Blue Lights

Excited to have Emma share on our family blog today.    One of the great things we LOVE about our new home, community and church family is that they really do everything they can to help equip the next generation and it begins by training and discipleship.  One of the programs Grace does for their 6th-8th graders out in the public middle schools is called “Thrive”.  On Tuesdays students go before school and get trained in worship, testimony, drama etc.  And then on Fridays the students lead and teach other students through worship, drama and teaching. Friday’s are 100% student lead.  I just got back from dropping Emma off this morning where she will be helping out with the drama this week.  BUT a few weeks ago, Emma shared her testimony and she wanted to share it here with you. Each person in our family plays an important role as we all live into our family mission: To show and tell people Jesus.  Thanks for representing our family well Emma.  We love seeing what God is doing in you and through you, through brokenness and restoration, and many God questions. So everyone, welcome Emma!



This post is by Emma Rhodes –  I am 12 yrs old.

My name is Emma and I will be sharing my testimony. One thing about me is that I like an adventure. My dad is a preacher and travels a whole lot and our family’s mission is to show and tell people Jesus. I have been to a bunch of different places but recently our family has started a new adventure. We just moved to Snellville, GA in November from Pawleys Island, South Carolina. We had been in that area for 4 years before moving here.

Moving in 6th grade is really hard. I have always trusted in God from a young age, and my trust was put to a test when we moved to Atlanta. I loved living at the beach in a small school with lots of close friends. Our family loved all the people there that we did life with. I was scared when I moved to Atlanta that I might not have that. As time passed, I had a lot of big God questions about why this was happening to me. “Why do I have to move?” “Why do I have to leave my friends” or like “why do I have to go to a new 3 story middle school?”

Just recently some of my questions were answered. During worship at LUG God gave me a sign with the lights in the auditorium. All of the worship lights turned blue. At first I had no idea what it meant. But I felt like this wasn’t a coincidence but God was trying to speak to me. I felt like God was with me at that moment and that he was concerned about me and cared for me. But as I began to pray about it I remembered In language arts we were studying the Mayans and the color blue in their culture represented sacrifice. And I felt like God was telling me that following God was always worth the sacrifice.


(Photo taken at LUG)

From that point on my relationship with Christ has changed. Atlanta is feeling more and more like home since then. Even though it is still hard, I am starting to make friends and we have wonderful families here we get to share life with. Some of my favorite verses that relate to this is Jeremiah 29:11 this talks about things happening for the best and that God can be trusted and followed. Luke 9:23 if we follow Jesus we have to pick up out cross and walk with him.  So whenever you go through hard times and it feels like you can’t trust in God, remember that “God is ALWAYS worth the sacrifice”. And He always brings good things from that sacrifice if we trust him.

Thank you for reading.  I was nervous about my first post.  I will try to post some more.  Emma


Hope, Peace, Joy and Love


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The Christmas season has been a little different for us this year.  Being still in a place of the transitioning of our home, (continuing to press in and ask the Lord to sell our house in Pawleys would LOVE for you to join us in that) we have found ourselves during this season celebrating the holidays with our “stuff” being back in Pawleys while being surrounded by borrowed things in the place we are staying in “Atlanta.”

Last year I spent lots of time bringing out all the Christmas items and decorating things around the house. Things that come out year to year and have a staple in our home. The tree decorations, the nativity, the kids ornament boxes that hold memories since the day they were born.  These posessions currently sit in our attic and I long for the day soon that they will abide in our new place of residents.  Somehow when we transitioned in November I was not even thinking about grabbing the Christmas things we would need.

Rhodes Christmas

But in the loss of what was and things left there is a huge blessing in the what is, and things new.  When we walked back into the house we are living in, after Thanksgiving it was entirely decorated for Christmas.   It was such a wonderful sweet surprise and our family has enjoyed this particular Christmas season enjoying the beauty, the blessing and the generosity of others.  Not sure how many hours Carol and Don worked to put it all together but we certainly have been enjoying their traditions and their special things.

Carol and Don

But most of all, what we as a family have come to realize most this season… is that when you strip away possessions you almost always find yourself clinging on to the things that matter most.

Because we’ve not had to spend time decorating the house, we’ve spent much more time this month gathered to family and lots of intentional time doing things that well in the past we’ve just never had time to do.  We’ve baked and decorated Christmas cookies, we’ve made cards, we’ve searched for our elf Fidek each morning who get this…actually moves around each day to a new location and does not sit in one place for a good part of the week with kids wondering why. And we have spent time daily to gather around the advent candles as we’ve pressed into the journey of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love and what that means to us as a family right now.

Rhodes Christmas 2

Hope – “What could be”  – We are overwhelmed by excitement and HOPE this time in our lives as each day we get glimpses of what could be.  Pressing into HOPE for us has been important step in the transition process.  Ever feel without HOPE?  Regardless of any circumstance you might be experiencing it’s good to remind yourself of His HOPE for you and that He has a plan for you.  We have much Hope.

Peace – “Shalom – A sense of well being.” For us right now there is still lots of Chaos in our lives.  Ever feel that Chaos surrounds you? We are living in a new place, kids are in new schools, we have not sold our house yet, we are still using map quest to get from one place to another.   But what we continue to learn is that PEACE is not the same as calm.  So if things seem chaotic for you, instead of trying to find the calm, why not try to fully embrace His PEACE that only He can give. We have much Peace.

