They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so here are a few that will hopefully illustrate the work of the Staurolite foundation the last half of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. We covet your prayers as we seek the plans the Good Lord has for the rest of this year and beyond.

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Seasons change and we shifted gears and were off to India. We spent the majority of our time out in villages helping folks learn how to share the gospel. We went door to door with freshly trained believers as they shared the Good news with their friends and neighbors and we shared with folks as well. We made a quick visit to the New Hope school, We spent some time just hanging out with some old friends and meet some new ones as we visit folks who are striving to make the world a better place in a very dark and difficult place. And we had a little fund doing it all…

 

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We often visit a local church close by where we stay when we are in Texas. The one we often visit recently lost their pastor. They have had an interim and now have a local young man filling the pulpit. He spoke yesterday on “Peter’s Vision” from Acts 10. He changed the title to “God said go left”. His point was the world says go right, but when God says go left you need to go left. And my daily bible reading today was “coincidentally” Acts 10. As my good friend Pastor Steve tells me, every sermon should both challenge and encourage. We were encouraged as the trophy wife and I have made several turns that were in opposition to worldly choice. However, we were challenged as well. What is next for us and for the Staurolite foundation. Change is in the wind, and trust me the wind blows often and strong in the Texas panhandle.

Please be in prayer for us to have the wisdom and discernment to understand the plans the Good Lord has for us and the Staurolite foundation and the strength and courage to follow through.

Blessings to you and yours,

mike

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.            – 1 Timothy 2:1

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.–Ephesians 2:10, NLT

For God is working in your, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:13 NLT

Cowboy Logic:If you are not living on the

edge, you’re taking up way too much space.”

Cowboy Logic: “Going faster in the wrong

direction is NEVER the right thing to do.”

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Yesterday we were privileged to go out with our friends and participate in training local “baby” Chris!$t!@ns in how to share the word. When we completed the training we shared a meal and then after a time of talking with the Father went out in small groups to share house to house in this small village. One older lady, a grandmother, who was very shy and reserved, very hesitant to speak at all in front of us and her friends during the training was as bold as a lioness out in the neighborhood. Our friend who went out with her watched. She would not pass a house with an open gate. She stopped and talked to people on the street. She did not want to quit. This quiet, humble, shy lady became bold when sharing the Good news. This lady exemplifies the lesson of Phillip from Acts 8. This housewife, just a regular person with minimal training, was willing. All the Father asks is that we be willing.

I have been told more than once by men who are a lot better trained, wiser, and more experienced than I that we go on mission not for what we can do for others or for the kingdom but for what the Good Father can and will do in us. We spend so much energy worrying about being trained, or having a certain degree when all the shepherd desires is willingness on our part.

Let me challenge you as this little old lady has challenged me to have a real burden for the lost. She took to heart that the king of the heavens will not return until all have heard of him and she is busy about telling. This is real mission work.

Step out of your comfort zone and tell someone near you today,

mike

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Well today is the day. We head out this morning to begin the journey of almost 28 hours to India. If we could find a tv, and then if we could get the game, we could watch the Super Bowl a bit after sun up on Monday. Hopefully, we will be asleep during game time as we arrive there about 1:30 in the morning on Monday. We will spend the majority of our time working with faith groups and hopefully encouraging them as they interact with their friends and neighbors. We will travel by car and train back and forth from our base in the Baptist Missionary Center of Calcutta and in past years, have traveled by boat as well – I know it sounds like a bad country song. Travel in India is always interesting. We have been stranded by taxis with flats in the dark of the early morning. We have traveled on trains that were well ,,,,, lets say interesting. We  have to go with the flow and understand that whatever happens is the Good Lord’s plan for this trip.

We covet your prayers that the Good Lords purposes will be accomplished in us and through us as we go and interact with the folks the Good Lord has put in our path both on the trip over and during our time there and during the return. Hopefully, we will post here occasionally, but often internet is non-existent.

This is the 3rd year the Staurolite foundation has led the trip. We are truly honored to be able to make this trip and we thank you for your support,

mike

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:16

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Let me start with an apology of sorts, maybe an excuse or an explanation… I have been neglectful in meeting my own self imposed standards of posting to this page. And, while I am at, don’t expect it to get much better in the coming weeks. We have been way too busy. I am not going to bore you with the details because I expect you are as busy as the trophy wife and I, and nobody likes a whiner. I am not whining- really. It is all Good stuff and we are honored to have the privilege to be involved in so much, but it has been busy. I actually wrote the post below a few days ago, but we have had internet issues along with me over scheduling.

Way back when I was an assistant football coach I worked for a guy who had a great influence on the young men he coached and on me – a young coach. DeWayne Sexton was a good man and a great leader. I learned more about leadership from DeWayne Sexton than from any book or lecture I attended on this journey of more than 30 years. DeWayne was a man who knew his limitations and was confident enough to ask for help. One of the best lessons he taught our young men, and I, was that nothing was quite as good as it seemed at the time and absolutely nothing was as bad as it seemed.

