Seven weeks earlier than planned, our first grandson, Ben, was born to our son-in-law and daughter, Christof and Lisa. Doctors were not alarmed, babies are born premature regularly.

Our joy would soon turn to sorrow as dedicated doctors and nurses worked frantically on a baby who struggled to breathe. After hours of attention from specialists, it was concluded that we would only have Ben for hours or possibly days.

12 hours after entering this world, and without ever having experienced a tear, Ben went to be with our Lord. Our sorrow has been intense, and yet Jesus has been so near. We have found great comfort in the closeness of the church body.


With a vision of someday cracking the code of mass evangelism in Europe, a small, yet dedicated band of workers in our church has planned an evangelistic outreach for teens and young adults.

What a thrill to experience the hand of God in a fresh way: 18 made a public profession of faith, 5 seek more information and 5 desire discipleship.

We feel as if a door is beginning to open for an even larger movement based on this experience.

Would you consider assisting us in another outreach event at the end of this year? We need someone to champion the costs of a venue for $1200, plus someone to assist in costs of recruiting - $1500. Those are two of the initial cornerstones necessary in order to proceed.

For a full-length report, access the Acrobat Reader Prayer letter. The letter explains things a little more in-depth.

On Saturday, July 16, 2011 a dedicated band of workers experimented with a new youth outreach in Europe.

Aided by the team of Global Surge, Greg Lyons and his International Camp Training (ICT) team coached our church here in Aschaffenburg, Germany. We hosted over 519 at this initial outreach event, 80 of which were non-church guests.

28 spiritual decisions were made as a result of the meeting, 18 of which were to follow Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Five asked to be discipled and an additional five will gather further information as they contemplate a decision.

That is a 35% decision ratio for attendees not attached to the church. That is absolutely huge. Here are some of the photos from the event, just to wet your appetite.

In the coming days I will report on the process that led up to the event.


On a recent trip to Würzburg, Debbie and I took the time to tour the Fortress - which housed the ruler until a plush palace was built centuries later in the city center. This fortress is impressive and was even carefully renovated; being completed in the 90s after decades of work.

It reminded me that while we build habits into our lives, some of them negative, it is Jesus that promises to tear down anything the resists his rule. And he is strong enough to carry out that promise.

Warning: This is  a somber, very sad piece. The idea is to use it as a sermon bumper or leadin and then turn the message with the hope of Christ.

It can be download at Vimeo or also as an mp4 video (77mb) here at this site.

And just to put the question to rest, it is a storyline. I am not addicted to anything but Jesus. No intervention needed.

Another IT IPO has gone through the roof. Although the stock price has backed off of its first day price spike, LinkedIn has to be lauging all the way to the bank. Call it a bubble, call it genius; either way someone made a boatload of cash.

In an interesting Harvard Business Review blog article, three observations were made concerning why LinkedIn was so liked by Wall Street. It is the third that interests me today.

Smart Move #3. It stuck with its target market. Fast-growing companies often succumb to the temptation to expand into too many markets, rather than miss an opportunity. There were probably many helpful critics who told LinkedIn executives that they should add in a consumer play — after all, Facebook was growing like a weed. LinkedIn didn't do it. Sticking to the business plan of targeting the business market was the smart move.

Full article

When will church leaders drill down on this principle? Find your target audience and do it well. Every church will have a personality, an identity that is evident. Attempting to go with some form of hybrid form of church demographic does not enhance the product delivered, it weakens the product. Ultimately, no one ends up being inspired. Make the smart move.

Further information for understanding your target culture is available via your friends at Google. Businesses are operating globally and using their resources can be invaluable.

{gallery}graphics,single=fishing.jpg,salign=right{/gallery}For those working in a German culture, information has been developed for business people entering a German marketplace. Read some of the following:

Be prepared to make an appointment for most things. Germans don't usually feel comfortable discussing especially serious things "on the go", so don't expect to be able to just drop into the office unannounced for any detailed discussions. Make your appointments well in advance. [Making appointments for a more detailed telephone conversation is also not unusual]. Give at least one or two weeks notice for an appointment made by telephone; allow at least a month for an appointment made by mail. If you don't have much preparation time, it's sometimes possible to arrange for a brief, introductory meeting within a few days' notice.

Here is the website

Or you might want to download the Acrobat reader file.

By doing your homework you will have a headstart on becoming fully immersed into local thought.