Joy – Seeing all Circumstances through the Goodness of God. Even when things happen that could seem to steal your JOY, His Goodness always comes through. Could not be more true for us.  As I look at the amazing community of people that surround us and the mission that is unfolding our family is blown away by His Goodness.  Often I wondered through many transitions through the years how in the circumstance of different things that limit JOY how could they ever turn to good? So is there something that is robbing your JOY?  Why not try to look for the beauty in the brokenness.  It’s in His Goodness that we can see our circumstance differently. We have much Joy.

Love – Relentless giving of ourselves to others.  We will always attempt to live our lives We before Me.  There is no better way to live.  It’s only when you give everything of yourself with complete abandonment to serve others that you can fully be known and loved.  And it’s often when you give of yourself… is when you receive the most in return.  And it’s in the transaction of giving your life away that you realize others are giving their lives for you.  Still overwhelmed at the way people have loved on us and have leveraged themselves for us. Is there someone you need to show LOVE to this time of year?  Is there a place that you need to open yourself up to, to be shown LOVE? It all starts with relentless giving.  We have much Love.

As we evaluate our first few months in this next season of life we have found that Hope, Peace, Joy and Love are not only things we feel we’ve been able to step into but also what we have been able to receive in abundance in the larger family on mission we find ourselves in here in Atlanta. Which going into this new year we have so much to be thankful for.  We have much thanks.

Not sure how this Christmas season has fallen on your family and loved ones but praying for each of you that Hope, Peace, Love and Joy would find you.  That you would be known by them as you give your life and also that they would welcome you as you engage and receive from others.

Wishing you a VERY Merry Christmas.  Much HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE to you. – The Rhodes Family

The Subversive Gift of the Move


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Post by Dave:

I don’t know anyone who likes moving themselves.

In fact, I believe movers are one of the best inventions of all time.

It’s the word all our friends hope to hear from the moment we tell them we are changing houses. “So are you getting movers?” they ask sheepishly, silently hoping by movers we don’t mean them. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to help my friends out on this one—every time we’ve moved my friends and I have been our movers. And yes—on many occasions I have returned the favor and been one of their “movers” as well.

The past three years, living in Pawley’s Island, we have moved in and moved out lots of people. And in this season it’s been our turn to move. We haven’t gotten our furniture out yet (please pray for our house to sell), but our family has already taken our most basic essentials and joined our new missional family in Atlanta. And like all moves, we’ve found it’s required adjustment.  We literally are living currently out of our suitcases.


Here’s what I’ve found about moving though—moving reveals a lot about what we call normal. It’s when we move our furniture that we find out just how treaded our carpet has been in it’s current pathway and set up. It’s in moving we find out just how much extra stuff has made it’s way between our couch cushions or under our beds. It’s in moving we find out what furniture might not have been working the way it should have been and why. Yes—these are the subtle and subversive gifts of the move we might not discover any other way.

I’m thinking about that today, because even though we haven’t moved out our furniture yet, the less physical staples of our life are in the middle of an adjustment period. As a Family on Mission, we know just how important the predictable patterns and routines of life are. But nothing tries those patterns more than trying to establish those patterns in a different place. And nothing gives us more opportunity to evaluate those patterns than a move.

So here’s where we are—caught between adjustment and normal. Many of the normal patterns we’ve established in the past we think are really healthy. A few of the patterns are not though, so we are trying to learn from our mistakes and make adjustments. We’re not there yet—but at least we know where we are.

In the patterns of health we hope to fully return to, it can be kind of frustrating in this in-between time. Because we know what it means for the family to work and work well, we sense our current brokenness on this level. But it’s the gift of our healthy normal to know just what we need to return to and why. As we all know on every level—“there is one thing worse than being broken, and that is being broken and not knowing it.” So whether it’s in our leadership, our work or our family rhythms the gift of a healthy normal is that it helps us know when we are broken and what to return to.

And yes, there are things that we are adjusting in our normal rhythms and patterns as we enter a new culture, with new people and new surroundings. Like the gift of placing our old furniture in a new house, so being around new people, new cultures and new surroundings help us determine what both our old stuff can do that we had no idea of, and what it’s limitations might be. It’s in learning from new people that we see the places we might have called what is actually unhealthy “normal” and learned to accept it. And it’s in these places that we seek to adjust. The gift of the move is that it not only gives us that opportunity, but it helps us do so.

My hope though is that moving won’t be the only time we do this. My hope is that from time to time we will at least move the furniture around our new house to do two things—first, evaluate whether our normal is healthy and if not adjust it. And second, in places where normal is healthy but we’ve been pulled out of normal—return to it.

Like all leaders and families we will not be fully functional all the time. There will be moments when we break. But the gift of evaluating normal is that at least we will know we are broken and learn from it.

So if you’re moving today, like so many of our friends are, why not take this moment to evaluate and adjust? And if you’re not moving, like many of our other friends, why not at least move the furniture around and evaluate and adjust anyway?

Rhodes to Anywhere – Here We Go!


