Monday, December 31, 2007


I guess there's a first time for everything. I was at a church in Coacoyul, the first church my parents' planted, last night to speak. The church has grown over the last several years and they have 3 different services, a lot of people pick 2 and go to those that week. Anyway, I was asked to speak at their evening service and it was an honor to be able to speak again at the church where I spent my childhood years. So what was different was that, after giving an explanation of how I had grown up in the church and been mischivieous in kid's classes and how I am evidence that there is hope for rowdy children, the pastor's wife then asked me to come up and play drums for the offering...drums. I'm like, "what song are we playing?" She says, "just start playing anything that we can celebrate our giving to God with." Did I mention I'm on the drums? Anyway, I started playing some good ol' 2/4 drum beats and a few drum rolls and the musicians were just kind of making noise on their instruments. We did that twice because first they had the men come up with their offering and then the women with theirs. Like I said, there's a first time for everything.
I spoke about our call to persevere in following Jesus and how it's necessary to know how to rest, both physically and spiritually, in order to be able to be faithful to the end...So I basically shared some Sabbath principles that will bring renewal and refreshing to our lives if we trust God enough to rest.
Tonight we've got a 4 hour or so church service to bring in the New Year...then at midnight everyone and their cousin will be firing off their weapons and fire crackers...So we pretty much won't plan on going to sleep until well after midnight.
Tomorrow we'll be at the beach all day with the church! That'll be fun.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Yesterday we went fishing and had a great time. You can read more about it on Sarah's blog, as she beat me to it.
On another note, I was able to finish reading Only Believe by Hannu Hauka. It tells the story of how he and his wife began came to know Jesus Christ and how they went on to lead one of the most powerful Radio and TV ministries into the USSR. That ministry has now grown and is doing many other things, you can read about them here.
I also finished reading The Dream Giver which is an allegory about pursuing the vision that God has given you. It was an interesting story and I walked away with a couple good things from it:
- God gives people visions, but not everyone pursues them.
- When you begin to follow the vision God has given you there will be difficulties and opposition.
- You'll find the vision God has given as you begin to move towards the fulfillment of the vision.

That's about it about vision. Pastor Russ had some great thoughts about the process a vision and visionary go through and I will try to post that sometime.
Well, Sarah and I are going to watch the Cat in the Hat and then later tonight the teenagers from the church down here will be coming over. Later.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mexico Week 1 - Pictures

It's been a great week of relaxing and spending time with my family.
I just uploaded some pictures. Check them out here!

On a completely unrelated note: I've been using Linux instead of Windows since Sunday and I'm wondering why it's taken me so long to consider switching...I like it!

Monday, December 24, 2007


Sarah and I have been in Mexico since Thursday afternoon. We were blessed to be able to spend our first 2 days at a hotel (the funny thing is that getting the 2 nights was a better deal than the ticket by itself, I like that kind of deal!). We've been at my parents' house since Saturday night. I spoke in church last night and it was a great 3 our service/Christmas program with an AMAZING potluck afterward.
Everything has been great so far and we will be spending some time at the beach today if we make it there after preparing the food for the Christmas Eve celebration tonight. Tomorrow we will more than likely stay home and play games and on New Year's day we will be at the beach with the whole church. Besides that, I'm not really sure what will be going on in the next week, I may just use the time to get a lot of reading done.
May God Bless you as you spend time with your family and friends in the next few days!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Today is the Radiate Christmas Party! I'm really looking forward to it. Then I've gotta run home and pack everything I need for the next 2 weeks into suitcases 'cause we'll be leaving for Minneapolis around 3:30 in the morning! (yay for early mornings...ok so not really, but it'll be worth it when we get there).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas @ VCA

Last night was our annual Christmas Program. The children of the church did a skit about the night before Christmas that had some hilarious outfits that I unfortunately have no pictures of. There was an instrumental that everyone did very well on (Pat A Pan)...Then we followed with a skit called "Mark and Harold's Angel Swing." It was fun. And it was all wrapped up by a beautiful rendition of the song from the Prince of Egypt, "When You Believe."
On a sadder note the two fundraising concerts we were going to have today had to be postponed because of inclement weather in Chicago for Tom Netherton to travel. We're in the process of rescheduling for February.
Here is the only picture it's letting me load from last night:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Missions Addiction

I finished reading The Missions Addiction this week...Wow! I would definitely recommend that book if: you've never been on a missions trip, you have been on a missions trip or think you may someday, you feel called to the mission field, you think that you're living in a mission field OR you don't want to have anything to do with missions because it makes you think of tasks or fields because it makes you think of work...if ANY of those describe you then you should take the time to read the book! :-) I've owned it for about 5 years and I kept putting it off because I "grew up on the mission field," what's more my emphasis at Elim was in MISSIONS! Why should I need to read a book about it!?! I was wrong. It will go into my list of AWESOME books about living the Christian life.
So if you just read all that and thought to yourself that it didn't apply to you, I can put it to you another way: it deals with what it does and what it should look like to live as a Christian in the 21st century...both here and around the world. Quite an exciting book as far as content...the chapters felt a little long, but what you were getting was powerful.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Man it's cold! It was colder than -18 this morning when I went to try to lay brick at was too cold for the bricks to stick because it was so cold outside!
As I type this it's -9 and should reach -10 tonight before it starts warming up for this next, I sure am going to miss this cold when I'm in Mexico over Christmas :-)

