20 Lessons from 2011

For the last few weeks I have been slowly tweeting the top 20 life lessons that 2011 taught me.  I must say that this year brought more change inside the depth of my heart than any single year of my life.  Here are the top 20 lessons I learned this year:

  1. Obey Jesus!! Wether he tells you to move to Africa or walk across the room.
  2. Talk less. It creates space for so many beautiful things!
  3. Listen to God. He is speaking. Try listening. Listen to the scripture. Listen to His other kids. Listen to His Spirit.
  4. Calm down. An anxious presence disrupts many possibilities.
  5. Worship honestly. Don't lie to God w/ your songs. Remember that worship God wants has more to do w/ actions than words!
  6. Love purely. This only happens when you truly love people wether you are with them or not...mistakes and all.
  7. Stop judging. It is not your job and it wrecks your relationships (plank alert). Love instead- way more fun!
  8. Please Jesus. Not people. People will ALWAYS dislike things about u. Quit living to please them & you might please God.
  9. Speak prophetically. Listen for God & speak what you're hearing him say. Sounds whack. Takes practice. Start trying.
  10. Release control. Relax. Stop over-planning & needing to know everything. U aren't in charge. (Thanks, Africa 4 this one.)
  11. Stop lying to you. If you've been lying to yourself about things and it hasn't taken you anywhere, try truth. Might help.
  12. Stop gossiping. Or half-gossiping. It will drastically increase your relational confidence & cleanliness. #cleareyes
  13. Disciple someone. Pick them, go to them, tell them they're worth it and go all out discipling them toward Jesus obedience.
  14. Be discipled. Pick someone you honor, go to them, tell them u r submitting to them to lead you toward Jesus obedience.
  15. Numbers distract. Count, but u can't control them, be low when they're low or take credit when they're high. #inchurch
  16. Elevate others. Used to think it was more exciting to be up top or out front. Not anymore. Now I long to empower others.
  17. Spend less, give more. (In 2011 Tricia & I made less than we've made in 10 years & gave more than we've given in 10 years!)
  18. Abide. Dwell in Jesus. Remain in Him. Live connected to Jesus! THIS is the key to all fruit-bearing! John 15
  19. Ask questions. Good, provocative, specific & open questions. (This link has some goodies: http://goo.gl/04Zzg)
  20. Rapidly obey the next thing you're reasonably sure Jesus wants you to do. Goal is obedient hearts, not perfect hearing!

The Apostle


Tonight I tweeted this:

For apostolic leaders, no 1 church is ever enough to fulfill them. Neither is 1 project. Or 1 city. Or 1 state. Or even 1 country.


Shorly after this, a friend emailed me asking me when I first knew that I had apostolic calling and gifting and how people react to that?


I emailed him back.  Then, I realized....what I wrote should be a blog for others to also join the conversation.  So, here goes. 


I used to think that Apostles were freaks and that the very word "apostolic" meant they are full of mess most of the time.  Perhaps it was because I watched Robert Duvall portray an apostle in his movie "The Apostle" one too many times.  Actually, loved some thing about that film.  Did not love some things.  That is for a different day. 


Little by little, I saw use of the term "Apostle" in the Bible and among leaders I actually trusted. Then last year, I read Floyd McClung's "You See Bones, I See an Army" and he described Apostolic Leaders in detail (I am now serving with Floyd here in Cape Town and have the privilege of being personally discipled by him). When I read his explanation of Apostolic leaders, I cried. IT WAS ME!!!!!


That was the first of many moments in the last 18 months where I realized that I AM APOSTOLIC! That is my NUMBER ONE PRIMARY spiritual gifting. Period.


Why have I been afraid of it? Maybe because it is an awesome calling? Sure it is! But the Lord told me as a little boy that he had an awesome calling on my life. Why would I now deny it over a title or jacked up cultural connotation?


Something significant has come alive in me this year as I have allowed myself to develop in a Biblical and practical understanding of Apostolic calling.



First ones in.

First ones out.


Risk Takers.

Say the hard things.

Make the hard decisions. 

See way ahead.

Full of vision.

Always dreaming.

Always itching.

Never satisfied with where we are.

Always see more.

Always think bigger.

Often inspiring and engaging.

Can think so big that they cannot actually take step one to make it happen.

Get carried away.

Fight pride.

Chase good ideas when they should only be chasing God ideas. 

Can run over the Evangelists and Prophets.

Threaten the Pastors and Teachers.

I could go on.  With good and bad stuff.


