Books I'm Reading, Discovery Church, Discovery Prescott, leadership, Ministry

Seven Week Speaking Sabbatical at 60

“Every leader functions on two stages–the front stage and the back stage. The front stage is the public world of leadership. The back stage is the private world of the leader. There are many resources to help you succeed on the front stage. But who is talking to you about you and your backstage life?

  • prioritize matters of the soul
  • develop healthy spiritual practices
  • address problems that lead to burnout
  • create a healthy rhythm in your life
  • craft a healthy leadership culture
  • develop better systems in your church
  • move toward an unhurried life”

From the book Replenish by Lance Witt


At the age of 60 I had a personal goal to take a six week sabbatical from my ministry responsibilities at Discovery for the above mentioned desire.

However, real life would not allow that to take place.

Then, an idea of a partial sabbatical took shape and here is how it worked.

Discovery church here in Prescott has developed and been given some amazingly gifted and talented people.

Seven of them responded to my request to speak on Sundays and each brought such a rich and diversified message.

Something besides giving me the much needed break came  out of this as well.

Over the seven weeks I noticed something I have never that experienced.

Each speaker showed our church what our actual theology was and that was powerful to witness.

Here are a few quotes and statements from the past seven weeks.

Week 1 with Keith Dionise 

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“Jesus is the continuation of the story of God.”

“We need the Gospel to transform the heart, to grow with our relationship with God.”

“Jesus is coming back…..Without this truth rooted in our heart we can be discouraged.”

“In our everyday practical life we are living one of four ways: our hearts are hardened to the word of God, we recognize the word of God but do not accept it, we accept the word of God but not the reconciliation, & we accept the reconciliation of God.”

“Without having a foundation of faith, we can become a skewed in our beliefs.”

“God doesn’t want us to have a piece of him, he did not sacrifice his son for this, to deny him is to deny the work he has done for us.”

“We are not here to reinvent the gospel … we are here to let the gospel will reinvent us.”

Keith Dionise

Listen to the sermon here:

Week 2 with Helen Jackson

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“As mother’s we are not given a manual. Our manual for life & reference is the word of God.”

“The Bible gives us instruction for birthing, marriage, family & anything else we may encounter in our lives.”

“We can say that we love God, but if we don’t read the Bible, how do we know how to love him?”

“We live with God & he lives with us, he is a personal God.”

“In our times of trial & trouble we can sometimes question God’s direction. The Bible can help answer our questions, & define God’s character.”

“We eat everyday, food is our body’s fuel. The Bible is no different, it is the food for our spiritual body. If you don’t fast for your physical body, why are you fasting your spiritual body?”

“Sometimes the message we feast on can be undesirable, & other times it can be pleasant, but remember no matter the message it feeds our spiritual being for the better.”

“To glorify God is to bless God.”

“We can glorify God by our character & our actions.”

“God did not create us for him to be our pleasure, he created us for HIS pleasure.”

“If you want to live for God & have a relationship with him, you cannot live without his word, the Bible.”

“It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, God can use you.”

“In today’s world, people are feeling beaten up, all they want is hope. God IS hope, he is faithful, present, giving, generous, & good. He will give direction, just read it.”

Listen to the message here.

Week 3 with Maureen Simpson

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“Never pass up an opportunity to break bread with someone who you don’t know. A new relationship & possibility to share the story of Christ may arrive from that occasion.”

“Live with intentionality with the people around you everyday. You do not need to be blood or have any other connection to any one person in order to serve selflessly.”

“Do not take for granted your availability to serve, worship and live as you do in America, because not everyone has that opportunity to do so.”

“The relationship of Christianity isn’t meant to be just for us, but to be given away & shared with others.”

This message is not available online.

Week 4 with James Dufour

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james 2

” I have not even read the entire bible and yet I have been ask to preach it.”

“Ephesians 6 tells us to “stand” three times.”

“I’m so excited for the next best book in the bible.”

