Percussion, Metal Detecting, Photography, and Moving Towards The Homeless In Love

I drove a different way to get down to outreach last night.  I took Mccully down to Kalakua.  It reminded me of the first year we were in Honolulu.  This is how I would drive our first school of School of Biblical Studies students down in a 15 passanger van.  I would drop them off at one end of the strip, and they would invite all of the homeless people they saw on their way to come get pizza at the first pavillion.

I have fond memories of those students.  There were only 2 native English speakers, one from Canada and the other from New Zealand.  But of all the other languages represented, God did an amazing miracle that each student had someone else in the school that spoke their language.  Three students were from Switzerland, two of them spoke Swiss German, and one spoke French.  Our student from Africa also spoke French.  There was a student from Finland, and a staff from Finland.  We had two Korean students, one who was Canadian.  We had two Chinese students.  And we had one Japanese student and the school leader was fluent in Japanese.  Pretty crazy how that worked.

I was late getting down to the pavillion, no bike accidents this time.  There was a guy getting a metal detector out of his car as I parked and a guy playing the congas.  I wanted to talk to metal detecting guy and hear about his recent finds but he was out of sight by the time I parked and got out, and I wanted to jam with conga guy but he seemed like he really knew what he was doing and I’m no conga player.

The pizza was already being handed out when I arrived at the pavillion.  I found out I was standing in Pastor RK’s pet peeve zone as he shooed me away from behind the table.

RK’s wife and I chatted a bit, Kelike again impressed and challenged me.   As we were chatting a man was eating pizza on the otherside of the stroller where Roger was napping.  Kelike said hello to him and he told her how he was waiting for her to come over and hold his hand while he was eating pizza.  I stood in between them as a way to try and absorb the innappropriate comments.  Kelike rolled her eyes at his multiple attempts.  I wondered if I should interupt him, try and take over the conversation, but Kelike didn’t seem to phased.  She actually stepped behind me and moved towards the guy and put her hand on his shoulder.  “I’m not going to hold your hand but I am going to pray for you.”

Then came a deluge of more innapropriate questions, “I bet you’ve never been with a black guy.”  He said and kept repeating.  He finally went on his way.

I was so impressed that even though this guy was obviously making innapropriate comments, Kelike didn’t respond in fear, or offense, but instead moved towards him in love.  Even placing a hand on his shoulder.  That’s challenging.

I met Will last night, he looked familiar.  I don’t know if I had ever spoke with him before.  He walked over with a cane.  A lady named Gina who had a thick Australian accent came over and sat with us too.  The conversation turned to photography, a topic of conversation I know a little something about.

Will told me that he got stuck here during 9/11.  And is a mechanic by trade.  He doesn’t do it anymore because of his hip.   Gina talked about how she was house sitting and dog sitting.  She pulled out a new canon camera from her bag and said she just bought it.  She also snapped some photos with an ipad mini.  It sounded like Gina had some money, she was talking about going and seeing her Grandkids in Australia, and wanting to go to Mexico to travel.  I’m not sure why she was down there.  I think maybe she was Will’s girlfriend?

It’s interesting how all of my hobbies popped up last night.  I think people tend to think hobbies are a waste of time, or not productive.  But they serve as connection points with people that you would never connect with otherwise.

I’ve always wondered why God gave me these random passions and talents that seem to be full on for a season and then not really ever used again.  I used to play drums, I used to do photography, I used to metal detect.  They are all in roads for connection with people, and something for me to enjoy.

Hawaii is helping me realize it’s okay to enjoy.  If we’re “working” for the Kingdom all the time and not enjoying the process, we’re probably doing something wrong and we don’t have an accurate picture of who our Father really is.

What’s your latest hobby?  What are you enjoying?  Comment and let us know.

Homeless Bike Wreck And Being Too Worried About What Other People Think

I wrote this last week.  I’ve since realized that when I write, I need to publish soon after too, otherwise it just sits.  And the longer it sits, the longer that nasty voice of resistance has to convince me not to hit publish.

