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moments of grace

We've started singing more at youth group lately. I love this shot. They randomly started jumping around and dancing. :)

I wish I did this more often. Wrote down the places I saw the traces of God's movement. The more I write them down, the more I see them happen everywhere.

One of our teens told her mom she wanted to go on the spring break mission trip. Her mom started to worry they couldn't pay for it. The teen stopped her mom and said don't worry about it. She had saved up her Christmas and birthday money and had already paid me for the trip.

My sister in law is having a rough couple weeks in her clinicals. She really needs some encouragement in her career field. A guy walked into their church who hadn't been there in a long time and he does exactly what she wants to do. They got to talk for a while.

My parents are spending a week on a cruise through the Mexican Riviera. Couldn't think of two people who deserve it more.

Our teens applied to be part of an Evolution transition team between me and our new youth director. It made me smile so much to read all their dreams and hopes for their friends and youth group.

We go to Steak n Shake so much with our good friends Matt and Emily, that our waitress, Jessica, calls us her regulars. :) We've been talking with her for a couple months now. We got her a birthday card on Wednesday and it came up that we always come from church. We invited her to come with us sometime and she asked for my number to text me about it later.

We're announcing on Sunday who the new youth director is. I'm so excited for what God has in store for our teens!

On Tuesday night, several of the girls called me worried about a friend of theirs. We talked, prayed and came up with what to do. They invited her to our discipleship group last night and she came!

The General Board of Global Ministries moves missionaries between assignments. We've been working with them to arrange our move to Alaska. They've connected us with a moving company that's coming to meet with us next week. Just found out today they'll pack up our things in boxes AND put them in the truck!

I got asked to help contribute posts for It's a site for women who are considering or are already planting a church. I won't be doing it anytime soon but I'm interested in being part of the conversation.

The weather's gotten into the 50s and we got to play games outside during discipleship group. Nothing like running around outside again!

I get to officiate my first wedding in July!!!!!!! I'm really really excited. :)

Teens collected over 2000 clothing items a couple Sundays ago! And just from a mass text sent out on a Thursday.


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Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

Why I stay in the United Methodist Church

We can't ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, "Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days."

But I face that reality with overwhelming hope and excitement. I see the Holy Spirit weaving its way through our current & new leadership in ways I've only dreamed of. A couple years ago, I thought about leaving. But I decided to ask some hard questions about why we're in decline. And that journey to the heart of the United Methodist movement has lit a fire in me to see it renewed.

Why I Stay...

1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships.
2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God's kingdom by myself.
3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day.
4. I am fascinated by our founder who's only intention was to create a renewal movement ins…