Archive for May, 2009

A Confession

Tomorrow is the big day when we go for an ultrasound to determine the gender of our new baby.  Before that happens I have a confession to make…

Integrating The Generations

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Last night Roger Archer and Chad Veach from Puyallap, WA spoke at the 09 Foursquare Connection.  They spoke on the importance of integrating the next generation within the church and leadership.  

Challenged.  Challenged is how I feel right now.  Challenged because, while I believe whole-heartedly and passionately about doing this, I truly feel clueless.  I’ve read the books, I’ve heard the messages, I’ve even had it modeled for me; but I still feel like I miss the mark in doing this time and time again.  

I know I have been called to do this – to reach the next generation, pour into them all that has been poured into me, and release them to go and do the same.  Yet, I feel like I fail miserably at this.  I feel like I choose the wrong people to pour into.  I have been told by many that I have great wisdom and discernment and yet the people I do my best to disciple seem to fall like flies. 

I want to be more effective.  I want to make a true, lasting difference.  I want God’s glory to be expanded through the ministry that many young leaders will step into.  This morning my prayer is that the Lord would equip me and make me more effective for His Kingdom and not mine.

Lord, do it, please.

Monday Morning Quarterback

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Here’s how the goals are going:

  • Time with family: Just a regular deal this past week.  We celebrated Megan’s 10th birthday on Sunday afternoon and had fun visiting with our extended family.  Makenna wasn’t feeling all that great over the weekend – all she wanted to do was sleep – so we kept it low & slow for her.  
  • Exercising: I got back into a running routine this week just in time to stop due to my three day Darfur Fast For Life.  I didn’t want to exert any more energy than needed while doing a water only fast.  This next week I will be away at a conference in California and am looking forward to hitting the road and getting some miles in while helping Jake train for a 5K we’ll be doing together in the Fall.  
  • Weight: last week – 196  this week – 190. With the three day fast that I did I definitely lost a few pounds.  I’ feeling well and love the energy that I have due to a much more active lifestyle.  And no, Stuart, if you are reading this, no bran muffin needed!
  • Read Two Books Per Week:  I finished up the book The Hole In Our Gospel this week by Richard Stearns who is the president of World Vision.  It’s inspiring to see the change that can be brought into many lives by one person who is faithful to do what only they can.  This was a challenging book that will keep me going as I creatively look for ways to make a difference in this world.

That’s all for this weekly update.

My Fast Ends But The Hunger Continues

Put Your Dreams To The Test

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I finished reading the newest writing from John Maxwell,“Put Your Dream To The Test-10 Questions That Will Help You See It and Seize It” a few weeks ago but have held off on posting a review because I wanted to put more of what was mentioned in the book into practice.  In this book Maxwell gives the reader tools to use to evaluate your dreams.  The book is broken down into chapters that address different “measuring sticks” to discern which dreams are the ones that you hold onto and fight for all that it’s worth and those that you let go of to move on to what you should be going after.

I’ve read many books by John Maxwell before and this one I have found to be my favorite so far.  It is highly practical and applicable in many areas of life.  Rather than just being a ministry book or leadership book this tackles the topic of dreams and goals that we have for our lives.  We all should have dreams and goals so it is helps the average person reading the book.

Many of us have lofty dreams of changing the world or creating the next big thing.  This book gives great insight into whether those dreams are ones to pursue or dreams that we have created that will become a distraction to the things that we should be moving towards accomplishing.  With questions that help you dig below the surface of your dreams this book is a great resource for anyone wondering if they should grab hold of or let go of a dream.  I recommend this book to all.  But don’t just read it to say you have read it.  Make use of the questions and use the practical exercises to help you achieve your dreams.

Letter To The President

As part of my fast for Darfur Fast For Life, I am sending letters to government officials and media outlets. Here is the letter I’m sending to President Obama. Feel free to copy, edit and use it for your own. Please note that hand-written letters carry more weight – I’ve already written this out by hand and would encourage you to do the same.


Here is the mailing address for the president:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President,

I know that you have been an advocate for peace in Sudan since the genocide started in 2003. I appreciate everything you have done to speak out against the atrocities in Darfur, but the killing continues. Since the humanitarian aid agencies operating in Darfur were expelled by President al Bashir, more than 1 million people are at risk of losing their lives.

I am participating in a three-day water-only fast of solidarity with the people of Darfur this week to raise awareness of this terrible crisis, and am asking for your administration to take the following steps to ensure the safety of innocent victims in Darfur:

  • Publicly support the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudan’s President.
  • Urgently seek the return of humanitarian aid agencies to Darfur.
  • Pressure the UN Security Council to ensure protection for Darfur’s civilians.
  • Work towards a peace agreement in Sudan which allows Darfuri’s to return home.

Thank you very much for your attention to these matters.

Respectfully Yours,

Kevin Twombly

Hungry. Tired. Irritable.

And that is just a few of the things I am feeling right now.  It’s lunch time on day two of my Darfur Fast For Life and I am feeling the effects of going without food.  I know that what I am currently experiencing is nothing compared to what millions of people go through each day with no other option.  I have an option.  I have access to clean water and a roof to sleep under. I have a bed. In this fast I was hoping to join in solidarity with those who are fasting without an option; and yet the hunger I have right now is nothing compared to the despair of Darfur. Robbed of dignity, robbed of their homes, these refugees are on the run from brutal violence and rape, seeking out any form of hope. The smallest bit of hunger that I feel this day cannot even be compared to the hunger that Darfur woke up with today: a hunger for dignity, a hunger for freedom, a hunger for so much more than simply food.r3781500817

I find it difficult to concentrate or focus on one thing for any length of time.  It has only been 39 hours since my last meal and yet I am finding my thoughts paralyzed.  The thought of school children trying to learn with the rampant effects of hunger boggles my mind.  My energy is low and I think of the families that walk endlessly looking for a source of water or worse yet, those who have to run for their lives to hide from rebels who seek to destroy them.