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Dear Family and Friends,

A while back we decided to change the name of our family blog from “Fingerprints on My Walls” to “Rhodes to Anywhere.” We did this because we wanted to talk more about being a Family on Mission and what being a Family on Mission might look like—using both our family’s successes and failures to share our journey and encourage others. While Kim had used “Fingerprints on My Walls” as a site to communicate her personal place of expression for our family’s experiences (and she was amazing at articulating that), we wanted the site to evolve into a place that began to express the family journey for both of us and our kids.  (Let’s just say that getting that dream to move from pen to paper is still a work in progress as you might be able to tell from the lack of posts.)

What we had no idea of though, at the time, is that this change of name would be accompanied by a change of physical location of where we lived. While we sensed that an ongoing shift or evolution for our family communication and mission was happening, our physical home in Pawley’s Island was to a large degree an assumed staple of life. For three years now Pawley’s Island has functioned as both a learning and sending center and (quite honestly) a heart home of family and friends. God has provided so many friendships, partnerships and so much opportunity that even though we knew we would travel to many places serving others, we believed Pawley’s Island would be the place that we would orbit from.

That is why in some sense we are surprised, excited and a bit sad to announce that we are MOVING TO ATLANTA!

Every day seems to unlock a variety of emotions in us. And often we still struggle to find the right words to adequately describe what is happening in our hearts. So, with that said we would like to do our best to let you in on a little bit of this journey. In doing so, we thought it might be easiest to talk about this journey in three ways. We want to share about where we are going, where we are leaving, and the journey between the two along the way.

Where are we going? We are Moving To Atlanta GA, Snellville to be exact:

Living as a Family on Mission for so much of our life has created a certain lens by which our family looks to the future. We ask first, “Who should we do life with?” and then “What Kingdom opportunity is a part of that?” 

With that said, the city of Atlanta and the surrounding area, has long been a location for some of the people that are part of our missional family. Central to that group of people has been a church family named Grace Fellowship. Many of you, have heard of Grace Fellowship and some of the incredible things that God is doing here. 

We have long been a fan of Grace–both investing in some of their incredible group of leaders from afar and doing our best to champion this vibrant community of faith in letting others know what God has been doing through them. Specifically, Grace Fellowship has been a place that is leading their community to reach and disciple the NEXT GENERATION, to create a CULTURE OF WORSHIP LEADERS, and to forge a local and global MISSION IN REACHING NEIGHBORHOODS and NATIONS, especially among Muslims.

In short, Grace Fellowship is a community that we have been impacted by and have had the honor to invest in for many years.

That is why our family is incredibly excited and honored to join this team as a continued evolution to this ongoing conversation. With a growing number of campuses that have discipled into the City, the Suburbs, Small Towns and College Campuses, we believe Grace is strategically positioned to continue to be both a formidable force for the Kingdom of God in the Atlanta area as well as a training center for leaders from all over the country.

Our role and responsibilities will revolve around these two things. As Pastor of Discipleship and Movement Initiatives both Kim and I look forward to investing in the Grace Community to help make more disciples that become missional leaders. But just as much, we will also be committed to helping lead teams from Grace to teach and train other leaders in other churches and organizations globally in what we all have learned and are discovering on the ground together.

Where we are Leaving?  Leaving Pawley’s Island 
Like we said earlier, the past few years in Pawley’s Island have provided us both an opportunity to partner with many US and global leaders as well as a local missional family to do life and faith with. The principle agent of this missional gathering of leaders was 3DM. But joining 3DM was not our first venture into this kind of life. As co-founders of Wayfarer, creating missional family has long been a central part of our DNA. It’s a way of life that we have learned from many and no doubt have learned a whole lot more about these past three years. 

Three years ago, our family along with the Reichley family (long-time partners in missional family life) loaded up everything we owned and merged Wayfarer with 3DM. The Berg family followed shortly there after. During our time here, these two missional families (3DM and Wayfarer) have become one. Together we have had the privilege of not just seeing God do an amazing work of the Kingdom but also shared in the every day covenantal life and laughter of becoming one team. Wayfarer took on the 3DM family name and the Reichleys, Bergs and Rhodes became part of the larger 3DM team.

For our part, invited in as partners in this 3DM work, we first joined the team as Director of Learning Communities and then later took on the responsibility of becoming the US Team Leaders. So much of our everyday life has been devoted to creating content, training leaders, and transforming culture through joined mission—long time life callings that we have and will continue to enjoy. 

In the process we were also introduced to a vibrant larger community of people that called Pawleys Island home. Pawley’s Island Community Church, Heritage Plantation (our neighborhood) and so many new friendships created a heart home for our family that we have treasured and will always hold close. So many great people and memories will hang in the forefronts of our heart and minds. That is why our departure makes us sad.

We will always be thankful for the family we found here:


The Journey Between the Two:  From Pawley’s to Atlanta
The journey from Pawleys to Atlanta brings some shifts, both in our day to day life and our relationships. First, as you can imagine, Atlanta will become our new center of training. Joined with some incredible leaders already on the ground (and more to follow we are sure), Grace Fellowship will provide a local context of ministry that we look forward to serving at and engaging in. Getting the chance to focus our energy in a local church setting we believe will only help us be more effective in discipling leaders in other contexts from all walks of life.

Second, both us, the Reichleys and other team will be using this next season to invest further in Wayfarer. We hope to continue to establish the Wayfarer family and the ministries on-going investment in the next generation of students and families beyond it’s current reach.

