Monthly Archives: June 2012


I and a bunch of my Northeast Chi Alpha friends spent last week in Pennsylvania at a conference called INCITE. We had the privilege of hearing Marva Dawn speak for a couple of days as well as share some ideas with each other. I left the conference encouraged and excited about the next year. I thought I would share some of my thoughts here.

– I love being around people who really get what I do, because they do the same thing. I don’t have to explain anything, I don’t have to put my guard up, I can’t just be. And that’s a lot of fun.

– I feel like we got some really great outreach ideas at INCITE. I’m excited to see if we can implement even half of them.

– Marva Dawn was incredible. I can’t encourage you enough to check out her stuff, website and book included. I have added a few of them to my Amazon wish list and will definitely be perusing her website more often.

– I really appreciated her talks on sabbath and how it is a gift for us and not a rule for us. Definitely something to think about as I prepare for more of a lifetime in ministry.

– She gave sense great thoughts on corporate worship that I’m still currently processing. She definitely challenged some of the ways in which I participate in worship and lead corporate worship.

– I wrote down a couple of very interesting websites, including but it’s currently not doing what I think it should, so hopefully that I will be remedied soon.

– I’ve included a nice photo of our favorite fair one, hope you enjoy it!

– We also cleaned up on the giveaways, winning some books and a hammock!!

– What are your favorite conferences to attend?

– One of my favorite quotes has already been chronicled by Blane Young. You can read his thoughts, which I share here. They come from an Andy Stanley talk on apprenticing.

– I hope to get a post up on a tidbit of the Jim Collins talk we listened to about inconsistency. Powerful.



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Emma’s New Beginnings

Well, we had some new beginnings for Emma this past week. Thought you would all like to know what they were.

We’ll start slow and work our way up to the top.

First. Emma had her first time peeing in the potty. Her frog potty.

She came home and just decided she wanted to pee in the potty.

So. She. Did.


She hasn’t done it since but there is some good momentum.

Second, and the biggest deal of all.

Emma had her first time at the putting green!!!!


Her and I went out on Sunday afternoon to chip and putt. She brought her golf clubs and I brought mine. She hit a few in the hole but preferred to just pick balls up and throw them in the sand trap. That was her favorite place to play… Next time we’ll know not to send her to the putting green in a nice dress…

Everyone that drove by to get to the seventh hole said I wish I would have started playing golf that young or get her a scholarship! I guess we’ll see if that happens, right now I don’t see much natural talent but it was a fun Daddy-Daughter date.




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Book Review: Romans and the People of God

Well, it’s finally over. I finished Romans and the People of God this afternoon during family nap time. It has been a long time coming and honestly, I’m glad to be moving on to the next book. This is a book I’ve been struggling through for a long time and the struggle is over!

Romans and the People of God is a Festschrift, that is to say it’s a lot like its title, very hard to understand what it means… It is a collection of essays from scholars in honor of Gordon Fee for his sixtieth birthday. They wrote the essays for Gordon, not for the lameo scholar I think I am. This book kicked my butt.

I should have known. And if I didn’t know before I bought it, I should have known after I read the first essay and realized that Hebrew and Greek words were used in the original language with no explanation. (I took a few years of Greek and still try to struggle through reading it but this was over my head). It was tough sledding from there on out. A very academic piece of work, that I enjoyed but really had to work my way through the weeds.

I do think that I came out with a better understanding of Romans after all, but it was hard.

The book was broken down into three categories: exegetical, thematic, and pastoral essays. I enjoyed them the most in the reverse order, probably for obvious reasons. In the first section the works of Packer and Wright were the most readable which was probably helped by the fact that I have read them both before…

I could go into great detail about all the different essays but it would be a waste of time, if you’d like to know more about certain essays feel free to ask and I can expound as best I can, but the book was smarter than I am so I may not be of as much help as I could be.

Overall, I’d recommend it if you can hang. If you can’t, I’d try something else, no shame in reading at the level in which you currently find yourself.

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Pocket Knife

My pocket knife is part of who I am. I don’t go anywhere without it. Anywhere. I always have it. It’s essential to my being. I even bring it when I wear mesh shorts (which requires some prethinking and creative ideas). I often carry two knives just in case someone wants to borrow one. I don’t like being without a knife.

