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Category: Faith
Interview with Columbian Missionary

Brittany interviews a Columbian Missionary who came to town to speak in the local university chapel. Jeannine has a fascinating story and is a tremendous soul-winner both in her prison ministry and in her travels.

Mega & Meta Narratives

One of my favorite classes this semester is Biblical Narrative with Dr. Joe Dongell. Brand new at ATS, this course looks at Scripture as a whole, proposing an underlying mega-narrative supported by a number of meta-narratives. (If that was somewhat “Greek” to you it also was for me until yesterday.) In an after-class discussion, Dr. Dongell presented what he believes to be the overarching story (“mega-narrative”) in the Bible followed by various themes (“meta-narratives”) that are present throughout.

For an introduction to mega-narrative we turn to Genesis, the book of beginnings or the place our story starts. Genesis can be broken down into basically two eras: the first recorded in chapters 1-11, and the second in chapter 12 to the end of the book.

In the first era we see God breathing life and hence order into the chaos followed by sin and death reversing the process. The progression is startling: a preference for something other than God (3:6) leads to murder (4:8), then to out-of-control revenge (4:24) and then eventually to unsustainable violence (6:5, 11). The antithesis of life is highlighted in the first recorded genealogy (5:3-31) in the phrase, “and then he died.” It’s a resounding endbeat for each life except Enoch. The first era ends with God “cleaning house” (the flood) and re-ordering the chaos followed by a genealogy that depicts a “diminishing life trend”; life spans descend from 500 down to 119 (11:11-25).

In the second era we see God establishing a people who will be blessed and be a blessing to all the peoples of the world. Just to be clear, this term “bless” and its derivatives should not be confused with that which we ask over a meal, a “good-day” to passersby, or our response when someone sneezes. Defined as “breathing life” into another, we see God infusing Abraham with life so that he can bestow it on others. Lot is successful when he is with Abraham; the redundant mention of their separation (13:11) draws attention to Lot’s downward spiral that follows when he is not connected to the one whose purpose was to breathe life into others.

God’s desire to impart life to those who bear His image constitutes the mega-narrative. God gifts humanity with an environment teeming with life and beauty, and in the middle of it all, a tree that will sustain life forever.

This glimpse of eternal life, however, is quickly snuffed out when an enemy misguides human choice toward sin (preference for anything other than God) which ultimately leads to death. The plot thickens throughout Scripture; the mega-narrative reveals a God Who is continually injecting life into His special creation while Satan undermines and destroys. God’s injunction to be fruitful and multiply (1:28, 9:1) is constantly thwarted by the satanic threads of violence and murder. Multiple stories of family dysfunction (Isaac/Esau vs. Rebekah/Jacob, Judah & Tamar, Joseph vs. his brothers) during the second era in Genesis are further evidence of Satan’s attempt to stop the Abrahamic lineage of blessing. We might also note that Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel all suffer from barrenness. Satan wants to stop a lineage that will ultimately produce a Mediator who will re-introduce eternal life.

The meta-narratives of Scripture are other themes we are quite familiar with: Sacrificial atonement, Kingdom, Covenant, and Redemption to name a few. These themes and threads throughout Scripture all tie into the mega-narrative–God’s passion for imparting life to fallen humanity.

The Bible is God’s story of eternal life for you and me. It’s His story (his-tory) that you and I are invited and privileged to join!

 

 

The Problem with Faith

When I was quite young my parents took our family to hear Dave Hunt speak on some of the common deceptions to which Christians have succumbed. One of those dealt with the issue of faith.

Dave told a personal story of living in Southern California and wishing one day that the heat would be replaced with a sudden snow flurry. Having been exposed to the hyper-faith movement he got down on his knees and attempted to “pray in faith.” He ratcheted up his own belief by praying, “I believe it will snow…yes, I believe…I believe, I believe, I believe!” At some point he sprang to his feet, ran to the window, and threw open the drapes to reveal the product of his faith.

Dave then shouted to us in the audience: “Thank God it wasn’t snowing!” He went on to point out that having faith in faith is not faith. We must have faith in God alone. Just think for a moment how crazy our world would be if everyone simply controlled the Master of the universe with their own amped up faith power? Can you imagine the products of our selfishness or the conflicts of interest by everyone who “prayed in faith”?

Faith has always presented Christians with a dilemma. On one hand many simply resign themselves to God’s supposed will and never pray in faith. They feel they are really godly to believe that God will simply do what needs to be done on their behalf. Unfortunately this often translates into a lack of faith and hence sin. They have not because they never ask. On the other hand there are those who believe that their faith will always be rewarded. If they have enough faith, that is, having “faith in faith,” they will get whatever they ask for.

