Tag Archives: #dadsonmission

How to Make a Difference in the World Without Being Traumatized, Overwhelmed, and Burned Out

Impact of media

Lots of negative stuff is presented 24 hours a day. Everything is a crisis, everything seems threatening. You can’t deny or hide from these issues, but how does this affect you?

  • vicarious trauma- you experience the trauma of other people’s struggles and losses.
  • compassion fatigue- feel like you have to do something about everything, all the time.
  • you shut down, become numb and don’t do anything because your brain is designed to protect you from trauma.
  • recognizing the needs and injustices of the world can be a catalyst for your calling. But watching and listening to the 24/7/365 barrage will shut you down. Seeing nonstop injustice will make you bitter and jaded.

Daily duties and cares
– can’t make a difference if we are constantly concerned with how you are going to meet basic needs of yourself and your family.
– if you have outstanding obligations, you will leave those things undone as you “do what you have to do” in day-to-day life. You can’t thrive in survival mode.

Avoid the “yes” trap
– you’re the kind of person who takes on too much.
– you will disappoint people, but saying no is very important.

“In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.” (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭27-30‬ KJV)

What should we do then?
– Pick 3- prioritize around the areas of your life that are important to you.
– Build boundaries- designate sacred ground, protect it, limit the distractions and trauma triggers, understand that if you don’t do this you will be of no good to anyone, especially your family.
– Watch for signs- you’ll bump your ceiling ever so often. Usually the result of saying “yes” too often, to too many people. Respect the fact you can’t do it all and revive your priorities and boundaries.
– Measure success and celebrate.
– Make service a lifestyle. Don’t insulate it from the rest of your life. Embrace it, involve others in it, especially your children and spouse.
– Mind your spiritual life. You need to be connected to God’s agenda and His power. Remember you are not the Christ. He doesn’t put more on us than we can bear, but we certainly take more on ourselves than we should.

“In a world that needs your connectedness, you can’t afford to be shut down and out of the fight.”


Why My Kids Make It Worthwhile to be a #DadsOnMission

I love the United States of America. I am heartbroken at what we have become. The American nation, and the American church for that matter, need a spiritual revival and renewal. But I am extremely thankful to live my convictions and share those with my kids.

We have begun Bible quizzing with my oldest son. He is 8 years old. He took highest-scoring quizzer in his first tournament, and he won 2nd place team in the tournament along with a buddy.

It has been an emotional roller coaster getting him to study. He simply has not wanted to do it. Tonight, even after winning this past Saturday, he cried as soon as we mentioned studying his Proverbs. Thirty minutes later we were able to start, and after an hour he had settled in and learned 5 new proverbs.

Once we finished studying, out of nowhere, he wanted to have church in his room. He ran to get his bath over with, then set up a chair for a pulpit and pillows on the floor for his brother, mother, and me to sit on. We prayed and sang songs. He asked me to lead the opening prayer and his mother to lead the closing prayer. We all shook hands, hugged, and greeted one another.

He even named the church- Spring Creek Pentecostal Church, after the community we live in. I truly believe that it is a foretelling of things to come. Spring Creek needs an Apostolic church. I think one just started.

imageLittle brother is joyful and does everything his brother does. We spent all of 2014 working as a family on a pro-life initiative called Yes On 1, to pass a state constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for the unborn. A few weeks ago, as his brother and I were working on quizzing, he set up a chair as a display table, with pamphlets and a “Yes On 1” sign, like we did dozens of times at churches and events. Then he said to me, “I need somebody to walk by so I can tell them vote yes on 1!” It was a heart-wrencher, seeing him do what he had seen us do, and having that be important to him at this stage in life, just because it is important to us as his parents.

I don’t write this to convey that my wife and I are super parents, because I, at least, am not. Julie instills so much in the boys that I never could because she is a work-at-home mom, constantly there for them. I need more help as a parent than my sinful pride will allow me to admit. But I am encouraged, and I grow daily, and I ask God for help and cover them with prayer.