College Christmas Party

Here are some pics Suanne took on Tuesday've gotta love ugly Christmas outfits!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Planet Wisdom

ONE24, or more specifically students from some of the churches that are a part of ONE (Valley Christian, Faith Church, and Inspiration Church), went to Planet Wisdom in Minneapolis last are some pics:
Most of the Crew
My Beautiful Bride & I
Here they are again
Ghostbusters! dada-dada-dada ---- dada dada da da da
(yeah, this is one of the cleaning pics, I'll post more on Facebook)
Pat, Chris, and Dan were awesome!

Deacon Christmas Party

Every year Russ & Becky throw a Christmas party for the Deacons & their spouses at their house & Sarah & I help out. This year we thought it would be a good time to give them a goofy game so they could have some fun too (it's usually us doing the goofy things). Anyway, in this game they had to roll dice 'till they got a 7 and go put on mittens, a scarf and a hat before tearing through boxes upon boxes to get to a gift. Enjoy the video and pics. I videotaped the whole thing so I wouldn't miss anything...look for Dana's boxing moves :-)

Chuck (Worship Deacon) helping my Grandma (Adult Discipleship Deacon) with her hat
Yup, they're gamblers...come on SEVEN!

Kim (Children's Education Deacon) showing off her Snoopy gift card and sled ornament.
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Thursday, December 6, 2007


Last night we talked about Hypocrisy. We looked at Matthew 23:1-31 where Jesus lays into the religiosity of the Pharisees with 7 different "woes." I came out of that thinking about how easy it is for us as followers of Jesus to become like the people Jesus opposed the most, the religious, by doing like they did and worrying more about the "outside of the cup" (our appearances) than the inside (our heart). It's so easy to get caught up in the game of acting like something you're not or worrying about your appearance (spiritually, physically, professionally, etc.) and completely overlook the true condition of that area.
I'm not sure if it's connected to this, but something God has been making very real to me lately, the phrase just came to my mind several months ago, is:

If you ignore the Spirit's correction you won't hear His direction.

Let's be real with God and with each other!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ugly Sweater

Tonight the college groups are having an Ugly Christmas Sweater party hosted by Josh and Sarah Hardie. I had to go out to the thrift shop to find one, but I'm ready now...I'll try to post a picture of our ugly outfits later...

Monday, December 3, 2007

I Miss Mowing The Lawn

I never thought I'd think that, but after today I'll take lawn mowing ANY day over shoveling snow. There was like a foot of snow on the driveway and sidewalk. Sarah and I had kind of cleared out one side of the driveway on Saturday night, but then the plow decided it was a good idea to fill 1/5 of the driveway back up with that ended up packed down. Anyway, I definitely got my exercise for the day...they say there's supposed to be more snow tomorrow...on the plus side this just means that it's snowboarding time!

The End of the World As We Know It...

Well, not exactly. But I did finish reading a book called "Till Jesus Comes," by Charles Holman. It's about the origins of the Christian apocalyptic expectation. It's about as deep as you would expect a book written by a Professor of the New Testament (he taught at Regent University until he passed away recently). You know it's going to be deep when you realize that it's an expansion of his doctoral thesis! Anyway, although it was written in a fairly complex way, the concepts were pretty straight-forward: The Israelites had an expectation of the coming reign of God that grew out of the reign of David and Solomon and took shape in the following thousand years. The Early Christians writings, including the Gospels were written during this time of expectation of God's Kingdom and they appear to expect an imminent return of Christ and for His Kingdom to come in its fullness during the lifetimes of the authors. The book concludes with different approaches we can take given the delay of the return of Christ...that's about it.
Since I last posted about books I've also finished reading "Jim and Casper go to Church," by Jim Henderson and Matt Casper. This was a good book that helps you realize what goes through the mind of a guest as they enter your church...very insightful. I would strongly recommend it if you are working in a church or ministry as we have a tendency of getting sheltered from reality whether we like it or not. I also read "God's Blogs," by Lanny Donoho and interesting look at what God would write if He had a blog.
I think that being a life-long learner is HUGE because the world is constantly changing and we have to be prepared for the challenges of life in this ever changing environment...if you don't believe me, think about how different life with cell phones is now from 10 years ago...or how within the last 5 years social networking sites have changed the way teenagers and young adults live their lives.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

We're Back

We just got back from Planet Wisdom. We left a couple of hours early from the conference because of the weather. The conference was great, as usual. Mark Matlock had a lot of powerful things to say. Skit guys were great. All in all great.
Drive back was long, but we were brought safely home by Eric Seibold and fed deliciously by Carrie Guy & Carrin Seibold.
The end.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Planet Wisdom

Sarah & I (and a bunch of ONE leaders from other churches) are leaving for Planet Wisdom right now. We'll be back around 10 p.m. Saturday night, unless of course we get hit by a snowstorm...

