Thursday, February 8, 2007

God is in the details: The Birth of Mission Possible Cards

I want to start off with saying that this story is almost too much for me to believe and I understand some skepticism. If that is the case, email me and let’s talk. I have included a time line of events to refer to if you (or I) get lost in the details. I have heard it said that “the Devil is in the details”, my story will prove the exact opposite!

As you can tell by scanning the time line below, my life has always been colorful. Upon hearing my story, people have often said I should write a book or something. Well, I did...uh...something! I wrote an article for a Christian Business Directory outlining my story.

The story went out to about 10,000 people and was read by a Catholic youth leader. This wonderful lady invited me in to speak with her youth group. Before I would accept the invitation, I let her know that I was not Catholic and I was going to let her kids know that they need to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. She agreed that they needed that as well...sweet!

A week or so after accepting the invite, I got the call from my old buddy Chris Weber (founding guitarist of the rock band Guns n Roses). We have not spoke or hung out for years due to me being a church-goin suburban dad and him still living the rock & roll lifestyle. Chris was prompted to contact me because he was a rock star again with a new band UPO, who had a song at #5 on the Billboard chart.

I met Chris a couple of weeks before I was to speak to the youth group and we renewed our friendship. Before I left, he asked me if I had seen his scrapbook. When I opened it, I was shocked to see all the photos I took of the band 20 years earlier! Chris was nice enough to let me scan the pictures and I had them to show the youth group the next week.

In the audience was a reporter for the Signal newspaper and her photographer. They ended up putting my testimony and the Gospel on the front page of the my city's newspaper!

The outcome of all this was the birth of my sharing ministry. Since I am a graphics guy, I created a tri-fold two-sided brochure with Guns n Roses photos on one side and my story on the other. Since that time, I have been able to share my story hundreds of times and even to large groups at a Men's retreat and even at business functions.

Fast forward several years to April 2006. My close friend and teacher of my Sunday School Nathan asked me to share about evangelism in our class. I remembered a great tool called "Share Jesus without Fear" and Googled that name. Up came I was so excited about the website that I tracked them down and called. Candy; the founder's wife answered and we had a great time of sharing. I then met Greg and he introduced me to Randall the Vice President of the site. AllAboutGod has 22 separate sites and last year had 20 million page views and more importantly: 30,000 people prayed for the first time or rededicated their lives to Christ!

My first thoughts on the site was this would be a great place for my story and I could help with their graphics. I am embarrassed by that now, because it seems very "me" focused and the website is called AllAboutGod, not AllAboutDean!

Fast forward to December of 2006, I was getting ready for work and God put the site AllAboutGod into my head. I felt a little guilty because it had been months since working on anything due to my home renovation. I get to my home office and get a call from my best friend Al. Al's story is as dramatic as mine and I have been blessed to disciple him for the last four he disciples me! I introduced Al to Bryan Cole earlier in the year at and Al's company hired him for their web work.

Al and I start off our conversation discussing divine appointments and how God transcends time and can easily manipulate circumstances. My favorite view of sharing my faith is that God gives us the "Privilege of being a part of the Process"...meaning WE are not the process, HE is (thanks Bill Fay).

Al then asks me if I have any illustrations about the Trinity. I mention that Water is one. Water can be a liquid, vapor and a solid but still retains the same elements: H2O. Al then mentioned the Egg example.

I then say that neither the Water or the Egg example fully do justice or fully describe the Trinity...they fall short.

I then suggest we check out what the web has to say... I type in Trinity Illustration into Google and up comes:

Trinity Doctrine - 12/13/06
With respect to the Trinity Doctrine, none of the popular illustrations are completely accurate descriptions. The egg fails in that the shell,

The fact that the website almost quotes me would be good enough...but at that exact SECOND. My Outlook beeps and Randall Niles, VP of AllAboutGod emails me!

To understand the Miracle of this, Randall is on vacation skiing with his family and is prompted to send out an email before hitting the slopes.

The other crazy connection is that he is skiing with Jim Montgomery who is heading up the Youth websites and Randall had spoke to Jim about me the previous day!

Now God has my attention, on Sunday I want to find the guy; Nathan that started this whole thing and tell him about my AllAboutGod miracle. I just dropped my family off at church and was riding the shuttle bus alone (this rarely happens because my kids like the shuttle). I have an empty seat next to me and who should sit down but....Nathan! Before I can open my mouth, Nathan turns to me and says: Do you know that website AllAboutGod?!

Do I ever!

This is where it gets good.... Now God REALLY has my attention and I start redesigning the graphics for AllAboutGod and God gives me a new logo design.

At a Wednesday Men's prayer breakfast, I am sharing about my divine appointments with my buddy Rob. God gives me an illustration that I believe will rock the world for Christ: When the typical missionary is sent to a "closed" country, they are sent with a needed doctor or teacher...not as a Christian worker or church planter.

The missionary is now engaged in secular work and possibly has a secular business card saying doctor or teacher. It occured to me that on the mission field, their work day looks a lot like my work day. We both are engaged in secular work and carry a secular business card. WHAT makes them a missionary?? Why do they get to send newsletters back home?

It is their OTHER business card! It is their Missionary business card that reveals their true identity, heart and calling. It then occurred to me that my Guns n Roses story is MY Missionary card. Whenever I have been obedient and carried that story around, God has ALWAYS provided someone to share it with!

