A few thoughts about Facebook...

Wanted to share a few random thoughts about Facebook.

I just have to say this....I have an increasing sense of respect for those that are among older generations that are adjusting so well to the social media developments. I continue to marvel at the flexibility and willingness of our elders and how they are learning totally new things every day in order to stay relevant and connected. I long to be like that one day. Thank you! Thank you for caring about people enough to meet them where they are and build bridges into their lives...into my life! I honor you!
While on the topic...
  • Some of you have asked if we will be blogging and facebooking in South Africa. The answer is YES! Less. But, yes. The connection is not as good and the cost is not as low. But, we will do what we can.
  • Speaking of which, if we are not "friends" on Facebook yet, please add me. I am looking to keep growing my connections especially before we leave the USA. Find me by clicking HERE!
  • Also, if you have not "liked" our missions fan page, please click here and be a part. Share it with and suggest it to others too, if you don't mind.

I've tried that already!

I can recall countless times where I tried to encourage people to take a faith-filled step for God, to only hear excuses. People WANT results, but they won't keep trying to do what it takes to get those results. They give up too early and too easy.

Something really impacted me in Luke 5:5 this weekend. After fishing all night, the Disciples had caught nothing. They sailed in and started cleaning their nets. They were discouraged, I'm sure. Then, Jesus shows up and gets in their boat and orders them to put out into the water (first into shallow water where he kept teaching the crowd). THEN, he tells Simon to put out into deep water and let down his net. Simon's response was profound! He said...
"Master, we've worked hard all night and have not caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets!" Luke 5:5
I've tried to call them already. I've reached out to her before. I've done that 20 times. I tried that. I did that. It never worked. I am not doing that again. I know more about this than you do. These sound like the more popular responses I hear. Simon knew something powerful. He knew that when GOD SAYS IT, it is a whole new ball game. What you've already tried is out the window, God is on the scene. And HE makes all things new.
Remember, Acts 1:7 tells us that timing is not our business, it's God's. So, he may know just the right moment to make the move.
So, I challenge you to listen to the Lord. If you are not hearing his voice in prayer, through the spirit or through others, then pick up the Bible. He has 66 books worth of stuff to say to you.
This may not make sense, but, because YOU said so....I'll do it!

Random Updates About Anything

Here are a few things on my mind...a few things that I want to share with you this morning:

  • This last trip we just returned from was blessed of God in many ways! Click HERE to read about where we went and why.
  • I have been missing my blog! It has just been nearly impossible to blog often with being on the road this much. There are many things that I can do from my iPhone, but blogging is not something I do on the run. Will be back at it soon, I hope. I have a LIST of things I wish to share.
  • Another reason for the decrease in blogs is that I am doing more offline writing these days.
  • In about an hour, I head to Lancaster for a morning meeting with other leaders that have a heart for creative church planting approaches. I want to spend 5 hours in the car today like I want a hole in my head...but I believe the sacrifice is worth the return.
  • We are working as hard as we know how at raising our budget for missions. At the same time, we are realizing more everyday that we are not really doing it....GOD IS!! Every percentage we increase, we feel his hand on our shoulder more, reminding us that He is with us.
  • We are living at Ruth Yoder's until early this coming week when we move back to the O'Grady's...where we will live from now until we leave! It looks like this is our last "move" until we leave for Africa.
  • Do we have a departure date? Yes. January 12th!
  • I really miss my friends at CCF! Some days I just want to pick up the phone and call people like I'm still their Pastor....but I know I need to let go for now. It is hard. If you are reading this, know that I think of you often and love you!
  • I'm excited to preach and share our vision at New Life Mennonite Church in Ellicott City tomorrow morning. We are preaching somewhere different almost every Sunday between now and when we leave. I will post our schedule soon.

That's enough for now.

Be back soon.
Full of Thanksgiving,

Fundraising Update; It's Climbing!!

