Sometimes my kids blow me away. Sometimes something flows out of them that is so beautiful and out-of-their-gift mix that I just sit back in awe at what I’m seeing. That something supernatural is leading them. This is one of those kind of stories.
Madison has begun her senior year at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She’s enjoying a fabulous Christian education with brilliant professors who mentor her in the fields of english and philosophy. She couldn’t ask for more in that area. At the same time, an area at PBA in which she’s grown increasingly discontent is with the lack of spiritual formation she sees happening among her peers. She’s surrounded by students who say they’re Christ-followers, yet it seems their faith isn’t at a place where it affects their lifestyle.
Madison has a giant heart for people. She also has a giant heart for God. During the summer, Madison shared that she might begin a Cru chapter at PBA.
Excuse me while I pull my jaw off the floor. For a moment I felt like I was in a twilight zone.
My daughter facing off with fibromyalgia and social anxiety, who hardly makes it through each day, who fiercely dislikes crowds and speaking to them, is thinking of beginning a campus ministry on her campus? Not in a million years would that thought have ever crossed my mind as something Madison would endeavor to do. Not in a million years.
She believes there’s a different kind of life to extend to them if they’d like to walk into it. A life where the incredible gracious love of an amazingly good God will enfold them in such a way that they’ll desire to image Him in this world.
Next thing I know, Madison has made contact with our campus ministry office in Orlando. She told them she’d like to start a ministry at PBA. She was linked up with a staff person who is coaching her through this process, step-by-step.
My daughter, with her many challenges, initiated with a few students she knows, and some she doesn’t know, inviting them to be part of a leadership team to launch Cru. Kimmy Jo and Patrick have joined her. She initiated with a professor who loves Cru’s mission and is excited to be her faculty sponsor. She presented her vision before the student government leadership, seeking to be recognized as an official club on campus. All of this she has done while barely having the energy to get through each day of academics.
And last week, amid mid-terms, Cru at PBA was launched. Fifteen students showed up. She was thoroughly delighted as were we when we heard the news. I’m not overstating when I say I am filled with awe at this entire endeavor. Madison seemed to be in a state of wonder when we she shared the news with me.
I’ve told my daughter throughout her life that God’s Spirit, who lives in her, is a courageous and powerful one. She found that to be debatable at times. A lot of the time. We are watching God’s Spirit, alive and well in her, release out of her a part of her design I don’t know that any of us knew was in her and it is a joy-ride to ride this coaster with her.
She’d be delighted to have you join her in prayer for Cru at PBA, and the students who are drawn to drink more deeply of Jesus’ living water during their college experience.
Some call them Millennials. Others the I-Gen. Born between 1982 – 2004. Here’s one description of them...
Millennials, and the generations that follow, ​are shaping technology. This generation has grown up with computing in the palm of their hands. They are more socially and globally connected through mobile Internet devices than any prior generation. And they don't question; they just learn.Brad D. Smith (CEO Intuit)
Many Millennials are technically-gifted and enmeshed in a world of computer languages like Python, Swift, HTML5, Java, etc. They are responsible for our devices serving us terabytes of entertainment, news, remote control services, home automation, and more. Many of them follow Jesus, and would love to use their interests and skills to reach others for Jesus Christ.
We have a ministry designed to engage followers of Christ and future Christians called Indigitous. Indigitous is a global community engaging with ideas and each other to advance God’s Kingdom through technical innovation.
One Indigitous strategy is to host hackathons. From October 20-22, we will have the privilege of hosting our second Global Missional Hackathon called Indigitous #HACK! 2500+ missional hackers are gathering in 38+ cities around the world, developing digital disciplers who will work on missional projects.
Through your support of Lisa and me, you are helping to launch thousands of digital disciples whose heart is to help fulfill the Great Commission using their tech-genius skills.
P.S. If you know someone that could, would, should come to the #HACK, let them know about it. Send them the poster above and or send them this url https://indigitous.org/hack/.
Jesse is a creative artist with Cru. It was nine years ago we hosted our 1st Creative Artists Guild of Cru staff. We met in Hilton Head where nearly 25 us got to know each other for the first time, shared best practices and worked through professional skill training to develop our crafts in telling God's stories. Since then we hosted five gatherings in Orlando, and I met Jesse for the first time in one of those.
