Category Archives: Church

Youth Ministry

Some of the best days in my life are those while leading youth ministries.  I loved the highs and lows and constant passion that the younger generation displays.

Open Life hired a youth pastor a few days ago and while getting him in the community and exposing him to the possibilities the dream comes quickly back to the surface of making Jesus known to every student.  What would happen if every student in our community would experience the true message, life, hope, peace, and most importantly love of Jesus?  What would be possible if Continue reading Youth Ministry

Halloween

kidstrickortreatOne word that drives me nuts, alternative. Something about the way I read the Bible leads me to believe I should be living life to the full and not living an alternative to life.

What brings this thought to the surface of my mind? Seems like every year we have conversations around the subject of what our church is going to do for an alternative. I tell people simply we are not about alternatives, but about being present with our community. We are about being present where life is happening and being a light right in the center of cultural norms.

That said…Halloween is not something to hide or develop a subcultural moment hidden away from our neighbors, but we should turn on the lights and Continue reading Halloween

What can the church learn from the Sounders?

Interesting how much we can learn from those who have found success in a different but similar market in our region.  I recently watched the below video about what has made the Sounders a successful brand.  While I was watching it I couldn’t help but think about how many of the lessons in this video would be great if applied in church world. Continue reading What can the church learn from the Sounders?

Update from Indonesia

Been a couple days…things have been crazy busy with ministry and fun.

Sunday was great sharing at ICA East.  I preached the first in a 4 week series called Mindful.  There were so many people who expressed their appreciation of the talk and how it was perfect timing.  Love seeing how God can speak a message to a communicator across the world and make it timely for those here in Indonesia.  AMAZING

After service we went out to another crazy good restaurant where Jaiden ate nearly a whole family sized serving plate of Kung Pao Chicken.  She is loving the spicy foods!  Taking after her daddy for sure.

Sunday night we invited the staff over for Homemade Apple Crisp at the house.  Was fun to watch the girls open up and the whole family get to know some great people.

Yesterday we spent the day at the zoo.  Long drive from the house (2 and 1/2 hours into the Volcanic mountains.  There was traffic all the way.  This zoo allowed you to get so close to the animals .  Dana placed some of the photos from the zoo on her Facebook HERE.

I continue to see crazy stuff from our driving around.  Here are a few moment in picture.

Another day on the roads of Surabaya
Another day on the roads of Surabaya
Largest Mosque in Surabaya.  This place is huge.
Largest Mosque in Surabaya. This place is huge.
The white lines mean nothing in Surabaya, and obviously the shoulder is just another potential lane!
The white lines mean nothing in Surabaya, and obviously the shoulder is just another potential lane!
They are constantly burning their trash here, so smoke is a constant.  The Volcanos are constantly releasing ash into the atmosphere as well, so you are driving along and suddenly you see a mountain that has been there the whole time, you can just finally see it.
They are constantly burning their trash here, so smoke is a constant. The Volcanos are constantly releasing ash into the atmosphere as well, so you are driving along and suddenly you see a mountain that has been there the whole time, you can just finally see it.
Taking picks of kids on bikes never gets old.
Taking picks of kids on bikes never gets old.
When you have an oversized load a Uturn can break your axel.  Just another day on the road.
When you have an oversized load a Uturn can break your axel. Just another day on the road.
you see it all on the road
you see it all on the road
Every light another opportunity for business.  At least these were adults and not the 4 year olds at most other lights.
Every light another opportunity for business. At least these were adults and not the 4 year olds at most other lights.
Because they can I guess!
Because they can I guess!
Who wants to work on this scaffolding?
Who wants to work on this scaffolding?
Let's put a bunch of sticks together and climb to the top.  WOW
Let’s put a bunch of sticks together and climb to the top. WOW
Look at the reality of this image.  They are trying to keep the demolition from falling on those going into a restaurant below.  What I don't think the guy with the hammer realizes, is the way this is going to fall when he hits it.
Look at the reality of this image. They are trying to keep the demolition from falling on those going into a restaurant below. What I don’t think the guy with the hammer realizes, is the way this is going to fall when he hits it.
Look the white man is taking my picture mom.
Look the white man is taking my picture mom.
Let's just say Jenna was afraid that the animals we could reach through and touch might eat her little brother.
Let’s just say Jenna was afraid that the animals we could reach through and touch might eat her little brother.
Never have I been this close to something so beautiful and huge.  I could literally feel and smell it's breath from the two feet away where I was.  Good thing the sign warned me not to stick my fingers in.  I would have totally not known to keep my hands out.  LOL
Never have I been this close to something so beautiful and huge. I could literally feel and smell it’s breath from the two feet away where I was. Good thing the sign warned me not to stick my fingers in. I would have totally not known to keep my hands out. LOL
Don't look now but there is an animal right behind you! "really?"
Don’t look now but there is an animal right behind you! “really?”
Just us with some crazy characters
Just us with some crazy characters
They thought being close to the animals was fun when they were small enough to be on the other side of the cage we were riding in.
They thought being close to the animals was fun when they were small enough to be on the other side of the cage we were riding in.
As the animals got bigger...everyone on board became a bit scared.  Especially this lady who chose to hide in Dana's lap.
As the animals got bigger…everyone on board became a bit scared. Especially this lady who chose to hide in Dana’s lap.
Don't look now, but I think it's time for another skirt Chief!
Don’t look now, but I think it’s time for another skirt Chief!
Don't look now, but I think we are about to get eaten!  Nice little kitty kitty.  Kids get in the car...LOL
Don’t look now, but I think we are about to get eaten! Nice little kitty kitty. Kids get in the car…LOL

#indo13

Ministry Day & life in Surabaya

Thought I would summarize our ministry day through photos.

