Fired-Up

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Aragorn:  “The beacons. The beacons of Minas Tirith have been lit! Gondor calls for aid.”

Theoden: “And Rohan will answer!”

 

So, my mission president summoned all of the veteran missionary leaders to Lyon this week for a special Leadership Council. Every single missionary I go home with has been a Leader at some point in their mission, which doesn’t happen often, apparently. And all of us were gathered at this grand meeting for the sole purpose of figuring out what we could do to fire-up the missionaries.

Finding the Fire
Fire was a big part of the conference. There is a rising number of missionaries who have lost their spark and are struggling.  And with a large batch of new missionaries coming in, well, the president’s charge to us was to inspire others to rise up, and ignite the work again.  We all sat down in council and discussed it.

How do you inspire someone out of a slump?  What does it take to get someone from the doldrums on to high ground? From snuffed-out to burning bright? Continue reading

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This is Why We Practice

Training Wheels

 

“The future depends on what we do in the present.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”
Sun Tzu

“Practice makes the master.”
Patrick Rothfuss

 

True story:  There was a gal who made a spiritual journey to India to meet the Dalai Lama. The timing of her visit was an interesting one because a week before she and her friends arrived, tragedy struck among the otherwise peaceful Buddhist community. Some monks had been brutally murdered – alarmingly, by fellow monks!

The disturbing news of course couldn’t help but undertone the trip, so when this gal and her small group found themselves in a private audience with The Dalai Lama, their first words to him were ones of sympathy. His response was stunning. Continue reading

Poodle Roo

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“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”
Helen Keller

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
Maya Angelou

 

Sometimes the greatest lessons can be found in the most unlikely places.  Meet my new hero Poodle Roo from Apricot Lane Farms. Continue reading

Under Construction

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Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16

We are his workmanship.
Ephesians 2:10

 

I have officially reached the halfway mark of my mission. Gosh, where has the time gone? Feels like I just got here.

Regardless of how many people have or have not listened to our message, the reality of my service is that a huge transformation is taking place – and that change is within me.

Caution: Under Construction
At some point in service, every missionary hits the hard hat zone. In the last few weeks, I’ve hit mine. This is when you find the Lord beginning demolition so he can rebuild you. Funny, before his ministry, Jesus was a carpenter, and he seems to be continuing his trade (this time on my heart). Continue reading

Rise Up

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“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in Rising up every time we fail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Sometimes in life, soul is called to Rise even if it’s alone, leave all behind and Rise anyway!”
Coletha Albert

“Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.”
Terry Goodkind

Listen, I’m all for decompressing and relaxing, and mental health days.  I believe Italy has it right with taking 2-hour Pranzos in the middle of every day for food and family.  And, for heaven’s sake, a 4-day work week would do wonders for the collective human spirit, and therefore healthcare.

But this humble pep-post isn’t about kicking back or taking it easy.  No. This is about another form of well being:  Giving it your all. Continue reading

Just Keep Swimming

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Dory in Finding Nemo
Disney/Pixar 2000 Animated Film

Lupus is kicking my butt today. Pain. Fatigue.
It may slow me down, but it’s not going to stop me. I’m taking a lesson from Dory from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

There is a purpose in this. I just haven’t put my finger on it. Frankly, I don’t know what my Nemo is – what I will eventually find. Could be the building of my character. Could be instilling me with patience. Maybe it’s developing copious amounts of fortitude.

Or, better yet, my Nemo is the knowledge and experience I am gaining in order to someday help someone else.

Wasn’t that Dory’s journey? Continue reading

Beginning to Sink

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“The Storm on the Sea of Galilee”
by Rembrandt

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
Psalms 130:1

The story of the disciples in the storm on the Sea of Galilee, when Jesus comes walking on water towards them, is one of my favorites. But I especially love Peter. Bold, impetuous, fiery, passionate, fallible Peter. Yeah, he’s the kind of guy I can relate to. And, in this story, he shows the shooting from the hip kind of faith that gives me hope in my storms.

Setting Sail on Galilee
Here’s the set-up:  Jesus has just fed the multitude, sent them off in one direction, put his disciples on a boat in another, and says to the Twelve, “see you on the other side, boys!” Then he heads up the mountain to have alone time with his Father in prayer.

That’s when the storm hits. Continue reading