“The belt of truth holds us together.”

“All of us are fighting a battle.”

“Our righteousness is found in Jesus.”


Week 5 with Jason Dyer

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“If we are only trying to please people, then we are not servants of God.”

“Deep down we all seek validation & approval.”

“As Christians we share because of our love for others. Regardless of what others may think of us, we must never miss an opportunity to share God.”

“Understand that the approval of “they” & “them”, doesn’t matter.”

“Do NOT seek the approval of man, you will only lose your way, because at the end of the day IT DOES NOT MATTER.”

“As a society we have been conditioned to a culture of “SELFIES”. Do not chase after the approval of man.”

“We are not called to donate & give for the acknowledgment & pride, when we give, give without saying.”

“A lot of us are caught up in seeking the approval of others & ourselves, that we are missing the real reason that we are here.”

“If you are struggling with the circumstances of your life & questioning your approval from God, remember, he GAVE up his ONLY son because GOD LOVES US.”

“God doesn’t only just love us, he cherishes us, we are valued by him.”

“No matter where we are at or what we’ve done, GOD loves us, because Jesus died for US.”

“Understand that God isn’t going to love a FUTURE version of yourself more than he loves you right NOW. ”

Listen to the message here:


Week 6 with Nolan Howell

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“What is Biblical meditation: Finding an opportunity to have a time of quiet to focus on God.”

“Every time God gives us something good, the world finds a way to pervert it.”

“With Biblical meditation we strive to fill our minds’ with positive thoughts & strengthen against the attacks of the enemy.”

“When we meditate on God’s word, he is with us.”

“Meditating on God’s word renews our souls. It allows us to discover God’s will for us.”

“Meditation is not easy, it takes practice. All too often when we try to focus on God, the distractions of life can come rushing in.”

“Do not be intimidated by Biblical meditation, if you’re not sure how to begin, start by focusing on a specific scripture or think about all of the gifts that God has given you, & thank him for those gifts.”

“Remember to focus on what’s next, Jesus.”

“Be honest with yourself, we may look like we are put together, but we’re not. The reality is we’re a mess. We need his help, but we may not know what to say. Guard your mind & thoughts & invite God in, to meditate on his word.”

Listen to the message here:


Week 7 with Boniface Musyoka Nyamu



“God came down to rescue the people from the power of the Egyptians, & to bring them up from that land to a land that is good & spacious, to a land flowing with milk & honey to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites…..(.& the websites)”

“At times we may know who we are, but along the way we can forget who we are. Remember though that God will always remember who we are.”

“A mirror is a tool that allows us to see ourselves. We have many different “mirrors” in our lives that let us see our selves.”

“The people in our lives can act as a mirror in the way that they can reflect onto ourselves what they themselves see in ourselves.”

“Our jobs can act as a mirror in reflecting our outward successes to those around us.”

“Our cultural influences such as social media can act as a mirror in the way that they reflect our thoughts & public personification of ourselves to others.”

“The hardest mirror for us to look into is our past which shows us our mistakes & regrets.”

“The most important mirror in our lives is the word of God. We are a reflection of him. Walk towards this mirror.”

“We have to trust in the word of God. We have to have faith to walk through the hardest parts of our lives & trust that God will not fail us, that the past is gone, & that he is working on us.”

“We put so much pressure on ourselves in the different “mirrors” that we choose to look into. Look into the word of God & see your true reflection. We are not perfect, but we will see ourselves freely when we look into God’s mirror.”

“God is the light, the light of our lives & our future.”

“Through the other “mirrors” we can get distorted views of our lives & believe the lies these false mirrors reflect to us.”

“Our distorted views that we reflect cause us to question our worth, value & purpose.”

“These distorted reflections can give us a false identity. We are not here by mistake, we belong here. Our true identity is because God wants us here, & that he LOVES us all so much.”

Thank you all who contributed to this seven week journey.

