Hello, October


Wow, October is here…
In the states, October brings thoughts of cool fall breezes, pumpkins, hay rides, bonfires, and leaves painted red and gold.
In Puerto Rico though…. it brings thoughts of Christmas.  In PR, we seem to celebrate the best holiday ever from October until January, skipping right over fall and Thanksgiving.  Unless your married to Mike.. then it doesn’t matter what country we are in, for him, it’s a strict “no Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving” policy.

I don’t mind, I love fall, and even here where its still in the 90s during the day and the Puerto Ricans say “hace friooooooo” when it gets to 76 at night, I decorate for fall.  Not much, but just enough to remind us that the season has changed.
Besides, it helps me get in the mood knowing Christmas is right around the corner as I am writing and working on our Christmas event while sweating under the mango tree while the neighbor plays bachata or meringue or whatever that is over there.

It seems with the change of seasons, God also brought a change of season to our church and to us.  The presence of God has been moving in our congregation and we are seeing the church get stirred up to reach the lost and see people get healed and set free!   We have seen people get healed during church and then the next week, we had people testifying how God used them to heal others in their lives.

Like the fall and Christmas season in the states, this new season in our church is very exciting.  God has lit a fire in Mike and I’s hearts and we are so excited to see it catching.

We recently had a planning meeting (initiated by the church…. every pastor’s dream) and came up with some fantastic ideas… new website, new business cards, more visitor follow up done by church members, and more outreach.

I know God is doing great things with our small church and I am praying that if we are faithful with this small church, God will grow this church.  In fact, I preached a message about chasing your lions after reading the book by Mark Batterson and challenged the church and set a goal for us to grow 3x by the end of the year.  For a small church reaching such a small minority here, that is a very scary and daunting task, but if your dream doesn’t scare you, its not big enough.

So we are dreaming and working and trusting in the Lord as we work.

Please pray that we would be able to reach the lost and those needing a place to fellowship with the Lord and one another.
Pray that these fires that are starting to bring will be fanned into raging infernos and true revival fire would sweep this place.
Pray for effective witness and love to always be evident.
Pray for the financial means to do the things that we need to do.

And please pray for hearts to be softened and doors opened.

Today is Sunday… one of my favorite days of the week.


While I LOVE Sundays… church, family, fellowship, worship, the Word…. they are hard days.

Its the day where we feel the weight of this calling as pastors and missionaries more than any other day.
The day where we need our kids to do things in specific ways that can be contrary to their nature (i.e. ask a 14 month old to stay still-ish and quiet-ish for 2 hours and have mommy and daddy close, but untouchable).
The day when you have to be on top of your game, even if you feel sick, or tired, or dry, or whatever.

Sundays can be hard.

So we pray for strength and for God to do everything we can’t….. and He says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I am weak, but He is strong.

Sundays are easy for God and that’s the real reason Sundays are my favorite days.


Tropical Fever

Last week, I got hit with a “mystery bug” that took  me out.  12 days later, I am still feeling the effects of this “tropical fever”.
I spent a lot of time sleeping, binge watching Lost (1st time for me), spending time with the Lord and in His Word, and surfing Facebook.

I also spent time thinking.


Self-imposed partial quarantine will leave you lots of time thinking… maybe too much time.

And thinking can lead to googling.

Mystery illness and google…. BAD IDEA!!  If Dr. Google were correct, I’d be dead. Thank my sweet baby Jesus Dr. Google was waayyyy off.

All that thinking and googling and praying brought me to an interesting thought process (which was probably aided by all that binge watching of Lost).
All my life, I dreamt of living by the ocean.  It was always either Rehoboth Beach, DE, or some tropical island with crystal waters, palm trees, and beautiful sandy beaches.  I longed for that life, even while I was content with my life in York PA.

People all over the world long to live the island life.  Surf, sun, sand… that’s what the desire. They wait all year-long to take their 2 weeks vacation, save up all their extra money, and take a plane to an island and then live off the memories of that time for the rest of the year until they can do it again.

Tropical fever.

Places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii and the Bahamas are glamorized and idolized and obsessed over.

But few ever move to those places and experience true island life.

And those that do… find it to be something most never expect.

I can’t speak for other islands, but Puerto Rico, while dreamy and beautiful and perfectly tropical is not an easy place to live.

I could make you a list that would sound whiney and complaining to you… I can almost hear the snark “how can you complain when you live where I vacation”.

And I get it.  I do.

But imagine for a moment, a different side of that tropical paradise… a side where you can’t effectively communicate with more than half of the people you live with.  A side where food and clothing and basic necessities cost far more than they should, while minimum wage pays way lower than it should (if you can even find a job).  A side where your very purpose on the island brings you in contact with the dark and cruel parts of humanity on a daily basis.  A side where you are away from family and friends… where things you hold dear are impossible to reach.  A side where nothing is ever as easy as it should be.