I appreciate everyone who has been reading the blog after it’s rebirth from silence.  I also appreciate those of you that have commented and encouraged my writing this week too.  I need that:)

Jess is teaching at YWAM Honolulu this week.  She’s teaching three, 3 hour lectures on the Gospel of John.  I’m so proud of her.  Right before we left to come out here she taught at the YWAM Nashville base in their Bible Core Course and taught 12 hours on Genesis and Deuteronomy.  At the end of last year she did a week long overview of the prophets in the Summit Training Center in Dalton Georgia.  Pretty much my wife is a Bible Rockstar:) And I’m so proud of her.

Jess got home a little before I had to leave last night for the Waikiki homeless outreach.  Interesting how again this week I had to fight through not wanting to go.  Im pretty sure my body even played along this time as I had a tinge of a stomach ache.  As I sat at my desk comtimplating excuses to not go and I reflect on it this morning, these thoughts come to mind: love moves, love sacrifices and love pushes through hard things.

I drove down to Waikiki and found parking near where I did last week and walked to the first pavilioin.  As I approached a crosswalk I watched a man start to wobble on his bike and then fall over.  He looked like his bike was pinned on him but he scrambled out.  There was female jogger that crossed right before me that asked him if he was okay, and a female jogger jogging towards us that stopped too.  The first jogger picked up his bike and asked him if he was okay.  “Man, your bike is heavy.”  And I reached to take it from her thinking it was just a normal bike.  I didn’t position my body well and was trying to take the bike from her and promptly dropped it again, luckily not on the man, it really was heavy.  The jogger continued on her jog after watching me drop the bike.

“Where’s the kickstand?”  The other jogger asked.  “If you stand the bike up I can put the kick stand down.” She said.

I picked the bike back up by it’s handle bars and suddenly the bike shot up in the air.  Luckily I had a good grip as it yanked me and fell to the ground again.  “Woah, this bike has a motor.”  I said.

(I didn’t know ebikes were a thing.)

The jogger unimpressed with my second time dropping the bike snarkily and exapsperatedly said “well, I think you got this” and jogged off.

The man is hobbling on one leg and then sits/falls to the ground.  We end up getting the bike up on a kickstand.

“Are you drunk?”  I asked him.  Not sure why I was being so forward.  He had dark sunglasses on.

No, he said in a tone that seem bewildered why I would ask such a question.

I picked up his open package of crackers and sat them on his bike bag.  I asked him if he was good and went to the pavillion.  I told him we were handing out pizza at the first pavillion if he wanted to come.

Cindy was there and I gave her a hug.  There were some YWAMers there too, one I recongized, but I don’t know if I’ve ever met him officially.  I didn’t know anyone else.  Perry wasn’t there.  Maybe Perry turned himself in.

RK came with the pizzas, carrying them on a stroller as his son Roger tagged behind him.  His wife and two daughters came later.  RK announced who he was and what they were doing down there and said a quick prayer.  Some tourists jumped out of their seats at the bench overlooking the water trying to figure out what was going on.  Kelike and I talked for a bit and I felt the need to go back and check on bike guy.  I told her briefly what happened and she chuckled.

I walked past the volleyball courts and saw 2 bikes standing up now near the crosswalk.  Another man had stopped and was trying to help bike guy get back on his bike.  It wasn’t working.

I got over to them and asked what was going on.  The new helper guy told me what I already knew, that bike guy wrecked.  “I wish I had a car, I would give him a ride.”

I have a car I thought quickly to myself, but I don’t think I’m giving this guy a ride.

Bike guy said he felt like something popped in his leg and was in a lot of pain.  He was balancing on his one foot leaning against the bike.

“Well let me pray for you, what’s your name?”

“Shelton.”  He replied

I said a quick prayer for healing and then asked him if he felt any better.

“No, I mean kinda, maybe.”

No miracle healing story tonight folks sorry.