We could and should look at passages like:

  • Acts 13, 15, and 19
  • I Corinthians 3, 4 and 11
  • Ephesians 2, 3 and 4
  • And a whole lot more.


People may judge you if you use the word, "apostle". That is their problem, not yours. Encourage them to read the Bible a few times and study every place the word is used while at the same time taking their eyes of cultural usage. If we should stop using terms because people have messed their meaning up, then we should stop using the word JESUS too!


Your thoughts?


CLICK HERE to read a post I wrote on the Five Fold Giftings a few months ago.

Financial Support of our Work


Our family is sending you each the greatest holiday love and blessings that we can! We count it a high honor to serve Jesus here in Africa and the partnership of many people, families and churches make God's calling our reality.

It is hard to believe that we are wrapping up our first year in Africa. We both tend to think that God has done more IN us than THROUGH us, but we have deep gratitude for both.

As we wrap up 2011, we look back thrilled with what we have seen. As we head into 2012, we are sure that the future is bright with opportuinities to love people and make disciples.

The truth is this-- we cannot be here without financial partners.  Period. And we are stll in need of investors. $20 a month is a big deal to us! A one time gift of a few hundred dollars helps tremendously. As the end of the year approaches, might you consider one of two things:

1. Might you be willing to make a one time contribution to our missions work?  You can do so online with a debit/credit card by CLICKING HERE or by mailing a check to:

Eastern Mennonite Missions

PO Box 458

Salunga, PA 17538

(Be sure that "Kaye Support" is in the memo of the check.)

2. Might you be willing to make a monthly pledge for the coming year? If so, you can set that up online by clicking HERE or simply email me, message me or comment here and I will personally walk you through the process. 


It would be so encouraging if the Lord would lead you to act on this invitation to partner with us!  We trust the Lord for His continued provision through you.


"Every time we think of you, we give thanks to our God....for you have been partners in spreading the good news about Christ..."  Phil. 1:3-6

Reasons to Rejoice

Merry Christmas!

You know, I guess there would be lots of things to complain about today-- about how we feel being 8,000 miles away from our family on Christmas day.  About how so many of our traditions just cannot happen this year.  Or about how I am sweating when I wish it was snowing.

But, instead, I want to tell you some reasons I am rejoicing today.

  1. Five Christmases ago, Trica and I sat and wept in our living room because we felt so ready for kids and a family. Today, we had an exciting and sweet (almost) 5 year old with us and a little baby girl kicking her Mommy's belly excited to come out and join us. We are rejoicing. 
  2. For the last 30 Christmases, I am not sure I thought much about the poor and the untouchables.  Today, we are living among and near many poor, sick and less fortunate friends who are a special part of our heart, life and family.  Our lives are less about us this Christmas than they have ever been before.  Davis even chose a few Christmas gifts that he just recieved today--that he wants to give away to some boys in Masi-- and he already knows who they are going to.  We will deliver them later.  We rejoice in this.
  3. Last week, we had the privilege of providing leadership for a massive Chritsmas party in Masiphumelele that impacted hundreds of poor children. They received lavish love like they likely have not all year. It was so neat to bless these kids and to see the Lord open the door for a local hotel chain to fund the whole thing. We rejoice about this. (See pic)
  4. Last night, I had the honor of providing leadership for a Christmas Eve gathering at the All Nations campus here in Cape Town. We sang. We worshipped. We told Jesus why we are so glad he came. We shared. We listened. We ate. It was sweet.  Sweet to experience Emmanuel, God with us.  And sweet to feel the love in the air. We rejoice that we get to be a part of such a brilliant community of faith. (see pic of candlelighting)
  5. Though we are far from family, Jesus has done what he promised us.  Not only do we have the technology to make things way easier (see pic of us skyping the family yesterday), but he has blessed us ten times, even a hundred times for our faithfulness. We were with many friends yesterday.  Many more today. I promise you, we have no shortage of loving relationships in our lives. In addition, Tricia and I just agreed that we have both seen more growth in our lives this year than ever before! God is moving and we are rejoicing. 

We hope that you take a moment and name some of the many reasons you have to rejoice- regardless of your situation. 

Merry Christmas from our hearts to yours.  We love you.



This morning, in one of my churches, we looked at Luke 18:18-27...it's the story of the rich man.  The Lord really spoke to my heart about something today through this story.


