Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Working From Home: Adjustment

As I walked down the hallway to the kitchen this morning, I looked down at my bare feet. “When I am in full-time ministry,” I thought, “I wonder how often I’ll wear shoes?”

It’s a strange question. Dale Berning Sawa of The Guardian said in, Extreme loneliness or the perfect balance? How to work from home and stay healthy ,

“That often means getting the small things right, such as having a clearly defined workspace and a routine. Wahle starts work only once she has showered, got dressed and put her shoes on (curiously, she’s not the only remote worker who mentions the need for shoes). As she puts it: “How can you do planning applications, and still be in your pyjamas? It just doesn’t feel right.” (Emphasis mine)

Today was my day off from a 40-hour a week job. I wore jeans, a hoody, and still have yet to comb my hair. Short hair has an advantage. I can put a hat on. I live in the country where people put on their pajamas at 5 pm in the afternoon, door-to-door is taboo, and dressing up your jeans is considered semi-formal. But, walking barefoot reminded me that I need to be thinking of making adjustments to the days or hours I spend volunteering with WorldVenture (which is why Trello’s article on working from home is timely).

Trello wrote 7 Weird Ways to Stay Balanced When Working From Home. In this article, they outlined how to be a more productive person when working from home. I took this article and outlined what my work week might look like from this vantage point when I am in full-time ministry, starting now as a volunteer:

  • Get ready for work as if I was going to commute to an office. I don’t wear make-up these days unless I am speaking in front of a group or visiting a church. Mascara and eyeliner irritate my eyes. Lipstick wears off in ten minutes. Foundation doesn’t really cover up blemishes. Blush makes you look sunburned if done wrong. When I get ready for work, I plan on looking like I’m going to an office off-site. Video conferencing is a normal part of my activities so looking professional will still be important.
  • My hours won’t change in the mornings than what it is now. My morning routine will include coffee, prayer, reading the Bible, and casual and fun reading to relax the brain so it can work all day on creative projects. Writing will be included in my morning activities, maybe even by hand.
  • Going out in public. With no commute in my schedule, I can use that time to take a run or walk, but also I have arranged that I would take my office to a local coffee shop to spend a few hours working at least once per week. The only thing I can’t do remotely is video edit as that is on my desktop.
  • “Place things that need attention out of reach.” I once joked with Tony how I would love a coffee maker in my home office. I could work and refill my coffee without leaving my chair. Trello suggests we need to place these things out of reach. “Taking breaks is a key part of productivity, but it’s too easy to skip them when you’re alone. To avoid permanently bonding to your home office chair, try building regular “required” breaks into your environment.” Trello suggests leaving the phone in the other room so you have to get up every so often to answer it. Or, keeping snacks and drinks (like coffee) out of reach. At work, I would have to rise to refill my coffee. At home, I plan on doing the same thing.
  • Noise in the background makes you feel less lonely. I plan on building a good playlist of music, visit more often to refill the creativity, or have something playing in the background that brings noise and conversation into my quiet space.
  • Most importantly, Trello says, “Work like no one is watching.” Working from home means being diligent in making sure your work is no less than great, you must document you are working, and keep your shared calendar up to date so people are left with no doubt that you are working. Set goals each week to accomplish. You can also sing out loud in the office while you work and no one will hear you.

Yes, I will be wearing shoes when I am in full-time ministry. In the past, when I have worked on projects on the weekends after a full week of work elsewhere, I was more productive sitting in my office, fully dressed, hair combed, and spirit ready to face whatever may come of my day. But, today it’s okay to remain barefoot with hair like Einstein’s, uncombed.

Official Announcement About TRC Magazine

In accepting this new role with WorldVenture, came a request to make a step of faith. Since 2012, the ezine I created has run with continued success, changing its overall vision from merely talking to believers to global outreach, and teaching its volunteers to use Social Media, not just for marketing, but to converse with our global readers (i.e. Digital Discipleship).


Since 2012, we’ve enjoyed the following blessings:

  • A solid group of volunteers committed to the overall vision of digital discipleship.
  • We went from 200 readers a month to 1500 to 2000 readers a month.
  • Our Facebook page is nearing 500 likes. A like is like an investment of time from a reader and more valued than reactions.
  • My intern with WorldVenture was educated by my supporters through the MII University and came back with some great ideas of global outreach and expansion.

When I accepted my new role of Digital Engagement and Disciple-Making Coordinator, it came with a request to delete or transfer ownership of my two websites. As you know, Cataclysm Missions Intl was created as a pattern for WorldVenture. It is now gone. The LLC is being terminated via Incorp as we speak. But TRC Magazine was also on that list.

A step of faith and careful consideration of TRC Magazine’s future was required. But this was what God had planned all along. He had placed people in the magazine for such a time as this, and in His gentle way, He was asking me to trust Him with raising 100% funding.

No Plan B.

No foot on the other side of the fence.

Full obedience to this calling and trust that the funding will come.

Giving up TRC means giving it up forever. In obedience to His will, I have officially given ownership of TRC Magazine to my WorldVenture Intern, Ross Harris. Legally, he’ll be the owner in the first weeks of June when the website is transferred from me to him. He is also no longer my intern.