Part of carrying a knife all the time is that I lose knives all the time. All. The. Time. Either I deposit them at the airport, I let someone borrow it, I misplace it or what happened this week happens.

This week I lost my knife. I don’t know when I lost it I just know it was gone all week. Miserable. I opened a package with a screwdriver because I didn’t have my pocket knife. I cleaned my teeth with a pencil because I didn’t have my pocketknife. I could not be the heroic toy opener that Emma and Levi have come to know me as.* I was generally less awesome this week because I had no pocketknife.

But then, the miraculous happened. I put my hand in my jeans pocket today and there it was. My trusty CRKT pocketknife. All was right in the world again. I was glad I didn’t have to go into the pocketknife market for now….

Do you have anything that is essential to your everyday life?




*editor’s note – I owe this genius of a line to Greg Petitt.

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Support 4 – Common Misconceptions

This is the fourth post in a series on support raising. You can check out the start of the series here.

I wanted to get some common misconceptions out there for all the support raisers as they prepare to raise their budgets. These are things that either I felt or people I have coached felt.

1. The people that make the most money don’t always give the most. That’s just how it is. Sometimes people who make less give more, sometimes not. Don’t just prioritize your list based on yearly household income.

2. You don’t have to apologize. Actually, you shouldn’t apologize. It’s off putting to say sorry for trying to make a living and do what God has called you to do. Be confident.

3. It’s your money when you get it. It’s no longer their money. They can’t tell you what to do with it. You can give it to missions, you can go out to eat, you can buy golf clubs if you want. It’s your money. You have to be a steward of it just like they do.

4. People are not always trying to give you the runaround. Sometimes it takes me a while to answer other emails. Sometimes I forget to call people back. Sometimes I go on vacation. They are not always giving you the runaround. Don’t be afraid to follow up.

5. This will not be as easy as it is in your mind. What a season of dependence support raising is! I only somewhat wish it was an easy season, it’s good to know that God is the one that is pulling you through!

Do you have any that you would add? What have you thought of the series?

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Support 3- How to Tell Someone You’re Done Supporting Them

Today we continue our series on support raising. You can see the start of the series here.

The topic for this post is how to tell someone that you aren’t going to support them anymore.

Here’s the deal. We are missionaries, yes. This doesn’t mean that we don’t understand that sometimes life happens. You want to go back to school, you lose your job, your kids do something stupid to put you in financial hardship. Life. Just. Happens. We understand. We’re ok with it, we just prefer to be kept in the loop.

Over the years I’ve had countless people leave my team for who knows how many reasons. Sometimes a credit card expires, sometimes it’s one of the reasons listed above; the only way for me to know is for the supporter to tell me. When this happens, all is right in the world.

For example, in the past couple of weeks I have gotten a phone call and an email from two different supporters. In the communication they said they have loved supporting us, life change was happening and either their faith promise had to stop or had to only be a portion of what it had been. Even better, they said the change will be happening in August and wanted to give us enough time to adjust.

How beautiful is that?

I now have time over the summer to prepare for the drop in support. I spend time every summer raising money so this is really the best time for them to inform me of a change. Even though I’m losing some money each month, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. I am stoked for both of the life changes that are happening in their lives.

The commonalities in their approach:

1. They communicated it. I’m trained to follow up with people who don’t give after they make a faith promise. I don’t always do it, but I’m trained to.

2. They let me know when they knew. I’m not saying a specific timeline (3 months out or 6 weeks out). I just mean, when they knew it was going to change they let me know. The more lead time the better, but it can’t always be a couple of months.

3. They will stay on our newsletter list and continue to pray for us. I fully believe that. They were behind us, on our team, and had to make adjustments because of their life circumstance not because of something Katie and I had done wrong.

Is there anything you would add to the list of how to tell someone you’re done supporting them?

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Wanna see a transformation? Here is me over the last couple of days.

One: life has been a little crazy and I wanted to let the baby boy meet me with some facial hair.


Two: this was more for fun than anything.


Three: this one obviously my favorite. I got the chance to go to the Walmart with this one. Me, my mesh shorts, camo crocs and old softball tee shirt went to the Walmart. Upon seeing it, my brother said he wouldnt let me near my own kids let alone other people. Plus, where I come from, dads have mustaches…


Four: the final product.


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