The countdown to Cape Town is on. We are now only about 60 days away from departing. The clock is ticking, but the Lord is moving.
I will be honest, I feel like we are in the middle of a miracle. I really do. IF we raise this budget by the end of the year, the LORD will have done it in just about 4 months!!
When I last updated you 3 weeks ago, we were at 30%. Today, we are at 50% and climbing!!
This 50% does not include about 6 churches that we will be relating closely to and speaking at over the next month or other individuals that have verbally committed, but not sent their pledge forms in! So...we are full of hope that this next 20%-30% is just around the corner.
Now, what about YOU?? Can YOU help us? Can you partner with us in any of the 3 ways below?
  1. We need prayer! Will you pray for us?
  2. We are looking for financial supporters! Can you support us with a monthly pledge (or a one time gift)? Monthly pledges that spread over two years really help the percentage increase rapidly. (A $500 one time gift may seem huge, and it is! But a $50 a month commitment over two years is $1,200 toward our budget!)
  3. Do you know people, churches or organizations that we might be able to connect with as supporters?
If you are willing to do any of the three things above, would you please email me at noah.ccf@gmail.com as soon as possible (or message me on FB, leave a comment, text me, call me, whatever)? We would really be encouraged to hear from you.
Please join us and be a part of seeing a miracle. We really feel that the Lord is moving in a miraculous way!
Noah, Tricia and Davis
PS- Below is info for giving online:
If you or anyone you know is interested in investing in our family's call into missions, you can do so ONLINE in the following way:
  2. Then, simply type in the amount, designate it for "Noah and Tricia Kaye's Support" and follow the secure process.
  3. That's it!
If you wish to set up monthly or quarterly contributions, just CLICK HERE, fill out the form and follow the instructions.

Is deliverance really that easy?

Here is something that I am struggling with today. I'm gonna be pretty raw here. Last night, we attended a church in the Orlando area. I posted that I was there on FB, but let me leave the name out of it for the sake of this post. This is not really about this church per se. What I am writing about is happening all over the place.

During the service last evening, after some incredible worship time, the Lead Pastor called for everyone with an addiction to come forward...any form of addiction. Then, for the next 30 minutes or so, he walked from one side of the altar to the other "healing" people from addiction. When he would lay his hands on them, most people would visibly respond. Most would cry, many shook, many fell slain in the spirit (but would be back up within 5-10 seconds) and others just stood there. Then, toward the end of the night, the Pastor announced that "62 people had been delivered or healed from addiction" during the service.
So, since last night I have been wrestling with a few questions:
  • Is deliverance really that easy?
  • Is that all there is to it?
  • Why would God only give so few people this incredible ability...to heal people of a life of addiction just by simply making contact with their forehead for 3 seconds?
  • Or is there more?
  • Is this really deliverance? Is this really healing?
  • How come as a Pastor, I have had to spend YEARS walking with people toward wholeness and healing, but guys like this can heal people in seconds?
  • And how many of the 62 people who were "healed" last night are living that healing today? Are any of them hurt or disillusioned because they had already "messed up their healing" by morning?
Let me end with this:
  1. I believe with ALL MY HEART that the Lord can heal and deliver anyone with the touch of his finger and in an INSTANT!!! Our God is an all-powerful healing God!
  2. I simultaneously believe that it is the RARE way, not the common way. MOST of the time, I believe that the Lord invites our healing through a journey called Discipleship. A journey where with walk with the spirit of God, the people of God and the Word of God to a place of healing. And it takes time.
What are your thoughts? I am sure this post will get somebody going! What you got?

Preaching in Orlando

We are getting very excited to preach in Orlando this coming week. We will be preaching and sharing our vision for South Africa at Celebration of Praise in Clermont, FL (near Orlando) this coming Wednesday evening at 7pm.

The church is located at 3700 S. Hwy 27, Clermont, FL.
This is the home church of Tricia's Uncle Jimmy and Cousin, Diane Pagan. We are so honored for this opportunity to speak and for the prospect of Celebration of Praise becoming a supporting church. We are thankful for Pastor Chris Dutruch opening the doors to us. We welcome your prayers and if you live in the area, we would LOVE to see you this Wednesday evening.
(We are preaching many other times between now and when we depart. We will publicize info as the dates approach.)

Permission to Speak Freely

Just finished a powerful book by Anne Jackson entitled "Permission to Speak Freely; Essays and Art on Fear, Confession and Grace". In it, Jackson faces issues head on. She works on the issue of why it is so difficult to be honest in the church. Deep stuff.

She shares about the sexual experience that she had with a Youth Pastor when she was 16 and how that has impacted her life. And she shares openly about her own struggle (to this day) with pornography. She approaches topics openly and candidly. The book is powerful. It is especially powerful for those struggling with secrets, shame, confession and really feeling unsure of what to do with it all.
Jackson sums it up best at the end of the book when she affirms readers while describing this book: "You've challenged yourself to think outside chapters that seamlessly flow in and out of each other and instead jumped into a messy combination of art and story and Scripture."

Success is not the Goal!

Some of you will find this line of thinking weird, but I'm sure it won't be the first time you heard me share something weird.

