Today, is the second and final part of my interview with Gabe Taviano.
Check out yesterday’s post for part one and to learn a little about who Gabe is but in short, he’s a web designer, creative genius, husband, father and photographer who manages to be a man of God in all of those things.
Here’s Part Two of his interview:
Gabe, you’ve started a project called Digital Disciples, which takes up some of your time but you don’t get paid for it. Tell me, Why do you do that? Why do stuff you’re not getting paid for when extra income would really help a lot?
Like I said earlier, to me the mark of a person is what they do when they’re not getting paid or during work hours. Even if you’re working for a church or a ministry organization. To me true church happens Monday through Saturday. God’s really shown me that this world is not about me or you, it’s about us. Digital Disciples is a network where individual people get to realize that. They can be extremely talented, even earning a nice paycheck, but I think the most value we can get from this life is by investing time into the lives of others. That’s something that can happen everywhere and in every industry.
Isn’t it ironic that most people that hang out online are introverts and don’t know how to respond when placed in a group offline? God has called me to engage and share after hearing / seeing stories of how the youth of this world are becoming less social. Our faith should lead to a life in community, not of isolation and depression. It’s time to wake up.
Last year you visited 52 zoos in 52 weeks. That seems like a very odd thing for a Christian family with little disposable income to do. What was that all about?
I actually just tweeted about this today. I’ve become so annoyed with all of the focus on leadership (even within the church) these days. And it’s not just one person out there doing all of this kind of teaching. There’s not enough people talking about community, that’s for sure! Driving the 22,000 miles and connecting with all of those people showed me just how much God can use technology these days. God wasn’t joking about Matthew 7:7. He will blow you away by making a wish of yours come true. Marla came to me one day after God gave her the direction. Some husbands would think their wife was crazy, but I’m glad that it’s God that I know is crazy and He’s just infected her with His love for the world.
We definitely didn’t fund the whole tour. God’s timing with the projects I was working on, holidays, the prices of gas dropping, and people opening up their homes to us are a few of the things that funded the trips. Looking back on it, we could have saved up for years to try to make it happen, or God could have blown us away by His provision. Honestly, how can a family of five actually make something like that happen in one year if they tried their hardest?
We didn’t have the finances to fly out to California for our last leg of the tour, but yet God tapped the Associated Press on the shoulder which led to The Early Show flying us all into New York City to be on the show. The day that happened, I can’t tell you how awesome it was to let the girls know that God just answered their request of wanting to fly. Or of blessing them for all of the riding they did!
I wish I could meet up with you guys and interview you face to face. There’s so much I’d like to ask, so much I think you could say to help my readers become more effective in their walk with Christ. Unfortunately, that’s not possible right now. But in closing, tell me, what keeps you both going? It seems like you must be very specially gifted to be able to live the way you do and give as generously as you do. Has God given you some special gift or ability which most of us don’t have. How do you keep focused on him in the midst of struggle and adversity?
We’d love to meet you sometime, Peter! As much as we’ve been invited into the lives and homes of others, know that you’re invited into ours if you would ever want to stop by.
Regarding what keeps us both going and focused. I think God’s shown us that it’s not about next year. It’s about today, and He has every intention of being glorified and at work today. The times, ways and places God has shown Himself to us are unique. He has those same events planned in all of our lives. What seems to work for me, even though it probably seems ridiculous, is living knowing that God holds the daily planner. Letting Him step in and ask you to coach your daughter’s soccer team is part of His mission. A lunch meeting is part of his plan.
When we stop pushing things into His plan I believe we start to see more clearly that this is His world, and bet my life that He knows what He’s doing with it. As someone who enjoys photography, I guess it’s putting the focus more on Him than on myself. Life is the lens God has given us. How many pictures of ourselves looking good are we going to take until we see what life could be like if God were seen clearly through our lives?
Thank you, Gabe for taking part in this series. I really appreciate you both taking the time to answer my questions. I so wish that we could have shared more of your experiences and what God has taught you over the past decade.