Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Unseen Work of God

When I go to bed I often enjoy reading a bit, and in recent weeks I've been re-reading a book in the Portuguese language called Tempo de Plantar, or, in English, Planting Time.  I've referred to it before, and even translated a paragraph or two a little over two years ago--click here.  The book's author is a Brazilian Lutheran pastor, and the story he writes is about a young pastor by the name of Orlando, a single man, in his first pastoral assignment.
As the book begins Orlando is engaged to be married but at a certain point his fiancée abruptly breaks off the engagement.  Orlando is deeply hurt but his faith in God, his dedication to God's Word and the Holy Spirit at work in him sustain him as he surrenders himself to God and the work God has called him to do. 

The author, Lindolfo Weingartner, teaches us as he unfolds Orlando's story, a story that has Orlando learning how to be a Christian leader and servant of God in the place where he has been called.  That place is a large geographical parish in southern Brazil, and one day, as he is driving home from one of the small country churches that he oversees, he has a terrible accident and is gravely wounded. 

After having been rescued from the scene, he is transferred to a hospital in a larger city where he spends a long time recuperating.  As he is regaining some mobility, his [former] fiancée comes to visit, and she begins to share what happened in her heart that caused her to break with Orlando.  She shares deeply with him and it seems as though there is hope that they will be reunited.
And just at that point, at the bottom of page 136, I looked for page 137.  It was missing.  So was 138.

Uff da.  I'm such a romantic!  It breaks my heart to not be able to read this key part of the story.  Not only does the story seem to be building toward a reunion and an eventual marriage, the fiancée (Silvia) is telling the story of her return to faith in God.  (Silvia's earlier break with Orlando was connected with a crisis of faith in her deepest soul.)

I've read the book before.  I know how it turns out.  But still I want to read the section where they get back together.  I love to see God's Work succeed, even in a piece of fiction.  I was really heartbroken (for a short time) a few days ago when I couldn't read that part of the story again.  I'm a sap.

The same thing is true in real life for me.  Yesterday we got to spend some time with a young person who has been growing in her faith.  She lives a long way from us now and the conversations we were able to have just make me want to know more.  We met a friend of hers yesterday who has been key in her faith journey, and that was really cool, but still I don't want to let go of this story until I see it through.  But I must.  There's no way to accompany this story through all the ups and downs, at least not in this life.

So I must trust the unseen work of God.  I can't see what God is doing in the lives of all the dear ones God has put on my heart.  I can't control them or even know many parts of their stories.  I can bless and pray and stand in awe at what God doing, but often I just won't know.  

A verse that has been coming to me since then is this one... from Isaiah, chapter 49:
9 ... I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
So I pray and I wait.  Someday, when I am with God, in the everlasting Kingdom, I will be able to talk with Him and learn as much as He wants to teach me.  Until then, I will trust that He knows what He is doing... in my life and in the lives of those I love.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

God Wants More Kids!

from my daughter Naomi's website -
As I was at the state fair on Saturday, and as I was walking back toward the north entrance in the early evening, the Lord began speaking to me about His love for all these individual people.

God our Father wants to have an individually tailored "give and take" relationship with every one of his human creatures.  He doesn't treat them as a river of bodies or a crowd that needs to be controlled.  He doesn't see us as a a bunch of interesting but relatively interchangeable parts.  He doesn't see us as members of organizations, citizens of countries or workers who fulfill various functions.  When He looks at us (and He does!) He sees us, each one, as the precious uniquely crafted and cared for reflections of His Own Nature that we were each created to be.  And, as I said, He wants to have an individual relationship with each.

That was what my Father God said to me as I was walking north along Cooper Street at the Minnesota State Fair last Saturday.

On Monday I showed the photo above to a group at church that is heading* up the "My Hope America" emphasis.  One of the women I'm working with on this, Bonita Garthus, got the biggest smile on her face when I talked with her about what God had said to me on Saturday evening about the state fair crowd.  Her face lit up with an ear to ear smile and, laughing, said something like this "God always wants more children!  He wants more kids!"

