...we got our recognition as a group by Washington State University Vancouver. I have been working on this for weeks, and the process has been agonizingly slow, although not really due to the school. Anyway, we are going ahead with starting our ministry there in January!


Kid Humor

Is it cute or alarming when an almost-three year-old creates her own sixth-grade humor? Judge for yourself -

One of Allison's favorite games and movies is "Candyland". Anne asked her how she would like living in Candyland. Allison's answer:

"I would eat too much candy, and it would give me diaweeah."

In the movie one of the characters steps in peanut butter and it sticks to his shoe. Allison told me:

"EEEWWW! He stepped in dog poop. In Candyland, dog poop is made of peanut butter!"

We say it all the time - she is just like her Dad. Uh-oh.

Day of Service

Coming up at the end of December is our Northwest Winter Conference, where 800 students involved in Campus Crusade come from all over the Northwest to gather for a week for worship, teaching, equipping, and outreach. It has fallen to my Portland team to plan the day of outreach to the city of Portland.

We have been frantically calling service organizations all over the city to find places where these college students can spend the day serving others and proclaim the Gospel through their words and deeds.

We have been in contact with homeless shelters, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Habitat for Humanity, nursing homes, and churches all over the area. Please pray, as this is a huge undertaking to bring all these details and locations together!

More on the conference later...


Kid Logic

This morning during cartoons, a commercial came on for some sort of craft-type toy. The commercial went on and on extolling the virtues of the product and listing all the things you could do with it. Allison, captivated, turned around and told us:

"Wow, if I had that, I could do whatever I wanted!"

Advertising is indeed a powerful medium.


Turkey Trot

We started off our Thanksgiving holiday at the Oregon Zoo for the Oregon Road Runner's annual Turkey Trot. The kids both participated in the 1K tot trot. It was pouring rain that morning, so we didn't bother with the camera to document the event. Here are some pictures of them following their race with their ribbons and t-shirts. At the finish line they received a candy cane and a chocolate turkey.


More on the journey

A few weeks ago I was recounting my journey in ministry over the last two years. I mentioned that there have been a few verses from the Bible that God has used to define my journey. Daniel 7:13-14 is one.

The other is John 20:21. Jesus says to his disciples, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." This has been a watershed verse for me as I have meditated on it. Remember from Daniel 7 that Jesus was given all glory, authority, and sovereign power from the Father. Why? So he could fulfill the promise and reconcile lost men and women to the Father.

Jesus' followers would have heard Jesus refer to himself as the "Son of Man" on numerous occasions, and they would have known he was claiming to be the Son from Daniel &. When Jesus claimed the title of the Son of Man, he was saying that he had been given all glory, authority, and sovereign power.

Can you imagine their reaction when Jesus said, very clearly, that he was sending them as he himself was sent? Imagine the owner of the company you work for called you into his office and told you that at that time you had all his authority and power to run the company, as he himself had. How would you react? No matter what, I bet the size of the task would overwhelm!

As I thought about this, I realized that Jesus' words apply to us as well. The disciples commissioned their followers in the same way. There exists a chain of descent from Jesus, through his followers, all the way down through the ages of church leadership, to you and I!

In my journey, I needed to hear this and learn it. I often am tempted to serve out of my own gifts and wisdom. The bad thing is I can usually get pretty far that way. But then inevitably I end up fighting God when he and I come to odds on how, when, or why something should be done. For me to learn that I have been sent with purpose, and with power, this has allowed my to confidently submit to the leading of Jesus. If he has sent me, as he was sent, that means that I have all his power and all his authority at my disposal, and that I use them in the best way I can to bring him all the glory. Being sent that way demands humility so as not to misuse or misrepresent. It means that we can have total confidence. It also means that when we suffer, we know that Jesus too suffered, and that if we are to go as Jesus did, that we too must suffer and sacrifice.

That commission does not apply only to full-time ministers, by the way. As far as I can see, it applies to all of us who claim to follow Christ. Imagine what the world would look like if we all (myself included - I get it wrong more than anyone) lived as if we were sent to the world as Jesus was sent to the world, to serve, love and sacrifice, in order to glorify God and build his kingdom? I am shaken sometimes to think how lives would change!

Portland State update

If you have been following the events at Portland State through our blog and newsletters, you have neard the story of how we were approached by the coach of the women's basketball team to start a Bible study there. Of the 15 players, 12 came to the initial study.

Two weeks ago, Shasta, the CCC staff woman leading the study, took the whole study through the Gospel, looking at Scripture along the way. Seven of the players were there; all seven decided to invite Christ into their lives.

Thanks for praying as you have. Please continue to pray. God is working on our campuses, and we are rushing to keep up with all the opportunities he has given us.


More kid logic

Tonight Alex was reading one of the Mercer Mayer books to himself. The boy in the story is being sent to bed but keeps making up games so he doesn't have to go. Finally the dad yells at the kid to "Just go to bed!" The kid responds with "But I'm a bunny!"

