February 12th, 2016

On the Needs of the World, Wanting my Missionary Kids to not be Dorks in America, How Your Job is Just a Platform for the REAL Calling & My Most Important Values (Which Should Be Yours Too)

I spoke for the Rolling Hills Covenant College Group this week. Here’s what I had to say:
It’s Missions month here in the College Group and I’m your first Missionary Speaker. It’s a little scary because I don’t know you. What do you think of missions and missionaries? 
What do you know about the
I’ve had this yellowed cartoon on the fridge of my home in 4 different countries. You see, I grew up a Californian and didn’t know the STATES, let alone the WORLD.
After my sophomore year of college, I went on a Mission Trip to France and met kids from all over. I feIl in love with a guy from Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania and he was mortified, MORTIFIED, that I thought he lived on the East COAST. 
(It’s not) 
Do you know much about Geography? I want to play a game to test your knowledge of World Geography. I’ll give you a card with a country name on it, and you all go make a map of the world. Let’s let the students who own passports go out there and place themselves where they’ve traveled, and then you can fill in the rest.

Where do you get your news?

Do you pay attention to world news? Why should we care about the news? If we want to really be like our Heavenly Father and care about the same things he cares about…duh. John 3:16 God so LOVED the world…

My son Tyler turned me on to VOX
news. This article shows some really astounding GOOD news about last year.
The world had a rough year in 2015, with the ongoing
civil war in Syria and rise of ISIS’s international terrorism, the intensifying
global refugee crisis, a spate of mass shootings in America, the rise of Donald
Trump, and so on.
But it’s worth keeping things in perspective. For all
the ways 2015 was a terrible year for the world, there is at least one metric
by which it was a very good year. According to data from a United Nations
report released this July, this year saw a historic decline in global poverty.
The number of people living in extreme poverty has decreased so rapidly that
it’s been cut in half just since 1990.
This decline in global poverty has been mounting for now
200 years,
and took off in the latter half of the 20th century. Decolonization and
economic reform in places such as China helped much of the developing world
catch up to the developed. Between 1990 and 2015, about 1.1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty
(defined as living on $1.25 a day). That means that in just the past 25 years,
a full seventh of humanity has been saved from terrible want.
$1.25 a day defines Extreme Poverty.
The article goes on to explain that now parents are earning incomes and getting
health care and more kids are going to school. Cut in half in 25 years, about
1.1 billion people… And then. Wait a minute. I have to stop celebrating. See
the chart? 836 million people STILL live in extreme poverty.
836 million people still live on less
that $1.25 a day.
That’s roughly 2 ½ times the population of the ENTIRE UNITED STATES. Sorry to be Debbie Downer. But there’s still a lot of freaking need in the world that doesn’t even compare to a homeless or lower-income or undocumented person in the USA.
Why I became a missionary: 
As a young person I became convicted about the imbalance of resources in the world. I met some pretty amazing missionaries who inspired my young faith, and I realized that the USA has plenty of resources and Christians to share the good news and help things here get better…I mean, really, even among our most destitute, not many are living on less than $1.25 a day. The resources for Christianity and the ’cause of the Gospel are also as imbalanced. I wanted to go somewhere where I’m needed more.
I would have never in a million years ever guessed that I’d eventually be a missionary who speaks Chinese.
Nor would I have guessed that by the time my children were grown and left the house, I would have traveled to as many countries as I am years old. 
I came to RHCC…pretty soon right
after I graduated from College.
I had worked in the Entertainment department of
Disneyland and was a Drama Major in University. 
I chose Theatre, because I love ALL the arts, and couldn’t settle for just ONE. I loved singing, performing, writing and
bossing people around, uh leading. In drama you can do it all: acting, set
& costume design, playwriting, and directing (bossing people around)…Theatre gives a multidisciplinary artist a chance to use not just the triple threat…but a whole toolkit of skills! 
During College I started getting even more interested in the things God was doing around the world. I had a couple chances to go on mission trips. I was always interested in language and cultural anthropology…understanding other ways of life, and then trying to imagine how I could combine my love for the arts with being a missionary
