Categories
Beardcast

Beardcast for 9.5.19 with Rev.Amy Valdez Barker

This week on the Beardcast we sat down with Rev. Amy Valdez Barker and talked about her new book Trust by Design: the Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture.

You can find the book at Cokesbury and Amazon.

You can find the Beardcast on YoutubeSoundcloudStitcherAppleGoogle PlaySpotifyCastbox and wherever else you listen to Podcast.

You can also pick up some great BeardedTheologians gear here: http://www.zazzle.com/beardedtheologians

https://soundcloud.com/beardedtheologians/beardcast-for-9519-rev-amy-valdez-barker

Categories
Blogging

Little By Little

I don’t know about you but my life seems chaotic.  Work, kids, church, school, commute, activities;  it seems as though I wake up each morning and run a marathon for that day, crash in my bed then start it all over the next day.  I feel I am always in a constant state of catching up.  I yearn for a rare Saturday with a clear schedule and nothing to do but “be” and enjoy the company of our family.

Sometimes I feel as though I am doing nothing well.  I reflect on my busyness and wonder what I have really accomplished other than surviving each day.  Furthermore, I ask myself, “Could I be doing this better, if I give this or that up?”  Yet, perhaps but by God’s grace, in my retrospection, there are so many wonderful things that happen despite the messiness.

Though now I am a mission’s director at a church, I received a bachelor’s degree of science in biology.  One of my favorite classes in my academic career was an ornithology class.  Our lab was simply to observe birds in their natural habitat, identify them and to journal on their behaviors.  Despite predawn class gatherings, which no college student wants to endure, it was the most memorable and fascinating course.  My professor, Dr. Fisher was a wacky, near retirement age, self-proclaimed “king fisher” and a lover of birds.  He once almost ran off the road because he spotted a red-tailed hawk in route to a nearby park.  Thankfully, I was following behind in the college van.

In one our class observations, my lab partner and I sat near a bluebird box and watched the activity.  Busily, a bluebird flew into the box through the tiny hole bringing waded up hair twigs and grass, would stay inside for a short time, then would fly away to return with more building materials.  This went on for a long time.  As activity ceased, my lab partner and I lifted the latch on the bird box to observe a neatly twisted, perfect nest prepared to protect the precious eggs of the bluebird.

In my position as mission’s director,  I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Haiti to be in ministry with my brothers and sisters of this beautiful yet challenged land.  On a recent trip, I learned a Haitian proverb I keep close in my thoughts.  “Little by little the bird builds its nest.”

God takes the seeming twisted up chaos of my life and is able to make something orderly, comforting and safe for me and my family.  Little by little, keep going.


20914502_10213579990432051_8763911014608651388_nBrian Mateer is the Missions Director for a UMC in North Carolina, where he and his wife raise their beautiful girls.  Brian is the salt of the Earth dedicating his life to serving those around him.  He is also a Carolina Panthers fan… (the beards offer their prayers). In Brian’s free time he likes long walks on the beach and makes jewelry out of the beach treasures he finds.

Categories
Blogging Contributor Blogs

Never Too Young For Mission

This summer was a humbling one and one that opened my eyes to the important things in life. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to both Honduras and Guatemala. These trips were very different and yet they both humbled me. While on Honduras our team worked at a children’s home with orphans and helped with projects and a medical clinic on the property. We participated in a feeding program alongside a highway where children and families live in shanties. We were blessed to play with children, feed them, and show them love through our smiles and our presence.

In Guatemala, we stayed in host homes and were engaged in on going outreach programs I the community. This trip was extra special because I was able to have my husband and 10-year old son join me. This trip was focused on relationships and authentically engaging the community we were in along side the long term missionaries and local leaders. I learned to sew from the women who were learning the trade in hopes of making money for their families. My husband and son engaged the children of various communities in a new start up sports ministry visiting schools and local officials. We ate around the table with our host family every morning and night. Watching my son experience this cultural awakening and realize that the world is bigger and looks much different than his day to day life was the most humbling part of the entire summer. Watching him play soccer along side children who could not afford to go to school despite the language barrier and to learn enough Spanish to find out their name and age was a privilege I will never forget.

So often we in ministry and in our churches find it hard to find a place for children in our work and outreaches. They belong in their Sunday school classes, in the youth activities, in the children’s worship service, but having them in the larger church body seems like a burden. This could not be farther from the truth. Children have so many truths to remind us and to show us. Even Jesus said in Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. We wait until youth to engage children in mission trips and we divide families up by ages. This is not how we build up the mission of God, for even children have gifts that God can use. Family mission trips are a wonderful way to expose our children to missions while also modeling the importance of serving along side them. It doesn’t have to be an international trip but our children are not too young to start. Studies show that children in the pre teen years are making decisions for Christ and about the church. Waiting until youth or adulthood to engage them in missions is missing a critical time when their hearts are open.

I encourage families and churches alike to consider what it would look like to engage children of all ages in the mission of God that we are all called to be a part of regardless of age.

 


21057700_10212283747636099_161138296_o.jpg

Sara Lattimore is Serving as Director of Missions and Outreach at First United Methodist Church in Lubbock Texas. She has served in full-time ministry for the last 10 years in Children’s and Family Ministry, Camping Ministry, and now Missions and Outreach. She is currently also attending seminary at Iliff to obtain her MDiv. Sara is following her calling in full-time ministry building relationships and emphasizing the importance of family, but she also has another calling, her family. Sara has been married to Aaron for 12 years and together they have 2 children Carson 10 and Kennedy Grace who is 4.

Categories
Beardcast

Beardcast for 8.24.17 with Special Guest Ken Willard

This week on the Beardcast Matt and Zach talk with Ken Willard and we chat a bit about his book: Stride: Creating a Discipleship Pathway for Your Church

Find more of our Beardcast here.

Apple Podcast 2.0

Add us on your Apple Podcast 

google-play-podcast

Add us on Google Play

Listen to Stitcher

Categories
Beardcast

Beardcast for 8.17.17 with special guest Dale Fredrickson

This week on the Beardcast Zach and Matt we have special guest Dale Fredrickson. Find out more about Dale here: https://dalefredrickson.com/

 

Find more of our Beardcast here.

Apple Podcast 2.0

Add us on your Apple Podcast 

google-play-podcast

Add us on Google Play

Listen to Stitcher