The Power of Obscurity

For the past month, Francis Chan’s book, Letters to the Church, weighed on my heart. His comments on social media and obscurity occupy my mind. In fact, as WorldVenture’s social media presence continues to grow, so do the conversations. Someone said social media is like someone’s personal paparazzi. In America, the temptation is to use our social media to become known as pastors and leaders, even as individuals in our communities, but what if obscurity is best?

Rick Warren and Francis Chan are celebrity pastors. Francis Chan’s Facebook fan page has 17,000 likes. Rick Warren’s Facebook post has 101 comments. According to Grand Canyon University, Francis Chan spoke to a packed stadium. That stadium seats 7,000 people.

The more well-known you become the fewer options you have in digital discipleship. Obscurity is key. People who work regular jobs (or are retired) with a couple of hundred social media friends can more successfully do digital discipleship with training and guidance than a celebrity pastor, and should; but when pastors hear about this vision God has placed on my heart, they think I am adding to their overpacked schedules. The opposite is true and more difficult.

For too long, the American church congregation has let the pastors and missionaries do discipleship. My pastor even said, “My job is to equip YOU.” A missionaries job is to equip national leaders that equip local Christians (basically working themselves out of a job). As I work with a church to develop a new way of discipleship and mentoring, I am reminded how little time pastors and missionaries have, and see the potential of an equipped church working in cooperation with their missionary agencies.

Churches focus on numbers on Sunday. Social Media marketers focus on stats, visits, likes, reactions, and comments. Each number is a face with a history. Each person we invest our time in can potentially complicate our lives. It can even be dangerous. Success isn’t a large congregation or 17,000 likes on a Facebook page.

Success is in how those numbers are being discipled, encouraged, and held accountable in their walk. My question when reading stats like 30 or even 30,000 was baptized is:

  • Who is walking with them?
  • Who is discipling them?
  • And who is discipling the discipler?

Someone with zero Bible knowledge mentoring someone else with zero Bible knowledge reminds me of Matthew 15:14, “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

“Just 11 percent have read the entire Bible, and the majority (30 percent) of Americans surveyed have read no more than several passages or stories. Even more shocking is that only about a third (36 percent) would describe the Bible as true, while 56 percent describe it as “a good source of morals.” (Influence Magazine, Jan. 2018)

Pastors like Rick Warren, Francis Chan, and our own pastors provide us with knowledge, and on social media, content (or they should) that we can use to share our faith walk online and disciple others. Those pastors are in the spotlight, but you can enjoy and embrace obscurity to share the Gospel and mentor others on and offline. Embrace obscurity. Embrace courage. Follow Jesus.

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How to Listen in Conflict


Remember playing tug-of-war? Two teams tugging at each end to get the other team to cross the line in the middle? That’s how I felt this week. I felt like the rope. How do you practice discernment when you feel like the rope?

  1. Pray.
  2. Listen first to each side, carefully weighing and sifting through the facts. Put aside your emotions.
  3. Be careful of opinions. They may be the wrong ones.
  4. Be kind and compassionate.
  5. You don’t have to take sides, and when you do have to make a decision, go back to number 2.

Romans 12:18-19 comes to mind,

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

This week I learned how to be a peacemaker. I learned to listen better. These lessons I write on my heart and it will take me into ministry when I am fully funded. God is using this season in my life to teach me things I’ll need when serving in ministry.

To become a monthly financial partner (it’s tax deductible), go here. Create a partner account and choose my name as the person you’d like to support. I would love to have you on my team. 

The Struggle of Self-Promotion

Self-promotion was the biggest emotional struggle within the minds of Christian writer friends in 2007. Publishers required (and still do) writers to promote their work online. At that time, blogging was more about being real and creating community. Having to self-promote felt cold and against our worldview. When I attended writers groups, I encountered a lot of self-promotion. I recalled this when I read this week’s chapter of Called to Create by Jordan Raynor:

As we saw in the previous chapter, following God’s call to create replaces our motivation to make a name for ourselves with motivation to create in order to reveal God’s character and love others.

We wrote to glorify God. Our heart was to connect, to pray for each other, and cross-network through guest blogging. Most of us made peace with self-promotion because we made it about Jesus. Our blogs bloomed into mini-ministries. It was about the books we read and how what we read impacted our daily lives. We weren’t shy about sharing our emotions. But, as the glory days of blogging faded, and marketing took over with content written to get noticed on Google, some writers lost their way.

