Support Praise! (Corrected)

“Across northern Africa stretches the largest desert in the world. Yet at its eastern edge is one of the richest and most fertile valleys known to man. The valley of the Nile is not fertile simply because a river flows through it: it is fertile because that river overflows, depositing each year another layer of tropical soil washed down from the jungles of central Africa. The mere flow of our lives is meaningless in the desert world. But the man whose life overflows makes the life of his church as fruitful as the valley of the Nile.” – Henry B. Luffberry (1917-2004)



A mistake was discovered in how someone put in their support amount. We are not at 16% as today originally praised. I will update the numbers soon. It is probably closer to 14%. Help me get to 20% by the end of the month (

PTSD from #ElectionNight


You don’t understand how serious and how hard of a job being a Social Media Mentor is until you survive the week of the 2016 Presidential Elections (#ElectionNight). Every other status and tweet is about the election, blaming Trump, blaming Hillary, blaming you and me for being white, blaming the neighbor’s dog, and the name-calling is horrendous. Even “the church” gets the blame for the roguish behavior of people leadership or a congregation can’t control. So it’s been a tough week for me for very different reasons.

I’m on Social Media about 6ish days a week from sun up to sun down, looking for people who need a friend, a mentor, or someone to listen on top of a full time job, helping churches connect with people online, and keeping up with writing obligations. So this election week brings me into a near state of depression (or as I jokingly say, PTSD).

Today, in fact, I had to firmly shut my laptop and just quit.

I had to go for a run and appreciate once again where God has me serving. I look at the churches in my community and I am proud of them for how hard they work to love others even when that love or their help might be rejected. I understand grief. I have been grieving since 2008 and I am still grieving, but not for what you think.

I am grieving mainly for how we are putting politics (left and right) above our faith in God, and how we associate being a Republican with being a Christian when the two have nothing to do with Salvation according to the Bible. Christians who put down the church because of a few people put down the very people you and I have come to love who serve so selflessly in their communities.

The divide is very deep in our country. Part of me is pleased to see more and more statuses reflecting a plea for unity. The other part, like today, is grieved to see Christians tearing down the body of Christ without a thought to unbelievers and how their words may be perceived by them and the world, or how it defames the workers in the field who are doing the jobs of twenty because of a lack of volunteers out of love for their communities; love for even the people who are rioting and causing damage.

My question to everyone: What if we flood the internet with stories of what God is doing through you or others to reach our communities? What if more good stories outran the bad ones?

I’m taking a Social Media Fast week after next for a couple of days. I’m going to be focusing on this year’s verse from Matthew 4:19 (CEB) to ask God to show me HOW to reach the unreached, the unloved, and the unchurched. Human nature is complex.

So, don’t mind me; I’m just suffering from a little #ElectionNight PTSD.

We Should Take Big Risks

I am finding that living on the generosity of people who see what God has planned and wish to be a part of it through volunteerism and/or financial giving is going to be rewarding.

Even now in transition (working a full time job, raising funds to do this full time, and working active ministry), I am seeing how God is giving us a glimpse of what might be possible. I am learning to wait on His timing even when I am unsure how I can cover expenses or make time for the possibilities He teases me with.

Somehow, He provides time, resources, and workers. It is truly risk taking, because the whisper of Satan says, “What if you fail? What if, like in times past, you get so close and fail?” I also think of Esther’s obedience…Esther 4:12-13 was always a favorite verse of mine because God gives us things to do, He invites us to participate, and that, in some situations can be dangerous and risky, even financially and emotionally. In Esther’s case, she could have lost her life standing up for her people. She first started by asking her people to fast ahead of her act of obedience which was Haman’s undoing. How can you live a risk-taking and honorable Christian life? It is such a joy, this new journey, even if it feels like I walk a tight rope between buildings.


FAQS: My Husband’s Role


WorldVenture appointed me, not my husband, Tony, as a missionary. Yet, he plays a role in what I do every day.

  • I introduced him to Facebook. He now posts #LunchroomViews when he hikes, influencing both secular and believer in his online life.
  • Helped him merge to Twitter. He’s learning the ins and outs of that, too.
  • He’s political, but through WorldVenture’s missional influence, his belief in God is lived out in redeeming ways online politically and personally. It’s more about the relationship with others now.