Here's what happens:

  • A rich man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.  While asking him, the guy calls Jesus "Good Teacher".
  • Jesus says something like this: No one is good excpet God. The commandments are-- no adultery, no murder, no stealing, no lying and honor your parents.
  • The rich dude then says: "Hey, I have always done these things."
  • Jesus responded by saying: "You are still missing one thing. Go and sell all you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come follow me."
  • The man gets really sad.  It hurts. He had a lot of money.
  • Then Jesus makes this statement: "It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God."

Here's what really emerged for me:

  • God does not want half my heart.  He is not impressed with 75% either.  He wants all of me.
  • Not only does he want all of me, but he wants THAT area.  You know, that one that I do not want to give up.  That one that I think I deserve to keep since I do not lie, murder, commit adultery, steal or dishonor my parents.
  • That thinking is about you being good.  Jesus made it clear that none of us are "good."  Did you catch that part? 
  • Jesus looked into this rich man's heart....he knew his story...and he asked for obedience in the area that was most precious to him...and most difficult to yeild. That area.
  • He loves our total and radical obedience. This story proves it.  Sell it all and give it to the poor.  Total. Radical.
  • I do not think that the point of this story is really about rich people. You can have plenty of money and a surrendered heart. And you can be dirt poor with an unsurrendered heart.
  • Heart.  It is about our hearts.  Jesus wants them, and he is not interested in sharing them with anything or anyone else.  

What is/are the area(s) of your life that Jesus would have picked if it were you in this story instead of the rich man?  Today, I have admitted two areas in my own life. What are yours?  In what areas are your heart not fully submitted and surrendered? 

Discipling Up, Down & Across


I have an intensely growing passion for discipleship.  Especially obedience based discipleship which I define HERE.


I have blogged about the fact that I think we have a discipleship crisis HERE recently


Then, I got lots of questions about whether you should pursue discipling relationships or wait on them.  I answered that HERE.


Even earlier, I had blogged about 2-way discipleship.  Read that HERE.


I actually now belive that there are 3 primary discipling relationships, not 2:

  1. Up (someone more spiritually mature shapes you, they speak truth into you, they challenge and encourage you, they say hard things and ask provoking questions, they are ahead of you in the race, you honor them by offering them the truth of who you are and where you are at).
  2. Down (you, as the more mature one, shapes and disciples the less mature follower of Jesus, you love them by digging into the dark or raw places of their life, hold them accountable and reproduce what you are receiving from the ones discipling you).
  3. Across (peer discipling - you and a peer disiple each other back and forth on various spiritual issues, sometimes you are being shaped and sometime you are shaping your peer, you both share openly and sharpen each other without needing to name a leader among you--deep accountable friendship).

***I want to say that this year/right now is the first time in my entire life I have had all three of these discipling relationships-- and it is paying major dividends in who I am becoming.***


Soon, I will blog a series of three posts below.  I think it is a real need as people just do not know where to start becuase they have never done it:

  1. How to choose someone to disciple you.
  2. How to choose someone to disciple.
  3. How to choose peer disciples.

Online Addiction Confession

Perry Noble (a Pastor in South Carolina whose perspectives I often disagree with) has a way of hitting a hum-dinger every now and then.  Today he posted about online addiction and I think it is a BRILLIANT post!  


I struggle!! Me. Noah. I fight! I have been for years. I still am. I have gotten better. But I am not there yet. I will continue to utilize social media as I continue to ask God to purify my motivations and teach me balance and proper priorities. I really believe that the Lord will keep teaching me and walking with me to wholeness and healing.


Read Perry's post...here is the text below and here is the link to the actual post.



CONFESSION: This article is more of a confession that it is a correction! It’s not about what I see others doing/not doing but rather something I have realized for myself and am currently wrestling through, hope this helps some people! It was one of the most divine slaps in the face I had ever received; in fact, I’m still recovering from it, let me explain…


A little over a month ago I was with a group of about ten people or so in a restaurant where we had gathered to celebrate and reflect on the end of a pretty intense season of ministry we had just completed. We had seen God do some amazing things and had more than enough reasons to be excited about the evening. We got our menus, spoke with each other about the options in front of us and then chatted about what we preferred and then placed our order with the waiter.


After the waiter was gone I pulled out my cell phone. Please understand, no one had texted me. No one had called me. I did not have any voice messages from earlier in the day. Why did I pull out my cell phone then? Simple…I needed to check Twitter. As I did this something told me to stop and listen…and when I did I heard no conversations taking place at the table. No laughing. No celebration. No recalling what the Lord had done. Then I looked up and discovered why…




Doing what, I have no idea…probably twitter, facebook or whatever…but what stood out to me in a very convicting way was that ALL of us were neglecting being connected with the people who were right in front of us and were engaging in something else that, for some reason we all considered to be more important.