I asked him what happened, and he said that he rode off the sidewalk and then tried to get back on to fast.

Around that time in the conversation a guy on a skateboard skates past us with a surf board in his left hand and a boogie board in his right hand.  “Man, I should have gotten an e-bike instead of a skateboard man.”  He shouted to bike guy.

I marveled at the fact that this shirtless white guy really was on a skate board, I think in bare feet, with a surfboard in one hand and a boogie board in the other.  Anyway…

Other helper biker guy had taken off by now.  So it’s just me and Shelton.  He told me he called someone to come pick him up, and told me about the pain again.  I asked him if he wanted me to call an ambulance and he reitereated that someone was going to pick him up and take him to the hospital.

“Man this bike is pretty cool”  My awkward attempt at small talk, which I’m amazing it.  “How fast can you get this thing going?

“I think I’ve gotten it up to about 25mph.”  He replied with a smile, obviously proud of his e-bike.

“Do you wanna sit down?”

He didn’t.

A seeming long akward pause of silence.  It probably wasn’t that bad though.

“Well, is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Nope.”  He replied.

“Alright man, have a good night.”  And I walked back to the pavillion.

I feel like I just lived through a modern telling of the good samiritan, only I don’t know who the good samiritan was.

Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure the guy was homeless, he said he was going to Palolo and had over a thousand dollar bike.  Man, don’t assume.

By the time I got back to the pavillion the pizza had all been handed out.  Not many people were mingling.  If I remember correctly a few years ago a lot more people would actually hang out after they were done eating.

RK was talking to Bucko, one of RK’s helpers and another guy who I think is homeless.  Discipleship was happening just through conversation.  RK was sharing what he had been reading in the Bible recently about dillegence.  And then he showed us an app that lets you know all of your neighbors names, and how he was using it to pray for all of his neighbors.

I watched a group of 3 late teens/early twenties kids sit down on a bench.  Bucko has a “I once was blind.” tag hanging around his neck.  (Which in my need of Jesus judgemental mind I found kind of cheesy.)

The group of teens called Bucko over, “Excuse me sir, sir?  Can you tell me what that means?”  Pointing to the tag hanging around his neck.

I observed, thinking they were going to laugh and make fun of him.  They didn’t.  I couldn’t hear the conversation real well, but I’m sure that Bucko took that oppourtunity to share the gospel with them.  I was waiting for them to start laughing, they didn’t, they sat attentivly while he spoke.  “That’s cool”  I heard one of them say.

I headed back to my car, the sun was setting.  What a absolutely beautiful place.  Waikiki.  I took notice of all the different nationalities that were on the sidewalk.  Realizing that Hawaii really is a strategic place.  That people from all over the world come here and then return home.

I walked past a guy who was walking in the same direction.  Shuffling his feet as he walked, towel wrapped around him.  I could sense that he was sad, and I felt like God highlighted him to me.

This is why immediate obedience is best obedience.  I could have easily and not awkwardly said something to him as I passed him, but I didn’t.  What if he rejects what I say and gets mad at me or something.  So I walked past him, realizing I was more concerned about the possibility of rejection than whatever God could do.  I was more concerned about me in that situation and how the possibility of a bad outcome might affect me than the concern for this kid whos body language obviously showed that something was going on.

I kept walking, now realizing it was going to be even more awkward if I turned around and walked back up to him.  All the time knowing that I should have talked to him.  I got in my car and drove away and missed a divine appointment.

“Hey man, you doing good?”  Could have been all I had to say to get the conversation flowing and get a guage for where the guy was at.  But I chickened out.

I get anxious if I’m out in public and feel like I need to talk to everyone.  I’ve seen people that feel like they have to pray for every single person they run into everywhere they go.  And MAYBE that is what God’s doing.  Or maybe that’s striving.

But how do I prepare myself for when I know it’s God saying to say hey to someone.  A quick word of concern for someone to a stranger in public isn’t that weird.