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've discovered that sub-zero temperatures feel worse when your barefoot and not wearing a shirt. It's not very comfortable. But it sure did make me appreciate my 66 degree house. :-) Anyway, I've been having a lot of interesting discussions with people about life lately. Here are some thoughts that I'm coming away with about life.
In this life, God is preparing us for eternity. It's not about being babied or pampered, or even about having everything we want, but about eternity. The fact that God allows us to participate in His eternal Kingdom now, is huge, but more than that: what we do with and for His Kingdom NOW will determine what eternity will be like for us. Rick Joyner wrote about this by basically saying that how close we are to God here on earth will be how close we are around His throne...interesting thought.
So, if this life is about preparing us for eternity, how does that effect what we do now? I think that if we live with that perspective it should change every activity of our lives. What really matters in light of eternity? After all, God isn't going to be all excited that we were blessed while on the earth, but His concern will be if we were a blessing. It's not about being blessed, but about being a blessing. This even, or should I say especially (?), applies financially. God gives to us so that we can give to others...we're only administrators of what He has given us...maybe God has given us more so that we can give more (think in terms of the world population...not the United States average income)? Maybe giving really isn't godly giving until it brings us to the point of sacrifice? Maybe we're not giving, or living, to our full potential as blessings to others until it takes us out of our comfort? Maybe getting out of our comforts will allow us to really enjoy the blessings that God has given us? Maybe we don't truly enjoy the blessings until we learn to share them generously with others? (I think of those who haven't heard of Jesus or those who haven't been given the opportunity to know the love and hope of knowing Him...I think of those starving around the world while I eat three servings of thanksgiving meals over one weekend).
Just some thoughts...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Two Trees

I just finished reading "There Were Two Trees in the Garden" by Rick Joyner. It was a very interesting book. It took me about six months to finish it because I had to be in the right mood to follow. There seemed to be a few main themes, but a lot of mini-sermons along the way.
Something that really cut deep to my heart was where it talked about God's dreams, visions and promises and how we can lean on our own understanding, like Abraham did, and create Ishmaels. How when it is a work of God it flows out of resting in God's presence and not striving to fulfill the promise in our own strength. It was an interesting reminder in looking at Abraham about the "son of the flesh" and the "son of the promise." Pastor Russ has said a lot that, "the line between the righteous works of the flesh and the unrighteous works of the flesh is hardly discernible!" Think about it, how often do we serve God with our own strength and don't rely on Him? It's interesting to think that even the right thing done at the wrong time, or in the wrong way, is the wrong thing...
I want the things I do to be a result of God's promises and not my flesh; His strength and not my strength; and His rest and not my striving!

Perspective - Perception - Paradigm

This Wednesday I shared about one of the reasons why I think Christians have a hard time connecting with people who are not Christians. I think it has to do with faulty paradigms that we're functioning in. A comment I've gotten a lot is that people aren't interested in God, yet surveys show that the vast majority of people consider themselves "spiritual!" The problem isn't people not being interested in God, but maybe our paradigms for sharing the awesome news of God's Kingdom is wrong.
For clarification here's my oversimplified definitions of these words. Perspective being the view that you have of something/someone. Perception how you are interpreting the facts you see from your perspective. And paradgim, the pattern of rules and responses developed to address the perceptions.
So we looked at the Jew that Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan can check it out. Basically: Jesus knew that the Jewish man had Jewish perspective (obviously) and his perception of non-Jews was that he was better. His paradigm for dealing with non-Jews was to avoid them. And yet Jesus shatters that paradigm by saying that the Samaritan did better than the Jews (this guys paradigm of what a neighbor was was very limited and Jesus seriously challenged it) AND by telling him to love the way the Samaritan had...
I think a lot of our ministry and life paradigms may be messed up because deep down inside there is pride that says we are better than others, so our perspective is that of looking down on others. This loftiness in turn affects our perception of them and we interpret the data based on our "higher" viewpoint. We then develop sets of behaviors and habits of life and ministry that become part of us (paradigms)...many times we don't know why we do the stupid things we do...even scarier is that I think a lot of times we don't realize what we're doing!
Anyway, the whole point is: change your perspective in order to change your perception so that you can change your paradigms for life and ministry.
Jesus was numbered with the transgressors and was characterized by compassion...He had a perfect perspective and sinless perception before coming to earth, yet He chose to humble Himself and walk in our sandals! He changed His perspective from being above to being beside...maybe we need to change our perspective from above to beside and that will change our perception of those who don't yet serve Jesus Christ, which will in turn change the way we go about life...God forgive us for our pride.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Praise God for Sabbaths! We spend a lot of time being tired and I think it's because we work in order to rest instead of resting to be able to work. I think the change in perspective is great. We are called to do stuff in life, even Adam served God before he sinned, work is not punishment (the wrong job may feel like it though). So I'm really learning to value my Sabbaths and I am trying more and more to make them true Sabbaths and not just days where "I don't go to work." Hebrews 3 and 4 talks about the Israelites failing to enter into God's rest because of their UNBELIEF, which is weird to think that, but when you realize that that unbelief is "anti-faith" or "anti-trust" that would explain it more. They never entered God's rest because they never truly practiced a life of Sabbath because they didn't trust Him enough to do what He said He would do...they were supposed to even go as far as giving the land a break on each seventh year and two years in a row on the fiftieth. There does not appear to be any evidence that that took place!
This Sabbath Rest there speaks of the rest that is available for God's people in eternity, but there is also rest available NOW! It's interesting that Revelation lists a punishment of those who reject Christ as never resting and a reward of those who serve Him as being able to rest in eternity. Sabbath is truly a gift from God and is meant to help us Trust Him. When we're in that place of Trust in Him as our source we begin to get the energy we need to do the work that He has called us to.
Tomorrow is my Sabbath and I will rest.
Saturday we will be grinding glue off of the floor at ONE24!!! (I've been waiting to do that for months!) The sprinkler system will be going in and the electrical, we'll also be putting up some walls soon! The work goes on, but amidst all there is to do we must continue to live a life that is at rest and that relies on God's Spirit for strength throughout the week.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Wow, it's been a crazy week! Lots of stuff going on. I got to speak on Sunday and that was fun, I love talking about the presence of God, so it was cool to be able to talk about the importance of living a life that releases the power of God's presence.
After 3 and a half years of having futons in the living room we finally got a real couch! It was a really sweet deal we just happened upon, I'll let Sarah tell the rest on her blog:

