I carry a lot of obsessions.

Duke basketball.

Guatemalan coffee.




Unsweet Mango Iced Tea from Quik Trip. If you know you know.

But I have also carried an obsession with sketching trees with roots systems for a very long time. Meetings, prayer, random doodles…it’s probably been a strong 10 years.

In November of 2016, I was working in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a church to launch a new Guatemala ministry on a Sunday morning. This particular partnership was mesmerizing to me, because there were multiple different denominational churches coming together to support the partnership and had been doing it successfully for years in Africa already. They also partnered locally for their city ministries, and a monthly worship service that rotated to each of their worship spaces. In non-profit world, you don’t see multi-denominations working that closely and that well together very often.

I had been asked to join some new friends at the monthly evening worship service and was excited to experience it.

Partway through the end of worship, I felt the hand of one of the ladies I was with tug me down into the pew. She grabbed both of my hands and started saying God had shown her a massive tree with an even bigger root system. God wanted me to hear that he had been building immovable roots for 18 years and for the next 18 years it would be about fruit coming from those deep, immovable roots. I was 37 in 2016, and at the time this young woman was speaking over me, I had been a follower of Jesus for 18 years.

For the first 18 years of my life with Jesus, God had been digging me in deep with so many things. My calling into the orphan window and orphan prevention. My knowledge of the Bible. A multitude of multicultural communities that have built me into who I am today. So many different types of people who follow Jesus in their own unique way that have left their mark on me. I think about my time in China and how forming that was for my evangelistic views. I think about how Russia has taught me the extremes of hospitality and focusing on those who visit you, and how much community matters most. I think about Haiti and the sacrifices I saw parents make at the expense of their kids education and nutrition, but also how deeply embedded the church is in the lives of Haitians. Haiti is the spiritual Mt. Zion to the worlds’ Babylon.

Really, God has just created a weirdo for 18 years that not a lot of people can make sense of in Stateside reality.   

But, if I’ve been in a season of fruit since 2016, I find myself asking a couple of questions…

How am I honoring that fruit?

How am I investing in others?

It is about discipleship and to be more and more like Jesus. With all ages. It isn’t about quoting scripture. Jesus knew that was how to talk to the Jews, and he has been raised to memorize scripture.

But in the actions of Jesus…that is where we find his true nature. In conversations. In knowing everything about those he was talking to. Around tables. Eating meals together. In flipping tables in the temple when it dishonored how they should have been worshipping God. In walking alongside others for the entire journey. In loving enemies. In taking moments alone with God. In freeing people from debilitating health issues. Talking to prisoners.

The fruit of Jesus’ ministry was people choosing to be more and more like him and draw others to the same. It would seem that the fruit of anyone’s ministry that claims to want to be like Jesus would do that same.

So who am I leaving in my wake? Who are they choosing to follow? How are they challenged? Who are they doing the same with so that we are consistently making an impact for the Kingdom?

Jesus was never someone who hid. And if we find ourselves hiding, we have to ask some honest questions about what are we living for? Haiti gave me a confidence in who I am and who I am called to be…unapologetically. It is messy. It is never perfect.

How am I loving others into the Kingdom, even when I can be a complete asshole? Realistically, I think I am much more capable of loving others into the Kingdom, BECAUASE I can be a complete asshole and own it.

Maybe these are just the middle of the night meanderings of a nausea med insomniac, but I’ve never lost the comfort and security in that prophecy. It constantly stays with me. I have no idea what happens when I turn 55, but if the Lord has ever been anything in my life…it is vocal and I think I’ve proven to be mostly obedient to my root system.

In the name of the Father who holds you.

In the name of Jesus who teaches you.

In the name of the Spirit who leads you.



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