Some people are gifted evangelists.  In my few interactions with Bucko, I think he is.  I am not a gifted evangelist.  But that doesn’t remove our call to evangelise.  To introduce people to Jesus, to pray for them.

I feel like I’m getting freed up a lot in this season.  It’s not my resposibility to have all the answers, just introduce people to Jesus who loves them.  Then Jesus can do the heavy lifting.  :) I don’t need to make anything happen, God will show up, He’s faithful.

Dang this one got long.  Remind me to practice talking to people in public.  It goes against every fiber of my east coast introverted upbringing.

I share these outreach fails with you because I think what stops us from doing “outreach” is thinking we have to feel excited to do it, or be good at it before we do it.

I do ministry for a living, and have over a decade of experience doing this stuff and honestly I’m still not good at it, I still don’t want to go when it’s time to go, and I miss oppourtunities that God is setting up because I’m afraid.

So if you’re as unqualified as I am but are sensing that God wants to get you out of the holy huddle then hit the streets and love somebody and introduce them to Jesus.

Joan newhallJune 19, 2017 - 11:02 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

What To Do If You Overdraw On Your Bank Account

Last week I woke up to a series of e-mails telling me that I overdrew on my bank account.

Not a good way to wake up.  All that red font that they use too just adds to the panic.  Stop that.

I logged in to my banking website to find out that an annual bill had come due that I thought was connected to my credit card, not my checking account.

We had the money to pay the bill, it just wasn’t in the right account.

When we have annual bills, we divide the total bill by 12 months and then put that amount away into our internet savings account each month.  That account is making 1% interest.   While 1% is not a lot, it’s better than zero percent.

The problem is, the tiny bit of interest you make is then wiped out and then some when you get hit with a $35 overdraft fee and a$35 returned check fee.  Dang.

So I’ve heard that even though Hawaii is part of the USA, it’s still considered overseas and so there are no mainland bank chains here.  That means I cannot go and deposit cash into my account to cover the overdraft.

I was pretty mad at myself for overdrafting my account.  Second time this year.  Earlier in the year I had MOVED the money from our savings account into our checking, but the transaction didn’t clear before the check cleared by one day.  I called and they wouldn’t refund the overdraft fee.  Dang again.

I knew I had a check that I had been hanging onto and mobile deposited it.  When you mobile deposit it clears the same day.  Unfortunately that amount didn’t cover the total overdraft.

I was lamenting to a friend online of my overdraft woe and he suggested I get someone to write me a check for cash.  So that’s what I did.  Handed a friend here some cash and she wrote me a check for that amount.  Mobile deposited it and I covered the overdraft.  I wasn’t convinced that I still wouldn’t get hit with fees but a few days later, no extra fees.  Phew.

What stinks is that we HAD the money to pay the bills, it just wasn’t in the right place.  I’ve since moved part of our emergency fund so that it always sits in our main bank.  It won’t be getting interest, but it will keep us from paying $70 in fees if anything like this happens again.

I highly reccomend Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover.  In this book he instructs you on some financial baby steps that we’ve tried to follow.  One of those is having an emergency fund.

My last resort was to ask my parents to find our bank in their area and deposit some cash for us.  I’m glad it didn’t have to come to that.

Also… always travel with your check book.  I RARELY write checks.  And I remember as we were packing holding my check book in my hands wondering if I should bring it.  I decided, “nah, I never write checks.”  And didn’t bring it.  Now I’m kicking myself for not, as I’m scrambling to figure out how to pay another bill that’s due in a few days.

Oh banking woes…

Do you have any finance or banking tips?  Leave a comment and let us know.


All My Homeless Friends Are Dead

We’re back in Honolulu for a little bit.  I was going to keep it under wraps, but that decision was based in fear.  And making decisions out of fear is gross.  Perfect love casts out fear.

One of the highlights from when we lived in Hawaii a couple years ago was the Tuesday night homeless outreach in Waikiki.  So last night I decided to head down and see what was going on.