Pastor Steve



Friend and guest blogger Joel Malm


I ask my friend Joel Malm if he would be my guest blogger and he said, “absolutely!”

I love this guys perspective and friendship.



Two Mondays ago our Summit Leaders team started their ninety-mile trip rafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon.

As our bus approached Lee’s Ferry, the location we’d start from, our driver pointed out a small stream under a bridge we passed over.

“That’s the Paria. That little stream determines the color of the water for your trip.”

I kind of brushed off what he said because I didn’t really understand. We arrived at the river. The water was crystal clear with a nice green tint. You could see all the way to the bottom of the river. I was excited. Pure water rafting!

We set out on our rafts. I got some great underwater shots with my Go Pro. It was so clear! But about two miles into the trip our guide pointed to the right. “Looks like the Paria is running. Say goodbye to the clear water.”

I looked ahead and saw a nasty stream of brown water flowing into our crystal-clear Colorado River. For the next four days the entire river was muddy and opaque. Only on the final day of the trip was the river starting to clear up.

That one tiny stream turned the mighty Colorado River into a muddy mess.


I’ve been thinking about that river all weekend.

King Solomon says, Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Pr. 4:23)

Our hearts are meant to be pure and clear. But with all that’s going on in the world it’s easy to get cynical, bitter and jaded. It’s amazing how if we aren’t vigilant one little stream can pollute everything. One offense. One disappointment. One setback. We hold onto it and don’t forgive or release it. It ends up polluting everything we see, do and say. We get angry and resentful.

That river reminds me to fight with all I have to guard my heart. I want to keep it pure from anger and bitterness and cynicism.

There’s nothing quite as appealing as a crystal, clear stream of fresh water. People are drawn to water like that. It’s refreshing.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matt 5:8

Check out Joel’s newest book –  Vision Map.

Discovery Church, leadership

The Shadow Of Influence


This week At our Men’s Cafe we will did a teaching called the shadow of influence.
Really looking forward to exploring how our influence impacts people our entire lives and beyond.
I am looking at Acts 5:13-15 that talks about the time when people would bring their friends and family and lay them along the street so that “at least” Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them.
The passage goes onto say that everyone was healed.
It is also said that in India people would try to position themselves in a way that Mahatma Gandi would pass over them….ummm?

Wow, to be able to help people at that level would be unimaginable.

Here are my thought points I am developing.

Phillip Brooks says;
“no man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure and good, without the world being better for it.” 
“I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.” – anonymous
Really looking forward to the rippling effect of this talk11390255_10207017695781269_5219536675431105575_n.
Have a good shadow that lives beyond ya.
wall builders


Guest Blogger, leadership, Ministry

Monday, Monday… by guest blogger David Crabtree

If you are a pastor, you might really appreciate my guest blogger David Crabtree’s recent gift to our pastoral tribe.

Thanks David


Monday, Monday…

Sunday is, without question, the greatest day of the week for the preacher, at least, this preacher. It is the weekly gathering – a great “coming to the house” – corporate worship – “ecclesia” (called out and together). I love Sunday. I live Sunday. At 9:00 and 10:45 the joy, the art, the quest, the war of preaching is mine again, and for a few moments I move in the pure air of calling. The message delivered is a release – a relief – joy. Changed lives create an ever-new wonder, and even if the changes are not immediately evident, faith carries the hour, and it is well with my soul. I love to preach – it’s blue skies and sunshine for me.

By Sunday afternoon familiar clouds take shape. The first is fatigue, reminding me that I am not so young anymore. Weariness is followed by a cumulous gathering of self doubt – thickening – darkening, until the small irritants of the day begin to take on weight and the rain begins to fall. The man who, only that morning, walked so confidently to the pulpit, so sure, so free, falls into second guessing. Slights are magnified, fears are nourished, evidence of good is washed away as a regretted phrase, a fumbled point, a distraction or two – or five – or ten are suddenly remembered and rehearsed. On Sunday afternoon, about three o’clock, I often feel feel more like Elijah on the bad side of Mt. Carmel than the guy who called down fire and rain.

