Sally wrote a letter to the Executive Director of Partners in Hope Lake Travis after several volunteers worked at her home. She is a collector of what some might call junk. But to her it is a source of income.

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Here is how a part of her letter reads:

The thought of 20 people who I never met before were all going to be mad at me or think I was rude or unappreciative and just wanted to collect junk. And then they would be telling all their friends about it and oh my gosh what an embarrassing terrible mess this would turn into…Sally

Her fear was real. She lived in fear of judgment and rejection. Many who live in isolation, poverty, depression or (fill in the blank) live in fear of how others will receive them.

Sally overcame her fear and agreed to allow the volunteers to work at her home.

Read more of her letter:

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I wish I enjoyed it, but I don’t. I can’t sit still if someone massages my feet or gives me a pedicure. That would be why I have only had one of each in my life. Imagine my thoughts when I heard that we were about to wash each other’s feet.


Danielle washing Baan's feet.

Danielle washing Baan’s feet.


This is a picture of my wife Danielle washing Baan’s feet. At the time we didn’t know Baan very well. He lives in Pattaya, Thailand. Danielle and I served with the same ministry organization with Baan. He became a close and trusted in friend.

I sat waiting my turn for someone to wash my feet. I tried to ignore the anxiety rising in me. I really didn’t want someone touching my feet! Ugh—I know I had uncut toenails, crusty heels and neglected calluses!

My body tensed as the poor soul unlucky enough to be the one to wash my feet knelt before me. I grabbed the edge of my chair trying not to kick them while they cleaned my feet with a rag.

You would think they were torturing me! I found it difficult to focus on the meaning of the action.

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My wife took our three-year-old son to one of his favorite places yesterday—the mall. He enjoys playing at the indoor toddler playground as long as other children are there.


Photo Credit: Sharizah via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Sharizah via Compfight cc

Sure enough children swarmed the play area, running, laughing, crying, climbing, and playing chase. Some parents sat fiddling with their smart phones periodically checking on their child. While others hovered over their little one trying to protect them from the bigger kids.

Our son quickly made friends with two girls who were sisters. When their mother announced that it was time to go, he followed the family out of the play area telling them he wanted to go home with them.

As my wife ran out to chase our son down, the girl’s mother was telling him that he needed to go home with his own mommy.

Whoa! What is that all about?


The challenge is he either doesn’t know who to trust or he doesn’t trust anyone. This prevents him from securely attaching to us as his mommy and daddy. Children from a hard place often struggle with this.

What is meant by, “a child from a hard place”?

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What do you mean cap my lifestyle! I want more! Just like anyone I feel the pull to increase my lifestyle all the time. It is the American way, man. Bigger house, nicer car, fancier vacations, better schools.


Photo Credit: *Kid*Doc*One* via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: *Kid*Doc*One* via Compfight cc


16And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21 ESV

About the only TV shows I watch are sports or news…well the occasional Paw Patrol or Bob the Builder with my three-year-old.

I like watching our local Fox news program, and my favorite segment is “Your World with Neil Cavuto”. A week or so ago I heard this stat—

48% of all Americans only have one month of emergency funds (money available in case of an emergency). And, shockingly, 20% don’t have any savings at all!

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It was the end of a long yet exhilarating week. 10 of us flew to Honduras to drill a water well for some families in a village. Each day began early with breakfast before an hour drive to the village. The day ended with an hour return trip to our hotel for dinner and group time.


Photo Credit: UNE Photos via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: UNE Photos via Compfight cc


We slept hard and fast each night to do it again the following day. On the next to last day of our trip we began our two-day trek back to the city our flight departed.

After several hours on a bus, we arrived at our last hotel. After unpacking and freshening up, we met for dinner. I sat staring at my dinner almost too tired to eat the wonderful meal before me. Yet I ate.

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I had known this eight-month-old baby boy for only a few days. I didn’t know what to expect as we walked into the Child Protective Services office for the first parent visit. But this baby’s reaction didn’t seem normal to me.


Photo Credit: george.bremer via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: george.bremer via Compfight cc


Leaving the building, I carried him close to my chest. He watched his mommy and daddy over my shoulder walk in the other direction to their car. I expected for him to cry out for them. Instead, not a sound. His eyes glazed over.

I don’t remember him crying or fussing on our way to our home. But after we got in the house, this baby boy who was beginning to crawl and pull up, took hold of a toy that came from his home. I assumed that the toy was familiar to him.

What he did next took me by surprise.

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Verge14 is this years version of the missional conference that began in Austin, TX in 2010. My wife and I attended that first conference, and God dramatically altered the course we were on. You can read about that in my book, Adopting the Father’s Heart.


by GCM Collective

by GCM Collective


Over the past few years, speakers from these conferences, books I have read written by many of them, videos I have watched, forums that I have participated—all have challenged and shaped me to live a life sent.

Even though I didn’t attend this years conference, I picked up several nuggets by watching some of the conference via live feed and dropping in on one lunchtime session about the Orphan Care Network.

Here are several quotes I picked up on Twitter that I think are worth repeating from the conference followed by a few summary comments of mine.

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Shame. Is it ever a good thing? Are shame and guilt the same? Do you hide stuff in your life or past because of shame?



I am working on a book currently entitled, Beyond Shame. Strange topic for my next book? Especially since my first book was about foster care and adoption. And, I blog about living a sent life. Why would I want to write about this powerful emotion that has a lot of people in bondage?

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Easier than where? Here, in America where most people claim to be Christian. Thailand is over 95% Buddhist and only about 1-2% Christian. Easier might not be the best term, but…


The first few months we lived in Thailand, we stayed in friends homes who were from America. They had cable TV, so I tried to keep up with what was happening in the West, with my beloved Spurs, and the TV show LOST.

I wanted to hang on to my western culture.

The last three plus months we lived there, we stayed in a home that had no internet connection nor cable. I spent most of my time with local believers and missionaries from other parts of the world. Neither were all that interested in what was going on in my homeland.

In fact, most of these friends were serious about following Jesus. The missionaries had given up their own culture falling in love with the Thai people. They strongly believed that God had sent them to Thailand to share the love of Jesus Christ with them.

The Thai believers believed so strongly that Jesus is truly the Son of God that they denounced their heritage. Some of their families even disowned them because of their decision to follow Jesus.

In this context, I noticed that the subtle trappings of my heritage began to fall away. I went weeks without knowing what was going on in American sports. We didn’t watch American TV. If we watched any TV it was all in Thai.

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We were standing around a pile on the ground of cement mix, rocks and sand. About 12 of us. Half of us from the U.S. The other half guys from this village high in the mountains of Guatemala.



Some of the local guys had just poured some water on the pile of mix in what looked like to me a strategic way. Then they stood back. Leaned on their shovels and talked. The pools of water slowly soaked into the pile. They seemed to not care.

All of us Americans began looking at each other. What are they waiting on? We are only here for a few days and we have a lot of work to do!

One of our young 20 something guys couldn’t take it any longer. He jumped at the pile with his shovel and began mixing the water into the pile as fast as he could. Another of our group joined him. They had the look of satisfaction on their faces. Now the job was getting done!

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