The weekend in review

Yesterday several of us returned to South Bluff Park.  The need to return for more ministry in this park was laid heavily on the heart of one of our ladies.   She ended up being ill and unable to make it, but she lovingly prepared sandwiches for the hungry wanderers who frequent the area.   Others who participated provided chips, drinks and a desire to let Christ be seen in their lives.

Our time in the park was a time of contrast.   We met and prayed with folks like Adam, Will, Smiley and Jenny.   Each one with a unique story.   As we were praying and serving one group of people, 100 yards away another group actively utilized the men’s restroom for illicit activities that involved a steady stream of customers.   As we took note of the contrast, we asked the Lord to pierce the darkness with the light of His love.

Yesterday was also a day of provisions for my family.   A check was received that will allow us to pay one or two bills.  Money was also received that covered the cost of a month’s supply of my medications.   When we returned home an envelope was found in our mailbox with the following words:  “You have been on my mind lately and I felt that you might need this.”  Inside the envelope was a gift card to a local grocery store.     Last night we welcomed friends into our home to celebrate with us our ability to call a place home after 2 1/2 years.   The provisions for the meal came from friends and the fish caught on our wedding anniversary.  At the end of the night we were blessed with our latest need…toothpaste and an additional package of toilet paper.

Today during our Sunday worship gathering, we were treated to the gift of music as the Holy Spirit led us through songs about God’s faithfulness and the firm foundation of His presence.   He allowed us to sing a new song that a couple of teenagers had written after a church camp nearly 6 years ago.   The Lord’s presence was strongly felt throughout the morning.

This afternoon, I received a call from a man in Rockport.  He had seen our ad on Craigslist for the house church we are working to launch on Padre Island.   This man has worshiped in a house setting since 1971 and recently moved to Rockport.  He and I agreed to work together with Holy Spirit’s guidance to form a group in his home.

Through all of these things the Lord has continued to affirm the decisions made on Wednesday.  My efforts of laying a financial foundation had caused me to neglect the very call that they were meant to support.   The Lord is helping me to define a proper balance in my life.   The work of the Kingdom is much to0 important and the time is much too short.   This week I will be seeking to further clarify God’s balance for vocation and ministry.

The journey of faith is a crescendo as the house payment is due in two days and there are still bills in arrears and needing to be paid.   The lesson of this past week has been the power of God to maintain joy and peace even when circumstances are not in your favor.   I find that this critical place is refining me in ways that can only be described as tremendous.

My late friend Daniel Trickey made a sign for me nearly a decade ago that has hung in my office ever since.   The sign simply says “Tumultuous to Tremendous.”

The Latest Buzz

I really feel as though I’m dropping the ball on blogging.   My business pursuits have taken the majority of my time and they still don’t really provide for our family, but if I have learned anything over these last few months it has been the necessity of casting the nets again and again, even if you don’t see the catch.   The Lord has taught me that sometimes the provisions come through the sweat of my brow and many times they come from the unseen riches of heaven.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, we are going through roster changes right now in the ministry.  Baby Micah was born a few weeks ago, some who started with us have moved on, two more will be moving out of state in the coming weeks and Carol and I are now in a different geographic and cultural setting.

We were hoping to launch a Wednesday night Organic Group at the first of March, but the enemy began to rear his ugly head in the lives of those who were to host it.   That group is currently on hold and we are praying for a deliverance to take place in this family’s life.

Carol and I have begun to make some new acquaintances here on the Island and have decided to launch a new Organic Group starting this Thursday.   We are excited about returning this home to the Lord for His use and glory.   We have already had opportunity to bless the kids in our neighborhood by having them over to swim.

The Lord has been speaking to me about my call to the nations for the past few years.   In May, I will return to that call as I spend May 6-19th in Western Kenya and Eastern Uganda.  I will be teaching pastors and church leaders during my visit, plus I have been invited to speak in a large prison in Kenya.   The highlight of the journey will be the oversight of the graduation ceremonies for Redeemer Bible College, which Simplicity became the sponsoring ministry for last year.   The 28 students graduating will be the first Bible College graduates in the Bukwo District of Uganda.  This is such a big event that several high ranking government officials will be in attendance.   The Lord has been building my contacts in Uganda for the past 3-4 years, so I am excited to begin meeting these men of God face to face.