A meeting with the volunteers and Ross took place early Saturday morning via Zoom. The active portion of volunteers is 100% on board. Our wonderful editor, Laurin, an invaluable resource for grammar and punctuation, is also committed to serving under Ross. I am proud that I can be the founder of this ezine and look forward to watching what God does with it through Ross Harris.

Would you pray for him? 

Meanwhile, for me to help Worldventure, I need financial partners. Go here to learn more or to contact me. 

Meet TRC Magazine’s Intern!


TRC Magazine began in 2012 over a bowl of salsa and chips. Originally, it was created to give me a publishing option while I waited for traditional publishing to accept my submissions. Little did I know that God would have better ideas.

The magazine grew thanks to the enthusiasm and passion of our volunteers, but it didn’t happen without encountering obstacles, like issues of pride, lack of responsibility, and a difference of opinion on direction. Our founding editors were a blessing to our magazine. One left because his church was growing and he had to focus on this. When you manage and lead a group of volunteers, you must understand volunteers are always temporary. Life happens and people move forward.  They are gifting you with their time. God brings them where He needs them to serve. When that is done, they move on.

Our original founding editor remains today. I am grateful for her guidance and assistance. She is not in an editor position, but now serving as part of the management team, writing when she has the time or jumping in to save the day. It has also been nice to see how WorldVenture has accepted this ezine as one of my responsibilities. The vision of TRC Magazine is changing though, and I am very excited about its future.

It is about:

  • Mentoring a new generation of writers and leaders.
  • Partnering with the church through internships via WorldVenture.
  • Becoming a voice for the voiceless and picking up stories from people who aren’t writers or stories that larger publications won’t publish.
  • Engaging our readership rather than just preaching. We are training our volunteers and interns to engage. In some ways, publishing articles online are just that–preaching. No different than showing up at church on Sunday and sitting quietly to listen. We want to be different and make a difference.
  • Working to change church culture. Sharing the Gospel doesn’t just happen in the face-to-face world. It happens in the online community all the time. If the church would embrace this, imagine how much faster we could share the Gospel worldwide?

Because of this, TRC Magazine will become an LLC. The operating agreement will be written up to include the possibility of a board. A new volunteer/intern handbook will be written to make things clearer. In the beginning of the magazine’s publication, we needed better communication. This is what I have learned since publishing in 2012:

  • Having clearly written guidelines is important. This brings less confusion.
  • Empowering writers, but not enabling them, keeps the work running smoothly. Occasionally stepping in to assist a writer does happen, but more often than not, I try to encourage independent thinking and work.
  • Keeping deadlines is important. You can tell a reliable worker from their posts on social media. Prioritizing the work you need to do and meeting deadlines are a constant challenge with writers who work day jobs, serve in ministry, and yet want to make a difference online.
  • Wording communications in ways that encourage the writer into a leader or the leader into producing great work.
  • Giving people a voice to share their story is important even if the writing is terrible and needs re-working.
  • A difference exists between blogging and article writing. This has always been a tricky line to keep.

TRC Magazine introduced internships to partner with churches worldwide to broadcast what God is doing in the world. Our first internship is working out beautifully. Meet Ross Harris here and listen to his Facebook live devotional here. Goals for him will include:

  • Social media training.
  • cross-cultural training.

Will you pray for our volunteers and interns? 

Writing For Business Vs. Writing as Mission

Writers work hard to keep their author contracts, sell books, and build their online platform to compete with each other. The difference between a writer who is writing for business and a writer who is writing as mission is vast.

The writer living on support is writing for a different purpose. They are using their writing to bring the Gospel to the farthest reaches of the world. Some writers who are missionaries are using their craft to share stories about the mission field. A writer writing for business is going to go after stories bigger publications will publish. Most stories from the field bigger publications will ignore.

  • An unknown name won’t bring more readers.
  • The story may not interest a large portion of their readers.
  • They may not know how to sensitively write the story so as not to undermine what is happening in that area of the world.

The writer living on support doesn’t have to follow a marketing plan, but they still have to do some marketing. The writer on support shares that in common with the writer doing business. So, the next time you meet a writer living on support to share the Gospel and what is happening in the field, consider supporting them. Don’t feel competitive or put off because you are a writer, too; instead understand how their field is different than your field.

Do you have any objections to a writer living on support versus writing as business?

TRC Magazine Editing Frenzy


I’ve spent all weekend keeping appointments and editing TRC Magazine. It’s 8:20 p.m. on a Sunday night and I finally logged out of TRC Magazine.

This is a ministry that I started before I become a missionary with WorldVenture. I contacted a few friends in 2012 and we met in Anthem over salsa and chips to discuss the future TRC Magazine ezine. It’s 2016, and we’ve been through a few editors and writers since its inception.

Volunteers are like that. They are not paid staff, but people who are serving online from all over the world. What I offer our volunteers is access to our social media and cross-networking in exchange for their work as a writer and ministry leader. They come from all walks of life and are amazing people.

We publish another edition tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. MST. I still feel as if I forgot something even after I log out, but that’s me. I’ve spent so long on a work that finally being done is difficult to accept. I’ve been so busy getting this done that I’ve neglected this site.

