Category Archives: Teamwork

His Divine Rhythm

The word perichoresis comes from two Greek words, peri, which means “around” and chorea, which means “dance.” It is a term that the early church used to describe the relational intimacy between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s what some have referred to as The Dance of the Trinity.

I believe God wired us in such a way that our deepest longings can only be truly satisfied when we are in a relationship with Him; learning to dance in His divine rhythm.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

I long to do life more and more in step with God’s unforced rhythms of grace. And I long to see the church – the body of Christ – do the same!

I’m reminded of Jesus’ invitation here in Matthew 11 when I hear songs like the one below: One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful. You may not care for the song but you can’t help but be amazed at how these five guys do their part to contribute to one rhythm.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Church, Dance, Discipleship, God, God the Father, Grace, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, involvement with the church, Jesus, Music Video, Perichoresis, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth, Teamwork, Trinity

A little support can go a long way!

If I could get paid for being a mobile advertisement I’d be rich!

Age has its advantages and its disadvantages. One of the down sides is a body that doesn’t work as well and occasionally requires a little extra help.

When Brynden, our youngest (12), and I go to hit tennis balls I wear a wrist wrap/thumb stabilizer on my left hand, a wrist wrap on my right hand and a knee wrap on my right leg. Whew!

I don’t much care for wearing all the joint wraps but I sure enjoy what they enable me to do.

In essence, their support is indispensible. They help me to do what would otherwise be impossible.

It’s a new day and a new week. God surely has specific plans for each of us, but He never intended for us to be Lone Rangers.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

What might get accomplished for the kingdom of God if we consciously looked beyond ourselves and asked God to use us to support and encourage those around us?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Encouragement, God, Kingdom of God, Loving others, Teamwork

Fearless: The Adam Brown Story

I’ve read my share of inspirational stories, but none compares to that of Adam Brown – a SEAL Team SIX Operator. From hometown hero… to drug addict doing jail time… to Navy SEAL, it’s a story of triumph second to none.

Fearless is a chronicle of heroism and humanity at its best. Adam Brown was a man of extremes, whose courage and determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman.

It’s about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top-tier of the US military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam’s  final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

“As a rule, we don’t endorse books or movies or anything regarding the command where I work, and Adam Brown worked, but as the author writes in Fearless, ‘you have to know the rules, so you know when to bend or break them.’ This is one of those times. Read this book. Period. It succeeds where all the others have failed.” ~ Anonymous SEAL Team SIX Operator

“Fearless is a clear and deeply honest portrait of an authentic American man who lived and loved with an intrepid personal velocity. For most of us, the failures and disappointments in life take their toll. Not for Adam Brown. He vanquished all life’s heartbreaks with faith, humility, and hard work.”
~ Kurt Johnstad, screenwriter, Act of Valor and 300

Fearless will hit bookshelves next week but I got the chance to read a prerelease copy and had trouble putting it down. I laughed… I cried… I was inspired to live life to the fullest.

To learn more or to order the book go here.
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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Commitment, Courage, Desire, Determination, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Loyalty, Sacrifice, Teamwork

Keep learning!

For 91 years, James Henry, a lifelong fisherman, did not know how to read or write.

Now 98, the Mystic, Connecticut man has not only learned to do both but has even penned a memoir full of short stories.

“I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t read or anything like that, but I covered myself pretty good in certain respects. I had to because I didn’t know what to do,” Henry said.

He sought his wife’s help several years ago, but she was too sick to help. After her death, Henry’s granddaughters encouraged him to learn and were able to get help from the Literacy Volunteers of Eastern Connecticut.

His nephew Bobby helped in a different way. Bobby stopped taking phone calls from him and only communicated with Henry through handwritten letters.

Mark Hogan, a retired English teacher, met with Henry twice a week and taught him everything from letters to punctuation.

“He was very willing to do this thing, but he had his own prejudices against things like punctuation, apostrophes, he called them butterflies,” Hogan said.

After nearly a year of tutoring, Henry began writing short stories and from those came the memoir “A Fisherman’s Language.”

Can you imagine reading and writing after spending all those years just guessing; just faking it to get by?

I usually go for one main point but there are just too many aspects to this incredible story. So I’ll mention some and you take the path that resonates with you.

Never too old: Age is not the limit that we make it out to be. Many of humanity’s best contributions have come from our senior citizens.

Perseverance: The finish line is reached by those who keep putting one foot ahead of the other. Life is a marathon, not a sprint!

It’s not too late: As long as there is breath in our lungs, there is still time. Go for it!