I was convicted! BIG TIME! Here I was with a group of friends that I should be enjoying life with and instead I was obsessed with an online perception that I somehow felt was more important than the relationships that were right in front of me. Thought began to flood my mind of other times I had done the same…

  • The times I had been on the couch with Lucretia, and instead of engaging her in conversation I am seeing how many people retweeted me.
  • The times that Charisse had been trying to get my attention and instead I was trying to see how many “likes” that NewSpring’s facebook page had.
  • The times that I had been in a room FULL of people and opportunities to engage in conversations that mattered, but instead I was more obsessed with clearing another level of Angry Birds.

Like I said, it was a divine slap in the face and I realized that I was neglecting real community, real people who were right in front of me and instead engaging in relationships online that were superficial at best and achieving “high scores” on games that had absolutely zero significant value.


Honestly, if I found out today that I had 30 days to live my obsessions would not become how many twitter followers I could gain, now many times I could dominate “words with friends” or even having to check who had written on my facebook wall in the past 15 minutes. It would be people, REAL people and REAL relationships that would be important to me.


Please do not misunderstand this! I am NOT the anti-social media guy! I love keeping up with people via the world wide web. I love playing a game or two on occasion. I love the fact that I know a lot about my friends all over the world because they update their lives via social media.


However, I finally came to realize that I had personally allowed social media to become an obsession that was distracting me from what was really important rather than a tool that I could make use of. I had allowed it to steal time away from my family and my friends…and call it what you will, but I had to call it sin.


What am I doing about it?


FIGHTING through it! I believe social media CAN be as addicting as alcohol, drugs or gambling. It meets a perceived need of inclusion, acceptance and friendship (you DO understand that most of your facebook friends are not actually your friends don’t you?)

  • I’m having to FIGHT to make the decision that at dinner time the cell phone does not come with me to the dinner table. That is my time with my family…and any “emergency” will just have to wait!
  • I’m having to FIGHT through the “need” to check up on twitter when I am in a group of people with whom the Lord has put me in a live, active relationship with.
  • I’m having to FIGHT to not play games on my phone or Ipad when I’m in a room full of people with whom I need to be paying attention to.
  • I’m having to FIGHT to not be engaged with an online audience at night when opportunities to engage with my wife and daughter are way more important and way more fruitful in the long run.
  • I’m having to FIGHT to not take my phone with me into important meetings and carry on texting conversations that cause me to disconnect from what I should be paying attention to!

It’s a fight…and just something I’m learning and wrestling with. I will still be blogging, still be tweeting…but for me it’s going to have to be put in it’s proper place. Because…


I’ve also seen that an addiction to social media can take our eyes off of Jesus and put them on people, thus causing us to cave into the fear of man and completely forget that we are called to fear God.


And…many times we can’t even obey what the Lord says in Psalm 46:10 because we are so dang connected!!! We can’t respond to the voice of God because we’ve been trained like Pavlov’s dog that when we hear “the tuning fork” (aka. notification from our phone that we have a text/email) that we feel the need to immediately respond, thus ignoring what is right in front of us.


One more time let me say it again–I’m NOT against social media, smart phones, games and such…but they should be used wisely and be a tool in our hands rather than the obsession of our day that we just can’t seem to do without.

I love your church!

I love your church!  I assume that most of you reading this probably attend a nomal, traditional, typical, western, established church. And that is the church I am talking about.


I love the way you worship Jesus together each week.

I love the heart that your church has to reach and love people.

I love the ministry that your church puts its hands and heart to.

I love that you have a building with which to care for people and their needs. 

I love the history in your church and the legacy it is leaving.

I love the collective wisdom that the poeple in your church have.

I love the stories and memories you must share. 

I love the people in your church. They are the most amazing resource you have.

I love you.


And it will be so neat to see where God takes you all in the years to come.

Making Babies in Church


So, with Tricia 8 months pregnant now, what an appropriate time to discuss making babies and issues of reproducability. ;-)  I know you love the title of my blog. If you think that churches should reproduce into new churches, read on.  If not, move on to another site.


I think that God longs for us to make disciples that make disciples and to plant churches that plant churches. In order for churches to plant churches, they must have a certain reproducability feasabilty to them. Which is a problem, because most do not.


