Contraband at School?!?

Posted by HerschelT on October 5, 2011

That’s right, even at a classical christian school there are times when the administration has to make a strong stand to prohibit items creating a challenging learning environment.

From my son’s teacher…”At yesterday’s staff meeting, the decision was made to ban Legos school-wide at Veritas.  I feel so blessed that the most “distracting” item that Veritas students are bringing to school is tiny plastic people with rectangular limbs.  However, the Legos are creating a distraction to student priorities and causing money to change hands which is not a good thing.   Please share this new policy with your students and make sure all Legos are removed from backpacks, coat pockets, and lunchboxes.”

Little capitalists doing some lego-bartering amidst reading the Hobbit, writing fables, diagraming sentences, & learning about the Boston Tea Party… Industrious for sure.

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Thompsons to Haiti!

Posted by HerschelT on September 4, 2011

That’s right…we are heading to Haiti to see a country transformed…one life at a time!

God has been so good to us in providing great family times in Colorado this summer, a great home for hosting our small group & lots of visitors, a new job for Alison (teaching 3rd grade at our kids’ school), AND an opportunity for us to invest in Haiti this Fall.  Most of you know that I led a mission trip to Haiti in 2010 alongside fellow Journey Pastor Bryan Waldenville.  Now, we are excited to now be returning as a couple to see how we can partner with God in His plans for the people of Haiti.

We’ll be working with Mission of Hope (MOH) again and are so blessed to see practical & spiritual help through MOH to a country desperate for both. MOH was one of the first responders after the earthquake providing medical care to the injured, along with food, water, and shelter to those displaced by the disaster. In the first year after the earthquake, MOH delivered over 15 million meals, began feeding 50,000 children a day, treated 27,000 patients at the Clinic of Hope, performed 266 orthopedic and plastic surgeries, provided 75 prosthetic limbs, constructed 18 village homes, started building a 500 home community, expanded the School of Hope to include over 2,500 students, equipped over 200 family farmers with agricultural training, and saw over 1,000 people make first-time commitments to follow Jesus. To learn more, please visit: http://www.MissionOfHopeHaiti.org .

On October 22-29, we will travel with incredible people from Journey Church on a mission trip to Haiti to partner with MOH. While we are there, we will be doing some light construction in the mornings, village ministry in the afternoons, and building relationships with the children living in the MOH orphanage in the evenings. All of these activites have the deeper value of furthering the important work of Mission of Hope. God has really opened up some great opportunities for MOH.  Its work is endorsed by not only the government and new President of Haiti, but by numerous international aid organizations.

We would greatly appreciate your prayer support for the team as we prepare and travel to MOH. Please pray for the team’s safety, our unity as we serve together, and that we will graciously follow God’s direction in meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people of Haiti.

Have you been a missionary before?  We’d love to hear your advice, lessons learned, or best practices!!!

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Time for a grasshopper snack…

Posted by HerschelT on August 25, 2011

There are just those times when your pride as a dad just overflows…this was one of those times.  Our tribute to our mutual hero Bear Grylls / Man vs. Wild…

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As Hot as Haiti…

Posted by HerschelT on July 6, 2011

As unbelievable as it may be…there are places hotter than Oklahoma in July. Why would relatively sane people subject themselves to burn vacation time and their skin to travel to the poorest country in the western hemisphere, eat poorly, work hard, & have your sanity questioned by those at home?

The simple answer is to share the light. To experience God in a way unique to those in poverty & desperation.  To see gratitude & hope amidst apparent hopelessness. To share the light of God through Christ with the people of Haiti. Not to bring light there, but to enjoy God’s blessing there and bring His hope, gratitude, & a renewed desperation for His provision back with you.

* 2 Peter 1:19 – the word is a light shining in a dark place

* 1 Thess 2:8 – we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well

* 2 Tim 2:2 – Pass on what you heard from me—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others



Medical personnel need to apply by July 18th…all others by July 30th.

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Birthday with Bear Grylls

Posted by HerschelT on June 8, 2011

Ok, so his birthday was yesterday, and mine is today…and no, I am not actually celebrating it WITH the infamous Bear Grylls, host of Man vs. Wild, but I DID order Bear’s Ultimate Knife as a tribute to my love of the show & improbable vision of myself as a mountain man.

Also, here are some things I’ve picked up from Bear about life…

Faith is key to keeping your hope up in dark places (said from a cave after his torch went out)

If it crawls, slithers, runs, or swims…it’s probably edible.

If you risk nothing, you gain nothing.

After he skins a sheep in Ireland, he turns the skin inside out & crawls into it for the night and says, “It’s a sheeping bag. That’s what it is.”


Give more on your birthday than you get… SO, please continue to support the Joplin,MO tornado victims with me!  Donations to http://www.redcross.org , or to my sis via http://www.Paypal.com through her email GranolaGirlKari@gmail.com

For Bryan & others interested…Here’s the best deal online for Bear’s Ultimate Knife… Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife – Model: 31-000751 – GB-BG-ULTIMATE available from Nalpak.

Thanks Bear for all you do for your family, scouts, survival adventure, & all of us weekend warriors!

