Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Disciplemaking Adventures in the Magical Land of Coffee...

Last weekend, I went on a disciplemaking adventure to the magical land of coffee—aka, the Seattle, Washington, area. Let's just say I spent the weekend highly caffeinated.
When I arrived at the Sea-Tac Airport, I was greeted by this guy pretending to be a taxi driver. Turns out it was my disciplemaking friend, Kyle O'Hagan. It was great catching up with Kyle as we drove a short distance to Puyallup (sounds like this: pew-all-up).

True confessions: I was in Puyallup, WA, three days and I happen to make it to Anthem Coffee all three days with three different friends. Did I ever mention how much I enjoy great coffee? This is a picture of my first ever Cuban Latte. Next to an Eysals Americano, this would be my second favorite coffee. What's a Cuban Latte? Well, it's such a secret that you'd have to buy me a Cup O' Joe before I could tell you.

After coffee, we went to Bethany Baptist Church to get ready for a weekend of disciplemaking training with men. We invested Friday night and Saturday drilling down on the question: How do we live a Jesus-like disciplemaking way of life together—so that it overflows into our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, church, and the world?

To explore the Bible's answer to that question, we slowly walked through the Disciplemaking Is Relationships (DIR) training experience. To get a little taste of the spirit and content of this training, go here and take a listen!

As an added bonus of being out West, I was able to reconnect with one of my friends from Bible college, Tim Holmquist. The last time I saw Tim was 30 years ago. I was so encouraged. Paul Simon's song comes to mind here: Still crazy after all these years. Indeed. And I love it. The above picture is proof that disciplemaking friendships last over the years... and then into eternity.

I found this homeless guy and let him buy me lunch at Don's Drive In. Just kidding. This is another disciplemaking friend whom I had spent time with in Colorado a couple of months ago, Brian Sharpe. Brian's a youth pastor in Puyallup. And he's also a DIR trainer with the Evangelical Free Church of America. He and a couple of guys from his church joined us at Bethany Baptist for the DIR training experience! So. Much. Fun.

The beauty of Jesus-like disciplemaking is that it spreads everywhere like a life-giving pestilence! This particular trip is a microcosm of that fact. A number of years ago, my friend Kyle (pictured above) and I were a part of a Disiciplemaking Learning Community we call The Peoria Area Leadership Community (PALC). When Kyle took a youth ministry job at Bethany Baptist in WA, he took the training we equipped him with to his ministry in WA. He also put the men's ministry leader (his dad) in touch with me. That's how I ended up in WA on this disciplemaking adventure. 

While the training we did with the men was a blast and the guys were encouraged and equipped in a Jesus-like way of life, it was also great to just reconnect with Kyle and his family. (He's got a lovely wife and three great boys. Can you say, "testosterone"?) Did I mention that disciplemaking friendships never end? They don't. The only question is: How good the coffee will be in eternity with Jesus :  ) I suspect it's really good.

Before I left for my estrogen filled home in IL, I had way too fun much speaking to students at Bethany on Sunday morning. Frankly, it was more than a little on the crazy side. But that's how I like to roll. And God seems pleased to use the craziness to glorify himself in a unique and life-chaning way. This was a great way to end my time in the Seattle area. It was the foam on my Cuban Latte—so to speak.

YOU are hardcore! Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end. I just want to say that without you, there would be no Cadre Ministries and no Cadre missionaries like us. No kidding. We need friends like you to pray, encourage, and partner with God and us. Would you prayerfully consider being God's wind in our disciplemaking sails?


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