I grew up with some handicaps. My teachers wrote” ND has big problems with reading and writing”, they said I was a dyslexic.
I believed them. My grades where bad. Than became worse.
My self-esteem was below zero. I didn’t talk much, because of my insecurity I started to stutter.
I was blocked
Stories always fascinated me. I would think up grand adventures, but I was afraid to write them down.
I couldn’t spell.
At the age of 12 I moved with my family from Switzerland to the USA. Everything was in English now. At first it brought fear to my spelling ability, but I realized that it was a chance to start fresh. No teacher knew that I was a dyslexic. As I learned a new language my stuttering started to disappear. My self-esteem started to grow.
When I returned to Switzerland at the age of 15 I had to learn German again. Still afraid of making mistakes I did my minimal and started to use my mouth over writing for communication. I had accepted that I couldn’t write, so I would become a speaker. Working as a salesman and a youth pastor was great. Speaking was my greatest tool. I didn’t have to write a lot, or let someone else do it for me. I had accepted the inability to write.
At the age of 36 my life took another turn. My job changed from being a youth pastor to a coach and leader developer. Communication didn’t change right away. I still spoke a lot. More and more people told me, that what I said would be great in writing.
At the end of 2009 I wrote my first blog post.
Today you can free.
“With God nothing is impossible!”
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“Risk great things for God, and God will do great things.” – William Carey
“Oh my God”, I cried out, “Something like this may not happen a second time! I will not survive it!” What had happened?
One Sunday I had invited a friend to come to church with me. I could feel his tension; he hadn’t entered a church service for many years. I was sitting next to him with a thankful heart, because God had answered my prayers and my friend finally came to church with me. After the service was over, I asked him: “How did you like it?”
He turned to me with an angry face and said: “Don’t you ever do this again! I haven’t seen such a boring, lifeless, irrelevant and unprofessional performance in a long time. I would rather sleep in my bed than in these chairs here. Don’t you ever invite me to a church service again!”
My joy vanished in less than a second and turned into frustration, but I did not give up, so I asked him: “Is it the faith in God that made you upset?” – “No,” he said, with a now more sad tone in his voice, “it is the style of the church, the sound and style of the music, the atmosphere, and how the people interact with each other.” I knew exactly what he was talking about; I told him that I was sincerely sorry about it.
That night I couldn’t go to sleep for hours. His words were hurting me. I knew that his criticism had hit the bulls eye.
I cried to God: “Why is church the most boring place on earth for many people? What has changed in church that so many people are afraid of it?”
This experience set a godly, radical energy free in me. A church is put together of very many different kinds of people. It could become the most attractive and interesting place on earth with God changing lives if only everyone would serve by using their personal talents. Then the church would have that unlimited power, which would spread sparks of hope.
“The world will thank you, if you try something new.” – Anselm Grün
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I’ve heard people say that Jesus is boring, living in purity is a drag, and they’d rather go to hell because at least they’ll be able to party with their friends.
Sorry, but that’s messed up.
If anyone knows how to throw an over-the-top, blow-your-mind kind of party, it’s the Creator of the universe, the one who invented fun and pleasure.
As lovers of God and doers of his will, Christians should be the best party people on the planet!
That’s why I think we should smile, we should dance, we should celebrate, we should laugh, and we should get over our serious selves and represent the joy of heaven.
I’m just saying.
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Two of our most proven people will leave ICF Zurich this summer 2013 with their whole family. ND & Sophal Strupler will plant a new ICF church in Cambodia. They are ready for a really big adventure.
We (ICF Zurich) asked how all this happened and what they feel personally.
Interview with ND Strupler
How on earth did it come about that you decided to move to Cambodia with your family? Your wife Sophal is an adoptive child from Cambodia…
This has to do with our first decision we took over 20 years ago: We where part in the ICF project and are prepared to go “all in”. Now it’s the same just with another challenge. It is a consequence of our first decision wanting to have an excited life in the kingdom of God. Sophal was the one who took the initiative to plant an ICF in Cambodia. It wouldn’t have been my choice, I would have picked California (another place with “C”…). But when she vocalized this, I also realized that like a puzzle many pieces fit together and it really made sense.
Where in Cambodia will you start and why?
After a time of research we chose the city of Siem Reap. At the moment, this is the fastest growing city in Cambodia because it is a tourist spot which attracts many Cambodians from the surrounding provinces. Unfortunately, it’s not near to the sea but one flying hour from Siem Reap.
What is your and your family’s motivation to take such a step after such a long time of active church work in ICF Zurich? You are not 20 any more…
Exactly this motivates us! Continue reading Starting Into A New World
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezek. 36:26-27)
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Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” Hebrews 13:5, 6
Thank you God for reminding me.
You will NEVER walk off and leave me.
This is good news in a world where this has become a common practice.
I want to take a stand and show the world, that STAYING is worth it.
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“By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” The Bible, Eph. 2:8-9
No one can brag about his or her good deeds because our works cannot save us.
Salvation comes through the grace of God as we place our faith in Continue reading Lord Of Grace
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What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
As you will discover, the answer is fairly simple, but it changes your life completely. The word disciple refers to a student or apprentice. Disciples in Jesus s day would follow their rabbi (which means teacher) wherever he went, learning from the rabbi’s teaching and being trained to do as the rabbi did.
Basically, a disciple is a follower, but only if we take the term follower literally. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is as simple as obeying His call to follow. When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow.
They took Jesus’s call literally and began going everywhere He went and doing everything He did.
It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person.
Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). That’s the whole point of being a disciple of Jesus: we imitate Him, carry on His ministry, and become like Him in the process. Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a “Christian” without being like Christ.
A “follower” who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense?
Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying. Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.
No one can really believe that this is all it means to be a Christian. But then why do so many people live this way? It appears that we’ve lost sight of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
The concept of being a disciple isn’t difficult to understand, but it affects everything.
I only follow people I love. I love Jesus!
Up to this point in your life, would you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ?
Why do you say that?
Do you see evidence of your faith as described in Luke 6:40?
Inspired from the book Multiply by Francis Chan