Jesse just posted in our guild G+ forum a video he worked on this past summer for our national staff conference. It did not show (sometimes this is the hard life of a creative), but I will show it to you. It may not have fit the program this summer, but the numbers it displays represent people and the work of God's Spirit. If you have just under 2 minutes, it presents encouraging ground taken for God's glorious Kingdom.
I share this because you and I are part of these people and these happenings and it is pleasurable to peek at one part of what God is doing in and through us.
Because some of you are asking, we are sending a little update from O-town. We fared well through the storm. The climax of Irma began around six last night and continued through the evening with continuous tornado warnings, one of which passed right over us. These created some tension within us. The wind howled, belting trees in every direction and rain pummeled the earth as we drifted to sleep, hoping and praying for protection from these forces of nature. We awoke to light winds and sun peeking through this morning. Thankfully, we fared well as did our neighborhood. Some trees and fences are down. There are roof shingles here and there, but the damage is mild given the destruction others have experienced from Irma. Here are some photos from around our house.
Downed trees were a common sight around our neighborhood. This picture is our backyard.
Once cleanup from Irma began, our streets were lined with piles of branches from trees.
Our neighbor had two trees down. Others had fences go down.
Out of a case of cabin fever, Brockman studios produced a few videos.
We are grateful for your prayers and that God is a protector. Had the damage been worse, He would still be our protector. We were incredibly blessed never to have lost power. Sooooooooo thankful for this! We have friends whose yards and streets are flooded and are without power. Our neighborhood seems to shine in its drainage abilities. Whew.
As Keegs and Dennis walked around the neighborhood this morning to survey the damage, a police officer told them Orlando is under a curfew until 6 pm and to go home. Glad there’s only one day more we are under a curfew, and we enjoy so much freedom in America.
Thank you again, for your thoughts and prayers. Our Father generously answered.
The music score brought on an intensity that moved you to the edge of your seat. Caught between horror and fear, you tensed for the next victim. If I played the unmistakable tune, you’d likely know it instantly--the 1975 thriller, Jaws.
Awaiting Hurricane Irma feels a bit like that. The havoc Harvey inflicted upon Houston ramps up the intensity for Irma. Tweets, web headlines, and chatter about the storm has a similar impact to the music score in Jaws.
Palm Beach Atlantic University closed after class yesterday and won’t re-open until Tuesday. This released Madison to drive home last night, surrounded by multitudes of South Floridians evacuating in preparation for Irma. She was in the thick of bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way home to Orlando, adding an hour to her usual three-hour commute.
Note the red indicating heavy traffic (or slow traffic)
Our Gator (UF mascot), Keegan, is at school in Gainesville. UF is canceling classes on Monday, the day after Irma is to strike our area. Keegan plans to stay in Gainesville, study, and ride out the storm with whoever remains.
We intend to ride out Irma at home. We considered leaving the area, but our schools here in Orlando are in session until Friday, and we’re hoping as Irma moves across land, she’ll slow a bit as she reaches central Florida.
We are 45 miles inland from the coast. The hurricane force winds are currently measuring 50 miles from the eye. If the eye runs up the coast, we will be on the outer edge of the high winds.
This is what they project will be the path of Irma
We are preparing as best as we are able. It’s wild walking aisles of the grocery store with shelves completely emptied. It’s actually a bit eerie. Our hearts are so burdened for the islands being pummeled by Irma right now. We’d love your prayers for us as well as for all those in Irma’s path and wake. We will send an update as soon as we are able after the storm.
It was through Storytelling that Jesus penetrated souls. It was through storytelling that he turned the world of the Pharisees upside down. It was through His story that the world has been revolutionized. Throughout the past 15 years, I have been given the pleasure of influencing Cru's storytelling through visual communication. For the past three years, you and I have been storytellers for Global Fund Development.
Today, I will step into a new role as Cru's Global Marketing and Experience director. Since Cru began a re-branding journey six years ago, I've had a fire burning within me to see Cru's messaging internally and externally streamlined with such precision that our storytelling will have even greater impact. Lisa, Madison (as a writer) and three other people I've loved working with over the years will join me on the Global Digital Strategies team. We are blessed to work under and support our Vice President, Ken Cochrum, who leads the Digital Strategies team.
Together, God-willing, we will do this so that we can even more effectively tell the gospel story so that everyone knows someone who follows Jesus Christ.
You are so critical in our being able to do this work.
