Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I noticed two things tonight in my late 12 mile run. There was a man fishing from the bridge over the river downtown Wichita. Fishing pole in one hand, cell phone in the other - text messaging! While convenient and funny, it just doesn't seem right! Also, on very busy street there was a boy riding a bike holding the handle bars with one hand and holding a cell phone with the other - text messaging! Very much a sign of the times! I shook my head and smiled and then a few blocks later my cell phone rang! And I was the one out running! I took it with me "just in case" and found myself chatting with my youth pastor friend Jesse while running down the street - he did most of the talking. Yes, it is 2007!

Monday, July 30, 2007


Did you know your body actually acclimates to the heat and it becomes less oppressive after a week? I am starting to enjoy painting for the most part.

Reflecting on my upcoming job...I've decided it's good news and bad news. The good news is that I don't have to "write the book on bi-vocational church planting" and the bad news is that I don't have to "write the book on bi-vocational church planting". It's good because it would be a hard book to write. It's bad because it would be a hard book to write for somebody else. One of my tasks in this new job is to still "write the book" even without doing it specifically.

I have a great peace and trust in the Lord this week (inspite of a slight constant anxious feeling).


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Is Sunday the end of the week or the beginning?

It seems that in Genesis it was the end. But the gospels refer to the resurrection being on the first day of the week and we now celebrate that on a Sunday. I've always thought of it as the end of the week - but the best part!

I am just returning home from my late run through the dark. Today ended our Yearly Meeting sessions and then I went to work painting from 2 to 9 pm.

Let's just say for the past few days I haven't slept very much.

Yearly Meeting was awesome. Our theme was "Reaffirming Our Connections" as we are 71 churches of Mid-America and we really do believe that there is much we can do better together than seperately. I had to give public speeches twice - a testimony about my call to ministry and what I "like about being a part of the Friends Church of Mid-America" and then today a missions promo speech and introduction to some of my missionary friends who were to give a report to the body. The meetings were Spirit-filled and exciting and we all left encouraged and energized and pumped up ready to get to work!

At the beginning of the week I had no clue (other than painting) how God wanted to use me - other than the promise that I know he wanted to and would! Deep down I think I had faith all along that something special was going to happen. While I don't know all of the details yet, I am very excited about joining the Yearly Meeting staff and getting to work ASAP. I think it will take some time, though. We are going to have a meeting this week to discuss job description and title and roles and compensation and confirming whether or not I want it. They are taking no other apps though, pretty much. The job is created with me in mind - which is something very honoring and exciting. The 1/4 administrative position at Crossroads fell through 24 hrs after agreed upon and will be tabled for one month and then possibly brought back up and implemented. I have plenty of work for the time being.

I am anxious about this week and the hopeful correspondence that will take place. I am also excited!

Also, I am so grateful to God today for his grace and love and faithfulness! God really is mighty to save! I feel that he is leading me and guiding my like a shepherd! Praise be!

--Adam Monaghan

Friday, July 27, 2007


I sent a very important and exciting letter today. I prayerfully await a response in due time. I continue praying and studying and discerning on some things - but I already know what my heart tells me. Praise be!

It all makes sense now

I was just waiting for all of the puzzle pieces to fall together...they have fallen together in the last 24 hours. This is the rough draft (yet to be confirmed and 'officially' decided upon by me and the churches) of what I am going to be "doing with my life". I am going to be primarily serving on staff at Crossroads as Youth Pastor/Associate Pastor titled not yet clarified. This is volunteer. I am going to be 1/4 time working as Administrative Assistant for Crossroads and 3/4 time working for the Friends Church Mid-America office doing some light administrative work, serving under the Youth Superintendent as an Event Planner and Project Recruit Director. More explanation later but these responsibilities excite me greatly and I will have a full time salary between the two jobs and then will be on staff bi-vocationally but it won't require me working a secular job permanently or at all right now. I am so grateful for that. I am so excited. I will spell all of the details out in a few days once it is finalized and approved and I actually see something in writing.

Right now is Yearly Meeting sessions in Mid-America held here in Wichita. I am also painting everyday too so I am trying to squeeze everything in and today made for a really long day. I attended the Missions Board meeting for 6 hours and then painted for 6 hours and then attended a meeting tonight from 10pm to 12:30am. Whew! Oh yeah, I also squeezed in a 8 mile run earlier too. All in a day's work! Time for bed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


It's still a shame I don't have pictures of any of this that I am doing...