I know we all long to be successful and need to feel significant. However, the idea of "looking for or aiming for success" seems to bother me a bit. I am not seeing a Biblical call for that to be our goal. And I'm just questioning whether it is a God-honoring goal.
As a follower of Jesus, I think that my goal needs to be obedience. And faithfulness. Not success. Instead of aiming for success, I think we need to be aiming for faithfulness and obedience. Leave the success part to God. How would you define success anyway? According to your parents desires for you? According to your boss? According to the world? Everyone has a different idea of what success is. And as soon as you start trying to define it and aim for it, it changes.
Luke 6:26 in the MSG says "There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular."

So, here is what I am thinking: Aim for faithfulness. Aim for obedience to the Lord and His Word. Leave the success part to God.
The ultimate goal of a Christ follower should be to hear "well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:23), not "you were successful"!
A true call to discipleship takes us out of the light and brings Jesus into it.

Donating to our Mission Online

As many of you know, we are in the process of trying to raise our budget to go to South Africa into missions for the next two years. We still have a ways to go! You can read more about our progress by CLICKING HERE!

Our treasurer is out of the country, so we will not have an updated percentage for a few more weeks, but we are encouraged with the commitments and gifts coming in each day.
If you or anyone you know is interested in investing in our family's call into missions, you can do so ONLINE in the following way:
  2. Then, simply type in the amount, designate it for "Noah and Tricia Kaye's Support" and follow the secure process.
  3. That's it!
If you wish to set up monthly or quarterly contributions, just CLICK HERE, fill out the form and follow the instructions.
Let us know if you have any questions! We so appreciate you so very much!

Everyday Absurdities

I love to read. But, I read a lot of serious books about faith, life and ministry. Every 10th book or so, I try to throw in a funny one. One that makes me laugh at life some.

I just finished this book entitled "Everyday Absurdities; Insights from the World's Most Trivial Man" by Tyler Stanton. Hi-larious!
If you want a good laugh about random things that we all experience, grab this little book and enjoy. It points out the obvious about everything from reality TV to annoying servers to texting rudeness to public pools to public restrooms to awkward silence. Topics include communication, eating, travel, men, shopping, entertainment and "DBTG" (don't be that guy)!
Here are a few examples of what it's like:
  • Shopping Cart Selection: My chances of getting a functional shopping cart are even less than the chances of me being a professional baseball player. Does the perfect cart even exist, or do they manufacture them with squeaks and hard pulls to the right?
  • Ply: Hey Charmin, we're fine with two ply. I'm not sure who told you we needed more, but that person cannot be trusted. Instead of progressively adding more and more ply (to the point that we will be wiping with a beach towel), why don't you concentrate your efforts on something more practical, like, I don't know, massaging toilet paper of toilet paper with apps?
  • I'm Just Sayin': This is a distant cousin of "bless her heart". I believe the thought process is this: As long as I slap this phrase on at the end, I can say whatever brutally honest and cutting statement I want without any repercussions. Well let me set the record straight. YOU just said it, and I'M still bothered. I'm just sayin'!

Saying Goodbye to our "Grandparents"

Sometimes it feels like my family tree is a Bonsai. It's just small. Barely a tree!

Here are a few interesting facts:
  • First of all, the extent of family I have on my Dad's side is my Dad! That's it. No more (that we know of or connect to in any way).
  • My parents are both only children. Hence, I have no Aunts, no Uncles and no Cousins.
  • All four of my Grandparents have passed away. Tricia's too.
  • So, the only extended family I have are Great Aunts, Great Uncles, Second Cousins, etc.
  • Of that extended family (on Mom's side only, of course), we see most of them rarely if ever and barely have any relationship at all (with very few exceptions).

All that to say, we have a very small "family" making us all the more thankful for who we do have.

We spent this weekend in Ellerslie/Columbus, GA visiting with my Great Aunt & Great Uncle (Gordon and Elsie) and Second Cousins (Monty and Bruce) and their families. The time with them was precious.
But, last night we had an emotional goodbye...
You see, for the last 15 years, I have held Gordon and Elsie as my Grandparents on this earth (Gordon was my Popa's brother). And over the last 10 years, Tricia has begun to do the same. They mean so much to us. I think this is our 8th trip here in 10 years. We have just prioritized knowing what little family I have. It's one of our last connections to my heritage.
Speaking of heritage-- we named Davis (our son) after this side of the family...after these folks here in GA that we love. Davis is my Mom's maiden name.
Gordon and Elsie are both just shy of 80 years old and both are failing in health. There were days that we wondered if we'd make it down to see them before they met Jesus. We did! And we are thankful for it.
When we said goodbye last night, it was hard! We were saying goodbye to our "Grandparents"! We know that their is a strong possibility that we will not be back to see them until 2013 or later. And by then, one or both may be with the Lord. They know that. We know that. We talked about it. We cried. But, I told them everything I felt, how much I love them, what they have meant to me! We WILL see them again one day...for sure!! It just may not be on this earth.
This is all a part of finishing well to head overseas in response to God's call. Not easy, but the Lord gives extra grace for this and we are thankful.
Here is Gordon & Elsie this weekend. And one of Elsie & Davis. Priceless Moments.