Remember this: We reproduce WHAT we ARE! When white human beings reproduce, they make white human babies. When Chihuahuas reproduce, they make Chihuahuas. When cows reproduce they make cows. We can only naturally give birth to what we are. 


How do you reprocuce the following?

  • A million dollar building or a rented Middle School.
  • A slick sounding name.
  • 501c3 status.
  • A Constitution and Bylaws.
  • A logo and letterhead.
  • Bank accounts.
  • Treasurer & a Secretary.
  • A Pastor (and maybe several) who makes a full time salary.
  • A Mission and Vision Statement.
  • A Worship Team.
  • A Projector.
  • A sound system and sound board.
  • A board or group of Elders.
  • And a whole lot more....

This presents a major tension.  Since we can only reproduce what we are, then churches that ARE the above can only reproduce the above. But, who can afford this? How many churches can manage to come up with all of this? And why would they?  Most of them are not truly happy with what they have....which is why (if they were honest) they would never consider reproducing it, anyway. So they don't. 


Bottom line is that I belive that our disciple making and church planting must be reproducable...so it can keep spreading....organically....because the harvest is too great for things to stall.  


What would happen if this was all you needed to reproduce church?

  • A small group of 5-15 people who want to follow after Jesus.
  • A living room, a bedroom, a boardroom, a soccer feild or a starbucks (anywhere that a small group of folks can meet for no cost).
  • A few Bibles or Mobile phones with Bibles on them.
  • Open and hungry hearts.
  • Willingness to love the lost.
  • Trust for the people you are launching out and some courage to overcome fear of something new.
  • Agreement to reproduce again soon.


I am not saying that one approach is better than the other.  I AM saying that one is more reprocable than the other. 


And remember-- we reproduce what we are. I want to see churches make babies!  But they are largely infertile.  I think that they need some medicine....maybe the Bible offers some prescriptions? 

Most People Look at Porn


Most men look at pornography. Practically all research indicates between 50%-80% of men and not too mush less than that for women--who have an even harder time abmitting it. Your Dad probably did, maybe he still does. Your brothers probably look at porn. Your husband probably looks at porn--and lies to you about it.  You Pastor likely looks at Porn too-- and is totally stuck because if he says a word to anyone, he's convinced he will lose his job.  


You might look at Porn to.  On the same computer you are reading this blog post on. 


And women look at porn too-- increasingly so.


And while looking at it, men and women alike, masturbate, leaving them artifically sexually satisfied and destroying normal sexualty with their spouse or future spouse. 


It is destructive, thrilling, addictive, exciting, harmless (so you think), harmful, and easy to hide while it destroys all that you are and all that the Lord wants to do in you.


This morning, I read one of the very best, open, and honest articles on porn that I have ever seen. It nails the issue with spiritual confidence and truth.  There IS HOPE!! 


Please click here at READ THIS post on Mark Driscoll's Resurgence Blog!!  I think you will find it powerful.  It is slightly, but appropriately graphic- be warned. 

How to Ruin a Relationship


Today I tweeted this: "Had a revelation today about how I've screwed up past relationships and how changing one thing has changed everything. Blog later."


I would like to tell you exactly how to ruin a relationship:

  1. Look for the bad in a person. (You will have absolutely no problem finding it.)
  2.  Judge them in your heart for their poor character. 
  3. Tell yourslef how much better you are--so that you feel really good about yourself.
  4. Look for opportunities to tell others about the poor qualities you've found in that person and slip it in like it is no big deal (or even as prayer requests or fake-care comments).
  5. If they agree with your negative sentiments, talk about the other person together-- and be sure to justify what you are doing by saying that you just needed a safe place to vent. 
  6. Make sure you tell your Spouse as well and make an excuse because it is ok to tell your spouse everything in your heart. 
  7. Keep repeating steps 4 & 5.
  8. Find other people that you do not like and repeat steps 1-7 again. 


Here is the impact of living like this.  Please read this carefully:

  • You are sinning and the sin produces guilt in your heart.
  • You are being disloyal and harmful to the person and deteriorating their character. 
  • When you see them, you will not be able to look at them in their eyes.  You will shady and shifty.
  • Someting will be "off" in your relationship. 
  • You will be carrying secrets.
  • Trust is lost whether the offense is ever uncovered or not.
  • The person you have bashed gets the vibes you are slinging with your shifty eyes whether they know anything or not.
  • Whether the person you gossiped to is totally trustworthy or not, the person you gossiped about WILL find out one day. Count on it.
  • You become insecure everytime you are with the one your gossiped about.
  • You can forget about any real in depth, life giving stuff happening in the relationship.
  • You have ensured that the relatioship will not last.  It is the beginning of the end. 


