Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray you, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Daily Office from Mission St. Clare

Playgrounds In India and Indiana!

They are off! We’ve got another team headed to India just minutes ago. We’ve sent hundreds of people to India over the years. Our teams are all laser focused in terms of adding value to the churches and communities on the ground in India. We don’t do exposure trips where Americans come to simply see the work and have the illusion of impact. We train our teams to build capacity and skills in the members of the Indian churches and the members of the community the churches are in. We don’t just do “for” them. We focus on working “with” them, equipping them so they can do for themselves.

The team will be focusing on Construction, Conversational English, and Community Meetings.

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A slideshow from our week of Sabbath at Hilton Head.  

Being here helped me remember how big the sky is, how remote the horizon.

(Photos by the awesome Michelle and Maddie Wegner also included in the mix)

Prayers Captured in Time and Space
Last Friday night, our family took part in one of the First Look tours of the expanded Atrium and the new natural playground we’re offering as a gift to our community.
Our shared 2016 vision…

Like Monroe Circle Community Center has done for a neighborhood in South Bend and like this remodel will do for Michiana, every location or gathering in our growing GCC network will exist for the unique transformation and elevation of the neighborhood, village, city or region where they are located.

…is being realized.
The highlight of our time was recording our prayers on the floor of the new space. As parents, Michelle and I were so moved by the prayers of our kids.
It’s not too late for you to add your prayer. There are two more tours you can sign up for here. By the way, there’s free urban swirl too. Bonus!  Here are the last two tours times:
Wednesday, July 18, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 19, 6:30 p.m.
High-res

Prayers Captured in Time and Space

Last Friday night, our family took part in one of the First Look tours of the expanded Atrium and the new natural playground we’re offering as a gift to our community.

Our shared 2016 vision…

Like Monroe Circle Community Center has done for a neighborhood in South Bend and like this remodel will do for Michiana, every location or gathering in our growing GCC network will exist for the unique transformation and elevation of the neighborhood, village, city or region where they are located.

…is being realized.

The highlight of our time was recording our prayers on the floor of the new space. As parents, Michelle and I were so moved by the prayers of our kids.

It’s not too late for you to add your prayer. There are two more tours you can sign up for here. By the way, there’s free urban swirl too. Bonus!  Here are the last two tours times:

  • Wednesday, July 18, 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 19, 6:30 p.m.

8 Cans, 2 boxes, 1 Bag, 1 Jar!

Here’s our Whitney hanging with the kids from Monroe Circle a couple weeks ago.

This is a picture of what the Kingdom looks like.  We’ve been painting that picture alongside our friends in Monroe Circle for almost 10 years now.  Thousands of us adding a brushstroke here or there, for the glory of God. 

We all have an opportunity to add to the beauty again. How?  8 Cans, 2 boxes, 1 bag, 1 jar!

Let me explain.

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Ask for the ancient paths, 
Where the good way is, and walk in it; 
And you will find rest for your souls. 
But they said, ‘We will not walk  in it. ’ 
(Jeremiah 6:16 NASB)

Ask today.

(Photo: The Crags Trail, Divide, CO) High-res

Ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it. ’
(Jeremiah 6:16 NASB)

Ask today.

(Photo: The Crags Trail, Divide, CO)
As I reflect on the last year, here is one of my greatest learnings.
The further I move out on mission, the deeper I must go into my identity in Christ. Only our “belovedness” can sustain our “sentness.”
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Romans 8:15-17 (MSG)
[O] brethren beloved by God, we recognize and know that He has selected (chosen) you; 1 Thessalonians 1:4 AMP
As he saith also in Hosea, I will call that my people, which was not my people; And her beloved, that was not beloved. Romans 9:25 ASV
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6 HCSB
(Picture: Potter’s Inn, Erosion Prayer Station) High-res

As I reflect on the last year, here is one of my greatest learnings.

The further I move out on mission, the deeper I must go into my identity in Christ. Only our “belovedness” can sustain our “sentness.”

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Romans 8:15-17 (MSG)

[O] brethren beloved by God, we recognize and know that He has selected (chosen) you; 1 Thessalonians 1:4 AMP

As he saith also in Hosea, I will call that my people, which was not my people; And her beloved, that was not beloved. Romans 9:25 ASV

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6 HCSB

(Picture: Potter’s Inn, Erosion Prayer Station)

Urgent Request and the Greatest Gift

Last night, at 11:17 pm, I received one of those text messages that make your stomach hurt. It said, “Zion Carlstrom was hit and run by a car. They’re heli-vacing her to Memorial.  We’re in route to meet Blair and Traci.”
 
The message was from Jack Magruder, one of my best friends and staff team member at Granger.  Blair and Traci were members of GCC for years, a good portion of that time Blair was on staff.  In recent years, he has become the lead pastor at Waypoint Church in Middlebury, IN.

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The Trifold Rhythm of Jesus

After a long break where I was focused on finishing Missional Moves (which Zondervan releases in September!), I’m blogging again.  So, I thought I’d start with some thoughts that have been percolating in my journal.

One of the things that Luke emphasizes as he writes to a Gentile audience is the rhythm of life Jesus embraced.  With greater clarity than the other gospel writers, Luke intentionally shows us how Jesus navigated a life FULL of demands with practices that fed his soul.  Luke conveys thoroughly the way Jesus engaged and disengaged, the way he would pour himself out with the crowds and then pour in through soul care.

If Luke is a snapshot the Jesus playbook, then Henri Nouwen posits that Luke 6:12-19 is one particular play he ran over and over again. In this passage, Luke’s timeline of one day in the life of Jesus reveals his overarching pattern of soul care.  That day involved solitude, then community, and then mission.  These are all layered on top of each other, woven together into a way of life. Solitude feeds community. Solitude and community feed mission. Solitude, community, and mission woven together are the Jesus life.  Here’s how I pictured it in my journal. 

That’s the essence of missional community.  What do you think?