children that we are sponsoring next summer. That could be chapter two. But, first, we are on chapter one. I want/need 25 individuals to make an impact in Honduras. Are you one of them ?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Through Hands

In a recent article that I read, I came across this statement:

The fastest way to a person’s heart is through their hands.
When I look back at ministry and where I have seen growth in our students, I would absolutely agree with that statement. The article continues with this statement:

It’s serving that ignites a passion in the hearts of people. It’s what moves faith from the pages of Scripture and makes it real.
I think that many of us would agree with this, yet we continue to pour most of our time and commitment into worship., small groups, bible studies and educational opportunities. Now, do not get me wrong or the article; these are good things and help ignite growth but service is vital.

This ties back into Sticky Faith: service (mission) helps faith stick.

One of the points that I try to keep sharing is that we are part of God's story. We are not isolated, we are part of the story. The story is one of restoration and redemption. Part of the story is serving and participating. The article continues with the following statement:

By not providing opportunities for students to engage in serving within our churches regularly, we potentially rob them of the most life changing opportunity we have as followers of Jesus, being a part of God’s story.
You can read the full article: Heart Change Through Hands Not Heads

Ministry Search

I am still searching for the next ministry position. We have thrown the net wide and deep. To date, I have sent out 210 resumes and they have expanded to 36 states. To the 14 states that I have not sent them to, I apologize. Mostly out of coincidence (I believe), Indiana (36) and Ohio (20) lead in the category of the states with the most resumes.

We have had some great interviews and there are some tremendous churches out there. But, the match has not yet occurred. We are still praying the following prayer:

God, rain down the no's till the right yes comes along.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Involvment in the Community

On Sunday night, I was watching the Secret Millionaire. I cannot remember the name of the individual, but he was a business consultant in Chicago-land.

The episode was really good and he blessed three great individuals/organizations.

He had two statements that stood out to me and one that I have been chewing on hard.

1. He went 40 miles from his home but commented that it could have been 40,000 (stark difference)
2. After a few days of serving: he felt part of the community

When I think back between Ohio / Indiana, I think that is where the BIG difference lies.

When we lived in Ohio, we were so much more involved in serving in the community and really connected to the town. That has not occurred much in Indiana. I think that alot of it does have to do with dempgraphics, where we live (neighborhood) and a whole bunch more.

But, from Wooster, I can tell you that when you live, serve and volunteer in the community that there is a great connection. I still remember Meals on Wheels, Bridges out of poverty, Salvation Army, Viola Free Medical Clinic and more .... loved serving/connecting with them.

Just thinking about the importance of connecting, loving and serving where you are at ....

Monday, July 02, 2012

Make A Difference

 I am partnering with an organization called Children International. Here is a little information on Children International:

Children International's mission is to help children living in dire poverty. Through the generosity of contributors, we provide needy children with a variety of programs and services to meet their basic needs, enhance their self-esteem and raise their physical and educational levels in a meaningful, lasting way. Since 1936, Children International has been providing assistance to children and families struggling in terrible poverty.

About Us

I am looking for individuals that would be willing to sponsor children in 11 different third-world countries. Their sponsorship is $25 a month. The $25 help cover medical expenses, education and a community center for the children. Children International is constantly at 85% of the funds going directly to the children; thus the administrative costs are very low.

Would you sponsor a child ?
If so, please contact me via my email account:
We can talk about the country, boy or girl, age and more.

Can I speak about Children International ?
Would it be possible for me to come to your church, business, social organization or .... to speak about children International and have a table set up with the children available for sponsorship.

We can make a difference

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Quick Trip to South Carolina

Wednesday night, I worked the night shift and after the night shift, I drove to the airport. I flew out to South Carolina via Baltimore. When I arrived in South Carolina, I was given a quick tour of the town and went to the church for a brief tour of the church building and then the interview. I really enjoyed the interview as it was more about stories. After the interview, I had dinner with the senior pastor and his wife and we talked about life and a little ministry.

I then retired for the night because I was going to have to get up at 4 am to fly back to Indianapolis. I received a phone call from Southwest at 3:55 to tell me that my flight was cancelled (weather-Chicago) and I needed to rebook. I was able to grab a 2 pm afternoon flight. The "delay" was beneficial because I was able to spend a few more hours in the town and looked at a few houses (drive by).

I got back into Indianapolis at 8pm. Then made a quick drive to see my wife and daughter for 45 minutes before heading back out for the next night shift.

The ministry position is an interesting position and I think that we could be a good fit. Now, it is a wait and see game as I wait to hear from Minnesota, South Carolina and North Carolina. I also have three interviews set for the next nine days.