There’s a danger of becoming too focused on creating a work around making a name for ourselves.  I loved how Called to Create spoke about famous people who built their careers to make monuments around their name. They worked to glorify themselves. In this culture of negativity, can we find ways to #RedeemSocialMedia and use the web strategically and authentically, making sharing the Gospel a priority?

“Generally speaking, entrepreneurs attempt to figure out where the world is going, and leverage those trends to considerable financial gain,” Blanchard said. “Could our aim [as Christian entrepreneurs] be for more? Disrupting negative cultural trends and encouraging positive emerging trends with innovative, transformative, gospel-minded ventures?”

How to Never Give Up #MotivationMonday

Journaling with Monday Motivation here. 

“Jesus was telling them a parable about their need to pray continuously and not to be discouraged.” – Luke 18:1

A thousand times I repent of my previous words, spoken in haste and without understanding, of what an international worker goes through and really does with their time until I became one. All our journeys are different with WorldVenture. Some are learning new cultures, experiencing a loss of roots, and learning to adapt to a new normal, and here I am, pioneering a new way, meeting doubt head on, and completely growing in faith.

In today’s Bible reading (Genesis 44-46), I learned about Joseph and his brothers. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sent to Egypt. Genesis 44-46 talks about Joseph reuniting with his brothers. Joseph is one of my favorite Bible narratives. After much trial, he stands in a position of power to help his family and the countries around him going through famine. Joseph kept his faith. In Luke 18, we learn about Jesus’ encounters and a parable, starting and ending with the theme of praying continuously and living in obedience. The blind man asked Jesus twice to heal him. A rich man was asked to give up his wealth. The faith of a broken man is compared to that of a prideful one. The glaring theme of this chapter felt like, “Keep pestering God. Don’t cling to the world. Keep looking up to the Father.” How do you never give up when a future is uncertain, even unwritten?

  • Refresh your spirit in the Words of the Bible.
  • Find joy and hope in today and hold on to those memories for tougher and more impassable roads.
  • Keep your eyes on the bigger picture. It’s the bigger picture that matters. God doesn’t think small. Neither should you!
  • Keep wise counsel around you (Proverbs 15:22)
  • Understand better the Christian faith through the narratives of the Old and New Testament. Bear your cross well.

Meanwhile, I look ahead with eagerness and walk the road I am on now with determination fueled by a growing faith.

How are you today? Can I pray with you? You can email me at or leave a comment. 


Business Versus Missions: Is There a Division? #Christian

WorldVenture hosted two Hackathons with Code For The Kingdom during the past couple of years. I participated in both and mingled with business people, missionaries, churches and regular working people. During those weekends, we worked together in creative endeavors to solve world challenges with technology.

In the last Hackathon, I assisted a businessman with his idea, helping to expand it. While I didn’t quite have the time I thought to fully review his manuscript for the ministry, his idea had merit. These are just two of many examples where not all the church is against business as missions or work having merit. So, when I began reading, “Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk,” I felt the divide between business and missions.

“Over the course of my career, I have thought a lot about this issue and discussed this topic at length with friends inside and outside of the world of entrepreneurship. It seems clear to me that the church has bought into a false storyline about work that says work is inherently bad and meaningless unless it is “full-time ministry.” Before we discern the calling of entrepreneurs specifically, we must first combat this thinking with biblical truths that give us a much more hopeful and meaningful storyline for all work.”
― from “Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk”

One of my leaders who recommended this book said she felt encouraged by it. The ministry God has me doing empowers creatives and entrepreneurs to partner with the church to serve in outreach to their global communities in line with or in addition to their daily jobs or business responsibilities. Most of what I do involves entrepreneurs and creatives. In fact, WorldVenture is such a fantastic organization that their vision includes creative people and ideas that are non-traditional in their paths.

In light of that leader’s response, I was inspired to think how I can encourage the church to embrace the creatives in their congregation. Because Social Media is a creative environment, it is ideal for photographers, artists, musicians, writers, etc to embrace this communication tool to share the Gospel through the relationships they build online and the stories they tell.

You might have noticed how marketers are embracing the idea of story telling to sell more products or services. Some religions other than Christianity are embracing story telling and marketing to attract the indecisive to their belief system. It seems a lot of Christians are hesitant about using this communication tool. Maybe some are wary of it or afraid? Maybe it just feels so big that it is like looking at a blank piece of paper and wondering where to start?

