One Incredible Fundraising Journey

YFC military

Brian is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM 2014). His vision is to produce 25-year-old followers of Jesus Christ. His family will be moving to Kaiserslautern, Germany in August to reach the more than 1500 military teens (a.k.a. “brats”) stationed there.  If you are concerned for the challenges facing military teens and would like to partner with the Hershey’s, online donations can be made by clicking here. All new gifts through August 15, 2014 will be doubled to help them hit their goal of $1,560 in new monthly partners. They would be honored and grateful for your support. This article chronicles their unbelievable fundraising journey to K-town.


Moses found himself in a bind. The people he led out of Egypt were complaining…again.

This time they were craving meat!

As I imagine the scene, Moses’ own sultry question shatters the commotion:

“How on earth am I supposed to provide meat when we’re stranded in this $#&(!@ desert?” (paraphrase of Num 11:13-14).

The people were so angry they threatened to oust God’s point man (11:15b).

Yet God’s response is incredible. He promises not just to provide a meal but enough meat for a month. In fact, they will be given so much meat that it will come out of their nostrils (11:19-20)!

Moses is incredulous. He can’t believe what he hears. “Would there be enough meat if whole flocks and herds and all the fish of the sea were cut up and put on a buffet line?”

Club Beyond 2011 Romania Service Project

Club Beyond 2011 Romania Service Project

To which God gives the famous answer:

“Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you” (11:23).

“Is the Lord’s arm too short?”

That question has dogged me for much of 2014.

As the year opened, we were staring down a double-barrel shotgun of two seemingly impossible goals: Continue reading

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VQ and PQ: Two Indispensible Leadership Keys

I discovered something recently that has revolutionized the way I gauge the future success or failure of leaders. I call it a leader’s VQ and PQ.

The VQ stands for Vision Quotient.

What is the leader’s vision for the future of the organization? Is it grand and compelling? Such visions, which are not formed overnight, inspire and motivate others to put forth their outmost to achieve the vision. Continue reading

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What Crimea Really Exposes and Why It Matters

I know it’s been forever since I last posted. I’ll not apologize, though, because my commitments to family, seminary studies, and other job responsibilities take a much higher priority right now. In fact, even on this post I’m only allowing myself 25 minutes.

Here it is in quick free write fashion:

The developing and escalating situation in Ukraine ought to be cause for concern for everyone one of us.

Here’s why:

Crimea exposes the very real geo-political power vacuum caused by President Obama’s lack of leadership and respect in the world scene. Continue reading

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bridging the diversity gap

Our world is diverse. Ethnically, socially, economically, and politically we are diverse!

I know – not exactly an earth-shattering observation.

“So why make it?”

Because relationally it poses a challenge.

Continue reading

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Desiring the Kingdom: A Critical Book Review

James K. A. Smith, Philosophy Professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI

James K. A. Smith, Philosophy Professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI

The following is a book summary and critical review of James K. A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom. I highly recommend the book for anyone in Christian leadership or education. It is a lengthy post, but I believer readers will find it thoughtful and engaging. 


One of the most disconcerting challenges facing the Church in North America is its overall lack of influence on society at large. Anecdotal as well as empirical evidence strongly suggest that the Church is failing to penetrate society. For instance, polling data by George Barna shows little to no distinct difference in beliefs and lifestyle between professing adult Christians and the general public.[1] This raises some interesting questions for Christian educators. Why are so many young adults departing from the religious practices of their youth?[2] Why has the craze about Christian education (i.e. home schooling, private, undergraduate, or graduate) failed to produce the intended outcome of transforming the culture? Continue reading

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Top 10 Characteristics of Good Leaders


“You learn far more from negative leadership than from positive leadership. Because you learn how not to do it. And, therefore, you learn how to do it.”

~ Norman Schwarzkopf, US Army General, Persian Gulf War

  1. “The Buck Stops Here” Mentality – Good leaders always accept responsibility for events occurring on their watch. They never blame their predecessors. Neither do they unfairly and disingenuously mischaracterize their opponents. Continue reading
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Mortality, Might, and Mt. Everest

New Zealand mountaineer, Russell Brice, has had his share of mountain top moments. He has reached mountain peaks higher than 8,000 meters (26,247 ft) 14 times, including the famed Mt. Everest twice.russellbrice

And since 1974 he’s been helping other climbers achieve their climbing goals as owner and manager of Himalayan Experience Ltd. Needless to say, fewer people in the world have more expertise on the mountain than Russell.

Yet this is what he says of Mt. Everest: Continue reading

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6 golden nuggets for great small group discussions

Small group discussions can be the catalyst for transformational growth in the lives of young people – if they are led well.

Since one of my passions is empowering leaders to pursue their God-given calling with greater effectiveness, I want to pass along six golden nuggets that have consistently met with success.

Whether you’re a volunteer leading a Sunday School class or a more seasoned veteran preparing a team of volunteers for an upcoming retreat, you’re bound to glean something helpful from the following list: Continue reading

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3 Transforming Principles for Effective Communication

communication3How is it some communicators can rivet you to your seat bringing laugher and tears all within the same presentation while others seem to offer the perfect cure for insomnia?

As a retreat speaker and regular youth presenter, I’ll be the first to admit that effective communication is as tricky as no-clutching a 13-speed transmission. There are dozens of variables that have to be just right in order to achieve success.  So for the benefit of all those aspiring to increase their communication effectiveness, I want to suggest three transforming principles every speaker needs to know in order to transform the lives of listeners.

Principle #1: Communication is more than what is said. Continue reading

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Homosexuality: The Proper Christian Response!

homosexuality graphic2

This is the second of two posts on the topic of homosexuality. The first post introduced the issue. This post outlines the proper Christian response to gay individuals.

The $10 million dollar question: “How should Christians respond to gay individuals[1] in a way that honors both them and biblical truth so that we can earn the right to be heard?

It’s a tricky question for most Christians as tire-blowing and axel-breaking potholes litter the road surface. The main reason the topic of homosexuality has become a roadblock is because the controversy forces the Christian community to wed right beliefs (orthodoxy) with right practices (orthopraxy). Continue reading

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