I wrote quite a bit about some of my experiences down there over the years.  Like the time the homeless guy got beat up for an obscenity.  Or my thoughts on touching the poor.   Or the time the drunk guy wanted to fight me.  Or the time I had to call an ambulance for Jim.

It’s crazy we’ve been gone for about 2 years, and a lot of the homeless guys that I really connected with have passed.  Jim’s gone.  Martin’s gone.  Tony’s gone.

Tonight I got down there and they were already handing out pizza.  Faithful Cindy was there helping Pastor RK pass out pizza, she had a big smile when she saw me and I got to give her a hug after she was done passing out pizza.

I’m an introvert, I don’t like initiating conversation in real life, I don’t like large crowds, and I’m 2 years out of practice from doing this.

I stood there and just tried to observe.  Not a single person I recognized from two years ago.

One guy came through the line stuck out to me.  As he was handed his first piece of pizza he commented

“I like to say, thank you Jesus, shakka Father.”

He came through the line again for seconds, and was very vocal about being grateful for the pizza.

He stood off to the side and ate.  I didn’t come down there just to observe, and RK hates the holy huddle.  RK had to leave and jokingly but also seriously said, cast a demon out of someone, I wanna hear a testimony next week, he had to leave early.

So I moved towards the man with his shirt off eating a piece of pizza.  I gave him knuckles, conscious of how bad his skin looked.

“I’m Perry, with a P.”  He said sometime during the conversation.

I asked him if he was from here and he said he’d lived here all his life.

He went on to tell me where he lived, some of the cross streets where bus benches are.

He said he got out of the hospital in October because of a horrible staph infection, he pointed to some of his skin that had permanently bubbled up and looked discolored.

He told me that his boyfriend choose meth and heroin over him.

I thanked him for being grateful for the pizza.  “Oh honey.” He responded.  He told me he hadn’t eaten in 3 days.

He said he was down here just to make people smile.  I said something about how it’s good to have purpose, and he hung on that word.  Purpose.

I asked him if this was his first time here, he said he came once last year, but didn’t know we’d be down here.  I told him that RK has been down there with pizza every Tuesday for like 7 years.

He told me he missed his court date because the police had taken his things and he didn’t know when to appear.  He was told to turn himself in for missing the court date and said he’d do it tomorrow.

He told me that his court date was for a stolen sandwich from the ABC store.

“I hope you won’t judge me for that.”  “I was hungry.”

He was worried about what a complete stranger thought of him.  People are looking for mercy and they know right from wrong.

Meanwhile my brain is in outreach mode… the need to say something spiritual is overwhelming… I should say something about how Jesus is the bread of life and how if You eat of Him you will never go hungry…

I didn’t say anything spiritual, because it would have been so forced, and it wouldn’t have been in love, it would have been said in my strange feeling of needing of saying something spiritual.  Instead I asked him how I could be praying for him this week.  He didn’t really give me a coherent answer.  He asked me how he could be praying for me, and then started to recite and kind of yell a prayer I had never heard.  He said he got chills as he did it.

Father, I pray for Perry right now, I thank you that He knows you by name and I thank you even more that You know Him by name.  I thank you that its your kindness that leads us to repentance.  I pray that Perry would encounter your love for him in such a deep way this week that He would walk in all the good plans you have for him, in Jesus name amen.

What are God’s plans for the homeless in Waikiki?  Is it that they all get jobs and have homes?  Is that what the Kingdom of God is about?  Is it that they all attend a church on Sunday?

I honestly didn’t want to go tonight.  I even told Jess that.  She reminded me that I never want to go but I’m always glad I did.

It’s true.  I’m glad that I can be reminded that homeless people, who look nothing like me, who have withered skin from the elements, who are homosexuals, who sleep on bus benches and are in trouble with the law, were made in God’s image.  And that’s what gives them value.

I’ve been stuck in my suburban cul-de-sac to long.  Being back in Honolulu, I’ve noticed an increase in the homeless population.  On the weekends when the cops sweep the beaches they migrate to the end of the street where we’re staying and set up there tents there.  The other night a guy curled up ten yards from my back window.

