Category: Serving

Finding Unity in Love

*This blog is based on a recent sermon I gave in Burundi, centered on John 17. I encourage you to read the chapter slowly before reading this blog. John 17 is a unique chapter. It is the only time we get to listen in on an intimate conversation between Jesus and God the Father. The …

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Sickness, Grace, and Healing: 20 Years of Experience

I recently came across some old films from two decades ago. These are not pictures of my family making memories or reminders of my youth. They are images of my brain, MRI films from an era when hard copies were mounted on a lit background for evaluation. 2002 was the first time I got an …

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To the Churches Whose Missionaries Have Come “Home”

It was 2001. My family had arrived in Kazakhstan in 1996, the first American family in our town, and been joined by other Americans and Aussies over the next several years. It was a fairly isolated place, and we certainly didn’t have Facebook and Zoom to remain connected to friends and family in our sending …

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Humble Leadership (Part 3)

(Click Part 1 or Part 2 for the first two posts.) Leaders are influential not only through instruction of others, but by the example they set. One of the challenges of being in a position of authority is that every word and action is more carefully observed. As a result, many leaders feel they have …

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Humble Leadership (Part 2)

(To read the intro, click Humble Leadership, Part 1) When we think of influential people, rarely do we get a picture of someone asking for help. From the perspective of the audience, a powerful speaker may seem to have everything under control, to be fully in charge, and to be confident that what he or …

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Humble Leadership (Part 1)

Humility is the antithesis of worldly politics, where it is all about proving one’s strength, demanding respect, and elevating oneself above rivals.

The Unclear Trail: When Life Looks Uncertain

The trail started out very clearly trodden, even though blanketed with a recent layer of leaves. Every so often a white, spray-painted mark on a tree would confirm that we were still on track, even after climbing over tree trunks that lay across the path and sloshing through pools of mud (some subtly concealed until …

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When Things Go Wrong

The steep road was the kind where those who get car sick (me) have to avoid looking out the window. We were not quite sure of our exact destination (attempts to contact a local pastor had not yet been successful) as we headed up a mountain in the center of the island of Puerto Rico, …

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Faith or Foolishness

Part 1: March 2017 It seemed like an awesome opportunity! I had connected with a non-profit organization working in Iraq and they expressed interest in bringing me out there to provide trauma training. Since I was already planning to go in the summer to Africa, I suggested coming “on the way.” But the heat of …

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Being a Single Servant, and Still Smiling

“We are praying you will get married.” I couldn’t help but inwardly chuckle at the sincere promise from my students, all married Nigerian pastors, at the end of my time teaching in their seminary. I wasn’t quite sure how that would match their second promise to pray for my return, next time to live there …

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