Finally, we will also be taking this next season to partner with other leaders and initiatives in the things we have helped develop and learned as part of the 3DM team. New opportunities of partnership with people like Aaron Keyes and his team at 10,000 Fathers and Will Mancini and the team at Auxano among others, we believe will help us further invest in the broad kingdom of God initiatives that serve the church and it’s leaders in fantastic ways. We look forward to this next season of blossoming partnership!

Staying Connected
If you are reading this blog it is most likely because you are part of our biological or missional family, are a family friend, are part of the future work we are called to or because you have been a partner in the work that we have been a part of in the past.  As with all transitions, the hardest part will be staying connected. And that is why we wanted to put this post out now. Know that we want to stay connected to you in this transition. We want to serve you, host you, walk beside you, partner with you and imagine the future together. We believe that the best days of life and ministry are in front of us. And we honestly know if that is the case that it is because your presence has been and we hope will be a signpost to the presence of God in our lives.

You can find us both here on our Family blog at and by emailing us at these new email addresses:

Specific Prayer Requests for our Family:

  • That our house would sell quickly and we would be able to fully transition to Atlanta.
  • For our kids in this move and all that means for them leaving Pawleys Island and establishing in Atlanta.
  • That our family would continue to honor our past while engaging our future and we would do this well.

Once again, thank you so much for believing in us through the years, for championing the call of God in our lives, for calling us your friend and family and mostly for just being present with us. We can’t wait to discover the future with you! 

In Christ,
Dave, Kim, Emma, Izzie and Frankie

Rhodes Family Picture

When the Fog Lifts…


The Fog on our Drive in Anchorage Alaska in May 2014

A few weeks ago I woke up.  There was nothing different about the day as it started.  It was just like any other day, but as I scooted out of bed and my feet hit the texture of the carpet in our room, something was different.  I lifted my eyes up as I’ve been doing with them each and every day.  And that is when it hit me.  The fog… the lingering fog of the past three months had suddenly lifted.  And in that moment I began to see my surroundings anew again.  I could see again.


Have you ever felt that way?  Been in a place of where your only hope for your next breath or next step or next foot out of bed is trust and dependence on Him?  Been in a place where the fog settles and you are not sure what is surrounding you or when it will ever lift?

There are lots of things in life that bring the Fog around us.  For me currently it’s being in a state of transition. I’m not fooling anyone.  Seasons of transition don’t come easy to me.  Not everyone struggles with transition but I certainly do.  I’m a person of predictability and patterns and rhythms.  So when I come to a place where I have to re-define normal, those places always are raw for me.  Redefining Normal can happen for many reasons for many of us.  A sudden death of someone we love, sickness, tragedy, a change in occupation, an open door, a new opportunity, something we choose, something we don’t choose,  or simply something that was normal to us that is now changed.

Lately our family has been in a transition of a season in life. I’ve had many moments of random transitions which you can recover from quickly but in the transition of a season.. sometimes that takes longer to fully come to grips with what normal will be.  I’ve had a few seasons like this in my life.   One was when our son Frankie came home from Haiti. At the time when we were filling out our adoption paperwork it was taking 4 years to adopt from Haiti.  And we knew how long the wait would be going into it.  So imagine my shock when 2 years in, a devastating earthquake hit and within 2 weeks our 3 yr old son was home.  We went from thinking we had 2 more years of waiting for him to in a matter of life circumstances  “He was home.” Our normal was redefined.  I remember the scrambling, the thankfulness, the shock, the fog that kicked in during a transition for us that came out of the blue.  I was beyond thankful for community and friends during that time that helped us along the way.  I tell people all the time, I can’t remember the days during that time, it was all a fog for the first 3 months but we got through it… we made it through the crazy transition.  And one day, the fog lifted and I put my feet on the carpet floor and realized we survived and were living in the normal again.

The day Frankie came home...

The day Frankie came home…

And today I remind myself of his faithfulness of my past.  Once again, I’ve been caught a bit off guard with a season of transition in our lives, as one chapter is closing and another one begins.  And even though I might not have chosen to end this chapter in this season or time or way, I do believe that THE chapters of my life have not closed and his work in my life is not finished.  That God’s opportunity to continue to do what only God can do is still alive and parting the fog for me today so that I can see again.

And He’s done it in beautiful ways.  Through the unexpected, through the joy, even through pain and brokenness, He always brings about HIS beauty.  He has stabilized my footing.  He continues to make straight my path.  He has brought Grace into my life and has continued to help me navigate what is in front of me.  He is restoring and redeeming.

And even as I type out knowing it’s HIS Grace.  He has physically given us a new place to orbit from ministry out of and how good and perfect that the place is called,  GRACE Fellowship, In Snellville GA.  Isn’t it just like God to do that.  We’ve been on the ground now for a week.  And even though we are still getting settled and are still in major transition, it feels so good to be here.

I remember many weeks ago when they welcomed us to the family and prayed over us for our next season of ministry.. and his Grace I felt flooding over us in many ways.