Amen Bonita!  Absolutely true.  God wants more kids.  God wants more and more children and adults and elders that know that He knows them personally, more and more who have the same sort of give and take personal relationship that He had with Abraham.  God wants more and more children.  He wants them individually.  He doesn't want more numbers, numbers of people who are members of churches or parts of groups.  God wants more and more to have a one-on-one personal relationship with Him, more and more that will be aware of His abiding, perfect, sweet presence, individually tailored purpose, and unfailing peace.  More and more kids.  That's what God wants.

How can you become a child of the heavenly Father?  You must be born again.  You must be born "from above."  More on this later, probably on Sunday morning at worship, but, for now, read John's gospel chapter 3.


* "heading up" not in the sense of being the bosses, but being the ones who are the most focused on this particular project at this time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Women and Men in Leadership

Today I wrote a piece that will be published in the weekly "Pastors' Column" of our local newspaper.

My contribution this time is entitled "Biblical Equality" and mostly consists of a paragraph or two from the introduction to a book I've referenced before Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy.  I'll share what I wrote at the end of this post.

So why write about "Biblical Equality" today?  

God has made Crossroads to be the kind of church that has many men and women who are serving as spiritual leaders.  A glance back at what the Lord has done in our midst over the past week shows this leadership in action.  During the week from August 18-25, God has blessed us with:
  • Two "My Hope America" introductory meetings.
  • A "network huddle" that I participated in with leaders from North Heights and Community of Hope churches in the Twin Cities area.
  • Planning and leading a Youth focused worship service.
  • A High School student led "JAM" time of Bible study and prayer.
  • Tuesday night prayer and lots of Spirit-led planning for a Saturday morning "pampering" outreach to the women of Cokato's  Golfview Apartments.
  • Prayer and planning for student/youth ministries for the fall.
I didn't initiate any of those things.   The only thing you might say I "led alone" last week was a worship service at the Cokato Manor on Wednesday... and I really didn't do that alone either... the wonderful activity staff at the Manor makes it all possible.  Other than that, everything happened as God has been working through men and women who pray and then act on what God has said.  Praise God!

So what does that have to do with "Biblical Equality"?  Simply this: some would say that women should not be equal partners in church leadership.  They would point to certain Bible passages in the Holy Spirit inspired letters that were written to churches in Ephesus, Corinth, Colossae and to church leaders such as Timothy--letters that tell women to be silent, to be submissive, and to avoid any leadership role.

Because the Bible is God's Word we need to take these challenges to women in leadership seriously.  We will not just brush these things off as if God's Word doesn't apply to us now in 2013.  And that's why I wrote what I wrote today.  Here it is:
Biblical Equality

Today I'd like to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to consider the issue of men and women in the church and in the home.

A helpful (and scholarly) book about this is entitled Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy.

The book begins as follows:

"'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free' (John 8:31-32).

"So promised Jesus Christ, the Lord of the church and of the cosmos. The cause of Christ is advanced only as truth is recognized, affirmed and lived out with wisdom and integrity... Doctrine that falls short of the truth not only impedes believers from walking in the full freedom of the gospel of grace and truth but also hinders unbelievers from coming to salvation through the work of Jesus Christ."

Biblical equality "recognizes patterns of authority in the family, church and society--it is not anarchistic--but rejects the notion that any office, ministry or opportunity should be denied anyone on the grounds of gender alone.

"This is because women and men are made equally in God's image and likeness (Gen 1:27), are equally fallen (Rom 3:23), equally redeemable through Christ's life , death and resurrection (Jn 3:16), equally participants in the new-covenant community (Gal 3:28), equally heirs of God in Christ (1 Pet 3:7), and equally able to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit for life and ministry (Acts 2:17).

"Consequently, any limits placed on the gifts and abilities of women should be challenged through a rigorous examination of the biblical texts--rightly interpreted and harmonized with the whole of God's Word..." (end quote)

If you'd like to discuss this, please contact me. Careful Bible study (Acts 17:11) and deep prayer (Acts 16:17) around these these issues will advance the gospel of Jesus in our communities. Let's study carefully so no human prejudice will get in the way of God's soul saving work (Rom 14:13).
So that's what I wrote for the newspaper.

I encourage you to pray about this.  As we move forward as a church, Crossroads will need to gather our spiritual leaders together sometimes, and I am believing it's important to face the issue of women's leadership head on before we do.  Let's talk together about these things and seek the will of God.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Looking Ahead, Trusting God's Promise

"Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint."

