Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What is ministry

What is ministry? This question has been rolling around in my head for a while now. 

Many would say it's making a living by sharing the hope Jesus has and meeting needs. There are many ways that can happen. Being a full time pastors, worship leader, youth or children's minister. Traveling overseas to do humanitarian work alongside sharing about Christ. 

Webster's says it is

  • The office, duties, or functions of a minister
  • A person or thing through which something is accomplished
I am sure there are many other definitions as well. However, just as important, if not more, is the mindset behind "ministry."

Over the last three years I have been actively involving myself in "ministry." I began working with college students on campus at the University of Oregon. Then I moved to Alaska to work with a construction ministry, that focused on villages in the Norton Sound Region. Then it was working alongside a church plant in the Anchorage area. 

Each of these things where great contributors to who I am today. They each brought challenges, blessings, changes and growth. Then over the last six months I have not been involved with "ministry."  I have instead worked in a secular job, simply earning a living. 

I have several friends who are working as social workers, investigators, child care advocates, family support, foster families, doctors, and nurses. Each of them love the Lord with their whole heart and seek to use their job to share the hope Jesus gives. 

I have always considered them in "ministry" I know they have difficult jobs. That they need support, encouragement, prayers, and love.

But I never saw myself that way. I  was working to pay the bills. Waiting for the summer so I could go back to "real" ministry. I was using the idea of ministry as an excuse to become complacent. I stopped getting out of my comfort zone. \\

Then I realized I wanted to see God working. So my perspective changed. I began to see God moving around me. I began earnestly seeking to recognize how he moved in lives around me. 

I was hit by a ton of bricks when I realized I was hiding, using the idea of ministry as my ultimate goal. Losing sight of what God had in front of me, because I was looking past now into the future. 

Ministry is as much as the attitude of actively seeking God to move through us as believers as it is a title. 

As I heard on a podcast recently "stay uncomfortable." Actively ask God to use you in YOUR life. Do not miss the present looking towards the future, or back at the past.  

Saturday, January 9, 2016

No Longer Slaves

There is a popular Christian song with a line that says “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a Child of God.” This song, and specifically this line have been important in my life over the last months.

As I began working through new stages of life I realized, I am much more fearful, than I would have believed. I wrote a blog about it fear in my life a few months ago. Read it for my that background on fear. 

My phone lock screen
Needless to say I have much to learn about being a Child of God. About no longer being a slave to fear. Each New Year many create resolutions. While I did not sit down and create a resolution list this year, the first few days of the year have been full of thought on where I want my life to go this year. 

One of those things is being fearless for Christ! No longer tied down with what people think of me. I’m no longer tied to what I think of me. I am a Child of God! I am His! What do I have to fear, except fear itself. 
Phone Background
I don’t know what the future holds. I am uncertain exactly where I am going. But this I know. I am a child of God and I am His. I will move forward in life fearless for Him! 

No longer slave is my motto for the year. Whatever life may bring I can stand assured that I am in the hands of my Mighty God. Whether it is through my job where excellence is expected and life is insane for two months. Or in my business. A team business which I have named “No Longer Slaves Team.” 

This is for multiple reasons. I believe 100% in the path God has placed me on with Rodan and Fields. I believe in God’s ability to free those who are slaves to the “normal” life through R+F. That He can provide time, finances, and opportunities to be used for His glory. Anyway he wants to. In my life, that way is Rodan and Fields. An amazing company that is changing skin and changing lives. 

What are you a slave to? What is God going to free you from this year? You are His Child! Made in His Image!! Let’s act like it! 

Me with my "Why" at Rodan and Fields Convention 2015

"To see the world through Christ's eyes! To show the world who They are in Christ. Share the hope Jesus gives freely!"

Monday, August 17, 2015


Webster defines fear as 
: to be afraid of (something or someone)
: to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)
: to be afraid and worried

Fear is something I have been thinking of quite a bit lately. If you where to ask me what I am afraid of I would probably say I couldn't come up with something. Spiders, they don't bother me. Snakes, no big deal. Rodents, while I don't like them, I can deal with them. Heights, love them. The dark, I enjoy a quite night outside. I have no idea what "traditional" fear I have.

Yet in all honesty. I am full of fear. Fearful of letting go of all my expectations of who I should be. Or who I believe people believe I should be. Fearful of what might happen if I allow God full access to each and every part of my life. Fearful of what my life may look like if I embrace the possibilities in front of me. Fearful of rejection. Fearful of what other people think of me, even though I proclaim I couldn't careless about what you think of me. Fearful of what could happen if I reveal ever part of myself, all my struggles, all my sins. 

