Culture Shock vs. Culture Stress

Most people know about culture shock, but culture stress is something different. When my family first moved to South Asia, we often experienced culture shock.  It gradually decreased, but for a few months to around two years, we had new experiences that felt either captivating or startling.  Eventually these experiences became normal parts of our …

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People Matter.

There is also a Part 2 for this post 🙂

It is possible to think about ministry in a way that is very different from what is recorded in Jesus’ life and work. Such thoughts can be unintentionally propagated within Christian contexts. Most of us don’t intend to veer from the beautiful simplicity of loving God and other people, but false thinking can easily gain a foothold in anyone’s life.  

Over the years I’ve picked up on attitudes or heard conversations that describe ministry something like this: 

  “If a large enough number of people can see the important Christian stuff I’m doing and deem it worthy, then I will be considered a person in the ministry.

“If I can accomplish a list of tasks in a really Christian way, then I’m doing ministry.” 

“If someone gives me a microphone and everyone else has to listen, then I’m doing reallywell in ministry.” 


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Dear International Worker, You May Grieve From Far Away

Many years ago, I remember sitting in my dorm hallway in university late at night, worried about a child in my extended family who was extremely ill. At that point in my life my extended family lived only one state away, but I felt the distance acutely. I realized if I continued on the path …

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Men & Miscarriage

“I didn’t watch you go through it. I also went through it”

Daniel and I don’t talk about the miscarriages often, but last week we did and I learned something. From now on I will refer to them as our miscarriages instead of just mine.

I’ve encouraged people to think of men during miscarriage for a few years now. It’s a topic close to my heart, but I didn’t realize that verbally I was still referring to our experiences as mine until I talked with Daniel last week.

I interviewed him to better understand how he felt and learn what helped him after our first miscarriage. I wanted to know what he would say to fathers who are dealing with miscarriage and to friends and loved ones who want to help.

After the miscarriage what did people say or do that was helpful to you?

-When it happened you…

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Christmas Past. Christmas Present.

Christmas Past: South Asia. Nearby mountains. Cold. At our community's Christmas gathering, our Fijian friend wrapped chicken in banana leaves, then roasted it in the ground while his wife made fresh bread and prepared for the guests. Around a huge bonfire in their yard, we all ate and sang the evening away while our children …

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When My Friend Said Shut Up

“Shut up! God loves all those people!” My friend was normally quiet, but when she spoke on this day I appreciated it. Her words revealed many things going on in her heart. She said this to a well intentioned, but overzealous person who had come to visit. This person was talking about their work to …

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Love Doesn’t Mean Being Exactly the Same

It’s okay to be different than your spouse. It’s actually good.   Cookie cutter individuals and marriages do not showcase our Creator’s love for humanity as much as variety. Yet in the daily grind of life, it can be hard to tolerate, let alone celebrate each other’s differences. But when we allow ourselves and others the …

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