Working with the homeless and then getting to go home to the safety or your tidy neighborhood was one thing.  Living where they set up is a complete other thing.  In fact all of today there was a cart covered by a tarp leaning against a tree right in eye sight of my back window.  It’s still there.

But the important thing is I remember that these are people, created in God’s image, which means they have value.

I don’t have all the answers for the obviously large population of homeless.  And I don’t think there is a normal story of how people got homeless.  I’ve talked with people that want to be homeless because they like the “freedom.”  Some people are homeless because of mental illness, or drug addiction.

I don’t want homeless people sleeping in my backyard.  Their trash and waste littering our streets and alleys. And I don’t have a solution.

But I bet that solution starts with them knowing that they have value.  Value because they were created in God’s image.  Value because God sent His son to redeem them.  Value because the Father is calling the prodigals home.

When we don’t think we have value, we don’t think we have purpose.  And purpose is what gives us hope.  And hope is what causes us to take responsibility.

2 Resources For Premarital Bliss

Did you do premarital counseling?

Do you wish you would have?

Would you benefit from marriage counseling now?

Funny how counseling is seen as a last resort.  But with a commitment as huge as marriage, why not get some outside help?

Find some people that are doing marriage well and take them to dinner and ask them their secrets.  I am POSITIVE that they have some good advice for you.  Good marriages don’t just happen, they take work. So even if you get some knowledge and wisdom on HOW to do it… you’ve still have to DO it.

I remember Jess and I taking a couple out and asking them about marriage.  As we settled into the booth at the restaurant and were small talking, the husband blurts out:  “All of your fights are going to be over two things… sex and money.”  His wife embarrassedly swatted at him, but he just looked back and her and asked… Am I right?  And she shook her head in agreement.  I think that is our most memorable marriage advice moment.

Jess and I recently got asked to do some premarital counseling for a couple that met in Hawaii a few years ago.

Thank God for the interwebs, the couple are in different locations right now, and we’re in a different location from them, so a lot of these sessions will be done over e-mail and skype.

The two resources that I always recommend for marriage counseling are:

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1001 Questions To Ask Before You Get Married by Moncia Mendez Leahy

Each chapter is broken up into a theme, and then you are given questions to answer and compare notes.  We suggest couples just ask the question together and discuss it.  A lot of them will be no brainers, but there are questions that you may not have thought of or discussed.

I was at a Danny Silk conference this weekend and he spoke about how marriage is the blending of two family cultures.  He went on to say that there has to be communication about which culture is going to be adopted on certain issues, or if you’re going to create a new way of doing things within your new family.  He actually wrote a book for engaged couples called Defining The Relationship, I haven’t read it, but I have read some of his other books, so I assume its well done and very practical.

We assume things will be done the way it’s always been done.  Problems arise when both parties are assuming something is going to happen their way.  Thats why this book is such a great resource.  It causes you to have the conversation before the emotionally charged event happens.


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Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs 

I once gave this to a woman who was struggling in her marriage.  She committed to only reading the woman’s portion of the book, she didn’t want to read what the man was suppose to do and get upset because he wasn’t doing it.  And she says it saved her marriage.

This book plainly spells out what women and men want and need.  The revolutionary (except, the Apostle Paul wrote about it like 2000 years ago) concept that men receive love through respect is huge.

What advice or resources have really helped your marriage?  Comment and let us know:)

Want $8.62 Off Your $50 Purchase at Amazon?

When I see good deals, I like to tell you about them, so here is one.

Today Amazon is offering $8.62 OFF a $50 purchase of items sold by Amazon.  So no third party vendors.  I couldn’t figure out why the promo code wouldn’t work but then realized the $50 included a third party item that wasn’t actually being sold by Amazon.

To get the cart up to $50 worth of Amazon goods I purchased some guitar strings which is something that won’t perish and I will always need.