And because of the way I see my sons growing, I will continue to be a Dad On Mission, reaching and teaching, to make sure I hand them a baton worth carrying to the finish line.

Never miss a post- sign up for the weekly email newsletter.
Follow me on Twitter, and check out the #DadsOnMission Daily Paper.li:

The Church Helping the Hurting- A Conversation

I had this conversation on Twitter the other day and thought it would be beneficial to some of my readers:



(Sign up today for weekly email updates of each post and get a free family vision casting form.)

I believe it isn’t so much an area of social work as it is an area of Christian living. My friend here is a social worker, as am I, so that was the context in which we were interacting. For the Church, reaching the spiritually lost means reaching the physically and emotionally damaged. It means we have to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal.6:2) I believe people endure extraordinary circumstances that require specialized help, like social workers, therapists, physicians, or others, in order to overcome. But mostly, people need loving support in the context of community. And they need the healing that only Christ can offer. We all have a part in helping the hurting people around us, especially those of us that trust in the Lord, who is the Prince of Peace.

It’s Time for a Miracle- #DadsOnMission Digest

imageI have a lot to say in this edition of the digest. First, on a personal note- We are in April, which is the Month of Miracles in Jackson, TN. And we are reaching out to the community of our calling through worship, prayer, and acts of service. We hold a weekly chapel service at the local soup kitchen, and we expect miracles there. Miracles are biblical and they happen today! But we have to know that in our heads, know it by faith, and expect it to happen. In our first chapel of the month, we challenged them to believe for miracles because the Bible says miracles happen:

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:14, 15 KJV)

Laying on of hands, prayer of faith, healing and miraclesThis is exactly what we did, and while there was no great outward demonstration in this particular service, we will continue to cultivate the hearts of the people for a miracle in each of their lives. Pray with us about this. And pray with us as we have approached a church in the community about using their building for a weekly prayer meeting. The building happens to be for sale, and we will be seeking God’s will for us, and the provision to go with it!

#DadsOnMission, Church planting, ministry, missions
Click the image to sign up for weekly email updates today and get a free family vision casting guide.

Listen to the podcast.

Thanks for sending this my way, Arman! To be honest, I haven’t gotten past number 1 yet and I’m seeing so much truth in what you are saying- be assured, it isn’t just you! Arman knows this, and that is why I’m glad he is sharing these 7 parenting #fails for all of us.

Even though I am still listening through the podcast, #6 resonates with me personally. I have had to deal with anger just as a person, and especially as a father. I firmly rely on God to help me stay in check, but thankfully it is not the huge battle it used to be. Thanks again Arman- and everyone else, go check out the podcast, like it, share it, and leave Arman a comment.

“Most of the time it begins subtly. No one wakes up in a single day and thinks about destroying their personal life. It happens gradually over time. The time to build our systems of accountability, support and protection is always now.” Read more.

Instances of moral failure hurt us all. I thought of writing about this today upon hearing the news, but I can’t do it like Ron did here. All of his points are powerful pieces of spiritual advice we in ministry should take seriously.

“On Tuesday, April 8th, Rebecca and I will be meeting with the Hench’s to go into the city with one thing in mind. To start looking for a meeting location within the city of Hamburg where CityLight can begin to meet.” Read more.

As I navigated around their website, I thought about the calling of God to go. I have experienced it, and know that I will experience it again. For all the sacrifice going seems to require, their are 2 things that strike me- first, it is all worth it, and second, the present sacrifice will not compare to the next sacrifice. We have to always be ready to give more. Thankfully, the present sacrifice will be made worth bearing by the glory that is to come. Prayers to the Roper’s as they embark on this leg of their missionary ministry.

Check out the latest podcast from @JasonNeilSoto on Comments on Christianity and rate it at iTunes



Experiencing God’s Calling in the Middle of the Trial

Sign up for weekly updates from the blog here.

“More importantly, I am learning that I cannot determine whether I am in God’s will based on whether or not my life is peaceful. Just because I have trials in my life, doesn’t mean I am not in the center of God’s will for my life.” Read more.