We can do something about this.  We can contact our elected officials.  We can urge them to act on behalf of the people of Darfur.  Each of us can call 1-800-GENOCIDE and be connected directly to your elected officials for free. All you need is your zip code.  The hotline will provide you with up-to-date talking points related to current Darfur legislation and other actions your elected officials can take to help end the genocide. Call today and make Darfur a top priority for your representative, senators and the White House.

I can’t help but think back to the events that unfolded 15 years ago in Rwanda and how little was known about and done to stop the genocide that took place.  This is today.  A genocide is occurring.  We can act, we can speak up, we can make a difference and end this now.  I don’t want the history books that are yet to be written to record the fact that my generation let the same thing happen as the generation before us.  

Join me and take action on behalf of Darfur. 

1,000,000 Children Sponsored

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Just read this over at Shaun Groves Shlog.  Compassion International has announced that they now have reached 1,000,000 children being sponsored.  All I can say is, “Awesome!”

Mission Accomplished

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Every Summer for the past 6 years now I have been the director of our denominations Youth Camp for the Northern New England District.  Over the years the numbers have grown in attendance and I have greatly enjoyed leading the team that makes this camp happen.  It has been a true blessing to be a part of the leadership of the district and head up the youth camp.  We have had some phenomenal speakers and worship teams come to join us over the years – and we have had some that were not so phenomenal.  One thing that we have experienced throughout all who have come and gone is the simple fact that God works in spite of us.  In spite of our failures, mistakes, and poor planning – God shows up.

This simple fact has relieved much stress on my behalf during the course of our week of camp.  When a speaker makes  statement that goes against what we agree the Bible says, when a possibly intimate service with great life transformation turns into a Q&A session, when the worship team shows up and ends up being a rock band that sings a couple worship songs (Father Abraham is not a worship song!)  God shows up.  God works and brings about the life change that we pray for, fast for, cry out for.

This year I have been facing the challenge of dealing with the fixed costs of the campground that we rent, covering the costs of a camp program that oozes excellence, and shrinking numbers.  The economy is hitting us hard – directly and indirectly.  Our numbers for registration are half of what they have ever been.  I have found myself getting discouraged by this.  I ask myself the questions: 

  • Was last year that bad?
  • Has camp taken a back seat to other events?
  • Have we not promoted enough?

All of these questions seem to be coming back with similar responses.  Our camp is great.  Camp is a priority.  Promotion has been great.  In speaking with families around the district I am learning that many young people are doing many great things this summer in place of camp. 

I spoke with the mother of a 14 year old girl who will be attending a 20 day YWAM experience where she will be equipped and trained to minister in missions settings – she felt called to be a missionary at a previous years camp. 

I spoke with a pastor who is sending a group of 20 people – young and old – to the Philippines to minister to the poor and needy in that country – many of whom have attended camp in the past and heard the message that they need to get active in their service for the “least of these”. 

We have a church in our district that had been sending about 30 teens each year and they are not joining us this year.  This group will be leaving for Guatemala two weeks after our youth camp ends.  They each had to raise over $2000.00 to go on this trip.  Over the years at camp we have encouraged young people to sacrifice their own selfish desires and go where God is calling them. 

We have a few teens who will not be attending camp this year because they have started a band and are doing shows in some very rough environments.  They are going into these places and rocking out hard, gathering a following, and then pointing every person at the show towards Jesus through spoken words during and after the shows.  

I don’t believe our numbers being very low this year is a sign of a bad camp.  On the contrary, I believe we can and will celebrate an accomplished mission.  The message that has been proclaimed for years has been heard and young people are moving to action.  They are living out their faith.  They are going where they are called.  They are serving Christ and many people groups with passion.  Are our numbers a sign of failure?  No.  They are a sign that what we have been striving for is happening. 

And for that I rejoice!

Monday Morning Quarterback

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Here’s how the goals are going:

  • Time with family: I found some extra time to be with the kids this week as well as get some things done that needed to happen.  Makenna has taken to being my helper on Mondays as I am getting the hen house ready for our 6 chickens to move into.  It’s been a lot of fun seeing construction projects through the eyes of a five year old.  On Saturday both of the kids came with me to assist in the 30 Hour Famine with our Concord Area Youth Network and they were both a joy to be with and a real blessing for the youth that were there.  They pitched right in and helped out with the community service projects that we were working on.  I love being able to instill within my kids the value of serving and this turned into a great way to continue this effort.
  • Exercising: As I had just run a half marathon the Saturday prior I took it quite easy this week.  I did get out Thursday night and had a great time playing an hour of indoor soccer in the league that I play in.  Unfortunately I pulled a hamstring with my first warm up kick.  I have never experienced a pulled hamstring before and honestly – never want to again.  I’ve been icing and heating my leg the past few days and I’m ready to get out tomorrow to do some running.  I will be hitting the road and getting back into the swing of running again this week.    
  • Weight: last week – 193  this week – 196. The irony of a three pound gain is that I took part in the 30 Hour Famine this past weekend and went without food for 30 hours.  I would have thought that I would have stayed the same or last a couple more pounds.  Either way, I’m good with where I am at and will look to stay in a maintenance mode to stick around 195 for good.
  • Read Two Books Per Week:  I received the book The Hole In Our Gospel this week by Richard Stearns who is the president of World Vision.  With the 30 Hour Famine going on this past weekend which supports the financial needs of World Vision as well as my participation in the Darfur Fast For Life this week I felt it was very timely to read this.  I still haven’t finished the book but I am enjoying it greatly and look forward to completing it.  

That’s all for this weekly update.