I guess I am a painter now!? The last two days have found me powerwashing, scraping, and priming. I figured up that I am like 1/32 done at this point. I may find that this project lasts until Thanksgiving? I am sure I will be on to more permanent work by then but I have committed to finishing painting this house. It has been fun and I've already learned a lot and know that I will learn a whole lot more soon: caulking, ladders way high up in the air, etc. etc.

Another thing that I've learned is that I really am an extrovert. Working in isolation all day with no one to share life with is...well...boring! But it is a good character building time. I love to work hard and share that work with others, working together, even without talking. This proves how much of an extrovert I really am. Anyway, I need to go to bed early tonight and wear lots of sunscreen tomorrow.

It's funny because we don't know who won the D-backs game? Go Yankees and Braves!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Great Day (finally!)

Church was great. Lunch was great. I got a job. Saw the movie "Hairspray" (excellent, I think!? I am still thinking through some of the moral implications of it all and a lot of my values are changing but my old default criterion for evaluting a movie was "is it thoroughly entertaining?" and I would give Hairspray 5 stars in that category!) Tomorrow morning I will start a month long, at least, job to paint the Hutson's home and it's a big one! They have a list of other projects I could do for them if need be as well. And they will pay generously. I am so excited and relieved and grateful to have work - be it temporary. And the manly side of me is glad to get the opportunity to work in the brutal oppressive heat for the next month and to work with my hands getting used to things like ladders and heights and painting and trips to Home Depot and Lowe's. Didn't use to be my cup of tea, but for some reason, now it is all really enticing and exciting. Go figure!? Anyway, now I am on the way out the door for a 10 mile run - in the dark through the city - I gues there are street lights to show the way. It will be an adventure, as always. And there are 24 hour gas stations to refill in water and gatorade when the 89 degree heat saps my hydration. This day will end on a really positive note. All praise and honor and glory to God!
Good night!


Two things happened at church this morning that are exciting: 1. The pastor says the church is very close to 'finalizing' and 'formalizing' the process of inviting me to serve on their pastoral staff. 2. A family that I know very well asked me if I "knew anybody looking for temporary work" and I said "uh...well maybe" and he said, "well, you want to paint my house?" I said sure. He will pay well and the job will probably take around a month. I am on my way over to his house right now to scope it out. I think I'll even start tomorrow afternoon! Praise be! This is crazy! July 31st is coming soon...I know what I want already - never even questioned it for a second. But I still have a lot of questions that are important to me that we have at least some dialogue about before any period of 'waiting'...and the whole idea of absolutely no communication between us at all (uh...other than the blog that is) seems crazy to me. I guess I'll write all that in in my July 31st letter.

Excited and nervous and humbled and encouraged and with anticipation of great hope,


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Family Reunion Day

Today was family reunion day in Haviland. Like normal, after making initial pleasant greetings to everyone, the generations got together and talked and talked and talked. My grandma's generation talked and talked. My dad's generation talked and talked. And then my generation talked and talked and talked and talked and played ping-pong for short breaks from talking. We talked and ate from noon to four. I left so blessed and excited. I only have 6 cousins and 3 of them were there today. They are my favorite three. One of my cousins is Mennonite. She is Ellie Miller married to Vincent Miller and their boy is named Hans Miller. Very Mennoite! My other counsin is Jessica and she is married to a man from Russia. They have two young boys and have twins on the way next month a boy and a girl. They are some of my favorite family members. After the reunion I made quick drop in visits to two homes in Haviland to visit old friends! I also slipped in a 5-mile run tonight in the dark when I returned home.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Moving: Day 2

Well, all done, finally with my move from Chandler to Wichita! 98% of all my stuff is in storage and I am staying at my mom's house for now! It is past 11 and I am just now getting home from the wild and crazy day. Once again, exhausted, I am so grateful: for the borrowed truck and trailer, help along the way loading and unloading from a long list of different friends, and then pizza with Jesse after it was all over late tonight in "celebration". Family reunion is tomorrow at Haviland so I had better get some sleep before I have to hit the road again in the morning.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Final Youth Group 'Lesson' at Chandler

My last Wednesday I gave my "last words" to the youth gathered at Chandler. Here is the rough outline of it. This is not necessarily the order of importance just the overall top ten things I could think about and were on my heart to share.

