The Only Way We Will Ever Embrace Our Diversity

Our culture overuses the word diversity. It is forced upon us in the workplace, in our conversations, and everywhere we do life. I bet you just focused on the wrong part of that statement. Diversity isn’t a bad thing. Having it forced upon  us will never work though.

External pressure on anything that requires a heart change will always fail. Oh it might work for a short while, but then we always drift back to our default way of thinking.

The problem is our hearts. We will never embrace people who are different from we are when we have hearts of stone. Left to our own, our hearts will always treat others selfishly. We will always gravitate to those who think and act like we do. We will always shun, or do worse, those different from we are. Even man-made religion divides people into monogamous groups where everyone looks the same, has a similar economic status, and even thinks the same.

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Chapter 1 and 2 of the Revised Version of Adopting the Father’s Heart [Podcast 31]

Read by Kenneth Camp

I am revising my first book, Adopting the Father’s Heart, for two reasons. Reason number one is I think I am a better writer than I was four years ago (at least I sure hope so). I have wanted to rewrite some sections of the book to make it better. Reason number two I want to add a couple of chapters that update the story. The narrative tells the story up through the adoption of our son. The added chapters will cover the post-adoption part of the story.

Once I finish the revision of the book, I will make it available on Amazon in ebook and print form. However, all my email subscribers will get a free .pdf copy of the revised book.

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Energy Management Empowering World Missions with Colby May [Podcast 030]

Colby May is the founder and president of Lit International, a company that works with local churches to leverage energy savings, energy management, and sustainable principles in order to capture savings that these local churches can then redirect into world missions.

In this podcast episode, Colby goes into depth behind why he began this company including his passion for helping raise up indigenous pastors and missionaries around the world that can and will reach their own people. As Colby says, “If you want to change the hands, you have to change the heart.”

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5 Sure Signs that You Have Forgotten Your Purpose

What happens to a tool or a piece of equipment when we no longer use it for its intended purpose?It begins to rust and decay. Or if we use the tool in a way contrary to its created purpose, we end up damaging it, sometimes beyond repair. However, when we keep using that tool or equipment the way the creator or manufacturer intended, it remains useful for many years.

Our lives have an intended purpose just like a manufactured tool. A Creator made us with a purpose in mind, and when we don’t fulfill that purpose, we too, just like a tool, become useless over time. Of course we don’t rust, but I guess decay is inevitable for us all. We can become damaged though if we don’t adhere to our original design and purpose. Here are 5 things that happen to me when I forget my purpose or mission:

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Empowering Adoptive Families with Jen Reichert and Becky Wickes [Podcast 029]

Adoptive and foster families often complete tens of hours of required training in order to have a child placed in their family. Foster families continue required training in order to keep their license. However, once a family adopts a child, often they no longer continue training since it isn’t required.

It isn’t uncommon for adoptive families, years after the adoption is final, to experience challenges, failure, and desperation. This is where support is greatly needed. Post-adoptive families need someone to come alongside them to encourage and empower them to finish the race well. Many times it is simply someone who is trauma informed and can reminder the parents of things they learned while in training, maybe years ago.

I met with Jen Reichert, founder of Stand Up Eight, and Becky Wickes, family coach with Stand Up Eight to hear more about their non profit. Stand Up Eight is a non profit program dedicated to empowering post-adoptive families for immediate and lasting change by providing trauma-informed behavior management intervention in their homes.

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Taking A Closer Look at Connection: A TBRI Principle

God created us to connect. If that is true, then why are so many of us terrible at connecting? What many of us don’t realize is that a lot of our ability to connect with others is either enhanced or hindered in the first couple of years of our lives.

The way a parent, especially a mother, interacts with her baby while in utero, the weeks following birth, and throughout the baby months will often come naturally. I think every new parent feels ill-prepared and inadequate when they bring a newborn home. However, all you need to do is watch how people respond when they see a tiny baby. Grown men even will begin babbling in some unknown language as they shower a baby with loving attention. Women line up to take turns holding and rocking the baby. Everyone wants to jump into action to meet every need when the baby cries the slightest whimper.