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Today we did some more work on the ONE24 building! We took down an awning that was over the front entrance. Good times. I'll try to post some pics & video of the event. We ended up using the truck to pull the supports out of under the awning after using a massive saw to cut through the steel (BOOM)!
I've finished some interesting books lately: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team & Death By Meeting, both by Patrick Lencioni. I enjoyed these two books about teamwork and meetings: I definitely found some things I need to be putting into practice!
I also finished reading The Gospel According to Starbucks by Len Sweet which looks at the Starbucks experience to see what the church can and should learn from what they're doing as he exegetes culture and the Bible. I just started with the first few pages of The Missions Addiction by David Shibley.

Well, Sarah's been out of town since Friday afternoon helping a great-aunt of mine and she will be getting back tomorrow afternoon. Between now and then I will be getting some much needed sleep, then leading worship in the morning and finally going to play some paintball with the guys from the Radiate CORE group I lead.
Until next time: same bat time, same bat channel!

Friday, October 26, 2007


I got to speak at Campus Crusade in Moorhead, MN last night. Sarah and I were able to go up a bit earlier to catch up with Kory Wolter at Qdoba (love that place, although not quite as much as Chipotle :). Anyway, it was great to be able to share some reflections from the book unChristian together with some thoughts on Acts 4:13 where the Jewish leaders were amazed at Peter and John and "took note" or "knew" that they had been with Jesus. It was a call to be like Jesus, or as Len Sweet says, be the "spittin' image" of Jesus. Let's stop being known for what we're against (and hypocrisy, judgmentalism, etc.) and let's be known for being like Jesus: kind, loving, compassionate, brave, risk taking, gracious, genuinely caring, radical about the right things, supernatural, the list would go on, but basically characterized by the same kind of radical love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fear Factor

Today will probably go down in Radiate history as the most disgusting day ever. We were talking about fear and it's effects this week and decided to have a little Fear Factor competition tonight. We started out dropping marshmallows covered in ketchup into people's mouths, there was a lot of missing the mark that went on there. Then we had a Chubby bunny style game with Warheads instead, that was hilarious, I think Izzy got 30 in his mouth! (there was lots of drool!) After that we went into digging coins out of a bowl of worms followed by the return of the Diaper Delicacy...this year we had to (I say we because I was one of them) pull 3 worms (gummy) out of the bottom of this disgusting goop in a diaper and eat them...I came in second :( (I almost puked!)
Anyway, a few thoughts on fear: I think that the spirit of fear (be it of man, rejection, the unknown, death, etc.) controls and manipulates us and keeps us from attaining what God has for us in every area of our lives. What's worse is that many times we open ourselves up to fear for thrills (like horror movies or other activities intended to give you a rush by making you scared) and then wonder why we struggle with fear, anxiety or self-esteem problems. I think that that rush from fear is satan's counterfeit for the Fear of the Lord...the kind you have when you have experienced him and realize how truly awesome He is! God is waiting to show himself to us and teach us experientially what it means to know and fear Him, but instead we chase after cheap thrills to give us a's like he's saying: "come to me and ask me to teach you to fear me (to know my awesome power even be freaked out by it) and you will have life, peace, rest, knowledge, wisdom, fulfillment, etc (check out Proverbs for more, also read Psalm 34).
So don't buy into the counterfeit of the spirit of fear and get some of the Fear of the Lord and you'll realize that you don't have to fear anything else anymore!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Too Much Espresso