He has become an avid prayer warrior and helps me manage ministry, job, and appointments with prospective financial partners by picking up most of the house work on his days off. This weighs on me. I love him for his generosity.

Before I hit the button that rocketed me into this new world, we talked alot about what this will mean for our marriage and for each other. What if I have to travel without him to a different country? What if it’s a dangerous country? What if I was jailed for my efforts online or persecuted legally and we lost everything? Would he still love me even if the world was against me? Inevitably, what I do will impact him, too.

We share an open marriage where we talk about things before they become an issue. Our relationship is honest; it’s been honest from the beginning. He tells me things I don’t want to hear, and I hold up my end of the bargain by listening. His role as friend, partner in my online ministries, and husband is important to me as a person and missionary.

I wouldn’t be a missionary today if God hadn’t brought him into my life. I would still be wandering.

Want to hear more? Let’s talk. 

When I Handed Her My Resume

When I handed my resume to the woman in the power suit, she took it from me, and bent her head to read it. The marble floors, glass partitions, and rich woods made me more conscious of the black permanent marker I used on my Kmart special black heels to hide a worn spot near the toe or the clear nail polish I used in the parking garage on a run on my panty hose.

A few minutes passed, and she looked up from the paper at me and said: “It sounds like you are applying to be a writer, not a receptionist?”

This was several years ago as a young woman applying to work at a magazine located in downtown Phoenix. There’s value in starting from the bottom. Whether you are a receptionist answering phone calls or a brand new missionary appointee learning cross-cultural communication and the complex issues regarding the peoples on the move, nothing is ever wasted. In fact, coming from a position of a learner and working your way up is better.

  • You get to know the organization.
  • People mentor you and you learn from this.
  • God grows you through the experiences, mistakes, and successes.
  • And no action is “beneath you” to do no matter where you go in life.

Today, I thought about that moment in the magazine office, and when I did, I felt a twinge of worry.

“Lord, how do I do this ministry? There is so much information to absorb and learn!”

Matthew 4:19 in the CEB returned to me:

“Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.”

This time it held new meaning for me. Everyone begins somewhere in a new career. They learn new things, new habits, disciplines, and it can be challenging. God will show me how, not just in technology, but in cross-cultural communication, too. Already, I feel like I am changing as I wrestle with my own prejudices and political beliefs against what the Bible says. That wrestling though didn’t start with my appointment with WorldVenture.

A certain Latino pastor came into my life who started changing my worldview. WorldVenture simply clarified my direction.

Now my daunting task isn’t riding an elevator up a skyscraper and crossing marble floors as quietly as possible in uncomfortable black heels; instead, it is learning about the Peoples on the Move and reaching them through technology. I am not alone. Many wonderful people with WorldVenture and others around the world are taking up that call. I am praying for 100% funding by March, 2017.

When I see that deadline, I feel like that girl again in black heels reaching my resume across the desk to a woman in a power suit.

God says, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” He calls the unqualified.

Incidentally, I did not get the job at the magazine as a receptionist or a writer. As you can see, God had other plans for me.

Refresh: A Women’s Ministry

When a friend started sharing with me an idea about a women’s ministry that is impulsive and creative, I jumped in. Of course, I volunteered to help with communications. We set up a Slack account because it is secure. When I sat down with other women in the group, I was encouraged by their response to having an online community.

Slack is different than texting. When you send a group text, and a person responds, every person on that text gets continual notification for hours or as long as the conversation endures. It takes more time to open a new text and rewrite a response or to share the activity you shared with others on a new text. Slack cuts out all the work.

You can have it on your phone and treat it like a text, or you can use it on your desktop and get notifications there. This kind of community is what every busy woman needs so they can experience good fellowship even if they can’t make every activity.

So if you live in the quad-city area, email me. If you have questions with how this works, I would be happy to explain it (if your intentions were to start a similar kind of group in your town). It’s ideal as a para-church ministry.

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Confessions of a (Sort Of) Reformed Passive Aggressive

social media

Has Social Media Crashed Your Relationships?