In October, I will once again return to India to work alongside my dear brother Paul in Tamilnadu.  In addition I will be working with another dear co-laborer, Santhosh, in Andra Pradesh.   My trip to Andra Pradesh has been in the works for a number of years as well, so the opportunity to bless these workers in the Lord’s fields is a great honor.

This past week also allowed one of the core values of Simplicity was seen working as it is intended.   We learned of a dear brother and sister in Christ who had a pressing need that required financial provision.   We were able to make a large donation in conjunction with other believers to meet this need.   Our part was made possible, because we don’t pay salaries, cell phone bills and other staffing costs.   Working in this bi-vocational capacity is tough, uncertain and at times down right hair raising, but this week the value of the sacrifice was played out and Jesus was seen in His body.

Right now, I find myself waiting upon the Lord’s revelation in a few key areas.

  1. Allowing the Lord to show me the true nature of my call at this point in the journey
  2. Allowing the Lord to provide the financial provisions for the work that He has called me to
  3. Allowing the Lord to show me His ongoing source of provision for our family

Getting Used to My Skin

The Lord has been speaking to me about the call on my life for the past few years.   It is a big picture I can see, but I have trouble at times discerning the finer details and especially connecting the dots that move me fully into that role.  I

I was sharing with a friend today, that I have trouble seeing where the role of struggling entrepreneur on March 10, 2009 fits into the picture at the moment, but I know perseverence is the key.   There are times you wished that God’s vision came with Mapquest type instructions, but ultimately faith would never be built if it did.

The Lord has shown me the importance of tent making in my call, I just wish I was more adept at it.

The Challenge of Silence

Over the past few days, I took part in the 2nd of a 3 retreat series I began in the fall, called “Longing for His Presence.”  This series of retreats was designed to help ministers draw closer to God by building spiritual disciplines in their lives.  Learning how to use silence and solitude for this formation process is a key part of the retreat series.

For this second retreat 60-70% of our time was spent in silence and solitude.  I look forward to these times and have made this a practice in my life for about the last 6 -7 years.   I look forward to these times, because I am able to clear out the distractions, noise and demands of life for a few days and hear clearly what God wants to say to me.  As you might expect, these times bring about great challenges as well, because the Lord is always interested in shaping me and molding me.

This retreat was no different, and I now find myself beginning an intensive period of drawing close to the Lord that stretches me to the limits, but God is out to show Himself powerful and faithful.   I anticipate that in the weeks to come I will have greater clarity about the things that lie before me.  As I mentioned before the Lord is taking us through some roster changes.  I learned just yesterday that another one of our “team” will be moving in the coming months.

It is important that I remain focused on the one who gives the call and not the call itself.  Right now my greatest desire of the Lord is to find His perfect balance.  I find that as I am having to focus more time on trying to build businesses that I am unable to devote the time I normally have to things like writing.   Both are key aspects of my life, I need the Master’s help in planning out the stewardship of who I am.

Back to the blog

It has been a few weeks since I updated the blog.   Moving has been a huge experience as we are finally reuniting with all of our household furnishings and office furnishings.   For the past two years we have been living one place, storing furniture at another, and storing more items somewhere else.

We now have two sitting areas developed and the bedrooms and kitchen pretty much unpacked.  We hope to have a house warming party at the first of March.

Tomorrow I will articulate the spiritual journey for the past few months and give you some insight on what God is doing with Simplicity these days.

Exciting Times

These are certainly exciting times for me.  Tomorrow we will have our first baptism service since launching Simplicity.  I will have the privilege of baptizing 3 who have put their faith in Christ.  We will be conducting the baptisms at Emerald Beach along the Corpus Christi bayfront.

This week, I finally got my dealership materials to begin the primary businesses of Simplicity Solutions.  Simplicity Solutions is the for profit enterprise that will be used to support my family, fund the work of Simplicity Church Network, help church planters develop businesses to support their families and create businesses for those trying to get on their feet.

