Hosting “The Nines”

Last year, I heard about this thing called “The Nines“. There seemed to be a lot of speakers worth listening to, and the more I looked into it, the more I liked it: a free online conference consisting of 9 minute video segments from some of my favorite writers and speakers. Actually our whole staff ended up spending much of the day together with some great, quick thoughts from a pretty diverse group of presenters.

This year, Leadership Network has morphed The Nines just a little bit beyond their original idea, to include a group viewing/host site option. I signed us up. So if you want to take part in this conference beyond your own office doors and living rooms, come join us at WestWay on the Ninth of this month.  The conference starts at 9:30 and will go until about 6:30. If you serve in leadership anywhere near here or would like to be someday, we’d love to have you join us all day, or part of the day.  Go to their site and register, then feel free to drop by anytime – we’ll keep the video feed going and even provide some rolls or sandwhiches or something! (If you can’t make it, check out The Nines site and view it wherever you may be.)

Great Way to spend 7 Bucks!

Check out the bands’ pages and make sure to be here on the 19th of September!

3:18 Ministries

“…let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.”

These words, taken from 1 John 3:18 lie at the heart of a new ministry to the Apache people of San Carlos called 3:18 Ministries. The ministry has been born out of a desire to see new life rise on the reservation as people don’t just hear about God’s love, but truly experience it. My good friend Tory, can keep you posted on what’s going on with 3:18 as work groups come and as the full cast of the 3:18 team comes together.

As a board member, I’d really appreciate your prayers for this venture.  Pray especially for the Satters, as they pilot our way forward in this and pray for God to bring the right people to the right places within the organization.

Check out the 3:18 team, be praying for God’s love to be tangible to the San Carlos Apache, and think about what you can do to make it that way…

Active Water

My students and I were introduced to a great organization this summer at CIY Move. It’s called activewater and they are currently working to make clean water more accessible in Zambia. Dirty water causes or facilitates many diseases – many people die from sicknesses that may not be a big deal here because we have sanitary knowledge and water. Activewater is working to dig wells and install water purification systems that are helping give life to areas that have been afflicted with water born diseases, as well as educating the people about sanitation and hygiene.

We’re going to be doing some fund raising for Activewater this fall. We’ll be hosting a benefit concert in September.  100% of the ticket price will go to activewater. (Incidentally, if you work in an organization that would be interested in helping us sponsor the event, let me know.)

VOTA will be the main feature, with Delusions of Pluto opening. The show will be awesome, but the life that will be shared because we care will be incredible!


So… for a long time, I’ve resisted. I’ve brushed aside what so many have hailed: ignored the call of the Cupertino sirens… and stuck with what I knew. I’ve remained faithful to the familiar. But today is Day 1 in what some would say is the next stage of my computing evolution and others would liken to partaking in forbidden computer fruit. I have, for the first time, plugged in and started up my iMac – which is technically WestWay’s iMac procured at my request and curated on my desk. I use the word curate, because taking the computer out of it’s slim little box and placing it upon my otherwise cluttered desk felt like installing a piece of art with it’s hidden power lights and shiny little keyboard and 1 button mouse that functions like 2 buttons and a scroll wheel and a track pad all in one – the simplicity of the mac design.

But fear not, my ever faithful PC friends. I am maintaining dual citizenship for now. The rest of the office functions in a Windows world, so I will not be closing those portholes or portals any time soon. I promise I won’t look down on your hard drive seizing, frozen drive crashing habits. I promise not to laugh at your keyboard crushing frustrations (at least not any more than usual). I promise to still help you when you can’t remember how to cut-copy-and-paste your way to completion of tasks and even to assist in the recovery of those all important pictures lost in the latest round of today’s trojan wars.

I promise to refrain from dropping ubiquitous i’s in front of words that don’t need them for any reason whatsoever and to be diligent to keep myself free from the stain of the apple arrogance. I promise to avoid assailing your ears with a constant stream of the kindergarten-esque “music” projects I concoct in the lab of my GarageBand just because it’s there.

Day 1 has begun. I’ve set up e-mail, found the network printer, adjusted the sound (which is really good and probably annoying my oldies-loving neighbor), done a little browsing and now, posted this iblog! I look forward to learning the new language of applework, installing a bit of software, and making full use of the creatively productive pieces of this machine that are at the core of why I made the switch.

Get it? Core – – apple. Ha ha???

Sorry… I promise to still apologize for bad jokes too.

Compassion Event

Last week, I got to volunteer at a Compassion table at Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit (go check out some of the highlights) simulcast here in Scottsbluff.  LuAnn and I have sponsored kids through Compassion since early on in our marriage and I’ve presented Compassion at various times in the churches where we’ve lived, but I’d never been able to do a table at an event like this before.

I was a little unsure of how the event would go, but basically was anticipating being available to answer questions during breaks. That is essentially how things went – I had some great conversations with area leaders about Compassion and what a difference they and their churches and organizations could make in the life of a child in poverty. One lady was in tears as she began sponsorship of an additional child, another was ecstatic at being able to help with Compassion’s Child Survival Program in Ecuador with only $20 a month.

I’m glad I got to help. It was good to connect with so many area leaders, and even better to be reminded of some of the reasons we started supporting children through this awesome organization in the first place. God is at work through Compassion and I’m so grateful to be able to be a part of that. If you haven’t looked into Compassion lately, snoop around their website a little right now and see what you can do for a child.

Tackling a Big Project

I’m hoping to embark on a pretty big project in our student ministry soon. Actually, it’s an idea that’s been broached before, but failed to launch for some reason. I’ve been reading through Exodus lately and found a great picture yesterday in the 35th chapter of how God’s people once tackled a big project:

The Hebrews had escaped Egypt and were entering into a covenant with their Deliverer. Free from slavery, but not quite into the Promised Land… Part of that covenant was the construction of the tabernacle, a meeting place for God and His people. This was a huge undertaking for a displaced tribe of wanderers, but they did it. I think there are some notable factors to their success in building the tabernacle that we can learn from in the church today.

They had a clear picture of what was to be done. In Ex. 35:4 “Moses said… ‘This is what the Lord commanded.'” Moses had been given clear instruction and was able to articulate God’s vision to God’s people.

They were invited to contribute to the work. “If their hearts were stirred and they desired to do so, they brought to the Lord their offerings…” Their gifts weren’t coerced or given out of guilt – they were moved by God to give! “Everyone who wanted to help in the work the Lord had given them…” brought the materials needed for the construction of the tabernacle.

They entrusted their offerings to those best gifted to make use of them. God had chosen Bezalel and Oholiab and filled them with His Spirit and the ability “to create beautiful objects…” and also to teach their skills to others. These guys were gifted by God to lead in this project, so Moses gave them the materials that the people provided. Then he let them do their work.

They gave “more than enough to complete the whole project.” God had provided all the resources needed to accomplish the work He wanted to do – and when the people set their hearts to do what He wanted, they gave so much that there was extra.
I wonder who really wants to help in the work God has given us today?
Do we have a compelling picture of what that work really is?

We have a huge job to do. God has not called us to merely get together and sing our favorite songs once or twice a week. He has called us to awaken the world to the reality of His love for them. He has called us to bring hope where there is no hope, to bring life where there is only death. He has given us everything we need to accomplish the work, and He is stirring in the hearts of His people right now – moving them to action, inspiring them to give themselves to His work to redeem humanity.

Spend some time with God today and find out what you can give…