What we put on social media reflects our hearts and makes us focus on those things which weigh heavily on our emotions. No matter how vague we think we are being on social media, the pain spills out and becomes a manuscript for others to read of what is going on inside of our heads.

As a Social Media Missionary, I wrestle constantly with myself to decide what my motive is behind publishing. It’s so tempting to have a targeted audience and it is such a fine line. How do we express the grief, anger, and pain in responsible ways so others can minister to us or so we can minister to them?

 Several faces do come to mind as I write this piece. It’s unavoidable. No one is completely un-passive aggressive. Our lives reflect what we see and experience, and this translates onto social media. Social Media is no different than face-to-face. We share stories with our friends on and offline. Gossip is a constant threat because friends can also share those stories publicly even when done in face-to-face situations. The copy and paste feature is the only difference between Social Media and face-to-face communities. How do we use social media responsibly as we battle the temptations of the tongue and wrestle with our pain?
I have some suggestions:
  • Ask yourself why you want to post something. Before you hit publish, search out your heart. Read some Bible verses that address this area. Read the context. It matters less what inspired the post as it does why you are posting it.
  • Where’s God’s lessons in the post? Will it irreparably harm a relationship? Will it cause dissension? Will it harm someone else’s relationship? If you insist on posting the post, treat it separately from yourself. Change names, dates, and even make it out to be a “friend.” Change details so it is so far removed from the actual event that God’s lesson comes out while keeping the relationship secure.
  • Passive aggressive behavior doesn’t change people.  When my passive aggressive behavior was out of control, relationships were harmed. This is actually a symptom of a need to control other people from a place of fear. Trust God to handle people and pray for them. As Sheila Walsh said in one of her books: The prayer might feel insincere at first, but eventually God will work on your heart and the prayers you say for them become authentic. These days I pray that God will change me even if the other person won’t change their behavior.
  • Set healthy boundaries on your friends and relationships. This is important. People can be great in face-to-face, but toxic online. Or maybe a lot of drama is happening in that person’s life and you need a break from it? First, “Unfollow” the friend. On Facebook, unfollowing isn’t unfriending. It keeps their feeds from showing up on your newsfeeds, but you still have access to their profiles so you can minister to them or be a friend. If the drama continues to impair your ability to be a friend, “unfriend” them only as a last resort. On Twitter and Google Plus it is less confrontational to unfollow or take them out of your circle. People take it too personally on Facebook. As this article states, many reasons exist for people unfriending others. Taking everything personally will make you a very lonely person.
  • Set up a Facebook group (set to secret) or Google Community (set to private) for people you trust so you can let them minster to you or you to them. A Calvary Church Facebook group has approximately 14,000 people on it and it is set to public. This means it is not an ideal place to share confidential prayer requests or problems. Setting up a group of your most trusted friends is a better idea. You are allowing people to share your burden without gossiping, being passive aggressive, or harming relationships.
Meanwhile, don’t be afraid of online community. It can be beneficial especially if you live in a place where you are having a difficult time connecting. Engage people. Talk to them about what they shared. Be a part of their lives as much as they are a part of your virtual life. You can’t live as if everyone will break your trust and heart. Trust God to make your heart whole again and live your life pouring into others lives even if they let you down.

He’s Not a Terrorist

Periscope is an application that works on Android or iphones. You download the app to your phone and create your profile. At anytime during the day, you can turn it on and connect to any country in the world. Personally, I love it. My friend from the United Kingdom is Bob. I have also enjoyed a conversation online with a Kurd from Iraq.

The Kurd knew some English. He was a Muslim. Because he was in Iraq, every other question on the chat was, “Are you a terrorist?”

We’ve got to come up with a better way of connecting cross-culturally other than asking someone who happens to live in the Middle East and who happens to be a Muslim, “Are you a terrorist?”

Periscope offers us an unlimited opportunity to go online and converse with people from other countries. Not all of them know English. If you want to get your teenagers or kids involved, and they are taking a second language in school, consider visiting a country that speaks that language so your child can practice her skills with someone from that country.

The joy of technology is how you can cross cultural lines with a simple app and be anywhere in the world. With that in mind, consider taking a missions course online or in person. I promise you, it is applicable in your communities and through your online relationships.