Sound like I know what I am talking about a tad? Yeah, because I have been there.  Done this.  Got the T-shirt. Ashamed and repentant, Tricia and I comnmited in our hearts when we landed here in Africa 10 months ago, that we would look for the good in people and talk about that and leave the bad to the Lord to work on. And we are currently forming the most honest, authentic and life changing relatioships we have ever had. 


Do you struggle with this? You can change. Start today. Call 1-800-shutyourmouth. Or email lookforthegoodinpeople@gmail.com.


Seriously, God can heal this in you.  Now.  Starting now. And as he does you will be amazed at the confidence you will walk in as you relate to people with guilt-free eyes and heart.

A Documentary

Several months back we were contacted by a couple in one of our partnering churches.  They are Nathaniel and Alathea Elliott from Grace Bible Church in Lanham, Maryland. They explained how they have a heart for stories, journalism, videos and Africa and that they sensed the Lord asking them to come visit us here. They asked if they could film a documentary on our family (leaving the Pastorate and moving to Africa) and our ministry here in South Africa. After we tried talking them out of it, convinced that our life is not exciting enough for this, they seemed insistent. We agreed and entered into a planning journey. They are coming in March and we are super excited about this opportunity. Watch this video for a glimpse into their hearts.

A Discipleship Crisis?


I'm sad.  I'm concerned. I'm scared. Here's why.


I think we have a discipleship crisis.  Globally, perhaps.


Many, many people just are NOT being discipled.  Or discipling others. Africa and much of the west is over-evangelized and under-discipled. 


Let me just define what I mean when I use the word "discipleship." I think that someone is discipling you if:

  • You have a meaningful and totally authentic realtionship with someone who focusses on your spirtual growth and followership of Jesus. If there are secrets, it is not real discipleship.   
  • You meet regulalry. Weekly, biweekly or monthly. (Nice when coffee or food is involved.) Meeting less often than once a month will not bear the fruit your life needs.
  • You are challenged, encouraged, confronted and loved on.  
  • You are being coached toward obedience to Jesus and are being held accountable in that obedience.
  • It could be a spiritual Father or Mother or even a mature peer.  But the point is that they care for your soul and the main agenda is Jesus, not small talk. Spirttual more than natural. 

"GO and make disciples of all nations, baptize them and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20

"You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach those truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others." 2 Tim. 2:2

Now, let me put in very specific and personal terms:

  • Yesterday I met with a 24 year old who has been a Christian for 10 years.  He has never been discipled one on one.  No one has ever asked about his soul, his heart! Ever. I see major potential in him. When I offered to enter into a discipling relationship, you would have thought I gave him a new car. Broke me.
  • My sister is visiting with us now. She shared with me that in 33 years of being "in the church" no one has ever initiated a discipling relationship with her. (Share this with her permission.)
  • Tricia is being actively discipled and actively discipling another for the first time in her life right now. 
  • One young man that I am currently discipling has held high leadership position in his church for the last 5 years.  Not a single one of the multiple Pastors or Elders in the church have ever discipled him.  God help us. 
  • When I was in the Pastorate, I did not disciple a single person with any long term intentionality in the terms described above. Yes, I am embarassed to admit this.
  • I am not even sure whether I was being discipled myself...through Bible College...and as a Pastor. 

Honestly, almost every single Christian I meet is not being actively discipled....or discipling another. And the efffects are detrimental. I think that true discipleship is the conduit to the gift the world is waiting for....JESUS! 


Are you being discipled? Are you discipling others? Is your experience different?  Am I just missing it and sounding an uneccesary alarm? I hope so.  Please tell me your expereince. Comment. 

I want my Mommy! Happy Thanksgiving!


It's Thanksgiving morning in Africa.  Well, kinda. It is technically Thanksgiving in America. In Africa, it is just a normal day.  Our neighbors are leaving for the job site. All systems are go.


Today is our first meaningful holiday we have been away from family.  We have now lived here in Cape Town for 10.5 months. 


Yesterday, Mom sent me an SMS asking me what time we would be getting together to make my pumpkin pie- a tradition we have had for many years. It hit me when I read that. We will not be making our pie this year. I cried. In the grocery store.  Like a fool. I miss my MOMMY!!  