Both sides have a point. Both sides have scriptures to back up their perspective. And both tend to be reacting toward the other. The problem is when one does not read both scriptures together or in context. We tend to either take one position or the other instead of living in tension between the two (see a blog post I did a few months back on the Either/Or Dilemma in Church World).

When it comes to faith we ought not to fall into one ditch or the other. Throughout the Gospel narratives we see Jesus getting more excited about random examples of faith than anything else. We ought to be people of faith. We ought to pray for healing. We ought to “expect great things from God and attempt great things for Him” (William Carey). But we also ought not to presume on God. We should not name it and claim it under the guise of having faith. We need to remember that as children of a Kingdom we are under the control of a King. Our faith is submitted to God’s perfect will. While we can certainly influence the hand of God we are not ultimately sovereign. God has the final say.

Easter Blues

It’s Saturday night and Easter Sunday is just hours away. I’ve watched several online videos about the significance of the Death and Resurrection of Christ but I’ll have to admit—I’m feeling numb to it all. I know I should be excited about this day. I know it’s the pivotal event for Christ-followers. But I’m just not feeling it.

Does this just happen to me? Have I heard the story so many times that it no longer grabs me emotionally? Can I blame it on the burnout I’ve recently been grappling with? (I’ve been traveling a lot lately; too many road miles it seems. My body has also been run down; I think I’m finally getting over a head cold that has gripped me for several weeks.)

Or is it simply another reminder that our faith is not based on feeling but on fact?

Not too long ago I delivered six sessions on one day. By number five I was really dragging. I felt that my presentation had fallen flat; that I had lost all passion for one of my favorite stories in the Bible. What fascinated me, however, was how well the Q & A period went right after I had finished my labored delivery. We got on to this issue of faith versus feeling. That faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). That often as we mature in our faith our emotions, feelings, and experiences lessen—that we must tenaciously hang on, especially when we don’t feel like it. That sometimes, though not always, feelings might follow the choice to act out of our beliefs.

I believe that the death and resurrection of Christ is the greatest event that ever took place in history. I have a joy that is deep-seated though not always felt. And tomorrow I will choose to worship with thousands of others based on my beliefs rather than on my feelings. Perhaps my emotions will be touched, and possibly not.

So how about you? Have you discovered that the longer you follow Christ the more you walk by faith than by sight? What about the frequency of your feelings and emotions? If that is going down how do you deal with it? Is your faith growing cold or is it actually growing deeper?

Contact MeContact Me

Let's Connect

I’d love to connect with you via email or phone. Snail mail can be sent to the address listed below.

Address

333 East Margaret Drive, Wilmore, KY 40390

Phone

(+1) 269.625.3400

Booking InfoBooking Info

Logistics and Details

Select me as your speaker, and I will give you my best effort. See me as a catalyst or facilitator that will help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your event. When you win, I win. It’s as simple as that. I’m here to serve you in life’s journey!

Venue

A venue for the event should be chosen with the target audience in mind. All-day or half-day workshops are ideally hosted in rooms where food can be served and participants can gather around tables for group dialogue and breakout sessions (click on links for preferred room setup: round/long tables). All venues should be suited for multi-media presentations and wired for sound.

Once a date and presentation topic have been confirmed for an event, the venue name and address along with a contact phone number should be submitted for advertisement purposes. These will be posted in my speaking schedule and used in advertising media.

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Equipment

A room featuring a multi-media projector with 3000 lumens or greater is preferred for all events. I will use my own projector when one is not available. Please note that for most presentations and workshops I need my laptop at the front of the venue from where I’ll be speaking. My system can accommodate VGA/HDMI/DVI cables. Most of my presentations are designed for widescreen (16:9).

For audio I prefer a lapel or Countryman microphone. For presentation/video audio I can supply my own speaker for groups under 100 people. For larger groups I need an audio cable (3.5mm mini stereo) that plugs directly into my laptop.

Replace lecterns and pulpits with a small table or stand on which to place a laptop.

For workshops, have a flip chart or white board available with markers in several colors.

An eight-foot table should be available on which to place books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources for sale. Cash, checks, and credit cards are all accepted.

Fees

I do not charge a set fee when speaking at non-profit events. However, donations are welcome to support my family, cover bills, and feed my Puggle. Suggested donation amount is $500/day plus travel expenses. If I’m within 8 hours of an event I will drive (suggested reimbursement of $250), otherwise I typically fly (if within the USA, $500). I fly out of Lexington, KY and typically purchase my own tickets; a reimbursement check can be mailed to 333 East Margaret Drive, Wilmore, KY 40390.