somewhere in the world.
When an older guy in seminary started
chasing me
I thought, “Oh dear…Pastor’s Wife….that will be a challenging role to
play…” And then we got more serious. We got Married.
He started being the Missions and Evangelism Pastor here the week after our honeymoon. I led a weekly ministry in drama with more than 20 actors in a theatre company here. Below is a STAGED photo from our first Missions Retreat together.
Twelve years later we decided to move from being ministry specialist practitioners to coaches – and after a year of seeking out our options, we sensed God was leading us to be missionaries in Asia.
When we left RHCC my two boys were 4
years old and a baby. We went to China to learn language and culture, and then spent 15 years based mostly in Singapore to help Christian leaders & missionaries be better leaders and missionaries (Well, that was my husband’s focus. I learned from him what he was doing in mentoring leaders and used it
with artists. 
Mostly performers).
Being a theatre artist was not who I
was. Our JOB doesn’t define our identity. My vocation in 
the arts has been a tool. A satisfyin platform for making relationships with others and sharing the hope we have in Jesus with them and living a wholehearted life together sharing the pain and the joys that are part of the journey. Your VOCATION isn’t the
main thing. It’s the platform you have for allowing you to do what are the most
important things in life. What are those most important things?
We’re going to get to that in a couple minutes. I want you to know me and my family a little better.
I now have two boys who are around YOUR age. 
They are 19 and 23. 
Cameron is a Freshman in college. Business Major. Loves Movies. Wants to work in the Entertainment industry in some business/marketing capacity. He’s not a creator. He’s a consumer. Because of this passion for movies, he longs to work in this industry with others who are also passionate about visual storytelling. He’s a big soft lovable
happy-go-lucky teddy bear of a guy who LOVES people and loves helping people. Like you he is figuring out faith as a young adult trying to also figure out what his role is going to be in the world with his unique package of gifts, talent, interests…and faith in God.
The older son, Tyler just graduated last summer from Cal Poly SLO in Political Science. He did ROTC and, well, he is Captain America. Seriously. Tonight I’m having a hard time focusing. I’ve never been a worrier…But right now, since the beginning of January, Tyler is in ARMY Ranger School out in Georgia. Today is the last day of Mountain Phase of Ranger School and he’s been underfed, sleep deprived and outdoors sleeping in below freezing
temperatures the last couple weeks. I’m kinda freaking out. He survived the first 3 weeks of the Camp Darby torture. Just search it on YouTube: “Army Ranger Training.” It is INHUMANE. (Why do people choose to do this?) Sometime
tomorrow we’ll get a phone call to let us know if he will recycle (not pass) or get a “GO” to the Swamp Phase…where he’ll learn to do things like wrestle with
Deep breath. Focus. 
So, there you know my kids.
Walking with my boys in this stage of
life, I know that in College you are in a season of figuring out your strengths, gifts, seeking God for his will for your future. Growing and going in a direction that he seems to be leading you. It is a mysterious time. It’s an exciting season of life. But it can also be a scary time too.
I’m in a mysterious time too. All my life I’ve been passionate about the arts, especially theatre, and I’ve had AMAZING (things I could not have imagined) experiences, being able to use that as a platform for ministry all around the world, like: 
  • Teaching Drama at a Christian College in Singapore where students want to learn how to use drama as a ministry. 
  • With Arabic speaking youth drama teams who share the Gospel through
    drama all over Egypt.
  • In Cambodia with orphans who use the arts to go to villages and
    share the Good news of Jesus using traditional Khmer art forms. 
  • And through all the years, being the drama queen adding spice to
    life in our family of four and with our friends and neighbors.
But I’m in this crazy mid-life
transition time.
For a couple YEARS now. We said goodbye to our ministry and
life in Asia, and came back for a year Sabbatical 15 months ago, waiting
waiting waiting on God for what our next steps are… and the end is not yet in
However, in this 15 months…We’ve had two graduations, a major surgery, two deaths in the family, our parents taking a big decline in their abilities to live independently…. I’m not DOING any drama. I’m living in drama!
While there’s NO DOUBT that God has us here in the USA for some important things, still, I, LIKE YOU, wish I knew what God’s plans were for our future so I could feel more settled.
HOWEVER, I do have peace in the midst of
the unknown.
And that’s what I want to unpack tonight. Why do I have peace?