So yesterday between noon and 5 p.m. I had 4 shots of espresso. Apparently that is a little too much for me, I didn't really feel the effects of it until I tried to go to sleep: I didn't fall asleep until 4 a.m. So the good news is that I finished reading Deadly Viper Character Assassins. It was a great book, with some very creative writing styles, that deals with ways the enemy would ruin our lives by messing with our character. I am also almost done reading unChristian, which has really helped make me more sensitive to the way Christians have hurt other people, many times without intending, and unfortunately sometimes intending to.
I had to meet someone at ONE24 at 8 a.m. and I slept through my alarm! Thank God I only showed up 5 minutes late...phew.

Well, I'm gonna go get another espresso :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Tonight we talked some more about Faith/Trust in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 22:17-19 (NLT) "Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction. For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips. I am teaching you today—yes, you—so you will trust in the Lord."
It's interesting how Solomon keeps pointing us back to listening to what he has to say and diligently studying it out. In the last couple of weeks we looked at how to find faith and benefits of faith listed in Proverbs. In these verses Solomon is reminding us to get into what he is teaching us as a basis for trusting God. So, it would seem that if we're having a hard time trusting God we need to read more of what he has to say and "apply our heart" to it...he even goes as far as saying that we should memorize it so that it is not far from our lips! What a crazy thought! :-) I think it's awesome that we can trust God and that not only does He want us to trust Him, he helps us trust him by showing us some things we can do to grow in our trust of him! He's that good!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Transforming Love

Last night at the college ministry Collette Michal (she's the InterVarsity staff that has been working on the NDSCS campus for several years now) shared on Luke 7 where it talks about the woman that was a "sinner" and came and washed Jesus' feet with expensive perfume mixed with her tears and then dried it up with her hair. There are many different things that we could have focused on from that passage, like her using her "glory" to wipe his feet, or the extravagant worship she showed, or hypocrisy of those who saw her worship. Instead Collette led the group in digging into the transforming power of God's love. How she was a new person who left that place not only forgiven by Jesus, but also validated. Imagine the sense you would have when the Messiah acknowledges your worship, forgives your sin AND dismisses the judgments and labels that had been put on her by the world and the religious!
I think a lot of times we forget where God has brought us from and we are like the Pharisees that judged the woman for her past life. How many times do we pounce on people for their sin, but rationalize our own? How many sins are we "against" as a church while we dismiss or ignore those things in our own life? Do you judge a person who has not experienced the love and grace of God more harshly than you judge yourself? I know I have. God help us to be more like YOU!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

First Concert

We had an awesome ONE24 fundraising concert tonight (our first one). Clyde Bauman (Mylo Hatzenbuhler) and The Chancellors Quartet did an amazing job. We had a great video that outlined the ONE24 vision and were able to talk to a lot of people that were able to hear about the project and many others made a decision to get involved! God is so cool!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Back from Minneapolis!

Sarah and I just got back from Minneapolis where we were picking up Kirsten, an old friend from school. She's checking out ONE24 and what we're doing here, which it's a perfect weekend to be out here doing that: we have a fundraising concert featuring Mylo Hatzenbuhler and The Chancellor Quartet this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. It will be a great weekend of raising awareness about ONE24 and how people can get involved! We'll be working on some of the final details today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ipod Faith?

Have you ever thought about the cultural phenomenon that the Ipod is? They're everywhere! You can't even give them out as prizes anymore because everyone and their cousin has one! Seriously, has the Ipod created a movement within culture or is it simply an expression of it? All I know is that there's this interesting relation between the Ipod and how many people view faith. The vast majority of Americans consider themselves spiritual yet Christianity as a movement does not comprise the vast majority of Americans. If you sit and talk spirituality with people, I would suggest it, you might notice, as I have, that this spirituality tends to be a blend a la carte of different religions.
Much like the Ipod personalizes your music selection by allowing you to listen to what you want when you want, (and even customize the interface to look the way you want) we have taken pieces from random religions and blended them together to form I-Faith. I think that sometimes this effects Christians too, we become I-Christians. You know who you are :) We say: "I think that..." OR "I don't think that..." OR "I don't believe that..." But so many times our beliefs are simply what we want them to be or what makes us feel good and are in now way TRUE!
Just something to think about. It's such an easy trap for us to fall into. If you catch yourself defending or opposing something, but you couldn't in any way point to where in the Story of the Bible you got that conviction from, it may be that you have fallen victim to the I-generation.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Final Catalyst Thoughts

