Interesting Quote

I read this in The Shaping of Things to Come and thought it was interesting. It is The Gospel and Our Culture Network (GOCN)’s definition of missional church.

“The missional church represents God in the encounter between God and human culture. It exists not because of human goals or desires, but as a result of God’s creating and saving work in the world. It is a visible manifestation of how the Good News of Jesus Christ is present in human life and transforms human culture to reflect more faithfully God’s intentions for creation. It is a community that visibly and effectively participates in God’s activity, just as Jesus indicated when he referred to it in metaphorical language as salt, yeast, and light in the world.”

Don’t know about you, but I like it for any church.

Thanksgiving Retreat

What a fun retreat to the mountains. We bunked with the Gearhart family and the cabin was a rock’n. They have 3 very cute and well-behaved children. But combined with our 3, there was never a low decibel level. Hopefully I’ll have some photos soon to share.

Kent and Karen Smith came down from ACU and shared with us what God is teaching them. Each session was a great encouragement. I think Kim cried during 2 of the 3 classes.

Besides our team from Guadalajara there were those from Tlalpan in Mexico City, a couple from Cuernavaca and the Gearharts from Lazaro Cardanas, two families from Leon, a family from Morelia and AIMers from Mexico City, Toluca and Leon. I think I’m missing some, but the place was packed.

I was especially excited to see Benjy and Chris. Lots of fun conversations and some good food too. And we even got to see the second half of the Cowboy game. How great was that! We didn't get to play football on Turkey Day and had to settle for friday. (Don't want to brag, but the missionaries beat the AIMers. ...we couldn't have done it without Elaine's killer blocks or Morgan's blazing speed.)

It’s never the same being away from family for any holiday, but God provided a bit of extended family. And we are so grateful.


Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

I think I’ve mentioned Paul Miller before on this blog. But when I think about one man sharpening another, I think about my relationship with Paul. I loved road trips with Paul because we would hash, rehash and hash again our problems and solutions. Together we were discovering what God was doing in our lives.

This may sound like I’m taking too much credit, but I believe aspects of AIM were shaped by our relationship. We added to what we were learning by asking Jay, the director (and our mentor) at the time, a ton of questions. Then we took what was sharpening us and tried to use it to sharpen those we were trying to mentor. What a fun time!

Today, I’m surrounded by guys like Joe Pruett and Cory Burns as well as Kim. Each, in his/her own way, is sharpening me. My prayer is that somehow I can do the same for them.

So who has been sharpening you? How so? And who have you been sharpening?


Giving Thanks

Who’s excited about Turkey Day?

Tomorrow we head about 3 hours away to the mountains for a retreat with missionaries from all over Mexico. I can’t wait. There ought to be upwards of 70 in attendance. And the majority are old friends of ours from our days in Lubbock, Texas.

I think that this year I’m especially thankful for a few particular faces that will be there. …special friends from a very important and forming time in my history.

So what are you thankful for?
What are you especially looking forward to?
Will you be rooting for the Cowboys? Would you root more if T.O. weren’t in the picture?
Will you be playing any ball in the yard? And if so, whose jersey will you be wearing? (I’ll be wearing T.O.’s 81. A friend of mine, Joe Pruett, knew I always wanted a Cowboy jersey and also knew that I am not a fan of T.O. So he thought it was pretty funny. It was.)
How much weight are you going to commit to losing after the first of the year?

*If you answer any of the above questions, Angie Burns will send you a free book.
Does that sound ok Angie?


The Big Day

Well, today’s the big day. Before Christmas season officially begins, before the Thanksgiving turkey is put in the oven… Mary Rush turns X years old today! (Sorry, I don’t think it’s my place to say what X is. But I will say that 52 years ago, today, she was celebrating her 9th birthday.)

Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Mary Rush just happens to be a charming and beautiful woman who fears the Lord. So let her be praised!

Do you have a favorite Mary Rush story?

To be honest, I can’t think of ONE story that defines my mom. In my mind I see a quilted mix of memories involving kindness, peace and joy wrapped in a history of faith.

The picture of mom and the twins above was taken a couple of years ago. Since then, the twins have gotten bigger. I think mom has actually gotten smaller.


This photo is a little old, but it is one of my favorites. I was reminded of it this week when Q informed me that his friend pictured here, Maria Jose, was whom he would marry someday.

Other happenings this week...

I almost blew up. That was new. Kim and I were visiting some friends when their electricity went out due to a storm. They had an elderly woman in their home who was on an oxygen machine. She didn't know how it worked and couldn't get it started back up. So a couple of the youths and I were trying to help her out. (All the adults were gone when we showed up.) As there were no lights, the 18 year old boy was using his cell phone for light. He kept turning nobs and moving hoses but couldn't get it to work. All he could do was allow great amounts of oxygen to escape in loud bursts. The younger girl was starting to freak out a bit as the elderly woman began to panick. Trying to help, the young girl thought she'd shed some more light on the situation by holding a candle closer to the oxygen tank. I suggested that wasn't the best idea.

