Friday, February 25, 2011

Parenting Class

On the third Thursday of each month I am privileged to co-teach a hands-on Parenting Class along with the San Carlos Tribal Youth Home Counselor.  I have been teaching it for about 7 months now and it has been so cool to see some parents grow from what they are learning and to see them become better parents.

This week was incredible!  There were about 14 parents and 7 children.  We talked about Family Dinner Nights and how important it is to sit down and talk to each other around the dinner table.  This is something we take for granted, but so many parents don't know how to interact and dialog with their children.  This week we had a couple taking notes and asking some great questions.  Tory and I have known their children for several years (see Tory's previous post:, but had never met the parents.  Currently their children are staying at the Youth Home while they get things together.  I was able to have a great conversation with them and encourage them to do their best for their children so they could all be together.

Also, for the first time we were seeing parents really engage their children as we talked to them about listening to their children and supporting their feelings and affirming them.  Some of the parents came in and you could see they were totally overwhelmed and defeated.  I noticed when they left they were lighter in spirit because they had learned another way to bond with their child.

I am so glad I get to be a little part of the puzzle and hopefully they saw the love of Christ through our time together.  I hope and pray that my time with them will open up more opportunities for us to talk at a deeper level next time we meet.

His Child-

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Book Review of Soulprint by Mark Batterson

I was first introduced to Mark Batterson’s work almost a year ago when I friend called me up and said, “You HAVE TO read this book called In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day!” That book changed my life, challenged my walk with God and gave me an inner God strength to face the challenges that lay ahead with a new found energy. I picked up Soulprint wondering if Mark Batterson could top his previous work. If In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day was written from a cheerleader’s perspective, Soulprint was written from a therapist’s perspective.

Mark Batterson dives into a challenge to help the reader discover how God has wired each and every one of us, but not for selfish reasons. He challenges the reader to explore the five defining moments in each of our lives that will help us see how we can be used by God. Mark says right from the very beginning, “I want you to experience the joy of discovering who you are and the freedom of discovering who you’re not.” (page 3). However this self-discovery is not about yourself…it is about God and how He can use you.

The one thought that impacted me the most was these words: “Every diving appointment is preceded by a season of preparation. And if we submit to the preparation, God will fulfill His promise. If we don’t, He won’t. Why? Because God never sets us up to fail.” (page 25). How many of us have watched someone else lead worship, speak at a conference, lead an organization, teach Sunday School, write a book and think, “Why can’t that be me?” We don’t just get the cart before the horse, we want the cart and the horse NOW! God is faithful and He knows what He is doing. Sometimes the seasons of preparation can be frustrating, but God is calling us to be faithful in the little things as He prepares our path.

If you are ready to look deep into your soul and look deep into King David’s soul, then I encourage to pick up this book and read it. Take a few minutes and discover how God wants to use you, your experiences and you life story to further His kingdom. I highly recommend Soulprint by Mark Batterson.

Rank my review and let me know what you think!

Click below for a sample chapter from Soulprint.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why We Go To The San Carlos Tribal Youth Home

Over the past few years I have had several people ask me why we go to the San Carlos Apache Youth Home. When we first starting going there on a weekly basis we didn’t teach Bible stories. We didn’t sing any songs. In fact, we didn’t have any “formal” programming. We just tried our best to be Jesus with skin on to the staff and kids. I was asked, “Is it really ministry if you don’t teach the Bible.” We were hesitant because the director was a traditionalist. We were intentional in service, but cautious and respectful at the same time. Kara had a meeting with the director about a year ago and the director, who is a traditionalist, asked us to teach the kids Bible stories! Who but God could orchestrate the open door? We have spent the past year teaching the kids Bible stories and the truth of His Word.

Over the past year we have had several occasions when the staff has asked us to pray over the kids’ rooms. This usually happens after a stressful week when the kids were afraid to go to sleep. While we don’t mind praying for the kids, we would rather encourage the kids to pray themselves. A couple of weeks ago Kara had prepared a lesson about how God will always listen to us when we pray to Him. For our craft time, Kara had prepared pillow cases to remind the kids God will listen when they talk to Him. She had written Jeremiah 29:13 on each pillow case “When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.”

There were four kids at the Youth Home we have known for a couple of years. It was so incredible to share with them and encourage them. One of the girls wrote on her pillow case “God will take care of me” inside of a cross. I was taken aback by the depth of her statement. Here was this girl who for one reason or another was removed from the home she was in and brought with her brothers and sister to stay at the Youth Home. In the midst of her complete turmoil, she will put her head down each night on a pillow case that reminds her that God will take care of her. Why do we minister at the San Carlos Apache Youth Home? Because there are kids who need to be reminded of the truth in the midst of their storm. Was it worth several years of just serving to earn the right to share the Gospel? Eternity will answer that question.


Monday, February 14, 2011

So Much!

Day in and day out we look at the plight of the Apache people. Why are things so desperate on the Reservation? Why is unemployment so high? Why is there so much gang activity and violence? Why are children going hungry? What can we do?

I think the first thing we must do, OK the second thing, because the first thing is pray, and pray and pray some more. The second thing we must do is ask ourselves, why we are doing anything at all? Does what we do make any difference?

I mean, what is our ultimate goal? Are we trying to make sure everyone has a place to live? Are we trying to make sure that everyone eats? That everyone has a job? Because if that’s our goal, we are destined to fail. We will never build enough houses. We will never supply enough food or paint enough playgrounds. We will look at the task and just crumble, burn out, with no light at the end of the tunnel.

So what is the purpose? Our goal must be to declare the Glory of the LORD to all the nations. Our “job” is to share Jesus with every fiber of our being. Everything we do MUST be done to spread the Glory of the Lord. We can do that by building houses or feeding people. But that isn’t the goal.

Let me paraphrase P.T. Forsythe. We think the things we need to fix are greater than what Christ has already done. The greatest “need” on the reservation is less than Christ’s great victory.

Let’s work together so the Glory of the Lord will shine on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

Robert Crews - Future 3:18 Ministries Team Member

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Lost Sheep...The One Percent

Have you ever read a passage in Scripture and had something jump out at you that you never noticed before? In 2008 I was preparing a lesson and was studying Luke 15 - the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Luke 15:4 says, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?” (NLT)

For some reason I had always pictured the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine other sheep in the safety of a pen. I imagined him rounding up all the sheep. I imagined him making sure they were safe from all harm, making sure all of their needs were met, making sure they were fed and watered. And then, only after the ninety-nine other sheep were secure, he took out in search of the ONE lost sheep. I do not know where this mental picture came from because it is not even close to what we find in this parable.

This shepherd leaves the ninety-nine other sheep in the wilderness, in the open country (NIV) to go search for the one that is lost. It struck me as I was wrestling with this passage the shepherd’s decision defies logic. It does not make rational sense to leave ninety-nine percent of the animals left in your charge to go look for one percent. It seems you would be better off taking care of the ninety-nine sheep you have rather than abandoning them to search for one. This might make more sense rationally, but it is not the heart of a shepherd. The heart of a shepherd cares for every single sheep, even one lost sheep...and maybe even especially the one lost sheep. Does the Church today reflect this parable? What do you think?