Tuesday, March 30, 2010


By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong."
Charles Wadsworth

My dad turned 70 years old just a few days ago. It has started me thinking about him, what he means to me and the blessing God has given me in my family. Few men have had the opportunity I have had to stand in ministry, working side by side, doing God's work like we have. It is a gift I have both loved and hated over the years, and I am sure he would concur! God put us together in this unique partnership, as together we are more whole than we ever could be apart. God has made it so clear over the years that our relationship of dependance is key to the survival of the ministry we are called to. My dad has always been a rock, even tempered, centered, and very conservative. I on the other hand am artistic, emotional, extreme, and a dreamer. Somehow we meet in the middle and together are much more able than we are apart. My father is very wise, sometimes dogmatic, and has whole lot of common sense. He has told me since I was a teenager that I might not have any sense whatsoever and that I am hardheaded, which is often true! But again, we meet in the middle of this, and become more whole together than apart. My perspective of my father comes from several places; as his son, as his co-laborer in ministry, as a subordinate and at times as his boss. While this could be confusing, it is not, mainly because he remains consistent in every role. So after knowing my dad for over 40 years of his 70, I have learned that the key to much of life is balance. That may make you laugh if you know me, balance is not something that anyone thinks of when they think of me, yet it is something I think of daily. While I am not always balanced myself, it is in community I can be. God created us to be in community, not alone. He has given us spouses who should balance us, kids, families and friends, all who help us be balanced. My extreme gifts are useless with out the balance of a time and place to use them, something other people bring to the table.
As I ponder relationships, it is imbalance that usually creates the issues, the perception of one person giving more, needing more, or not doing their share. It seems to be true in marriage, working relationships, family relationships and really all relationships. God gives us community, each other, in order to bring balance. Our flesh tells us to not depend on others, to keep control and to push our own agenda, it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can be humbled and graceful enough to desire the balance that we need. It is a daily battle for me, and I am thankful for a father to help me fight this battle, as we live in community here at Camp Daniel.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Knot Hole Vision

Many of you who read this may not know that I am getting prepared for a missions trip to Kenya, Africa. Tim and Chrissy have been taking teams to Africa for the last ten years working with friends from their days at Bethany College of Missions in Minnesota, who are full time missionaries in Kenya. This trip is to build a girls school where there is no school for girls, in an area where there are few Christians. If you have interest in learning more, I would invite you to our blog about the missions we are involved in at
We leave June 10th and will be gone over two weeks. If you can help me financially please email me and will send you out a support card. If you will pray for me during this time please email that you would commit to that.

I am getting a consistent question...Why do you want to go to Africa? Don't you have enough to do? The answer is yes, I have enough to do, but more importantly the answer is that I believe this trip will help me grow; closer to God, farther from my "American" candy coated life, and as a servant, a minister and leader. I go on this trip not necessarily feeling "called" but I don't particularly believe that has much to do with anything but my main life's pursuit. Biblically, it says to "Go" so I will. It is hard for others from the outside to see how this lines up in the vision God has given us for Camp Daniel, but it does. My Uncle Jerry taught me many years ago that God always cares more about our relationship with Him than the ministry we are in. It is that basis in which much of the ministry has happened at Camp Daniel. As the servants who carry out the ministry grow, so does the ministry grow. So this trip is vital to the future of Camp Daniel and our growth.
Sue Koch taught taught me a simple yet very profound concept some years ago. It goes like this; Life is like watching a baseball game... through a knot hole in a fence. The game is going on and God is seeing it all, yet we can only see the narrow sight line through that hole. At some point in the game we may see a batter hit the ball up in the air, and a fielder catch it. We may have disappointment because he got out. But what we missed was the go ahead run scoring as it was a sacrifice fly. This has been so profound to me that I have based allot of my leadership on the concept, I am only seeing from my point of view, not God's. So a big part of what I have tried to do is enlarge the knot hole in order to have a wider sight line. That is what this missions trip is all about, enlarging the knot hole to see a broader perspective to change me, the ministry I am involved in, and the way I lead, by seeing from a perspective just a little closer to heavens.
I know that we never see the entire game while here on earth, and that will make it hard to do things right. Yet, I also know God is constantly giving us opportunity to see things from His perspective, we must be willing to look. They are simply glimpses, but they are life changing every time they happen. So I go to Africa knowing I will get a glimpse of what God wants me to see, and that is exciting, yet I go humbly and with a little fear as I know that these glimpses cause us to grow and growth can hurt! So I ask for your prayer as I continue to cut at that knot hole to make it bigger.

Monday, March 15, 2010


When in doubt... sing loud” Robert Merrill - Composer

Yesterday I was talking with my friend George about doubt, I have been thinking about it since. Doubt is a constant companion in my Christian walk. I believe it is the ability to overcome doubt that is key to opening ourselves up to all that God has for our lives. For so many doubt steals away the ability to make decisions to move ahead in life. It forces people to live in a bubble of protection and wall building. It keeps people in the pits when the race is already started.
As I read about the heroes of faith in the Bible I see so many people in doubt... Moses, Gideon, and Peter just to name a few. While Thomas gets the nickname, I think all of us battle the same issue. Often when we say we are praying for confirmation of this or that we believe God wants us to do, but really we simply are in doubt. I believe it is rarely a question about what to do for God, but more a question of if we can overcome the little voice inside to do it.
In church yesterday we learned about the inner critic we all have, and how that inhibits us to truly be free to worship and praise God. We learned that the inner critic grows as we do, in children it is not present, but as we grow up it does too! We learned of this because there will be a new class on Sunday Mornings investigating the development of the different sides of our brains. What an incredible idea, a hands on way to overcome our inner critic to help us to be free follow God's voice! Revolutionary! What if the whole church entered into a class like this, and began practicing this freeing concept, the results could change everything!
Growing up, I was blessed to live in a setting much like this class will be. We learned that children that are encouraged in their artistic ability are more naturally able to sound out the inner critic. I was always an artist, encouraged to create and applauded by the results. So while the inner critic or doubt as we call it, still exists in me I believe it is tamed a little through time and practice. It is often merely by practice that we do certain repetitive actions, this can be good or bad. We want to make sure those habits we have are healthy and bring us closer to God. I have many... many bad habits. Actions that are repetitive that hurt me, stunt my growth and bring me away from God. So it becomes even more important to build up the muscle that silences that inner critic. It is through time and use that it gets strong enough to pull the weaker parts of me along. It is now the muscle that dominates my movement that makes me move ahead toward God and away from myself, my doubt, my pity and my shame.
So as I spoke with George yesterday, we concluded it would better to move ahead in fear, denying that voice of doubt that is always there. I think we both can feel better knowing the company we keep...Moses, Gideon, Peter, Thomas, George and Tony too!