In short even though those phobias people talk about I might not really have. I do have fear in my life. But the best part of this story? I am a child of God. Just as the song says, "I am no longer a slave to sin, I am a child of God!"

1 John speaks about fear and love. 
1 John 4:18
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."
1 John 4: 8 "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."

God is love. Perfect love casts out fear. Who better to give perfect love than God who IS love?  Through Him there is no fear. 

But do I trust God enough to allow His perfect love to come over me and drive out fear? Can I do as Proverbs 3 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Trust isn't easy. Even to trust the creator of the world isn't easy. Why? That is the million dollar question. I have no idea. I just know that it isn't easy, it's something I struggle with each and everyday. 

Am I ready? Am I ready to fight the battle of letting God's love cast out my fear? It's not just a choice to pursue the amazing things God has placed in my life, it's a choice to battle Satan and the lies he puts in my head. Will it be easy? Absolutely not! But heres to fighting that fight. To putting in the blood, sweat and tears it will take to allow God's love to come over me in a way that drives out fear. 

How do I do that? Well it starts with soaking in God's love. Meditating on what He has placed in my life. Absorbing the love He gives through His word, and through the people He has placed in my life. It comes with working to fearlessly follow the amazing opportunities He has given me. 

Here is the song that began the articulation of this battle I am in the midst of. I pray it challenges and inspires you. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Iron Dog

Since the beginning of February I have had the privilege of working and serving alongside the staff and volunteers of Iron Dog. This organization puts on the longest, toughest snowmachine race. Over 2,000 miles of extreme terrain is crossed by teams of two on snowmachines. They skipped across water, ran miles of terrain typically covered in snow that this year was only covered in dirt, all while trying to be the fastest team that doesn't lose valuable time by breaking down.

The staff of Iron Dog works all year to make this ten day event a success. I was given the privilege of seeing and experience the inner workings, and yes even frustrations, of this outstanding organization.

Skilled Missions and Alaska Missions have been volunteering with Iron Dog for four years. It has been a slow process, but the family of Iron Dog has come to appreciate the service we give.

This year many conversations where had about where our joy and servant attitude came from. The only answer is Jesus. Some do not understand this, and that is ok. The goal of continuing to serve is to be a light and a reflection of Jesus.

I cannot sit here and say that I was a perfect example of Christ all week. On the contrary, I struggled with being tired, having a bad attitude, or speaking in hurtful ways to those around me. Each of these are things I am trying to work through. But they are not easy. It is hard to wake up after a long day of working hard and a short night to work hard again. It isn't fun to smile, say yes and being ready to serve in whatever way possible.

It is amazing how an intentional week of serving does shines light on my shortcomings and reveals ways I need to grow in Christ. That is my new, and old, challenge. Let go of my old self and put on the new self I am in Christ. Be praying for me as this has been clear over the last few days, yet my flesh still tries to get me to revert back to my old ways.

There are so many great memories from the last two weeks. Many I am hoping to share with you over the next few days. This was a fantastic time of service and fun! The staff and volunteers are great to work with, it is always fun and everyone has a great attitude.

Just a few snapshots of our time. As I write more I will add more specific pictures. I hope you enjoy them! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift. Two simple words that are somewhat hard to define. Five years ago I don't know that I could have told you what they meant. But over the last few years Dad has started using them to define how he is has changed the way he farms and ranches. Since the start of this paradigm shift my parents have been called crazy, and told it would never work. They are managing ground, animals, equipment and labor in a totally new way. While I do not believe they would tell you it has been easy, it has worked.

Recently I have been encountering my own paradigm shifts. A realization that the status quo is not necessarily correct. I remember the line from National Treasure where Nicholas Cage talks about how you do things one way until the status quo changes. Then you must adjust to survive.

When I moved to Oregon a semester before graduating from Texas A&M I was going against the status quo. I was working for free, I didn't get a "good" job right after graduation. Then nine months later I moved to Alaska. I was called crazy for moving without a job lined up. I had a place to live, clothes and my car. That was it. No plan. I just knew I loved the people here and that God was calling me to minister here. He would provide for me.

Needless to say I have never really struggled with bucking the worlds status quo. What I have struggled with is the status quo I have been told I have to fit in order to minister to people.

