Adventures in Faith

Make A Thankful Tree

My wife Whitney is amazing at celebrating the various seasons of life. She wakes up early to set up a grand entrance for birthdays. Loves fawning over new babies and sending little gifts. With each new holiday approaching, she get's our family into the spirit by playing good music, making festive snacks, and decorating the house. 

I love this about her, the kids do too. 

One activity she planned for us the past few years is the Thankful Tree. And while we do it in November around Thanksgiving, it could work anytime.

It goes like this:

  1. Get a Mason jar
  2. Fill it with sticks
  3. Cut out little paper leaves and string pieces
  4. Every night, write down what everyone is thankful for.
  5. Attach leaves to the branches.

Slowly the tree fills up with all kinds of reminders of how much good there is in life.

And I have to tell you, with toddlers in the house, we have a lot of fun and laughs at what we hang on the tree. For example, Lukas gave thanks for his brother for a week straight, as well as dog slobber. Boden has been thankful for things that have put a tear in our eye.

If you want to celebrate what's good and true and noble, bring the Thankful Tree into your house!

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
— Philippians 4:8

People Getting It Done

Jim Yost: Authentic Faith

Jim Yost is a partner of Cityteam, I'm not entirely sure in what capacity. All I know is I've met him passing through the halls a couple times a year, and there are some guys you just see the peace and presence of God in them, and Jim is one of those guys.

Additionally, Jim sends out an email update every month or two about what he is up to and what he is seeing in Indonesia and other places in the world that come into his view. They are incredibly insightful, weaving together Scripture with everyday work on the ground. What Jim and his team has been able to accomplish among the people of Papau is amazing. 

When Jim was back in the office a few months ago, there was an open floor for praise reports, and it was hard to follow his shoes--he reported that he and a couple of others had baptized 2,000 earlier in the year in plain view (ie danger) of onlookers. 

I encourage you to email Jim to be added to his (decidedly simple) email newsletter.

October 2015 and I caught another update from Jim talking around a table in Kansas City. When I stopped by the Cityteam offices they were buzzing about it. He talks freely about many aspects of faith, the church, discipleship. Check it out, you won't regret it....some quotes.

"I asked God, how much more time do I have on this Earth? I promised God that with the remaining time I have, I'm not going to be satisfied with a few growing churches...could my eyes see a movement from one side of Indonesia to the other...the largest Muslim country in the world?"


"We're not doing a good job if 250,000 people can die in an instant from a tsunami and enter a Christ-less eternity."


"We focus on the words of Jesus a lot, we don't focus on his actions, which were divinely inspired and showed his model of life."


"These guys were seeing stuff they never thought possible. Since then, we've seen 1,400 churches planted among Muslims. We've baptized 20,000 people, but the number is not the important thing."


"My definition of movement is 2 Timothy 2:2. If you get four generations of disciples making disciples, you're getting viral now, you can't be stopped."


"Everything about urban living pulls families apart. Religion in urban areas is put into a box, it becomes secularism, it leads to atheism."