Tag Archives: Vineyard Boise

Locking Book Safes and Christmas Bazaars

book safe bazaarThe last two weekends were spend talking to folks and trying to sell my special, one-of-a-kind, handcrafted locking book safes at two different Christmas bazaars.

The first one was hosted by Vineyard Boise Christian Fellowship and is one of the biggest craft fair in the area. There were only 80 vendors selling their handcrafted items with over 800 folks coming through the bazaar over the two day event.

I sold a decent amount of book safes the first day and was hoping for even more sales on the second day… however while I talked to more people that Saturday, I only made one sale and that was to a lady who saw the safes the night before. Oh well. 🙂

The second Christmas bazaar was held at a local school and was a LOT smaller (just over 30 vendors). Being the first time the PTO had ever hosted such an event, it wasn’t advertised as well and very slow… luckily I was able to break even with one sale and a partner who split the entry fee.

Over the next few days I will be listing all my book safes on Esty for those of you who might want a great Christmas gift. Remember that all proceeds go to help me attend St. Stephen’s University where I’m studying for my Master of Ministry degree. In other words, not only do you get an awesome gift but you help a young man follow the call of God. 😀

book 1book 2


Finding Sunlight Inside A Hallway or The Mystery of Simplicity

IMG_0937I had a few moments to kill, so I decided to take a close look at the paintings at the art gallery inside my local church. Every quarter this gallery hosts a new exhibit displaying the work of artists from within and without the church community.

The current exhibit is about God’s Creation with paintings and sculptures of types and skill levels reveling the different aspects of the Creator King. Next to each work of art is a short artist statement with a little glimpse into the heart behind the piece.

Meandering through this gallery, I saw oil paintings, mixed medium pieces, water colors, sculptures, pen and ink. I also saw gorgeous pieces by professional artiest next to those done by recreational amateurs. Everyone was invited to submit a piece for consideration in the exhibit.

As I wondered through this wonderland of visual stimulation, my feet suddenly stopped working as a huge smile cribbed across my face. There in front of my eyes was the best piece in the whole gallery. I had found my pot of gold, the foundation of youth, the Holy Grail of Creation art hanging on a wall surrounded by fleeing clouds of color and texture.

You may think I jest, but I do not as the joy I felt when I first saw this painting comes back even as I write these words.

What was this painting that I saw that brought me such joy?

Well, I’m glad you asked as I took a picture of this jewel which I now display below along with the artist statement:

IMG_0938artist statement

So, you may ask, why did a child’s painting stop you so suddenly? That is a question to which there is no easy answer…. Perhaps it was because I have had several science versus religious discussions lately in which Genesis was used as weapon on both sides… perhaps my emotions were triggered by being a father with two young children….. perhaps I have no eye for art and should be banned from all art galleries in the tristate area….. perhaps I’m just a crazy fool with very little gray matter between the ears…

Or perhaps the smile came from the simple manner in which a child can standup and say “God made the sun.” Complexity is removed and simplicity is embraced along the mystery that surrounds all simple answers.

Perhaps…just perhaps we humans of the 21st century could stop trying to figure out everything for a moment and just relax in the mystery of a Creator Love. Yes, physics and science are wonderful pursuits and should be studied and discussed (it sadness me to have to state that as I don’t see science and following Jesus has being opposites…but if conversations over the past month taught me anything, it is that this false dichotomy is still embraced by folks on both sides of the steeple door.)

Perhaps…and this is my last perhaps… I should just let fathers of old guide us along this journey around the sun.

“In love did He bring the world into existence; in love does He guide it during this its temporal existence; in love is He going to bring it to that wondrous transformed state, and in love will the world be swallowed up in the great mystery of Him who has performed all these things; in love will the whole course of the governance of creation be finally comprised. And since in the New World the Creator’s love rules over all rational nature, the wonder at His mysteries that will be revealed then will captivate to itself the intellect of all rational beings whom He has created so that they might have delight in Him, whether they be evil or whether they be just.”St. Isaac of Syria

“God is everywhere. There is no place God is not…You cry out to Him, ‘Where art Thou, my God?’ And He answers, “I am present, my child! I am always beside you.’ Both inside and outside, above and below, wherever you turn, everything shouts, ‘God!’ In Him we live and move. We breathe God, we eat God, we clothe ourselves with God. Everything praises and blesses God. All of creation shouts His praise. Everything animate and inanimate speaks wondrously and glorifies the Creator. Let every breath praise the Lord!”Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Time To Do Something

I know I have talked about i-61 Ministries before…but I just can’t stop sharing their videos and articles as I think they are on the right track. As Tri says in the below video, it is easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the state of the world today – poverty, environmental decline, spiritual decay, etc., and etc…

However we have to start somewhere doing something.