From devastating loss to subtle stumbles throughout a day or a week, trials make it easy to say, “I must not be living right,” or “God, what in the world are you doing to me?” Ron’s simple reminder is that all of us face trials and even tragedies, but God’s will stands settled for each one of us. In fact, I believe the trial is where our calling gets its greatest exposure in the eyes of the world. To be stable through faith in Christ, in a world that is constantly racked with fear, is the supreme example in the world of His assurance and love for us- all of us. And every human being has the opportunity to access His peace and love right now. We just have to tell them how.

“A martyr is a witness. He is a person who chooses death rather than deny his faith. As the end of the world approaches, this murder of representatives of Christ will only intensify. (Matthew 10:21-22a) Jesus Himself spoke of the dynamic when He said, “‘[B]ut an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.’” (John 16:2) It’s how they treated Him. (Matthew 10:25) It’s how the twelve apostles were treated.” Read more.

This post gives a good listing of how the apostles suffered- and died- while fulfilling their calling. We are never promised significance, admiration, wealth, or anything at all in this life. The strength of the apostles’ calling did not lie in the outward signs so many depend on today, but in their firm knowledge of and experience with Jesus Christ. We have knowledge, and we can have experience, with our Lord even today. “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32 KJV)

I am at a point in planting the church in East Jackson, TN, where I don’t really know what’s next. April marks 1 year since our ongoing efforts to minister in this community began, and it doesn’t seem that we have made any progress. Everyone we’ve reached out to at this point has gone their own way. We spent months discipling a couple of families, and because they are no longer open to having Bible study with us, it is easy for me to decide that all has been in vain. But I know better than that. Recently God has expanded my vision regarding His call to my family and me, and He has challenged some idols I set up for myself regarding ministry and faithfulness. Today He offered me encouragement from a dear sister who has been a support for many months. She simply said, “Don’t give up- there are people there with no hope, and the Lord is going to lead you to them.” In our weekly soup kitchen outreach, a brother that attends the service every week spoke words that I know were from God about the calling of God on my family, my son in particular. We have to stay constantly aware of the voice of Jesus, or we will give in to the cackle of loud but lying voices that intend to tear us down and strip us of our calling. Praise God for His call, issued by His voice, that can never be taken away.

Check out the latest podcast from @JasonNeilSoto on Comments on Christianity and rate it at iTunes:

Also this one from @ArmanSheffey:

Dads on Mission Digest, 12/29/13

***Church Planting and the Mission of God*** This is an older post by Ed Stetzer but it is insightful. “None of our churches should be a cul-de-sac on the Great Commission highway.” This quote means a lot to me in light of a vision I had early in my ministry, nearly 10 years ago. It was a dream of a river that flowed from earth upward toward Heaven, crowded with people who were swept up in the flow. Those in the flow were reaching to others who were on the bank and pulling them into the river. Of course, many refused to get in. Occasionally there would be pools to the side where people exited the flow and seemed to just be basking in the water that had gathered, not making progress in the journey toward Heaven. That is the picture I got in my head after reading the quote, and that is what I want my church planting efforts to result in.
The statistic presented in the post is interesting- a church movement that wants to grow by conversion needs to plant churches at a rate of at least 3% annually. I want to find out more about the rate of planting in my own movement, the United Pentecostal Church International, though I feel like we are planting at a much higher rate than this. The specifier in his statistic is that this is growth by conversion that he is talking about. Ed refers to the fact that “church starting” can occur by people getting mad, leaving their church, and starting another church. This is not Kingdom growth, and not the kind of growth that any movement I know of wants to see happening. So let’s pray for conversions in 2014.

***2014 National CPF Conference and Training Seminar*** This is an excellent event sponsored by Chrisitian Prisoner Fellowship, a ministry of the United Pentecostal Church International. The advanced training offered here will not only enhance your effectiveness as a professional or volunteer prison chaplain, but will connect you to a premier organization that is bringing liberty to those who are bound. I encourage you to check it out along with the rest of the website for CPF.
Shared by @UPCIORG