What is Honor?

Honor. I really want to understand it more. Craig Groeschel shared some really profound thoughts about honor at the Catalyst Conference earlier this month. Here were some of his thoughts, mixed with some of mine.

We have an honor problem. Ours seems be a culture of decreasing honor.

We lack rightful honor for our leaders and parents and it's probably because we lack honor for God.

Honor publicly leads to influence privately. When you honor your leader publicly, there is a better chance they will let you influence them privately.

Honor values. Dishonor devalues. Honor thinks the best. Dishonor thinks the worst. Honor lifts up. Dishonor tears down.

If you honor the leader or husband or parent or whoever, they will often and likely rise into that level of honor and anointing.

Respect is earned, but honor is given!! Don't get the two twisted.

Exodus 20:12 says "Honor your Father and Mother and you will live long in the Lord your God is giving you." I think that this applies not only to parents, but to other leaders in our lives as well. Notice this: It does not say, "honor them if they deserve it" or "honor them if they have been nice to you"! No. It says honor them. Period. I fundamentally believe that you can extend honor whether you agree with them and appreciate their behavior or not.

God, help us to learn honor in new ways!

What is your definition of honor? And how have you best learned to show honor?

*I took this picture today at an Infantry Museum we visited here in Columbus, GA.

Stop Lying to Your Kids!

Parenting is really hard. Tricia and I are just shy of four years into this whole parenting thing and we have so far to go and so much to learn still.

I recently heard this quote: "We used to have answers; now we have kids!" (so true)
I say this to say that I am no parenting guru, but there are some things that we are learning. Here is one that Tricia and I keep working on...
I think that many parents are liars! And this concerns me.
How many time have you heard statements like:
  • If you do that one more time, I'm gonna ___________!
  • If I have to ask you to do that again, you will be _______________!
  • Stop it before I __________________!
  • If you say that again you are going to get ____________!
Then, oftentimes, after all these comments and statements (promises), they never act. The spanking never happens. The time out never happens. Nothing happens. They promise something and do not do it. They say something and do not mean it. I don't care how you slice it, that is lying. Parents need to let their yes be yes and their no be no.
If your mouth and your actions do not line up, there is an inconsistency issue in your parenting and maybe an integrity issue too. Listen, if you train your kids that you do not mean what you say while they are young, then they will conclude that you do not mean what you say later either. When it comes time for them to choose Jesus or not, they may or may not believe what you have to say about him.
Don't lie to your kids. If you say it, do it! If you are not going to do it, don't say it!

Maximizing Our Trip. Meeting Up With You.

On Thursday morning, our family leaves on a 3 week trip into the southern U.S. We will be visiting family & friends, bidding them farewell and connecting with various people and churches about our vision. Fundraising is a big part of this trip.

I wanted to post our itinerary just in case you may be near one of our destinations and want to meet up. We are looking for people, leaders, churches, and companies that may want to establish relationship with us and the mission to which God has called us.
Here's where we will be:
  • October 29- November 1: Columbus, GA area
  • November 2- 5: Bay St. Louis, MS
  • November 6- 10: Orlando, FL
  • November 11- 15: Miami, FL
  • November 16-18: Charleston, SC
If you are near any of these areas and want to link up, please contact me! I can be reached at noah.ccf@gmail.com. We would love to work something out with you or your church if we can. We are looking to maximize this trip!
Bless you!

The Path Through Fear

Fear impacts so many of our lives in so many ways. Last week I had lunch with a leader and he shared something powerful that I am stealing and tweaking here. He knows, though, but since he stole it, I can't give him credit either. ;-)

The best response to fear (other than prayer) is vigilance!

Vigilant literally means to be watchful. Vigilance is the middle or safe road when you are facing fear. It is the center of the path through fear.

But, there are two ditches on the sides of this path:

1. Naiveté. You veer into a ditch on one side of the road if you act like there is no problem or bury your head in the sand. Some call this avoidance.