The rumbling within me began this afternoon. Irritability encapsulated my heart, my mind and my body. In Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard paints the picture of all of these parts residing within our souls. It this is the case, then it’s accurate to say my soul feels like it’s been turned upside down and inside out.
It took me a few minutes to become aware of this rumbling. I was fine this morning and through the early afternoon. Then Dennis attempted to be playful…and I wasn’t playing. That was my first clue all was not at rest. As I grilled the burgers and sat through dinner, I felt a restlessness within.
Part of me wanted to clamor my way out of it. To stop it. The other part of me was curious. Curious about what brook was bubbling down deep, refusing to be silenced until embraced. That’s always my battle…to embrace the ache beneath the rumblings. It feels unnatural to lean into it, wrap myself around it, befriend it. Yet it is in this space, I have found Immanuel, my with God. So I leaned into the ache.
As I waited in the rumble, willing myself to not spill over onto everyone in my household (this is the deep battle of spiritual formation), my soul felt like Pop Rocks in my mouth. Then finally, a moment of clarity.
Our Keegan has been packing all day, completely cleaning out his bedroom. He returns to Gainesville on Tuesday to begin his sophomore year at the University of Florida.
Ding, ding, ding.
Pause. Exhale. Yes, that is what this is inside of me.
Cole will be moving into Keegan’s larger bedroom, which meant Keegan was completely moving out of his room. And purging. There was something about this purging and moving out of his room which was my undoing. He is entering into manhood, full of vision and passion for his future. I love being a witness to his unfolding story. I am so blessed he’s been mine to nurture for so many years. And it is Keegs living out of his design, which forces me to live out mine and open wider my hands, my arms, my heart and release him into the world. And this deep ache is beauty, and wrestle, and death, and hope all entwined into one woman’s soul.
My with God says He knows what it’s like to release His Son. He knows. All this goodness and ache He enters into and expands my soul to make more space for Him. He says His grace is sufficient for this ache, to hold me in it. So I will resist the urge to run from it ten different ways (i.e. shopping, eating, media, etc.)
And my with God says His grace is expansive enough to hold my dear neighbor who just shared she has breast cancer. It was only two years ago her young granddaughter was in the fight for her life with a brain tumor. And He was with them and held them there, in that deep place of ache of a completely different kind. And now He will be with Joanne as she battles for her own life. All these aches...some good and some brutal. Each one an opportunity to be more deeply entered by our with God.
His is an unusual kind of love. Perhaps this ache will expand me to hold more of this love, more of Him so I have more of His love to pour into others.
I miss you already, my Keegan. Yet in the same breath, It fills me to see you open your expansive wings and soar.
We are so glad you clicked on over. Here’s a small window into who we are...
I am a mom to five mostly fabulous kids ranging from 13-21 years of age. For 13 of my 21 years of parenting, I was privileged to home educate our kids, some hours with much joy and delight...others through gnashing of teeth. We bathed together in the deep waters of spiritual formation. I think especially me. That was fertile ground for the passion God has deposited within me for spiritual formation.
I’m most alive when I’m journeying with others on their road of personal transformation as well as when others join me in mine. Thirteen years ago, I participated in my first School of Spiritual Direction through Larry Crabb’s New Way Ministries as a personal development pursuit. That week rocked my world in the best way. I caught a vision of God, myself, and others I’d never seen before, and a passion grew within me to share this vision and walk alongside others in their spiritual journeys. I acquired my Spiritual Direction certificate in the summer of 2016, and find incredible joy in journeying with Cru staff into the heart of God.
The summer of 2017 marked my 25-year anniversary as a Cru staff member. I currently serve with the Digital Strategies team in the area of Spiritual Formation.
I am in a graduate studies two-year program I began in August 2017 called Renovare Institute for Spiritual Formation.
I am a dad to five lively kids who keep me active on athletic sidelines, and are wonderful objects of interest for my photography hobby. Parenting them is a gift and as they grow into young adulthood, relating with them grows even richer.
The summer of 2018 marks my 35-year anniversary as a Cru staff member. I am passionate about the spiritual life and co-journeying with others who share the desire to know God intimately. I’m also passionate about how Christ is presented to the world, for how He’s presented often determines whether or not one opens the door to listen to the transforming message of Christ. It is my privilege to serve on our Global Digital Strategy team on which I focus on marketing our Cru message and give attentiveness to how we are experienced as messengers.