Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whose I am

My fitness journey is driven not by who I am or who I strive to be.
Instead, I am driven by WHOSE I am and all He's purposed for me.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's time for your church to choose American Heritage Girls! Mine did.

What an incredible journey of faith and perseverance to lead my church denomination into a relationship with American Heritage Girls (AHG). Almost 10 years ago, I started my first AHG troop at a LCMS church in Carmel, Indiana. On that day, I knew the Lord would lead me to give the church a God-honoring, faith-based scouting experience for our daughters. When we moved to St. Louis nearly seven years ago, I found myself near the LCMS international headquarters. I soon began building relationships with those who could change policy. During that time I started another new AHG troop at my church in West County, MO.

I give great accolades to the men and women of the LCMS who took large steps of courage to develop the Memorandum of Understanding with AHG. Many LCMS churches have Girl Scout troops meeting on their campuses and have for decades. Congregations are filled with current Girl Scout families. Most of whom are faithful families simply uninformed of the secular, liberal bias of the Girl Scout organization. The current Girl Scout secular policy to "take no position" on moral issues no longer works within the paradigm of the christian church. It is my hope LCMS pastors, youth workers and church families will lead by example and choose AHG. AHG teaches girls and their families to "take a position" based on a Biblical worldview. 

American Heritage Girls is a perfect match for the church. As a matter of fact, AHG is designed to work with the church and be accountable to the church to lead youth to Christ and raise up Godly leaders. 

It is my hope, the LCMS and AHG will live up to the Memorandum to give girls a solid moral compass to build strong christian leaders. 

It was my pleasure to watch AHG Executive Director Patti Garibay and LCMS President Matthew Harrison sign the MOU. I enjoyed speaking on behalf of AHG and the local troop experience with Andy Bates on KFUO Radio. 

Now is the time to give our girls solid leadership skills using a Biblical model through American Heritage Girls.


KFUO Radio link

Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Recommends Faith-based Program for Girls
LCMS Signs Memorandum of Understanding with American Heritage Girls
ST. LOUIS (May 14, 2014) The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) President Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison and American Heritage Girls (AHG) Executive Director Patti Garibay signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) May 14, 2014.
The LCMS recommends AHG because it is faith-based. The MOU states, “WHEREAS: The American Heritage Girls program is centered on the same principles, and partners with the local LCMS church to assist and support girls through spiritual development, life skill enhancement, development of teamwork, social skills, citizenship, girl leadership skills while building confidence and discovering their identity in Christ.”
“Therefore be it RESOLVED, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and American Heritage Girls will work together, within the guidelines of the policies and regulations of each organization to establish and nurture American Heritage Girls Troops within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod so that girls may be provided with life skills, leadership development opportunities, service programs, and character building opportunities.”
To review the MOU in its entirety click here:
“Now more than ever, families are looking for programs that complement their family’s values and are eternally impactful.
The AHG program of leadership, character development and outward focus accomplishes just that,” says Garibay.
“The LCMS highly regards organizations like the American Heritage Girls because they provide a valuable outlet for young women to carry out their vocations in service to neighbor,” said President Harrison. “Furthermore, the AHG respects and supports the LCMS in her desire to serve God and care for His people in a manner that brings glory to Christ, even in this challenging age of moral and cultural collapse in America, especially as it relates to the family. We are thankful to enter into this MOU with the American Heritage Girls and look forward to seeing the good that God might bring about from our work together.”
Founded in 1995 in Cincinnati, Ohio, AHG currently has more than 34,000 members across the globe with 772 troops. AHG’s mission is building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. With emphasis on Christian values and family involvement, girls participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences. In the past four years, AHG has experienced 40 percent membership growth annually. Faith- based organizations like churches, schools and civic organizations can charter AHG troops to achieve their ministry goals for youth.
LCMS congregations have been working together with AHG for several years, with more than 65 AHG troops and 1,700 members currently in LCMS churches. Since they are structured with local charters that are operated by congregations, the LCMS believed it was important to create an MOU so that congregations would have guidance and support in working with AHG.
“AHG is a wonderful organization that allows the local congregation to run the program and have oversight of all spiritual care for the troop,” said the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission. “Shaping young women to be faithful Christians and strong citizens who care for the world and their neighbor are among the many laudable core tenets of AHG, so we want to strengthen our congregations’ participation with AHG and encourage others who might be interested in scouting for their girls.” 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One Thing Conference 2013 highlights

