3 Killers of Team Spirit.

Sarcasm, criticism, cynicism

Sarcasm– Pronunciation: \ˈsär-ˌka-zəm\
Function: noun
Etymology: French or Late Latin; French sarcasme, from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer, from sark-, sarx flesh; probably akin to Avestan thwarəs- to cut

1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain 2a : a mode of satirical depending for its effect on bitter and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b : the use or language of sarcasm

Criticism-Main Entry: crit·i·cism
Pronunciation: \ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm\

1 a : the act of criticizing usually unfavorably b : a critical observation or remark

Cynicism-implies having a sneering disbelief in sincerity or integrity. Pessimistic, distrustful

It seems in our day that these three words are a way of life, and many in the church are teaching this as a philosophy. There is this idea that we should question everything, distrust everyone, and have a cutting sharp attitude in the name of humor.

Don’t get me wrong I believe that we should try the spirits as the Bible says, we shouldn’t just follow everything and everyone blindly but this attitude of cynicism that has us questioning even the validity of the Bible and truth has gone too far and is destroying people. In most cases this attitude is predicated on a cultural and moral relativism that does its best to wipe out substantial truth and replace it with experiential understanding.

Bottom line is cynicism, sarcasm and criticism are incredibly negative concepts and give birth to doubt not faith.

Should we evaluate? Yes! Should we be constantly critical? No

For teams to work together and make progress there has to be a high level of faith in the cause, the team members and an honoring of leadership. This evil trinity stifles all of that.

Lets drop this negativity and doubt and instead be encouraging, trusting and edifying. That’s what builds teams and brings positive change.

Challenging authority, doubting truth, and criticizing others only locks you in to a non learning environment and comes from a dogmatic know it all spirit.

If you want your team to thrive, confront these attitudes and replace them with faith.

That’s effective team spirit.

Leadership Training it’s imperative all over the world

Wow! What a day! It’s 7:30 pm and I am leaving kampong Cham and going Phnom Penh. It’s been an eventful day.

It started early this morning in prayer and study looking over the Me kong river. Went from that to breakfast with Pastor Meng Hong. A good man and pastor with a huge heart. After breakfast we went to the hall where the pastors conference was already in progress. There were 54 pastors in attendance. It was a great day of interaction. I taught two leadership development sessions and then we had lunch and when we returned I taught on marriage and ministry. I found that the same relational issues exist everywhere in the world. It was quite funny.

While I was teaching, the team was working at the Hope center. They worked on such projects as painting the gates, creating a new walk way, and two different landscaping projects. Some of the team went to the market to prepare for the party tonight. Buying the clothes, backpacks, school supplies and toiletries. This is not an easy job. Buying for 31 orphans is definitely a major task. A big thanks goes out to signature dental who provided toothbrushes, and toothpaste for all the kids.

So the team and I all met back at the hotel and rushed to get ready for the party. This requires, getting all the elements organized all the gift bags filled all the roles disseminated. Big Props to autumn and Taylor and our Cambodian coordinator Kimmy.

We went to the hall we rented for the party, got the music going, blew up balloons hung up the decorations, set out the stations-coloring, nails/hair/make up for the girls to make them feel special. A balloon station where team members make balloon animals for the kids, a twister station, a painting station, a scarf making session. Just the biggest party you’ve ever seen.

They love it. Every year they just get so excited. It’s like Christmas. We party, dance and then have the big gift give away.

This year I was only able to stay for the very first part so I left to go to phnom penh. I have an early morning meeting with the staff at new life and then a lunch meeting with the expat teams at new life. Looking forward to all of those.

God is so good. All the time! I miss my girls but love what God is doing. At least I have one of my girls with me. The team will finish the party tonight then have a soccer clinic tomorrow with the hope center children.

Then we are almost finished. It’s gone fast. I can’t say enough about this team. Each one of them have been superb in every way. Everything you want in a team.


Autumn Ellis -harvest Okc Campus
Taylor Gadberry – Harvest Edmond Campus
Louie Hamilton – harvest Okc campus
Micah Nimmo – harvest Okc Campus
Chandler Boyce- harvest Okc campus
Lauren Lee – harvest edmond Campus
Mariah Johnson – Your Place Church Pryor, Ok
Rachel Strange- Your Place church Pryor, ok
Angela Tracy – harvest Stillwater campus
Jordan Hodgden. – harvest Norman Campus
Chad Raunborg – harvest Okc campus
Ashley Newey – St Luke’s Okc
Adrienne Jefferis – harvest Okc campus.

You should be proud of these committed people who have given their time and treasure to this cause and they have made a difference.

We love you all who have made this possible. Thanks

You Just Never Know


The one thing I have found to be truly consistent in travel and missions is inconsistency. You never know what’s going to happen.

We should be in Hong Kong this morning but instead we are still in las Angeles. Thankfully everyone is safe and sound. We have a flight out tonight late and the airline covered our food and our hotel.

This is a great “flexible” team and they’ve taken every step with grace. So it’s off to Venice beach today for a bit
of fun. Then dinner and back to the airport and finally on the plane to cambodia. Pray that all things work as planned tonight, no interruptions.