Today I am clinging to that promise.

God is so good.


I'm writing this because I know there are a lot of things that need to get done today, particularly in communicating many good things that are going on, through the Holy Spirit, at Crossroads and beyond.

We've had good things going on every day this week beginning with worship on Sunday morning, continuing at the My Hope America gathering on Sunday night, prayer and preparation meetings that got us ready for (1) Saturday's outreach to women at Golfview Apartments, (2) this coming Sunday's youth led worship, (3) the next My Hope America gathering Sunday at 6, (4) High School JAM time (already started) and the rest of the (5) Crossroads Youth program (launching Sep 11).

PRAY that God will anoint the emails and other communications that we're sending out about all these things.  Pray that these communications will be read and enjoyed by many.  Pray that many will turn to the Lord in prayer and praise as they see all God is going in our midst.

Monday, August 19, 2013


The HMS Bulwark
At LQ we were told to imagine a flagship crashing through the blueprint.
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag. Used more loosely, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed, or best known.
The FLAGSHIP symbolizes LEADERSHIP, and LEADERSHIP is needed whenever PLANS are made so that the plans will become reality.  Obviously, LQ (Leadership Quest) was focused on leadership--and leadership skills.  Students were selected to attend the week of LQ because of their leadership or leadership potential.  Speaking as one of the adults attending with students, I can say that leadership skills grew a lot in our three guys.  It was great!

(I just wanted to get this started tonight since I haven't written anything about LQ for a few days.  There is a lot more to say about leadership and I plan to get to that later.  Then there will be two more still in the series after Flagship -- "Student" and "Lion Tamer."  I'd love to spend more time on this but other things need to get done too.  More coming on this soon.)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kingdom Friends

I'm thinking and praying over so many things as I'm preparing for worship tomorrow but the theme that the Lord gave me earlier this week ("Kingdom Friends" based on Colossians 4:2-18) seems quite fitting.

The end of the book of Colossians is full of names.  Beginning with verse 7 we have
         Click on any of those names to learn more about them.

The church of God is full of people.  People with particular names and particular stories.  People who know each other and appreciate each other's gifts.  The church is NOT about official titles and jobs.

Are you taking time to know your brothers and sisters in Christ?  Are they your friends? 

Tomorrow, before we share the Lord's Supper together, I'm hoping we can meet someone one or two people we don't know well who happens to be at church tomorrow to find out:
  • Their names
  • What they do
  • Where they live
  • Who they live with (or family)
  • Where they've been
  • Fun/hobbies/sports
  • Something they think is important
  • Problems, Frustrations, Challenges (1 or 2)
  • Goals & Dreams
We'll then take a moment to encourage our new friend(s) and to pray a 10 second prayer for them.

Maybe this will be a small step to being the kind of friends God desires us to be in His Kingdom.

The book of Colossians is a letter written to Christians in Colossae, a small town in the middle of present day Turkey.  This letter is connected with others--it has a lot in common with Ephesians.  The letter to Philemon was probably delivered with Colossians since Philemon lived in Colossae.  There's another letter that seems to have been lost--one sent to the nearby city of Laodicea.  It's connected with the letters to Timothy too.

In all of these letters God points to Christian believers as "holy and beloved," brother and sisters in Christ.  Believers are given a new identity--an identification with Jesus that will never end.

We are not alone in that identity!  Though the devil wants to keep us apart, the Holy Spirit will draw us together if we allow Him to do so.  Let's pray that we will become better Kingdom Friends.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Home Ownership

I spent a good part of today on the roof of our three-season porch.  The roof is flat and needed a re-coating of a sort of tar (fibered asphalt) that goes on cold (no heating needed).  The former owners of our house had left two half filled 5 gallon pails, I went and got the kind of brushes required, cleaned the roof, used some roofing cement to fill a couple spots around the edges and got half done before I ran out of the asphalt.  I'll get more tomorrow and finish the job on Sunday afternoon or later next week.  Tomorrow we'll be doing other things.

The weather was perfect for the work today, and Toni and I had supper both yesterday and today under the roof I was working on.  Very pleasant.  So much to be thankful for.  So many others do not have this privilege.