Tonight I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite verses, and why I think they should be YOUR favorites too…I’ve put them in the Feed of Your College Facebook Group.
My Most Important Values, based on God’s Word:
1. LOVE GOD, (really love and honor the mystery who is the Trinity) & LOVE OTHERS
Mark 12:28-31  
[this is REPEATED!!! Deuteronomy 6:5,
Deut ch11 & ch 30 3 times, Matt 22:37 Luke 10:27]
One of the teachers of the law came
and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he
asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered
Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the
Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind
and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as
yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Lamentations 3:19-28
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul
is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope
is in him,
 to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
    while he is young.
Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
3. Focus on the GOOD, PRAYER & THANKSGIVING keys to staying mentally healthy
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-13
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every
situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
[how do we get that peace?]
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard
from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you….
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
1 Peter 5:6-9
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due
time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Commercial Break: I mentioned that I’m in this season of not knowing how to move forward career-wise. I don’t like being in the middle of a transition.
I want to know what God’s plan is for our future.
His answer is “You know what my direction is for today, and tomorrow…even next week. Wait for the rest.”
So, THAT being known, I believe my purpose – what I bring to the world – is “adding spice to life,” and my motto has been to BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.
The Bible lets us know that after this short 100 years or so, on other side of what we know here, is where all your dreams will be fulfilled, heavenly bliss, the perfect life…forever. Man, let me come back another time and talk about our hope of heaven! mmm. My perspective on that keeps me going on many days!
So, while I’m around here, going to RHCC, waiting on…seeking God…I’m finding ways to add some spice around here, by
helping out with our Missions Conference at the end of the month. I was thinking after being here for awhile,
“MAN, AMERICAN CHRISTIANS ARE SO DEPRESSED! Everything is so doom and gloom! Stop watching FoxNews and let’s start noticing that God is at work in the world! He’s doing amazing things!”
Saturday morning the 27th is our Missions Conference. It will be packed with 6 great sessions focusing on Amazing stories. I’m going to do a session on learning how to pray better with Andy Douglas who is your speaker next week. We can see God do amazing things in and through us through the mystery of
communing with him in prayer. 
But, spicey me, I didn’t think it was enough to focus on being amazed at God just one weekend in February. SHOOT, NO. 
We’ve started a campaign on Social Mediapost where you are seeing God at work in your life, or what you’re hearing or reading about God doing Amazing things, and use the #
BeAmazedrhcc. Take a second and check it out #BeAmazedRHCC.
Find ways to bloom where you are planted…even in places where nothing seems to grow let alone bloom! We know the ending of our story, no matter what twists and turns are on our path, the ending is “and they lived happily ever after.”
John 17 Jesus’ last prayer for his disciples…His greatest longing for them in the future was unity. But I have a relatively new fav verse: v4 I have brought you glory on earth by
finishing the work you gave me to do.
When Jesus started his ministry and he called his Disciples from a life of being fishermen, he said he was going to make them “Fishers of Men.”
His last words were, (and you know that a person’s last words have a unique gravitas – importance) his famous last words were…do you know what they were?
Let’s look at another of my favorite verses, that I think should be your fav too:
Matthew 28:16-20. Read that.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in
heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am
with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  • GO make disciples.
  • Teach them what I’ve taught you.
  • We’re going to do it together.
1.Which of the verses shared tonight would you say is your favorite too? How did this come to have significance for you? 
2.Is there any that you have wrestled with in the past?
3.Is the Holy Spirit convicting you about a new value you should adopt/live by? Is there some action
you need to take?



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