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Inspiring the Uninspired

Posted by HerschelT on June 6, 2011

Thanks to Dave Gibbons for the link!  I originally heard the content via Tom Lane at Gateway Church who recommended I watch it again and again to learn about inspiring people.  What is said is not new, but it is a great reminder to those of us who watch trends & culture and fall victim to the latest fads of ‘what’ & ‘how’ vs. the behind the scenes of ‘why.’  Jesus cautioned the Jewish Pharisees about doing the right things, but without the right heart.  He actually called them white-washed tombs! (See Matthew 23) Watch the TEDx video & share why it is you do what you do…

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Creating No Ordinary Summer

Posted by HerschelT on May 23, 2011

Summer is a time for swimming pools, cookouts, & lots of sun-screen, but can be a time of refreshing season of preparation as well.  God created summer as a time of growth & new life.  How we prepare for & enjoy our summer can set us up for a God-blessed rest of the year as we ‘harvest’ or reap what we have sown this summer.  Here are some thoughts from Clark Mitchell & some discussion questions set up for you to use with your family, group, or business associates for some great discussion around creating No Ordinary Summer.

MIXER QUESTION:   What was your favorite summer-time activity as a kid?  What is it now?


Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15,16 (NIV)

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:15,16 (NKJV)

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!  Eph 5:15-16 (Message)


1. Paul challenges us to be careful, walk circumspectly, or watch your step…what does that look like in your home life and/or your work life knowing that the ‘days are evil?”

In Genesis 24, we learn about Abraham sending his most trusted servant to find a wife for his son from his homeland.  The prayers of the servant are recorded as a model for how we are to implement our Master’s plans as well.

Then he prayed, “LORD, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.” Genesis 24:12

Some tips on Implementing the Master’s plans…

1. Determine your PRESENT SITUATION.

2. Be SPECIFIC about what you want to ACCOMPLISH.

3. Know what God SAYS.

4. Ask God for SUCCESS.

5. Identify your ROADBLOCKS.

6. Create a STEP – BY – STEP Plan.

APPLICATION:  Spend some time this week writing down your SUMMER PLANS based on these 6 tips.  Creating “No Ordinary Summer” will not be easy, but it WILL BE worth it!

Level 2 Application…Share your plans briefly here and open it up for discussion to have the community help you create the step by step plans!

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Is your Church ready for Easter -via Steve Gladen

Posted by HerschelT on April 11, 2011

Ok…so I just read this and need to beef up point #1… and I’ve got just less than 2 weeks!  Love God & Love Others this Easter.

QUICK TIPS: Is Your Church Ready for Easter Visitors? – by Steve Gladen/ Groups guy at Saddleback Church

TIP 1: Community – How easy is it for people to find a place to ‘know & be known, love & be loved, celebrate & be celebrated?

TIP 2: Own the Vision/ Pass the Passion – How well do your leaders model the vision of the church? Do they connect only with friends or staff on Sundays or do they reach out to new people & the community also?

TIP 3: Never Give Up on People – Jesus only cried a few times in scripture.  One was when his best friend died, and the other was in Matthew 9 when he saw the crowds helpless & harassed, like sheep without a shepherd.  Do you have a plan in place to not let anyone fall through the cracks?

TIP 4: Next Steps – People are moved by God…help create CLEAR pathways for them to respond and take whatever next step is appropriate.  Give them a light to their path, not a cloudy fog to navigate through.

TIP 5: Empower Others – Give everyone in the church the responsibility to connect with others.  If not encouraged in this area they may think you’ve got this covered already.

TIP 6: Customer Service: Easy on them, Hard on You – Jesus set the example by washing the disciples feet.  We are to serve others, not make them jump through 10 hoops to connect at the church.

TIP 7: New Believers are your Future – Statistically new believers know about 50 unbelievers, but 10 year+ veteran Christians know only 5. Is your church really equipping new believers to share their faith to see their friends impacted?  If not, you are greatly minimizing the sheer volume of unbelievers your church has connections with to share Christ’s love.

Steve’s full article is downloadable at http://smallgroups.net/Small-Group-Ministries-Downloads-Steves-Articles.php

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Courageous Leadership – part 3

Posted by HerschelT on February 21, 2011

What do you think of when I ask about your Passions? Obviously, just after Valentine’s Day, a marriage conference last weekend, and ballroom dancing last Friday I think about my wife.
While she is my top passion in life, I’ve been considering othe passions this week like, “What drives me to get up everyday? Or What motivates my work & play?”
Former basketball coach & ESPN Analyst Jim Valvano said, “You must dream and you must work hard…and never give up.” He attributes his confidence in his dreams to his dad’s continual verbal support & pushing him to dream big.
Having passion and dreams is incredible but then what?!? Pastor Bill Hybels said, “It’s your job to keep your passion hot. Do whatever you have to do stay fired up. and don’t apologize for it.”
Even David in the Bible was praised in 2 Chron 6:8 for having the passion to build a temple for God even though his son got that role.
What drives your Passion? Not sure??? Here’s 2 exercises to help out…
1. Write out 50 dreams. Writing so many helps the creative juices flow v stagnating on 2 or 3.
2. Ask the nostalgia question…What in your past gave you the most fulfillment and feeling of success? THAT is probably a key to your life passion.

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Courageous Leadership – part 2

Posted by HerschelT on February 16, 2011

So you’re “on a mission from God”… now what?!? Ken Ulmer shares that the burden/ tombstone sentence from Habakkuk 1:1 comes into sharper image in Hab. 2:2 which says, “WRITE the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”

Somehow WRITING IT DOWN leads to ACTION.

This part is easier for me than the burden part.  Crafting the gameplan to pull off _____________ is much easier than deciding what the ________ is. But the Bible is clear that creating a method for living according to the Word & God’s unique call on your life is very important.  In fact, Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish….” – KJV

HOMEWORK…I created the diagram below as a fun tool…which if you can’t tell is a pair of glasses.  It is a SPECIAL pair of glasses to help you draw, that’s right…draw inside the lenses, your vision of how you SEE or imagine your ‘mission from God’ happening.  Get a bigger piece of paper if necessary…


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