Someone asked me in the past few months if I'm enjoying home ownership and mostly I am, though I do know that owning a home (and paying a mortgage) does take up a good deal of time with the necessary maintenance on the house and yard.  Nothing here is "maintenance" free--wood windows with screens & storms, wood siding... and where there is wood there is painting and caulking... it does not end.  None of that, however, takes away the enjoyment of having this retreat... this quiet and pleasant place to live and work.  (I do most of my work from this home base or in my home office.)

It's the peace and quiet of living in a single family house that brings another kind of challenge--especially for this Holy Spirit filled follower of Jesus.  There's an isolation that happens, a sort of self-sufficiency, a middle-class "independence" that works against the community of "family" of God that the Holy Spirit longs to give to us.  As I look at the Bible, and as I consider what the Holy Spirit does to knit Jesus' followers into a tight "lots of time spent together" community, single-family home ownership "American-style" does not seem to do God's work.

I desire much more connection with others.  I'm wondering how that can happen when we're all busy with our own single-family lives.  One thing I've thought a lot about is having a longer time together on Sunday mornings, extending our time over the noon hour so those who are able can eat together--as a regular thing on Sunday noons.  I know many won't stay, but some will... and it's that sort of weekly being together that I think could help break us out of ungodly isolation.

I might just need to do a "PLAN OF ACTION WORKSHEET"* on this and PRAY that God will lead us to a Christian community that truly reflects His heart and His purposes.  Would you do that worksheet with me?  Would you pray with me?  Let me know.  I really can't do it alone.

*See my post of yesterday ("Blueprint") for this... you'll need to scroll down.

ADDED just before midnight - a quote from Sam Allberry (commenting on Mark 10:28-30):
"The gospel can be... costly.  But it is also relationally generous.  What we leave behind does not compare to what we receive back from Jesus.  It is hard to miss the fact that JESUS IS TALKING ABOUT FAMILY.  Close family.  He doesn't promise distant cousins and great uncles, but brothers and mothers.  ALL THAT WE HAVE we are to share with one another: time, resources, affection.  Ourselves.  This, as it turns out, is going to be the demonstration, in this life, that Jesus is always worth it.  IT WILL BE THE QUALITY OF OUR COMMUNITY LIFE as a church... that will most visibly show... that the Christian stance... is the most compelling... We might not have the best celebrities, the most attractive spokespeople, the most impressive resources or the most acclaimed thinkers, but we should have the most wonderful and attractive relationships."

Thursday, August 15, 2013


So, standing on that diving board, surrounded by that cheering crowd, just what did LQ participants focus on as they were looking through their binoculars?

On the first evening of LQ, Anne Sopiarz had us imagine a BLUEPRINT... a blueprint upon which is written a LIFE PLAN.

Have you ever seen a blueprint?  A blueprint is a plan that is carefully laid out and detailed.  In the past architects and planners would use blue paper with white printing to give exact measurements and technical specifications so people could build houses and many kinds of manufactured goods.  I think I remember a rolled up blueprint stuck up in the basement rafters of my childhood home, probably left over from the time my dad had the home built in 1959, when I was 3 years old. 

Now people use the word "blueprint" to signify any detailed plan.  During our LQ week we wrote parts of a plan for our lives.  Once we finished writing out some specific, achievable, measurable and motivating goals (Future Focus), we considered the "how to" part.

How was it that we would get from the "As Is" of our lives to those "Goals"?

The "How To" involved the writing of plans... life plans... plans that would give some detail about how we would get from As Is to the future we believe God wants for us.  We wrote these in the part of our binders called Journey.  

I appreciated the chance to do that.  Planning is not something I've been good at.  As to what we did at LQ, I've got much more to do.  I got some thoughts jotted down on three of the "Plan of Action Worksheets" that LQ had provided... and on one I did start writing out a few blueprint like details:

Life Dimension or Area: ______________________ 
Date: ______________

1.  Write Goal: (What, why and when)

2.  Identify Resources:

3.  Brainstorm how it could be done: (Think in terms of whos, whats, whens, hows and wheres.  Be sure to include a system to ensure progress.) Strive to list at least three different ways to reach the goal.