All of these actions create connection. We now know that this connection creates healthy brain chemistry. Every time a child encounters someone who meets their needs, positive synapses connect across their brain. The child feels safe and can explore their ever expanding world.

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Dad to Dad Interview with Danny Cook [Podcast 028]

Sometimes It Is Obedience Rather than Desire

In this Dad to Dad episode I interview Danny Cook, pastor of Legacy church in Round Rock, Texas. He and his wife, Rachel, have fostered 20 kids over about seven years, adopting one.

I know you will appreciate Danny sharing his story in an authentic, vulnerable, even raw at times, way. Below you can see some summary notes from the interview. Enjoy and please share the link.

Show Notes

  • Danny’s story begins out of obedience.
  • Saying yes to fostering gives you a front row seat to watch life transformation.
  • You do give up some of your life so that a child can find their life.
  • Find out where you can get the motivation to do the hard yet right thing.
  • Danny shares a couple of huge turning points in his journey as a foster dad.
  • How to help men talk about their fears.
  • Danny talks about the joy of working with men who say yes when it is so easy to say no.
  • Danny shares about a ministry that he and Rachel lead called Unshaken that equips and encourages foster and adoptive parents.

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What Is God’s View on Racism?

Black Lives Matter. White Supremacy. Police shootings. Hate crimes. These are phrases that are all too familiar to us now.

I don’t often write about current events choosing to focus more on missional topics like foster care/adoption, non profit work, and missions. But the current state of racial tension in the U.S. impacts how we view a missional life.

I am reminded of a story during WW II about some Christians gathering for worship each Sunday in a church building that sat right next to the railroad tracks. The same tracks that carried train car after train car of Jews on their way to the prison camps, many to their death. The Christians would simply sing louder when they heard the cries from the train cars as they rolled past.

In the same way, we can’t ignore what is happening in our country today. However, I do think that we often take too human of a view of the matter.

We need to understand how God views racism, and respond as He does. That’s what a missional lifestyle is anyway. We see how God, a missionary God interacts with His creation, and we do the same.

No matter where you live in the world, if you pay attention to world news, I imagine that by now you have at least heard about the racial violence that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Over the past several months, if not the past several years, racial tensions that simmered under the surface have erupted out into the open. It is not a pretty sight. In fact, it is quite ugly. For many reasons no doubt, more and more people feel as if they can use violence to communicate their hatred.

I don’t feel anger. I don’t feel confusion. What I feel is a deep-seeded sadness that resembles depression.

Just in case you don’t know this already, I am white, male, in my mid-50s, and hold to morally and fiscally conservative views. I know now that those facts about who I am causes some kind of negative emotion in some of you.

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Life Transformational Bible Study: Interview with Carey Camp [Podcast 027]

Yes, if you caught the last name, Carey is my brother. Over the past few years, he shared several cool stories about a small group of guys that began meeting in his home about five years ago to study God’s word. That grew into three different groups meeting in different homes on different nights.

I asked Carey to share the stories with me on this podcast episode, because I think you will enjoy hearing how and why a group of four guys grew into over 30 without any publicity except word of mouth.

As I say at the beginning of the podcast, our voices sound similar, but I promise you, it is my brother on the interview with me!

In the episode you will hear the following:

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You Are Probably A Worthless Vessel Unless You’re Broken

That is a paradox when you first read it, but it’s true. If you need to carry water, then yes an unbroken vessel is best. But I am talking about you and me. The falsehood that we believe is that we need to be perfect and whole to be of any use to anyone or anything.

The real tragedy happens when we quit or feel unqualified only because we come face to face with our own brokenness. I can’t count the times I felt this over my lifetime.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I limped into the kitchen from my office to announce to my wife that I quit. I went on to bemoan how I wondered why I ever thought that I could be a writer and a podcaster. Nobody wants to hear what I have to say! I am too broken and messed up.

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