Another week playing catch up again, but that’s what it means to be a missionary appointee still in support raising mode with active ministry and a full time job. I will have weeks where I am on time and weeks where I am behind, like this week. The most important thing got done though.

Meanwhile, I’ll be back to blogging this week, but not tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Books as Tent Making

In my “spare time,” I will be writing a book again. The initial idea received some good, constructive feedback from various people that will help guide me as I plan the chapters.

The book will answer the question: “Where can I get one-stop shop resources to learn how to intentionally use social media for the Gospel?” Or, at least, that’s the rough idea.

You can get resources that are technical, experiential, marketing tips, and personal opinion how to use social media as a church or business, but I find it requires me to view that information through the lens of the Gospel and rewrite it so people can see its usefulness as a missions or evangelism tool (or I have to go to different websites to get this information for translation). 

The book will probably be self-published as a tent-making way to make a little extra on the side to fund expenses as I raise 100% support and yet help churches and individuals engage with the synced culture (heard a pastor use this word so I adopted it) in meaningful ways.

It’s been two years since I attempted a book. Before this project, I finished two (unpublished) fiction pieces. Those may still be sent in after substantial editing after this book is finished, especially the first novel. It received a partial manuscript request in 2012 from an agent at my first writers conference in Denver, Colorado.

Writing will remain secondary to what I do with WorldVenture. It is yet another tool in my belt to reach the UN’s. Meanwhile, pray the Holy Spirit prepares the hearts of those I meet to build up my support as a Social Media Missionary.

Your support helps me help others realize their potential in how they use their social media and technology to reach people around them in the marketplace, neighborhoods, and families.

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.

FAQs: Why Do I Have So Many Websites?




In late 2011, I finished my first fiction fantasy novel and had plans to attend the Christian Writer’s Guild, “Writing For The Soul,” event in Denver, Colorado in 2012. I was excited and nervous to pitch my idea to an editor and agent. Like any new writer, I felt like this was it.

I worked so hard to build my online platform. I visited blogs. I built my own website using Homestead (my first company). I had a blog on WordPress where I had published interviews and book reviews. Writing is a small community, and God connected me with some great new friends. I had been online since 2006. My publishing list was a long one–a lifelong desire that started when I was a teenager. But reality hits every new writer.

Some truths I learned were…

Traditional publishing is hard.

Independent publishing (or self-publishing) is just as hard and more expensive.

While an agent asked for a partial manuscript in 2012 (the closest I had ever gotten to traditional publishing), it was later rejected because fantasy fiction in the Christian market was hard to sell. I continued writing more novels, and a strange restlessness began to seep into soul.

If I got a novel published, name on the cover, what then? So what? What was I going to do in between writing and publishing? What matters most to God? My name on the cover? Or the words and actions in between?

TRC Magazine began in 2012 (published in 2013). God had so many stories in the world that I wanted to give a place where people could share them. As a writer sending to big magazine conglomerates, it was discouraging to not get through the front door. Mainly, the people who got through the door were people with larger online platforms that could bring in new readers to these magazines. I wasn’t jealous. It takes a lot of work to get where they were, and I was happy for people who get that far in their life. They’ve earned it. God took my dream of writing and changed it. TRC Magazine became a place to be a megaphone for stories from anyone who wanted to tell it. If they couldn’t write, we help them. That wasn’t enough after a while. I was restless again.

We live in an economically hard area. I started a new business of Social Media Consulting as a ministry to help struggling writers and others get help with their marketing that would be within their budget and teach them to be independent. I was still sending in manuscripts and short stories, but I started to see the cutthroat side of Christian book reviewing. I didn’t like what I saw or how Christians online were mean to each other, or on their own agenda. Aesthetically, we weren’t cohesive, working towards the united goal of the Great Commission.

That’s where WorldVenture and Cataclysm Missions Intl LLC came in. I became a Social Media Missionary with WorldVenture and started Cataclysm Missions Intl LLC (CMI).

Why reinvent the wheel when other online cybermission organizations were doing a great job for the Great Commission? The problem was in how to bring them all together in one place so the pulpit becomes aware of online missions work. How do we also inspire people to join CMI or other cybermissions organizations if they couldn’t serve a traditional missionary organization? How do we educate and equip regular Christians who just want to go to church on Sunday to use their one social media well? How do we change Christian culture in how they react to things online?

The goal of Cataclysm Missions Intl LLC is to bring people from online into a fellowship of faith and the people in the pews to online in order to reach a hurting and lost world. How do we get Christians excited for what God is doing through technology?

I run so many websites so the current volunteers at TRC Magazine and CMI do not have to run a website. I take away the barrier of marketing, maintenance, and cost so God can use our volunteers through our different brands to reach this world. We are showing symbolically that, though we are different, we can work together with a single purpose. It’s been a struggle to bear the yearly costs of running three websites, but God is a generous God. He is the God of the impossible. On a church secretary’s salary, He has made all things possible. His example of generosity has led me to trust Him for all future things.

So pray for me as I continue to run these sites. Pray we can begin to engage, not just share things.