Traveling companions: James had others who rallied around him to share the journey. We all need traveling companions!

No faking: James felt shame about not being able to read and write. When we get real with needing help we lose the shame and live into our full potential sooner.

Until Jesus comes back for us or death ushers us into His presence, let’s keep learning!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Authenticity, Determination, Inspiration, involvement with the church, Teamwork

They didn’t get there alone!

The hype surrounding Super Bowl LXVI has been relentless!

Previews… interviews… reviews… Taking it all in would be tantamount to enduring the most grueling of tortures!

  • Who had the harder time getting here?
  • Which defense is toughest?
  • Which offence is the most potent?
  • Who will be the MVP?
  • Who will win?

And everyone has an opinion!

But one thing is for sure. No matter how good a player is, no matter how vital his role, they didn’t get there alone! Regardless of who wins (won, depending on when you read this), it took a team to get there and win the big one.

God has a super-bowl-sized adventure out there for each of us. But none of us will get there alone. We were wired for relationships and we need each other. Only when we give ourselves to sharing the journey will we fully embrace all that God has in store for us.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ~ Ephesians 4:16

Who are you sharing the journey with and how are you involved with the church family?

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Filed under God, involvement with the church, Teamwork

No limit to what God can use

An unlikely duo in East Tennessee has teamed up to help people in need. West Towne Christian Church in Knoxville is working with Ole Smoky Mountain Moonshine in Gatlinburg to donate buckets to Haiti.

West Towne member Stephen Chen came up with the idea after a recent ministry project at the church. Members were building walls to build a church in Haiti, when ministry coordinators explained another need for the country.

“The biggest need they have right now are 5 gallon buckets with handles,” said Chen.

Luckily, Chen knew where to find a large amount of those buckets. His son, Stephen Chen, works for Ole Smoky Mountain Moonshine. The distillery gets more than one hundred 5 gallon buckets each week with their maraschino cherry shipments.

Of the distilleries seven types of alcohol, moonshine-soaked cherries is a favorite among customers.

“We typically like to let them soak for 2 to 3 weeks and after that we like to call it a party in a jar. Its, pretty good stuff,” joked the younger Chen, Jamie.

Between the church and the distillery, both father and son recognized an opportunity to help.

So far, West Towne has made three trips to Gatlinburg. Members use the church van to haul buckets and tubs from the distillery. However Stephen said an easier haul is in the works.

“We’ve gotten some donations from some people at church,” he said. “We’re going to be buying a box truck very shortly, and hopefully that will be more user-friendly.”

The arrangement has caused more than a few giggles. Stephen, a non-drinker, also sees the irony.

“It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, you know? What does a Tennessee distillery, a church, and Haiti have in common? And you’re just waiting for the punch line,” he said.

West Towne will store the buckets at the church until they have enough to fill a large shipping container. Then, missionaries with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission will arrange to have the supplies shipped to Haiti.

If there is a punch line, says Chen, it has a more serious undertone.

“I think God can use everything for the good and I think he’s really done that in this case.”

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Filed under influence with the world, Loving others, Serving, Teamwork

God makes no small plans!

It was a project five years in the making… or waiting; depending on how you look at it. That’s how long we’ve lived in our current house. Five years!

We’ve worked on lots of projects during those five years. New wiring, new drywall, adding a second bathroom (very helpful!!!), new plumbing, cement in the garage, and LOTS of painting; not to mention the ongoing maintenance and the occasional repair. But in five years and all those projects there was one that always got put off… until this past Saturday.

Organizing my tools in the garage!

Don’t get me wrong. I value “a place for everything and everything in its place” as much as the next guy. It’s just not a strength for me. Enter Susan… stage left! My wife has a gift for organizing. She endured several hours of miserable heat to help me get my stuff put together. I’m sort of hesitant to do anything out there for fear of messing it up! LOL

So what motivated this combined effort to finally tackle my tool corner in the garage? My nephew Joel from Michigan is coming for the week. We’ve hired him to help us get some carpentry projects done around the house. I don’t know what all we’ll be able to get done in one week but we’re excited to find out!

There are just certain occasions in life when we need to acknowledge that we can’t do it on our own and that we need help. It’s not always easy to ask for help; I’m typically bad at it. But it’s a big part of why God gave us each other to share the journey.

The really cool thing that happens when we learn to ask for help and work together is that God takes our individual talents and multiplies them to do amazing things for His kingdom! God makes no small plans; and each of us has a part to play in His story!

Who will you ask for help this week or who will you help?

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Filed under Encouragement, Friendship, God's Will, involvement with the church, Loving others, Serving, Teamwork