Well, Justin and I made it home safely Saturday afternoon. And then I was focused on making sense of my scattered notes on my Treo for Sunday's sermon: Miracle Killer: Doubt and Unbelief. I may post a brief synopsis of that later, but I wanted to make sure I dropped some more highlights of Catalyst before that.
Friday was a great day at Catalyst we got to spend some time with some of the staff from Our Savior's Church in Lafayette, LA where a good friend of mine, Josh Bigwood works. We also got to sit behind another friend, Seth May, that I went to school with at Elim Bible Institute.
Craig Groeschel
spoke about being a Practical Atheist from Isaiah 29:13-14. It was awesome. Here are some ways that Practical Atheism manifests:
  • Believing that our effort is better than God's power
  • Believing that our private life does not effect our ministry
  • Believing that we must please people more than God
He spoke about trying to lead people to Christ, but not letting Christ lead HIM. His prayer for us was that God would disturb I join in that and ask: God disturb me.

John Maxwell reminded us to intentionally add value to people every day.

Erwin McManus
challenged us to change the future.

Wintley Phipps sang the most amazing rendition of Amazing can hear him here.

And wrapping up the event, Andy Stanley spoke about Creating A Leadership-Friendly Culture (creating systems that encourage leadership).

Well, I have to go. We have a ONE24 fund-raising and awareness concert this Sunday night at 6:30 to prepare for. I'm speaking about the Father's Forgiving Love tomorrow night at the college ministry and Wednesday we will be beginning a mini-series called Faith Factor (out of the book of Proverbs).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Awesome Day at Catalyst

Today was awesome. We left for Catalyst around 6:20 and didn't get back 'till close to 10 p.m. It has definitely been the most intense conference experience I have ever had. An amazingly creative intro with opera, Japanese drummers, banjos, jugglers, orchestra, and rock bands that led to a day where we broke 3 world records (most soap bubbles blown, most frisbees simultaneously thrown, and most bubbles burst by flying frisbees, I'd say that one is a bit of a stretch for a record, not sure if it's real).
Andy Stanley opened up asking the question about what you do when you realize you're the most powerful/influential person in the room: humble yourself and serve those in the room. Leverage your power to help those you lead.
Rick Warren had a powerful message on laying down what is in your hand (Moses' staff) and how God brings those things to life when you let things go and when you try to hold on to it it stays dead...basically.
But overall the best message from today was Francis Chan. The Holy Spirit spoke so many things to my heart. He took Jeremiah's call in chapter 1 and looked at the call that God gave him: to say what God told him to say and to do what God told him to matter what people think, say, or if they leave the church, or like it, etc. He shared some personal examples of radical ways that he and his church are choosing to be counter-cultural and more like Jesus. As far as I can tell this guy is a humble prophetic voice to the church that is calling us to be more like Jesus. And to do what He says ALL THE TIME (crazy concept, I know).
Awesome day. I should go to sleep, I have to be up in less than 5 hours.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


So on Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. Justin Moline (who has been working with us on the ONE24 project in Wahpeton, ND for about 6 months now) and I headed for Minneapolis to catch a flight to Atlanta where we would be attending the Catalyst Conference. God gave us a great trip to the airport and all the way to Atlanta.
We knew that we would be riding public transportation from the south side of the city to a northeastern suburb. We weren't sure exactly how though. I was told by several locals that it was too difficult to ride it that far (45 minutes in your own car), so I checked a group cab and found out that would be at least $65. I sat down next to a lady and found out she was on her way to Catalyst with her son and they offered to give us a ride to our hotel for free! How cool is that!?!
Wednesday morning we got up and headed for the Catalyst Conference Labs, for which we had no tickets (or money to buy tickets) to see what might happen. Because of the public transportation and walking it took us over 2 hours to get there. By the time we got there the labs were already under way and we decided it was a good trip that helped us get to know the city, BUT we felt it was worth a shot to swing by the registration table to give God the opportunity to do something really cool. So as we're talking to one representative about the next day's event another one asked us if we had tickets for the Labs and then asked us if we would like which we enthusiastically replied: SURE! Long story short we got $140 worth of ticket each because we showed up 20 minutes after a guy with extra tickets told them to give them to somebody who needed them! Isn't God cool? You never know what might happen if you pray and ask God and then give Him the opportunity to answer those prayers. Thank you God, we only missed one of the sessions and were very blessed by what we heard today (did I mention that the tickets we had for the actual conference were also given to us?). God provides ALL of our needs, not just some...the funny thing is that He uses creative means and not always what we think at the time.
Please pray for God to keep speaking to Justin and I while we are at Catalyst.

Friday, August 31, 2007


So the funny thing about blogging is that you actually have to do it and not just think about it! I have this file on my palm with all of these thoughts that I punch out with my thumbs when they come to me, but then I never seem to get those thoughts to the blog! I will do my best to begin posting some of those thoughts.
On another note, our church has a new website that is almost finished. I also recently switched to Mozilla Thunderbird for my email and calendaring (which syncs to Google Calendar): GOODBYE OUTLOOK! I love the program, it uses a lot less memory and is a lot faster...thank you Mozilla.