Grace Photo

So today I celebrate the power of the resurrection. I refused to let the enemy tell me that because a chapter had closed, that everything had closed.  I refused to continue living in my brokenness, anxiety, depression and worthlessness that the enemy fogged over my life. Instead I continued to chose that the battles of my life were not mine to fight but HIS.  And he has delivered me.  God is my warrior, my defender, and He is Faithful.  And he wants me to fully live each day with everything that I have.  So even though my heart is still sad about our departure from Pawleys Island and what was, I am fully excited about what is and what could be.  We have arrived on the ground here in Atlanta and are so thankful.  We have community, we have mission we have WE before ME.

If you are in a place of fog I’d love to encourage you today. Sometimes it takes time for it to lift.  But you can begin to start seeing again by taking even one simple step… Decide everyday regardless of what you can or can not see… to posture your eyes upward. It made every difference to me in the fog.  “Just begin looking up.  Looking up is a powerful alternative in the midst of a storm and it does not require that you change your location, or even change your physical posture.  It just requires that you shift your eyes from wherever you are.” Louie Giglio

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Managing a Ministry or Leading a Movement


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As a Family we are excited about heading out to Greenville today to spend some much needed time with our family.  Spending this particular Friday getting ready to rest and abide.  Reflecting on the season of lent as we wind that down.  Feeling the heavy burden today of what HE did for us years ago and looking forward to celebrating the good news of the resurrection and the life we now live freely.

Dave recently posted a blog on our 3DM Leadership Blog.  Wanted to share that with you today.  Even though this post is about Managing a Ministry or Leading a Movement, As it relates to our context of being the Rhodes family  – It’s not about Managing our Family but it’s about Leading our Family on Mission.   Being part of an extended family is that we choose to never do anything alone. It’s a matter of closing the gap between our intention and our practice. Which is why as a family on Mission if we hear God speak to something we make sure it’s reflected in our weekly practices and disciplines  as we seek to bring the Kingdom of God to all places as weShow and Tell people Jesus.

So here is Dave’s post.  Enjoy!

Love – Rhodes to Anywhere…

Managing a Ministry or Leading a Movement

Life is full of choices.

Some choices come and go and very few things are really affected.

Other choices directly affect us not just in the moments we choose them but also in every moment after. In fact, some of choices we make today are directly related to the kind of lives we live tomorrow. And never do we really know that more than when we make the wrong choice.

For me, one of these moments happened when I was around six years old. My mom had dragged me to the grocery store to run errands with her, as moms often have to do. But moms can’t go to the grocery store to just get what they need, like normal people. So I was being dragged up and down each aisle, slowly but surely making our way through the entire store. I questioned the meaning of life more than once in the frozen food section.

But then on aisle nine, I found it. My purpose for being at the grocery store turned the moment my mom looked at me and said, “David, it’s your turn!” Here’s why I was so excited: aisle nine was the cereal aisle, and that meant I got to pick out one box of cereal for the week. I remember as a kid running up and down the aisle looking at all the different choices. Cocoa Pebbles, Life, Cheerios, Trix, Cookie Crisp (my personal favorite), Fruit Loops and so many others. These are big choices in life.

On this particular grocery store run, I had made my decision. The box of Cookie Crisp was already in my hand. That’s when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a box of cereal called Fiber Bran, or something like that. Now, no kid really wants to eat Fiber Bran—that’s a cereal for old people who have issues in their lives that we don’t really want to discuss here. But the reason I noticed this box of cereal was because there was an advertisement on it that read “Free Spider-Man Action Figure Inside!”

I loved Spider-Man. So my six-year-old brain started thinking… I knew that if I asked my mom for a Spider-Man action figure on this grocery trip I probably wouldn’t get it. But here in this box of cereal was the opportunity of a lifetime. My mom would think I was getting cereal but I would really be getting a Spider-Man action figure! Quickly I turned the box of cereal over to see the HUGE portrait of Spider Man on the back of the box. And again, my six-year-old mind raced into action, thinking, “If the Spider-Man figure is that big there can’t be much cereal in the box of Fiber Bran.”

Spider-Man won out. I handed the box to my mom insisting that Fiber Bran was my new favorite cereal. The next morning I raced down the stairs to open the box of Fiber Bran and claim my awaited treasure. As I dug my hands in the bottom of the box, I’d like to tell you that I was delighted, but the truth is that I have never been more disappointed in all of my life. The Spider-Man figure was two inches tall and it broke the second time I played with it. To make matters worse, I was now stuck with a whole box of Fiber Bran. You don’t want to know all the things that cereal did to my body (just kidding).

I learned a valuable lesson that day as a six-year old kid. It’s easy to get distracted by toys. It’s easy to see the back of the box and end up missing the substantive things in life. It’s easy to choose the wrong thing.

Never is this more true for the heart of the leader than when it comes to the choice of managing a ministry or leading a movement. The truth is, I know very few people who dream of managing a declining ministry. Most of the people I talk to dream of cultivating and leading a dynamic movement of faith. But it’s what we choose to do on a daily basis in discipleship that makes all the difference.

In classic Mike Breen fashion, I now have been trained to see the way of Jesus in places in Scripture I once would have overlooked. That’s why this year John 4:1-2 has caught my eye in a way it never has before. Here’s what it says, “The Pharisees noticed that Jesus was baptizing more people than John (although it was not Jesus who was doing it, but his disciples).”

