Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
- Amanda Lehman has spent much of the past two years serving as a teacher and working in an orphanage in northern India. You can read about Amanda's heart for "the least of these" here.
- Jess Gates is mentoring teenage girls and doing some incredible sports ministry in the Dominican Republic with Students International.
- Kory and Ali Lantz are missionaries in the truest sense of the word. They work with at-risk teens right here in our own backyard, in the Keller Park neighborhood of South Bend.
- Miah and Michelle Collins train youth leaders with J-Life in South Africa. Miah recently ran a 56-mile race. You can read about that experience here.
- Nick and Sarah Anderson are church-planters in Oaxaca, Mexico. They talk about "spiritual mapping" here.
- Ranae Holdeman is a teacher for missionary kids in Botswana. She shares some good thoughts about wisdom here.
- Jeff and Amy McKissick serve as medical missionaries in Paraguay. They also have the cutest kids E-VER!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
*Shout out to Josh Peterson for this template design!
- 57 would be Asian
- 21 would be European
- 14 would be from the Western Hemisphere
- 8 would be African
- 52 would be female; 48 would be male
- 70 would be non-Christian; 30 would be Christian
- 70 would be non-white; 30 would be white
- 80 would live in substandard housing
- 70 would be unable to read
- 50 would suffer from malnutrition
- 1 would have a college education
- My white, middle-class American worldview is so different from most of the rest of the world, and I have a lot to learn from other people.
- I am SO blessed (especially considering those last four statistics), and I believe God has blessed me so that I can be a blessing to others!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
- Derry Prenkert is Senior High Youth Pastor over at Nappanee Missionary Church. Derry has been one of the most influential people in my life, and his blog is a must read for anyone in youth ministry.
- Jason Thompson has been a Middle School and Pre-teen Pastor at NMC for several years. Jason was one of my mentors when I interned at NMC in the summer of '05. Jason is currently using his platform to make a big difference in the DRC. You can read about "The Congo Project" here and here.
- Jon Andrews is the youth pastor over at Wakarusa Missionary Church. Jon is doing some downright inspiring stuff right now, raising awareness and fighting against sex trafficking in Asia. At 300 lbs., John also just finished his first half-marathon!
- Kara Szyarto is Youth Director down at Columbia City United Methodist Church. Kara and I studied youth ministry together at Bethel College, and now she's out there on the cutting edge of youth ministry!
- Phil Strahm is the youth pastor at Trinity Park United Methodist Church down in Greenfield, IN. Phil and I have been good friends since 2005, when we interned together at NMC.
- Seth Bartlette is the youth pastor at St. Mark Missionary Church. Seth and I were "partners in crime" at SMMC for several years, working together with the youth ministry. Seth continues to do an incredible job impacting the lives of young people at St. Mark.
- Terry Linhart was one of my youth ministry professors at Bethel College, where he also serves as the Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy. Simply put, when it comes to youth ministry, Terry is the man!
Monday, June 14, 2010
We continue to take things day by day, and my dad keeps fighting. Yesterday was the first sign of my dad's health moving in a positive direction. The hospice nurse came in the morning and said that the sore on his back is finally starting to heal, which is a HUGE answer to prayer! Then, later in the evening, my dad was able to sit up in his chair and talk to us for a while. His mind seemed sharper yesterday than it has in a long time. After a week of discouragement, I left my parents' house last night feeling very encouraged. God continues to show us His mercy daily, and His hand is evident in my dad's situation.
So, I remain cautiously optimistic. I know and believe that God can still heal my dad. He could heal him instantly, or He could heal my dad through a long and painful process of recovery. I also know that it's a lot messier than that. Sometimes good people do not receive the answers to prayer that they seek. But that won't keep us from praying.
One of the most inspiring things for me has been seeing my dad's faith grow amidst such adversity. At times when he could very easily be cursing God, my dad cries out to Jesus for help. He encourages us daily to keep believing, to not give up on him yet. And I pray that you would join us in believing. God is not done getting glory in this situation...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
In recent weeks, due to his bed-ridden state, my dad developed a nasty pressure sore on his lower back. Over time, the sore began to grow and then became infected. On Monday, my dad was admitted back into the hospital and was in very critical condition. We almost lost him Monday night, but praise God the antibiotics fought off the infection that threatened his life. He has spent the past few days in the hospital, barely hanging on to life. He seems to struggle with nearly every breath, and his mind really seems to be going on him as well. I was, however, able to have one good conversation with him on Tuesday in which he shared with me his last "pearls of wisdom" for me. I will cherish those forever.
Today my dad will be taken by ambulance back home, where hospice will take over care of him. His desire is to die at home. At this point, the doctors say he could go any day. I would be surprised if he makes it another week. These are very difficult times for our family, and it looks like there will be even tougher days ahead.
- for a spirit of peace to overwhelm my dad and my family during this time
- for my dad's spirit--that he would be prepared to meet the Lord
- for the Lord to release my dad from his pain
- for my mom--she suffers with my dad
- for a miracle. Our God is all-powerful!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
"Never mistake activity for achievement."
"Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then."
"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
"Be prepared and be honest."
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
"What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player."
"Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character."
"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."
"I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent."
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes."
"It isn't what you do, but how you do it."
"Ability is a poor man's wealth."
"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."
"Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights."
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."
"It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it."
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
"Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
"The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team."
"Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
"Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Because I have too much time on my hands (and apparently you do, too, because you're still reading this!), I decided to video this special occasion. Enjoy.