“Who Am I?” A Poem

I am beautiful
I am mysterious
I dance
I enchant

I invite
I welcome
I comfort
I destroy

I strike fear
I bring peace
I draw men in
I make men flee

I give light
I mesmerize
I warm
I preserve

I produce
I consume
I rage
I calm

I distract
I bring into focus
I show the way
I speak into darkness

I see tears
I hear laughter
I listen to stories
I encourage relationships

I capture love
I make men ponder
I center
I give hope

I make noise silent
I ease tension
I still the soul
I am fire

Books I Read in 2016

  1. A Community Called Taize by Jason Brian Santos
  2. All is Grace by Brennan Manning
  3. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
  4. A Survivor’s Guide to Ministry by Rob McCord
  5. Half Time by Bob Buford
  6. Executing Grace by Shane Claiborne
  7. Hero by Derwin Gray
  8. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  9. Living the Dream by James Krechnyak
  10. Making Small Groups Work by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  11. Multi-Site Churches by Scott McConnell
  12. Parent’s Guide to Sex and Dating by Mark Ostreicher and Joel Mayward
  13. Parent’s Guide to Social Media by Mark Oestreicher and Adam McLane
  14. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Brains by Mark Oestreicher
  15. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Girls by Mark Oestreicher and Brooklyn Lindsey
  16. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Guys by Mark Oestreicher and Brock Morgan
  17. Pure Desire by Ted Roberts and Steve Arterburn
  18. Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
  19. Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright
  20. Right Here Right Now by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford
  21. Seeing Through the Fog by Ed Dobson
  22. See Through Life Book for Girls by Craig Gross with Rachel Ceballos
  23. See Through Life Book for Guys by Craig Gross with Adam Palmer
  24. Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
  25. The Best Story of Your Life by Joseph Anfuso
  26. The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle
  27. The Faith of Leap by Michael Frost and Allen Hirsch
  28. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne (Reading as a family)
  29. The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy
  30. The Mind Changers by EM Griffin
  31. The Skinny on Communication by Jeff White
  32. The Skinny on Discipleship by Katie Edwards
  33. The Skinny on Outreach by Greg Stier
  34. The Skinny on Parents by Mark Oestreicher
  35. The Skinny on Service by Tony Myles
  36. The Skinny on Volunteers by Jonathan McKee
  37. Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? by Philip Yanceybookstack4

Before You Sign Up

Author and Parents Coach Tim Smith offers these Questions to Ask Before You Sign Your Child Up:

  1. How does the activity affect all family members? 
  2. Will it interfere with meals, bedtimes, vacations, religious observations, holidays, and family commitments? 
  3. Is it about winning or having fun? 
  4. What are the benefits of participating now and in the future?
  5. Are there apt to be unanticipated costs or time commitments? 
  6. How much time in the car will it require? 
  7. What are my obligations as a parent?
  8. How can I support the adult leader’s efforts? 
  9. Whom can I call with my questions?

Jamaica Mission Day 6 

Today Natalia, Ren, and Ana led us in devotions, then we enjoyed a wonderful and much-deserved day off. We went to the market for a little shopping, then we went on a glass-bottom boat and did some snorkeling over a reef. We saw lots of beautiful fish and other sea life. We had lunch and enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, and lounging at the beach. This evening we had our closing service with some amazing worship. Tyler went out into the hallway and invited kids from the other church group staying in the hotel to join us, and several did. I then shared on how we can continue living out our faith when we get home. After small group time we gathered together and shared things we saw in one another this week, then took time to share memories about our graduates. 

Jamaica Mission Day 5

Today was our last day at our three ministry sites. We started off the day singing Happy Birthday to Brad Spicher then were led in devos by Josiah and Mike Fenimore. We finished painting the fence at Blossom Garden, visited our new amazing feiends at Westhaven, finished building a cabinet, installed a door, and mixed and poured four more columns of concrete at the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf. We’ve done a lot of physical labor this week, but more importantly, we’ve loved on many people – those society would consider outcasts; “the least of these” as Jesus would say, and in them we have seen the face of Jesus more clearly than ever before. It has been an honor to be in their presence! This evening Rebekah, Tim, and Ady shared their devos then we had pur small groups.

Jamaica Mission Day 4

Today we returned to our three ministry sites – Blossom Garden Childcare, Westhaven home for the developmentally disabled, and the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf. The BG crew did some painting and then interacted with the children. The other team went to Westhaven first where we had an amazing time playing music and dancing, doing crafts, and serving snacks to the residents. You likely cannot comprehend the joy and stimulation this brings them! After our farewells we left and went to JCSD where we continued working around the campus and on the construction of their life skills center.

One incredible highlight to share … There is a wheelchair-bound girl named Kerri Ann at Westhaven who just exudes Jesus! Mission Discovery knows her well from their years of visits. She told us she wanted a Bible, and yesterday Hannah told her she would give her her Bible! Today she delivered it and you should have seen the smile on her face. She has also been asking to be baptized for quite some time. Unfortunately her church would not baptize her because of their insistence that it must be by immersion, which is impossible for this young lady. Jen and Scott approached the director and asked if we might be able to baptize her today, and he agreed! We asked her if she wanted to be baptized today, and she lit up. When we gave her the news that she could, she had no words and simply covered her mouth and cried tears of joy. Nathan from MD drove up, and we all gathered under the shade of a tree where she professed her love for Jesus, and Jen, Nathan, and I had the tremendous joy of pouring a bottle of water over her head to baptize her. It was one of the most sacred things I have ever witnessed or been a part of! I will post the video when we have a stronger internet connection. Another group has arrived at our lodging, and they all have cell phones (Quite interestingly, our students have commented on how much they are missing out on by having their phones!) and it went from turtle to sloth.