4.  Choose the best idea(s) and include who, what, when, where and how.

5.  List items to be done and make a timeline.

6.  Identify a system to ensure progress.
Each Plan of Action Worksheet was to focus on a "Life Dimension" (for example · Walk with Christ, · Family, · Finances, · Health, · Career, · Community, · Education/Personal Development, · Ministry, · Hobbies) the same Life Dimensions we had used to do "As Is" Life Assessment and Future-Focused Dreams and Goals.

The most successful part of the "Blueprint" (Plan of Action) work was a short session that we had in our "church group."  Most of the week was spent with people we had just met during the LQ week but on Friday afternoon, the day before we headed for home, the LQ leaders seated us with the group we had come with originally,  Aaron, Brenden, Matthew and I did some quality work running through a plan of action that will lead to high school student led Bible Studies ("JAM" times -- I'll explain that another day).

Because we decided, on the car ride home, just when and where we would meet to continue our plans, we actually did meet once since LQ ended and have another meeting set now for next Tuesday evening.  Whenever we want to move past dreaming, we do need to get organized, and that's one thing LQ has helped us to do.

I'm confident, because we have already had one meeting and have another on the calendar, that the "high school JAM time" will become a reality.  We were successful in that because of the LEADERSHIP SKILLS that we practiced at LQ.  Leadership Skills were symbolized by a FLAGSHIP... and that's our next symbol...  Leadership Skills will ensure that we will not just set our JAM time blueprint aside or forget about our plans.  I'll write about that next.

Personally, as an extrovert, I do better with the plans I can work on with others.  My personal plan of action worksheets are harder for me to stay on track with.  This evening I took the three sheets out that I started and I see how good it would be for me to spend some time with them, prayerfully and carefully.

I will be asking friends to pray for me so that I won't just leave them unfinished.  I asked a new friend from LQ if I could send her emails with some of my plans for her to review.  I'm hoping to get to that soon because I believe God wants to do some good work in me through what He started during the week at LQ.  Perhaps you will pray for me.  Thanks.


I started early this blogpost early this morning, went to a school for a few hours for a school bus safety meeting, wrote in the midst of other tasks and now have finished it up before bed.  Such is life, and may times that's what happens to our plans.  We need to keep coming back to those plans when we believe that the dreams and goals they aim at have come from the Lord... and we need to keep PRAYING and seeking to hear God's voice in the midst of it all, so that it is all done in God's time and in His strength.  All glory to our Lord!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


As we are on a diving board (see yesterday's post), assessing our life situation, getting ready for our next move, we are looking through binoculars, binoculars that symbolize a FUTURE FOCUS.

We're not just thinking about the next moment.  We're not driven by temporary feelings or emotions that waver from day to day.  We consider a longer view.

Because of Jesus, we always know that our future is longer than our past.  Because of Jesus, we know that God has good plans for us.  Because of Jesus we don't need to get caught up in regret or fear.  We can look forward with confidence.

My prayer today is that we will so trust God's promises and God's plans that we will eagerly seek His plans for our future and walk this one day, one moment, one step, with God's gift of a blessed tomorrow in view.


Last week at LQ we spent time considering (and praying!) about "visions" and "goals."   What could be?  What should be?  What's the ideal?  Where do you and I believe God wants me and us to be in life?

To this end, we looked ahead, as through binoculars, into the future.

To this end:
  • We considered dreams and visions of a good future, trusting God's good plans for us. 
  • We looked at and wrote some goals for the life dimensions that we had considered in the "As Is" life assessment (see the "Diving Board" post).  Goals that are "S.A.M.M.," that is, Specific, Achievable, Measurable and Motivating.  (This was one of the points where the Lord called me to pray... because I want to have goals that are HIS goals and that can be achieved in HIS STRENGTH ALONE!  I don't want to be limited by my puny vision or my fragile strength.)
  • We imagined ourselves having an LQ reunion in 2020 and wrote and read aloud a "7 Year Letter" answering questions like
    1. Where are you now?
    2. What has happened in the part 7 years in the "Life Dimensions": Walk with Christ, Family, Finances, Health, Career, Community, Education & Personal Development, Ministry and Hobbies?  (The same ones we had assessed in the "As Is" section.)
    And, imagining ourselves to be 7 years older (I'll be 64),
    3.  "What are your future dreams or ideas?" at that future time.
  • We had fun considering our 100 Year Life Direction.  Being reminded that both science and the Bible speak of the maximum lifespan of human beings being about 120 years we started filling out a grid that had a little spot for each decade of our lives from age 10 through 110, again considering each life dimension.  We had fun with this because each of us was in a group for the week, and on the last evening we put on a little skit based on these long term directions for our lives.
All of this was done without planning for HOW it could be done.  The "HOW" would come in the next image "Blueprint."  (Again, stay tuned!)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On A Diving Board

Life moves quickly.  Thinking back on last week at LQ* I recognize what a gift it was to be supported in my deep and God-given desire to reflect on my life.  Our LQ leaders* helped us spend time in "Life Assessment."