Click HERE and use the promo code BIGTHANKS at check out.  Today only.

Hope this helps some of you!


Perfectionism Is Robbing You

Sunset chaser

How are your New Years resolutions going?

Not perfect? Hmm

Well, you’ve got two choices.

1.  Berate yourself for not meeting the unrealistic goal you set in the first place.


2.  Celebrate the very real progress you have made.

I highly recommend number 2.

Celebrating the small victories you’ve made are going to encourage you to keep going.

Getting down on yourself for missing the mark?  Keep up with that negative self talk and you’ll create a  new destructive habit trying soothe your negative self talk.

Change the way you talk to yourself.  It’ll change your life.  It’s changing mine.


A Gospel Worldview


Yesterday I made my first political post on facebook.  It went like this:

Dear Christians,

What if every time we saw a political post on here, we prayed and asked God how WE can share and be the Good News to our nation, to our neighbor.

We don’t need Jesus for president because Jesus is already King. If we want more of His influence in the world it starts with making Him LORD of our OWN lives.

Salvation, hope and restoration came through ONE man, and it wasn’t any Presidential candidate.

After Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice He was given ALL authority, and then He gave us a commission.

Matt 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Yes, Presidents are important, but their leadership doesn’t negate our commission to steward well, influence, forgive as we’ve been forgiven and love like He loved us.

We’re still called to open our mouths and share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to make disciples who know and have encountered the goodness and truth of His scandalous love and who hear the Fathers voice and OBEY.

God’s with us always, to the very end of the age. The next president only 4 maybe 8 years.




Oh interwebs… you are a funny place.  We should expect pushback especially on the internet.

A friend shared my post and someone commented on their share this:

In my opinion, this is attitude is problematic. It demonstrates the predominate mindset for Christians whenever challenging political or societal questions arise, and has become a major factor in why our society is in such dire spiritual and political straits – few christians take a stance on polarizing topics.

This mindset is not far off from putting your head in the sand/clouds. The end result of this worldview is to be lukewarm in every non-theological discussion. Id rather be right or wrong on tough societal and political issues, then be “meh”

The conversation went on and I chose not to get involved.  Because you know…

My mind was completely changed on an issue because of an argument I had online said no one ever.

I’m teaching on worldview in a couple weeks in all of the RED Schools.  And I’m basing my teaching heavily on this book.  Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey.

It talks about how we’ve put Christianity in a subjective personal religious box and how people are okay with it if it’s just your private faith.

But when the gospel is preached, it changes communities and economies.  Remember in Acts 16 where the fortune telling woman was a big money maker and she gets set free and everyone is mad?

Or how about in Acts 19 when Demetrius is TICKED cause no one is buying idols of artemis anymore.

When the gospel is proclaimed it should be transformative.  It should change the way we live our lives in every realm.

Crooked tax collectors met Jesus and repaid their debts and stopped ripping people off.

Prostitues stopped prostituting.

The kingdom of God isn’t a political Kingdom, otherwise Jesus would have taken over Rome.

So if you want to have influence (and we should) in the political arena, in policy making, in the moral discussion, in culture shaping, it requires that be:

  1.  Under the Lordship of Jesus which means we OBEY and we’re teaching others to hear and obey
  2.  Actively involved in the culture, creating value.  No one wants to listen to a back seat driver.  If you want influence, be an influencer, create value in every sphere!  And then watch people value your other opinions.

And oh man… obedience.  Obedience last the longest in a trusting relationship.  I’ll expound on that one soon.

There’s some afternoon thoughts for ya… whatdaythink?  Comment and let us know.

VikiJanuary 2, 2017 - 7:31 am

Well said, Jim. I have a diverse set of friends on Facebook. I try to exhibit my faith, but not be preachy. I want them to see in me something that will give them hope when they need hope. I want to be a light when they realize they are in the darkness. I want to be loving, but not accepting of the world’s standards.
God bless you!

