Archives For Missions

September was our Missions Focus Month at church.  One of the highlights of my day last Sunday was the video we watched in Sunday School.

The video, titled “Return to Hauna”, was about Wycliffe Bible translator Marilyn Laszlo.  In the video, she shared about the process of learning and documenting the Sepic Iwam language of Papua New Guinea and the 23-year process of translating the New Testament their language.

I found the first portion of the 30-minute video on YouTube:


There were many things in the video that were encouraging, challenging, and convicting.  But the one thing that struck me was how much the Sepik Iwam people cherished and appreciated their “talk” being carved (which they saw as only limited to the white man – giving him power) and, equally as profound, the fact that “God’s carvings” was given to them in their “talk”.

Two observations:

  • How often we take for granted our written language – whether we hold it in our hands or view it on a screen.
  • Even more, how often we fail to cherish the fact that we have “God’s Carvings” freely available in our own language.

May we follow the example of the Sepik Iwam people:

Cherish and Appreciate.


BTW, I found a transcript of a speech Laszlo gave a Urbana 1981.  It gives a good snapshot of her work at Hauna.

I pray I would have a passion for people as Marilyn has…

Not feeling too well today…I’m in Florida for a work conference and the allergies are kickin’ my be-hind!  Whine completed…now on the with post.

I was prepping for Sunday School this evening (Francis Chan’s Crazy Love), and two things hit me smack dab between the eyes:

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Just like most of you, I get a ton of email each day – between my home and work accounts, its data overload (throw Twitter and Facebook in there and my head starts spinning at times – but its fun!).  One email that I always read/scan at work is called SmartBrief on Leadership.  It’s a collection of articles on leadership, innovation, etc.; there’s always one or two articles that are pretty good reads.  I also never miss the daily quote at the bottom.

I always find it interesting to read the articles with two hats on: corporate director and Christ Follower – even though they are one and the same…hopefully, you know what I mean.  I guess I look at life and all my experiences through bifocal lenses…you know, you’ve seen people with them on – constantly lifting their head up and down to see things through the two sections of their glasses.  I do that with most everything – my wife can confirm that I can find the comedy, absurdity, profoundness, etc. in most stuff (I talk to the TV a lot).

Anyway, today there was an interview with Brazilian banker Roberto Setubal, who transformed his company in a number of ways: culture, organizational structure, decision-making processes, and leadership style.  It was an interesting Q&A but one jumped out at me:

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So I am four months into Facebook and three weeks into the Twitter (@dennarr) and blog universes and must say that I am having fun connecting so many people.  One of the especially cool things has been the regular encouraging exchanges that I get personally or am part of through online conversations with fellow Christ-followers.

Three exchanges really got me thinking this week and I just had to share!  The first was a question posed on Facebook by Fred McKinnon (a worship leader from Georgia).  The second and third were a barrage of Francis Chan one-line quotes via Twitter from Jenni Clayville (a worship pastor from Oregon attending Exponential 2009) and Dawn Carter (a blogger, God-Lover & Missional Mom from SoCal – attending Catalyst West Coast 2009).  [Chan must have jetted coast-to-coast this week!]

I hope these encourage AND challenge you as they did me!  It is a TON of stuff to ponder and pray about!  [BTW, they all said I could share on my blog for the encouragement of others!]

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bluetreegodofthiscitySo, March 28th at 8:30 PM was “Earth Hour” around the world.  It was an event whose purpose was to urge world leaders to take action to fight global warming.  A noble cause, but:

I firmly believe that God calls us to NOT be GREEN! Honest…it’s in the Bible – I have a verse!!

Now that I have your attention – let me explain!

A little over a year ago, I first heard Chris Tomlin’s God of This City and immediately liked it. As I tried to find the guitar music (it wasn’t out as it was so new), I discovered that the song was actually written and originally recorded by an Irish worship band called Bluetree. One internet search led to another and I found the music AND the Band’s CD. Ah – another little known artist to listen to…and enjoy!

Fast forward to March 2009 and Bluetree has re-released their CD – sporting a new cover and title (the original title was “Greater Things”).  Well, it’s back on my iPhone (proudly sporting my original cover and title!) and I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Bluetree’s website is: The story behind God of this City is pretty cool! [Their version of the song is quite different than Tomlin’s – I like both.]

“Dennis, alright already! Get to the part about God not wanting us to be GREEN!”

WELL…It’s all in a name…and a great song! An article I read on Bluetree said that their band name comes from their belief that we (as Christians) are called to stand out in the forest of people – just as a BLUE TREE would in a forest of GREEN trees.  Pretty creative and profound as band names go!

Thus, “God Doesn’t Want Us to be Green!” We are to stand out just as Christ did!

Check it out:

  • “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” – Jesus [John 17:16]
  • “Do not be conformed to this world…” – Paul [Romans 12:2]

I love how the Bluetree song below talks not only about BEING a “blue tree”, but also about having an IMPACT as a “blue tree”. We are to be gathered and scattered Christ Worshippers (probably another good post topic)!

BTW, Karen and I DO recycle!  I don’t recall what we were doing at 8:30 on the 28th, but hopefully it was earth-friendly!

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heartbeatCoronary.  Sounds scary, huh?  We typically associate that word with a heart attack or the like.  I repeat: scary.  I had my own experience this year (not a heart attack…just a funky heartbeat) – so I can confirm it is scary.

Coronary does pertain to the human heart…but for a minute, look beyond the physical organ in our chest.  I stumbled upon an older blog post by pastor and author John Piper ( last week and it has stayed with me since…convicting me.

In it, he is calling his church to be “coronary, not adrenal.”  The post was related to National Sanctity of Human Life Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Piper’s challenge to his congregation to be “coronary” in the causes of racial harmony and human life.  You can read his blog entry for yourself (the link posted below), but there are some HUGE take-aways beyond the two main (and important) causes that are his focus.

He contrasts adrenal and coronary saying that adrenaline gets us through, but our heart keeps us going and really reflects our true intentions.  It’s like what Christ said to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our outward actions (adrenal) often betray our true heart actions (coronary.)

Like Piper, I often find myself glad for adrenaline.  Sadly though, I catch myself often operating in the adrenal mode in relation to situations, issues, or even just life.  Sure if my “rights” are violated or someone “messes” with my family or friends, I can get “coronary”, but for things that don’t impact my comfort or those I care about…  Let’s just say, I can really improve here.  Quite honestly, I don’t think I am alone here.  I think many of us can improve in this area related to life in general, social issues, our relationship with God…so many areas.

Piper also provides a great real life example of coronary living through his reference to William Wilberforce – a member of the House of Commons who fought against slavery in England in the late 1700s.  What a great quote and way of living: “[May God] enable me to have a single eye and a simple heart, desiring to please God, to do good to my fellow creatures and to testify my gratitude to my adorable Redeemer.”

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