I fight it – I invoke the “whatsoevers” of Philippians 4:8. I remind myself that it’s not my performance that makes the difference. I do a half-dozen re-boots in my mind and push back hard… but I’m tired and drained… and I called that woman by the wrong name again… and the sound wasn’t quite right… and the guy half-way back kept me in a hostile stare… and in a quiet moment a baby went off… and… and… 3:00 on Sunday afternoon is a vulnerable place and time. It must be a busy time in hell with so many preachers to discourage, so much seed to snatch away before it takes root.

The biographies of the great preachers console me with the knowledge that my peculiar battle is not so peculiar (Spurgeon and Luther come immediately to mind). Monday’s play list is often the blues for preachers. I’ve also been at this long enough to know that it comes to pass – not to stay. After the Monday mess is cleared away and all the meetings have been met, Tuesday finds me at early morning prayer, and there is a stirring… a text… a sunrise over a fresh biblical landscape and a gentle wind whispers, “Sunday’s coming”… my soul smiles and my heart skips a beat.

I’m reminded that you can’t have glorious mountains without a few deep valleys – the most glorious sunshine will turn your life into a desert without a little rain.

David Crabtree is the lead pastor of Calvary Church Greensboro North Carolina
Arizona, leadership, outdoors

Adventure By Jeep To Hunt’s Mesa

Hunts Mesa is a rock formation located in Monument Valley, south of the border between Utah and Arizona in the United Statesand west of the border between Arizona’s Navajo County and Apache County. It is one of two popular interior destinations in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park for tourists to experience panoramic views of the popular sandstone formations from a distance. The other is Mystery Valley. A Navajo guide is required to hike to either.

Hunts Mesa forms the southeastern edge of Monument Valley and the northern edge of Little Capitan Valley. Its elevation is 6,365.[1] Access to Hunts Mesa is not through the general entrance of the park but rather through the sand dunes northeast of the town of Kayenta, Arizona.

Thank you Toby York for the adventure by Jeep.


Discovery Church, leadership

A new cloth klôTH/ – “There were no blacksmiths in the land.”


Shaping a culture takes someone who is ready, willing and able to shape a new cloth.

“There were no blacksmiths in the land.” 1 Samuel 13:19 NLT

There is needed today some bold spiritual blacksmiths!

A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from iron or steel by forging the metal; i.e., by using tools to hammer, bend, cut, and otherwise shape it in its non-liquid form. Usually the metal is heated until it glows red or orange as part of the forging process. Blacksmiths produce things like wrought iron gates, grills, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils, and weapons.

The Bible says, “There were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel in those days. The Philistines wouldn’t allow them for fear they would make swords and spears for the Hebrews…none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan” (1Sa 13:19-22 NLT).

To keep the Israelites in slavery, the Philistines removed all the blacksmiths. It was a devastating blow. Blacksmiths made swords to be used in battle and sickles to be used in the harvest field. Can you imagine the effect that would have on a nation? Satan’s tactics haven’t changed.

His goal is still to silence the molders and shapers of a new culture – a kingdom culture.

Why do we need spiritual blacksmiths? Because they understand how to shape raw material into something God can use. They not only shape it, they sharpen it. All great leaders have emerged from raw material. And tomorrow’s leaders are walking around today in raw form just waiting for a spiritual blacksmith to come along. Unfortunately many ministry leaders are so busy “running the show,” they don’t take the time to work with raw material. Spiritual blacksmiths aren’t only needed in the local church, they’re also needed in the nation to reshape our culture.

We need “influencers” who can reform the ranks of business, education, government and media. Any volunteers?
It’s time for the spiritual blacksmiths in the land to break free from the constraints of the Philistines and return to the ancient craft of shaping men and women for God’s service. The battle is too big for Saul and Jonathan to handle alone!