Jim BakerJanuary 5, 2017 - 11:57 am

awesome comment! It was great to see you from afar the other month haha :)

It’s Not What You Say It’s How You Say It

sometimes-your-tonewill-disqualify-youGood morning, woke up a little after 5am this morning.

Last week I set a goal to get up at 6am every morning.  When you work from home there’s not a time you have to be at work.  But I feel like 6am is an adult time to wake up.  When I get a hard start to my morning I have much better days than when I just wake up whenever I want.  I’m celebrating that I set a goal and have been killing it!

As I shared in the last post I’ve been trying to start my day with a creative project, putting a thought on “paper” and sharing it.  It causes me to have to sit and think about something as well as do something slightly creative and productive to start out my day with a win.

The one I worked on this morning was not the one I ended up posting.  I ended up sharing the one above.

My original thought this morning needs to be reworked, I even started writing a blog post about my original idea, but the tone was so negative.

Something my dad said a lot growing up was “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”  And it’s stuck with me.  Parents keep planting seeds, a lot of the things my dad has said over the years have stuck with me.

Thinking about HOW to say something is interesting.  You can be saying the same basic thought, but it can be perceived very very differently based on how you deliver it.

“Sometimes your tone can disqualify you.”

I originally had will instead of can.

Sometimes your tone will disqualify you.

But can is a bit more passive, and less harsh.  Less severe.  Will sounds like it definitely will disqualify you where can gives a bit of ambiguity.

I also thought about removing the word “sometimes” but that sometimes again softens the blow.

Your Tone Can Disqualify You.  vs Sometimes Your Tone Can Disqualify You

Again adding in a bit of ambiguity makes it more palatable.  Without sometimes it sounds so accusatory and scolding.

When you stare at words this long and think about them like this they start to fall apart and not make any sense at all.

Row-ad.  (Tommy boy?)

Anyway, if you often feel you’re misunderstood, I encourage you to check your tone.  Ask someone who you trust and and who loves you if your tone is getting in the way of the good things you have to say.

Sometimes communication is an art form that requires practice.

God gave us a filter.  Just because a thought comes to our mind doesn’t mean we have to say it.

You have good things to contribute, maybe that thought needs an edit, a flair, a finesse to be received well.  It takes practice and discipline but it’s worth it.

Creativity Productivity And Perfectionism


I recently decided I wanted to up my twitter game.  So I’ve set a goal to follow 5 people a day and be more active on twitter.  I’ve been faithfully following more and more people and well so far… I’ve gained less followers than I have followed but thats okay.  Slow and steady wins the race right?

Part of my new daily strategy is to create little “memes” with some thought I’ve had.  It’s a nice daily discipline that requires a little bit of creativity and requires me to take something that has been floating around in my head and condense it down to clearly communicated idea, which is really not easy.

There’s a million ways you can say things.  Words are hard.  Communication is hard.  So it’s a great exercise.

Sometimes I get stuck, and then I’ll ask input from my wife who majored in English.

Feedback is hard sometimes too, because I subconsciously want what I’m saying to sound a certain way, to include certain words and I’m coming at it from my own understanding of which my wife knows nothing about because I haven’t communicated those things.

Anyway… after a certain point I just have to publish what I’ve got.  Today’s thought is above and it’s not A+ work it’s probably about a C.  But I had to post it on instagram otherwise I’d keep revising and I’d kill it in the process and lose momentum.

I can always come back and revisit the thought and communicate it clearer next time.

The difference between posting something average, and feeling defeated and not posting anything is a small but huge difference.  It seems minimal, but I really think it has an affect on my day.  Because being productive even in small things helps push your momentum forward.  If I wouldn’t have posted that meme (is a text graphic even considered a meme?) I probably wouldn’t be posting this blog, and who knows what momentum posting this blog will push me towards.

Be creative, share it with the world, don’t let perfectionism stop you, keep your momentum going, average or even below average work published is better than the defeat of no work.  Fight fear and resistance.  Publish.

Follow me on instagram and twitter @jimjessbaker