Not a Happy Ending For The Donkey

Like with election time, a pandemic, as it turns out, creates even more division and negativity. A post in a local Facebook Group reminds me of Aesop’s Fable, The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey.

If you don’t recall how the fable went, click here to read or hear it. In short, a man and his boy made their way to town on a donkey. At every turn, someone had an opinion on their mode of transportation. The boy shouldn’t be riding the donkey, the man shouldn’t be riding the donkey, nobody should ride the donkey, and towards the end, both the boy and the man carried the donkey tied to poles until the donkey panicked, got loose, fell over a bridge and drowned.

Not a happy ending for the donkey.

The moral of the story was: Please all and you will please none.

In looking through the Bible, I can’t seem to find verses that support social shaming, but these days I resonate with this story because so much of social media is filled with people policing other people, social shaming, and judging. In the wake of this, is hopelessness, fear, anxiety, and anger. If anything comes from this pandemic, let it be a new normal in line with the Bible. Let Philippians 4:4-9 guide and permeate our hearts through this pandemic:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

People need hope. They need encouragement. As a practicing Christian, I don’t think the donkey should drown because of my decisions being heavily influenced by society. It’s been a tough week watching people grieve, get angry, point fingers, and yet, change is usually messy and painful.

John 15:1-2 says,

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

When we come out the other end, I hope this new normal is a new church still interested in using whatever tools are necessary to reach the lost, the hopeless, the unchurched, and the unreached with the Gospel, including social media and Virtual Reality. I hope the Lord uses this time to create a new heart in each of us.

Telling Stories at Your Church

Churches and missionaries share something in common: Both depend upon donations to continue. Missionaries write support letters to report back what God is doing in the field to those who have invested in them. Churches and their ministries need to emulate this.

Gather the facts and interview the people affected by your ministry.

  • How did their lives change?
  • How did it change their thought process?
  • Change their names to protect their identity or use their real names.
  • Take pictures.

You can video this or write it. A video can be shared during service and posted on a website. Please make sure you get written permission or a media release from the person interviewed.

If you video, don’t do the dreaded white wall.

  • Choose a natural setting.
  • Don’t interview with questions. Give them a question ahead of time and tell them to tell you a story.
  • Switch action scenes with person talking to give variation. Do voice over for action scenes.
  • Use music softly in the background, if it doesn’t distract.

A missionary knows people will not give to their ministries without first knowing what is happening. The same goes for the church. If you manage a ministry at a church, see if your church will give your ministry a platform to tell the stories happening in your ministry. Your efforts will help your church grow, encourage generous stewardship, and inspire volunteerism.

What stops you from telling those stories?


Hitting a Brick Wall? Check Your Motivation


Vines creeping over stone walls are romantic. They bring to mind coveted gardens, secret whispers among friends, and blooms of bright colors to ward off a gloomy day. It is a place you want to sit–for hours! The kind of brick wall I am talking about though is only nice on the outside, and I was thinking about the kind of walls we get used to banging our head against.

Ministry work can become stale. Sitting by the brick wall and doing the same thing, the same method, over and over again, makes us feel useful, but are we really making progress?

John 2:25 says, “and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” As I did some necessary work, my mind wandered to how Jesus knows our hearts better than we know our own. Intentions are good or not. Maybe we don’t even realize our intentions?

Instead of embracing a different way of doing things, we keep knocking against a brick wall. And as I folded paper, I thought, “A brick wall doesn’t yield anything. It doesn’t let you in.” 

Not without trust, I thought. A community online or face-to-face has to trust you before you can speak into that community; before they will let you be their friend or open the gate built into the wall. What works overseas will work here, too. It’s not about breaking and entering, but creating a bond.

The kind of walls that are prettiest are the ones with gates. Behind that gate is a new friend. She has the coffee in the carafe with a plate of cookies, and nothing is so pressing that we can’t sit together for a little bit and talk about life.

Maybe over time, she and I can talk about Jesus and her relationship with Him. Until then, I am thankful she opens the gate and lets me in once in while.

Meanwhile, enjoy this article from Indigitious…
I browse Facebook everyday. Recently I noticed one of my friends, Annie, a non-Christian from another country, was posting frequently about her trips to other places. Looking through the pictures, I felt like she just wasn’t happy, so I messaged her and asked how she was doing. Annie said when she read my message, she burst into tears because she felt so cared for. She was amazed I could see her unhappiness, and confessed she was facing some challenges in her marriage. We agreed to talk via FaceTime. I was able to share a biblical view of marriage, give her some tips on how to communicate with her husband, and pray with her. READ MORE

Update on Solid Rock Christian Fellowship Blog Project…

Last year, as a first church project as an appointee with WorldVenture, I collaborated with Solid Rock Christian Fellowship (SRCF) and Christian Academy of Prescott (CAP) to create a multi-author blog. It went live on December 1, 2015 with good responses.

The project leader, Jodi, needs fresh posts. On top of reviewing books and movies, she needs writers who now attend or used to attend SRCF or CAP to consider the following:

  • Review books. The library gets free books from publishers that are hot off the press for blogging about the books. This means that the library can obtain new books without it costing the church or school anything. The catch to this is: We need people to read them and review them. 
  • Did you like the sermon? Consider submitting, as an infrequent writer, a devotional based on what you learned from the sermon. We will add to your post what books people can check out to go deeper into the subject as well as encourage them to pick up CD copies or click on the video link to listen in.
  • Review movies. Christian movies get a lot of criticism from both the secular and Christian crowd. Consider checking out a movie at the Media Center and reviewing it. Make it personal.
  • Interviews. If you liked a book the library has, consider interviewing the author via email. We welcome interviews on the site.
  • What about that wonderful Sunday School video? If you are videoing your Sunday School teachings, consider writing about what you are learning in Sunday School and recommend some books from the Media Center for people to go deeper into that study. In fact, I can help you set up a system where your Sunday School can take turns writing, while one or two people have access to uploading posts. This way, your Sunday School is represented to the community online as one group. We have a ministry already setting up to do this on the blog, and it’s less time consuming for people.
  • Create a Team of Writers: Why not help a home bound person review a book or movie by being their hands and feet and posting for them?

The library seeks to use its blogging ministry to enhance and help grow the current ministries at CAP and SRCF through movies and good literature. To become a regular writer, contact Jodi at Regular writers need to attend one writers class and one wordpress user class. This can be arranged on your time.

Feel free to comment with questions and let me help you think creatively on what your posts could look like and how to save time while serving our community and our ministries via online journaling.

Devotional: Telling Stories to Not Forget @BibleGateway

Reading: NIV Stewardship Study Bible

Devotional: Living Generously, Day 2

Reading: Exodus 13:1-16


In this passage, it struck me how often the Lord commanded Moses to remind the next generations what the Lord did in Egypt. Social media and mobile technology allows us to tell stories from the Bible and the great things the Lord is doing in your life and mine.

Learn how to tell stories.