If you want to see your world change be willing to create it.

If you want a new kind of church, craft one

If you want a new family, nurture one.

If you want a new organization, build one.

Use the raw material around you and shape what you see in the future.

Even though what you see right now seems insignificant go for it anyway ….  “It’s often the small things that no one sees NOW that result in the big things that everyone wants LATER.”

Shape the future.


leadership, Ministry, outdoors

Guest blogger Rick Malm

I met Rick Malm in the fall of 2012 in Yosemite National Park. We climbed Half Dome together and then found out we were raise in the same community in the mid west.


I wanted to share his insight through one of his latest writings.


“I just wrote to one of our dear missionaries, a single woman plowing hard ground in Spain, who is going through some intense trials right now. As I wrote, I thought perhaps others might benefit from what I shared with her. So here it is:
I know it is a stressful time for the ministry but it is in those stressful times that God produces good fruit in our lives. We have been going through that personally also but finding God faithful through it all.

Something He shared with me. A principle you see in the Word is that life only comes out of death. A seed has to “die” to reproduce. Jesus had to die or He would have remained the only son of God. His death brought many sons and daughters into the kingdom.

In other words, until there is death there can be no multiplication. But, any area of our life that dies is now a candidate for resurrection power. And just like Christ’s resurrected body was so much more glorious than the earthly tent, so, anything, any part of our life or ministry that dies, can now be resurrected far more glorious. It may not look the same but it will be far more fruitful and productive and glorious than it ever could have been if it had not died.

So, we must embrace the death of vision, even of hope. By doing so, we are embracing God and casting all our trust and hope upon Him. I pray that casts some light into a dark night. St John of the Cross spoke of a night that can be brighter than the day. Because, in that night we discover God in more intimate ways and He becomes a brilliant glow in our soul.”


My Goods friends Joel and and his pops Rick Malm



Rick is the president of  CTEN is an interdenominational missionary sending agency “Helping Ordinary People Partner With God To Accomplish The Extraordinary.
US Office:
Canadian Office:

leadership, Yosemite

Summitt Leaders Yosemite – The Anti – Conference

I just wanted to post the other side of our week in Yosemite.

Sitting in camp Curry with Mark Batterson, Joel Malm, Doug Reed and other spiritual leaders last week was a defining moment for me.
Summit Leaders put together an amazing “Anti-conference” in the words of founder Joel Malm.
Man I love that kind of thinking and I loved that kind of conference.
We worked hard physically and pressed in deep spiritually.

The opportunity to hang out with and learn from Author and pastor Mark Batterson was in itself epic and stretching for all of us at the event.
Mark Batterson shared with us out of his newest book Soul Print.

Here are just a few quotes by Mark and others I picked up on the trip.

“Everybody wants to be president, but no many want to do president”. –  Carl Kuhl

“It’s water we’re talkin about” – one of our dudes.

“Most people are on the world, not in it“.-John Muir

“it is by far one of the special temples of nature that I was ever privileged to enter.” – John Muir

“there is a difference between prayer and praying through.” Mark Batterson

“Steve, you are going the wrong way.” – Joel Malm

“If David goes into battle as Saul, he doesn’t have a chance.” – Mark Batterson

“Defining moments define your life.” – Mark Batterson

“Don’t accumulate possessions, accumulate experiences .”  – Mark Batterson

“Time is measured minutes – life is measured in moments.” – Mark Batterson

“Destiny is a by product of the decisions we make.” M.B.

“We are all just one decision away from a totally new life.” – M.B.

“If you can do this, you can do anything” – etching on the top of Half dome

“if you run away from your fears you’ll be running your entire life.” – M.B. regarding half dome climb

“It is what it is”. Me

“This trail never ends” – Doug Reed

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” — John Muir

“The greatest freedom in the world is having nothing to prove.” – M.B

“let’s do this”. – me

What an amazing out of the norm conference –

A changed leader
A challenged learner