I will miss the vibes of this day.  The vibes on Thanksgiving day in America are just special! Crisp air, naked trees, Christmas already in the air, slamming food, Macy's parade, cider, smells, feelings...we miss it.  And I will miss seeing my beautiful sisters come strolling through the doors with their hair and make up all did up and their dishes of food all prepared. And my Brother-- he would be cooking up something domestic and unusual.  He will put a woman on defense. ;-)


As much as we will miss, we are also thankful and joyful today.  Thankful that Selah came to visit us.  So awesome!  It has made a massive difference. And we are excited to just go on a day trip to Hermanus and Franschoek.  Google them and be jealous. ;-)


And finally, I am thankful that we obediently followed Jesus to this place.  We are precisely where he wants us to be.  And there is not an earthly possession, no holiday, no friend or family member worth cashing that in for.  Will desire for obedience to God to be the main longing of our life....even if it costs and huts some days.  God makes up for it in other beautiful ways! 


So, today we are THANKFUL!  And we say to you, Happy Thanksgiving! 


600 Sermons


Here is an idea I would like to share with you. Forward it to your Pastor.

This idea starts to welcome simple church DNA into established church structures. 

There is a biblical value of church that many of us are sorely missing out on.  Here it is:

We ALL bring something of Jesus when we gather. (I Corinthians 14:26)

God speaks to all of us....the educated and uneducated, rich and poor, fat and skinny, greedy and generous, black and white, short and tall, mean and nice...ours is a living God that speaks to all mankind through His word, His spirit and His people. 

Do you believe that?  If not, there is no need to read on.  If so, you may like this idea.

Here goes.  Follow these 10 steps:

1. Pastor is supposed to preach on Sunday.

2. Instead of preparing a sermon, he prayerfully selects a story from the Bible. Let's say he choses John 10:1-10

3. Pastor prays that God uses it among the church and tells no one what he is planning to do (because people freak out over change).

4. Pastor takes stage to preach, opens Bible and reads passage.

5. Pastor says something like this: "This story is so good!!  When I went to prepare to preach on it, I got totally excited about what the Lord may show each of you from the story. I bet that God has some powerful things to say through you today and we need to hear it."

6. Pastor asks people to place themselves into groups of 4-6 people that they are fairly comfortable with. It is ok to be with your friends and family. (At this point the people will look at you and do nothing for a few seconds and the anxiety in the room will increase 10 fold. This is how you know you are moving in the right direction.)

7. Pastor asks the groups to have two more people read the story again...once for the head and once for the heart.

8. Pastor asks groups to work at the following 3 questions: 1) What do you understand in this passage? 2) What do you not understand in this passage? 3) What will you do to obey what God is saying to you through this passage? OR these 3 questions: 1) What do you notice about God? 2) What do you notice about people like us? 3) What will you do to obey?

9. Ask for a few folks to share something that they heard from someone else, that was very powerful. (Rule: they may NOT share what they said, only what they heard another say.)

10. Pray and Dismiss church.


What happens?

  • Some people get mad the Pastor because he made them uncomfortable. Pastor may get some emails being told "preaching is what we pay you for."
  • Some visitors feel weird for a minute cause they don't know anyone. Who cares? At least they know from their first day with you that you all share with each other and listen to each other.  That's what every human longs for. 
  • Iron sharpens iron.
  • People are mutually edified.
  • Everyone shares.
  • Everyone is heard.
  • Scriprure comes alive for people.
  • Some people make new friends.
  • People learn each other's names.
  • The Pastor gives some of his power away.
  • The volume in the room rasies substantially as it buzzes with spiritual dialogue.  So cool!
  • Jesus is glorified.
  • And imagine that the church doing this is about 200 people in size...instead of one long sermon being preached, there are about 600 short sermons being preached by 200 people. How cool is that?

Note: I am not suggesting that you a) do this to tick people off (that is a wrong motivation) or b) do this every week.  But what may start to happen in the church that does this once a month?

I just believe it is time to get people talking.  They have so much to give each other. 

This idea starts to welcome simple church DNA into established church structures. 

Jesus for President


Last week I fininshed reading "Jesus For President" by Shane Claiborne (website here). Honestly, I am not even going to attempt to review it here in any detail.  Too rich for that and too deep for that.  It would just provoke a bunch of (controversial) conversation among people who have not read the book....which would be far more fun happening between people who actually have read the book.


I just want to say that it is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. I wept and worshipped my King multiple times while reading it.  I would frequently have to lay it down and sit in silence and conviction for the flippancy with which I live my life. And I promise you that, for most of you, if you would read this book, you will get a picture of Jesus you have never had before.  And you will probably realize that your theology needs some serious attention and revision.