It’s that last parenthetical statement that has owned me these last few weeks. Jesus didn’t just “do” his ministry and let his disciples tag along. No, Jesus invited his disciples to do his work with him–even before he commissioned them to do so, and because of this, Jesus started a movement instead of managing a ministry.

I’m not making any assumptions about John’s ministry, but what the Pharisees noticed about Jesus was that his movement was outpacing John’s ministry, and what the Apostle John fills in for us parenthetically is that it was all because of discipleship.

The lesson is clear: if you want a movement tomorrow choose discipleship today. Invite your disciples to do what you do. Do your best to never do anything alone. It’s a matter of closing the gap between our intention and our practice. We all want a movement, but desires alone accomplish nothing. If we want a movement we will have to choose it, daily… one disciple at a time.

You can read more amazing things on Family on Mission and Discipleship on the 3DM Leadership Blog.

A Family Journey of Lent


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At the start of lent our family sat down and talked about this season of Lent and what it would look like for our family to step into that.  With now our youngest bumping up against 7 years their understanding and participation has awoken.

One thing we do as a family is have a visual around the house. Not only is it FUN, but it’s an important way to help our children learn.  I ordered this last year to use over the Christmas Season and it also can be used for Lent.  It’s called the Cradle to the Cross Wreath and you can order it HERE.


We began asking each person in our family to ask God what is something that they could give up for 40 days as a symbol of remembering what HE gave up for US.  And the bigger question to the kids was… “What is something that might be a part of your life that you might be depending on a little too much?  And what would it look like if you decided to not have that be so much of your life right now?  What would those things be?


Dave is giving up Soft Drinks.  If you know Dave, you would have heard the gasps in the room by all three kids.  This is NOT something that will be easy for him.  But what I realized is it set the tone for all of us to really press into what it was that God was saying to all of us.


Emma (our 11 year old) went next.  Emma is giving up “unorganization.”  She’s one of my children that did not inherit the desire for things to be neat and orderly.  Which is great and we love that about her.  As she listened to His voice she said she needed to step into the discipline of making space orderly around her.  That would mean how she approached her work and space at school and also her space at home.  As her orderly mom, this was wonderful news to my ears.  But also realized this would be a big task for her to take on.

Izzie (our 7 year old) followed. Now this might not seem like something to most of you but for her it was straight from her heart.  Lately she has been obsessed with Beanie Boo’s.  I’ve never seen a kid attach to something like this.  She loves stuffed animals.  Whenever Dave returns from trips he always brings her back a small stuffed animal.  I personally think it’s crazy to bring home stuffed animals but to her it’s this massive act of love and affection.  She said she is giving up the desire to want more Beanie Boo’s.  The need to want to keep getting more.  And for her this will be something hard for her to step into for sure.

beanie boos

Then I went.  Feeling like I needed to follow Dave’s lead I told the family I was going to give up coffee.  I’m not sure if I can actually do this.  But it’s something I drink 1 cup of every single morning that gets my day started.  To be honest I’ve not really pressed into what this would look like and wasn’t really sure if this was what I was to do but in the moment it sounded like this was where I needed to press into. (See update below for the reality of what happened)

And then Frankie (our 6 year old) – Sweet Frankie.  He immediately said he’s giving up playing the Wii. Everyone immediately started to give him other idea’s that might be more atainable.  This boy LOVES the Wii.  He works his day around having some access to it.  If we step into discipline many times it’s time taken away from the Wii that works for him.  So this was HUGE for him.  But as we suggested other smaller options for him, he was very annoyed and said, “No.  I want to do the Wii.  So we honored his heart and affirmed his decision.

frankie wii

I think for all of us it was such a good family exercise to discuss and do together.  To be able to hear each others hearts and to know places in our lives that we have become dependent on other things.  I’m thankful that Lent lead us into this and want to engage in this conversation more often as we journey in these conversations as family.

So the beginning of lent was a while ago..  Here is our update on HOW we have been doing:

Once again, our children have blown me away.  After hurdles of deciding if a Sonic Limeaid is a soft drink, and day 2 of having to drink a cup of black coffee in the morning just to get by I was especially reminded of the discipline it takes to go without. Dave continues his commitment to avoid soft drinks.  I on the other hand realized very quickly that cutting caffeine to start the morning would not be something attainable cold turkey.  Since I’ve decided to give up sweets and still press into the Kairos of the dependence on a cup of coffee each day.

The girls are pressing through.  I love opening the door to Emma’s room and seeing things in order and know she’s going after it.  And NOT hearing about Beanie Boo’s day in and day out has been pleasant change as well around here.


To our Son Frankie who I thought would in no way be able to be without the Wii.  Each day he has come into our home as if it has never even exhisted. I am utterly in shock and awe at him.  He is showing all of us in this family what little Faith we had in him. He is showing us all how to sacrifice without complaining, without asking.  And truly teaching us when you hear from God and actually walk in Faith and Obedience that anything is possible.

So the question leads us all to ponder…  Regardless of if you step into lent or not, what are things in your life that you may be becoming a little too dependent upon?  And do you trust HIM enough to listen to HIS voice and step into releasing some of those things? Let Frankie encourage you today. By taking time to Listen to HIS VOICE and Obeying it… ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE… Right Frankie?

Love –   Rhodes to Anywhere…..