1. Make your Christian friendships "Christian friendship". Make your goal to honor Christ with your very relationship. Pray together and discern God's leading and voice together. Have lots of fun and laugh but also, and especially with those that are your Christian friends, let Christ into the friendship as well.

2. Read your Bible and pray everyday! You've heard me say it a million times already but spiritual vitality and energy and fruit is found specifically in the regular practice of these two disciplines.

3. Go to church everytime the doors are open! I used to silently mock those that felt the need to do this, but now I would say that "at least it can't hurt" and you can learn something about the character of God or the Scriptures everything you go to church or at least engage yourself in meaningful worship in the corporate context. Also, it is so important to me that you are loyal to your local church, promoting it, defending it, and making it honored and respected. One way you can fulfill this is with very regular attendance.

4. (Don't just come but) Volunteer and Serve in the ministries of the church! There is no faster way to grow spiritual than through service! There is also no faster way to feel apart of the body than be working along side them.

5. Take seriously "Spiritual Formation"! Recognize, submit, and committ yourself to this process of "growing into Christlikeness" by practice the spiritual disciplines (remembering our long Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster Sunday School study).

6. Discipleship is important too! While different but not unrelated to Spiritual Formation. You must learn from the Master how to live life. Consider yourself a life-long apprentice of the Jesus the Master and learn "how-to's" especially from Scripture and by watching the elders and the saints.

7. Barclay College! Whether or not you go there, don't forget about it. Support it with PR and financially all your life. The school exists to bless and serve our church (Friends Church Mid-America). Go visit the school and see if God may call you to go there. If not, consider yourself (and be one) a friend of Barclay College for life! Don't forget about the great gift of the Full Tuition Scholarship for all on campus students beginning this fall.

8. Don't forget about the connection of our local church to the broader/bigger church - the Friends Church of Mid-America. We can only do so much all by ourselves, but together we can do so much (Youth Ministry, missions, and much more!) www.friendsyouth.com, www.maym.org, www.friendsmission.com

9. Go on a mission trip! Allow yourself the opportunity to step into God's action, right in the middle of his global kingdom work, in service and fulfillment of the Great Commission.

10. Exercise 3x/week, floss, and wear sunscreen and you'll live a healthy life. Or something like that. All men between the ages of 18 and 22 who are physically able should run a marathon.

Today's Reflections

1. I really need to get a camera! How can I meet my goal of documenting life and reporting on it if I don't take any pictures of it because I don't have a camera? I am going get one as soon as I can but still it will probably be a while.

2. Today was moving day. Moving days are always interesting days, to say the least, right? I told myself that if the day turned out anything less than a complete utter disaster then I would be content at the end of the day. It started several hours later than planned (circumstances out of my control) and I got home about 6 hours later than anticpated (same story). My help backed out on me and some didn't show up. I am so thankful to have found new help at the last second, my raquetball friend, Korey. I was able to borrow a truck from a church friend and a trailer from the church (I am very grateful for the gift of borrowing). I really thought everything would fit in a trailer and truck - one trip. 6 hours roundtrip. Not even close. I have to go back tomorrow to get the rest - probably 1/4th left. Anyway, I am back home, exhausted, disoriented, but grateful for a good crazy moving day! I guess tomorrow is "moving day" as well!?

3. "Cold Front" - they say a cold front is coming in to Kansas overnight. That means instead of being 98 it will be 90 tommorrow. I think that's hilarious.

4. In the past week like 20 or so of my friends and peers have all opened up a facebook.com account. So have I. So far I've found it to be really fun.

Uh...is this really a blog entry? I guess there's only one person that I hope is reading it anyway...!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Unknown

Change is hard but change is good. I can deal with change. Even a lot of change is welcomed. Change is easily embraced when it comes in the package of one unknown among many knowns. Right know it feels like there is only one known in my life: identity as child of God. The rest is all unknown. The one known is a good one to know but all the unknowns sure do drain the energy right out of one's morale! Here are a few quotes that looked interesting about change:

John Allen Paulos
"Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security."