I have struggled with the thought that those in ministry have to be poor. That I need to make just enough to get by and that is all. The desire to be free to minister but not wanting to ask people to support me.

Do I know that I am called to this and one way God may provide for me is through people supporting me? Yes I do. But that doesn't make it any easier. I still want to take care of myself. Dad has told me multiple times that they didn't raise us to stay in Perryton Texas, they raised us to change the world. They gave us roots and wings.

But you know what you have to do to start flying? You have to step out of the nest. You have to fall before you can soar. It may seem like I have stepped out of the nest, after all I am nearly 4,000 miles from my parents. Honestly though I haven't. I haven't faced my fears of rejection. I have not asked someone to support me because I believe in what I am doing.

Why haven't I faced my fears. Because I am scared. Because it hurts when someone does not see the value in loving on kids. Or fixing a window in an elders house. They do not understand how broken my heart is when I meet kids who at very young ages have been abused by the very people who are supposed to protect them. It kills me every time. I do not want to open myself up enough to share all of myself, because that means I could be hurt.

If you have lasted this long you may wonder how me being scared to fly relates to a paradigm shift. Here is the connection. I have to stop doing things the way people tell me to do them and start doing them the way God says to do them. I have to surround myself with people who push me to do the hard things. People who are in my corner. Those who won't only push me out of the nest, but will jump with me.

I need a paradigm shift. Away from "the safest place is in the center of God's will" to "be in the center of God's will, but know that may mean big risks." Recently I was told to start leading with my passion. When people see your passion they will want to be on your team.

So here's my question. Will you keep me accountable? Will you call me out when you see me living just dangerous enough to be thought crazy, but not crazy for Jesus. Will you ask me about how Jesus has changed my life? Push me to get out of the nest. Push me to do what my parents raised me to do.

Let's go change the world for Christ!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Anniversary!!

Today is Dad and Mom's 29th anniversary. It's amazing the example they are, in marriage, parenting, and living for Christ. I am beyond blessed to call them Mom and Dad. 

One of the biggest ways they have been an example is in the way they raised us. While they have spent their life raising eight kids on a Texas panhandle farm, they impacted the whole world. 

They gave us the foundation to see the world through Christ's eyes. I cannot remember the first time I learned about missions and taking Jesus name to those who have not heard. I do remember the first mission trip we went on. I was about nine and our whole family went to serve in Knoxcity, Texas. 

That trip provided the foundation for my journey that God has only begun to reveal. As time passed I became more and more involved with missions. I am not the only one. All seven of my siblings have been on multiple mission trips. Even Nate, my seven year old little brother. 

It's crazy to think that my parents have been together longer than they have been apart. I am so grateful for the example I had in my home. It wasn't always easy. I know they had and have their struggles. 

To the outsider looking in they are just a couple Bible believers on a small farm in the Texas Panhandle. To many they are close friends and helpful neighbors. To me, they are an amazing support, even 5,000 miles away, they are the reason I can live in Alaska as a debt free productive member of society. 

Love you guys!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Interrupting Senator Cruz...

Sunday afternoon Aaron asked if I wanted to go to Palmer to see Ted Cruz and Dan Sullivan at a get out the vote rally. Since I had no other plans and it sounded fun I went to my first political rally.

It was an interesting experience to hear politicians speak. You want to believe all they are saying, yet at the same time you know they are politicians. Only time will tell us if they will follow through on their word. But I will say, out of all the people I have heard speak, I believe these two will work to honor what they promised.

As Senator Cruz was speaking he had many points, sanctity of life, second amendment freedoms, restoration of state's rights, and religious freedom. While speaking on how the government has encroached on religious freedoms he mentioned the subpoenas issued to pastors in Houston, Texas.

He said he felt like as a believer he needed to call his pastor and just set aside a time to pray. So he called his Pastor Gregg Matte from Houston's First Baptist Church. Pastor Matte is an Aggie who started Breakaway on campus at Texas A&M University. As he mentioned Pastor Matte and First Houston, Aaron and I both Whooped. It was a perfectly timed and placed Whoop. That was not planned.

Since it was  a relatively quite moment during his story, our reaction was loud and heard throughout the rally. We surprised Senator Cruz, he stopped and said he would have to let Pastor Matte know he got a Whoop from Alaska.
After the rally concluded we waited to speak to Senator Cruz and scored this awesome picture. As well as a shocked look when we invited him to dinner at Texas Roadhouse.