As a worker with WorldVenture, I want to mobilize the church to serve online as well as face-to-face, recognizing that social media is global and the world is different now. Whatever you feel about technology, the church needs to embrace it and train their congregations to use it in godly ways.

Don’t you train an army before you send them out into the battlefield?

When I read this chapter, I was less than thrilled, because the churches I have met or know do see that sharing the Gospel at work in honoring ways is part of being a Christian, and using your creativity in the arts can also bring about interesting conversation. If the church is going to share the Gospel in their communities, entrepreneurs, missionaries, church staff and regular workers (even ones less than thrilled about their employment) need to be unified in their causes. But then I focused on the last few words of that quote, “…meaningful storyline for all work.” All work, including the people who serve in churches and in mission organizations that depend upon the generosity of others to do their work.

Meanwhile, I will continue to read this book. Stay tuned for future blog posts. My leader’s response reminded me that I need to make sure my volunteers, group leaders, and those participating in ministry are encouraged in all their efforts and feel supported.

How to Build Up Your Marriage

Joining WorldVenture has brought challenges to our otherwise great marriage. Even good things can become a negative if not handled correctly.

  • Because my audience is global, time differences mean making a determination whether I interrupt my evenings to message the person or speak to them in the morning. Some conversations are unavoidable, demanding my undivided attention. Or a text conversation becomes an intense moment of prayer as I carefully tap out a reply. As a worker with WorldVenture, my husband is getting used to my unusual schedule. He’s learning the furrowed brow and tense voice doesn’t mean the conversation is negative; it means I am focused on using the right words to maintain the friendship while speaking the truth. It doesn’t mean I am stressed.
  • Meetings after my day job are frequent, whether it is with WorldVenture, another organization, or people wishing to learn how to serve online. He knows my day doesn’t stop until 5 or 6 pm in the evening. Or I come home and work in the office to get caught up on weekly duties.
  • Sunday mornings are for serving in our church. For me, I am working the comment section of our church’s live Facebook video to pray for community outreach and share it to various groups.

In the past, we’ve talked about how dangerously close ministry gets to our home. The world is full of violence and anger, and those of us in the United States are not immune. People on social media consider it their right to react badly online and we’ve talked about the what if questions. Because of these and many more challenges, I readily embraced Pastor Guy Deckard’s 2018 devotional idea.

A family that studies together, prays together, and stays together. We’ve already bought the journal to share between us, and I plan on blogging my journal live as well as sharing Pastor Guy’s blog link here, too.  Serving on our knees, digging deeply into God’s Word, needs to happen first before we serve with our hands. Strengthening our marriage through God is important even as we serve to thwart the devil’s plan and participate in what God is doing in the world.

Meanwhile, please consider partnering financially with me so this work in technology can continue strong in 2018. Click here to learn more.


How We are a Citizen of Heaven #Christian


I’m on a social media fast today in a hotel somewhere in Phoenix. This means I fast from all social media so I can rest, study, and even write without distraction while I focus on God, worship Him, and focus on who I am in Him. I am reading, “How to Read The Bible For All It’s Worth,” by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart.

Page 109 through 110 brought me up short. So far, I had been reading about Hebrew narrative and how the Old Testament narratives implied things, definition of what is cultural and what is truth, and what something meant then and what it means now. As I read, Redefinition, I knew that this is the kind of truth that I am trying to share in my life with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in America:

“Redefinition. When the plain meaning of the text leaves people cold, producing no immediate spiritual delight, or says something other than what they wish it said, they are often tempted to redefine it to mean something else. An example is the use often made of God’s promise to Solomon as it is narrated in Chronicles (2 Chron. 7:14-15). The context of this narrative clearly relates the promise to “this place” (the temple in Jerusalem) and “their land” (Israel, the land of Solomon and the Israelites). Understandably, many modern Christians yearn for it to be true of their land wherever they live in the modern world–and so they tend to ignore the fact that God’s promise that he will “hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” was about the only earthly land God’s people could ever claim as “theirs,” the Old Testament land of Israel. In the new covenant, God’s people have no earthly country that is “their land” –despite the tendency of some American Christians to think otherwise about the world. The country all believers now most truly belong to is a heavenly one (Heb. 11:16). (emphasis mine)”

Pastors periodically talk about examining ones spending habits on their checking account to see if God is a priority. What do we spend most of our money on? Are we investing in God’s Kingdom or in pleasure? The same should be said of auditing our own social media profiles. What is posted most often on your social media expresses the depth of your faith, your heart, whether it bleeds from pain and anger or oozes political angst. Do we wish death on our enemies even in a joking way?