I especially really, really, really reccomend this book to American Christians who like Fox News. And also to anyone who posted gratitude toward veterans on their Facebook wall yesterday (and I am not saying that it was wrong if you did so). Which reminds me....I saw this on Facebook yesterday.  It deeply grieved and saddened me.  If you want to know why, read this book.





Provocative Questions

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I am coming to believe that there is major power in asking the right questions.  I am also learning that I stink at asking good questions and I want to get better. Proverbs 20:5 tells us that "the purposes of the human heart are deep waters, but those who have insight draw them out."  I yearn to draw things out of the waters of people's hearts. 


Here are 10 AWESOME questions to ask an accountability partner each time you meet. Use them regularly with another Jesus follower and I promise you that there will be fruit flowing from it.


1. Have you been a testimony this week to the greatness of Jesus with both words and actions? 

2. Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate sexual thoughts about another this week?

3. Have you been responsible with your finances or have you been consumed with wanting something that does not belong to you?

4. Have you been honoring, understanding, and generous in important relationships this week?

5. Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face-to-face?

6. Have you given into an addictive behavior this week? Explain.

7. Have you continued to remain angry toward another?

8. Have you secretly wished for another's misfortune so that you might excel?

9. Have you spent daily time alone with God in prayer and in the Word this week?

10. Have you left anything hidden in answering these questions?


Can you imagine what would happen if we all met in pairs, triads or quads and worked through these regularly?  Wow!  HERE is the link for these questions at their original source.  They are called LTG questions. 


For kicks and grins, here are some more provocative questions that I compiled and weeded through.  You could pick and chose these as the Holy Spirit leads you. 


This week....


  • Did the Bible live in me this week? Did I give it time to speak to me every day?
  • Am I enjoying prayer?
  • When did I last speak to someone about my faith? 
  • Did I disobey God in anything?
  • Was Christ real to me? 
  • What known sins have I committed since our last meeting?
  • What temptations have I been met with? Were you delivered? If so, how?
  • In what ways did God make his presence known to you since our last Meeting?
  • Which spiritual disciplines did God use to lead you further into holiness of heart and life?
  • Have you sensed any influence or work of the Holy Spirit since our last meeting? 
  • What spiritual gifts did the Spirit enable you to exercise? What was the outcome?
  • What is the condition of your soul? 
  • What sin do you need to confess? 
  • What have you held back from God that you need to surrender? 
  • Is there anything that has dampened your zeal for Christ? 
  • What do you need to ask the Spirit of God to reveal to you that you have not yet understood? 
  • Have you spoken with a non-believer about your faith in Jesus Christ? With Whom?



  • Is my conscience clear in how I feel toward and speak of the people in my life?
  • Did I break people’s confidence and share private information I had no right to share?
  • Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it? 
  • Is there anyone toward whom I am jealous?
  • Did I give priority time, energy and emotion to my spouse and kids this week?



  • Have I been with a man or woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising? 
  • Have I exposed myself to any sexually explicit material? 
  • Have I commited adultery or fornication this week?
  • Have I crossed any lines that it seems clear Jesus did not want me to?
  • How pure or impure have my thoughts been? 



  • Did I pray about the money I spent?
  • Have any of my financial dealings lacked integrity? 
  • Did I buy things that I did not need?
  • Am I currenytly looking to justify a purchase that I know I should not make at this time?
  • What have I given away this week?



  • Was I consciously or unconsciously creating the idea that I am better than I am?
  • Was I honest in all my acts or words, or did I exaggerate? 
  • Was I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
  • Was I self conscious, self-pitying, self-absorbed, self-centered or self justified?
  • Did I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy? 
  • Was I defeated in any part of my life? 
  • Was I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful? 
  • Did I grumble and complain? 
  • What fruit of the Spirit would you like to see increase in your life? Which disciplines might be useful in this effort? 
  • What opportunities did God give you to serve others since our last meeting? How did you respond? 
  • Did you encounter injustice to or oppression of others? Were you able to work for justice and peace? 
  • How has the Bible shaped the way you think and live?


  • Did I get to bed on time and get up on time?
  • How did I spend my spare time?  
  • Have I spent adequate time in Bible Study and Prayer? 
  • Have I given priority time to my family?
  • Did I invest the proper quality / quantity of time in my most important relationships? 


HERE is where I gathered most of these questions and sorted through them. This is a compilation of the ones I liked best.