Rhodes to Anywhere… I’m/We’re Back!



I've missed you photo

I’ve missed you!  We’ve missed you! How crazy is this?  After almost 4 years in Hibernation we were having a family conversation a few weeks ago and I decided for all of us that we should start blogging again, but this time as a family.

I actually just hit send on a book of Frankie’s Blog I used to keep.  Reading through the posts I was reminded how as an introvert it’s important to take the time and actually write.  It’s really a spiritual discipline not only for me, but for Dave and now as our children as they grow older and begin to share their story.  And I feel like along the journey we have learned so much.  The process of Discipleship requires us to look at the life of Jesus and to learn what He did, learn how to imitate Him and then look at ways to innovate in our lives in a way that causes us to ask who would Jesus be if He were us.. with our life, with our family dynamics and the giftings that he has given us?  When you live that way… He will take you anywhere…

So welcome to our new adventure “Rhodes to Anywhere”

We have certainly traveled many “Rhodes” over these past 4 years of blog hibernation and what an amazing adventure it continues to be.  One of the fun traditions we’ve taken on is collecting snow globes of the places that our family is coming and going from.  Each represents a story, a community, a people, a mission, a culture, a breakthrough, a barrier, a family, a mission. They are truly more than snow globes as they sit in our home.  They represent the pictures of the Kingdom to us.  They represent ways our own family is trying to live into our Family Mission: To Show and Tell People Jesus.


So what have we been doing for the past four years?  Well I’m glad you have asked.  It’s really simple.  We have been dying.  I guess that sounds a little harsh… but it’s what we have been doing.  Daily coming to the cross.  Dying to ourselves, our plans, our wants, our needs, our dreams in hopes of being reborn into something new.  Dave just tweeted today.. “There is no issue in life that the cross does not address. And there is no struggle in life that resurrection does not teach me to conquer.” 

Just last week someone dear to us said she had been praying for our family and was given the verse John 12:24 to share with us.  Little did she know that I had already penned these words you are about to read. “When you lose your life you will find it…  When you try to hold on to your life, you will lose it.  John 12:24 – “Very Truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” So we as a family press into knowing it’s all His, we daily lay it down to die in hopes of multiplication and daily trust to follow His Voice as we seek to lose our lives and go “ANYWHERE” the “RHODES” we walk lead.

We are pretty excited about where we have been and where we are headed.  The amazing thing about dying is that is when the fun happens.  It’s the most messy beautiful process to get to walk through. We have never lived in a time filled with so much joy, fruitfulness and blessing.  Never as a family have we been more passionate about living and being a Family on Mission.  I hope all 5 of us can share parts of our story here to encourage those of your own pursuit as you live out all you are going after in your life and your context in the Mission he’s called you to.

Excited to be back.

With Love,

Rhodes to Anywhere…

frank ad blog

Thoughts from the Battle

It’s a Tuesday and for the first time in a LONG time I sit in a quiet house.  Dave is off in Dallas, my children have been dropped off at 3 different schools and I sit here as my feet are still a little sandy from an early walk on the beach and some time to “be” and “abide”.  I plan at some point to take a bike ride as well and continue to ponder.

It has been just about a year that we have lived here in our new little town.  The place my heart now calls home. I remember as if it was yesterday, selling most of our furniture and cleaning our home in prepping it for the next family that would be living in the place we dwelled for the last 7 years.  Feeling the grief of lost relationships and hard goodbyes of family.  Wondering why on earth I decided to leave most of our stuff with Dave saying he wished he left behind even more of it. But stepping in confidence that we were listening to HIS voice and following as we heard him whisper.  And I remember the point of looking in the car mirror.  You know how you do that from time to time.  But I remember that moment of taking the last glance at what was on the side reflection of the car and then choosing to look ahead into what I know would be.  A moment of honoring and celebrating the past but at the same time continuing to walk and take faith ground in the future.  It was not an either or for me but a both and…

It’s really hard for me to put into words what has happened over this past year for me personally.  I’ve been encouraged and challenged, I’ve seen amazing provision that only he could give and I’ve been asked to sacrifice in ways that only he can sustain. And it has played out like an amazing harmony on this steady playing beautiful note that is called my life.  Some days it can sound out of tune or a bit off beat but for the most part I continue to hear this beautiful song and melody that continues on in the sacrifice or the blessing that comes.

So having some time to reflect this morning and hearing his Voice call me back to blog and write today I felt compelled to share something with you that I have staked this past year on and have been processing a bit over the past 3 days.  You see, when we made this last move I came to personal decision.  I chose to embrace the voice of the Good Shepherd in that I recognized and confirmed that I knew what it was God was calling our family to in this next phase of our Family on Mission.  And then I think I did the next thing that has allowed me to walk in the most freedom ever.  I acknowledged and surrendered that  IT WOULD COST ME EVERYTHING.  So to state that even simpler…  “I know God has called me, and I know that it will cost me everything.”