2. Hyper-vigilance. This is when you are so focused on the issue that you overcompensate. It's when you act in emotional extremes to try to fix or remove the issue creating the fear. All this does is create more problems that will later lead you back to fear again!

Instead, be vigilant. Be watchful. Do not fixate on the object of your fear. That will not take you anywhere either. Instead, be wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove.

Naiveté is the ditch on the right. Hyper-vigilance is the ditch on the left. Stay the course straight through your fears by remaining vigilant, calm and wise.

"Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear, for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you." Isaiah 41:10 MSG

Countdown to Cape Town (Finance Edition)

The countdown to Cape Town is on. We are only about 75 days away from departing. But, before we can go anywhere, we have a budget to finish raising.
I plan to share an update on this blog every 1-2 weeks so you know where we are in our fundraising process.
There is a lot that I could share with you about what we have done so far and what our strategies are for the future, but I will spare you all the details and make this quick and to the point.
As of tonight, we are at 30% of the pledges and commitments that we need to depart in January.
This is good news and challenging news.
The good news is...
  • We are only about 2 months into the fundraising process! And this 30% was reached with a rather small list of donors (so far)!
  • More good news is that I was a Pastor until 4 days ago and am only NOW free to begin traveling around, meeting with folks, speaking at churches, etc. So, in many ways it is amazing that we are at 30% having done so little of that up to this point.
  • It is also good news that this 30% includes only ONE church/organizational commitment. This is all individuals who have made one time gifts or monthly pledges. That is good news because as we hear back from churches (we are in strategic conversation with about 15 churches) and travel around sharing, we hope to see churches commit and this number really jump.
The challenging news is more obvious...
  • We have a long way to go!!
  • And we do not have a lot of time left!!
Can YOU help us? Can you partner with us in any of the 3 ways below?
  1. We need prayer! Will you pray for us?
  2. We are looking for financial supporters! Can you support us with a monthly pledge (or a one time gift)? Monthly pledges that spread over two years really help the percentage increase rapidly. (A $500 one time gift may seem huge, and it is! But a $50 a month commitment over two years is $1,200 toward our budget!)
  3. Do you know people, churches or organizations that we might be able to connect with as supporters?
If you are willing to do any of the three things above, would you please email me at noah.ccf@gmail.com as soon as possible (or message me on FB, leave a comment, text me, call me, whatever)? We would really be encouraged to hear from YOU in the next few days.
I assure you that the Lord is in this calling and that you will truly enjoy watching your investment pay off in the next few years!
Thank you for helping us follow God!
Noah, Tricia and Davis
PS- If you wish to know more about our vision (material or a meeting/conversation), please let us know. We would be honored to provide you with anything you need or to meet with you.

Valley Forge, Dear Valley Forge

Today, Tricia and I will spend the day at Valley Forge, Christian College (VFCC) in Phoenixville, PA. Our hearts are both so thankful for this college and its impact on our lives. It is actually quite hard to even put it into words.

It was our first "home" away from home. It's where we learned so much and grew so profoundly. This college is the place where the Lord took my relationship with him to new heights and developed my leadership heart and abilities like never before.
Perhaps most dear to me about VFCC is this: Tricia! God brought me north and Tricia south so he could bring us together! VFCC is where our love story began. And, oh how thankful I am for her!
Looking forward to standing proud when they sing that (cheesy) VFCC theme song today...
(start the music)
"Valley Forge, Dear Valley Forge, of your name we sing. May we ever boldly represent your King!" ;-)
PS- Thank you Mom and Dad for supporting me through college and for PAYING FOR IT!!! Unbelievable gift. Still marvel at it.

Become an Integer

Integrity. There are many definitions floating around out there. Here is the one that has been speaking to me recently.

The base word for integrity is integer. The definition of integer is simply this: A whole number. Something that is not a fraction. Complete in itself.
So, it hit me. If you are fractured, you are a fraction. If you are a fraction, you are not whole and people are only getting a portion of you. God wants you to be whole. And so do your family and friends. What does this look like?
There is ONE YOU! You are whole. An integer. That gives you integrity.
As a result, there cannot be:
  • The you at work.
  • The you at church.
  • The you on the stage.
  • The you with your kids.
  • The you with your spouse when people are around.
  • The you with your spouse when you are alone.
  • The you with your parents.
  • The you with your High School friends.
  • The you with your College friends.
  • The you out with the guys.
  • The you out with the girls.
The more "yous" there are, the less people trust you, because they are never sure who they are about to get.
You want more integrity? Become an integer. Be whole. Jesus died to make you whole!