The Blog

29 May

Our Best Offense Against the Enemy

“Full court press.” That’s a term I learned back in 7th grade when I joined my Jr. High School’s basketball team. At one of our pre-season practices our coach, Coach Gabe, divided us up into two teams, gave one team the ball and told them they would be playing offense in the next drill.

Then he took those of us who were going to be playing defense, and told us that when he blew the whistle and the ball went into play, we were to cover our opponents “man to man.” We were to rush up on them and stick to them like glue, wherever they went. We were to apply aggressive pressure on them throughout the court, not just by our basket. We were not to surrender any territory. Instead we were to make them fight for every inch of the court.

22 May

Don't Let This Dirty Word Define You: Seeing Disappointment Differently

Disappointment. Yeah, that’s the dirty word that has had me stuck in neutral far too many times. It looms over me like a mountain too steep to climb, reminding me of failures in the past and whispering doubts in my already fearful heart.

Do you know that word? After almost 20 years on the mission field in Asia, I have decided that I am tired of it. I call it “the dung of disappointment.” Yeah, “dung” is really a dirty word, too...pun intended!

15 May

Moving With God: Deeper Than Optimism, Hope Is a Virtue

Poverty is in front of my face.
I cannot move it.

Every single day I wake up and I go to bed looking at poverty and misery.
And I suffer when I see how people suffer.

I feel so helpless to solve these problems.
I get angry that people don’t work to solve their own problems.
I lose my hope that things will ever be different.

But God answered me in my hopelessness and gave me a new understanding.
God said, “Jose, in this kind of ministry, you have to live out hope from virtue, not optimism.”

26 Apr

The Path of Grace: Walking Toward Forgiveness and Healing

I recently spent two rainy and beautiful days at a retreat with 25 young women between 17 and 24 years old. I felt so honored to be invited to join this retreat to share about inner healing. It’s one of my favorite ministry and teaching topics!

As I entered the room the first morning it struck me just how young these girls were. I had been praying and remembering what being in my twenties was like. (Not so long ago, by the way! At least in my mind.)

19 Apr

Heroism, Not Survival

As believers, we are told we are in a battle against the powers of darkness—a spiritual battle. As soldiers in God’s spiritual army, we have a choice about how we will respond when the battle gets heated. Will we hunker down and just try to survive, or will we act with power, courage, and heroism? Staff member C’havala Crawley, who leads CRM’s strategic prayer initiative, has an impactful “war-time” illustration of this.

17 Apr

The Dying Become Disciple Makers

When our central African leaders arrived at the location where they had been asked to take seven evangelists through a Disciple Making Movement (DMM) training, they were in for a surprise. The house they had been directed to was filled with men and women on pallets on the floor who were sick and dying—38 of them.

02 Apr

Cemetery Easters: Death and Resurrection Life

We had a tradition of going to the graveside Easter morning.

Somewhere between sunrise service, Easter breakfast, the overfilled sanctuary of Easter service, and the hunt for Easter baskets, we squeezed it in—my mom, little sister, two brothers, and me. Standing in snow, shivering against the Minnesota cold, I would open my Bible and find words of resurrection:

On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.

21 Mar

God, Where Are You?

Three. The number of shootings in our neighborhood in the last month.

Three. The number of students inside the school room pierced by a stray bullet.

Three. The number of middle school girls I spend time with on Thursday evenings.

Three. The number of times I run each week, giving me ample opportunity to wonder and question and grow soreness in my aging knees.

Questions whirl in my head like a tornado. Doubts creep in like the ants feasting on our dining room floor. Feelings of overwhelmedness hang on me like a tired three-year-old.


05 Oct

Living the Adventurous Life

It’s time to reacquaint ourselves with the adventurous life. Biblical Christianity, I would argue, can be nothing else.



It demands that we continuously trust God and leap.

10 Aug

Vocation: At the Crossroads of Desire, Skill, and a Suffering World

I’ve been reflecting on the idea of vocation: the importance of doing something in your everyday that is life-giving to both you and your community.




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