I’m smiling a bit right now because when I articulate that to people, especially the it will cost me everything…people get REALLY uncomfortable and look at times as if I’m crazy.  And I get that.  No one likes to hear that something should or will have to cost you something or everything for that matter.  Our natural instinct is to avoid discomfort, loss, pain, sacrifice.  We live in a world that tells us on a daily and hourly basis that we should be entitled to things.  And people will literally tell me when I share that…But your kids?, But your family? But your time? But Dave traveling so much?  And I hear their concern in what they are saying.  But there are a few things I’ve learned in this process… In the It will cost you everything… there is the joy of the most amazing blessing that is balanced perfectly with the struggle of the hardest sacrifice that can only begin to be experienced in act of living into it.  And at the end of the day there is one thing you need to understand about me and what I am doing and daring to take possession of…

I’m a Warrior. 🙂 I’ve spent the past year and continue to prepare and orient myself first as a warrior.  And each day I wake up and recognize that I’m not just living another day of life but that I’m engaging in a battle.  I recognize that our King is near and that He wants to do Good things and He wants to Win.  So I take on each day putting on my armor, helping my family and children put on theirs and then head out to take  possession of his promises and take ground he has given us to take.  And he wants to Win and so do I. So everything I do is INTENTIONAL for battle.  From our family rhythms, to what I invest time, to how I handle and see Dave being gone, to how I process things happening, to even understanding my capacity… everything is filtered in light of the battle.

The War we are in.  And yes it’s a war.  There is a battle raging for your time, ability, competence, courage.  Many are battling wars of sickness, enemy attacks, bombs going off in our midst here and there.  But the WAR….It’s already been WON.  God is Good and He WINS.  And here is the thing I love about our King and the Kingdom we fight for…  It is HERE, as in now.  It is NEAR, as he will continue to break into our lives and speak to us and guide us in the battles.  It is COMING, one day all debts will be settled. And It’s DELAYED, as we wait we MUST fight and take possession of everything that has been promised to us.

And that is what I am trying to do each and every day.  Some days are massive breakthroughs.  Other days you can find me wounded on the field with my doubts.  Some days I sit in the amazing blessing and wonder and awe of His provision and care and other days the sacrifices I know he requires leave me wondering if I might have anything left to give. But at the end of the day for me, there is nothing more that I want to do with my life than submit and bring honor to the King and go after all that He has for me and our family while we are here on this earth.  Anything less than that would be a disappointment for me.

One last thing I wanted to leave with you as I was processing this, this week at the Sr Pastors retreat we had going on here in Pawleys.  When waging in a war, It’s those that decide before hand that something won’t stop them will win.  Those that find themselves dead already will always win.  I refuse to enter battle holding on to things in my hand.  I won’t be a casualty of this war because of that.  Which is why I always recognize daily that it’s all His, and daily I give it to him.  And if I one day I become a casualty in this war, it won’t be because I was not fighting or because I was holding anything back.

So maybe I was supposed to write this today to encourage you or maybe challenge you to ask yourself if there is anything you are holding on to that might be preventing you from having the breakthrough the King is wanting you to have?  And what would it look like to take a step in trying to release that from your grasp and see what He can do with it?

And just as I am teaching my kids this week this verse from Joshua 1:9

He will be with you wherever you go.





I went to the beach yesterday and it took me 15 minutes to find a parking spot on what is usually a desolate space.  Something so bare is now starting to be packed with visitors and others flooding in.  I’ve been told season has started to begin.  I’ve heard stories of how things are here during busy season and have tried to imagine it, but starting to experience it brings reality of what is to come.   I’m realizing my normals will have to change a bit to adjust with the current of people arriving.  My quick run over to the beach and back won’t be as simple.  I’ll still get to do all the same things, I’ll just need to take on some different Rhythms to be able to accomplish them.  And thus, as I reflected on the town of Pawleys and the flow of the season here… I realize how God is doing just the same thing in the life of our family.

We have been in an amazing season of breakthrough.  In life, family, ministry, mission.  Not a day goes by that I don’t see his abundant blessing as it keeps lapping into our lives like the waves gently rolling onto the shore.  The breakthrough times come through the normal process of life… Beginning with Abiding, then Pruning, then Growing, then Fruitfulness…  And the fruit, it’s there now and is needing to be picked and harvested and the baskets are flowing over and I just want to be sure I dont’ drop any of it.  And so just like you do in breakthrough at least for me.. I go back to the abiding because it’s in that moment that I’m able to “be” so that I can be useful in the breakthrough.

If you have had a glimpse at all into the things that make up our days and months you are aware that we have lots going on all the time.  We really love it and it’s great to be busy and have schedules intentionally full with things you know you are to press into and accomplish. It’s part of our joy of being a family on mission. We love the “doing” part of our life and now living in Pawleys we also really enjoy the “being” part of it as well.

So wanted to share some recent photo fun from over the past month of our Being and Doing times….

Blessings friends…

Hammock Hangouts…

Visit from the Nana and Gma

Lots of Hosting and Entertaining…

Broadway at the Beach…..

Frankie’s 5 year old School Party……

Family time at the beach…..

My parents in for a visit….

Lots of communities going on.  Love our team and love what we get to be part of.

Visits from Friends….

Brookgreen Time…..

Morning Breakfast Rhythm…

Weekly play dates with friends…

Girls Nights Out… Love the ladies I get to do life with….

More Beach time Fun…..

Sunday Oikos Time….

Saturday Breakfast at our favorite Hangout…

Valentines fun with the best dad ever….

Reminder of His Provision and Faithfulness…