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Oct 18

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Jan 18

The world is waiting for community. Invite them to dinner. 

This was a brief entry I wrote for an advent devotional for an organization called Frontier Fellowship. I was asked to write under the title “The world is waiting for community”. 

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 

Once a week, my family’s little downtown apartment fills up with people who make me better. I need them. For nearly twenty years, we have hosted and made dinner for our friends and ministry co-workers every Monday night. As the ministry has grown, so has the Monday night dinner crowd. I love them. There aren’t enough chairs for everyone, so people sit on the floor. We eat and talk and it’s a happy chaos. My kids are usually entertaining a few people while everyone waits for me to finish cooking.  Someone inevitably spills something. There are loud-talkers, shy corner-seekers, vegetarians, young people, old people, presbyterians, pentecostals, baptists, wine drinkers, teetotallers, students, teachers and artists. We love each other and we’re always getting better at it because we’re following Jesus together. Monday night dinner isn’t only a time to relax together. It’s a chance to spill things and be known together. It’s also an opportunity to extend invitations. There are often new visitors joining us for dinner. And so the group and the ministry grows. Meeting and eating together stirs us to love. 

When I read about Jesus at a table with his friends, I think about Monday night dinner. Our group gathers because there are people in the world who haven’t had the opportunity to hear the good news about him. I want people in those places to be as happy as we are at those dinners. The world is waiting for community. Our ministry aims to invite people to our tables from the world’s least reached nations because we love. We train, send and care for missionaries because we love. Dinner together stirs us toward that love. 

We need community and the world is waiting for community that loves. If our prayers and hopes are only for our own benefit, maybe they could be stirred up to bigger and better things. Invite others into your life and prayers. Hang out with them and be stirred up by them. Invite them to dinner. 

Kristopher Keating 

Director – Hillside Missions Organization 

Director – World Horizons USA

Jul 16

I have found these things to be universally true. 

  1. Jesus is real and people are better for choosing that faith. Believe.
  2. The fruitfulness of some ministry can be measured by whether people come to follow Jesus as a result of its work. and there are other good and urgent things to be done as well.
  3. Life is hard and it’s good. Complain less, solve more.
  4. Real love inspires people to follow. Love first.
  5. Be about building team if you want a thing to grow.
  6. People need and work better when they have heard an honest declaration of the good in them. Encourage people.
  7. We’re not delicate. Work hard.
  8. Keep moving.
  9. Life is better when we invite people into it with us. Multiply the good in you.
  10. Christ and his love give us boundaries. Be constrained.
  11. You decide what you love. You don’t discover it. Be shaped toward the good.
  12. It is best to lead by inspiring people to follow, not by gathering authority.
  13. Dream big, pray often and live toward the accomplishment of those prayers. Carry the bigger vision as your own, because it is.

Apr 15

Things I learned this month in Canada, India and Los Angeles

This month, James B. (a fellow staff Hillside Missions staff member) and I traveled to Canada, India and Los Angeles consecutively.
In Canada, members of World Horizons staff and leadership met with the leadership of the ACOP denomination. Together, we’ll be working to send more missionaries to places in the world yet to be reached with the gospel.
In India, James and I worked with a team to open the first on-field art gallery in our effort to build an art-as-mission ministry.
In Los Angeles, several members of our World Horizons team represented the organization at Biola University’s missions conference. Our conference display included out first pop-up art gallery.
The three week trip went great. As a result of the trip, there are new missionaries on their way to the field through our mission training internship, there is a new platform for disciple-making in India, new relationships with universities and ministries are in development for the multiplication of mission sending and I learned new things.

Here’s a list of some of the things I learned:

  • The world’s largest dinosaur is in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada.
  • A poutinerie is a restaurant that serves only poutine. (http://mybigcheese.com/our-menu/)
  • Eston College may be small, but they’re aiming to do big things in the nations. (http://www.estoncollege.ca/)
  • Canada is cold.
  • The Indian holiday called “Holi” is my new favorite celebration.
  • If you over-pay the neighborhood boy who collects the trash, he will always expect to be over-paid (and it’s still worth it).
  • In order to start a popular art gallery in India, at minimum you need: white paint ($250), lighting ($200), cleaning supplies ($25), promotional flyers ($20), artists to present art they have made for good purposes ($?).
  • Los Angeles loves tacos.
  • Biola University will produce lots of missionaries to work among unreached peoples. (http://www.biola.edu/)
  • In order to have a popular pop-up art gallery in Los Angeles, you need recycled pallets ($120), white paint ($50), nails and hardware ($50), artists to present art they have made for good purposes ($?).
  • A 5 passenger car has room for more than 5 people.
  • Raw beef works well as a sermon illustration.
  • 5 Hour Energy Drink works well for at least 2 hours.