After much searching I narrowed down my MLM ventures to four companies that offer a wide range of product:

  • Amsoil – Synthetic oils and lubricants for automotive and industrial applications
  • Aggrand – Organic fertilizers and supplements for agriculture (part of the Amsoil family)
  • Amway Global – They’ve moved beyond soap and granola bars and now partner with mainline stores such as Office Depot, Barnes & Noble, etc…
  • Commission River – Primarily focused on telecom and internet technologies, can be operated e-commerce or traditionally marketed.
  • Fuller Brush Company – Based in Great Bend, KS (where I began my investment firm in 2001).  Fuller Brush manufactures commercial/household care and cleaning supplies.

In addition, we are running a number of e-commerce sites through both Commission River and Amazon.   These include:

  • The Fone Store – Cell phones, upgrades and service through all of the major carriers
  • International SIM Cards – Allows you to use your cell phone overseas(144 countries) with high competitive per minute rates
  • Cardparison – Compare current rates, features and offers from multiple credit card issuers
  • Anglerz Supply – Fishing tackle and supplies
  • Luv My Hog – All things Harley Davidson
  • HealthMartXpress – An online health and wellness shop, along the lines of the corner drug store

The latter three e-commerce sites are affiliate stores of  Sales made through these stores generate a commission for the sale.  Additionally, any product offered on can be purchased through these sites and also generates commission.

Those who are interested in supporting our ministry in an ongoing manner can simply become customers of the products and services we sell.  Carol and I began this business enterprise by seeking the Lord’s guidance for the portion that was immediately His.  We be giving the first 30% of revenue from Simplicity Solutions to the Lord for the furtherance of His work.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information on the business model, product catalogs or to place orders.

Simplicity Solutions

I am developing a for profit business model called Simplicity Solutions that will be used to help fund the church planting, benevolence and other ministries of Simplicity.

Simplicity Solutions is a conglomeration of MLM and Affiliate commerce ventures that will be used to provide an income for new church planters, people getting back on their feet and the lead pastors for the Simplicity network.

Simplicity Solutions…Life Shouldn’t be Complicated

Mission: A for profit corporation that is in business to create financial funding for the furtherance of the Great Commission through Simplicity Church Network and its affiliated ministries.

· Purpose

o Bring Christ into the Marketplace

o Use commerce to fund the work of the Kingdom

o Give the servants of God a means to support themselves

o Give the lowly a tool to improve themselves

· The Model

o A business of businesses

§ Utilizing ecommerce and MLM strategies

· Creates ownership

o Profits used to for:

§ Financial provision for Simplicity Church Network pastors and their church planting efforts

§ Seed money for church plants

§ Ministry projects

§ Reinvestment for further profits

o Creates a tent-making role for church planters

§ Constant contact with the unchurched

o Creates a place of work for those needing a fresh start

· Goals

o A complete support solution for church planters

o Support for Kingdom work worldwide

o Providing employment opportunities for those getting back on their feet

You can join in on the action as well as we will be looking for affiliates for our the different businesses and people to market product. This is also an opportunity for you to make some additional income as well.  The primary thrust of these businesses is marketing, although some of these offer a traditional sales model.

Here are the first few pieces of Simplicity Solutions:


Advantage Nutritionals



Reverse Phone Detective


Cash Making Powersites

Unlimited Game Download Website

Homemade Energy

A leap of faith

Last night I found myself awake until about 3AM. The Lord began to convict me of something. I have set out on this journey to be a bi-vocational planner, but the Lord impressed upon me that I needed to take a greater step of faith. I need to be supported by love offerings that are separate from the giving of Simplicity. My wife was awake when I came back to bed…she had the same message for me. We agreed that I should only consider opportunities the Lord brings my way, not those that are produced from my own pavement pounding efforts.

My support will ultimately come from the people I minister to or from monthly partners who believe in my work, but none the less it will be a “give us this day, our daily bread” type scenario. So today I am thinking through the legal/financial structural issues. Do I even need to incorporate or obtain a 501c3?