This is the location of ICA West where we meet before heading out for ministry and the location of one of the campuses for the church.  Huge Mall
This is the location of ICA West where we meet before heading out for ministry and the location of one of the campuses for the church. Huge Mall
These dudes help cars back out into the roads, kind of! Put their lives at risk over and over.
These dudes help cars back out into the roads, kind of! Put their lives at risk over and over.
Can you say Motorcycles...wow
Can you say Motorcycles…wow
View from the roof of the Mall where ICA is located
View from the roof of the Mall where ICA is located
Mei and her daughter talking with the family in the car we get toted around Surabaya inside of.
Mei and her daughter talking with the family in the car we get toted around Surabaya inside of.
Isn't she a beauty queen!  And notice the hands of Preston...he copies everything you do these days.
Isn’t she a beauty queen! And notice the hands of Preston…he copies everything you do these days.
Antony on the right and our driver Ridwan deciding which way to get us to the ministry for today.
Antony on the right and our driver Ridwan deciding which way to get us to the ministry for today.
These bikes are traveling at 3 times the speed as us and sometimes three wide in about a 3 foot space.  Note Preston photobombing at the age of 2!
These bikes are traveling at 3 times the speed as us and sometimes three wide in about a 3 foot space. Note Preston photobombing at the age of 2!
There are a lot of people in that van.
There are a lot of people in that van.
See what I said about the kids, they are having fun driving though!
See what I said about the kids, they are having fun driving though!
Outreach with the kids under a tarp in the center of a graveyard.  It's the only place the local community will let them meet. Dangerous to get to!
Outreach with the kids under a tarp in the center of a graveyard. It’s the only place the local community will let them meet. Dangerous to get to!
Just taking it in as they learn english through a kids book about animals.
Just taking it in as they learn english through a kids book about animals.
Jaiden did all the breakouts with some new friends!
Jaiden did all the breakouts with some new friends!
and more friends
and more friends
and more friends...this is an amazing picture!
and more friends…this is an amazing picture!
The locals were going crazy over the twin factor!  Joslyn and Jenna felt like celebrities.
The locals were going crazy over the twin factor! Joslyn and Jenna felt like celebrities.

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Looks like a poster for a hunger campaign, but just a family trying to learn english and Jesus in a graveyard.
Looks like a poster for a hunger campaign, but just a family trying to learn english and Jesus in a graveyard.

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The pastor and founder of the church in the community is this man on the right.  11 years of ministry that began with a bag of rice and a prayer.
The pastor and founder of the church in the community is this man on the right. 11 years of ministry that began with a bag of rice and a prayer.

IMG_10118 IMG_10122 IMG_10124

coloring A for Apple
coloring A for Apple
This is what happens when a boy gets tired in the heat of the day.
This is what happens when a boy gets tired in the heat of the day.
This is someones home.  Consider yourself blessed.
This is someones home. Consider yourself blessed.
We made the challenging walk into an area just on the edge of the Red Light district just outside the graveyard
We made the challenging walk into an area just on the edge of the Red Light district just outside the graveyard
You can see the homes scattered amidst the tombs.
You can see the homes scattered amidst the tombs.
anyone need to go potty?
anyone need to go potty?
Look closely...tons of these around this place
Look closely…tons of these around this place
The teens learning in the church building that is pastored by the guy pictured earlier.  They cannot have church here, but can do english studies.
The teens learning in the church building that is pastored by the guy pictured earlier. They cannot have church here, but can do english studies.

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Twin power.  They feel famous.  Look at their faces drinking it up.
Twin power. They feel famous. Look at their faces drinking it up.
Steven wanted pictures.  The kid is studying 4 languages and is very smart.
Stefanus wanted pictures. The kid is studying 4 languages and is very smart.

IMG_10234 IMG_10235

A humble home.  Cool looking though!
A humble home. Cool looking though!
Just for fun around the hood!
Just for fun around the hood!
Family outing
Family outing
Can't imagine
Can’t imagine
wow, these guys were flying too!
wow, these guys were flying too!

Presence Matters

Humbled to say the least at receiving the 2013 Community Leadership Award from the 971070_10200334207210350_1518716996_nSumner School District (SSD) at the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) today in Fife. Some more than kind words were said by Superintendant, Craig Spencer, and Principal of Liberty Ridge Elementary (LRE), Laurie Dent, reflecting on Open Life‘s impact through Big Give, Love Week, and our ongoing generosity towards the vision and needs at LRE and within the community as a whole.  More is noted by the local online news source Patch.

The Director of the SSD STARR project and the Communities For Families Coalition, Marilee Hill-Anderson shared some grateful words for my investment in all that has been done for families within our the SSD as well as the potential impact Open Life can continue to have as we pursue future projects together within the community. (She gets the photo credit)

All that to say this; I feel like we are just getting started…by living out the values of being generous and present with our community for the past three years Continue reading Presence Matters

The Impossible

Seems like every week I hear an impossible story of someone finding their way to God.  Last night I snagged a Red Box movie to watch with Dana and it was an emotional one for sure.  The Impossible is a true story, I cannot fathom the depth of loss and pain those suffered who were a part of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, but this movie grasps some of that pain.

I could not help but ponder while trying to go to sleep knowing that the unexpected is just seconds from any of our lives.   Continue reading The Impossible

Belief before Behavior

Many people avoid the church because they know a Christian! If that stings…keep church helpreading.

I often offer to do coffee with those who have yet to experience faith in Jesus due to Christian’s impact within their life. There is something beautiful about the tension they experienced and the redemptive potential of their life.

More often than not the issue that chased them away from the church is they were prescribed behavioral changes before they experienced belief changes.

Someone intending to keep the church holy Continue reading Belief before Behavior