Category Archives: seeJesus

The Beauty of Nepal


I’ve heard people say, “you can’t take a bad picture in Nepal.” I have to agree. Foreigners flock to Nepal to explore the ancient architecture and the beauty of the Himalayan mountains. But, I think the most beautiful part of the country is her people. With Tibet to the north and India to the south, Nepalis can look Chinese, Indian and everyone else in between. They are lovely inside and out. I have found the Nepali people to be humble and hospitable. A long history of oppression and suffering has honed a resilience that is cloaked with a “shy kindness.” Building friendships with the people has been the most delightful part of this trip. Through them, my love for the nation has deepened and my desire for them to know and grow in Christ has quickened. Oh, what a joy to know the beauty of his splendor amongst the nations!

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The Future Hope of Nepal

In the first two days of our trip to Nepal, I had the privilege of speaking at a national students conference in Kathmandu. An unexpected surprise and joy was to see the vibrancy of the young leaders who worshipped there. There are a total of 6,000 students who participate in fellowship groups throughout the country. This conference hosted 500 of their top leaders. After being around these young people for a few days, I could see why Nepal not has one of the fastest growing churches throughout Asia but why that trend will continue for years to come.

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My Chuck Wagon

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Never mind the Liquor Cabinet sign behind our chuck wagon

When we were preparing to adopt Eden, we needed a new car that would accommodate a growing family of six. The Lord provided a great Honda Odyssey that I infamously named, “the swagger wagon.” I was so grateful for that van that I dedicated an entire post to it (My Swaggerwagon). After logging over 111,000 miles, my swagger wagon has now been transformed into “a chuck wagon.” There are no horses pulling our Honda, but our chuck wagon will still carry my entire family and all of our stuff over 800 miles of roadway within the next few days.

Today, we departed the Bay Area after a brief visit with extended family. Our destination? The Pacific Northwest. Our timeline? One month in Seattle and two months in Portland. Our purpose? Ministry, education, following His lead. Our feelings? Hopeful and grateful.

To make a long story short, God opened up an opportunity for us to temporarily move to the PNW to live, to learn and to serve. This was quite unexpected. In fact, it all came together within the last few months in a surprising and sovereign way. While there are definite plans, there are also a lot of unknowns. In other words, some of the details of this trip are “open-ended.” While that might be concerning for some, for me and my family, we find this quite exciting. Life is a faith adventure when you know your Father is writing a story of grace. At times it will be challenging. We won’t always know what the next chapter brings. But unexpected surprises are gifts that build faith and gratitude. I know we always need more of those things in our family. For now, all I know is our venture into the Pacific Northwest begins in our chuck wagon. Your prayers are appreciated!

(This is being posted three days late. We arrived safely in Seattle on Wednesday!)

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Story of Nepal

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Yesterday, I received this in the mail. It’s my visa to enter Nepal toward the end of the month. It’s just a piece of paper, but to me, it’s so much more. This stamp in my passport represents a story that is continuing to be unveiled even as I write.

The story started over a year ago when International Nepal Fellowship (INF) invited seeJesus to lead A Praying Life seminar at their annual leadership conference. It was scheduled ahead of time to be in Pokhara on May 24-29, 2015. In the ensuring months, Sonia and I readied ourselves to go on behalf of seeJesus. We purchased our airline tickets, applied for our visas and set our itinerary to do ministry in Pokhara as well as in Kathmandu.

Then, unexpectedly on April 25, a 7.8 earthquake devastated Nepal. Fortunately, our missionary friends were all OK and accounted for, but obviously, the personal trauma and the demands of ministry were immediately heightened. While we were still willing to go, we were unsure of what INF’s needs and plans would be in light of everything. Just a few days ago, we received word that INF would still like us to come. So, Lord willing, we will travel to Nepal, May 19-30 to do ministry.

A week ago, we were wondering if our trip would be delayed or maybe even canceled. Today, we stand two weeks away from arriving in a land that has been ravaged by massive destruction and sorrow. I am not fully sure what I am feeling now. I am excited. I am overwhelmed. I am humbled. When I told a dear friend of the news, he said, “It is a privileged place to serve those who are in great suffering.” Indeed, it truly is. Ministering to those in their deepest moment of despair is a privileged place because it’s exactly where Jesus would be if he still walked this earth. In fact, it’s still where he is through the presence and ministry of his Spirit.