We did get it going again. And as far as I know, the elderly lady is doing just fine.


What's Your Gift?

If you are like me, you’ve struggled with discovering your spiritual gift. Probably, most tests leave you cold. They promise to shed light on your place in the kingdom but usually leave you with just as many questions as before.

Just consider… what if we are asking the wrong question? Or perhaps we are just looking for the wrong thing. What if you and I ARE the gifts? What would happen if each day we decided to be a gift in the lives of those around us?

If each day, we tried to give ourselves to others, after a short time we’d realize what “Spiritual Gift” we possessed. Try it for just a month, even a week. Ask yourself each day, “How can I be a gift to those around me?” After a short time, look back and examine how you went about it. Was it through encouragement, teaching, giving…? This will take a little more commitment than a short exam, but I think it might lead us towards some answers we’ve been looking for.


Proverbs 14:31

“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

Kim and I have been talking about making a concerted effort, at least once a week, to do something kind for the poor. No passing out tracks or asking for Bible studies; just random acts of generosity. One thing that we are excited about doing is buying a bunch of kids’ shoes and going to the center and giving them away to barefooted children of people living on the street.

What are fun things you could do for the poor in your city?


A Day Without Light

Ok, so it wasn’t really a day without light, but we did just finish up over 24 hours without electricity. (Little miscommunication between the bill receiver and the bill payer, but that is all squared away now.)

It was really kind of fun going without electricity. Before dark, we rounded up all the flashlights and candles to get ready. Then, we went outside, across the street to play while it was still light outside, though very dim in the house. Then we fed the kids and read stories and put on jammies to the soft lights of candles and flashlights. (Even flashlights that growl and make monkey noises… thanks to great birthday gifts the twins received from the Shroeder family.)

Things took a not-so-fun turn when the water ran out. Without electricity, the pump couldn’t fill the tank. That got a little less fun this morning when each of the twins threw up. …so much harder to clean up children, clothes and bedding without running water.

In the end, we’ve decided we should spend more evenings in the dark, but hopefully not without water.



Here is the link to our latest newsletter from Guadalajara.



Baptism Sunday

Just want to share with you about a wonderful Sunday we shared yesterday with the churches in Guadalajara.

About a year and a half ago the church in Guadalajara decided to multiply into two. The vision was to continue from there, multiplying and planting churches in the homes of new christians.

Yesterday all the churches got together for a baptism Sunday. There were about 6 churches represented and well over 100 people. (I think many were with our body for the first time. But I should point out that when we multiplied we numbered around 45.) We met at a water fall outside of town to share 5 baptisms together. There were a couple that no one expected. And there were a few we expected that chose not to. So who knows what the future brings. But it sure is fun!

Above, Luis celebrates.
Alejandro gets ready...

and is buried by family.
Angeles, about 70 (she doesn't really know) is lowered into the water. Afterward, she and her daughter stood forever hugging and crying. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
Kim with Morgan afterwards. Natali, Morgan's twin sister was baptized too. But as you can imagine, when viewing the pictures above, we didn't get good pictures because of the crowd.


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 will make your paths straight.”

First let me say, if you’ve not heard Angie Burns and Felicia Patton sing this, you’ve missed out.

Trust with ALL of my heart? Acknowledge him in ALL of my ways? That sounds like a full-time job. But it also makes for a fun full-time relationship. This makes me think again of my brother’s blog… mentioning how much fun my dad has living in the kingdom. I think I might have just stumbled upon his secret.

(If you haven’t read it already, go to Dusty’s blog @
http://rustydush.wordpress.com and read the post titled Fun at the World Series.)


The Gods Must Be Crazy

I remember in the late 80’s when the movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy came out. So many people at church and school came up to my sister and brother and me and told us we HAD to go see that HYSTERICAL movie. For whatever reason, they said, the movie reminded them of us. They thought it was so funny and knew that, because of our sense of humor, we would too. One evening the three of us decided to go see this GREAT movie that all had been raving about. (This isn’t the point of the post… which come to think of it, there is no point. But how cool to grow up with a brother and sister that you could have fun hanging out with.) Back to our story… I don’t mind saying, we were quite offended. We were offended that people would see this movie and think that we too would find it funny. I don’t think we lasted 30 minutes. We kept thinking, “Surely this will get better. Surely it will be funny soon.” It never did.

If you want to rent a great movie, let me suggest:
The Power of One (Historical Drama… perhaps the greatest movie ever made)
Frequency (Suspense/Thriller)
The Man Who Knew Too Little (Comedy)

Other suggestions?
Any busts we shouldn’t see?

And if you are offended by my view of The God’s Must be Crazy… well, you should be.