Mexico City: Live it to Believe It

I like this video about Mexico City. You really do have to live it to believe it.

Trasciende – Youth Leaders’ Network Meeting

We have been working a little with Youth Specialties Mexico, especially in helping them plan the annual Summit and other things. You might remember that earlier this year I gave a course at the Summit and organized the breakout sessions.

One of my favorite things that Youth Specialties does, which was actually an event that was happening before Youth Specialties Mexico existed, is called Trasciende. It is a bi-monthly youth leaders’ networking meeting that my friend Timmy started. The idea is that youth leaders can get together and talk about what is happening in their churches as well as find a sympathetic ear to help them with their questions. It is really informal but beneficial to all involved.

We had the latest Trasciende this past Saturday at a coffee shop near our house. I really had a great time, and I met some new leaders that I hadn’t really gotten to know in the past.

Please pray that Trasciende will grow. It is an event that we’re doing all over the country, including Leon, Zacatecas, Mexico City, and other cities.

Moving Edgar and Karyna

Our teammates Edgar and Karyna moved into a new apartment this past weekend. Since I’m pretty experienced at moving, they asked me to help them. So we road around in a friend’s van all day on Friday taking furniture and appliances to their new apartment.

When I posted the following picture on Instagram, my friend Luke commented, saying, “Moving is Evil.” I pretty much agree with him about that, since I’m not much of a fan of lugging heavy stuff up and down narrow stairways (why are stairways always so narrow?).

We had fun while moving them, though, and hopefully the next time they move it will be to Ecuador. It’s interesting because we were saying that all day as we were moving their stuff from the Seminary to an apartment about 15 minutes away.

Moving isn’t evil if it is God who has moved you. I’m praying that God moves Edgar and Karyna again fairly soon (they are raising funds to be in Ecuador by 2015). I pray that they will still have the courage to move because He has moved them.

I recently bought the Audio Adrenaline album, “Kings and Queens” (You should get it…if you do, use our affiliate link), and there is a great song on there called, “He Moves, You Move.” The lyrics are great, and it reminds me of why we do what we do. It reminds me that I must listen to God and see when He is moving. It’s not easy to move, but it’s a whole lot easier to do when you know that He is the one moving you.

Watch the video:

What is God moving you to do?

Names and Faces of the New Certificate Students

We already wrote here about the new group of Certificate students here in Mexico City, but this weekend we took a photo of the students after class so we could introduce them to you.


From left to right, the students are: Patti, Ari, Esther, Angelica, Harim, and Bersabi

Please be praying for them this year as they study. Inevitably there are always things that come up and obstacles that try to stand in the way of them finishing the program. Please keep them in prayer this year as they study and come to class each Saturday.

Sofia the First and the Daily Christian Life

We have a little princess in our family. Our little girl loves princess things, and her bedroom wall has princesses all over it. She puts on her princess dress, her tiara, twirls around, and sings, “I’m gonna be a princess.”

This also means that she’s a big fan of Sofia, one of the latest Disney Princesses that has a show on the Disney Channel called “Sofia the First.” We watch it at least once a day.

Sofia and her mom live in the village of the kingdom until, one day, Sofia’s mom marries the king, making Sofia a Princess. They move to the castle, and of course this means that she has to learn all about how to act like a princess. The whole show is about how she messes that up but learns in the process.

To understand what the show is about, read the lyrics to the (as always) catchy Disney theme song:

I was a girl in the village doin’ alright
Then I became a Princess overnight
Now I gotta figure out how to do it right
So much to learn and see
Up in the castle with my new family
In a school that’s just for royalty
A whole enchanted world is waiting for me

I’m so excited to be (Sofia the First)
I’m finding out what being royal’s all about (Sofia the First)
Makin’ my way it’s an adventure everyday (Sofia)
It’s gonna be my time (Sofia)
To show them all that I’m Sofia the First!

As I was walking to work this morning, I couldn’t get that song out of my head. It really is catchy (Click to watch it on Youtube). I was also thinking about how Sofia’s story is like our story.

We are just ordinary people who God chooses to bring into His family through Jesus, making us heirs to the Kingdom. We are now in the process of learning to live according to our new position as His children. We struggle, there are things we don’t understand, but our loving Father the King is right there to guide us through it all.

We truly are adopted into the Royal Family.

We should be like Sofia:

  • Excited to be part of God’s family
  • Exploring what it means to be children of the King
  • Making our way daily in the adventure that God has for us

We ought to be living like princes and princesses today.

Certificate in Youth Ministry Begins Again

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This weekend we started another round of the Certificate in Youth Ministry at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary. Huberto, our first graduate from the bachelor’s program, is teaching this month’s class.

The Certificate level program was needed because there are many youth leaders in Mexico who are volunteers. They want and need training, but they still have jobs during the week. Many of them sacrifice to come to the program every Saturday for a year.

Saturday we had a student from Ixtapaluca, a suburb of Mexico City about 2 and a half hours from the Seminary (on Saturday in good traffic). Another student came from Morelos, a state about 3 hours south of where the Seminary is located. They are willing to make the trip to get training.

The classes are every Saturday morning from 9 to 1, and the program lasts a year. Please pray for these students and their professors as we spend this coming year teaching youth ministry to these dedicated leaders.

How I Used Evernote Peek for Seminary Class

In case you didn’t know, I’m going for my doctorate from Southern Seminary. My Master’s degree, however, didn’t have enough of the required courses in order to get accepted into the doctorate program yet. So, I’m taking a few more Master’s level classes this year. The two I took this summer were Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey.

This weekend was my two final exams, and I think I did pretty well on them both, considering the fact that I’m doing other things besides taking Seminary classes. The New Testament exam was the hardest, with 75 passages that had to be correctly identified. An example would be “The Woman at the Well” with the answer being John 4:4-42. Having to memorize the location of 76 stories (or “pericopes,” as I learned in class) in the gospels was overwhelming, so I turned to a handy tool called Evernote Peek.

Lately I’ve been using Evernote for a lot of my work related organization and notes, but I didn’t use it much for class. Evernote is a service that allows you to save information like notes, images, and PDFs in a searchable way. There are so many uses for it, since it syncs across all of your devices.

But the people at Evernote also have this great flash card like app called Evernote Peek, which is designed for students.

You sync one of your notes with Peek, with the question being the subject of the note and the answer being the body. Then, on an iPad you can study these notes using a smart cover or the “virtual smart cover” that Peek provides.

Here’s what it looks like:

You lift up the cover just a little bit and it shows the question. you lift it a little more, and the answer appears. You mark it as correct or incorrect, cover the whole screen again, and “peek” again for a new question. It’s actually pretty fun.

I managed to miss only 2 questions on that part of the exam, which made me happy since I spent a great deal of time with Evernote Peek studying these 75 passages.

I’m thinking about using this with my students who have iPads. Maybe I could make them special shared notebooks with study guides in them. That would help them study more for the tests they are taking with me.

If not, I’ll continue to use it for my own memorization and study. It’s a pretty great tool.

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