Several days later God woke me up at 4:30 in the morning and gave me a vision that I pray will change the world. The problem with typical church attenders of the world is they do not share their faith. Their true identity and calling is their secular business card (or student ID). If they had a Missionary business card and could see God work in the lives around them, God could change their heart, identity and calling.

What if you could go to a website like and download a FREE custom Missionary Business Card, commissioning yourself for the task of sharing with your family, neighbors, coworkers, classmates and friends. The card could be printed on your inkjet or color laser printer and make the carrier "armed and dangerous". Having this card on you and prayed over, will allow God to provide "Divine Appointments". The other side benefit to sharing the card is accountability. In my own life, I have felt a great pressure to live a consistent Christian lifestyle (and witness) before the people I have shared my story with.

I know that Christian tracts and even Invitation business cards exist, however, I have never found one that is personalized.

God woke me up again (this time 3:30) and gave me the ministry logo and tag line: Mission Possible Cards - Care, Share & Be There! Meaning it is now Possible for you to be a Missionary. The typical tract or even secular business card does not communicate these three crucial things to the seeker.

After coming up with the concept. God reminded me of a job I had 17 years earlier. I was the group coordinator for Church Growth and Evangelism seminars in the US and Canada for Fuller Evangelistic Assoc. The job entailed calling a denomination and organizing a group of pastors to attend a seminar in their city. It occurred to me that the card could be launched through denominations with thousands of churches.

The first target audience would be the army of Welcome Team member, Ushers and Greeters throughout the US and World.

This idea was rattling around in my head when I was driving to work. As I passed by the headquarters of Foursquare International, God put the name: Dan Ussery into my head. Of course! I know the Regional Administrator for thousands of churches in the US!

I pulled over and try to call Dan. The two numbers I try don't work. I then am forced to call the main office, where no one knows me. I ask if Dan is still the Regional Administrator. The receptionist says: "I am sorry but no, he is now in the computer department". I ask to be transferred to Dan.

Dan answers the phone and he remembers me. I let him know that I have new ministry that I would like to share, but not over the phone. I then ask what is his new title: Chief Information Technology & Communications Officer for the world! 30,000 churches! God gave me the exact guy I needed to speak with!

One week later, I get a call from Dan and he is available to meet Friday at 4 PM. I work on graphics until 12:30 in the morning and print out a copy for Dan and email a copy to AllAboutGod.

Friday at 2 PM, I get the go-ahead to launch the card idea on all 22 AllAboutGod websites. At 3 P M I get the opportunity to share my story with the staff of the restaurant in my office building. At 4 PM I present the idea to Dan, an hour and 40 minutes later, he prays over me to launch this ministry to the world.

The next day (a Saturday) Dan presents my idea to Jack Hayford, former President of the denomination and the man who led me to the Lord in 1988! Jack liked the idea...praise God.

Just last Sunday, I am moved to share my miracle with a student at the Master's College from Sri Lanka. Meshad is a wonderful worship leader and his love for the Lord shows all over his face. As I shared, I mentioned Foursquare...he lit up like a Christmas Tree! He then mentioned that his father is a pastor and one of his close friends is the President of Foursquare Sri Lanka. I then mentioned the only person I knew from Sri Lanka...Leslie Keegal. Meshad then exclaimed...that's the guy! I now have an introduction to all the churches in Sri Lanka!

Amazingly, Leslie Keegal attended a class I took at the King's Institute with my then girlfriend Laura in 1990. I was agonizing over my decision to propose. I felt God speak to me through Leslie and it confirmed in my heart that Laura is the person I should marry. I soon proposed after that.

I pray that the connections and miracles in my story will touch your heart and move you to join me in launching Mission Possible Cards to the world. Please email me at: I would be happy to send you a custom card or discuss ways to customize one specifically for your ministry or church. God Bless you.

1966 - Born premature 2.5 lbs – Rancho Los Amigos Hospital
1967 -
Joni Eareckson Tada is brought to the same hospital for rehab
1967 - Foster care with the Clark Family
1975-84 - Lived with Biological mom 6 locations, including Hollywood
1981 - New best friend if Chris Weber, founding guitarist of Guns n Roses
1984 -
Graduated High school and move in with Chris and band members in Hollywood
1986 -
“Discovered” at Hollywood and Vine working at Bernard luggage store -party guy to suit & tie in one step.
1986-90 - Hollywood Commercial Real Estate leasing high-rise office buildings
1988 - Saved at Church on the Way, Pastor Jack Hayford
1990 -
Organized groups of pastors to attend Fuller Evangelistic Assoc. Church growth seminars in the US and Canada. The seminars and resources feature: John Maxwell, Rick Warren and Bill Hybels.
1989-96 -
Attended Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock, CA, Pastor Mark Pickerill and worship Tommy Walker
1990 - Laura and I attend class at Kings College and Leslie Keegal from Sri Lanka prays over the class and because of this prayer, I propose to Laura
1991 -
Married to wife Laura

1993 & 1996 - Josh and Jared are born
1992-2002 - Working selling color printers and started design studio
1997-2000 -
Designed ads for James Cameron's movie Titanic and an Elvis Presley Cookbook
2002 -
Renewed friendship with Chris Weber and rediscovered photos of Guns n Roses
2002 -
The launch of my sharing ministry using my testimony and photos of band
2004 - The original CD of Guns n Roses is released and my photos are used and featured in Rolling Stone magazine
2006 - Ran across and introduced myself to the ministry

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