Things are going well. We leave for LifeLight tomorrow with part of our Student Small group to rock out, it should be fun. I'm hoping that it will be a fun and learning experience (on the music/concert side of things).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Day

So this 4th of July was great. I was able to do a ton of cleaning and rearranging in the garage (my dog's house), it really looks a lot cleaner and will be a nicer home for her. We spent the evening with a bunch of friends and then went to watch the fireworks in the park. I was struck by how amazing it is that we are able to enjoy and appreciate things as human beings. We can appreciate beauty and we were created with the capacity to make beautiful things and appreciate when others do the same. I guess a creative God makes creative people huh? Basically I just wanted to share my appreciation for the 5 senses that God gave us to enjoy the beautiful world around us and the capacity He has given us to create beautiful things with what He gave us.
Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More photos from the trip

Hey, This is Nathan Buchanan. I wanted to post a few photos from the trip and tell you also that you can view many more of the photos I took on my flickr account.
The address is
You can come and download what ever photos you want at up to 600 x 800 in size

Here are a few photos to get you started!






Thursday, June 21, 2007

We're Back

So 268 hours after we left Breckenridge we returned. Although it was 4 in the morning when we finally made it, due to some weather delays in Houston, we were glad (and tired) to be back. Life feels strange and I personally feel as though being back in the States is a dream and I will wake up to reality in Mexico. This trip was impacting to the whole team and I thank God that we were able to be part of it.
I have posted pictures that I got from the whole team here and you can get some of the pics Nate took here.
God Bless You. The trip is over, but I will continue to post thoughts about God, life, culture, and transformational living.
Sam Snyder

Monday, June 18, 2007

Heading Home

Well, it's hard to believe that our trip has come to an end. We had a great day relaxing at the beach today. Tomorrow we will be heading back to the cold land of the 70's and 80's, we think we might need parkas for it.
I have been sorting through pictures to post as many as possible to tell the story of the trip without being repetitive. I'll post the link when I have uploaded them.
By the way, last night's ministry time was awesome. A person with a cracked rib was healed and another person with a strange difficulty breathing as well. A woman who was about 90% blind in one eye was able to see the shapes of people and her hand in front of her! A man in a wheelchair, whose spine had been crushed in a car accident, said that in the last month a muscle has been forming on his dried up legs...After we were done praying he said he was having the same sensation and feeling down the length of that same leg! Praise God! There were some healings on Sunday morning as well, there have been a lot of "huh, it doesn't hurt anymore" or similar comments in the last 10 days. God is awesome!
God Bless YOU!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Wow, after 8 metric tons of cement and 5 1/2 dump truck loads of sand/gravel mix, we have completed all of the parking lot (there are 2 sections remaining, but they are not expanding that far out yet). It was hot and the work was hard (we don't take easy mission trips...they're always packed down here), but as we look out over a parking lot that wasn't there when we got here it's completely worth.

Tonight was XTREME NIGHT! It was awesome! Pretty much all of the guys who have been playing soccer outside came and it seemed that they really enjoyed themselves (there were over 10 of them!). Some of them were very moved by the Gospel when it was shared to them by one of the guys who invited them.

PS Pardon the lack of proper grammar, I'm usually tired and everyone else asleep when I write this.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cemento, Cemento!

"Cemento, Cemento!" is what we have heard the last several days as we have been hurrying to finish the parking lot before we leave (it means concrete). The people we are working with are very hard workers and fun to get baked in the sun with while we not only are part of the Kingdom of God advancing, but also of the advancing of their parking lot. Today was an exceptionally nice day for being outside, it was a welcome change from the heat (thank God for the rain!). So far we have poured 6 sections and 1/4. Tomorrow we will press on to finish the parking lot (1 and a 1/4) and even pour a section flooring inside the building that hasn't been finished yet.
Friday night (tonight for me) we had another "Children's Festival" and there was an amazing crowd for the amount of publicity done. The cell group that was hosting the event and the evangelism team joined us to have another very fruitful ministry time. There were around 15 people who gave their lives to Jesus and the cell group will be doing discipleship with them because they are friends and neighbors of people withing the group.

Kristin Getting Ready To Be An Awesome Clown
The Clowns Playing Musical Chairs At The Festival

Tomorrow night is "Extreme Night" here at Agua Viva. We're looking forward to some more powerful ministry times with the students. God has been very gracious to us so far, please be praying for a continued and increased measure of His grace in and through us. We are praying for the supernatural and we would appreciate your prayers as well.
Hasta Luego!

- I'll post more pics as I get them.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We're Praising God!