High school football is huge in Texas and folk’s attitudes and general feeling about the school and the community are often set and reset based on the performance of a bunch of 17-year-old young men. The place where we were coaching was no different, except they had not been successful in football in a long time. We handily beat a nearby school one Friday and the kids, parents, and well everybody was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning – they could not wait to get home and brag about the game. Well, as is normally the case, the excitement was short lived and the next week we got beat by a good team.  A team we should have beat, but a good team none the less. The excitement from the week before was long gone when Coach Sexton stood in front of the team after the game and said almost the same words as the last week, “…nothing is as good as it seems, and nothing is as bad as it seems.”

I spend a lot of time with men wounded in military service these days. Most of the time they teach me more than I can provide anything for them. We had 4 weeks of elk hunts this year with guys who had a wide variety of injuries. Some appeared to be unwounded and there were some who were wheelchair bound for the rest of their life. Amazing as it sounds, some of the most wounded have the best attitude and are truly making the most of their life. I am amazed at the guy who is in a wheel chair and we must load him on a trailer in his track chair to get him back in the woods where he will have a chance to even see an elk. Then we watch him headed down a two-track dirt road into the woods riding on that trailer doing the parade wave as if he is in a parade. Just amazing. I am in awe of the guy, who has both legs but one doesn’t work and he sleeps only every other day or so due to the memories, when he tells me his injury has made him more appreciative. He says things like, I would never have been here if I was not wounded. And, I am also amazed at the guy who seems to have everything going his way – not one of these guys wounded in military service – and all he does is complain. Yet, the vast majority of these guys who have sacrificed so much would do it again in a second – even knowing they would get injured again.

Let me challenge you and challenge me to enjoy the good times and not put too much emphasis on the bad times. I can’t speak for you, but I tend toward the highs and the lows and don’t always have the faith that the Good Lord is still in charge and He has a purpose in allowing everything that happens. I don’t always take the long view and look past the momentary good or bad circumstances. So, please take the long view and look past this momentary time of prosperity or challenge. Trust me, I have read ahead to the end, and even though I forget most of the time, the good guy wins.

Be Purposeful,

mike

Leadership on Purpose

A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. -Proverbs 17:27, NLT

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. –Psalm 103:13, NLT

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.  And do everything with love. –1 Cor 16:13-14, NLT

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.-Proverbs 3:5, NLT

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.–Proverbs 3:6, NLT

Cowboy Logic: Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain

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We are hip deep in elk hunts for wounded military service men in New Mexico while the staff of the New Hope school in Kolkata is also engaged in outdoor activities.

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There is something about being out of doors that is good for our hearts and souls. We get refreshed, rejuvenated, refocused even. When we participate in exercise it releases endorphins in our blood. The definition of endorphins – according to the internet – is any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides that activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. It was explained to me much simpler – in the blood morphine. It makes us feel good. We forget about our pain – often our emotional pain. Exercise in general makes a body good – to steal a marketing quote. But outdoor exercise seems to magnify or maybe multiply the effect of exercise.

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The children of the New Hope school live in the Udayan Pally slum area of New Town, Kolkata, India. They live in a very small, maybe 12 foot square house. Some of the houses are mud, some are masonry, and some are simple cane poles stuck in the ground with a piece of plastic thrown away on a construction site wrapped around the poles. They have a 10 or so foot space in front of their “house” – which is a dirt thoroughfare for the village. So, they have no space. And no place to play. A day or three of outdoor activities is like a trip to an amusement park for folks in the good ole spoiled US of A.

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As for the wounded warriors, well they are often limited by what they can do as well. The elk hunts allow many of them to experience something they could never even imagine. I don’t know about you, but through the grace and favor of the Good Lord, I have been able to experience many things that were well outside my imagination. Maybe my vision, or my view, or my expectations, of me and for me have not been big enough, but that is not the case for these military men. They are limited. To give someone the opportunity to experience something they could not imagine and to do it in the name of Jesus has not only immediate reward, but it has eternal as well, and the gift is multiplied when it is done in the name of Jesus.

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We sow these Good gifts of simple outdoor activities in the hope that the Father will allow someone else to water, to weed, to fertilize, and that at His appointed day there will be a harvest. I do not know about you, but I enjoy giving gifts. I have a strict principal on gift giving – I strive to only give what I would myself want or value. Let me encourage you as we enter this season of giving in honor of the birth of the son of God to give according to what He has actually asked for, which is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, to love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

May the Father of the Christ child Bless and Prosper you as you look to follow His plan for your life,

mike

34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did itto one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’  Matthew 25:34-40

Cowboy Logic: The person who wants something will find a way.The person who doesn’t will find an excuse. 

Cowboy Logic: “ Going to church makes you a Christian about as much as sitting in a hen house makes you a chicken.”

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H4H (Hunt for Heroes) 2013 Elk Hunt

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