Tropical fever.

For some, its longing to be living that island life.

For others, longing to leave it behind.



I could have ended this post here.. and really, I almost did.

But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that I love it here.  Yes, I long to go home and be with my loved ones.  To have real, dependable income, Turkey Hill tea, and affordable groceries (don’t laugh, this is legit!), and a million other things.  God called us here.  He equipped us to serve here, and He continues to provide grace and mercy over our lives here.

It’s not easy.  Its not always pretty.   It can be frustrating and sobering, and maddening… but it is beautiful.

Life is beautiful.  Here, or there, or wherever you are planted.  Its your choice.  (My choice too).  You can shrivel up and die in rich lush soil, or you can blossom and grow in a crevice on a rock.  Its your choice, your perspective.

So… my point?

Bloom where you are planted.




It’s so so so easy to get busy and caught up in this crazy life and completely lose focus. Even when your working for The Lord it’s easy to lose sight of the most important parts of your life.
We let work, hobbies, housework, our kids schedules, school, even ministry to take up all our brain power so that the few minutes we have left at the end if the day, we simply want to check out and do some brain numbing activity like social media scrolling, channel surfing, or netflix marathon-ing (yes, I made that word up).
We don’t have time, energy, or mental reserves left to have meaningful conversations with our loved ones, or time for the most important piece of our lives…. God.
We fall asleep before the first sentence of our prayer is breathed. We bibles are dusty. And our thoughts are consumed with things that the devil uses to distract us from the good, pure and lovely things God wants us to think on.
It’s time to refocus. To get our priorities straight. To restructure our brains and hearts so our calendars can be restructured as well.
We need to dedicate time to The Lord… In the morning, mid day, or evening… Whatever is your preference… But dedicate that time. Stick to it!
We need to dedicate time for our families too. Our homes are our first and most important ministry! They deserve our attention and dedication as well.
It’s ok to say no sometimes… Our calendars can’t be so full that there is no room for fun? Family time or God time.
It’s time to refocus. To figure out our priorities and stick to them.

I Will Bless The Lord!

I will bless The Lord at all times, in all things, through all circumstances, and with all that I am.

God is deeply honored when we bless, praise , and give Him thanks during our hard times. And as an awesome by-product, we are lifted out if the muck and mirey clay and brought to a new level.
No matter what you are going through… Praise Him. Lift up His name. Give Him glory. Thank Him.
Bless Him.

Faces Of Puerto Rico

Today, I spent time in the home of a woman who is a long time friend of our pastors.  As we were sitting in her kitchen, windows wide open to the jungle air high in the mountains, I looked at this woman, whom I didn’t know much about at all and wanted to capture that moment.
As a portrait photographer, I want to capture people at their best, when they feel beautiful, made up and ready to be immortalized.  But, there is this intrinsic piece to my creativity that desires to see people as real, flawed, life-worn creations of the Great Creator.  I want to see people in their environment, as they are, with those they love, feeling every part of their crazy life on this planet.  Since I am not very aggressive with my photography, I often see these moments, but fail to capture them.  Not today.
As I looked across the table at this mother, grandmother, friend, and child of the Living King, I saw peace.  In her kitchen, with her dear, life long pastors, her grandson working on the computer near by, her daughter in the next house over, I saw a woman dearly loved by her family and the Lord, and a women who cherishes it all.  I saw a woman who had been beaten down by life and the cruelty it can bring, but one who has risen (and is possibly still rising) from the ashes into a place of beauty.  I saw in the laugh lines crinkling her sparkling eyes a woman who knows the value of joy and holds her joy close.  I saw beautiful hands that have held life in them, and still have life left to give.    Hands that have worked, and written, and prayed, and praised.
Whether these feelings where true to her life now, or a prophetic view from the Lord, I saw it.
I saw true beauty sitting across the table for me, and when I asked to take her photo, she kept laughing.  So those hands maybe hiding the laughter, but the light and joy of the Lord is shining in those eyes.
Faces of PR

Tonight, my prayer is that all those beautiful things I see in her, she can see in herself.
I pray that the joy and peace and value the Lord wants to give to her is given in greater measure than ever before.
I pray blessings over her and her family.

Holy Ghost

We watched the movie by Darron Wilson called Holy Ghost this weekend (twice actually) since it was streaming live on Bethel TV for 48 hours.
This documentary style movie showcasing and introducing the world to the person of the Holy Spirit was another life changing film in the series. If you haven’t seen Finger of God, Furious Love, or Father of Lights.., you need too. Especially Father of Lights. That movie changed our lives!!!
A word of caution.. If you are at all religious, you will have problems with these movies.., especially the scenes at the Korn concerts in Holy Ghost.
But if you love seeing peoples lives changed by the power of Gods love… Watch them.
Multiple Times.
Wanderlust Productions