A Video for Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving in the USA today, and I got to thinking a little about what we are usually thankful for at this time of the year. We talk about how blessed we are and about all the wonderful things that God has given to us. Those things are good, but I’m reminded that the Biblical call to being thankful is not only in the good things but also in the bad things.

I bought the newest Shane & Shane album this week (affiliate link), mostly because of this song. It comes from a passage in Job 13:15 that says, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.”

We know the story of Job, and he was determined to hope in the grace of God despite all that had happened to him.

Our trust, our thankfulness, is not only in Him when all things are going well with us. God gives us good things, that is for sure. We are to be thankful for those things. But also in the trials and tribulations, we are to trust that His ways are higher than our ways and that He is God. We are to praise Him in all of it.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and that, despite what is going on in your life (good or bad), you can find a way to hope in Him.

Youth Leader Summit in Cuba

I just got an email from Darwin, one of our graduates and the Director for the Center for Youth Ministry in Santa Clara, Cuba. He is a good friend with a great passion for youth ministry and a great leader. Darwin is at the forefront of youth ministry on the island and is constantly pushing other leaders to become better at what they do.

This week he and his team hosted a national youth leaders' summit for over 120 leaders from 40 churches all over the country. Here are two pictures from the event. It's so fun to see what God is doing there!

 

Summit Cuba 2013

 

 

Trip to China

Wenzhou, China

A panoramic view of the city.

I haven't really posted much about this because I have been really busy, but the reason we are in the USA for these six weeks is because I took a trip to China for 10 days. It was a 14-15 hour flight, the longest one I have ever been on. The trip was great, and I had a blast.

I stayed in a city called Wenzhou, which is on the southern coast. I had fun experiencing a new culture and making new friends. Here are some pictures from my trip.

Temple

A Buddhist Temple

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Speechless

We just got back from vacation. It was much needed, but now I feel like I need a vacation to rest! For a while now, my little princess has been asking us to go to Disney World so she can see the princesses. Thanks to our friends at Kissimmee Guest Services, we got some tickets to go to Disney World for one day during the first week of vacation.

We took lots of pictures (you can see them here), but this one is one of my favorite of all times.

My little girl was speechless when she walked into that castle room. Her interaction with each princess was so cute, and her timidness was evident. She slowly warmed up to them, but you could just tell that this was a special moment.

I wonder if one day that is how we will feel when we finally meet Jesus face to face. It’s like that old song, “I can only imagine.”

I wonder if we will be in such awe that we won’t know what to say. I wonder how we’ll act. One thing is for sure, that is going to be a great hug from our Savior.

What a wonderful day that will be!

Trip to Chiapas

Last weekend I was invited to Tuxtla, Gutierrez, in Chiapas, a state in the Southern part of Mexico. I went to teach a class at a Missions School and also to speak at a youth camp. It was a fun experience. I had never been to Chiapas before, so I enjoyed learning a lot about this region of Mexico.

I had a chance to meet Julio, a youth pastor who writes about youth ministry on his blog “Monologos de Julito.” I have been following his blog for a while now since I started ministeriojuvenil.com, and he is one of the few who publishes regularly on youth ministry in Spanish.

I had a great time speaking to his youth group about how they need to be God’s representatives in their local school. I shared about Esther and her decision to do what she was supposed to do even though it wasn’t easy, and the result was important for all of history.

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More Desireable than Gold and Honey

I preached in chapel last week, and I used the guys in the picture as my illustrations. Do you know them? The guys in the picture are Wario and Winnie the Pooh. You probably know Pooh. He has an insatiable love for honey. He regularly gets stuck in Rabbit’s window because he goes after honey with his whole heart.

Wario, on the other hand, is a villain from Mario Brothers. If you know our family, you know we love Super Mario Brothers. Wario has a great desire to get as many gold coins as he can. He runs around with a bag of gold coins and collects more and more. Keep reading to find out what they have to do with my sermon…

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Amazon Finally Opens a Kindle Store in Mexico

Yesterday, Amazon finally opened a Kindle store in Mexico. This is really good news for me because in May I wrote a book. I haven’t blogged about it here before because it’s is in Spanish.

It’s called “Corre para Ganar: 5 Disciplinas para Llegar a la Meta del Ministerio Juvenil.” In English, that’s “Run to Win: 5 Disciplines to arrive at the Finish Line of Youth Ministry.”

It’s basically a book about my thoughts on important steps to successful youth ministry, and it’s a compilation of much of what I’ve taught in Mexico these last 10 years. It’s been hard to sell on Kindle, though, because up until yesterday, my Mexican friends had to have an Kindle account (and credit card) from the USA or another supported country in order to purchase it. They also can buy a printed version, especially at events where I speak (also available on Amazon). All of that changed because Amazon finally opened a Kindle Store in Mexico.

I’m excited about this because there are a lot of youth leaders who could benefit from reading the message of “Corre para Ganar,” and I want to get it into the hands of as many people as possible.

If you are a youth worker who reads Spanish, I encourage you to pick up a copy. If you know youth workers who read Spanish, please tell them about the book.

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