(Team pic on Sunday before leaving for our first church)
So today was another awesome day. We were able to get one large and one small section of concrete finished and we have half of a large one and a small section ready to go for the morning, while the rest of the crew level the ground of our next long sections. If we are able to do more than 1 and a half tomorrow we will only have one section of the parking lot left, which we would finish on Saturday. Praise God!
Another reason to praise God is that it is raining right now and the temperature has dropped significantly (awesome storm earlier, we lost the electricity a couple of times)! As an added benefit the dirt we have to dig to the right level before we pour will be much looser!
After another hard day of work we hopped in the van and headed for Coacoyul where we were with Pastors Victor and Arminda Sanchez. They led us in an AMAZING time of praise and worship. I haven't danced that much in a long time! We did our two skits and Kyle and Sarah shared their testimony, both about how God has worked in their lives even in the midst of pain. I shared about living in God's Kingdom now as we eagerly await its consummation at the end of the age. Afterwards we had a powerful time of prayer that included a broken ankle and a hurt back being healed, others received inner healing and at least one person entered into God's Kingdom! Praise God!

I've been the only one updating the blog because everyone wants to sleep as soon as we're done for the day. I wonder if it might be the 6:30 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. schedule we've got going on? :) The good news is that those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength! I'll try to post some photos tomorrow, but I need them from the cameras they're on and we haven't had much time for that since we got here :)
God Bless You!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Good Day

Today we poured 1 and a half sections of concrete (the most we've done yet in the shortest amount of time too). As you can tell they are quite long. We'll put up a pic of what it looks like now as soon as we get one.
We have been blessed to have a large group of men and women (teens and kids too) from the church who have been coming from 2-10 hours each day to help. A lot of them have taken time off of work (their vacation days or unpaid days off) to come and work alongside of us. That has been a very fun experience for everyone (we've also moved along WAY faster than we would have without them).
Tonight our team led the evening service that over half of the church adults were at (and the teens stayed too). Alyssa, Kyle, Nate, Bethany and I led in an awesome time of worship; the presence of God was intense. Alyssa, Natalie, and Courtney did an awesome job ministering to people by sharing about their walk with God. And Nate brought a word of exhortation from Ephesians 5. Wrapping it all up we had a time of ministry where the team came forward and was able to pray for different needs in people's lives. After the service was over we all got to hang out with our Mexican "buddies" and learn more about their lives...All in a all I would say that it was a good day :).

- No real good photos uploaded to the computer yet, I'll let you know when we have them. It's been pretty busy :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Awesome Evangelism!

"Come join us for our 'Children's Festival'" we would say as we invited children, parents and teens to come enjoy themselves with some clowns, skits, games, and prizes. The impact was amazing. Kids would run off and tell their parents about it and consequently they and their parents came. As we opened with lighthearted activities and humor the crowd of all ages was very attentive. We then moved on to a clear presentation of the Gospel in a couple of skits and ended the "Festival" with the American and Mexican teams going throughout the crowd to do personal evangelism based on what had been presented. Tonight there were many children, teens, and adults who gave their lives to Christ. One elderly man appeared as though he had been waiting his whole life to hear the Gospel and surrendered his life Jesus right then. He then followed my Mom around just to hear more about this relationship with Jesus! God did some awesome things this Tuesday night: Thank YOU for your prayers!
We have been hard at work pouring very long portions of concrete for the parking lot/basketball court. God has given us safety thus far in our construction. The team has been doing a great job serving and getting more accustomed to the culture, please continue to pray for, their safety and strength in working; their cultural acclimation; and the spiritual impact of this trip on our lives and in this community.

Thank you...I'll post more pictures tomorrow!

New Photos from first two days!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

We Made It!

Well, after 16 hours we made it to our destination! Not after first changing a tire on the church van and enjoying a delay in the wonderful city of Houston. God blessed us with green lights through the immigration and customs and we were able to bring all of the supplies in for the church that were needed without any problems or getting searched or fined for our oversize and overweight luggage. God is awesome!
Tonight we had a time of orientation, settling in, and drama/music practice before diving into a couple hours of fun with the youth group from Agua Viva. It was a blast as people were able to get to know each other despite the language barriers through some games. We had a great bilingual time of worship and David Goochee shared briefly with the American and Mexican students encouraging them to tap into God's strength in life in their struggles against sin and the enemy.
Finally we wrapped up the night with some amazing sincronizadas. If you don't know what they are, they are slices of ham and white cheese inside grilled flour tortillas, which we enjoyed with some awesome Guacamole!
Tomorrow we're off to the city of Lazaro to do some construction, street evangelism, and their Sunday service (which has an evangelistic emphasis).
God Bless You!
- We should have some pics up tomorrow or Monday (Lazaro is 2 hours away, so we may be back too late tomorrow)

Friday, June 8, 2007


Greetings to all of you that love and care for the members of this awesome team from Breck/Wahp that is headed to Mexico. We will be working for 10 days in Petatlan, Guerrero on the south pacific coast of Mexico (the city I grew up in). Check back here as we will be posting pictures and updates from our trips and you will get to hear the cool experiences this team is having first hand from different team members. We appreciate your prayers and your comments.
God Bless!
Sam Snyder

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's true, He does hear! In case you were wondering.