Interested in mission training, sending, art as mission or something else? Feel free to contact me. I’d probably love to talk to you.

Apr 15

My Rules for My Life – another incomplete list

On Food and Drink
Drink your coffee black.
Drink your whiskey neat.
Eat your beef medium or medium rare.
Eat your beef.
Cook with butter. Never use margarine.
Make bread.
On Family
Kids are portable.
Don’t take your kids everywhere.
Eat together.
Fight with Nerf guns.
On Friendship
Love big. Need people and tell them you need them.
Put others first.
On Gifts
Give gifts that have good personal meaning and value.
An inexpensive, but thoughtful gift is better than a gift that is only valuable because it’s expensive.
Give gifts.
On Restaurants
Avoid chain restaurants.
If you must split a check, give more than you owe and never take out a calculator.
Tip 20% minimum.
Never send food or drinks back simply because you don’t like it.
If someone at your table needs more time before ordering, say so. Help the waitstaff avoid the awkward long-pause.
On Grace and Class
Bodily functions and emissions shouldn’t be discussed or exhibited with anyone other than a doctor. And even then, it’s probably not that necessary.
Never snap or whistle at another human being.
Commenting on the physical attractiveness of a third party is almost always a bad idea.
Learn people’s names.
Be a friend first, Facebook later.
React small to the bad stuff.
On Reading
Always be reading something informative and something shallowly entertaining concurrently.
Read on a Kindle reader.
Read first, Facebook later.
On Health
Eat healthy and exercise just often enough to be able to eat unhealthy and relax often enough.
On Fashion
Never tuck in a collarless shirt.
Dry-cleaned and professionally laundered clothes are good for the soul.
Buy more shoes.
Wear more rings.
A sportcoat makes it look better.
Don’t put tattoos where they can’t be easily hidden.
On Productivity
Work hard. There’s big stuff to do.
Prioritize your schedule. Save your “dessert” for last.
Write everything in Evernote first.
Build your life toward some big, scary and right goals.
On Faith
Decide to believe.
On Other Stuff
Avoid the trendy stuff.
Use and carry an all-metal Parker Jotter pen.
Listen to the music that moves you – even if they laugh at you.
Tell people about the good you notice in them. Don’t withhold love and praise.

Jan 15

Road Trip Rules

I love road trips with our teams of staff and interns. We often rent big vans and drive to events for our organization. Here are some of the rules.

1. No human gaseous emissions.
2. No touching, lap-sitting, massaging, head-resting on/with a person of the opposite gender – unless it’s your spouse.
3. No headphones. Be with us.
4. The driver chooses the music.
5. No ketchup.
6. No chain restaurants. We will eat good food.
7. Garbage always goes immediately into a garbage bag.
8. No uninvited backseat driving.
9. No whining.
10. An arbitrary number of good-will points is awarded to those stuck in a middle seat. 

Jan 15

Stuff from a Communications 101 class

  • You are not your audience. Everyone does not think like you do. Don’t make bad assumptions.
  • Rhyming or starting each point with the same letter doesn’t make your message more memorable. It makes it seem cheap.
  • Avoid cliches always. (n.b. We should only get to use some version of “life is a journey” once in our life. Let’s assume you’ve used your chance.)
  • We probably don’t ever need you to tell us how the dictionary or “Webster” define anything. Never use any version of the phrase “according to the dictionary…”
  • Avoid using “you” when you mean “I”. (e.g. “When someone yells at you, you feel angry.” should probably be “When someone yells at me, I feel angry.”)
  • If it’s boring for you to write or say, it’s probably boring for us to read or hear.
  • Velveeta is not cheese.
  • Don’t use more words when fewer will suffice.
  • You can put cream and sugar in your coffee, but you’d be wrong.
  • Inspire creativity in yourself by getting out of the ordinary routines. Fill your head with new stimuli and then create.
  • Never read from your notes or recite your own words from memory while speaking. Talk naturally through your ideas.
  • Never be the hero of the stories you tell.
  • Find opportunities to reveal your passion and personality in your speaking. But don’t forget to be gracious.