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My Trip To Africa!

I’m waiting at Sky Harbor Airport to head to Portland and then to Amsterdam and then to Entebbe Uganda! I have 20 plus hours of flying ahead of me. The lady behind the counter with Delta got me an exit seat to Portland and I pray for the same as I fly the 10 hour flight to Amsterdam.
I am excited about the trip. I am curious what set of emotions I will experience as I arrive in such a mysterious and mystical place. Will I be disgusted at the unjustifiable poverty I find in Africa? Will I be frustrated at what is a lack of gratefulness and thankfulness of the quality of life we have in America. I wish I could pack up the whole “Occupy whatever town” in America and drop them in a 3rd world country so they could learn to count their blessings instead of cry out with entitlement mentalities.

I am asking God on this trip to make it clear to me if I am to dedicate the rest of my life to missions work or if I am to step back into a Lead Pastor Role of the Church. When did we ever separate the words Missions and Church? What a travesty. They are the same thing!

Anyway…time to go check in and get “comfy” on the plane. I ask for your prayers that I may return home with an expanded mind and experience in life.

I am honored that you are reading this post and the future ones to come. You matter to me and I want the very best for your life. Stay tuned!


This Blog is under construction…


I am busting at the seams to get some amazing and challenging articles on this Blog. I want you to use it for personal growth and challenge. Be patient with me as this is in process.

I am preparing to blog all 300+Teachings and Commands of Jesus Christ found in the Bible. It will take a long time. It will take over a year. I hope you use them as daily devotions.
Stay tuned.


Leader…SHIP!

What style do you lead with? You are a leader. Everyone leads in some form or another. I don’t want to oversimplify leadership because there is no such thing as simple leadership. So, humor me for a moment and let me cause you to think about two very famous forms of leadership and then you can decide which one you are and whether or not you are okay with your type of leadership. I do believe that you and I can change our leadership. Whether you have the gift of Leadership (Romans 12:8) or not, you can change your leadership style. Do you need to change your leadership style? If you do, will you?

Antoine Sanit-Exuperty was an aviator and an author. He wrote the following statement about leadership that I want to expound on. The simple statement below expresses what I think are the two most popular forms of leadership that I am asking you to meditate on and discern which one you are. Maybe someone else would be more truthful to you than you are to yourself as to which one you are more like.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t recruit the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and open sea!”

There you are. Two very effective forms of leadership. Both, effectively get a ship built.

The first form of leadership gets the ship built just like this image portrays.

This ship is magnificent. Inspirational. This is the kind of ship where men work hard to get it built. This is the kind of ship that men will do all they can to fix the problems and tweak the ship as its built so that it is just perfect. This is a ship that is built in a way that is reproducible, catches attention and people come from all over the world to walk around it and gasp at its incredible-ness. Who wouldn’t want to be recruited by the Leader of this vision so they could gather the materials, be a part of the divided work and complete the orders to build it?

I wouldn’t. I have a problem with this ship. Oh, its breathtaking and inspirational. It is quite an accomplishment. Something to be held in high honor and something to be very proud of. Not too many people get to build a ship like it! Its just not my kind of ship.

You might ask, “Why?”

Because all it is, is a ship, stuck on land. The problem with this ship, is that it is complete. The Leader wanted to build this ship, so he recruited the men to gather the materials, divide the work and gave the orders. Mission Accomplished! Built Ship.

The other form of Leadership… This second form of leadership builds this kind of ship…

This is the kind of ship that is built by the kind of leadership that I long for. Somewhere there was a man that taught a group of people to YEARN for the VAST and OPEN sea. They got together and began to dream about what it would be like to be out in the open sea with the wind blowing and the whales breaching and the waves carrying. These men got tired of dreaming and they discovered amongst them abilities and strengths that could make this yearning become a reality.

This is a boat that probably took a bit longer to build, it may have been a bit of rougher completion process. Mistakes would have to be forgiven, new lessons learned and the product that was brought to fruition was not a ship completed and still on the dock, but a ship completed, full of men who were proud of the accomplishment and an actual ship that is built to accomplish what the dream was all about.