Alex is learning that an exclamation point means excited or loud speech, so he interpreted that exchange as the boy yelling back at the dad. His response:

"Wow, the boy yelled back at his dad! That's not so good though...it just means there will be more yelling."


My girl

Allison is almost three. She calls snowflakes "frosties". It makes me sad that one day she will call them snowflakes!


Alex's school fundraiser

Alex's school hosted a spaghetti dinner tonight to raise funds for the school.

It was chaos.

The tables were set up in the gym, and apparently it is a rule that all kids under the age of six must run as fast as possible, without looking around, in every direction. It was like a flock of birds had been released inside the gym, with random direction changes and 80-decibel squawking. As I could discern the rules of the running game, bonus points seemed to be awarded for slamming into adults trying to carry cups of juice back to the tables.

There were some pretty cool crashes, too. Full-on, state fair demolition derby-style crashes. At one point some kid knocked over a cubicle divider, the noise of which reverberated across the gym. Every parent's head in the place came up, not to see if anyone was hurt, but to hope that it was not their kid that knocked it over.

We got out alright, though, and had a pleasant evening.

(No children were harmed in the above events.)

Pacific University

I had an encouraging meeting today with Dave and Karen, who are campus ministers at Pacific University with another campus ministry. We talked about how we could work together to build one another up and help each other succeed in ministry.

We agreed that for CCC to come to campus and set up another group might be covering the same ground twice, as they are doing a fantastic job of evangelism and discipleship on campus. But, they have some ethnic and foreign student contacts on campus that would like to launch ministries into their affinities but are unsure how to do so.

Thankfully this year CCC has some team members who are specialists in ethnic and international ministry. So, our team will be heading out to Forest Grove in a few weeks to see if God has given us favor to begin targeted ministries to these people groups.

I love it when ministries can work together this way. Each has something to offer, and the trick is to keep open minds and hands and allow God to lead each one to be used in the most effective way.


Portland Metro updates

So much has been happening in ministry lately that it has been hard to keep up. Along with Anne and I being out of town for two weeks in October, I have been behind on alot of things. Here, in bullet form, are a few quick updates:

Linfield College - One of our staff team members, Crystal, has been desiring to start African-American ministry groups on the campuses in Portland. Linfield, as she found out, has 28 A-A students in attendance. When she called the campus's Multicultural Office, they were a little hesitant about what she was asking about. When they met her and saw that she is A-A herself, they got excited! The office is now helping Crystal get a Bible study started for A-As at Linfield.

University of Portland - UP is a Catholic university that allows CCC access to perform the role of Protestant student activities, since nearly half of their student body is Protestant by background. Due to the nature of the agreement, CCC is not able to be very overt in how they go about publicizing and recruiting students for involvment. Three years ago some students from CCC organized a "Dodgeball For Jesus" tournament for the whole school. It has become one of the largest events on campus each year. This year saw almost 200 players on 30 teams, and dozens more spectators. While not overtly outreach-oriented, this event promotes good relations with the school, as well as exposes the whole campus to the CCC group, where Gospel relationships are formed.

Portland State - A few weeks ago I mentioned that we were approached by the women's basketball coach who wanted to know if we could start a Bible study on the women's team. 12 women from the team have been faithfully attending and are hungry for Christ and spiritual growth. Recently, Shasta, the CCC woman who has been leading the study, has been approached by the women's soccer coach as well to start something similar. Shasta has also caught wind of interest among the men's football team.

Also at Portland State - Sarah, a CCC staff who has been seeking opportunities for ministry among the international students in Portland, has discovered a once-per-week coffee house put on by the university that draws about 100 students from all over the world. Sarah has been given permission from the school to hand out some evangelistic materials and launch a Bible study among those interested.

Clark College - Abe and Jen, two CCC staff working to reach Asian-American students, visited Clark College and found a fairly large and very spiritually open population of Asian students. They are following up contacts there to try and put together a ministry to Asian-Americans at Clark.

Lewis and Clark College - One of our prayers for years at LC has been that God would surface men to lead ministry on that campus. In any given year, there will be one or less involved at all in any of the Christian groups. Josiah, a CCC staff, this year is leading a Bible study of three men who are all growing in their faith. Josiah has high hopes that these men will form a core of male leadership that our group at LC has never had.

New Orleans - Hurricane Katrina continues to grip the hearts of students in Portland. Another group plans to go for a week in December, and word has it that more will go again during Spring Break. I am amazed that their attention has remained so focused, more than a year after the storm hit.

East Asia - We will have a group of students and staff traveling to East Asia in December to do contact work and evangelism for ten days or so. In years past as many as 25 students have gone on this trip.

God is at work in Portland!

Truck update

I had the truck repaired last week...if you remember, it stalled out during Friday rush hour traffic. Thankfully the fix was pretty simple.

BUT...a few weeks ago the kids, who love to play inside my truck, broke the windshield wipers so they no longer turn on. This wasn't a big deal until last week when it started raining. So today I took the steering column apart to fix the wipers.

Good news...the wipers work again.

Bad news...the hi-beam headlights don't.

Life is like that, no? If it's not one thing, it's something else. At least I can see when it rains!