Team Thoughts

The following are thoughts from our team. Enjoy…

I have been on a lot of different trips, and this one has been different having my husband with me. God has been challenging me to be even more honoring to him and to let him into this area of my world and learn to work with him. With our different strengths, God will use us differently, and that’s okay!!! We are believing for fresh fire in our marriage as a result of this trip and for God to show us His plan for our marriage. -Nicci Miller

Let me help. Those are the words that have come to my mind the most while being in Rwanda. Whether it be as simple as holding a child or teaching the kids how to make bracelets those words continually come to my mind. The need is obvious and great, we could easily say “we haven’t made a difference” but that is a lie. Seeing one child accept Jesus means one more life has been saved and that is amazing and we have made a difference in that child’s life. That child will bring the presence of God into their home which will spread throughout their village and country. We HAVE made a difference and we will continue to make a difference. – Rachael Woods

This is my 5th year to come to Rwanda and each year my love for the country and the people grows stronger. There are some many thoughts and emotions that it is hard to put into words. I see hope and dreams growing and developing in the children and young adults like never before. As I played with the children in Gahanga and shared the love of Jesus with them they completely stole my heart. They would hold my hand and play with my hair and we made such a connection. They are the hope of Gahanga and and taking the love of Jesus to their community. There is no church in this area but they are being the church to those they interact with. I shared Jeremiah 29:11 with them and reminded them of who they are and that God has great plans for them. I will never be the same after my time with these children. God continues to expand my heart beyond anything I could ever imagine.
Cindy Carreno

I feel like I had a glimpse of living with true grace. We met a couple who runs a fish farm in southern Rwanda who employe around 100 people. Some of the same people who could have possibly murder her family during the genocide. I don’t know that I could do that. But it’s encouraging to see that with God you can. Praise God for the work He continues to do in all of us.
Sam Laymon

Returning to Rwanda is a mixture of emotion, excitement of a foreign land coupled with the knowledge of past events mingles to create a unique experience that forces you to rely solely on God for guidance and protection. It is in these trips that I have come to realize His providence and vastness. Looking around at this land of wonder and beauty, knowing the horrors that occurred in 1994, and seeing the renewal is a testament to God’s ability to heal and restore. Forgiveness exists in many cases between perpetrators and victims who work side by side. The events of the genocide will never be forgotten but the future is bright for these people as they continue to press forward to a better tomorrow. I am so grateful for the opportunity to come and serve as we partner with the missionaries on the ground here in working to achieve that goal.
– Matt Wilkes

My heart for this trip has been to show God’s love to the women and children of Africa. I was given that opportunity to do so this week in Rwanda as I prayed for 2 precious young mothers yesterday.
Janie Burba

My time here in Rwanda has been an incredible experience. I’ve met some people who have come from some of the darkest circumstances and yet has been able to overcome with the help of Jesus. The shining light here (other than Jesus) is football. Football is the language that these people speak and when they see you on pitch playing with them, they love it. There is so much joy, fun, and passion in this sport that I can’t imagine a better platform to share Jesus on.

Nick Miller

Rwanda is so beautiful! I feel so privileged & blessed to be here to follow through on God’s calling. I know each & every connection has been a part of his plan. The people are so amazing, peaceful & beautiful! There are many hearts waiting to hear God’s word. God is definitely moving in Rwanda! Praise God!

Janet Work

…more to come

Home Team

Saturday my OU Sooners lost in a surprising defeat to a Texas Tech team who played the best football in their history, they could seemingly do nothing wrong. It was their day no doubt.

Yesterday my Dallas cowboys won in a route over the St louis Rams, playing like I wish they would all the time.

It’s interesting in sport that winning and losing hinges on so many things. Attitude of players. The right coaching, whether the players “came to play” that day. So much goes in to a win, and still on some days you can have it all together and another team is just better.

In life as a Christian winning really requires 1 thing. Submission to the Coach. In this case the coach is also the star player, and He has promised victory.

Like the bible says in Romans 8 “if God is for us, who can be against us?”. The answer is, it doesn’t matter. Because God wins no matter what. No matter the opponents we may face, circumstances, enemies, temptation, fear, or the devil. God is for us so victory is ours. We have the distinct “Home Team” advantage. We win!

So I encourage you, join the team, submit to the coach, and put the check mark in the win column.

Team is Everything

I love the church, and all it is.  One thing I like particularly is the way Jesus set the church up.  He created us all and gave us specific talents, gifts and skills, and then showed us that unity is the key to being a powerful organization.  Working together is very important.  In our world more and more the team concept gives way to a superstar mentaltity, but the truth is no one achieves greatness on their own.

As we intersect the lives of others on our journey towards significance everyone of those encounters contributes to the whole of our lives.  Whether the contribution is small or large, it effects the outcomes of our lives and influences us in one way or another.  We all, no matter how gifted or skilled, or talented we are or think we are, must realize the true path to significance is traveled with company.

I love the team we have going to AFRICA, a great group of diverse people who love God, and want to pursue his purpose in the earth.  Don’t go it alone, Team is everything.