I don’t want to be the leader that just builds the ship. Glorious as that may be.
I want to be a leader that inspires men to build the ship, un-dock the ship, navigate the ship, and then EXPERIENCE the VAST AND OPEN SEA.

Both are very effective styles of leadership with very different results.

What is your Leader…SHIP?


The Journey…

The following poem is called “The Journey” by Mary Oliver. I can absolutely relate with her as God has led me to make the decision to merge as one church with CCV. The reactions and realities that have happened since the decision are perfectly spelled out in this poem. I hope it inspires you to think deeply about your journey and what you MUST do.

THE JOURNEY
One day you knew what you had to do and began
Though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice
Though the whole house began to tremble
And you felt the old tug at your ankles
“Mend my life,” each voice cried, “Mend my life”

But you didn’t stop – you knew what you had to do
Though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations
Though their melancholy was terrible
It was already late enough, and a wild night
And the road full of fallen branches and stones

But little by little, as you left their voices behind
The stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds
And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own
That kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world
Determined to do the only thing you could do
Determined to save the only life you could save.

Journey On,
Trent


Invest and Invite

The material you are about to read through is a copy and paste. My brother-in-Law, Chris Reed, executive pastor of Christ’s Church of Flagstaff wrote this and its too good to just read and put away. I hope you enjoy it and are challenged by it…
Invest and Invite
Right up front, I have to let you know I did not come up w/ this phrase. Someone else did. Those of us who are Disciples of Jesus Christ realize there is a Gap between our current level of evangelism and the level we want to operate our lives at. Following Jesus requires that we share him with others who are far from Him. We know that and we also know that we aren’t very good at it. We have a Gap.
Here is the task I gave during a recent sermon, go to a local bank in which you don’t have any money deposited. Give the teller your ID and ask for your money. The confused look on her face after a few seconds of searching her computer screen will be quite humorous. When she tells you that you don’t have any money at that bank say, “Ok, I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d try anyway.”
That is exactly what you and I do when we walk across the street to our neighbors and invite them to church at Easter or Christmas. You may even think, “Ok, I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d try anyway.”
We understand investment in regards to money, but we don’t often apply the same principles to investing in people. We know that if we want to invest wisely with our money we must set aside (save) a portion of it on a regular basis. We have to sacrifice our wants and desires today for a payoff tomorrow. That makes sense. We don’t all do it, but it makes sense.
Your neighbor who is far from God is no different. You have to display consistency and sacrifice to truly invest in his or her life. You have to set aside (save) a portion of your time to invest in people who are far from Christ. To do that requires a sacrifice that most of us are not willing to make. We have to have time to give; we have to say no to something that we are currently doing with our time. We may have to stop taking our kids to dance classes or soccer practice 4 nights a week. We may have to stop playing so much golf or only DVR 4 shows a week instead of 8. To save money on a monthly basis means that you can’t spend all the money you get each month. To invest time in your neighbor means you can’t spend all the time you get each month.
Once you and I start to consistently and sacrificially give our neighbors time we can then begin to think and pray about the process of inviting them to an event or service where they can encounter Christ. How will you know its time to make an invitation to a church service? Look at your investment with a particular person, if you ask them to church and they aren’t receptive, do you have enough invested that they know you will still be their friend if they don’t accept the invitation?
How do you get started? That’s the hardest part. Start planning a night a month in which you are going to invite several neighbors over for a potluck dinner. Make a decision ahead of time that Sundays from 2-3 you are going to be outside each week and strike up conversations with anyone that comes across your path. Turn off the phone and music during your child’s practice and talk to the other parents. Remember investments take time to mature and pay a dividend. Not all of your relationships will lead the other person to a salvation experience, but your life and the life of your family will be richer when you invest in the lives of others.
Give me some more ideas, how can we all invest in the lives of others?