Sarcasm is anger gone underground and come back up in a clown suit,” says Patsy Clairmont, a Women of Faith writer and speaker. Our citizenship is in Heaven as believers. How can we reflect this in our postings and honor the country in which we live? 

The Bible Study Project

The Bible Study Project (from here) is going well. I am currently training two women to use technology to re-create the face-to-face Bible Study and build an online community that partners with the local church. How this usually works is,

  1. The interested person emails with a testimony, even a resume.
  2. The interested person schedules a time for a video chat. We proceed to discover what she or he wants to teach, learn about him or her, and talk about what video interface app he or she wishes to use. Normally, we go through Zoom.
  3. Another video interface is set up for training on the particular video app he or she wishes to use for the Bible Study.
  4. The first study is co-hosted with me as part of technology training. I help them navigate the technology. For every teacher, they are welcome to co-host on my Zoom subscription.
  5. After the first study, they are required to get their own Zoom or let me know what video app they will be using. Video must be used to be listed on this site. The whole goal is to get away from fragmented relationships by only using chat to building a face-to-face community.

After the person has begun their perpetual online video Bible Study, I still pop in once in a while to monitor their progress and give support where needed. The responsibility of the teacher is to,

  • Build their own email lists to continue connection with the leaders.
  • Add their signees to our Facebook group. The group allows all participants to engage each other and the teachers in questions, prayer, etc. This is where the leaders can remind them of upcoming studies.
  • Recordings are kept on the teacher’s own social media with occasionally using Cataclysm Missions own Youtube account when video editing becomes challenging (at least until I have trained them).

Currently, the two women I am training are doing weekly Bible Studies. This means I am attending two Bible Studies each week night. I work at a day job which blocks out 40-hours from my week, restricting when I can hold these Bible Studies. A third woman is rumored to be interested in this movement. I can’t train her until I am free from one of the Bible Studies. I can’t hold any day time studies until I am 100% funded.

The interest in this movement far outweighs my financial support. If you feel led to give $25, $35, or more per month in a tax deductible support, please click here. I would love your support in challenging Bible illiteracy and sharing the Gospel worldwide.


What Did You Learn This Morning?

Even though my hours have changed, I still get up at 5:30 a.m. to make time to read a chapter in the Bible. My body is already used to rising early after 11 years as a church secretary with Solid Rock Christian Fellowship that continuing this habit wasn’t so difficult. The hours at my former employer were too early for morning devotionals, but my new job allows me an extra half hour Monday through Wednesday that I can get in some quality time with the Lord. In thinking about this, I recall what my friend shared with me the other day.

Her pastor asked her, “What did you learn in your morning devotions?” This challenges her to think about what she is reading in context. I challenge myself the same way. Reading the Bible should not be a check mark on your day, but an immersing experience. It’s quality time with my Father before the day gets crazy. I read the chapter and work all day on focusing on what I read. How can I apply it to myself? What is God trying to teach me this morning? What does it mean? Are there rabbit trails to discover? Sometimes, I’m dead tired from a week that never ends or raising support leaves me barely able to think.

“In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)” 

Spending time with God is more than just a feel-good exercise, but a desire to stay, “…consistent with God’s will.” I love what He is doing in my life, though it can be painful at times. This life has not left me bereft of joy from all the effort, but excited for what God has planned for my future. It does have its challenges, but I know when to rest. I know when to step away and stop doing and just be.

Continue to pray with me as I raise 100% support. My desire is for the church to reawaken from its slumber and become intentional with its social media uses and understand what God is doing in the world with technology. 


What If Isn’t Wolves, But Cute Doggies?

But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it. Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?… From Here

When people quote the above verse, a picture of some ravenous wolf with teeth bared accompanies it. What if wolves in sheep’s clothing don’t look like wolves at all, but well-intentioned cute doggies that gently mislead?

You’d be surprised to learn how Satan can use good things, pleasant things and people, to lead us away from a relationship with the Lord (2 Cor. 11:14). This is why learning about Jesus in the Bible is so important.

Base your faith on the authoritative Word, not what popular people in culture and religions say. Religions and cultures change. God doesn’t change.

Want to join a Bible Study?

I can help you with that. Bring your doubts. Explore God’s character in its proper context.