On the first day our leaders encouraged us to imagine a person on a diving board... a person on a diving board surrounded by a cheering crowd.  The idea is that there, on a diving board, a person is assessing the situation, making a decision on what sort of dive (or jump!) to make.**

The challenge is to take the time to honestly assess what's going on in the various dimensions of our lives, to ask "What am I thankful for?" and "What are the 'PFCs' in each life dimension?" ("PFCs" are the "Problems, Frustrations and Concerns or Challenges" in each):
  • Walk with Christ
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Family
  • Hobbies
  • Career
  • Ministry
  • Community
  • Personal Development/Education
Our LQ leaders helped us do this.  Not only did they keep us on a schedule that included time for praying and thinking and writing, they set an example of getting up in front of the 30 other participants and sharing our personal "Life Stories."  We ALL did this--the adults including the kitchen help and camp facility manager and the high school age campers too.  (We knew when we would be sharing so we could be prepared.) 

Secondly, we each completed a section a section of a three ring binder called "As Is": An objective assessment of where I am in life in each of the areas listed above.  I'll consider posting a sample of the "Life Dimensions Analysis wheel" later.  (As an encouraging part of this we listed dreams that have come true, past ideas that have become a reality.)

Life assessment takes time and encouragement.  Standing on the edge of a diving board, looking ahead to this day and the way I will spend it, it makes me realize how much of our lives are often lived without considering how my decisions or habits make things better or worse in the long run.

Let's take time to assess... and let's encourage one another!  Let's share our stories and examine our lives with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God as our guide.**
* Our leaders for last week's LQ (Tentmakers Leadership Quest) were Laura Zimmerman Praske and Anne Forbes Sopiarz.

** We'll want to do this with a FUTURE FOCUS... Christian believers don't get stuck in self-examination.  We move ahead, forgiven and confident.  A next post will be entitled "Binoculars."  The image that our LQ leaders put in our minds was a person on a diving board with binoculars focused on a blueprint (a life plan).  Stay tuned.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pray Together

At 6:30 this morning I jumped in once again on a focused-on-prayer conference call with staff from North Heights.  It is so good to be in prayer with brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are not meant to be alone.

Spending time in prayer TOGETHER requires time.  For those of us who have options about WHO to pray with, it also requires discernment.  Should prayer be in person?  On the phone?  At what time and in what location?

Father God, grant me and those reading this the wisdom to know who to pray with on a consistent basis, in Jesus' name.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Cheering Crowd

At Leadership Quest we learned the power of AFFIRMATION.  We pictured a "CHEERING CROWD" around us as we stood on a diving board (doing some life assessment), looked through binoculars (future focus) at a blueprint (life plan) through which came crashing a flagship (leadership skills) with a student (discipleship) standing on the deck being circled by a lion tamer (bravery, courage and daring).

Who will be part of your cheering crowd?  Who is interested in your dreams?  Who believes in them?  Who will hold you accountable and PRAY for you?

Everyone needs a cheering crowd.  Let's be that positive, encouraging environment to one another. Let's allow the TRUTH of God's Word to lead us on from here.  Let's spend TIME together so we can do that wonderful encouraging work. 

"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back from Leadership Quest

Brenden Birkholz, Matt Dahlseng, Aaron Juntunen and I returned this afternoon after spending a sweet week at Leadership Quest. We learned Bible study and leadership skills, slept in tents, enjoyed afternoon "Muscle Adventures," worshiped, learned how to share the gospel and got to know 30 youth and adults from Willmar, Montevideo, Lakeville/Farmington, Brooklyn Park, Illinois, California, the Czech Republic.  Lots to share... but that will have to come later... life in Dassel-Cokato resumes now!