I loved bringing in the new year at the International House of Prayer's (IHOP) One Thing Conference. My daughters, husband and I joined 30,000 believers to worship Jesus! Amazing experience!
I still need to dig  back into the study guide because I only attended on 12/30 and 12/31, but these sessions are worth your time and focus. 

Mike Bickle's session: The transforming power of knowing who you are in Christ. I cant find it on YouTube right now

Francis Chan session - BEST Session! A must listen!

Matt Redman worship -

Benjamin Nolot - Contending for Purity in a pornified world pt 1

Benjamin Nolot pt 2

I want to meet Benjamin! I think his message would resonate with the American Heritage Girls membership, especially our older girls.

I do not recommend or endorse Corey Russell's message. I think he needs to take some time off for healing. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

VBS mission style

VBS in the suburbs St John Church
VBS in the city St John Church

God gives panoramic views of the church. Much like the view of VBS at St. John Church in the suburbs. A balcony view. A glimpse of the pay-off ... the Acts model to see thousands saved. But before we roll out the red carpet and spend thousands on major productions, God provides an intimate look at how ministry happens. Ministry happens up close. One person  at a time. Relationships with the hurting, the hungry, the poor and the lost. The Acts model reveals church, not a building, but people in relationships. In homes and on the streets, ministering to each other. Offering possessions, food, shelter and each other as living sacrifices. Physical needs and spiritual needs are met. People receive the forgiveness of sins, restoration and healing. Church is people proclaiming the gospel with boldness and happy servant hearts. Not buildings with fancy stuff.

I'm finding God in the small, the hungry and the hurting. The biggest decoration includes a few inflatable bumble-bees hanging from the ceiling. A box of donated crafts, supplies and snacks. But when the word of God is spoken at a small inner-city church at St. John in the city, with no lights and no cameras, the children found satisfaction for their souls. They received the good news with eagerness. It was a beautiful experience to live close-up where silver and gold meant less and healing meant more. I may take my kids to see the big shiny building this week. I know God can work in that big space too. But I'm enjoying the intimacy of relationship in the city. I believe God is doing a big work in a small space. And by His Spirit, this church, this people, will grow to reach thousands inside the walls and especially in the homes and on the streets.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

mission 101

I'm into my second semester at MissionShift, a seminary run School of Urban Ministry, referred to as Mission Shift

The class description has held true to its words ... This one-year program will immerse us into a spiritual and demographic study of the multicultural needs of St. Louis inner and urban city.

I've heard tons of folks come in and out of class and share their vision and mission in the city. And soon, I will leave the classroom, leave the case studies and theories behind, and enter the mission field. The moment I've been waiting for! I'm not one to sit still for long periods of time, so the class has been a sheer will of God calling me into obedience to be still and know that He is God.

I want to document a few observations:

I think I can narrow the field of "analysis, theory and case studies" down to two people groups. There are missionaries who are on fire for God, spirit-filled folks who are sold out for the gospel of Jesus. And Jesus is their prime focus. And then there are people who are running an organization/program with Jesus as just one part of the overall program. 

All the organizations have some sort of structure, business model and board of directors. One kind of group runs their program by following a particular model and work within a specific paradigm. 

But the spirit-filled, fire-in-their belly leaders operate by faith. Their business model serves as a nice checks and balance, but it does not control their direction. The Holy Spirit does. 

I find myself in a church that follows a paradigm of programs. The question is ... will the mission church/field I've been assigned be willing to seek first the Kingdom of God? Are they willing to do something different and be 100 percent sold out to the cause of Jesus? That's where I want to be!