Donald Rumsfeld: (Isn't it funny that I would quote Don Rumsfield of all people?)
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

Erich Fromm:
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

The Insight and Brillance of Jesus

Luke 5:36-39 (NIV)

36He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.' "

I wonder if the disciples would have recognized the witty humor, insight and brillance in Jesus' teachings? What comparisons to ministry and church culture would be consistent with these words on new and old wineskins? I also wonder how verse 39 applies to today?

Psalm 20

1 In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. 2 May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem... 4 May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. 5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers... 7 Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God. 8 Those nations will fall down and collapse, but we will rise up and stand firm. 9 Give victory to our king, O Lord! Answer our cry for help.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Week 2 of training for October Marathon

Training for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. the last Sunday in October is officially underway! Training for a marathon should take about 16 weeks. I have 14 left to get ready. Better head out the door...

Oppressive Heat

Last night as I was finishing my run the marquee at Friends University near my house said 10:04 pm and 87 degrees! It was a hot one even that late! Today I mowed for 5 hours and it was 96 degrees but it was what I call an "oppressive" heat (incredibly humid, intense sun, hot southerly breeze, overall miserable)! Fall come soon!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Praise You in the Storm

by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now, God
That You would have reached down and wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again
I say amen and it's still raining as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain "I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away

And I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are no matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You and raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on if I can't find You
And as the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain "I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of heaven and earth

Gospel Freedom

"Most people look at Christian morality...as an oppressive list of rules to follow. How far this misunderstanding is from the "living morality" proclaimed by Christ! The Gospel doesn't give us more rules to follow. The Gospel is meant to change our hearts so that we no longer need the rules...To the degree that we experience this change of heart we experience "freedom from the law" (see Rom 7; Gal 5)--not fredom to break the law; freedom to fulfill it."

"Theology of the Body for Beginners" by Christopher West, page 40, based off the teachings of Pope John Paul II

The Lord is My Shepherd

I am learning and submitting to what it means for the Lord to be my Shepherd. I guess that means he knows best, looks out for me, cares about my well being, protects me, knows me, is wise, and so much more. I want to know the Shepherd's voice!

Psalm 23 from the New Living Translation (my favorite translation right now)

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Amigos and Amigos

Sergio and Luisa Ayala, pastors of the Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, Mexico Iglesia Amigos
Also included in the photo are their daughter, Jael (6) and their 9 day old baby boy, Jeremias.
Thank God for good friends! Senor Jesus, gracias te doy para mis amigos y hermanos en christo!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Running in the City

For the past 6 years I've done the majority of my running on country roads in Western Kansas and Central Oklahoma. Now I have to become a city runner. While I have to look out more for traffic, curbs, and roots in the sidewalk there are advantages: people to interact with on the go, skyscrapers and baseball stadiums to run around, great River trails, and lots of gas stations to get water and use facilities! 6 miles through the city feels like it goes by so much faster than 6 miles in the country. I imagine I'll miss trees, and hills, wildlife and soft terrain to run on eventually, but for now the change is welcome!


I've read the story a hundred times and heard the song a few hundred times. But the words hit me in a new and powerful way this week as I was visiting some very good friends of mine in Mexico.

Matthew 17:20-21

"...I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

"La Montana"

Si tuvieras fe como un grano de mustasa
Eso lo dice el senor (x2)
Tu le dirias, a la montana
Muevete! Muevete! (x2)
Y la montana se movera, se movera, se movera
La montana se movera, se movera, se movera...

English translation:
If you have faith like a little mustard seed
That's what the Lord says to us
You can say to the mountain, this very mountain
Move from here! Move from here!
And the biggest mountain shall be removed, be removed, be removed
The biggest mountain shall be removed, be removed, be removed...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My First Blog Entry Ever

Dictionary.com helped me to arrive at my very own working definition of a 'blog':

"blog": <blog> (noun, verb) an online journal giving a personal chronological log of thoughts and reflections on life publishied on a Web page; reflecting the personality of the author, of course.
Other related words: Web Log, blogged, blogging, blogger, blogosphere

I've never been one to journal much. In fact, the pages are only half filled in the journal I've used since 2003! Nor have I ever been a huge fan of pictures! But for the past few months I've desired to both keep a written record of some of my experiences in life and document them with pictures! This is my attempt at both...!

Here are some questions that are going through my mind as I submit my first blog: Will anybody actually ever read this but me? If not, is that still okay? Do I go retroactive in my record of thoughts and reflections or just forwards?

--Adam Monaghan, a blogger