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I’d be delighted to come to your event and speak. I typically keep my events within a 1-3 day time period due to commitments to my family; anything over this length of time is generally reserved for international travel. Workshops can be facilitated as whole-day or half-day events. My multi-part series can be easily held over a weekend, beginning Friday night and ending Sunday morning or beginning Sunday morning and ending Monday evening.

About MeAbout Me

Speaker, author, and life coach.

Born in Ontario, Canada, I moved to El Salvador at age 4 to live as a missionary kid for three years. At age nineteen I moved to Alberta, Canada where I taught school for three years. After leading several short term teams to Asia focused on unreached people groups, I married my sweetheart Amy and lived in Northern Indiana for Familya year and a half. In 1997, we moved with our infant daughter Brittany to Thailand where I served as director of Global Tribes Outreach. During our ten-year stint in Southeast Asia, God blessed us with two more children—Courtney and Jamin. In 2008 we moved back to North America and bought our first house in Kentucky, USA. I acquired a Masters in Christian Leadership from Asbury Seminary in 2014 and now travel both domestically and internationally to develop leaders.

As a leadership developer and life coach I help non-profit and business leaders understand how to maximize their God-given potential to lead and serve others. I am the author of A Serving Leader’s Devotional and the President of the Reverb Network.

I’ve spoken broadly on personal & global mission, leadership, team building, and numerous Biblical subjects over the last 20 years on four continents and numerous states and provinces in the USA and Canada.

I am committed to a Biblical worldview and dedicated to motivating the church toward missional thinking and practice in all areas of life. I believe that everyone has a God-given purpose to love and serve others like Jesus. I firmly believe that having our thinking challenged is not enough; it must be translated into change.

MY STORY

I have heard from other staff members who agree with me, this was one of the best/productive workshops we've attended.

Dan Domer
Staff Member, Covenant Church, Winterville, NC

Your talk rocked my world.  

Qian Wang
Perspectives Student, College Station, TX

Luke Kuepfer’s high-energy presentation of the material was delightful, articulate, and profound! If you are looking for a fresh and life-changing look at Jesus’ servant leadership model, look no further! Give Luke a call!

Don Showalter
President, Hearts Alive!

Luke is a dynamic speaker with the gift of clearly articulating Biblical truths in an easy-to-understand manner. He speaks in humility but with authority, and injects his message with the experience and global perspective gained from living abroad as a missionary for many years.

Santosh David Poonen
Elder, River of Life Christian Fellowship, Loveland, CO

Luke’s enthusiasm and passion for the local church and its impact in the community is inspiring. I highly recommend his teaching and ministry!  

Clarence Miller
Deacon, Sharon Mennonite Church

“Transformational” is the one word I would use to describe the seminar. Luke has a true gift in communicating God’s truths with clarity and passion.

Joe Bacher
Pastor, Foothills Fellowship Westminster, SC

Luke is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, presenting the interactive material creatively. It is a unique presentation unlike the usual “leadership seminars” taught from the front. Luke presents it with expertise, fun, and interest in each attendee.

David Livingstone
Regional Manager, North-East & Mid-Atlantic Region, The JESUS Film Project

Luke really has an incredible way of captivating everyone’s attention and making a seminar meaningful. He speaks from his heart and lives what he preaches. As a result of this Encounter we’re taking our family to Southeast Asia on a two-month mission trip with the possibility of moving there long-term.

Lloyd & Mary Ellen Esh
Pastor, New Covenant Mennonite Fellowship New Holland, PA

REVIEWS

SKILLS

Years Lived Abroad
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14-ers Climbed in CO
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2014 - 2016

SPEAKER, COACH, & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPER

Presentations and workshops in both non-profit and business venues around the world on leadership, people skills, and life purpose.

2011- 2013

STUDENT @ ASBURY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Masters Degree in Christian Leadership.

2009 - 2010

STUDENT @ THOMAS EDISON STATE COLLEGE

Bachelor’s Degree online in Liberal Studies.

1997 - 2008

DIRECTOR @ GLOBAL TRIBES OUTREACH

Founded and served as Field Director of Global Tribes Outreach (GTO), a non-profit organization based in Southeast Asia committed to church planting and social work.

1994 - 1996

WORKER IN CONSTRUCTION AND AGRICULTURE

Floor finishing in concrete construction and equipment operator on a cash crop farm.

1990 - 1993

TEACHER @ PRAIRIE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

Taught elementary through high school students in a self-directed learning environment.