Cattails

I’ve taken the days off between Christmas and New Years and have taken several walks along the wetlands and in the woods near our home. The cattails always catch my eye as they add gold to the whites and blacks of winter.

Family

I spent Labor Day weekend with my wife’s side of the family. It was nice to say goodbye to summer on the family farm in central Missouri. I took this photo of George McCollum, Donna’s dad, sitting on the front porch. I think the camera found him.

25

Photo: The 1st IAFR Missionary Conference in 2013


It’s the calm before the storm. 25 IAFR missionaries are gathering this week for our 4 day annual conference. I make my first airport pick up tomorrow morning.

We held our first annual conference outside of London just 5 years ago. All 4 of our full time missionaries were there.

We welcome your prayers as we spend time listening to God, sharpening our ministry skills, and having fun together.

We have set aside Tuesday evening to take time for lament together. Our mission field is wherever people are flowing out of the deep unhealed wounds in the world. We all carry heavy stories and have seen a lot of suffering. It is good to bring this to Jesus as a community. He is acquainted with grief. He will meet us there.

Down on the farm

I’m enjoying a weekend down in central Missouri visiting my wife’s folks on the family farm. It’s good to be surrounded by woods and fields and all kinds of critters.

A day of rest

My dad gave me a love for the out of doors and adventure. Several years ago, my older brother gave me this motorcycle. I leveraged these gifts on this blue sky Saturday and went for a 200 mile ride to where the St. Croix River meets the mighty Mississippi on the Minnesota – Wisconsin border and turns into Lake Pepin – a big lake lined by limestone bluffs over which Bald Eagles and Turkey Buzzards love to soar.

Donna was behind me all the way, riding on what we call “the back porch”. We soaked it up as we rolled through the winding hills. Green forests, sparkling lakes and burning sunshine spoke fresh peace to our hearts and minds. I’m thankful for a day of rest.

The long run

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3

We spend our time among people in crisis. If we’re going to make it in the long run, we have to establish a healthy pace and rhythm to life and ministry.

It’s been too long since I had a day off. At IAFR we mandate our teammates to take at least 1 day off in every 7 – and encourage them to take 2 days/week when possible.

I need to practice what I preach. So today I stayed home and did some bird watching (saw a pair of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks), changed the oil and air filter on our lawn mower, mowed part of our lawn, sawed off some dead pine tree branches, contracted a yard service to try and overcome our creeping charlie and Japanese beetles – and then took an hour ride in the countryside on my motorcycle before stopping by to visit my mom who turns 88 tomorrow.

I feel the rest sinking into my bones. I’ll be better for it when I return to the office tomorrow morning.