Just like Matthew West states in his song “Do Something”:

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something


So, what are you going to?

Creative Church Conference (July 25-27)

creative church conferenceWhat is the Creative Church Conference?

  • Creative:  The way you were born: in the image of God, with enjoyment for creating.
  • Church:  Where two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name.
  • Conference:  A time to learn, share, be inspired, and inspire others.

In 2012 a handful of art ministers launched a small conference in Boise, Idaho, to gather like-minded artists who follow Christ and also care about the glory of God being reflected in local churches. The conference was an overwhelming success. Artists were encouraged and refreshed, non-artists discovered their creative potential, pre-Christian artists were introduced to the Artist who designed them, Christ was glorified, and lives were changed.

This year’s Creative Church Conference will be hosted at the Vineyard Boise with a focus on “community.” We’ll experience the beauty of God when it comes to the arts He created. Seasoned art ministry leaders will bring community to the forefront as they provide wisdom and insight on being the body of Christ. Our workshops will put this into practice as together we explore creative applications of ministering to one another through the arts, and share practical lessons learned from our mistakes. Please take these opportunities to share your knowledge with us!While the conference is coming up fast, it is not too late to attend.

Check out the Creative Church Conference website for more information.

SpiritTribe: Nicaragua Mission Intensive

mission intensive picNow that the holidays are over it is time to start looking forward toward the SpiritTribe Mission Intensives. These are domestic and international trips that go beyond simply going somewhere ‘exotic’ and marking a check box on your bucket list.

These are trips that are designed to expose, train and tweak people for the Kingdom of God. They are trips for those who are tired of the same old life, tired of sitting in a church pew, tired of wondering where God is in the midst of injustice – these are trips for those who are willing to sell everything they have and join Jesus in changing the world.

While there are four such trips to different places, I am personally leading one of them – a two week intensive to Nicaragua, Central America. For this trip, we will be partnering with Vineyard Boise’s i-61 Ministries in learning about and then doing something about the seven areas of world crises:

  1. Spiritual Confusion
  2. Undeveloped Leadership
  3. Educational Inequalities
  4. Environmental Decline
  5. World Hunger
  6. Poor Health & Disease
  7. Human Injustice

Each morning of the intensive the team will gather together to learn about one of these seven areas before taking to the streets that afternoon to experience the issue firsthand. For example, if the issue is “world hunger”, we might get transported to the La Chureca dump site, one of the worst dumps in Central America, where we would help prepare food and feed the children who reside there. If the issue is “spiritual deadness”, we might be given the opportunity to serve into a community of the local Vineyard churches in the area.

The goal of all this, as mentioned previous, it to train, equip and tweak people into joining with Jesus in changing the world. Our heart is that after this mission intensive each team member will go back to their local community/church and start doing the stuff there – after all, Jesus is already at work everywhere, we just have to open our eyes and start walking with Him.

The Details
  • Trip Dates: June 16-30, 2014
  • Team size: 14 members max
  • Preferred age of team member: 18 to 30~ years
  • Cost: $975 USD per person (based upon a 14 member team, if smaller the cost with change)
  • Price included food, lodging, and transportation in Nicaragua. Does NOT include plane tickets to Nicaragua as this will vary according to where each team member is located.
  • 10% of cost is due on March 16th with the remainder due on April 16th
Application Process
  • Everyone interested in going should either contact me directly or go to the SpiritTribe’s Nicaragua Mission Intensive website and fill out the content form located there.
  • Note that all applications for this trip will need to be returned to me by February 10th with chosen team members notified on or before February 24th

Stories Around The Web About The 2013 Vineyard National Conference

vineyard all inAs mentioned before (here and here), the 2013 Vineyard National Conference in Anaheim, California, was an amazing conference! In fact, I even heard folks who have been around the Vineyard for 20 or 30 years say that it was the best conference they have been too since the 1990’s. They also mentioned that this past conference was the LARGEST gathering of the Vineyard family ever. Yeah, ever. The Anaheim Vineyard church was packed out with over 3,500 people – 800+ of which were youth and 400+ were children under 14. Big family, lots of fun. 🙂

And being a big family, here are other bloggers out there who have written about their experiences at the conference. Knowing that it is always good to get more than one option on a subject, here are some stories about the 2013 Vineyard National Conference:

A Day by Day Account

Luke Geraty (Trinity Christian Fellowship in Stanley, WI) wrote a great four part series detailing the main points and highlights of each day of the conference. If you want to know the ins and outs of what happened, then this is the series to read! (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4)

celtic cross vineyardThe Quick Summary

On the flip side, Jason Smith (Mason Vineyard Community Church, Mason, OH) wrote a quick summary of the conference.  Even though he didn’t details things out as much as Luke, Jason does have some good comments about the state of Vineyard worship and the Kingdom Ministry momentum in the movement.

