You are not called to do it all!

Watch for the very profound, simple little verse in the middle of 1 Corinthians 12:14-31.
I’ve repeated it in several translations so you’ll get the bigger picture.

14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

19 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. (Message)

19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! (NLT)

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

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When you take on more than what God has designed you to accomplish, you create a lopsided ugly monster that is apart from the body of Christ. You need to prayerfully consider, what part of the body, what gifts he has given to you, and become grounded in that knowledge. It is impossible for an ear to see, and a nose to walk, so take comfort in knowing that if others in the body of Christ are not contributing their part, God does not expect you to morph into the entire body, he didn’t design it that way, he doesn’t want you to do it all.

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Salinas Mission Trip – Monday

Monday we got up and met everyone for Breakfast at Denny’s at 9am. Pastor Shankula shared a really good devotional that reminded us that we don’t need much in order to share Jesus with others. We don’t need money, we don’t need fancy technology, we don’t even need to be a great speaker.

He shared a few passages that reminded us as long as we are present, have our testimony, obey his prompting, and allow his spirit to work through us, we have enough.

When we got to the church in Watsonville it was great reunion to see the Peña family and Alma again. After lot’s of hugs and smiles we all got to work setting up for the day.

3:30pm rolled around and the only kids we had were the Pastor’s. So we decided to wait a little while and by 4:15, twenty-three kiddo’s had arrived.

Our first day’s lessons got off to a rough start. We hadn’t planned to have a translator but added one at the last minute and that takes some getting used to, so it threw the flow of the lesson off a bit. Still, two girls had accepted Christ before the end of the program that day. What an exclamation mark to the message Pastor Shankula had delivered in the morning.

On a personal note, the craft I had agonized over, went really well. We had the kids decorate pillow cases with fabric paint brushed onto large sea shaped stamps. The kids got super creative and they all turned out really cute.

My favorite part of this trip is watching the older boys come and participate. There are six of them between the ages of 14 and 22. They are wearing name tags, listening to the lessons, playing games and yes, working on the crafts. The oldest told one of our team, he doesn’t believe in God. So Luis and Ben chatted with him a while and explained the gospel and who God is. We could tell that he still left uncertain, but curious.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring??

Salinas Mission Trip

This week my family and I are off on a mission trip to Salinas, California to work with local churches who serve many of the migrant workers in the area. Our team will split into three groups and will help host a Vacation Bible School at three local churches serving Salinas, Watsonville, and Hollister.

We left our house this morning at 5:45am. Met the rest of the team at Shadow and got on the road at 7:30am. Robert drove a van full of women, and Hector. And I followed with our boys in the Toyota Tacoma. I think we stopped for potty breaks and stretching at least 5 times.

I have to say, I’m glad we’re finally here, in the hotel, where I can put my feet up and relax a little. All day Saturday, I kept thinking I must be crazy. I just finished Summer Blast and and have put in 60+ hours for the last 3 weeks and now, my first day off, I’m busy packing for a mission trip that leaves tomorrow? What was I thinking when I said yes? Not only did I need to pack myself, but I organized 3 face painting kits and finished getting the rest of the craft supplies ready and samples made.

Today’s drive was tough. I didn’t sleep much last night, and kept getting drowsy, but I pushed through and got here safe and sound.

Tomorrow, I get to leave the hustle and bustle of my everyday life behind and jump into the world of Pastor Fillipe and his congregation. They are loving, relaxed and grateful people. I’ll get work with a small group of 30-50 kids, teaching them crafts and sharing God’s word. It will do my soul good.

A Nervous Choreographer

I feel like one of the choreographers on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

As the Designer of Children’s Outreach and Special Events I just finished the week spearheading our largest outreach event of year. This past week we hosted 1300 kids on campus and 450 volunteers for our annual Summer Blast (VBS) week of fun.

It was an amazing week, but like any event had it’s ups and downs, some brilliant moments and yes, many glitches.

I just finished sending an e-mail to all the parents and all the volunteers asking for their feedback. What they liked, disliked, their ideas and suggestions. It’s almost like getting voted on. Do you love it, or do you not.

Crazy thing is, I really want to know what they think. I want the specifics. I can only improve our event when I have an opportunity to see it through other’s peoples eyes and experiences.

I’m sure some of the feedback will bring much joy, and some much frustration, but each piece is important and I’m ready for honesty.

Bring it all on, I’m ready to hit the ground running for next year.

A Lesson From My Favorite Restaurant

Lessons from my favorite restaurant . . . Mary Etta’s

Mary Etta’s is a podunk little place off Old Hwy 8 in the Eastern part of San Diego county. During your first visit you’ll wonder why it hasn’t dried up and blown away with the tumbleweeds years ago. They obviously haven’t done anything to stay current or keep up with the times. 

  • They are only open from 6am-2pm each day.
  • They are located in the middle of no where in East County.
  • Their business sign is teensy, you’ll only find it if you stop and look.
  • Their decor consists of handmade wooden plaques, bad fishing jokes, old cowboy prints and a road kill sign.
  • They have 4 booths, that will seat 4 people each and counter seating for 6.
  • None of the plates or silverware match. 
  • They have no customer loyalty cards & no daily specials
  • They haven’t revised their menu since the 1960’s

Yet, if you stop by on any day of the week the place is hopping. From open to close, the booths are full, the counter stools are occupied and the cook is busy filling orders. 

So what’s the secret model of success for this backwards little restaurant? 

Mary Etta’s consistently offers it’s patrons, fairly-priced, large portioned, delicious, quality, home-cooked meals.

That’s it. The one thing they have always focused on, the one thing they do really well:
Serve Great Food.

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Sometimes, in ministry, I wonder if we’ve gotten too caught up in the “ideal model for success” that includes fancy buildings, great locations, effective marketing, professional signage, custom logos, reward bucks and the latest and greatest programming.

Could we, would we, be successful at reaching people and transforming lives if we let all that go and did one thing really well?
Teach the Bible