Tag Archives: leadership

Mangos for Monkeys

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If you are a regular reader, you may have been wondering where I was yesterday and why there was no Monday blog… or maybe you didn’t even notice.  But we have been out of town all weekend and I didn’t realize that I forgot to plan blogs for this week until Monday afternoon.  Oops.  My mind has been on other things.

“What kind of other things?” you may wonder.  We just completed our first real Leadership Retreat for our university ministry here in Costa Rica.  We have been working at establishing this ministry for the last 3 years and here’s where we are at this point.

our leadership team

our leadership team

These are most of our leaders, and as you can see, they represent student lead small groups on 9 campuses around the country.  And we are still growing.  We are leading leaders.

This weekend we rented a house on the beach, tucked into the rain forest and we poured into their lives.  The students, some of whom only knew each other via Facebook previously because they live in other cities, came away feeling like they were a family.  I read their comments on Facebook as they complimented and teased each other and encouraged and quoted each other.  It was a great weekend.

Once the students left for home, my family and I stayed another two days for a little R&R after the intense preparation leading up to the retreat.  We were awoken each morning by the loud pitter patter of monkeys jumping and running across the tin roof of the house.  This morning we all got up to enjoy the show.  We threw slices of mangos out the window and onto the roof for the little monkeys to eat.  We’ve seen monkeys many times here, but I can’t remember ever having so much fun with them.

throwing mangos out the window for the monkeys

throwing mangos out the window for the monkeys

They were so cute and mischievous.

They were so cute and mischievous.

We had quite the entertainment right on our patio.

We had quite the entertainment right on our patio.

my kids wanted to catch one and take it home with us.  Um, no.

my kids wanted to catch one and take it home with us. Um, no.

 

Honestly living in Costa Rica has in some ways ruined us forever.  We will never again think a zoo is a great place to spend an afternoon.  After you see the animals in the wild, anything else is just sad and disappointing.  On this trip we had two sloths just hanging out in the tree right off our patio.  We saw 3 different types of monkeys all in one day, and monkeys in general every morning.  And we lived among the geckos and gigantic insects and iguanas and jungle birds for a few days- some of that was not wonderful, but it is very different from life in Minnesota.  I don’t know if I can ever go back to “regular” life after living in Costa Rica.  This is my home and I love it here!

What if I stumble, What if I fall?

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Last week I opened one of my teaching manuals and found a sticky note left on a random page.  It simply said, “What if I stumble, what if I fall?”  I shivered.  The teacher that used this book last year wrote that and left it in the book.  I confess that I have thought those very words many times.  They are lyrics from a D.C. Talk song.  The chorus says,

What if I stumble, what if I fall?

What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?

Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?

What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

This thought has kept me on the straight and narrow more than once.  I lead by example.  Those young eyes watching me, following me, have haunted me long enough to keep me from destroying my own reputation with a rash decision.  If I fall, I take others down with me.  It’s a sobering thought and it scares the living daylights out of me.

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

Is this one for the people? Is this one for the Lord?
Or do I simply serenade for things I must afford?
You can jumble them together, my conflict still remains
Holiness is calling, in the midst of courting fame
Cause I see the trust in their eyes
Though the sky is falling
They need Your love in their lives
Compromise is calling

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?

Father please forgive me for I can not compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows
If struggle has a purpose on the narrow road you’ve carved
Why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar
Do they see the fear in my eyes? Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise all the doubt I’m feeling

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble?
Everyone’s got to crawl when you know that
You’re up against a wall, it’s about to fall
Everyone’s got to crawl when you know that

I hear You whispering my name [You say]
“My love for You will never change” [never change]

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You are my comfort, and my God

Is this one for the people, is this one for the Lord?