The Art Piece

Six artists from the Vineyard Boise (Boise, ID) made the trip to Anaheim with one purpose: to create a prophecy piece of art live during the worship sets of the conference. The result was an huge Celtic cross interwoven with symbolism. If you are part of the Vineyard Movement then you NEED to read Jessie Nilo’s description of this art piece as it was created in the middle of a family gathering for the entire Vineyard family.

Deaf No More

One of the individual pieces of art created during the conference and interwoven into the Celtic cross mentioned above was a mold of an ear.  God used this ‘ear’ to start an conversation between the artist and a gal who was deaf in one ear. The reslut …well, you will just have to read the post to see what happens. 😛

Thank You, Tri and Nancy Robinson!!

Tri and Nancy Robinson (picture courtesy of trirobinson.org)

My first ‘real’ introduction to the Vineyard Movement was in February 2003 when visited the Vineyard Boise after moving to Idaho from Texas (I put ‘real’ in quotes as I did visit a concert at the Tyler Vineyard church in Texas in 1999…but they were just a bit too radical for me at the time… oh how we change!).  For weeks I had visited different churches looking for a new family to worship with…only nothing seemed to fit… then I walked into the Vineyard Boise on Wednesday evening, tired and not quite sure what to expect.

Amazingly enough I didn’t make five steps into the lobby before I was inundated by hellos and handshakes!!   This was quite the shocker to me as I was used to visiting churches were I could walking in and out without anyone saying anything at all. Yet, here was a group of people who just grabbed you and loved you before they knew a thing about you.  A few weeks later when I attended a Sunday morning service with my wife, who had recently joined me in Idaho, the same welcoming love was poured out on us. Apparently it wasn’t just a fluke…

On that first Sunday, Pastor Tri Robinson started a new series on the book of James – a book that had been on my wife’s heart for the last few weeks. Afterward, Emily turned to me and said, “I don’t know if this is the right church or not, but I want to stay through this series!” And that, as they say, was that as we never left.

There’s a saying in the Vineyard that you don’t join the Vineyard, you just find out that you are Vineyard. That is so true! The longer we were there, the more we felt as if we had come home. Soon we were serving in the Vineyard Boise food pantry and attending not one, but two small groups!

And while a church is never depended upon any one individual or couple, I can say without a doubt that the culture and environment that pulled Emily and me into the Vineyard Boise, and ultimately the Vineyard Movement, was shaped by the life of Tri and Nancy Robinson.  Mercy, compassion, worship and the scriptures are values that have shaped their life and, as such, the lives of those walked with and around them over the years.

This week marks a huge shift in their lives has Tri and Nancy stepped down from their Senior Pastor role of the Vineyard Boise. They now, as Tri said on November 4th, have a pastor (i.e. Trevor and Andrea Estes, the new Senior Pastors) for the first time since 1989 when they left Lancaster, California, with twelve family to start the Vineyard Boise.

Yet instead of retiring, Tri, who is always on the go and makes me tired whenever I even think about the stuff he does, has stepped into the leadership role of I-61 Ministries, a local church based ministry that focuses on the seven areas of world crises most responsible for human oppression. He is also going to be working with Vineyard USA to help strengthen and fan the flames of mercy and compassion throughout the Vineyard Movement, nationally and globally.

Thank you Tri and Nancy for following Jesus and creating an place that loved people. Thank you for teaching me how to blend mercy and compassion with worship and the study of the Scriptures. Thank you for everything and may your next adventure be filled with the mercies and peace of Jesus.


Moving From The Throngs To Being A Discipler of Disciples

Public Reading: Luke 6:12-19

•    This passage outlines four reasons why folks gather around Jesus

o    To be taught and learn truth
o    To be healed
o    To be set free from bondage I their lives
o    To be close and touch Him

•    This is basically the reasons anyone anywhere comes to Jesus and church
•    The other thing that this passage shows is that there are three groups of people surrounding Jesus

o    There were the crowds or throngs who were coming from all over
o    Then there were the followers of Jesus – “large crowd of his disciples”

*    The 70 or the 120 that we hear about later in the Gospels
*    These were the folks who had already committed to following Jesus

o    The Twelve

*    From within the disciples, Jesus choose 12 whom he would call “Apostles” or “Sent Ones”

•    While each person for all three groups came for a reason, at some point there has to be a transition between a throng mentality and a multiple of disciples mentality.
•    Likewise, there was to be a transition between the multiple of disciples to one of the 12
•    Part of our goals as followers of Jesus and a church is to help folks move from one group to the next – to run after Jesus with everything within them.

Continue reading Moving From The Throngs To Being A Discipler of Disciples