Obviously, this story is not yet completed. I don’t know what will happen next. Yet, I am sure that none of the details are coincidental. They are providential. Following His lead, I am confident that the Lord has raised us up for such a time as this.

More details will be forthcoming on this blog as they are confirmed. Your prayers are appreciated as we move forward.

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Conferencing Tuxedo

Photo on 2-23-15 at 10.55 AMHere is a a preview of how I will be dressed for my next video conference call. Why so debonair? Why not? I have a job with an important, world-wide ministry. In fact, I’m going to suggest that tuxedos become standard issue at seeJesus.

What’s that you ask? No, there’s nothing fishy going on. What do you mean my tux looks a little “flat”? I like my suits pressed…heh, heh. It’s a little too uniform? No, it’s not a uniform!…It’s um…a tuxedo…a tuxedo conferencing bib. Yes, it is!

 

Photo on 2-23-15 at 10.59 AM #2OK, not quite all is what it seems. After reading my last blog post, my mom happen to see this bib online and just had to get it for me. It is literally an adult bib for mealtime made of water-resistant, terrycloth but she thought it would serve me well as my new conferencing bib. I will probably need to use it in both ways.

When I got dressed this morning in my bib, my children laughed and were wondering where I was going. I told them “to work, where else?” Wow! Just one more perk of working at home in a virtual world. Thanks Mom!

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Conferencing Bib

With my new job at seeJesus, I have been doing more and more phone and video conferencing. Some friends (all guys) have joked that I just need a “conferencing bib” for online meetings and the rest of the day I can look any way I want. Thanks be to God for giving me a wife who insists that I continue to dress and smell decently while working in my “corner office” partly for the sake of simple decency and partly for the sake of the others who still “work” downstairs in the same “building.” If it wasn’t for Sonia, I’d probably end up like John Clayton at ESPN.

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The Corner Office

I never had aspirations to make it big in the corporate world, but even I know the underlying goal is to eventually get the corner office with the windows on the top floor of the building. Today, I have achieved that goal! Behold, the glorious seeJesus office on the West Coast! (cue the triumphant trumpets)

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Thanks to my wife and daughter who made today festive!

Yes, it’s not in a skyscraper but it is on the top floor of my building. Nevermind that it’s on the second floor and happens to share the same address as my primary residence. Yes, it’s not a space used exclusively for office purposes. It’s more of a “multi-purpose” room. What’s that in the bottom left corner of the picture? Part of a bed frame? So, maybe it is. OK, not quite what corporate America had in mind but I am happy with my new office. It’s easy to get to. There’s no traffic, unless there’s the occasional dirty laundry on the floor that I have to step over.

It has everything I need to get started: a laptop, a printer/copier, a phone, a calendar and even paper clips! But it’s not just what’s in my office that’s significant but what my office represents that is. It represents a new ministry assignment. I have completely transitioned from serving as Pastor of Lifesong Community Church to serving as Director of seeJesus on the West Coast and East Asia. It represents a new stage in life. I am now working out of the home as a missionary to the West and the East. It represents a new challenge. I am doing something I’ve never done before and fundraising 100% of what will be needed for my position.

Twenty years ago, even four months ago, if you would have asked me what I would be doing when I hit “midlife,” I would n-e-v-e-r have told you this. I sometimes tell people if you gave me one hundred sheets of paper and told me to write one hundred different creative story lines about how my life would unfold, I guarantee you that I would never be able to write the one that actually happened. God writes great stories. Ones that have personal depth, unexpected suspense, rich irony, sovereign purpose. Need we look further than the story of Jesus? Let alone the entire redemptive narrative of the Bible?

As I look back on my life, in some ways, I see how God had been preparing me for such a time and assignment like this. In other ways, I am still a little shell-shocked by this change. Either way, I am confident that His call is clear and His purpose is glorious. I know the story is still being revealed and I am excited to see what He will write next. I don’t know what the next chapter will entail but I know it starts in the corner office on the top floor of the building that overlooks my back yard. What more could I ask for?

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